May 28, 2011

Adidas Originals

Like it says in my little "Bits and Pieces", I love a nice pair of Adidas and these are no exception. I love these!!! I love the thin tongue, the perforated upper. I think that having studs instead of eyelets are super nice. The holes for the laces are hidden on the underside of the studs. Full grain leather and an updated look to the  classic shell-toe sets this one off right for me. Wheww, they're priced at $120.00 but, you could argue that the quality is worth it. 

Gotta love em'.

May 27, 2011

Music Is... Erykah Badu - On And On

Sometimes I just feel like posting something mellow. By all means, please enjoy what you hear.

Music Is... Natasha Ramos "Dysfunctional" OFFICIAL VIDEO

My cousin told me about this video today. Most of us, well those who know, knew that Natasha Ramos was an songstress with the Neptunes for a while. From what I know, and I could be wrong, she is no longer with the camp. Decided to venture out on her own I suppose. I like that. Any who, this song "Dysfunctional" is from her recent mixtape release "Feeling Myself". My cousin didn't care for it too much, but I on the other hand think it's pretty good. Check out the video below.

What do you think?


May 25, 2011

Video: G-Shock Commercial featuring Nigel Sylvester – “What I Always Dreamt Of”

I don't think I've let it be known on this platform that BMX is a favorite of mine. I'll have to do that soon. In the mean time, check out this video featuring a very talented Nigel Sylvester. The skill is incredible.

directed by 13th Witness.

May 23, 2011

Music Is... Calvin Harris "Bounce" (feat. Kelis)

Typically these beat formats aren't my type but, I like this one a bit. I like it for the get me hype for the moment factor it imparts, so I gotta give it thumbs up for that. Plus, the way the intro is reminiscent of some type of sci-fi video game theme music keeps my pretty interested. Produced by Calvin Harris, sang by Kelis. Released ca. May-April.

*I don't hate this too much right now :)

Music Is... Turning Tables (Adele Cover)

A song cover I found a day or so ago. Love it. His name is Drew Chambers and he has a fantastic voice. He's singing "Turning Tables" by Adele from her album "21". A great talent right here.

Listen and enjoy.

His YouTube: Drew Chambers  

May 21, 2011

Art Is... Street Photography Tips

Another video curtesy of JacobPattersonArt.

Jacob along with friend and street photographer Eric Kim give there commentary on what this art style means to them as well as some helpful advice. It's very evident that these two guys have a passion for this. Some interesting perspectives and angles are showcased here. A very nice video, especially if your an art head like me. 


Below, from Erik Kim's post: 11 Inspirational Examples of Shadow Street Photography
my two favorites:

May 19, 2011

Music Is... A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders - Award Tour

I haven't listened to the entire album yet, but I hope to soon enough. "Award Tour" is a rock solid track. I downloaded the mp3 form Amazon today, and I just vibed out completely. Lyrically and sonically it all gels. Simply put, hiphop at one of its finest points.

Music Is... Lupe Fiasco - Go To Sleep

I'm telling you, the skill on this track is on some next level smish. Seriously, like not on Delta Airlines, but on some Black Hawk, straight NBA status trail blazin' type mess. You gotta check this out. The puns, metaphors, similes are RIDICULOUS!!

I've been reading that this is a early leak. track from his next drop "Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album". I'm not 100% if this is true or not because the way things become rumored and stretched, you never know. The earliest showcase of this song, snippet maybe, was some time last year; ca. August.

I have to say this is better listening if you have sub woofer with your desktop speakers. Then again, this sounds good regardless, so just listen.

[*yaawn*] - Thanks,
Feels good wakin' up,
Get back... on my J.O.
And you will be going, cause I gotta go to work
It's coo...

