Beat Nation – Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

I had the pleasure of seeing an excellent hip hop exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was such a powerful show. The picture below is a still shot from my favorite piece. It was a video made from a group of skateboarders living on the rez in Arizona. The video was poignant and moving, but also clever and light.

Dustinn Craig, 4wheelwarpony bro team, 2007, production still. Courtesy of the artist, from Ariane Design blog.

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Chiddy Bang

I’ve been listening to Chiddy Bang non-stop for days! Always happy to find some great new talent.

Thanks to the Hairpin’s post on the duo Chiddy Bang, I have downloaded a ton of their music for FREE. They have a new album coming out. After the jump, the killer first single from the new album and a couple other fun tracks.

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How Sir Mix-A-Lot led me to Seattle

I’ve never told this story to anyone, simply because they would laugh. This is a silly story, but I swear it’s true. When I was 26, I had been in Albuquerque for two years and knew I needed a change. I loved being back in New Mexico after the Peace Corps, but I had a strong sense that I was never meant to stay in NM.

I started considering places to move. I ruled out most of the US really quickly. Back east has too much snow and cold. (This also ruled out the mid-west.) The south was too hot and muggy. Texas and Arizona were still too close to home. (I mean seriously, Phoenix is Albuquerque-west.) California? I love to visit, but could not deal with the cost of living. So there I was. Where to go, where to go? More

All about Eve – I do what they can’t do, I just do me

The first time I heard Eve, my first thought was, “Who is this girl and why I haven’t I heard of her sooner?!” Eve is everything I dream of in a female hip hop artist – style, confidence, strength and mad skills.

As I said in an earlier post, MC Lyte set a high standard for female hip hop artists. I am glad to say, Eve is proof that MC Lyte’s legacy is alive and well.

There may be a dearth of female hip hop artists, but Eve holds it down for the ladies. That’s why it’s time you get to know her better. After the jump, your new favorite bad ass, Ms. E-V-E.

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Those Chi City Boys – Lupe, Rhymefest, Common and Kanye

Some of the hottest hip hop music of the last decade came out of the mid-west. That’s right, Chicago was hot, hot, hot. How hot? Let’s ask Rhymefest to break it down for us.

What did Chi city boys bring to hip hop? More like, what didn’t they bring.  Fashion, social conscience and clever insight, often in every song. These guys took hip hop seriously and always tried to take it to the next level. They did not shun their responsibilities as hip hop artists, instead they have answered for hip hops crimes and tried to take it to a better place. Common, Kanye, Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest are all favs that have delivered hours and hours of listening pleasure and enlightenment. You know, edutainment.

So after the jump, all sorts of great hip hop from out of the Chi. More

We interupt this K’rappy week with some help from K’naan

Seems like everyone around me (myself included) is having a rough week. Sometimes there’s nothing left to say, you just have to bang hard. You must promise me that if you watch this, you will put whatever song soothes your soul when you’re in the desert and dance like no one is watching. (After the jump, two songs that always make me feel better in case you can’t think of one.) If you are at work, all the better, everyone could use a dance break.

I have been blaring this K’naan song If Rap Gets Jealous for days and it’s helping. Hopefully this will put a smile on your face during these dark days. So here’s a dancing shout-out  to sarah, jane, cheryl, kristi, tim, sydney and the other displaced employees from Tummy Temple. Much love, ya’ll. This too shall pass. (heh)

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Sir Chuck D.

May I begin by asking the elders if I may speak freely? The video for Harder than you think found me over the weekend. Nuf respect for Sir Chuck D, he had me pounding my fist in the air by the second verse.  The brother is speaking some wicked truth, as always it is  worth it to read the lyrics. next: Watch video

Bonita Applebum – Cosmic DJ

Hell yeah they are metallic shell toes.

Hell yeah they are metallic shell toes.

I am still trying to figure out who I am as an artist, but I know who I am as a dj.  First off, I’m not the dj you are picturing. I don’t rock the crowd at the club. (Well I did once in Mexico and it was AWESOME.) But no turntables, no record crates.  My specialties are mixes that will change your life.

Oh yeah. This is not hyperbole, these are mind altering mixes. Music that will restore your faith and give you perspective, all while igniting dance moves from deep within that you didn’t know you had. What can I say? Bonita’s hella deep and likes to get down. And these cds are my gift to give. More