Archive for the ‘T.O.N.Y.’ Category

A Birthday Card For T.C.

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I just got off the jack with SoundWave. He is chillin’ in V.A. Dude has made a remarkable life transition after being on ice for a decade. When we talk about shit he hypes me up just like when we were 16 yrs old. This brother could sell the tone to the phone and it’s nothing. S.W. could make you jump out a window on the tenth floor after he taught you the tuck and roll technique. I have to remind myself that I am talking with my boy and not the Black TONY ROBBINS.

We talked about T.C. because today was his born day. I will call his moms tomorrow and say hello. I can’t tell you how many times the three of us have been plotting some ill-fated street caper or some other heist that we pulled off by the skin of our teeth. There was no logical reason that we found ourselves doing this ridiculous teenage shit, especially when we weren’t teenagers anymore. But it’s the call of the wild, the call of the streets. You think that you can somehow beat the odds. That you can somehow take it to the endzone and then retire. But you can’t, no one can. The sooner you realize that the better off you are going to be. Some of us don’t get a chance for that epiphany. I do this shit for y’all.

Rest In Peace THUNDERCRACKER.

T.C. and I were lamping in my apartment, burning down White Owls back to back when my doorbell rang. I already knew who it was without asking. S.W. came upstairs all excited and out of breath.

“What the deal, yo?”, I asked him.

Yo, I got a Jetta and I got a new spot with mad exclusy shit”, he replied in a pant like he couldn’t catch any air. The apartment was mad hazy though.

“So what’s up? Who’s down to roll?”, S.W. asked us.

T.C. jumped up like, “Fuck it, I’m ready.”

I had to think about this for a minute. It was a Wednesday night and I had to go to work the following morning. T.C. worked with me at the architect’s office, but he was known for blowing off a random day. He and S.W. still lived in their parent’s cribs and they didn’t have the constant pressure of the first of the month that I had. We all supplemented our day jobs with miscellaneous dumb shit, but that dumb shit wasn’t going to be my career. It was just my hobby. That is how the cocky, arrogant kid in these pictures thought about doing crime. That was all about to change after this night.

“Fuck it, I’m d. Where are we going?”, I said to make the cipher complete.

“Sunnyside.”, S.W. replied.

“Where?!?”, I knew where was Sunnyside because of my dad’s job, but I thought that neighborhood was only about factory buildings and warehouses by day and late night Latin prostitutes. Turns out S.W. had found a little residential enclave in Sunnyside because he was beating out some Spanish shorty. The neighborhood was hell’a quiet and there were some nice rides posted up on the street. The truth is that we had made Forest Hills and Kew Gardens too hot with all our various nonsense. From stealing cars to doing stick ups there was nothing left for us in that area of Queens. Plus some of the other young fools that put in work were out there now so when they got caught up they would be taking the weight for our dirt.

S.W. told T.C. and me about all the whips he saw parked on the street. As was S.W.’s habit of leaning toward hyperbole, he made it sound like the folks in this neighborhood left their car doors open. I put on my hooded sweatshirt, grabbed my Eastpak bag with the pulley and the screwdrivers and we all left my apartment. S.W. drove the Jetta to Sunnyside. I sat up front and T.C. rocked the back executive status. The first joint we came up on was a brand new ’89 Montero. The joint was white two tone with the silver grey on the kick panels. Mitsubishi doors are like water if the car doesn’t have key guards. If you stared at the motherfucker for ten seconds the door locks would pop up. In any case, I pop the passenger door and I hop in the truck. I bang the pulley into the ignition, turn the screw into the cylinder four solid times, slide the weight back to me and out pops the cylinder. T.C. has the ‘key’ screwdriver. He jumps in the driver seat and turns the ignition. Contact motherfucker, we are gone in less than 60 seconds. The Montero was sick as fuck and it only had like 2k miles on it. We could probably flip this joint at the chop shops next to Shea Stadium.