[Verse 1:]
I wipe the cold from my eye
Stationed in Antarctica, coldest nigga alive
Flow is Armageddon might smite crows from the Sky
Before you drive you have to wipe locusts off your rides
But I'm warming up, oceans is on the rise
I be Ocean with 11 associates on my side
Colder than Chris Martin guitarin' - would you look at all these Spies?
But they can't see me, I took out their eyes
Replaced them with some me's, so all they see is he's
But I will never run, not even if they cry
See I can never fall, not even down their cheek
But I will always ball, let's see who the first to blink
And I don't need no passwords cause I don't need to cheat
But you can say your last words then you can rest in peace
I'm the hook after your last verse, I'm also like the beat
But I will turn it down so you can go to sleep

You can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Said you can go to sleep [x2]
Good night, good night [x2]
(Real niggas up again)
(Phony niggas tuckin' in)
Now you can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Now you can go to sleep [x2]
Good night, good night [x2]
Official niggas on they job and you know we gonna ball
Real niggas poppin off, phony niggas not at all

[Verse 2:]
Insomniac since way back, see that's what I been like
Bacon, eggs and pancakes, eating that at midnight
Getting up and going hard, I don't need no Enzyte
Come across as very calm, mental state is Zen like
Always had a lot of heart, never been the tin type
Never will I drop a dime, never been the ten type
My girlfriend is very fine, yeah she is a ten, right?
Mink is dragon on the floor, fire in my windpipe
You should come and clean up after riots that I incite
Things got off the handle, left behind a landfill
Traffic at a standstill, stadium is fan-filled
Fill this bitch up with fans, you still won't blow my candle...out
My can do spirit's in the house, and it's possessing your possessions,
did you hear it by the couch?
Boogeyman under here but not in your closet, cause I'm not a...
Won't drill no door hole, I won't make a peep, so...

You can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Now you can go to sleep
Said you can go to sleep
Good night, good night [x2]
(Real niggas up again)
(Phony niggas tuckin' in)
Now you can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Now you can go to sleep [x2]
Good night, good night [x2]
Official niggas on they job and you know we gonna ball
Real niggas poppin off, phony niggas not at all

[Verse 3:]
I wipe the cold from my eye, then put it in my stove and hope that my dough rise
And that my clothes dry, but I am so high, I'm sitting on the storm that I got soaked by
Now you can come close so, you can get warm
But you get no pie, but you can sell 'em for him so, here's your bow tie
Now get ready to fall, 'cause humans don't fly, the boy in the balloon
See I didn't go high, and then I'm coming back to flow again
Closed out all that opium, but I had to O-P-EN
They said they need a hero-in it, so I'm back to dope again
Pull up in that old school Flintstone drop on rolling pins
Time is all behind me, this make me feel old again
Grandma's all around me, I can feel her soul within'
Hold my daddy over him
I woke the rooster's, woke the hen's
Everything's cashmere, count the sheep that make 'em..

(You can) go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Now you can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
(Go to sleep, it's okay!)
Good night, good night [x2]
(Real niggas up again)
(Phony niggas tuckin' in)
Yes you can go to sleep [x2]
Now you can go to sleep
Yes you can go to sleep
Good night, good night [x2]
Official niggas on they job and you know we gonna ball
Real niggas poppin off, phony niggas not at all

This particular video was uploaded on YouTube by

Music Is... Pharrell - In My Mind

Commercial success? Well, it may not have sold a trillion copy's but the title stays true. What you here is honestly what's in his mind. The content is nothing we haven't heard before but, the delivery is atypical. We all know Pharrell for being one half of the production duo The Neptunes and a proud member of N.E.R.D. That style shines through every single track on this record. Here's the track listing:

Can I Have I Like That
How Does It Feel?
Raspy Shit
Best Friend
You Can Do It Too
Keep It Playa
That Girl
Young Girl / I Really Like You
Take It Off (Dim The Lights)
Stay With Me
Our Father
Number 1
Show You How To Hustle
 Every track is like a meld of various styles he gravitates towards. You have a sort of a hiphop/jazz fusion on "You Can Do It Too", something I think is a hidden gem. "Number1" is like pop/Rn'B. Kanye did his thing on that one. "Stay With Me", witch is quite possibly my favorite track on the whole CD, is not quite definable for me; thats what I like about it though. 

