Small Actions Can Facilitate Change: The Versus Store .:Jan 31 09:.
I met this dude a while ago at a downtown pad off Broadway Street who was kinda loud and overly excited, two things that I usually attribute to people who are fronting. As a usually defensive person towards that behavior I thought this loud guy was especially fraudulent when he showed me his self titled CD. I introduced my CD, Hate Your Way to Harmony: An American Criticism, and we put mine on and he was really excited about some of the instrumental tracks.
I was a little skeptical of the guy after I left that night but thought he was harmless. Over the next year Dulok Shaman and I had some correspondence about collaboration and all of my prejudgments subsided; he was willing to collaborate and work hard at it which in my book were a bigger sense of character than anything else. Dulok is a good dude. So after some time he put some lyrics on a track from my album that I thought was nice and had a strong vibe, something we were both feeling. Us vs. Them was born. He called me one day not too long after completing the track and asked me if he could lace it in honor of the Versus Store in Temecula which sells nice clothing dedicated to an urban lifestyle. I thought it was a good idea and gave it my blessing. In August of 2007 I get a call from Dulok asking me attend a video shoot for the store for the song along complete with many heads from SD and the Inland Empire. The video got a lot of reaction and became an anthem for many which was beyond any expectations I ever had for making the track(with the help of my homie NoS LeRatZ from the Bay, Big Ups!!!).
Fast forward to this year 2009, I went with DJ Argonaut to the Agenda Trade Show in downtown San Diego which showcases independent clothing lines and kept peeping orange stickers with familiar font that I have seen associated with the Versus Store in Temecula which read 'Us vs. Them'. In fact the bottom line is that the Versus Store had changed the name of their design to Us vs. Them, which blew me away. Even though I had no exact input on the decision making for the change, our song had made an influence on a whole style and the nomenclature of a line of clothing. So next time you think that your creativity, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, cannot be influential, think again.
Meeting Chuck D .:Jan 09 09:.
December 5th, 2006
I think about 2 years ago I went to an instore at one of my favorite record stores in San Diego, M-Theory Records(btw holla at my boy Jimmy if you go there, he will guide you to what you need!!!!) and it was being hyped that Public Enemy was gonna be in the house. So I went after my day job I was working at the time up to the store on Washington St. and got in a small line that grew far out the door. DJ StillLife was playing all of the PE classics and we all stood waiting; I brought some PE and Chuck D vinyl for signature, but cynically doubted that they were gonna show. Just then a small entourage ushered in Chuck D, but no Flava Flav. Oh well, I thought, I guess he was too busy with theFlavor of Love television show or doing things with groupies or whatever is the daily routine...Anyways Chuck D was there and I couldn't believe he was in the same room. Chuck D seemed relaxed and happy to meet everyone who showed up, and every memory of listening to PE from back in the day flooded my mind. When I reached the counter he said wassup and I asked him to
sign 4 vinyl pieces I brought. While he was signing I told him 'your music has changed my life' or something terribly overdramtic and he chuckled a little and asked me if I was going to the show at the House of Blues that night. Panic. I had no money and I was going to work that night to help a friend only from 7-9 pm, and i told him no. Instead of being offended like some artists might with a negative answer, he told me he would PUT ME ON THE LIST!!! I gave M-Theory my information and they would call me to put me on game for the show with X-Clan. I went to help my buddy at his work for a few hours, ended up coming home around 10pm with no call. I realized gave them my home number instead of my cell and there was an answer on my machine at my place, M-Theory had called and reserved a spot for me but I had to pick it up at the store. M-Theory closes at 10pm
and when I called there was no answer. I have never seen Public Enemy perform before and hopefully this situation will not be my last
opportunity to see them. My apologies to Chuck D out there for going out of your way to hook me up and me dropping the ball. Heres a clip of Chuck D at M-Theory that night:
A Couple of Artsy Flicks in '08 and Carlito .:Dec 31 08:.
This is the season to stay at home and watch movies, at least for me,
so I kinda dug around and picked a couple of movies for aesthetic
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is in French subtitles and sounds like a chick flick but the content will surprise you and give anyone hope for people who are locked in their own bodies.
Son of Rambow is a fun movie about childhood exploration and imagination while finding an identity. This movie has a brilliant style that many independents cannot emulate; I thought this was a good movie for anyone of any age, especially artistically inclined people. Its fun without being too far out, check it out after watching First Blood...
Carlitos Way the other day because its been on my list for a while. Can you ever watch this and think at the end that he won't get away; I think his closing monologue is one of the best in any movie.
Headnodic Rhetoric my mixtape will be available very soon on Freshcrate.com
Anyways Peace for 2008!!
- Existence 76
This Is The Life Screening/Some Pictures I Had Lying Around .:Dec 15 08:.
At the end of July 2008, I met up with SupaKoopa and DJ Poncenaut (Argonaut) in L.A. to watch the screening of This Is The Life, the documentary on the 'Good Life' Cafe movement that happened in the early 90s changing the landscape of hiphop with a dose of West Coast stylings never heard before.
The Good Life spawned such acts as Jurassic 5, Freestyle Fellowship, 2Mex, Pigeon John, Abstract Rude and countless others, in turn changing the entire definition of West Coast wordplay. To be honest, at the screening I felt like a little kid, overly excited not only at the fact that the movie contained some very influential artists but that some of those same artists were in house.
Supakoopa was giving me a hard time up about being so amped(deservedly so), but I was really in awe of these artists being displayed there taking questions. The film was amazing and we chilled for a minute outside, and I thanked Omid for inviting us to the screening.
Overall this was the highlight of my summer and seeing this movie again won't be soon enough. Check out the website for more details on when the DVD will be released.
Some Random Pictures from the Vault:
DJ JOILL @ DISKO RICK'S 1ST MEMORIAL
THE LAND OF THE LOST CIRCA 1997