A few blocks down we came across the motherlode. An Audi 5000 GT parked under a tree as if it were trying to hide from us. The tree however provided perfect cover for us to do our thing. Audi door locks are the same as Jettas and Golfs since they are all part of the same parent company. Porsche is part of the company too, but sadly I don’t have any stories about us bagging up a Porsche. Japanese cars require that you move the screwdriver inserted into the doorlock up and down to pop the lock. The German cars only work on a sideways angle. I still got the door open with no problem. Once I’m inside the car it’s a wrizzap unless there is a kill switch under the hood. This car had no switch so I popped the ignition and S.W. hopped in with the starter screwdriver while I jumped out and got into the Jetta’s driver seat. We had to get the fuck out of dodge just in case that Montero was called in and the jake were in route.

I told them to follow me since I was like the official navigator for the clique. We drove to the nearest parkway which was the Long Island Expressway and we headed to T.C.’s crib in Hollis. Once we got to Hollis we would figure out what to do with the cars. I admit to being a little jelly that these dudes had new cars. Since I didn’t really want to roll with the mission that evening I couldn’t lay claim to either of the cars. Those were the rules that we played by. The person with the mission plan got first dibs on the bounty. If there was money on the table then we split that equally (if you didn’t stash some first), but for shit like clothing or cars it was always the proprietary choice of the dude who set the plan in motion.


At T.C.’s crib we all got a chance to see what we had scored. The Mitsubishi Montero was a sophisticated SUV. The driver’s seat was set on some kind of gyroscopic shock plate and the seat bounced and swiveled on angles as the car turned. The interior front was a cool grey leather that matched the two tone exterior. The Audi was two years old but is was still crispy and plush. It had a 5-speed sport transmission and leather throughout the car. There is a reason why some cars cost more scrilla. It’s because they are just designed and engineered better. They include shit you didn’t even realize that you need, but once you have it you wonder how you ever lived without it. The Audi had a mobile phone in the center console. It was one of those joints that was the size of a telephone book. What did we care? We were big fucking pimping. The question came up what if we were to sell these two cars to the chop shop? We would probably only get about a thousand for both. I know that sounds fucked up but chop shops became really leery about using “contractors” outside of their network because there was a Fed sting a few years before that nearly shut down the whole Iron Triangle. Aww, who were we kidding? We were going to floss hard in these cars as usual.

S.W. had the Audi since he found the neighborhood and T.C. was going to keep the Montero so now it was time to find a ride for me. I was caught up in the moment and I wanted to have some shit that was on similiar status with these dudes. We parked the Montero down the block from T.C.’s house and left the Jetta across the street from his crib. When we piled into the Audi we used the same seating plan as when we first got in the Jetta. By sitting in the front seat next to the driver you assume navigation and deejay duties. The Audi had one of the sickest systems that we had ever heard. This my friends, was like car thieves heaven.

We drove through Jamaica Estates but there wasn’t anything glossy enough for my taste. I would have been cool with an Ac’, but not an Accord. I wanted some official shit. The truth was that I wanted an Audi too and I let my jealousy cloud what little remained of my better judgement. It was already late enough that I should have ‘deaded the mish’ and just gone home. But instead we continued our search outside of the boro of Queens. We crossed the Whitestone Bridge into the Bronx.

Back in the day there was a cool azz drive-in movie theatre right by the Whitestone Bridge, but it had been replaced after a few years by a multiplex. These mega-theatres were always easy spaces to pick up cars, but most of them only existed in Nassau County or WestChester. In any case, we cased the parking lot and didn’t really see any action. So I was beginning to get desperate. I thought about driving through the Pelham Parkway neighborhood, but since I wasn’t a true Bronx kid I knew that I didn’t know the landscape too well. However, there was one Bronx neighborhood that I did know like the back of my hand and they had just built a multiplex theatre and strip mall there – Co-Op City.