This album is not for the faint of heart. I consider it for those who are "true blue" fans. Or those who want something more than simply a hit. Yes, you "can have it like that".

(I don't think there were any samples for this one)

May 16, 2011

Skateboarding Is... Rodney Mullen Highlights

This is rediculous. No one is supposed to be this talented. Rodney Mullen is a skater that I've revered for some time now. Wheww, it' enough to make your head hurt. You gotta respect this, even if skating isn't your thing., another upload by TheHabitat101

And by all means, enjoy.

Music Is... Lupe Fiasco - All Black Everything (VIOLIN COVER) - Peter Lee Johnson

I found this video browsing around a bit on YouTube. The title is self explanatory. The man's skills as a violinist are sick, no lie. I love it. Very admirable.


His YouTube: Peter Lee Johnson     
His Official Site: PLJ Music

May 10, 2011

Music Is... David Dallas - Life Is... [Music Video]

The beat is ridiculously ill, vibe is coming off right. Nice lyrics and super chill. Just watch.

My Parallels 2: A Connection Between Poignant Art

In a blog that I joined recently, I read a very
interesting and thought provoking entry titled Parallels: Lupe Fiasco x Glenn Ligon by SeanTheRobot. The main idea is that individual artists, in the same train of thought expressing similar bare-bone truths through various forms, will eventually mirror each other in some fashion. It's the coolest me. There have been only a handful of times were I've actually sat quietly and pondered about it. Only after reading this particular post did I really decided to reflect deeper and give you the culmination of my thoughts.

I think about drawn, painted, spray painted, stenciled, sculptured, murals, songs, poems; any artistic media. When I think about these things, I always come to one certain conclusion. That conclusion is that the content and basis of the art is derived from one of a few things: The past, what could have been, what is, the future, what you want to be, a fictional story, or some far out seemingly unreasonable nonsense thought. Devour that for a minute. Don't worry, I'll wait. Done? I'm not and I never will be. When it comes to the foundation of the ideas for creating that piece, whatever it may be, it has to come from a logical source even if it may seem illogical. The picture above is featured in Whitney Museum as a part of visual artists Glenn Ligon's showpieces. My thoughts after letting the picture marinate for some time are that while the idea of us all living as a unified, equal nation has been branded in our minds, there's still a backwards asymmetrical unidentifiable side to the whole thing.

I feel that in one way or another, at one point or the next, real will cross real. These artists creating "full flavored", honest, "give it to me straight", universal content works intertwine with each other.

To reiterate my point I chose an excerpt from a friend of the writer, Janine Simon, who worded it nicely. She said," becomes clear how arduous a task it is to shine a light on the injustices of the human experience. And although speaking true and walking straight may seem like a solitary act, when people take the right steps their paths will always cross with other like-minded individuals...My friend handed me his iPod, “Here is a new track. I’m really working more on my storytelling skills…” I nodded and plugged the headphones into my ears and thought well shit, if you speaking the truth I am sure that I can rock to it."

Parallels: Lupe Fiasco x Glenn Ligon

May 06, 2011

Question: Does music really age?

We've all heard the terms "new school" and "old school", but what do they truly mean? I've had plenty of people tell me that some of my music of choice is old. They'll say that what I'm listening to is from 20 or 30 some years ago. I think "...And, your point is?" But what I'm really contemplating is what do you mean by "old"? That's why I posed the question as to weather or not music can age.

This is my viewpoint. I don't think that music of anytime, any period of any kind ages per se. However, I know that the equipment used to produce the sound, and the physical technology at the time will get old. In turn, the music, the sound itself gains more quality and substance over the years. So in essence, what I think what's meant by "old school", or any term referring to the timeline of the piece in question, is the period by which a style was initiated. Follow me?

