Saturday, April 30, 2011

Simply Simone - Miles 2 Miles

Miles2Miles by Simply Simone

June G. - Hold Me

Wow, this is like Portishead with street credibility.

The Recorded Music Industry's Decade Of Hell

I really have to respect people who decide to launch themselves into the music industry as there isn't even a real music industry anymore. There is more of a music related industry, in which clothing lines, concerts, endorsements and centerfolds make up for the revenue lost from selling music. The last decade has decimated the recording music industry:
Since 1999, when the file-sharing website Napster appeared, global sales of recorded music have collapsed from $27.3 billion to $15.9 billion. Yet according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, an industry body, the habit of buying music has persisted in some countries. Last year the Japanese and British spent the most on music, as a proportion of GDP. Spending held up fairly well in Sweden, chief redoubt of Spotify, a legal music-streaming service. It was much lower in Italy and Spain, where piracy is entrenched. The weakest markets were in emerging Asia. China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is not even in the top 20 for music sales. There, music is copied as enthusiastically as handbags.

It's a similar song to that being sang by journalists, writers and other creators of information and entertainment (though musicians haven't asked for subsidization or bailouts, interestingly) who have been  mind fucked by the arrival of the entertainment and its breaking up of monopolies of information. The old rules of the game are out the window and whatever will replace it is far from clearly defined.

Destro - ill.ustrated VFR Promo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moment of Happyness Fatherhood Mix

I'm not a father but I appreciate very well the importance of fatherhood. Listen to the whole thing.

50 Cent Is Pimpin Curly

50 Cent has a new comedy website called 50 does have a wicked sense of humor (listen to his mixtapes) but I don't know what the hell is going on here. Maybe you do. Haha.

By the way, if you've ever seen the TV show Red Dwarf, 50 Cent as Pimpin Curly looks a whole lot like Cat, played by Danny John Jules:

Mixtape for Ok-Ni

Awesome stuff from the guys at Stone's Throw Records. Should make your week awesome.

oki-ni presents TRUTH by DaM-FunK by oki-ni

Monday, April 25, 2011

June G. - Supa Star

Eminem and Royce da 5'9 to Release EP

It's really amazing how life can be circular. Back in 1999, Eminem and Royce da 5'9 put out an EP called "Bad Meets Evil." The concept was carried over on to Eminem's first album on Dr. Dre's record label Aftermath - The Slim Shady LP - but a falling out between Royce and Eminem and D12 strained their relationship. It looks like they've buried the past and are going on to go good things:

Looks like that Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ collaborative project is in fact coming out. June 14th will be the day you can cop the EP inspired by their 1999 collaboration ‘Bad Meets Evil’. Expect the project to have production from Mr. Porter, Havoc, DJ Khalil, Bangladesh and others.

Both Eminem and Royce are looking to be the Robert Downey Jr.'s of hip hop - down and out from personal problems but back slinging and unapologetic.

Paul Wall at the Taco Truck in East Oakland

The Texas rapper posted this on his Twitter account. Gotta love it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Down With Cities

Philosophy certainly makes strange bedfellows. Here is Thomas Jefferson on cities, something he was not fond of at all:

The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
And now here is the rapper Styles P:

Here's my philosophy, you aint really chillin' til you looking out the window and see deers on the property.

June G. - Hip Hop's My Bitch

Wow, this guy is incredible.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

June G. - So Appalled Freestyle

Poetics of resistance: two music videos, Native Gun and June G

By Aaron Asphar

These two videos capture something we find more in US hiphop that emerges from the margins of social life, and I think it draws from a richer magma of cultural memory of black resistance/solidarity than in the nihilistic or aggressive sounds of European cities like London or Paris : while the latter display more tenacious poetics of intransigence and survival, the videos I look at ere give a more cohesive poetics of resistance and a kind of tribal, or ‘native’ solidarity.

I really like this existentially charged song by Native Gun, ‘Pull it back’, is how it speaks out/from/with the experiences of those in his neighbourhood which give their voices through their attitudes and movement. His voice has a real smooth, elastic poetic a bit like Snoop Dog in 'Drop it like its hot', but in Native Gun the voice is cooled by a sense of despair and hopelessness rather than by money and confidence. I think this song reproduces concretely the emotional-social reality, turning this nihilism/hopelessness into an emotional-social language, out of which cohesion and meaning can be made. It is also, incidentally so, a concrete critique or commentary of social life...