We drove up I-95 into the parking lot entrance for the brand new Bay Plaza. What had been a dumping ground was being converted into new retail spaces. The PathMark had relocated fom the PlayWorld building. There was a Red Lobster across the lot from a multi-screen movie theatre. Just as a quick aside, a meal at Red Lobster and the 9:30pm show of ‘The Last Dragon’ is something on par with a ghetto fabulous engagement date. As we crossed into the parking lot we passed in front of an unmarked Caprice Classic with two detecs peeping our whole steez. As we drove a little further I turned around to see that the jake began to follow us. I gave S.W. the heads up and told him to park the car. We could ditch it for a time and cross through the Burger King to the other side of the parking lot. S.W. wasn’t having any of that. This Audi was his baby and he was going to find a way out of this situation. S.W. drove around the back side of the theatre into an almost desolate parking area and as he went for the exit another unmarked police car and a squad car blocked his way. S.W. screeched to a halt and we all jumped out and began to run in every direction.

The police jumped out of their vehicles and drew their revolvers (pre-DIALLO, thank GOD) they yelled at us to stop and S.W. and T.C. did. For whatever insane reason I continued to run. I had the bag of tools in my backpack and I didn’t want to be responsible for the car so I tried to get away. I ran all the way to the end of the parking lot and as I was preparing to vault the chain link fence I realized what was on the other side. The Hutchinson fucking River was on the other side of the gate. My heart sank because I knew then that my dumb azz was caught. The police were chasing me on foot and in a car and when they got to me I was taught the ultimate lesson. Never make a police officer run.

In hindsight, I realize that I was lucky that the police that evening were all seasoned veterans and not rookies or racists. Instead of shooting me, which they would have had no problem in proving their justification, they just tackled me to the ground. While my face scraped the asphalt and I was cuffed another cop decked me in the head. That’s when I turned to look at one cop run up to me as if he were kicking off the football to start a college game and he kicked me in my stomach. After that I can tell you that I received the most medieval azz whupping of my life. I can’t tell you how long it lasted but I was being kicked, stomped and called a piece of shit until I began to spit up blood and phlegm. S.W. and I laughed about this because he said that while he and T.C. were more than a hundred feet away they could hear me getting thumped on.

My azz was fucked the fuck up. The cops picked me up and threw me in the back of one of the cruisers. Then they drove us all to the station house to be processed for our pics and prints. I limped into the precinct and when the desk officer asked what had happened to me the arresting officer said that I had fallen while trying to run. As I sat on a bench next to T.C. and S.W. they began to bust out laughing. My face was swollen and my left eye was closed. I had blood and mucus on my sweatshirt. I looked a fucking mess. I tried to get my mugshot from the Police Department’s archives, but they told me that my photo isn’t available any longer. I was going to use the picture for the Mugshot Hairstyle Modeling contest. I would have won.

Inside the station house cells I was placed alone while T.C. and S.W. were placed together. There is something unfortunately meditative about sitting in a jail cell. There’s also nothing else to do but meditate on what you did to put yourself there. I had made a lousy choice for my personal time, and now I was reaping the full results. I don’t care how many times you do some shit and get away with it. The one time that one-time pinches you should be all you need to never want to feel that feeling again. When the next morning arrived we were given cold coffee and an even colder Egg McMuffin. I was given the customary phone call.

I didn’t call my folks since I didn’t live with them anymore. I called my job and told them that I would be out for a few days. Thay knew without asking because T.C. and I had been working for them for a few years already and this wasn’t the first time that we were both away for a few days. You could never really call it back then, but you hoped for the best. A couple of days in a precinct house, add two more in the central booking facility. If you made bond with the court you could see light and smell air in four days. A short stay at the ‘hood Holiday Inn. Well, not quite.

I wasn’t going to make bond this time. My parents were so tired of my bullshit that they told me to get the fuck out when I was 17yrs old. To be truthful, I deserved that because I was like a cancer. I was out of order. I was out of pocket. I was out of my cotton-picking mind. My parents were professional, progressive people. Highly educated and highly motivated. My lifestyle was one-hundred eighty degrees from where their mindset pointed. Speaking of numbers, a Middle-class family makes $200k annually which is say $150k after taxes. The last network that broadcast the SuperBowl charged sponsors two and a half million for a 30 second slot. And that’s just one of the days in a year when people are trying to sell you shit. All of that to say there is a lot more money invested outside someone’s home to make kids feel and act a kind of way.

