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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Workforce & Fairfield County Weekly

By Nick Keppler:
So it's been established that Danbury isn't the next Seattle, right? Anyone still waiting on that? Anyone? Good, that means the following bands can be judged on their own merits, not the unreasonable expectation that they'll blow up like Soundgarden. Recent shows at Cousin Larry's and the Monkey Bar have been pretty sweet, even if no one's coming in from New York, the fools, to see these Danbury-based bands and musicians.



"I get down with the grit 'n grime/ so until I get mine I'm gonna stay on the grind/and use the rhyme as a tool to build/cause there's empty space that needs to get filled," raps Workforce's Hawl Digg (pictured) on "Set It Straight." Digg's lyrics are positive without being corny, confident without being boastful and old-school without being outdated. DJ and producer the Dirty Dutchman serves him well with samples from the Curtis Mayfield era of soul, one that's spiritually akin to Workforce's gangsta-free urban sound. Danbury natives and childhood friends, Digg and the Dutchman became addicted to hip-hop when "Rapper's Delight" swelled beyond New York City. "[W]e've seen all the good and bad that hip-hop has to offer," says the Dutchman. "We formed Workforce in 2004 to promote more of the good and less of the bad." www.myspace.com/workforce.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sketch is at it again ... Toad's Place, CT. Sucker MC's Beware!

So I get this e-mail from Sketch and it seems that he just blew some "Sucker MC's" off the stage at Toad's Place old school style. Here is what went down yall.

Oct 18, 2007 12:49 AM
actually I just repped the AF on stage at Toad's right before RJD2 went on. . .

Oct 18, 2007 6:20 PM
The story behind the Toad's Place incident:

I went to the show to see RJD2 last night @ Toad's. They had one opening act. . . a really really shitty band called Elevated Thoughts: two emcees, a vocalist, bass player, and a terrible deejay.

For those of you that don't know, I am really tired of seeing wack emcees perform and have pledged to not pay to go to a show unless the bill has at least three heads on it that are dope. Reason being that I get infuriated when I see lazy ass performers, especially if they open for someone I am inspired by.

so anyway. . .

The assholes get onstage and do two really shit hip-hop tracks, with the girl singing real low in the background. The whole time they are lazily walking across the stage and rhyming bullshit in unison. So I am visibly pissed off. Also, I am standing right in the middle of the audience right at the stage. In between every song they stop to discuss among themselves what they should do next. The girl decides she doesn't feel like singing and sits down, one of the emcees starts walk around in circles on one side of the stage and the bassplayer starts jamming with the other emcee on the drums. They do this for ten minutes.


So the girl is sitting in the back of the stage seeing me pissed off and seems to be amused. I shake my head at her. And from the back of the stage to the audience we have an exchange that went something like this. . .

"what?!? why do you look so upset?"
"cause this fucking sucks! it's mad insulting"
"Do you think you could do any better?"
"I know I could do better!"
"then come up here then!!"

So I go up on stage and the chick is like mid song starting to sing and starts talking shit to me about how not everyone could do it and it's difficult to rock crowds or whatever and I just keep going "just give me a mic just give me a mic!" she ignores my request so I then walk across the front of the stage telling everyone that this shit is insulting to anyone who paid money to get in. I then walk off. The emcee/drummer asks me to come back onstage and spit. so I go up there. he introduces me and starts beat boxing. and I fucking killed it!!

Blew them off the fucking stage! my old drummer John goes up there and gets on the drums while I was spitting and we just tore it down! Afterwards I think I was able to see that chick eat her words.

dope shit. . . they invited me to an event tonight
and peace to Mo Niklz who got to see that shit lol

Dope shit Sketch. You show em how MC'ing is done!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

AFA: Freestyle Corner - Hawl Digg Interview

Today we present to you an interview with Danbury's finest MC, Hawl Digg of Workforce.

Live 'n direct from the back alley of Cousin Larry's, we present to you ... The AFA Freestyle Corner.


