Sam's Blog
I saw this on O–Dub’s Blog : Ta-Nehisi Coates’ overview of the decline of Rawkus I thought that it was interesting. I didn’t get to peep the XXL piece on Rawkus, but I heard that was better. Here’s what EL-P said on the subject when I interviewed him about a year-and-a-half ago.

" I have my own, personal beef with Rawkus in terms of the way they handled their business with [Def Jux]. But I think that what happened with Rawkus is what happens to any record label: there was no vision. The only concept behind their label was to make money, and when that's the only thing guiding you in your decision-making process, you're going to go anywhere you think money is. And that's a very dangerous thing because you're chasing down something that's elusive. I felt that they had the potential to do something with their label if they had backbone and stood up and decided that their philosophy was to support new, risky music. They could have solidified something good for themselves. As of now, I give them a year before they fold. I might be wrong, but I was on-point enough to leave a good year-and-a-half, two years before they fired their entire staff before Christmas... I know what they wanted, they wanted to be a part of the already established game, compete on that level and do what everyone else was doing. And I didn't, and I had a serious difference in philosophy with them... You know, if a record label doesn't have a real, genuine vision behind their shit, then what do they have going for them other than a little bit of money? Eventually, that's not going to hold weight, and [they're] going to try to do whatever they possibly can to get some money."

I saw Kanye’s Dairy last night on MTV and it was…interesting. For one thing, rocking a pink sweater, Louie Votton backpack (which is for females, btw) and a tan polo jacket, Kanye looked like the 6th Backstreet Boy. I missed his show in SF because the Madvillain show was on the same night and the “diary “ actually showed clips from the SF show. After hearing Kanye lead the crowd through a “Jesus! Jesus!” chant and watching obese 16-year-olds hold up signs reading “I missed the prom for this,” I’m pretty sure that I made the right decision in going to the Madvillain show. Also, Kanye called “The Grand” on Van Ness – the venue for his SF show – one of the most famous clubs in America…Um, The Grand isn’t even a club. Between that little white lie and all the seemingly scripted platitudes about helping the children, loving his mother and worshipping Christ, Kanye came across as a tad insincerr.

But I'm just playin', really....I'd love Kanye even if he wore an iced-out tutu.

Someone said that this Jim Gaylord painting looks like me.

The paintings of Jim Gaylord occupy the interstices between recognition and
confusion-hinting at specific forms but never corroborating the viewer's
certainty of these forms, preferring to endure in an ambiguous cluster of
perception and suggestion. The result of streamlining the fuzzy topography
of the mind is a dreamlike mayhem of familiar pictures existing astride the

Drawing from the surrealists, Gaylord's work is infused with an aura of
suspension-of linguistic analysis, of rational clarification, and of the
boundaries between the familiar and the unknown. A linguistic parallel to
the paintings would be the "figure of speech," which is not to be taken
literally but as an idea that assumes various associations and implications
beyond its literal meaning. The images are fanciful stand-ins for the
nebulous froth of our emotions and thoughts. Gaylord's preoccupation with
the hazy, pre-rational flotsam and jetsam of the mind's eye reveals a
conceptual sophistication that questions the very idea of "nonsense" in its
attempt to chart the wavering terrain of the psyche.

text by N-Dawg

Bay Area graphic designer, graffiti artist, and FPS associate Damon Soule is pretty godlike, and if he was commissioned to do a daimond necklace of Jesus, I might even buy it (or at least not mock it). Check out his website at

The Passion of Kanye


Three Million for Shyne. Good god!

Does anyone have the contact info for Jin's publicst? Or for the Ruff Ryders in general? I'm doing a feature on him and having a hard time tracking his contact info down.

Apparently I'm the last one to find out, but Beat Takeshi has remade Zatoichi , the classic Japanese TV show featuring the blind samuria. The DVD is already out in Japan and it will hopefully be released here soon.

Thanks go to Jay Smooth for tipping me off.

I may be a bit prejudiced since I usually wake up beside her, but SFStation art critic N. Nataraj is the greatest writer ever. Here's her take on Romare Bearden. It looks like a great exhibit, and I'll probably get around to seeing it soon.


And since I'm on some tangential, Larry-King-type shit...Is there a short story better than Nabakov's "The Potato Elf?" And doesn't JT Leroy kinda remind you of a cross between Nabakov's The Potato Elf and Kafka's Starving Artist? If you're reading this, no offense, know I love ya.

I found this while image googling the term "kill bill"


I saw Kill Bill II last night. Most of the hyperbole that has been thrust its way is true, although I may have preferred the first edition more, which was a plotless, meta-study on unrelenting momentum and b-grade culture (which I think reveals more about any given culture than "high art" that is generally dishonest and has the pretence of history, bougie self-importance, etc...although I do occasionally engae with it). I thought that Q.T. stumbled a little bit when he went for dramatic impact in the second edition. With that said, I still enjoyed it.