I have some dough stashed at the crib, but nobody has my keys. I am incognegro right now with my folks so I can’t borrow any chips from them. My maternal grandmother, who lived in Co-Op has to take care of too many people that I wouldn’t feel right bothering her for a loan either. Asking the people at my job would be embarrassing as all fuck and it might let me see that they didn’t really, really need my help after all. I was just going to have to ride this one out. I had fucked myself up with this lack of judgement so whatever the cost I was boss.

Inside the central booking facility we all got back together in a huge cell with 7 or 8 other detainees. This is the Bronx and kids don’t try to steal chains like in Manhattan or, of course, Brooklyn. In the Bronx kids hustle them jums, nah’mean?!? That is how kids in Uptown and the Bronx get money. I am not saying that there ain’t no stick up grimeys and shooters in the B.X., but it is all centered around the Crills. In Brooklyn, you can have niggas on some random ‘its Tuesday’ bullshit. That’s why seeing the Bloods and Crips in New York City always surprised me. New York City became programmed into being followers instead of leaders. HAIL, MEG!

Some dudes had a C-low set of dice (don’t ask me, but anything is possible after I saw the movie Belly). We played a few hands and won, then lost, then won again. In reality the money never really leaves you, but it was a good passtime as you awaited your name to be called by a bailiff. Once you leave the bullpen you are escorted though a narrow low-ceiling hallway into the main court chamber. The natural light is shocking to you because you have been under dimly charged flourescent tubes for four days. Dim bulbs for dim wits.

When the judge read aloud the charges to each of us he also rendered his bond decision along with the indictment. T.C. and S.W. both had a 10k bond and I was realeased on my own recognizance. R.O. Motherfucking R. T.C. was mad as fuck at me too. I told him that he should’a ran. He told me to go fuck myself (no GEORGE MICHAEL… this was 1989). I was going to get some action too as soon as I got home. My ladybug from Morgan State U. was in town and I knew she would stay at my crib for at least a night. I needed to get home quick too because I hadn’t shaved, showered or shitted in four days. I smelled like a hot roasted bum.

That was the last time that I had to do a short stay. They are the worst. I mean, yeah shit can get worse than a short stay, but why would you want to do it? The reason that I did it is was for the money and the thrills. The outsider outlaw motif permeates my community and it affects men who should be well into responsible adulthood. I was still very selfish and this wasn’t the last dumb shit thing that I did in my life. Lucky for me that AAUM has had some patience with my development. I still owe this city, my community, my family and myself to pick up the baton that I carelessly dropped and carry it to the next station.

TIMELESS TRUTH: Dominican Diner

Monday, June 9th, 2014

timeless-truth-cover

Words and pics collected via Charles Dunne

Hip Hop “purists” have been blessed with an emergence of a modern group with the intention of preserving the art. The Queens representatives, Timeless Truth, had been actively making noise in the New York hip hop scene. With previous projects such as Scene of the Rhyme and the critically acclaimed EP Brugal & Presidentes the duo has stepped up to the plate to fill the void in the modern era for those patiently waiting to hear return of the boom bap.

Timeless Truth debut album, Rock-It Science (produced By RTNC), solidified their emergence in the game as one of Queens’ top tier groups. The brothers separately showcased their own skills in the music videos “What A Life” and “Alliance” proving that they are more than capable of independently holding down the reputation of a what it entails to be a Queens emcee. The visuals provide a modern day in the life of the New York natives, whether it be traveling down the boulevard or playing dominoes on the rooftop. However, the tracks contain a certain essence that is rarely evoked in recent times.

rockitscience

After setting off music videos to the Rock-It Science album the two emcees linked up with Hip-Hop ambassador Large Professor. Large Pro accompanies the duo in the debut single off the impending album Cold Wave. SuperBadSolace and Oprime39 scoop the Professor up after schooling the youth at John Bowne High and remind us that Queens is home to some of Hip Hop’s most monumental rhyme writers. This is not the first time the brothers have been in the work environment with hip hop legends. In the fairly short amount of time on the scene, they have gained the respect of some of hip hop’s most elite figures. From the gate, they managed to gain the attention of Mafioso Rap pioneer, Kool G Rap.

