Thursday, February 28, 2008

Foolio Iglesias & Hilario Andredi.

Keeping with Thursday night treats, this 1997 Krunchtime session from Stretch and Bob should wet the pants a bit.


Stretch & Bob with Sear- 1997 Krunchtime

Every Time I Walk Away, They Keep Pulling Me Back.

These just dropped overseas and should be dropping stateside in the next month or so. I love the OG safari colorway so these might be a go. After releasing a billion air forces for the 25th anniversary in 2007, word was that Nike would fall back from over saturation mode. Well, they lied. So far at least 30 pairs have dropped in '08 and many more are on the way. The above shoe is part of an Air Max inspired Air Force line slated for April to late summer drops.

Air Force 1/ Mowabb:

Air Force 1/ Neon 95s:

Air Force 1/ Wildwood:

Air Force 1/ Air Max 90 Infrared:

Air Force 1/ Air Max 97:

The inspiration for the safari...

All this air force talk got me summer time day dreaming. And that Sheek Louch "Good Love" joint is the perfect accompaniment. Even the most lyrical/bedroom beat making/fuck hot 97 cats should recognize this. As long as you got ears you should be able to rock. Summer time comes early type steez.

Sheek Louch- Good Love

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When Tuesdays Meant You Hit Tower or HMV to Cop That New Shit.

They might be gone, but the feeling lingers. It's been one of those weeks when Tuesday couldn't come quick enough. What's all the fuss? Pete Rock- NY's Finest. Off the strength of what Pete's done for hip hop, I support the dude. Then throw in the tracks that have released or leaked and it's really a no brainer.

I'm not going to post the album because I want people to go out and cop. I'll post some tracks to whet the appetite. Looking at the roster makes any true head perk up. Royal Flush, Redman, Chip Fu (what???), Little Brother, Doo Wop, Lords of the Underground, Raekwon, Papoose, Styles P and several other artists all step up to bless a PR beat. All tracks produced by Pete Rock except for "Don't Be Mad" produced by Green Lantern, and let me say it's one of the better Green tracks I've heard. Pete Rock's solo on this one and has one other unassisted track, "Till I Retire." "Made Man" featuring Tarrey Torrae only utilizes her background vocals, while Pete hits all the verses. I think we can all agree that we don't cop his albums for his lyrics.

"We Roll" ft. Jim Jones and Max B., a perennial favorite of mine for sometime, starts it off and it rolls from there, no pun intended. "914" featuring Sheek and Styles reps for all the Westchester folks and the beat knocks. "Questions" ft. Royal Flush is straight business. The shit is mean. Flush where you been? Redman does his thing on "Best Believe"- the horn has a resemblance to the horns on "Tru Master" off Soul Survivor. Not recycled, just similar. Pete does his Yardy thing on "Ready Fe War" ft. Chip Fu and Renee from Zhane. Still undecided on that one. The Lords joint, "The Best Secret" has gotten better with every listen. Usually I'm scared to listen to artists that haven't recorded in years, but these dudes didn't embarrass themselves- though Mr. Funky sounds like some other dude. "The PJ's" featuring Raekwon and Masta Killa is cool, but the original version that dropped in 2006 tweaked it better. I'm trying to recall which bass line was sampled but I'm catching a blank. I know it's a well known sample. I'll post it- somebody help me out. To cap off the last 2 tracks Pete Rock enlists Doo Wop on "Let's Go" and Papoose on "Comprehend." Whether meant to or not, it places one of yesteryear's elite mixtape DJs up against the current omnipresent mixtape MC. I think I prefer listening to Wop.

Between this CD and Blu and Exile almost 2 weeks ago, this is the closest thing to a CD binge I've had in years. Nothing on the forefront seems that appealing. Back to copping kicks and fitteds.

Peep the joints below and do what you do. It's early in the listening process, but I have a feeling this album will get repeated play.

914- Pete Rock Ft. Sheek Louch and Styles P

Made Man- Pete Rock ft. Tarrey Torae

Questions- Pete Rock ft. Royal Flush- THIS SHIT IS BONKERS

The PJ's- Pete Rock ft. Raekwon and Masta Killa

The PJs- Pete Rock ft. Raekwon- ORIGINAL VERSION

The NY'S Finest EPK. Now this is a treat. Big surprises.