I would say the Native Gun video is heavy with this settled sense of social impoverishment, as were some of the early blues musicians. This next song by June G, ‘Back 2 da HipHop’, indicates this kind of cohesion that has rescued itself from this social reality through the counter-reality it produces, hence a we have more of an emotional solidarity and a poetic cohesion between the parts – both in the song but also the way they refer/ gesture/exchange to each other in the video as well..

All in all these videos speak to me of how negativity in social life is turned into solidarity and cohesion, and a strong critical voice against the social, one that gives a real emotional history without which the history of black/sub-cultural resistance would everywhere be as empty and misleading as it is in the heads of politicians and social planners of today. Aaron 23/4

PS, I mentioned the Native Gun song really reminds me of that Snoop Dog song Drop it like its Hot (this version ft Pharrell Williams)...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Drums - The New World

On a different pace, here is the song "The New World" by The Drums. The song is a benefit song for Japan so be sure to buy it.

King Gordy Acapella

Tycho - From Home

Thor Cometh!

If you will it, it is no dream.

I'm really excited for the upcoming Thor movie, so much so that I have purchased the 7/11 promotional cups (still need to get the collectible bottles) and even obtained a movie poster. Marvel Studios appears to be pulling out the stops with this one, and this advertisement shows that they may finally be easing in to the world of humor:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crooked I "2.0 Boys" Verse

Performed at the Nectar Lounge in Seattle, Washington April 3, 2011.

Kendrick Lamar - Michael Jordan

The future.

Sleigh Bellectro?

If you roll as I do by the White Lines bar standard of electro as: could you imagine a five foot Korean or Boogaloo Shrimp hisself popping to it, Brooklyn's finest chicky Electro unit Sleigh Bells fits. Even if you chuck in headspins and airjacks. And I do.

Dear Sleigh Bells: Occasionally chant Flash or Freeze. Know your roots, girls.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Machine Gun Kelly - Chip Off The Block

Carl Roe - No Love

The "No Love" freestyle by the incomparable Carl Roe has been released on the BOI mixtape and can be seen on YouTube, but here it is for individual download for the first time. Download it, RT it and spread the word.

Cashis - Focus On Stuntin'

If you're a regular BOI reader, you know that I'm very friendly to Shady Records and everything Eminem and Dr. Dre are doing with hip-hop. If it weren't for some of the great stuff they're putting out, I may not have had the inspiration to create this site.

Cashis has been hustling on Shady for a while, even when other acts like Obie Trice were leaving and Eminem was semi-retired. He's got some new work out and I hope he benefits from the current Yelawolf/Slaughterhouse buzz.

Hawaii Flowurk - Type Of Guy

Yelawolf Amherst Cypher

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Heart of the City

Aaron Asphar is an academic, smart guy and appreciator of hip-hop, R&B and electro (as I've gathered). Aaron and I met online through his leaving very charming comments on this blog. After talking further with him, it became clear that he shared a similar appreciation and comprehension of the hip-hop art form as Will and I, so I invited him to join the blog. This is his first post - an appreciation of the classic R&B group the Bobby Blue Band's "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City."

Bobby Blue Band - Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City

In the research I’ve done into Western alienation, in all theoretical expressions a motif always arises: the indissoluble experience of separation and depersonalization, which are two sides of the petrified schism that produces the experience of self-world, the latter which becomes alien and indifferent. When social reality alienates – when it becomes indifferent to your emotional reality, you are alienated and that alienation is existential, which is to say emotional and sensuous, i.e. somatic, physical, and in this alienation reality becomes emotionally dissolute, which is to say alienated. Because you don’t fit with the world, you become negative in relation to the social order, and you have a choice of “obliterate yourself by identifying with it”, as Horkheimer said, or by radicalizing social reality in some way – humanizing it or transforming it, and here we link alienation to creativity. What drives creativity in all music, art, culture and social life, is this negativity which lacks readymade tools for its social articulation and hence recognition and amelioration. Through counter-culture like early Blues, the negativity of the alienated self spoke out , in music, art, culture, and the social space this created. Emotional negativity was socialised and turned into meaningful cultural and social reality.