The track, “World Renown”, marked their emergence to the scene with a made man (a track which would subsequently be leaked by Dallas Penn in a manner that was just as monumental of a leak as that of Edward Snowden’s). Sean Price has also been noted as guest feature on each of their releases up to this point. The two have been a closely associated with other prominent up-and-coming New York emcees such as Roc Marciano, Meyhem Lauren, and Action Bronson. The unveiling of “Wavelength”, however is not the way OPrime39 and Solace decided to finish up their 2013 year.

The brothers recently were invited to perform on Sway Calloway’s MTVJAMS program RAPFIX. The two emcees came prepared and performed exclusive never before heard lyrics. Just a day after their performance on RapFixLive, the hip hop group announced the forthcoming project Dominican Diner EP, which is set to be released on 6/10. The announcement came at the wrapping up point of 2013 with a leaked track titled “Out of the Loop”(Prod. by FAFU). Just a few days ago, they released the second single off the approaching EP, titled “Trife”.


Timeless-Truth1

A Rider For A Writer…

Friday, June 6th, 2014

sw

I always liked writing and shit, but I never considered this as a profession until SoundWave went to prison. In the over eleven years that he spent on lock down I never went to see my dude. I don’t like prisons, or hospitals for that matter. I always felt a kind of way about going to see people in jail because I didn’t want to end up behind bars with my homey. I imagined that the warden wiuld be like, “Thanks for doing the legwork for me and bringing yourself in.” Is that ridiculous of me and cowardly? Hells yeah.

I kept in touch with SoundWave by writing him often and talking shit with him in the same way we did when he was home. I gave him the updates on the ‘hood and the encouragement that we were still on our journey to being millionaires. The funny shit that happened when SW was in prison is that a million dollars lost it’s value. SW, ThunderCracker, PoloTron and I were the get rich clique. We had dozens of capers between us but we were still looking for that big score. We never got it as a crew, but the fun was in trying.

I remember this botched bank drop job that Polo set up with the old butcher shop where he used to work. This job was going down on Jamaica Avenue in broad daylight two blocks from the police precinct. SW convinced us that it was doable with the thinking that a crime near a police station was safe since all the police were somewhere else. This was SW’s super power. Dude had a steely confidence, he could sell the tone to the phone. SW was just one of those smart-dumb niggas who had book knowledge and street knowledge and could interchange the two fluidly.

sw

And yes, he was a bit of a lunatic, but not in the sense that I was. His lunacy was tempered with logic. When we used to run around acting stupid and kicking up dust SW was the dude that always kept an eye out for the emergency exit just in case we couldn’t get out of something the way we came in. Fam was definitely a rider though. He had no business riding with me to Baltimore in a stolen car just to visit my girlfriend at Morgan State for her school’s homecoming celebration. I think that part of the reason he went with me was because he bailed out when I drove to D.C. a week earlier in the car he and I stole from Greenwich Village. SoundWave wasn’t gonna let me have all the fun two weeks in a row. He also trusted me that I had his back.

The drive to Baltimore was one of my favorite trips evar. We were jetting south on I-95 and passing state troopers all the while. We would speed and slow down, each time talking to each other about the reason for the move. We were fucking idiots. Smart dumb niggas supreme. And yes, we were lucky that we weren’t arrested and made it back to NYC. I think of all the dumb shit that we have gotten away with and I realize why SW thought he could pull off a bank job. You won’t ever encounter someone who calculates the contingencies as thoroughly as SW does. I hate planning. No wonder I sucked as an architect. Planning is what prevents you from failing. Or so I thought…

sw

SW planned this job with some of his homeys from VA. These weren’t dudes he had grown up with but he knew them from the times he would retreat to Virginia Beach to get away from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Theses dudes heard SW’s stories of the fifty ways we used to get money in the city and they wanted to add a chapter to the book. “Do y’all realize how often these banks get heisted?” was the theme of SW’s pitch.