Monday, October 8, 2007

A September to Remember, Part I

What's good, AFA fans, friends and supporters! This past September was a crazy month for the Ant Farm, the d_Cyphernauts and myself, personally. Among the major events of the month was the 6 year anniversary of September 11th, the 2 year anniversary of Enter the Cypher, the "Line in the Sand" record release event in DC and the Baltimore AFA show, the NY Hip Hop Summit and the "Hip Hop as a Positive Force in the Community" panel. Wow, that seems like lot of stuff... So, here's a bit of reflection on those events...


September 11th, 2007 was a refreshingly miserable day. It was pissing rain and the traffic in and around NYC was gridlocked. Every year since the 2001 attacks, my family and I make a sort of pilgrimage to Ground Zero and to the Ladder 4 Engine 54 house where my father worked. Up until this year, those days have been brilliantly sunny and warm; vivid reminders of the actual day of the attacks. I don't know what it was about being out in the windswept rain this year that seemed comforting, but I think everybody at Ground Zero felt it.

It seems to me that America may be suffering from "9/11 Fatigue", a desire to move on and forget what happened that day. That's a luxury I don't have, and a philosophy that is narrow-minded and limiting. There was something very pure about that day in 2001, about the contradictory nature of life in it's strength and fragility that we shouldn't be so eager to forget. I also wish that we could get back some of the compassion that we felt for each other in the days after September 11th, 2001...


So, in case you missed it, it was our biggest night yet! If you haven't been out to Enter the Cypher at Cousin Larry's in Danbury, what are you waiting for?!?! If you have been, keep coming, live hip hop needs your support. It is also a consistently dope show.

This month we had blistering performances from Workforce, Phenetiks, Expertiz, Sketch, Yogi Figgs and the Nauts. The highlight of the night was a BLAZING performance by RISING SUN QUEST, who finished his set glowing like Bruce Leroy from the Last Dragon (he was actually wearing a very similar hat) and stepping off the stage (actually, it was just Larry's checkerboard floor)to the thunderous applause of his legions of fans and supporters. In keeping with tradition, our September Enter the Cypher is always a fund-raiser. At this event, we raised $360 for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which provides support to injured soldiers returning home from duty. If you get a chance, check out the good work that they've been doing and make a donation to support our troops.


So, September 21 found us in Washington DC to kick off the release of the
Iraq Veteran's Against the War benefit cd, "A Line in the Sand". The event also kicked off a week of civil disobedience and protests meant to draw attention to the anti-war movement and, in particular, to the Veterans who are opposing the war. Many of the folks that we were rocking with on Friday night and many of the veterans that we were rocking for, ended up getting arrested on Saturday outside of the Capitol. These guys have our admiration and respect for not only serving our country, but for having the courage to raise their voices against what they believe to be an unjust war.

So, I got plenty more to share with you, but let's leave it right here for now. Part II will focus on Hip Hop as a Positive Force in the Community.

Othello- d_Cyphernauts

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chubb Rock & d_Cyphernauts discussion recap: The Advocate

I want to get right to the point and quote this article by Kerry Willis about the discussion panel featuring Chubb Rock & d_Cyphernauts (Othello & Nemesis Alpha). Sounds like it was a good discussion but honestly, I'd love to hear what Othello and Nemesis have to say. Here is what went down.
STAMFORD - Rapper Chubb Rock joined a heated discussion yesterday about hip-hop.

Titled "Hip-Hop as a Positive Force in the Community," the South End event launched the Connecticut Talent Explosion at the community agency CTE Inc.

Despite the title, panelists did not all have a rosy view of hip-hop's influence on youth.

Robin Simmons, a minister at Cornerstone Church of Christ in Stamford, told the panel and audience of about 50 people that he was shocked to be included in the conversation.

"I happen to be the only individual up here who does not promote hip-hop at all," Simmons said. "The origins of hip-hop are totally contrary to Christian beliefs."

That assertion made for some lively debate.