Some dope behind the scenes footage at Pete's Basement- Diggin' With Pete.

Just because this shit is DOPE. I know I'm ODing on Youtube, please forgive me.

INI- Fakin' Jax- 1996

Monday, February 25, 2008

Piper's Kilt Burger Delivers Baby in Dining Room.

That's just how incredible they are.

In a perfect world it would read like this...

"The Bronx has the Yankees, the Bronx Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Fordham University and Piper's Kilt."

The End.

I shouldn't be upset that PK never gets included in the pantheon of burger spots throughout the city. All the hype will ultimately cause a mad dash uptown and first there will be a line to get in, then rents will go up, and ultimately Kingsbridge will look like Williamsburg. On some manifest destiny shit. And the Bronx will finally be appreciated, the sole borough that's part of the U.S. mainland. All because of a burger. Now that's some powerful shit. Even A Hamburger Today hasn't ventured uptown to review this burger. I'm a little disappointed.

With a new burger joint opening every other week, PK continues to churn out the same burger night after night and maintain a level of excellence that is rarely matched anywhere else. Half a pound of ground beef formed into a hefty patty that sits well on a lightly sesame seeded bun. The burger is always cooked to exact specification- medium rare in my case. Charred on the outside and pink in the middle. The plate always has a reddish pool when the meal is completed. It is a great alternative to ketchup. Any vegetarian that was a former meat eater, never tried one of these before they converted. There is no way that you would deprive yourself of this joy.

Usually I order a mushroom swiss burger with fries, and a slice of tomato and raw onion on the side. Tomato, onion and lettuce cost extra and have to be requested. You can replace the fries with potato salad or cole slaw, but the fries are the move. Crisp and salty with a nice golden hue. You also get half a pickle.

Most of the newer spots make smaller patties- 5-6 ounces. For lunch or a quicker meal that size works, but when you're hungry and looking for a real meal, there's nothing like chowing down on a mini monster. If that's not enough, PK offers the Broadway burger- a 10 ouncer for an additional $1.50.

Nothing complements the burger better than a cold Heineken light and a game or 2 on one of the screens. Monday nights offer 20 cent wings- after 8 or 9- call to find out. Though I've been eating there for years- I don't completely remember all the prices. I believe a cheeseburger with fries is $7.50. Add a couple of beers and you're getting out of there for less than $20. If you live in the 5 boroughs or just outside, and you love burgers, this place is a must. They stopped robbing kids on 231st and Broadway years ago, so no need to worry.

There are 2 other Piper's Kilts. One is located on Broadway, just north of 207th Street- down the block from the A train- and the other is in Eastchester, NY- all pertinent info below. I feel that the Bronx location serves the best food, but would gladly eat at the other 2 if I'm in the area.

P.S. I wish I took better photos. Didn't realize that first photo was blurry till I got home. Also didn't get a chance to take a shot outside- it was pouring. Now I definitely need to go back.

Piper's Kilt
170 W 231st St. corner of Albany Crescent
Bronx, NY 10463
(718) 548-9539
Take 1 train to 231st and walk 1 block to Albany Crescent- right past the Blockbuster.

Piper's Kilt Inwood
4944 Broadway just north of 207th St.
New York, 10034
(212) 569-7071

Piper's Kilt Eastchester
433 White Plains Rd.
Eastchester, NY 10709
(914) 961-9815

Monday is for Giving.

Since Sunday is Ferrari day, what better way to follow that up with a little philanthropy. Finally getting to some requests.

Street Smartz- Problemz

Street Smartz- Metal Thangz ft. O.C. and Pharoah Monch

Tribe- Scenario Remix Instrumental

Natural Resource- Bum Deal Remix

RZA- Tragedy

RZA- Tragedy Instrumental

Grand Puba- Fat Rat

Black Attack- Correct Technique

Black Attack- Correct Technique Instrumental

Mobb Deep- Shook Ones Pt. II Instrumental

This wasn't requested, but I've been bumping it lately. A classic. Those that know, know.

Juggaknots- Clear Blue Skies

Thursday, February 21, 2008

He Broke Bread, Ribs, 100 Dollar Bills...