When blues emerged in the early twentieth century it often embodied predictable and repetitive elements and patterns of development, but sometimes dragging, predictable quality, in itself a commentary on the texture of an increasingly industrialized social life, was stretched out like the skin on a drum by instruments elastic enough for the body to punch out its own emotional, existential poetic in the tones and intonations of the voices and instruments, and through the movements – and this imageless moment of the music is what gave blues its poetic, or its cohesiveness, and I see this poetic as that which strengthens and matures in what becomes differentiated as soul music, and that the poetics of souls and the blues emerge out of the drive to overcome the limitations of an alienated or alienating social reality, and the music itself is simultaniously a critique of social reality/order and counter-reality/order.

In this song by the Bobby "Blue" Band, ‘Aint No Love in the Heart of the City’, we can see this humanization in the lyrics themselves. The song expresses negativity in the form of an emotional critique of the social, or an expression of social alienation, but this negativity also is the source of hope, because it recognises more clearly in the almost totally dissolute reality that which speaks through it, that which always transcends it, which is to say love. In this sense love is used to reconcile or redeem social reality. The lyrics are as follows:

Ain't no love in the heart of the city
Ain't no love in the heart of town
Ain't no love and it's sure nuff a pity
Ain't no love cause you ain't around

When you were mine
Oh, I was feeling good
Cause you lovlied up
This whole nieghborhood

But now that you're gone
You know the sun don't shine
From the city hall to the county line
That's why I said

Ain't no love in the heart of the city
Ain't no love in the heart of town
Ain't no love and it sure is a pity
Ain't no love cause you ain't around

Every place that I go
Oh, it seems so strange
Without you there
Things have changed

The nights are cold
There's a blanket of gloom
Another trick I saw
In my lonely room

I said ain't no love
In the heart of the city
Ain't no love in the heart of town
Ain't no love, ain't any pity
Ain't no love cause you ain't around

And now that you're gone
Oh, the sun don't shine
From the city hall to
The county line, I said

Ain't no love in the heart of the city
Ain't no love in the heart of town
Ain't no love, it sure is a pity
Ain't no love cause you ain't around
Cause you ain't around

Ain't no love in the heart of the city
Ain't no love in this great big old town
Ain't no love and ain't it a pity
Ain't no love cause you ain't around

Ain't no love in the heart of the city
Ain't no love in the heart of this town

What is worth picking up on is these poetics of a dissolute city, lacking emotional investment - a separation from it, or alienation by it, and as a result he is noticing that the meaning structure of life is not provided by the city, the sublime of the city shines through, and this sublime is the non-city of love. Love, which is to say emotional-social reality is identified as redemption, which makes reality meaningful, and this is the impulse that drives soul music. Without this love, the bare social, that lamented by the early blues, is what is left. We can see in the video itself how this lyric forms part of a cohesive and elastic whole:

What I find here exemplifies what we can always find in always find is that when music or art/culture of any kind is the voice of real experience, or a way of dealing with this experience, the form and the emotion of the music cohere – they are indissoluble. Words, images and form are used to express meaning, movement and emotion, and hence the form and the force are a dynamic, elastic unity.

We could contrast this to musicians compromised by social demands, goals or injunctions, for example the demands of a market or the goal of money or fame, then the mind is divided against the meaning content, and takes over the art, emphasising the formal elements of the music (style/genre/looks/coriography/affect) which take over and liquidate the emotional content, causing the art to become more superficial, formulaic or reified. However, sometimes the work becomes compromised but the emotional content is not disavowed, and exert itself but in an antagonistic, contradictory and schismatic way, and here we have an expression of compromised or ‘heteronomous’ (as opposed to autonomous) subjectivity today, which is not cohesive but dissociative, at odds with itself.

An example of this can be made of Eminem at times, and this is an important expression of social reality, in that it evokes honestly the status of the contemporary subject: artistic, polemic exposition, though not a model for self-emancipation. For me the importance of recognising these poetics and polarities is to build a language of resistance to the social process and its effect on music, which is always to involuted and circumscribe it, to tear it out of its meaningful social context and its humane social commitments. However, it seems to me that artistic praxis embodies this awareness and wisdom: for the function of bringing it to light would be to become not more self-conscious about it but become more self-confident in it.

This is Michael again. I'd like to add that the Bobby "Blue" Band was sampled by Kanye West while he was producing beats for Jay-Z's Blueprint 2 album:

Classic: High Eminem

This is really hilarious.

