Sunday, April 25, 2010

A (Very) Brief Conversation: Casual

Casual and Snupe: The Pimp Hieroglyphics

@Smashrockwell speaking of extra prolific, does a song titled "menace to society" (w/ Snupe) ring a bell? Saw the title in the BMI database

@wboothe you work for BMI? Was there an audio file? Thats was a song we recorded for the Movie Menace 2 Society.. Bellrung.

@Smashrockwell nope, just being a diehard hiero fan doing research. no audio file on the site. dont suppose you have a copy, do you?

@wboothe Domino does i'm sure.

@Smashrockwell you know that's some holy grail shit right there? hope it surfaces some day.

From a historical standpoint, this is a pretty significant track. The proposed title track to one of the seminal Hood Films of the 90s, I'm really surprised Jive didn't include this track when the album was released. Casual and Snupe - both perhaps a little more "G" than their peers - were signed to Jive and inclusion on this soundtrack may have increased their exposure, possibly growing their audience beyond those in New York and LA who have a high appreciation of freestyles, complex flows and lyrical stylings.

Cash Money (featuring Casual) - Extra Prolific

"even if our demo tapes add to the myth of Hiero's gifts..." - Del

The conversation brought me back to a time before swapping MP3's was the norm. When I first started finding music on the internet (97ish), we used to trade cassette tapes through the mail. Most of this was done on the Hoopla - the official message board of Hieroglyphics. All of these unreleased gems were gold to me. I tried sharing them with friends, but they couldn't get past the really shitty sound quality. Never bothered by these hiss filled recordings, I was instead highly appreciative of the fact that I had music that no one outside of the artist and their crew was supposed to hear. The demo experience has always been a mind blowing one for me.

As you can see, I didn't directly ask Cas to put the track out there, but if you have no compunction in doing so, add him to your twitter and ask him to do so on some "hey, i saw your tweet mentioning the menace to society track. could you please...".

Hieroglyphics - Bubble Up

Extra Prolific - Jheri Curl

Casual - Oakland Survival

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

R.I.P. Carl Macek

(October 12, 1951 – April 17, 2010)

The man who brought The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada (say those titles three times quickly) to North America as Robotech passed away April 19th.

As children, most of us were fed a diet of cartoons that followed a very simple good vs evil plot line. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I appreciated the deeper storyline and complex characters in Robotech.

Anyway, that's all I have to say. For more on Robotech, you can read my Robotech soap opera appreciation post here, or watch the following tribute video put together by a fellow Robotech nerd.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

20 Years of Footin'


1. Push It Along
2. Luck Of Lucien
4. Footprints
5. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo
6. Pubic Enemy
7. Bonita Applebum
9. Youthful Expression
10. Rhythm
11. Mr. Muhammad
12. Ham'n'Eggs
14. Description Of A Fool

Download: Not Available

Samples (Courtesy of Hip Hop is Read)

Tracklist: Link

Download: Not Available

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hollywood Adaptations of 80s Cartoons

“Ugh” A familiar expression voiced by myself and many of my generation when another Hollywood remake of a beloved childhood television program is announced. Recently it was announced that The Smurfs would be following Transformers and GI Joe to the big screen. Other projects currently in development include Akira, Robotech and Voltron. I think it may be time to stop groaning and accept that this trend will continue. “Adaptations are the lifeblood of the film and television industry” – Linda Seger According to Linda over 80% of Best Picture Academy Award winners are adaptations. Perhaps one day a Bravestarr or My Little Pony adaptation will win such an award. Taking a few moments to think about some shows from the past, I’ve come up with a list of properties that need the Hollywood treatment. Gobots Gobots was a line of transforming robot toys produced by Tonka from 1983 to 1987, similar to Transformers. If your parents couldn't’ afford to buy you Optimus Prime, chances are they went to K-Mart and picked up a Leader-1 figure for you The Pitch: Gobots could not compete with Transformers in the 80s, and producing a big budget, special effects laden action adventure film would be foolish. I propose the Gobots appearing in the film version should be sentient, but remain toy sized. Imagine an epic battle, the fate of the earth hanging in the balance…originating in a child’s bedroom. Little Nick and his friend AJ helping the peace loving Guardians. Their neighbor Mean Mr. Jones siding with the evil Renegades. It’s Toy Story mixed with Cats and Dogs.