Not sure how much breaking Prodigy will be doing behind bars. After his sentencing date was pushed back due to so-called health reasons, the HNIC will begin his 3 1/2 year sentence very shortly. That gun shit might be cool on records, but damn P, you should have practiced what you preached- "rock you in your face, stab your brain with your nosebone." Take the assault charge- you'll be out in a minute.

I'd like to thank the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin for giving me some time to reflect on P's career. In recent years his hip hop prowess has declined, in part due to signing with G-Unit, as well as the changing climate of the hip hop industry. But don't get it twisted, Prodigy is responsible for some of the essential tracks in the hip hop canon. He was also a major proponent of the Dun Language movement. The Infamous places itself among the best hip hop albums ever. Shook Ones, Survival of the Fittest, Temperature's Rising, Eye For An Eye, Give Up The Goods- I should just list the entire album, because every track's a banger. I still forget Up North Trip is on there since I could only afford cassette tapes back then.

I'm always bothered when people refer to Mobb's first album as The Infamous, completely slighting Juvenile Hell. Released in 1992 on Island/4th and Broadway, many treats are present. Peer Pressure, Hit It From the Back, Locked in Spofford, Me and My Crew, and so on. The Mobb sounds young, but it sets the table for what's to come.

Hell On Earth
dropped in 1996 and continued to keep Mobb in the upper echelons of rap status. The drums on this album always irked me though- a hollowness, too drum machine sounding compared to Infamous. Regardless- Hell On Earth, Still Shinin', Drop a Gem on 'Em, G.O.D. Part III, Get Dealt With and the rest of the album can still be put into rotation and get the head bobbing. "The Saga Begins..."

1999 brought us Murda Muzik, responsible for Mobb's biggest record since Shook Ones. Quiet Storm caused a frenzy, and still does. "The P drops 40 inch cables, drink white label, my chain hang down to my dick, my piece bang glass tables." You killing them P. The remix with Lil' Kim got people even more open- the OG is better though. Also on the album were The Realest, It's Mine and one or 2 other joints worth peeping. Decent album.

Prodigy dropped his first solo album, H.N.I.C., in 2000. Keep It Thoro, responsible for the title of this post, was the lead single and that shit is one of the grimiest records that still get the ditty bop bopping. Trials of Love, Gun Play, You Can Never Feel My Pain were some of the better tracks. I recall liking the album more back then. Fuck it- still worth a listen.

dropped in 2001 to a lukewarm reception. Murda Muzik wasn't that hot and people were somewhat skeptical. Things were changing, but Mobb still brought some heat. Burn was my shit, and still is. Incorporating more R&B elements, Pray for Me, Hey Luv, and Get Away pulled it off.

I'll be honest- I stopped paying attention after that. Amerikaz Nightmare dropped in 2004 on Jive and aside from Got It Twisted, Real Gangstaz, and Win or Lose, I didn't listen to the album. The only thing going for it was that it had colored vinyl.

Mobb dropped Blood Money in 2006. Pearly Gates was the dopest track on the album but due to P's controversial lyrics, a little censoring was necessary. Guaranteed to upset the few pious individuals that frequent the site, listen to the original version HERE. Prodigy released Return of the Mac in 2007. I never heard the entire album, but dig Legends and Bang On 'Em. Produced by Alchemist, I'm sure it's worth a listen.

P and Mobb dropped a lot of other shit over the years, be it white label 12"s or cameo appearances. Some worth mentioning are Backwards, Young Love, Cop Hell, I Shot Ya Remix, L.A. L.A., The Game, Back At You, and the list goes on. Maybe I'll make a mix including all of them.

A lot of times in hip hop you're only as good as your last release. Your earlier shit becomes cloudy and people write you off. Hip hop is some fickle shit. I'm guilty of it too. When Prodigy starting fucking with 50 I don't think anybody cared. Seemed like a publicity stunt from both parties. Mobb Deep is Mobb Deep- they have no business being part of G-Unit. But who am I to critique your paper chase. Do what you got to do. Recently I've been hearing some better joints from Prodigy, Return of the Mac had some heat and H.N.I.C. 2 scheduled to drop later this year has some heaters. Who would have known Prodigy was this thoughtful.

For your listening pleasure...