May 05, 2011

Music Is... Michael Grimm: Leave Your Hat On

Released July 20, 2010

Just as Chris Daughtry competed on American Idol, Michael Grimm was  a contestant on Americas Got Talent. He won, that years competition and I feel it was well deserved. That was 2010, and since then he has released plenty of soul satisfying music to let you know that win wasn't in vain. Usually, I like to dissect some of the songs on the record to give a general idea of what to expect. With this one, getting straight to the point, this man is blues/soul to the bone. No doubt about it. Honestly, when I initially heard this man sing on that stage, I could feel the passion oozing through the screen. The sincerity in his voice lends him a very attractive, attainable vulnerability that's undeniable. On every track his voice sounds incredible. He covers some very familiar hits that the vast majority of us know. He sings his own rendition of Al Green's "Tired Of Being Alone" and "Try A Little Tenderness" proving that this genre of music is where he needs to be unquestionably. The horn section on "Hold On I'm Comin'"(feat. Bill Medley) sounds great. There is mesh of oldschool and current sound that he brings to the table. The live instrumentation is favorable on this record, it adds to the up in your face factor, :)

If you haven't heard what this man's got, you've got to do yourself a much needed favor and listen ASAP. You will not be disappointed in the least.

Second 2010 release

Released December 13, 2010

May 04, 2011

Music Is... Daughtry (Self titled)

Besides those who were and are closest to him, besides those who knew of him and the band before they garnered huge success, most of us recognize him as an American Idol contestant. I wonder if I'm the only one noticing a strange pattern. It seems like those competitors who truly have "it" eliminated earlier in the competition, are in the limelight a little more than some season winners. I don't know, just something I noticed. Chris, as well as the band members had been musically inclined for quite sometime before the competition.  Focusing on this album, released November 21, 2006, "Daughtry" is a very impressive debut. As a matter of fact, the first time I listened to it, I almost forgot that this was the first record. The members consist of Chris Daughtry, Josh Paul, Josh Steely, Brian Craddock, and Robin Diaz; an excellent collection of five men who create solid music.

Every track contains an essential, hard hitting rock core that enables them to bring it home. I love track 1, the first single "It's Not Over". A sort of dreary yet optimistic song about recognizing the wrongdoing, reflecting on that and then trying to get things right. "Home",a very heartwarming track that I think any of us could connect with. The title is very self explanatory. For many people, home is where we can always run back to when things seem to be more than we can handle at the time. Two other well known hits are "Feels Like Tonight" and "What About Now". Both offer their take on the possibility of rekindling love between each other, even after things were said that weren't meant to be. Track 7, "What I Want", featuring amazing guitarist Slash, is a stone hitter and a little underrated in a way. This one gets a little grittier than the others as far as pure rock but that's what makes it awesome. A silent anthem to me.

This album contains songs with many different moods and feelings. Some show a more aggressive side, others reveal someone more vulnerable. Regardless of which side is unshielded, it derives from a very truthful place that would draw anyone in and keep them engaged. 

May 03, 2011

Music Is... Lupe Fiasco: LASERS

Released first March 4, 2011 in Australia - March 8, 2011 in U.S. 

Love Always Shines Everytime, Remember 2 Smile

Despite the back and forth critical reviews and responses this album has battled with, I'm actually very excited to take it head on. After some research, unbeknownst to me, Lupe was in much conflict with his now label Atlantic Records. From what I've gathered, much of the dispute rose from the lack of him being allowed to take more creative control and also him feeling that the label wants him to be a radio air-wave sensation rather than expressing what's in his heart, and remaining a genuine artist. Now don't get me wrong, he breaks the walls down lyrically by unleashing his opinions regarding common, yet thought provoking subjects. Through particular songs and broad content, he asks heavy questions such as when have you truly reached the pinnacle?, and what is enough?