ThunderCats ThunderCats follows the adventures of the eponymous team of heroes, cat-like humanoid aliens from the planet of Thundera. Warner Bros had planned a CGI animated film version, but it was scrapped perhaps due to the commercial and critical failure of Speed Racer, another Warner Bros. project. Here’s how the ThunderCats project can be brought back to life. The Pitch:
It needs to be a live action film. This will increase the possibility of garnering an Academy Award (makeup and special effects). I don’t think audiences are going to want watch a 2 hour film with a bunch of humanoid cats fighting humanoid lizards, vultures, jackals and monkeys. What this movie will need is some human interference; a shuttle containing humans, landing on 3rd Earth, inadvertently getting involved in the conflict between the ThunderCats, the Mutants and Mumm-Ra. One of the humans will have to be a Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes), Sam Worthington (Avatar) type hunk. There will be a mandatory love scene between Hunk and Cheetara; thereby allowing perverted fan boys to live out childhood zoophilia fantasies. oh my!

Jem and the Holograms The show is about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures. The central "secret" of the series is that Jem is in fact the alter ego of Jerrica Benton, owner/manager of Starlight Music and Starlight Foundation for Girls, a foster program founded by her mother Jacque Benton. A live action version is currently being considered by Hasbro (owners of the property). Here's how you do the movie correctly... The Pitch: One of my biggest problems with the show (yes I was an avid viewer) was the fact that Jerrica and Jem were practically the same person. The hair was pink, the skirts were a little shorter, but surely Rio must have known that he was messing with the same woman? A better question, why would Jerrica/Jem allow this to continue? Answer: A developing case of dissociative identity disorder. Not only does she have to deal with her rivals The Misfits, Jerrica has to battle her dominating alter-ego – who’s very sexy, I should add – and her rapidly deteriorating health. Are glamour, glitter, fashion and fame more important than her health?

*90’s Bonus Toon* Prostars Prostars centers on Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky fighting crime, helping children, and protecting the environment. The Pitch: Wayne Gretzky, jobless and bored decides to reunite the Prostars in a desperate attempt to rekindle feelings of glory from the past. He must convince former Prostars leader Michael Jordan (now an old, miserable, gambling addict) to join him. Together they set out on a journey across America to find Bo Jackson, who has been missing for over 5 years.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Toronto Raptors: Did This Season Really Happen?

Seems like it was a fucked up dream.

Did we really beat Cleveland on opening night? Bargnani making LeBron look silly with a couple of post moves.

Remember the early season struggles, culminating with a 146-115 loss to Atlanta? Chris Bosh had a 2 point night that game. Antoine Wright called out coach Jay Triano for not being tough enough with struggling players.

Remember the 22-10 mid season run that followed? Chris Bosh was putting up great numbers, and MVP chants were soon heard while he shot free throws. We beat strong teams such as the Lakers, the Spurs, and the Suns.

Remember being in 5th place? Watching the standings, thinking that we could possibly overtake an old and struggling Boston Celtics team?

Remember Hedo Turkoglu's 27 point game against the Knicks? "Ball" was heard around the world, and we all thought this was the moment Hedo would turn his disastrous season around.

Remember Demar DeRozan's solid if unspectacular showing at the slam dunk contest.

Remember the confidence amongst fans that Chris Bosh would indeed return to the Raptors after the season ended, signing a long term contract and committing to bringing a championship Toronto.

Did all of this really happen? In this same season which concluded last night with Raptors 9th place in the Eastern Conference, out of the playoffs?