You're Not Like Me & I'm Not Like You- Hosted By Prodigy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3 Boys vs. Peppino's- White Plains Road Slice Off 2008

In the first installment of Howfresheats local epicurean jousting, we have Peppino's, the Wakefield legend in the red corner, matched up against the Williams Bridge heavy hitter, 3 Boys From Italy, in the blue. This is strictly a pizza battle, pitting a plain slice from each establishment up against one another.

The tale of the tape:

3 Boys
$2.15 Cost $2.25
Larger Side of Average Reach (size) Average
Light Heavyweight Weigh In Middleweight

The size of the 3 Boys slice might give you the impression that this will be an easy contest, but the lightness and quickness of Peppino's causes some problems for 3 Boys.

Peppino's cheese to tomato sauce ratio didn't meet the standard I was looking for. Just by looking at the slice, it's evident how the sauce overpowers the cheese. Not always a bad thing, though I would have preferred more cheese. The sauce is a bit too sweet for me, but not over the top. The crust was thin and crisp, the way a slice should be. It folds well and was easy to eat. Definitely an on the go slice. As a side note, the condiments are chained to the table. Slightly telling about the neighborhood. I didn't mean to put that much hot pepper on the slice, but the holes were a centimeter in diameter and the flakes made a mad dash for it.

3 Boys allotment of cheese and sauce is on point. As you can see in the photo, the cheese covers the entire crust, with tomato sauce permeating at various points throughout. Sauce is more spicy and savory, lacking sweetness. It is thick and chewy, almost too thick. It's a heavy slice, very capable of filling you up. Years ago, a vet in the pizza industry who I will leave nameless- though we all know it's Googs, taught me about the concept of a slice being raw. By this he meant that the cheese was brown and cooked, and the crust had some crisp to it, but what lay between was chewy and uncooked. At times 3 Boys suffered from this problem. This is more of a sit and shoot the shit slice. Not as mobile as Peppino's.

I would like to commend both pizzerias for participating in this fierce competition. They each have the heart of a champion, which was clearly conveyed in each bite. While I preferred the size and bite of the Peppino's slice, 3 Boy's taste was more to my liking. After all, this is about taste, not which is easier to eat, and with that I crown 3 Boys the winner.

Three Boys From Italy
704 Burke Ave. at White Plains Rd.
Bronx, NY 10467
(718) 882-2009
2/5 Train to Burke Ave.

Peppinos Pizza
4701 White Plains Rd. at 241st. St.
Bronx, NY 10470
(718) 994-7543
2/5 Train to last stop Wakefield/241st. St.

Are White Manna Hamburgers Worth a Trip to NJ?

I'm not sure, but Packer's sneaker store in Teaneck is. You know when you've been going somewhere for a period of time (Packer's) and have no clue that it's near a place you've wanted to try (White Manna)? When you finally realize this, you're initially excited with how close you are, but then you feel like a dickhead because you've been within striking distance all this time. 2 minutes of research and I figured this out, which makes you feel like a bigger dickhead. Turns out Manna is only a 5 minute drive from Packer's. And it's an easy 5 minutes, right on Cedar, left on River, and you're there.

I had read about Manna's on A Hamburger Today around 2 years ago. I'm always game for a recommended burger and have no problem crossing state lines. It never panned out, and I tucked the info away. Several weeks ago on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Guy did a New Jersey diner tour featuring White Manna's. After hearing it was in Hackensack, which is right over the GW, I made it my business to hit it up.

Manna's serves mini burgers, or sliders for the cool cats. I don't have much experience with these. I only ate White Castle once. I'm used to eating bigger burgers where 1 can usually fill you up. According to the show, the owner says they cook up to 1,000 per day. After witnessing the mayhem, I have a feeling it's an even higher count.

After finding it (I missed it the first time and drove for about a mile- it was night time and the lights weren't on), I was greeted with a line out the door. It was cold and I wasn't trying to wait outside. A couple of people left so I slid in. The place is tiny. 10 feet by 10 feet, with the grill and counter taking up the entire middle. The counter seats around 15 people and there are an additional 7-10 total seats in the 2 front corners. It was a zoo and there was no clear line or method of ordering. Just had to ask around and call next. Once I heard orders of 20-30 burgers per party, I knew it was going to take a while. I made the mistake of ordering fries and a drink immediately. The drink was close to empty and the fries were cold by the time I got my burgers. Wait to order everything once you've ordered your burgers.

