Quantcast The AntFarm Affiliates blog [has moved]: May 2007
| d_Cyphernauts | Expertiz | Phenetiks | Workforce | Sketch Tha Cataclysm |
| Cee Reed | The Rising Sun Quest | Spaz the Working Class | Pruven |

Thursday, May 31, 2007

AFA Friday Flicks: "Tats Cru 'Wall of Fame', Dithers, & 1 for extra credit ... Classic"

Every year around the time of the Puerto Rican Day parade (typicaly 1st week in June) the Tats Cru apply a fresh coat of paint on the wall of fame. If you get a chance, please please please go see the wall in person on 106th Street & Park Ave (the actual real life address). I highly recommend checking out this annual tradition of art, culture, and Hip Hop in its purest form. The flick below is a clip from the must have dvd Mural Kings

& ... since I was away from the intranets last Friday, here is a taste of a great Graff documentary called Dithers. This is a must have dvd for any serious graff artist.

1 for extra credit. I'm sure yall have seen this already. But I like (except for the Kanye weaksauce 16) this video's use of the methodical graff process to move the video along. Way to go Rakim for doing a colabo ... since he hardly ever does 'em.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Politrix as Usual...

I call my son Lil' Dave. He's 2. He weighs 30 pounds and he just started talking. A lot. He can say things like "bus" and "big truck" and "choo-choo train". He was with me in the car the other day and we were listening to the radio when a song came on that he seemed to really like.

The artist was Lil' Jon. He's 36 years old. He has great big grillz, oversized sunglasses and long dreads. He can say things like "YEAH!!!" and "OKAY!!!" and "WHAT?!?!". His music seems to be a big hit with my 2 year old. Me, not so much. That is not my point, however. My question is, why would a 36 year old man refer to himself as "Lil"? And once we get past why, what are the impllications of calling oneself "Lil"? By the way, I've included some before and after Lil' Jon photos- one of him in high school and then one of him sporting his current image.

In the hip hop world, Lil' Jon is by no means alone in his Lil'-ness. To name a few of his colleagues, there are Lil Flip, Lil Wayne, Lil Scrappy, Lil Kim and Lil Mama. In defense of Lil Kim, she actually is little, just measuring in at 5' tall and Lil Mama is both little and young. Which brings me to our "Young" MCs, not Young MC, who actually was young when he MC'd, but this cast of characters: Yung Joc, Young Buck, Young Dro and Yong Jeezy, who are, respectively 24, 26, 28, and 30 years old. So, with the exception of Lil Kim and Lil Mama, none of the rest of this bunch are either lil' or young, so what's with the names? And what's the big deal?

Check it, by calling oneself little or young, it follows that they are requesting that you (the audience) consider them little or young. The process of naming oneself in hip hop is an essential aspect of the culture, just as naming ceremonies have traditionally been important in both secular and religious context in all cultures throughout time and history. By creating a name, one is defining their self identity. Prefacing your name with Lil or Young implies a state of arrested development, a prolonged adolescence. Considering that America has traditionally emasculated men from lower socio-economic groups, particulary men who belong to minority groups through both policy and circumstance, does it make sense that the pop culture icons that our presented to our hip hop youth reinforce that reality by effectively celebrating immaturity and pushing off the responsibility of manhood? This is the very phenomenon that Piri Thomas explored in his novel DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS and Claude Brown wrote about in his appropriately named MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND.

It is also a societal pressure that hip hop has traditionally fought against by embracing names that denoted leadership and responsibility. Names such as Big Daddy Kane, Daddy-O, Biggie, Grand Puba, Ed O.G., Large Professor, KRS-ONE, Prime Minister Pete Nice were titles of leadership. They expressed the ideals of fatherhood, responsibility, learnedness. They were expressions of elevation, of advancement, of manhood. The artists who took on these names were saying "I am a leader in this movement, I accept that mantle of responsibilty". We need artists today who are willing to do the same thing.

When I look at my brothers in the Ant Farm Affiliates, I see artists and individuals who embrace their positions as men in hip hop. Consider the names in our crew: Expertiz, Quest the Rising Sun, Roc-1, Protege, Nemesis Alpha, Spaz the Working Class. What is implied in these names? Take Quest, for instance, a quest is a journey or a search, often undertaken by a knight or a hero. The Rising Sun is the birth of a new day, a means of shedding light and providing life for everyone. There is great power in is name.

Now, ask yourself, who would you rather follow- a young buck or the Rising Sun?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

AFA Friday Flicks: "Ya Playing Yourself"

So here I am, hoping that my saved videos on YouTube are not being removed for copyright reasons, and lo and behold my saved Jeru The Damaja - "Ya Playing Yourself" is still there.