Shimon - Oh No

By the way, if you haven't, please go follow Brother Ali on Twitter. He's approachable as hell, humble and confident. Pretty awesome guy.

Carl Roe - No Love

Click on the video and subscribe to Carl Roe on YouTube.

And if you haven't downloaded the mixtape yet, here's the link.

Kanye West Wears Womenswear

I love this. I absolutely love this. For so long, everyone has been acting as if hip-hop is the vessel for everything retrograde in American society, well what now? Yeezy is breaking down them gender roles.

The 33-year-old "Runaway" rapper wore women's clothing during his performance at Coachella in Indio, Calif. on Sunday. West paired his printed Celine top with baggy jeans, a heavy gold necklace and multiple bracelets.

Oh and by the way? Below is a link to the Kanye album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for only $4.99, in case you don't have it yet.

CaLii Babii - I Do What I Want

By the way, I've told you that BOI is going to be on some different shit ever since I launched the site. CaLii is an open lesbian and androgynous model and raps about getting with women while being one. I'm really curious how that will be received by feminists.

The History of The Simpsons

I'm not so sure about Will, Aaron, Aneesah or our other writers but I am a massive fan of The Simpsons. WatchMojo has been doing some great short histories of creators ranging from Matt Groening to Dr. Dre and this only adds to it.

And The Simpsons isn't totally irrelevant to the subject matter of BOI. Here is a great caricature of Bart Simpson with famous rapper 50 Cent!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Life and Career of Dr. Dre

This is a great video and illustrates well that Dr. Dre has been in hip-hop for nearly the entire genre, dating to when it was a fluid combination of electro and disco. The obligatory mentions of Eminem and 50 Cent are in there, along with Snoop Dogg, but it would have been cool if they didn't just talk about "Kush" and the Detox album but also the other artists he's working on like Kendrick Lamar.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eminem And Mental Illness

Over at the blog Mental Health Realities, Mark Vasey writes about several songs that rapper Eminem released which circle around the musician's possible mental illness:

This past week, unreleased Eminem songs were leaked on the internet. These tracks were reportedly recorded for Relapse Two, Which was later scrapped for Recovery . I have released a post entitled Is Eminem Coming Out In His Music? that talked about Eminem possibly having Bipolar Disorder , and these new songs enforce this argument. In the song "Emulate", Eminem asks is he "clinically insane", and "am I truly Psychotic" while also saying "label me a genius". In the track "Things Get Worse", Eminem says "I'm off my f***ing Meds but I'm on an electric scooter". The most significant line is from the track "The Apple" in which Eminem states, "What's different about my brain that separates me from other players in this game." He goes on to say how he doesn't want sympathy. Is there a reason why these tracks were unreleased? Did Eminem not want these tracks to get to the ears of the public? The lyrics of these tracks along with songs off of Relapse and Recovery seem to make an almost certain argument that Eminem has Bipolar Disorder.

There's been alot written about this and Eminem has spent much of his career diving in the kiddie pool of the issue without really fully immersing himself.

It's been revealed in his song "Cleanin' Out My Closet" that Eminem's mother, Debbie, was diagnosed with Munchausen's syndrome - a disorder in which the patient seeks to diagnose various illnesses on themselves or their children. In Eminem's case, it may have been possible that he had a mental illness in addition to being shopped around to doctors by his mother. Mental illness is often hereditary and Eminem's tumultuous life - full of chronic bullying, parental abandonment, sudden, overnight fame, difficulty with the women in his life and tragedy and drama in his personal life - had to have had some sort of cognitive effect.

Likewise, Eminem's songs seem to feed off of his erraticness. His videos from "My Name Is" to "Just Lose It" all play on Dr. Dre looking at him and wondering, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

J. Bre Featuring Carl Roe

BOI fam Carl Roe takes you to task.

Stuntman by J.Bre

Blood Brothers: Male Chauvinism, Feminism and Hip-Hop

For several other websites, I have written about the world of the "alternative right" and their xenophobia and sexism. It gets a bit tired and boring after a while, as for the most part these guys are rehashing stuff that is older than the earth itself. Building off of Will Pierce's post about jihad MCs, I thought it would be worth examining the strange world of guys like Jack Donovan, a gay male ritual advocate.

Here is a taste of a review by John Safran, writing for Vice magazine, of Donovan's book Blood Brotherhood:

Blood Brotherhood is a survey through history, mythology, and literature, uncovering these bloody rites of male alliance. The bulk of the anthropological research comes from his co-writer – and fellow gay against gay culture – Nathan F. Miller.