Two Westhill High School teachers on the panel took issue with Simmons' indictment of the genre. The teachers, Joe Celcis and David Wooley, comprise the hip-hop act Cyphernauts.

"Hip-hop is the result of an evolution of African culture," Celcis said. "When we lose that understanding, it's easy to dissociate ourselves from it and make it the whipping boy," blaming the music for problems in society.

Simmons said one of hip-hop's founders, Afrika Bambaataa, and Zulu Nation, the organization the artist formed to acquaint black youth with their African roots, encourages self-glorification, which contradicts the minister's belief in the glorification of Jesus. Even so, he said he respected some hip-hop artists, such as Chubb Rock. Simmons said he even imitated the rapper once at a talent show in his teens.

"There are some positive hip-hop artists out there," Simmons said.

Wooley took issue with Simmons' depiction of hip-hop's origins and Bambaataa's intentions.

"Hip-hop stood as a reaction to gang warfare," he said. "Afrika Bambaataa tried to teach a lesson of self-respect."

"What some people need to understand is that hip-hop and the rap industry are two different things," Celcis said. "The rap industry wants to destroy black identity, because if you don't know who you are, you'll spend money for anything you're told to buy. They did the same thing with jazz and blues."

Chubb Rock, a Long Island resident who was born Richard Simpson in Jamaica, took the view that consumers drive the music market and adults, particularly parents, need to guide youth to choose positive music.

"We have to deal with the home and deal with the kids, then we don't have to worry about these (negative) records," Rock said.

Other panel members, including Deborah Sewell, president and chief executive officer of the Yerwood Center, and Terrell Inabinett, a Stamford High School senior and second vice president of he NAACP's youth branch, also saw a positive side to hip-hop.

Before the discussion, Sewell said that she worked for 10 years with hip-hop artists to raise money for low-income communities. When kids of every race around the world identify with hip-hop music, she said, adults need to be able to talk to youth about the music rather than censoring the genre or rejecting kids who listen to it.

Like Rock, Sewell asserted that record sales dictate what music gets produced. A recent sales battle, in which Kanye West and 50 Cent each released albums on the same day, gave Sewell hope.

"Kanye came out on top, and his music is a lot more positive than 50 Cent," Sewell said.

Inabinett, 17, said he's a fan of hip-hop but is not interested in most acts with negative messages. He placed the onus on artists and music fans to choose positive messages.

As for 50 Cent, he spent most of his life growing up on the streets," Inabinett said. "He is a father. He should be trying to do the best for his child, not for everyone else."

Jere Eaton, president of NAACP's Stamford branch, was in the audience. Eaton is a former Yerwood Center board member who railed against a spring basketball fundraiser planned by Sewell, which was to feature controversial rappers Jadakiss and his crew, D-Block.

The Yerwood event was canceled after more than 60 people called in concerns about the slated performers. Eaton spoke during time allotted for public questions.

"I think a key problem is we're not holding the people accountable who are benefiting from rap, and they probably don't look like us," Eaton said, referring to music industry executives.

Sewell responded, "Instead of going after an industry so huge, I believe in starting in our community, our homes. Start by talking to our children."

Rock said he was disappointed that more people did not attend the discussion.

"This place should have been filled to the rafters," Rock said of the gym at CTE on Woodland Avenue. To residents who didn't take part in the talk he said, "You should have been here. You are failing us."

Deborah Wright, CTE's vice president of finance, said she contacted Rock by e-mail asking him to take part in yesterday's event. She said she was surprised that he responded within about a half-hour.

"He has been phenomenal," she said.

Rock said before the discussion that he participates in many community events.

"I go into prisons, youth facilities," Rock said. "Before I went into music I wanted to get into social work."

Rock rose to fame in the 1990s with the hits, "Just the Two of Us," and "Treat 'Em Right." He and another hip-hop artist, Dana Dane, who had a 1987 hit with "Cinderfella Dana Dane," performed later in the day, as did 10 young singing and dance acts. The day also featured art and science projects by children in CTE's after-school and summer camp programs.

Copyright © 2007, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.