I was waiting by the grill, so I was able to learn the "White Manna" regimen. There is a pan full of chopped meat the size of meatballs stacked 5 high, close to 100 per pan. Kelly, the seldom smiling burger chef, was constantly grabbing for meat, throwing it on the grill, flattening it to give it the burger shape and repeating. The grill can handle between 60-70 burgers at a time. A regular comes with onions cooked with the burger, sliced pickles, and ketchup. You can request plain without onions and pickles. They ran out of lettuce and tomato by the time I arrived.

I ordered 4 cheeseburgers- 2 plain and 2 with onions and pickles. They are served on potato rolls, giving a sweetness I prefer not having with a burger. The meat was cooked medium, juicy enough to enjoy, but flavor was lacking. A burger should be able to hold its own without any condiments, and this one fell a little short. The fries were nothing special, pre-cut and frozen. I admit that the wait and eating these messy things in the car didn't make for an ideal situation.

I'm glad I made the trek. The customers talk to each other and before you know it you made new friends. Most of the people were first timers, citing Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as the reason they were there. It was noted that since the show aired, weekends have been uncharacteristically busy. The first person I spoke to was this biker dude, who at first seemed cool and as the wait got longer, turned miserable. His intention was to take-out, but changed his mind and called his wife to come in. After he finished his meal, he put his wife on blast for eating 6 burgers, 2 cheeseburgers, an order of fries, and a milk shake. He kept asking the busboy if that was a lot of food. Too bad everybody in the room could hear. It was a lot of food. But you ordered it for her. Jerk.

As long as I'm going to Packer's, hitting up Manna's is no problem. I don't think I'd venture out there strictly for the burgers. Come spring/summer I'll make it out there again. Hopefully the crowds will have died down and it won't be as much of an adventure.

358 River Street, Hackensack NJ 07601 (at Passaic Street)
Mon.-Sat., 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Burgers cost $1.15 and cheeseburgers were around $1.40.

There is a decent BBQ spot called Cubby's about half a mile down River Street if you're looking for more than burgers.

Peep this video for a little behind the grill action.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Phillies Know How to Have More Fun Than the Mets.

That's why they win the division. Brett Myers will win 15 games this year. His domestic troubles are in the past. For the record, team pranks are more enjoyable to watch than cock fights. The Mets might have done one of these on Telemundo. Who knows? In celebration of J-Roll and Pat the Bat, a spring training Cheesesteak preview will be available shortly. Some new cheeses, new meat slicers, different bread. You'll see who I have picked to do big things in 2008. For the record, the Phillies could have gotten more for Kendrick, Joey Chestnut or Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas would have filled more seats.

Mara's Homemade Does N'awlins Right.

If you enjoy eating, and by eating I mean crawfish and alligator, Mara's Homemade is just for you. One of the lone NYC spots that do Nawlins' cooking justice, Mara's will leave you full, exhausted in a semi-catatonic state, and smiling from ear to ear. The Abita makes the smiles come a little easier.

To start, we ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell. The menu says Louisiana oysters so I'm guessing that's where they're from. I'm not yet the oyster expert I strive to be. All I know is that they were fresh and tasty, not too briny, and they sparked the meal off correctly.

Up next were the crawfish, mudbugs, crawdads, whatever. This is the main attraction at Mara's to me, not to take anything away from everything else they have to offer. I don't know where it derived from, or what it is about these little critters, but I have a constant jones for them (full disclosure- the photo on my phone is of Mara's crawfish). My name is Howfresh and I have a crustacean fetish. Not available up north, they are flown in 2-3 times a week from the Louisiana Gulf. Cooked in a cajun boil with corn, potatoes, and mushrooms, the only complaint is that there isn't enough meat. Depending on the size of the crawfish, most of them were on the smaller side, you need to eat a lot to satiate the appetite. We started with 3 pounds and took it from there. There are weekly specials of 3 lbs. for $20.

Eating crawfish is a sport. Crack it in half, separate the tail from the body, suck the juice out of the head, and then remove the meat from the tail. Here are some visuals on how to eat crawfish. A 3 pound bucket takes a lot of time and energy. But knowing that tail meat is waiting for you keeps you going.