The introduction tells gay couples to use this book as a “toolbox for the imagination.” Choose one of the rites or mix and match your own!

There are fairly simple ones. Shaolin monks in 17th century China “pricked their fingers, and mixing blood with wine, drank it and swore an oath of brotherhood.”

For something more flamboyant, perhaps plan your big day around the initiation rite of the Mala Vita, an Italian criminal organisation: “the leader of the band and the novitiate both made wounds in their chests, and then they sucked and drank each other’s blood.”

If you’re a right wing homosexual environmentalist you are catered for too. The Timorese drank blood from a bamboo container, then hung it on a freshly planted tree, vowing “If I be false, and not a true friend, may blood issue from my mouth, ears, and nose as it does from this bamboo.”

The European and Asian rites were to prove courage and devotion; to say this bond is serious; we are kindred spirits in a conspiracy.

The African rites are all this, plus divine threat. Break the oath and there will be voodoo retribution. In Uganda men cut their stomachs and roll coffee beans in the wounds. They then feed each other the beans. Sleep with your blood brother’s wife and the bean will swell up and kill you.

Blood Brotherhood makes a pretty convincing case that men are instinctual cutters. Throughout history everyone was doing it, unaware everyone else was doing it too. The blood chugging enemies of Alexander II King of the Scots weren’t to know the nomads in Borneo had been smoking blood across the equator for an eon before them.

Read the rest at Vice Magazine: JOHN SAFRAN’S CONTROVERSIAL BOOK REVIEW - Viceland Today

Never mind the contradiction of Donovan being affiliated with white supremacists but nevertheless citing the rituals of Timor, Africa and Asia to back up his thesis. Both him and Safran are making epic and honest analysis of male behavior - something that has been bizarrely missing from cultural thought for several decades.

This is completely relevant to a website that focuses on hip-hop for many reasons. With massive entourages of other men, often battling other massive entourages of men, hip-hop is in many ways a musical representation of the core male need to have male identity and company. I've often said that it is not coincidence at all that a large degree of rappers are men who were raised with no fathers. The rappers who have no father - ranging from Tupac to Eminem to 50 Cent - also happen to be the most aggressive and overtly masculine while those that knew both of their parents - Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar - are way more emotionally well balanced and even in touch with their feminine side. The latter had the yin yang balance of both genders in their childhood while the former were deprived of the guidance of their fathers.

In forming this website, Will said to me that we both share a "concern" for the upbringing of today's young men. We both breathed fumes of fire when reading an article by feminist Pamela Paul who argued that fathers "weren't necessary" based on statistics she scrapped together. (I have actually lived an entire life without knowing my father and can tell you what that is actually like in the real world.) Both Will and I seem to "get" this essential undercurrent of hip-hop as a genre and we intend to focus on it as much as possible, in order to demonstrate the impact of gender and parenthood on society at large.

Nas, arguably one of the greatest rappers also got this and was greatful for having had a present father:

"Bridging the Gap" featuring Olu Dara, from Street's Disciple

"I got to know [my father] more in that whole period, I got to learn more about him and his life and his career and why he made certain decisions, things that I never asked before. It brought me closer to him, and also just made me look at life different, just watching him and how he'd come up, and the musical decisions that he chose to be where he is. Most kids in the 'hood don't have their fathers around or didn't have their fathers around. The ones I grew up with had dope fiend fathers and shit like that, crackhead fathers, convict fathers that stayed in jail, like the story goes. Treach had this rap, 'Never knew my dad / motherfuck the fag.' If you played that in the club back in the days, all you had to do was turn down the music from 'Never knew my dad,' and the whole crowd would scream, 'Motherfuck the fag,' because everybody can relate to that, even me. Not with my father, but with my friends. I thought it was important to put a record with my pops is just, out there. It was just important to me."

"It was Steve Stoute's idea [to sample Alabama 3's 'Woke Up This Morning,' The Sopranos' theme music]. When he told me, I thought it was the craziest thing ever. What's more gangster than The Sopranos? At the time, that was the shit, and for us to have that hook, and then find out it was some black choir who came up with the song, that whole thing worked out great."

Jihad on Whack MCs?

