King of Reggae .:Aug 13 09:.

This past July I was fortunate enough to take a cruise that included a stop in Jamaica.  I had heard in Jamaica there was a tour that took you to the house that Bob Marley grew up in and where is he is also buried.  As a music lover I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  We ported in a city called Ocho Rios.  Here is a pic from the ship when we were pulling into port at 7:00 a.m.
We got lucky because apparently another group flaked so we basically had a private tour with just my wife and I and the tour guide in a five seater taxi.  The mausoleum and home was approximately a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Ocho Rios.  We drove through the Fern Gully and rural countryside parts of the Jamaica.  It was an amazing experience driving through the countryside and seeing parts of Jamaica we might otherwise never see.  The road was very narrow at parts many times a one lane narrow road.  There were random Jamaicans on the side of the road just hanging out and at one time there were goats that blocked the road.

Definitely not a place I would ever want to drive on my own without an experienced guide, plus in Jamaica people drive on the otherside of the road.  Our tour guide told us about the agricultural the local plants and the industry of the country, such as sugar cane and something they make aluminum out of.  We got to the Marley home really early about 9:00 a.m. and were the first visitors.  There are four levels of the home, the first level where there is a gift shop, the second level where there is another gift shop and restrooms, the third level where there is the bar, another gift shop, an outside stage, and the fourth level the gates up to the mausoleum and walk up the burial site, the home and Mt. Zion.  The grounds were pretty modern compared to the surrounding area.  They had a nice bar that even had a couple of flat screen tvs on the wall.  The place was definitely done up for tourism.  There is a spectacular view from the bar balcony area.  Here is a pic we took from the balcony of the bar.

Once you drive in, you are immediately greeted by a couple of guys trying to sell you herb and hash.It is openly sold and smoked around the Marley grounds.  Also, there is a place where you can buy a candle to light in the Marley tomb.  Walking up to the mausoleum is a small road where you walk up to a small two bedroom hut where Bob used to stay when he would visit. We learned that Bob Marley group up in this home with his mother and moved I believe when he was around 10. Outside of the small hut is a rock where Bob would sit and meditate (smoke) and write songs.  Sitting on the rock you see a spectacular view of the mountains of Jamaica, and one can completely understand why it would be place of musical inspiration.   They called the rock Bob’s pillow because it was the place Bob would lay and sit or rest his head to right songs.  Our tourguide mentioned many times how Bob would often meditate (smoke) and how it was deeply part of the culture and inspiration for music.  Our tourguide then took us in the mausoleum.  Bob is buried six feet above ground.  Above his tomb is an umbrella representing all people and there is a glass star of David on the wall that shines light on his tomb in the morning when the sun rises.  In the tomb are pictures, things left by fans to honor Bob, and candles lit around the tomb.  We lit out candle on one of the candles lit around the tomb.  The guide said that once one of the other 6-8 candles around the tomb burns out it will be replaced with a guest's.

No pictures are allowed of the tomb.  What an amazing experience.  The best part of the trip was our guide who truly lived the rastafari lifestyle sharing with us the spirit of Bob and truly making us feel truly like we are all one people.  He would sometimes sing Bob songs and connect them to places around the home.  He would also end many of his sayings with "Rastafari".  He told us about the colors of rastafari, red for the blood of people, the yellow for the sun, and the green for the earth.  One thing he did say which was interesting is the grounds have gone through many changes throughout the years and has said the place has changed because of tourism.  He said he felt there was a little too much "touch up, touch up".  I think that is what he referred to as the commercialism of the place.  As a music fan, it was an experience to visit and honor the King of Reggae, but most of all to see and experience a part of Jamaica I would never ever see otherwise.  It was a very humbling experience driving through the countryside and seeing how other people in this world live.  Based on what I could see the luxuries we Americans put so much value on seem to be of little concern to the people who live in the country.  An experience I will never forget and an experience that has reminded me how blessed I am.  Our guide on at the Masoleum was Benji.  Here is a pic I took with him.  Our tour to get to the Masoluem was through Ionie McBeam, her husband Lewis was our driver. Definitely a person I would use again if I were in Jamaica.


Boom Bap Basement .:Aug 13 09:.

So last night Existence76 and I went to check out a spot in Oceanside called the Davina's Cabo Grill.  I used to live in Oceanside and the spot used to be the old Margarita Rocks.  I hadn't been to downtown Oceanside for awhile.  Scarub, Mr. Brady and Sojourn were performing.  The spot itself was very clean.  There was a downstairs basement section where they had a bar, performance stage and lounge chairs, an ideal spot for a hip hop show.  Really a hidden gem.  The vibe was real good, and the best part about it was that it was FREE, which I think added to the positive vibes.  Also there was also an upstairs outdoor patio area which was also a nice place to chill.  We only got a chance to see Sojourn and Scarub who were both dope on the mic.  I got a chance to speak to both Scarub and Sojourn.  Sojourn is coming out with a new album on September 1, on the Hip Hop is Music label (Braille, Lightheaded, Theory Hazit...)  Hopefully we'll be able to pick up some pieces for Fresh Crate.  Also talked to Scarub for a second and hopefully we'll be able to stock some of his merchandise as well.  A couple of pics below of Scarub performing.

- Argonaut


GRAND GROOVE .:Aug 13 09:.


Furry Friend .:Aug 12 09:.

So my mom called me at work today and tells me this fine arachnid was just chillin' on top of my kitchen counter! I told her to trap him with a box until I got home.  I left early to help trap him in a bigger container.  The box pictured here shipped some mid-top kicks, to give you and idea of the tarantula's size:

- Bojo


Just Another Friday .:Aug 11 09:.

Photobucket Rom pickin out his weaponry Photobucket The homies tryin to look busy… Photobucket Mike back at it again! Photobucket Hasrock… one of my favorite writers Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Me taking a picture of Mike, taking a picture of a painting by Romali18ish Photobucket We do damage on ALL levels… PLEASE believe… Photobucket The fam… Photobucket

- JABAone


Skratchpad - SF .:Aug 09 09:.

Jo_iLL on the cut at Skratchpad at The Cellar in SF.  Skratchpad is a bi-weekly event in San Francisco.  One room for the folks that want to dance, and another room with an open mic and open turntables.