But as I read the comments below it, a few in there surprise me. People keep saying he "disappeared" along with a few other mindless comments (gotsa luv da intranetz). So in response to a comment on the page I wrote the following 500+ character response. (I had to knock it down a bit cause YouTube cuts you off).

Snare01 said:

He absolutely did not "disappear". He is still making music to this day and was recently on tour in Brazil. Just because an artist is not on "mainstream radio" does not mean they have "fallen off" or "disappeared".
He has been pushing his own music on the independent tip.
If you don't look you'll never find great music. You have to put in the work and stop letting others tell you what to listen to.

The industry will forever keep holding the true "artist" down as they try to force feed you what they think you want to hear.

myspace.com/jeru (free track) & thedamaja. com

So enjoy this video & keep searching for old artists and new ones any way you know how.

I know for a fact that we here have an MC named Nemesis Alpha that has many spectacular moments when freestyling. His lyrical flow is a throw back to the great ones like KRS ONE & Jeru Da Damaja. MC's that inspired him when he was 1st starting out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spreading the Word

Official pop off in june! Come check out the Rawkus 50 at my.rawkus.com

Sketch's Yap Box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're Invited To A Dope Ass Performance at the
Acoustic Cafe in CT

Preview The Music Now
(For show info please scroll to the bottom of this message

Message Sketch..............Add Sketch

Show Info & Details ....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Work slated for the begining of June

So...once in my new pad (9 days!), and completion of the new studio....
here's whats on the old conveyor belt.

Final mixdowns for Sketch tha Cataclysm's "Party Music EP"...
Possible JK1 the Supernova Ant Farm Classics Digi-only album...
Production/recording of my project with d_Cyphernauts
Production/recording of my project with Expertiz
And some beats for fun of course.


Phenetiks above the clouds

Here's some artwork our boy Son did for Roc - One upon request.
It's phat.

Find out more about Son @ http://www.myspace.com/demeye

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thursday Theatrics...a day late

Sorry I missed my day.

Some shit happened yesterday. I'll tell yall in person.

AFA Friday Flicks: "Poetry Saved My Life"

The following short film is about "Black Poet", an MC/Poet trying to make it in New York City. The film was shot by a fellow co-worker Thomas Brown, in my old 'hood' of Kingsbridge in the Bronx.

Director/Editor: Thomas Brown
Starring: Black Poet


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Politrix as Usual...

Othello here. You there.

I'm kinda new to the whole blog thing, so bear with me. As a rap artist and as a teacher (I teach high school when I'm not rockin' wth my Ant Farm brothers), I'd like to weigh in on the topic of Don Imus and the backlash against hip hop as a result of the now infamous comments that he made in reference to the Rutgers Womens' Basketball team. I'm not the first person to tackle this subject; you should check out Ashton Crawley's article for the Emory Wheel.

Or check out Jason Whitlock's column in the Kansas City Star, where he dismisses Imus and points the finger directly at "the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world (who) have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show." Jason Whitlock reminds me of the black pseudo-intellectuals that used to line up to call Malcolm X a traitor to our nation and a hate-monger. Anyway, you can find his insightful commentary here.

The point is, this is not a new story, and I don't just mean the month old Imus-fest that's been dominating everything from talk radio to Oprah; I'm talking about our media's and our public officials' eagerness to pass the blame to an easily identifiable villian. Today's fall guy is the "gangsta rapper". And who exactly is the Gangsta Rapper? Well, if you look in the mainstream press, the gangsta rapper is virtually anyone who is black, male, and a musical performer. Witness NY Post columnist Michelle Malkin misidentifying R. Kelly as a rapper or the Dallas News calling Usher a rapper, or AOL.COM calling Ne-Yo a rapper... the list goes on.

"So what's the big deal?", you say. R. Kelly is a rapist, calling him a rapper would be an upgrade, right? While that might work for Kells (and, on a side note, can we please stop supporting a statuatory rapist who calls himself the "pied piper of r and b"?), it should be viewed with caution when the mainstream media can't tell the difference between an R&B singer and a rapper because, if that's the case, they will definitely not be able to tell the difference between a GANGSTA rapper and any other kind of rapper. In their eyes, WE'RE ALL GANGSTA RAPPERS, so, WE ARE ALL THE PROBLEM (except for Common, but he wears yarn pants, so he doesn't count).

Secondly, hip hop did not create the term "nappy-headed hoes". If you're looking for origins of that phrase, reach back to the era of reconstruction following the Civil War when popular media was selling the myth that blacks were uncivilized and were better off living under the system of slavery that had been in place. The "nappy hair" that Imus spoke of, often depicted in cartoons and by minstrels who dressed in black face and performed "negro songs", was seen as unkept, unclean and viewed as a sign of being savage. These images persisted in popular culture well into the 20th century. I'm more inclined to believe that Imus drew upon his boyhood influences of seeing Bugs Bunny dressed in blackface or reading "Little Black Sambo" to form his opinions than the influence that Snoop Dogg may have had upon him.