Wired's magnificent Danger Room brings us this tale of an up-and-coming MC B
blowing up microphones.
Alabama-born Omar Hammami, undoubtedly the whitest person the name Omar has ever been attached to, is a Al Qaeda spokesperson in civil war-ravaged Somalia. Of course it makes sense he releases two tracks of heavy-reverb rapping with astounding lack of rhythm- if you're not questioning fanatical suicide, grab yourself a listen to DJ Al-Whitey-bin-Clueless hamfistedly begging to get whacked by a cruise missile(.mp3). It doesn't stop.

Omar's on a mission. In Make Jihad With Me (.mp3) Hammammammabi urges inner-city kids to try their luck with a vacay in his ever-sunny foodless failed state of Somalia, doing the good work of blowing shit up. Though with the Tical-shattering call of "dolla dolla bill y'all" mid-verse, it sounds like you have to pay for your own C4 vest. This calls for an emoticon: :(

You missed out, Omar. Think, back in your Alabaman hometown, there's a gap-toothed kid meth'd out in a Dollar Tree wondering if he can eat a Brillo pad if he were hungry enough, jocking your beats in his Zune, fired up, then finds out he has to break out his own cash. You've broken the catch before the hook, man, no deal. Maybe you need to hook up with Alabama's finest Bloodisone mixtape stalwart Yelawolf for advice before dropping your LP.

Enjoy the virgins, Omar. Oh,
And let us know if you want to clear your name in an interview.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Major Lazer

When I was a little kid, I had an action figure of my own that I called "Badge." The little guy was actually Space Marine Sgt. Apone - who was geared and ready to kick alien ass.

BOI gets advertisements from MOG Music Network and lo and behold, to my surprise, a character with a very similar presence is being sold by Cartoon Network called Major Lazer:

Do you think there's a resemblance or is it just me? There's a whole lot more to the show and you can find out more at the MOG site.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mixtape Alternate Covers

Hey everybody. In addition to the official mixtape cover, here are two alternates:

Credit to Jeff Abplanalp for his hard graphic design work!!

The Blood Is One Mixtape Volume I: No Love

Cover designed by the incomparable Jeff "August" Abplanalp.

It's finally here! The first o-fo-sho official Blood Is One mixtape. Some hard work was put in to this beast on the part of myself and Carl Roe. Big appreciation goes out to Game Brothas and CaLii. In addition to the tracks by BOI artists, I also included several northwest artists including Onry Ozzborn, JFK and up and comer Flouie Fluent, with a little bit of national work by CunninLynguists and Yelawolf to switch things up.

Download it here.

Here's the tracklist:

1. BOI Intro
2. Carl Roe - No Love
3. Flouie Fluent - N.W.N.Y.H.M.
4. CunninLynguists - Stars Shine
5. JFK - All The Time
6. Game Brothas - Priceless (featuring LIL WAYNE)
7. Carl Roe - Where You Goin' To? (original mix)
8. Carl Roe - Lock It Down, Sew It Up (original mix)
9. Game Brothas - Bout That
10. Yelawolf - Alabama Gotdamn
11. Game Brothas - Makin' Money
12. CaLii - Cry No More
13. Flouie Fluent - A Dose Of Truth
14. Onry Ozzborn - 76 (featuring Sleep)
15. Yelawolf - I Wanna Rock
16. Carl Roe - No Love (Instrumental)

The mixtape will be available for only a short time so download it while you can.

For more information on Carl Roe, CaLii and Game Brothas, check out their websites:

Carl Roe -
CaLii - Welcome 2 CaLii
Game Brothas -

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Blood Is One Artists

"Multiple Skin Tones, The Blood Is One" - Pharoahe Monch, "Shine"

Since Will Pierce and I started The Blood Is One, we have been very interested in recruiting, mentoring, marketing and booking up and coming artists. Hip-hop is only the beginning. The staff at BOI has interest in genres spanning from R&B to electro to alt country. We're currently working with three talented artists - Carl Roe, CaLii and Game Brothas. Following are biographies of all three. Keep this page bookmarked as we'll have music and other stuff posted here as things move on. All three will be featured on the upcoming BOI mixtapes and compilations.

Carl Roe

Carl is born in Chicago and made his way to the northwest after joining the military. He's a very talented guy - acting as a rapper, singer and producer - and plans to tour nationally. His forthcoming LP is entitled The Broken Time Machine.