Despite label issues, many tracks have been viewed by most listeners as the core pieces of this project. Songs such as "All Black Everything" and "Words I Never Said" are meant not to effect a specific audience, but more of a widespread demographic. One sounds his opinion about "racism" as "no context" and inquires as to what if certain historical events never occurred the way they did, "You would never know...You would never see...". The later hears him as he basically relinquishes a barrage of comments and observations regarding the political system and other negatives of today's society. Along with the afore mentioned, some other tracks I've taken a strong liking to are "The Show Goes On","State Run Radio" and more recently "Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)". Within all three songs, and essentially the album as a whole, I get a sense of his aggravation and frustrations along with the possibility for a more comforting view ahead. Each song has subject matter that in some form or another we can all relate to. That's one of the things I like; familiarity. Familiarity, but with an individualized twist. That's what Lupe has accomplished for me.

Commonality is something I hear way too often in much of today's music. By commonality, I mean what sells; what will be the right launching platform for a record. Formulating a manifesto in order to promote the album to the masses, one of the main declarations that initiates the spark with me is: "...We want substance in the place of popularity". Well put for me. In terms of airplay, there will probably be only a select few from the album that "make it" so to speak. I can't foresee the future, so we'll have to see what happens. I'm sure, however, that for a while to come, these songs will resonate with many people.


Letting Go (Feat. Sarah Green)
Words I Never Said (Feat. Skylar Grey)
Till I Get There
I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (Feat. Mdma)
Out Of My Head (Feat. Trey Songz)
The Show Goes On
Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) [Feat. Mdma]
Coming Up (Feat. Mdma)
State Run Radio (Feat. Matt Mahaffey)
Break The Chain (Feat. Eric Turner & Sway)
All Black Everything
Never Forget You (Feat. John Legend)

May 01, 2011

Music Is... The Dead Weather: Horehound

Released July 14, 2009

Ahhh, back again...

Listening to "Cut Like A Buffalo" for the first time a year and a half ago, I was hopping that it wouldn't become a one hitter type deal and then the rest of the album just fizzle out. Thankfully this is not the case. I don't consider myself a rock aficionado at all when it comes to the genre. I can say however, that I've grown up listening to plenty of it so I feel pretty well rounded. I know a good sound when I hear it and this record is surely firing on all cylinders.

Kicking things off, I have to give a double thumbs up to track number 1 "60 Feet Tall". I like that this is a clean sound song. What I mean by clean is there are no unnecessary sounds or needless instruments to emphasize the point. This piece speaks about a woman's strong attachment to a guy  who is condescending (from what I gather) and kind of a ruffian, possibly. But probably my favorite part of this song is at about 3:08 when they really go off on a small instrumentation section.  Same starting at about 4: 30 too, its excellent. Skipping to track 4 we have "So Far From Your Weapon", a very searing, at points almost a western cowboy standoff type thing. Seriously, it makes me think of tumbleweeds blowing in the wind (that famous whistle), mouth open, clueless as to who's going to pull the trigger first. That's not what the song's about of course. Here are the lyrics to this one, I'll let you determine your own meaning. Now, just because I love it I have to mention "I Cut Like A Buffalo". The thing that intrigues me most about this one is the true connection & interaction between the lyrics and the beat. Let me give you an example if you don't already know what I mean. Part of the song goes: Is that you choking?(x3)...Or are you just joking? During that section they do lend a big hand in the visual aid department by making these scratchy, stop and go, choking/hiccup sounds. It's a trip really. This is another track that leaves the interpretation totally up to the listener yet only the writer knows what the true meaning is. I was reading up on a site where people have provided their thoughts regarding the "Buffalo", some interesting views. 

I love the intensity behind each song. There's a gruff underlying note that leaves you knowing every track stands for something. The drumming, guitar playing, live feel. Hands down a fantastic record.

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