Toronto played valiantly in their final game of the season. This effort was needed against the Golden State Warriors, and -their most important game of the year- against the Chicago Bulls. Now the team is out of the playoffs, about to (possibly) lose their best player to free agency, stuck with coach who is unable to inspire his players, and a number of big contracts to players who have shown little heart all season.

How does Bryan Colangelo win back our confidence after this disastrous season?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Sartorialist: Vintage Photo Contest

During the month March, Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) opened a contest to his blog readers. The requirements were simple: send in a vintage photo (no later than the 80s)that you feel conveys an inspirational sense of style. It could be a family photograph, or perhaps something found at a flea market, garage sale or swap meet.

I decided to answer the call, and spent an evening going through some old family photos. There were several family photos of ladies and gents dressed to the nines, but in the end I decided to submit something a little more casual; a "couples" photo of my auntie and her pretty boy partner.

Scott received over 2200 submissions during the last few days of March. You can check them out here The photo I submitted wasn't posted on his blog, so I thought I would post it here for kicks. I don't think my family reads this blog, so I should be able to avoid a scolding.

I found this while going through my mother's very large collection of family photos. In this photograph is the youngest of the nine Williams siblings, my aunt Althea. Alongside her, her beau Aubrey. According to my mother this photo was taken in the late 70s, while Aubrey was courting my aunt. A young couple in love.

I love the simple outfit and accessories my aunt is wearing, and that Aubrey's attire is a little more casual. Despite this he still looks very cool and owns the track jacket he's wearing (love the exposed chest).

Aubrey and Althea would soon marry and start a family.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Favorite Rappers: The Mighty Ha

"give em what they want, this is what they lookin' for"

Chadio, Yogi, The Mighty Ha

Favorite Rappers returns with a wild card, and I want to take a moment to remind readers that this is NOT a best rappers list, but a chronicle of rappers I’ve enjoyed listening to over the years. OK, enough plea copping, back to the program.

The Mighty Ha...MC or hype man?

This is one entry that is based more on presence than skill. Even his presence on CRU’s debut, Da Dirty 30 would be called into question by many. A number of people found him annoying at worst, tolerable at best. Personally, I loved every moment he appeared on the album.

Most of us were introduced to CRU in 1997; with their debut single Just Another Case, a favorite in NYC that received heavy rotation from Funkmaster Flex. Though Ha didn’t appear on the aforementioned track, his presence was felt on the b-side, Pronto. The intro to this track has Ha and a female vocalist doing an interpolation of Dennis Edwards’ “Don’t Look Any Further”. I believe Questlove once compared Ha to a cross between the Cookie Monster, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Ha as we know him may not have come into existence if Big Baby Jesus doesn’t release a classic album with his cousins and friends, but I still appreciate what he brought to their debut release.

CRU was often criticized for not being the most gifted MCs, but what I liked about the group was the way they put tracks together. Knowing that there was a possibility of Ha annoying listeners if used too often, they limited his mic time. He mostly earned his pay by providing hooks on tracks (“the one who brings the hooks with the rugged and the raw”), and often he could be heard in the background of tracks, his ramblings looped to accompany the beat and samples. Ha was also allowed to drop verses on a few tracks. Usually limited to about 8 bars or a simple back and forth with either Yogi or Chad, his limited time was used to great effect. You can’t tell me that his 2 eight bar verses on That Shit can’t stand up to the likes of say, U-God on Protect Ya Neck. I would even go as far as saying that Ha’s verse on Live at the Tunnel was dope. His solo track Lisa Lipps…well…as I mentioned earlier about Ha in general, you probably either hate it or tolerate it. I’m gonna play the kid from De La Soul is Dead and say “I kinda like it

At some point during the recording of their second album, CRU parted ways. Chadio recently released a solo album, Yogi is still down with Diddy, and I believe Ha somewhere still lifting weights or something. If he’s ever ready to get back on the mic, I’m always down to hear more raps about blunts, bakees, lickin’ shots, buttocks, porn stars, chickenheads and the like.