What eclipsed seeing Kill Bill for me was being treated to the theatrical trailer for HERO! This is really one of the most beautiful and imaginative movies that I've ever seen. I know that both "beautiful" and "imaginative" are horrible words for any reviewer to use - particularly on their own - but you really must see this film (despite my limited film vocabulary).

George Bush speaks to the American heartland in regards to the Arab question
I was so psyched to write my Madvillain piece in SFWeekly , although I’m sure it will be overshadowed by Sasha’s piece in the New Yorker . Whatcha gonna do? It’s Sasha in the GOD DAMN New Yorker. And I’m really happy to see Madvillain get the props it deserves. It’s a great album and the release party at the Independent (aka the old Justice League) last Saturday was off the hook.

If there are still any of you out there, sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. Between this Madvillain piece, a thing on Indian hip hop that I’m doing for the new south Asian magazine Nirvana, a Vast piece for XLR8R, and a slew of other reviews/notices…I’ve been pretty tied up. Stay tuned and I promise new material soon (just like I promise to get my articles in on time)!
Music, Politics, etc...

11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 / 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 /



Selected Published Features :

  • Quannum Retrospective
  • Fake Hip Hop Beef
  • Immortal Technique
  • DJ Spooky Rebirth of a Nation
  • Balance
  • Merry Christmas Beeeyoth
  • Shock G
  • ATL indie Hip Hop
  • Peanut Butter Wolf
  • Subtle
  • Sage Francis
  • Charizma
  • Andrew Schoultz
  • Crown City Rockers
  • Jin
  • RJD2
  • Perceptionists
  • Dizzee Rascal
  • Brand Nubian
  • JT the Bigga Figga
  • Streets
  • Talib Kweli
  • Awol One
  • Okay Player
  • Madvillain
  • Q-Bert
  • Eyedea and Abilities
  • Stark Reality
  • Mixtape
  • Okayplayer
  • Mr. Lif
  • Atmosphere
  • Atmosphere II
  • Northern State
  • El P
  • Reviews and Concert Notices:

  • Zion I True and Livin'
  • Game West Coast Resurrection
  • 4/20 Celebration
  • The Perceptionists -- Black Dialouge
  • BEANIE SIGEL B. Coming
  • 50 Cent Massacre
  • Hanger 18
  • DJ Spooky Drums of Death
  • Pigeon John
  • Dalek Absence
  • Lyrics Born
  • GEto Boys The Foundation
  • Buck 65, This Right Here is Buck 65
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
  • The Game Documentary
  • Messy Marv Bandannas, Tattoos & Tongue Rings
  • Emanon The Waiting Room
  • MF Doom Live from Planet X
  • 75 Degrees The Last Great Hip Hop Album
  • Snoop R&G
  • Doug E. Fresh
  • J-Live
  • Awol One
  • Aesop Rock Fast Cars
  • Opio Triangulation Station
  • Federation The Album
  • Oh No
  • John Legend - Get Lifted
  • ODB Osirusa
  • Last Poets
  • Jeff Chang
  • FPS Soundsession
  • Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif and Shapeshifters
  • Handsome Boy Modeling School -- White People
  • MF Doom
  • Mos Def - The New Danger
  • Atmosphere Headshots
  • DJ Krush
  • Kool Keith
  • Nas Streets' Disciple
  • Kanye West Concert Notice
  • AlphaZeta
  • Biggie Ready to Die Revisited
  • Lloyd Banks Hunger For More
  • Chromeo Concert Notice
  • The Roots Tipping Point
  • The Big Payback
  • Consequence (please note that my editor added the Dylan reference)
  • X-Men Revolutions
  • Third Unheard: Connecticut Hip Hop 1979-1983
  • Beastie Boys To the 5 Boroughs
  • Ghostface concert notice
  • Plantlife
  • De La Soul concert notice
  • Quannum concert notice
  • Murs/9th Wonder
  • Aceyalone
  • Pete Rock Concert Notice
  • David Banner
  • Ugly Duckling
  • Ty/a>
  • Yukmouth
  • Murs -- End of the Beginning
  • Jaylib -- Champion
  • 50 Cent
  • Caural – Stars on My Ceiling
  • Foreign Legion -- Playtight
  • Wildchild – Secondary Protocol
  • The Coup – Party Music
  • DJ Spinna – Here to There
  • Soul Position -- Unlimited
  • Jean Grae – Attack of the Attacking Things
  • El-P -- Fantastic Damage (first review I ever wrote)
  • Boom Bip – Seed to Sun
  • Boom Box 200 - The Worst CD Ever
  • Nas - God's Son
  • Articles that aren't viewable on the Web

    Too many to mention.

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