Kenan Bell

Kenan Bell takes the changing zeitgeist of hip-hop - shaped by such emotional chameleons as Kanye West and Drake - and runs with it. Kenan is currently prepping a great deal of work that will appear with the epic forthcoming Blood Is One mixtape compilation. Look for his work. It's serious.


CaLii a.k.a. the Tri-State beast bring the Club to the streets, with a sound that attracts everyone from your club hopper to your local dope boy.  The music lover turned femcee discovered her love and appreciation for music at a young age, and credits music as being an epic part of her life.  She began rapping and writing rhymes at the tender age of 10.  However, CaLii did not begin to fulfill her potential as an artist until upon graduating from Waterbury Arts Magnet School in Waterbury Ct., this is when she became serious about her gift and blossomed into the rapper we all love today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Sonny Bonoho: Working With International Artists, Bellevue Hip Hop Performer Ready for Breakthrough"

My friend Caroline Li runs a travel magazine called Earthwalkers that has grown considerably over the last few years. Caroline is a friend and enthusiast of Puget Sound area rapper Sonny Bonoho and the rapper was the subject of a recent article by Caroline:

If you asked Sonny Bonoho eight years ago where he lived, he would have hesitated to tell you. The hip hop artist lives in Bellevue, but when trying to break into the Northwest hip hop scene, he said Seattle is where it’s at. But today, he represents Bellevue on a national scale.

Bonoho has been on three national tours, including last fall’s Shootin’ for Stars Tour with Grammy Award nominated rapper B.o.B, promoting the artist’s debut album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.

This month Bonoho is focusing on his own album and will be shooting music videos for tracks from his latest EP, Phonephreak. He’s headed to Salt Lake City to work with Chris Le (aka C-Le), an independent music video director that has worked with the likes of R&B recording artist Rihanna and members of 365, Vietnam’s latest boy band.

His connection to the city of Bellevue runs deeper than simply his mailing address. Bonoho says key people such as the folks at Monsoon East Restaurant in Bellevue who sponsored his latest EP, and counselors at Bellevue College that believed in him at a time he didn’t believe in himself, have helped him achieve and conquer some of his biggest life obstacles.

You can read the entire thing at Bellevue Patch. Sonny is a really talented guy and I'm happy to post and promote his music any time. Like now:

Booker T. Jones - Representing Memphis

One half of this song is the renowned Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. The album comes out in May.

The guys at Prefix Mag have an assessment:

Booker T. Jones' second career (or third) as Anti-signed soul-indie collaborator continues with his new album, The Road from Memphis, an album that features Jim James, Lou Reed, the Roots, Matt Berninger from the National and Sharon Jones. Those latter two feature in "Representing Memphis," the new single from the project. Berninger and Jones duet here, with Jones dominating, obviously. It's not like Berninger is going to out-soul anyone, but his voice here is a good complement to Jones. Listen at Pitchfork.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Charles Bradley - The World (Is Going Up In Flames) - Feat. Menahan Stre...

Will Pierce has posted this song to his Facebook about a dozen times but we haven't posted it here. The band accompanying Charles Bradley here is none other than the renowned Menahan Street Band, who have been sampled by 50 Cent, Kid Cudi and Gucci Mane, among others.

By the way, Charles Bradley's full album is only five dollars at Amazon:

Barbara Lynn - Good Woman

This song was just reissued on 45 by DJ Jeff Swallom. Find out more at the Soul Sides website.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gentrification Hits Portland and Seattle Hard

Before I get started in this article, Blood Is One is not going to be a political or social commentary journal. However, like Midwest Commentary and other related websites, I think it would be a good idea to expand on issues related to hip-hop and R&B.

The Economist has an article up about the gentrification of Seattle:

Although the black exodus is happening across the country, its consequences are especially vivid in Seattle and nearby Portland, two of America’s whitest big cities. In each of these cities, blacks were squeezed by restrictive property covenants and racial prejudice into a small but highly visible central district—black-majority islands in a white sea.

By 2010 the islands had largely gone. Seattle and Portland had become “smart cities”, magnets for hordes of young, highly educated and highly paid newcomers, most of them white and childless. Hungry for “diversity” and rushing into relatively rundown black neighbourhoods, they snapped up the only housing bargains left. White-owned banks were eager to make loans to yuppies. Tens of thousands of houses were gutted and rebuilt. As gentrification gathered pace, property prices exploded. Black homeowners cashed in, taking their windfalls to the suburbs. Black renters were squeezed out by higher rents.