Live at the Tunnel featuring The Lox

That Shit


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Film Podcasts

The random films I've discussed here are not being pulled out of my ass. As a matter of fact, most have been recommended or mentioned in 2 great podcasts I listen to weekly.


Chicago based podcast hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Matty Robinson. Weekly reviews, top 5 lists, and the movie marathon; where the hosts review six to eight movies from a particular genre or director that they haven't already seen. This podcast often reviews art house/lower budget films, and occasionally a Hollywood blockbuster. I've heard the term "film snobs" used to describe the guys as many of their discussions seem very academic (not surprisingly, they've taught courses at the University of Chicago). I think it's perfect for those who want to engage in deeper discussions on the craft of film making.


If Filmspotting is the advanced film studies class of the podcast world, I would liken /Filmcast to a casual gathering of friends discussing favorite movies. All types of films are open for dissection and discussion, including titles such as GI Joe, Wolfman, and Jennifer's Body. The show reviews one film weekly and also covers film industry news. The hosts: David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley also discuss "what they've been watching" at the beginning of each show. A number of films I've watched recently were recommended in this portion of the show.

They're both great shows, and if you're looking for something to listen to on your commute, workout, or during house cleaning, I recommend both.

Filmspotting #299 - Mother, Chloe, Lubitsch Awards, Top 5 Actors of the Decade**


/Filmcast Episode 94 - Clash of the Titans


** (Mega) Props to Adam Kempenaar for including Tony Leung in his list of Top 5 Actors of the Decade. Definitely a favorite of mine.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005)

You've probably seen this one before, so what I'm gonna do is post screen captures of some of my favorite clothing items that appeared in the film.

Polo with striped collar and sleeve cuff

Sleeveless argyle sweater.

Long sleeve button up with white collar.

Brightly colored Polo.

Track jacket.

Just kidding...

Typewriter T-shirt. (so dope)

Polo and skinny tie.


The MVP of this film: The do it all, brown corduroy jacket.

If you haven't seen this film, it's highly recommended. Jeff Daniels turns in one of my favorite leading performances of recent memory (he's so cool), AND it's only 81 minutes!

The Squid and the Whale: Trailer

The Facebook


Sometimes I catch myself going through this cycle for about 5 minutes. Probably not the best way to spend the evening, or any part of day for that. Twice within the last seven days I've found myself in conversation with friends who also feel that they're also wasting precious moments and energy on The Facebook. I think it's time I take a break.

Perhaps you're here wondering why activity has been slowing down on my page. It's been that way for a while, and will probably continue as such for the time being. I'll still keep my profile up, occasionally posting pictures, checking out events, participating in discussions with some of the groups I've joined. Other than that, I think I'm out.

Don't cry for me. If you really want to converse with me, or share something more than a poke or a silly impersonal comment on my wall, there are plenty of ways to get in contact with me.

email me: firstinitiallastname at gmail
gchat: see above
skype: firstname.lastname

hell, we can even do it old school and talk on the phone (222-2222).

If you're at all interested in my thoughts and views on "things", I think I'll be posting here more often, so check back every now and then.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Intacto (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2001)

A supernatural thriller about luck and the individuals who have it, had it, want it, and control it.

Not the greatest film recommended to me (took me 3 sittings to finish it), but it may be worth viewing just for the games of chance, including a run through the forest, which is probably the best sequence in this film.

Popular opinion seems to be divided on this one. Many loving it, the rest enjoying it, but not exactly blown away by it. So if you're in the market to see a foreign film that at its worst is not wack, you may want to check it out.

Intacto: Trailer

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Wish De La Soul Still Made Tracks Like This

"Da Inner Sound shall help you breathe..."

I have a feeling I'm going to revisit this topic a few more times.

Ain't Hip To Be Labelled A Hippie