Up next were gator bites dusted in cornmeal, served with a Remoulade sauce on the side. When prepared correctly, and correct it was, it's delicious. Small, tender pieces. I'm not really sure how to describe the taste of gator, not gamy, not fishy, just good.

Still hungry, we ordered another pound of crawfish, a side of shrimp etouffee, large mac & cheese, fried okra, and cole slaw. Etouffee is a rice dish in a thick sauce with fresh gulf shrimp. This rendition was different from others I've tried as it was light (colored) and only had onions and celery. Enjoyable nonetheless. Mac & cheese was cheesy and flavorful, made with sharp cheddar and parmesan. Fried okra was on point, prepared in the same cornmeal batter as the alligator. If you're a cole slaw fan you'll be happy.

We had 2 pitchers of Abita Bock to accompany this lavish spread. Bock is a seasonal Mardi Gras beer and that shit is delicious. Smooth, light, with a slight sweetness, I can see myself drinking this again. $50 for 2 pitchers is a bit steep.Also had the requisite sweet tea- they add some fruit flavors to make it sweeter.

As a little bonus, Mara, the owner, brought over a shot of tequila so that we could "suck the head." This is how it went down:

Crack the crawfish in half.
Pour tequila into the head.
Add tabasco.

Reading it sounds disgusting, but it was pretty good. I was probably drunk.

Still having room in the belly, we got some bananas foster to end the meal in style. Bananas simmered in brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, banana liqueur, and rum, served over vanilla ice cream. Yeah- it did it's thing. I rarely get dessert, but might need to switch that up.


Eating is enjoyable and the entire experience should reflect that. Being there the night of the NBA all-star game in New Orleans might have added to the festivities, but the funk is always playing, the drinks are always flowing and the mood is always right. It pulls off the NO spirit without feeling contrived. Even if you're not into some of the mentioned food, you're guaranteed to dig the other creole dishes, or their highly touted Arkansas BBQ.

Mara's Homemade
342 East 6th St
Between 1st & 2nd Ave
Hours(call to double check): Mon, Wed-Thu 5pm-10:30pm, Fri 5pm-11:30pm, Sat 4pm-11:30pm, Sun 4pm-10:30pm

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm So Ahead of My Time, My Parents Haven't Met Yet- Big L

Full Clip- Gang Starr

9 years ago on February 15th, 1999 Big L was murdered on his Harlem streets. It was a Monday night, riding uptown on the bus listening to DJ Clue on Hot 97 and the news dropped- L was shot dead on 139th St. For hiphop heads, the death of a major artist wasn't such a rarity. Tupac and Biggie were killed, each garnering a tremendous amount of media attention, maybe too much to the point of numbness and indifference. But L's death hit me differently. Biggie and Pac were on such a celebrity level that there was a separation between fan and artist. I never was a huge Pac fan to begin with, and while I loved Biggie's work, I wasn't really affected. Recently I lament more over his death as I realize he was one of the greatest to do it.

But L was local, underground, and appeared to be a regular cat. Representing Harlem to the fullest with a style and flow that were different and refreshing. Dude was incredibly talented, guaranteed to give you several "OH SHITS!!" per verse. From Lord Finesse's "Yes You May"- "I'm so def I need a hearing aid with an equalizer" to Show & AG's "Represent"- "L is the rebel type, I'm rough as a metal pipe, fuck a Benz, cause I can pull skins on a pedal bike," he immediately became a known entity. And when "Devil's Son" dropped- it was over. I don't know of any song that was so fucked up in terms of content yet so hysterical at the same time. Not sure if anybody else could have pulled it off. Showbiz's production deserves props too.

His first album, Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, didn't drop till March 1995, leaving plenty of time between singles. The one radio personality that was the most instrumental in supporting L up to the realease was Lamel on WHCR- 90.3 City College Radio, 6pm-8pm everyday of the week. No Endz No Skinz was played weekly if not daily, along with an edited version of Devil's Son and Put It On.

When you witness the emergence and rise of an artist and then see his departure, it hits you on a personal note. You rooted for the dude, supported him, copped the 12"s and saw the shows, and then when things seemed to be on an upswing (word that he was to sign with Def Jam- on a side note will Jay admit that he took "Fuck Love, all I got for hoes is hard dick and bubble gum"? We don't believe you, you need more people- Ether him Nas!!!), it was over. Like all things, once your gone, you're appreciated, and for certain artists attain a cult figure status. Better late than never. After a 2000 release, the posthumous The Big Picture ultimately went platinum in 2001.