“My clientele has all moved away,” says Charlene Williams, owner of De Charlene’s Beauty & Boutique in Seattle’s Central District. Her neighbourhood was 79% black when she set up shop in 1968. It was 58% black as recently as 1990. Now it is 21% black. Ms Williams once had 13 hairdressers on her payroll; now she employs none. The young Ray Charles once performed in black-owned nightclubs in the Central District. Those clubs are gone, as are the restaurants where Ms Williams used to buy pork-chop sandwiches and peach pie. Eateries now offer crepes, wood-fired artisan bagels and north-west fusion cuisine.

In describing the "island" of the Central District, the Economist misses a few things that probably just weren't put in for length's sake. The Central District was historically the second largest outpost of Black Panther political organization. The area now is a bizarre caricature of its former self, with drive in restaurants like Dick's suddenly surrounded wall to wall by restaurants with no parking.

The Central District is now completely overrun by hipsters who are probably blissfully unaware of this past. The soulessness and vapidity of indie rock music illustrates desperately lacks the quality of the soul, funk and hip-hop that Seattle has produced undercover. Quincy Jones is from here, as is the great Sir Mix-A-Lot, who like many Central District natives, including yours truly very soon, lives out in the suburbs.

It's not only the Central District that has been lost. Gentrification has hit the black population the most holistically but the general blue collar ethos that Seattle was historically built on has been uprooted. Seattle once had a great supply of military surplus stores, an effect likely of Seattle's longstanding past as a military town and airplane manufacturer. Chubby and Tubby's was a store with several outposts in Seattle and a source of everything from work clothes to Converse All Star shoes. Around 2002, it closed its doors.

Portland has changed itself even more from a former "hick town" to an outpost of hipsterdom. The television show Portlandia takes a brickstone to this, devouring the culture and all of its absurdities:

That feminist bookstore is a real place, actually called "In Other Words." The owners have a good sense of humor, apparently, as they allowed themselves to be mocked nationally. The owners of the store released a video about the bookstore, which can be seen on Vimeo, in which some of them consciously concede to being "part of the problem" of gentrification:

Moving In: A Non-Profit Feminist Bookstore and the Politics of Place from Dawn Jones on Vimeo.

"Telling You" by Sonny Bonoho Feat Playboy Tre & Elijah

Don't Sweat The Technique - Eric B & Rakim

Bun B Feat. T-Pain - Trillionaire

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Michael Jackson (on Beatbox)

Ain't YouTube beautiful?

Presenting Game Brothas!

Alright, so my homie Kemal A.K.A. Mallski Wallksi of Game Brothas is promoted the new album they've released for free called International. You can download it free on the iLike website. Check out the commercial:

More Buddhist Hip-Hop

It turns out that there is an entire world of Buddhist hip-hop out there. Thanks to YouTube, I was brought to the attention of this incredible song. Be forewarned: The beat will blow your mind.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Late Night Post: Space Ghost

Bun B: The Texas Beast

I had a neighbor, Curtis, who was from Texas originally. Our conversations about music were interesting. At the time, I was a typical geeky white hip-hop guy who listened to Kool Keith, Del tha Funky Homo-Sapien and Eminem. He told me he loved the Houston hip-hop scene and I knew nothing about it. I had always loathed early Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records and generally didn't think of southern rap very well.

Man, has that changed. I now understand why southern rap is so popular. My southern exposure is limited - I've been to Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. For some reason, with the exception of guys like T.I., southern rap is just a whole lot tamer than rap from the west coast or northeast. Sure, there is the typical tough guy talk and misogyny, but for some reason it seems less enraged. I've yet to find a southern 50 Cent or Eminem, and this may just be because the south - with all its problems - doesn't breed the sort of conditions that New York or Detroit does.

The two rappers I've been drawn to the most have been Bun B and Yelawolf. Bun B is as lyrically fit as they come and has dropped some brilliant lines, like this one from "Choose Your Side:"

I’m slightly off-kilter, somewhat tuned out
And loony-toony, I’m looped up and looned out
So not being of a sound state of mind
I’m an example of western civilization’s decline

Yelawolf has been mentioned plenty here before and the Alabama enigma has collaborated with the Houston rhymesayer Bun B on both tracks and in the music video for "Good to Go:"