As for "hoes", well, hip hop certainly did not create misogyny within our society and it has not cornered the market on degrading females in contemporary society. With our Puritanical background, female sexuality has traditionally been looked upon as a trap, a trick of Satan to lead good men astray. I mean, the first story in the BIBLE is the story of Adam and Eve where Eve tempts Adam to eat the fruit of knowledge ... THIS IS NOT A NEW CONCEPT. Black females have only had it harder, either being represented in the media as asexual caregivers or as temptresses, creeping on the come-up, exploiting men for either wealth or status. So, Imus merely repeated what he's been saying for years and mimicking the echoes that have been present in our society for generations.

Look, I'm all for more responsibility in hip hop music. I'd love to hear d_Cyphernauts or Quest on the radio and not G-Unit or Lil Scrappy or MIMS or whatever other garbage-ass MC is currently in rotation on your local "hot" or "power" Hip Hop station but I'm not about to sit around and watch the mainstream media sidestep the issue of race and gender by shovelling the blame into the lap of hip hop. When it comes to critiquing hip hop, leave that to us, thank you.

Peace everybody and I welcome your comments.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Southern Cross Sundays

This is a list of the albums that have had the most impact on me. This is a very short post, but I spent more time writing it than I have writing any other post. I cant say this is my top ten because It was too hard to create a top ten. This is in no order of preference.
It was very hard not to include:... and so many more

By Quest, The Rising Sun

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

Being that I have so much free time now...HAhah aHAhahahaha ha ...huh
I wanted to blog this.
Last night Me and the fam went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, like we have 100 times since it's been there.
But no longer.

Our waitress, Jessica, was nice. We ordered our food (we always get the same thing), ordered chicken strips and fries for our daughter, and my wife asked for a glass of hot water to heat up our sons bottle, along with our loaded cheese fries appetizer we usually get.
The fries come on this long skinny plate with like 15 fries. It used to be a plate of fries as big as my head LOADED! (same price as it was of course)

Ok big deal.

Jessica remembered that she forgot the water.
We eat the fries. Then a couple sat down a few tables away, that our waitress knew.
So for a good solid 15 minutes she sat and babbled to them.
So a different waitress brings out our order. My chicken parmesan, and my wife's steak. No chicken strips...no hot water.

And the chick puts down the HOT plates and says "Be careful, they're really hot", as she places them no more than an inch away from my 1 year old's arm. I grab the 1st one and pull it out of his reach...and the bitch puts the second one even closer to him, again stating how HOT the plates are. Lucky for her, I'm against smacking women, cause I would of pile drove her...then slapped her.

So now our 3 year old daughter, who's already antsy has to wait 5 more minutes for fucking microwaved chicken strips and fries.
I finally get Jessica's attention after she's been ignoring us, and ask us for the glass of hot water that we ordered first thing. She brings out like a small square bowl with like an inch of water in it.

She's lucky I didn't have change for a dollar. The 13 cents of a tip she got was not demeaning enough.

OK. I'm better now.

Friday, May 4, 2007

AFA Friday Flicks: Mos Def Reads Malcolm X

Not much to say about this Video, because it speaks for itself. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Phenetiks, & the Rawkus 50: Deto-22's Thursday Nights

Sorry. I have no big tittie pics as I falsely promised.

Well. It's official. We phenetiks have made another step in the right direction, and got our stankin asses in the Rawkus 50. Rawkus Records new underground hostile takeover involving 49 other mc's or crews from around the globe (mostly U.S., one or two Canada folks, and 1 UK dude I think) and mash together the fans and offer a 1 year digital download and national print ad campaign, with Rawkus sponsored shows in major cities across the U.S.
So next time you open a Source mag...you just might see phenetiks on a page.
We chose to submit the project we were currently working on that was to be the Microphone/Telescope, 22 track album. We were only about half way done when the Rawkus 50 thing popped off so we cut and pasted and reformulated the work into what is now known as the "Revolutionary, Non-Pollutionary, Mechanical Wonder" album. 13 tracks. Two dope ass songs with some dope ass features...(the AFA duh, and a fantastic poetress named Maria Miiz)
And the other 11 tracks with your normal almalgamated phenetiki all over the place. We our very excited about it. The songs are dope. And this is a huge move for us as phenetiks, and AntFarm Affiliates.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
the track listing is as follows...
1. epitome one, two
2. sharpie
3. blow it
4. pillow talk
5. vent
6. it's a wrap
7. devastation raga
8. burn
9. loopholes
10. kill your radio
11. old cold
12. closure
13. satellites