Attached is one of the best Big L compilations, The Unseen Picture, featuring the afore mentioned tracks as well as unreleased joints and cameo appearances.

Big L- The Unseen Picture

And here's a bonus- 1993 freestyle on Stretch and Bob. While some lyrics will be familiar, he kicks some shit that will have you spitting up your drank, or drink. "I'm crazy quick to buck a gun, and get a sucker done, I'm so smooth I can fuck a nun."

Big L- 1993 Freestyle on Stretch and Bob

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hip Hop is NOT Dead. Neither is Boxing.

I say that with great confidence. Without spitting that hip hop is wack rhetoric, this shit right here will provide you with hope. Blue & Exile. I admit when I first saw the album cover I had no interest in peeping this shit. Just look at it. There's no smiling in hiphop. But after hearing a track or 2, and letting it sit with me and permeate the membrane, this shit is the truth.

I rarely have the energy or desire to cop a CD, but I would have traveled to remote locations to get my hands on this. I think it's available on itunes, but I wanted the tangible item. Virgin was sold out, this CD released in August of 2007. If I hadn't been heading back from NJ last night, I wouldn't be preaching this gospel. I took the Holland Tunnel and was heading uptown on 6th Ave. Thinking Fat Beats would still be open at 8:45 pm, I parked illegally ran up the stairs and to my joy and pleasure they had 1 copy left, the in-store listener. Cracked jewel case and all- but the CD plays like new. Dude was willing to sell and I was willing to cop. Divine intervention was definitely in play for this one.

Peep the 2 tracks. Lyrically and production wise, these are some heat rocks. Blue can spit and Exile can produce. Not a complicated system, but rarely is it executed so thoroughly. The rest of the album follows suit. If you can attain a copy, I highly recommend it. Major props to When They Reminisce... and Wake Your Daughter Up for doing the work and putting me on to some shit I never would have heard of. Check these sites out. Tons of music and info.

Blu & Exile- Simply Amazin'

Blu & Exile- So(ul) Amazin' (Steel Blazin')

And watch that Kelly Pavlik v Jermaine Taylor fight tonight on PPV. Bad Intentions vs. The Ghost. Youngstown, OH vs. Little Rock, AR. Since I've been to Youngstown- one run down city- Rust Belt at its finest- he's my dog for this one. Where else can 2 people bowl 2 frames each, drink beers and pay $22? Also grubbed at the Waffle House there (see below). Always order the cheesy eggs at the WH. Scrambled eggs with cheese with raisin toast and grits. And the sweet tea is usually on point. I miss that shit.

If the first fight is any indication, this will be the fight of 2008. Paul Williams highly disappointed us last week, and this will reinvigorate our spirits. Fuck Kimbo and that MMA garbage- this is the nitty gritty. Some footage of the previous fight. - Watch more free videos

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Love Swine, Amy Winehouse is Crazy, and Purple Sneakers are What's Hot in NYC.

I know I'm slacking. Had images of posts of grandeur this weekend, but fell short of executing. Here's a little Cliff's Notes version of what's popping.

Got put onto some divine swine by the most Kosher dude I know, Buck. Summer time hits, BACON PIGS will be on the menu with Hebrew Nats. We are an understanding and welcoming people.

Grammys don't excite me anymore. A. Keys is one of the best things to come out of the music industry in years. I don't like Stronger and this electro/hiphop shit. Herbie Hancock is a legend- first time a jazz record won best album in more than 40 years. And Amy Winehouse is so fucking crazy. You see her eyes when she was performing? She got some joints though and loves Ma Dukes. Tell Natalie Cole to stop hating. Peep below for:

Amy Winehouse live at the Astoria in the UK from February 2007. Dope shit.

Didn't get to see Nas hit the red carpet, but his shirt is making noise. I don't think he's aiding the efforts to abolish the word. Cunninlynguists made a great commercial for it. Blankitos will be elated that they can order their copy on the internet. Shit would have been a problem in the early 90's.

Following up on the NYC Air Force 1 vote post from Mid January, the purple highs came out victorious. Might have to cop since I just got this in...

How Fresh??