The scene inside the bank was on smash and SW would commandeer the getaway vehicle. The plan worked too and they got away. Unfortunately for them they were pulled over in New Jersey. A monthly quota speeding ticket became one state trooper’s retirement portfolio. SW fucked up by being a stand up guy. While everyone else dropped dimes on each other SW’s silence bought him the stiffest sentence. He sat inside the Federal system for over a decade. While I continued to party and bullshit SW took the weight for my teenage years. ThunderCracker’s mom, who loves me dearly, once told me that I was the reason that everyone were so cautious and scared for all of us, because I was the one leading the boys down the path. I am still the Black Peter Pan.

SW is home now and frankly looks better than he ever did. He has adjusted to his time away and has no bitter resentment towards life or even the bullshit that I still get into. He has a brand new son who looks tremendous and a beautiful wife in Virginia. SW still has that gleam in his eye though. That maybe if I tried hard enough I could convince him to go with me to Mexico next year. Yeah, the homey is still a rider.

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A ‘BLAST’ FROM THE PAST…

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

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Editor’s note: I pulled this drop out for blogs like Nah’Right and Mr.Kamoji. When the book comes out these dudes will be buying the hardbody hardcover.

The internets is truly a web that connects the entire world. I have made re-connections with friends from as far back as twenty years ago. None of them have touched my heart as deep as my brother ScatterBlast. I haven’t seen Scatt since 1992. It was friendly and warm, but it was only in passing. ScatterBlast and I were moving in two different directions, figuratively and literally. It went something like this…

scat

I had just locked up at the architect’s office. The old Jew and his family trusted me enough to give me a set of keys and the security code to the office. I was finally staying out of trouble and going to college ever since ThunderCracker had died. The old Jew wasn’t more than just generous, but he was also a rebbe in the classic sense. He was a teacher in word and deed. The more college classes that I passed the more money the old Jew would add to my paycheck. Fuck what ever you heard about Jews. I learned that I was a Jew as well from the old Jew. More than anything else I learned to value education and the selflessness of teachers. More on this later this summer.

I was riding my track bike up Third Avenue that night and I heard my name shouted in a familiar gravely voice. I looked over on the sidewalk and there with a broom in his hand was my brother ScatterBlast. Scatt and I hadn’t spoken in about eight months ever since he came back home from prison upstate. ScatterBlast was working at a chain drugstore and cleaning the sidewalk in front of the store as I was riding by. Scatt looked solid gold like he was in the gym and running five miles a day. That was my dude right there.

scat

Scatt was from the original Cybertron squad. Graphic Communications H.S. b/k/a ‘Printing’ is where we used to form up in the afternoon and decide what our mission for the day would be. It might be MACY’s, Bloomies or a shearling store in the Village. It could be another high school to settle an old score or start a new scorecard. Scatt was a bonafide rider. If he was part of your mission crew then you had a knockout artist running with you. Scatt was vicious and built like a pit bull. You weren’t going to be left standing after you came into acquaintance with the business end of a ScatterBlast fist. He reminded me of the raw fury of MIKE TYSON. I guess it was like that for most people born and bred in the toughest sections of Brooklyn.

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ScatterBlast lived in the Eleanor Roosevelt public housing complex in the heart of the do or die. These buildings were erected in the early sixties with Federal housing authority money. They looked nice from the outside, but the inside construction was where the contractors did the Halliburton flim-flam with government money. Interior partitions were thin and uninsulated so that even a regular discussion in an adjacent apartment became common knowledge to the neighbors. Plumbing fixtures routinely were in disrepair and vermin and rodents became tenants almost as soon as the building was occupied.

Like many center city kids in the 1980’s Scatt was raised by his grandmother, along with three older male cousins and one younger girl cousin. His grandmother’s tiny apartment acted as a transient hotel and way station for all of the family that were traveling in and out of different situations in their lives. In a crazy and unfortunate way, ScatterBlast was able focus himself better when he was incarcerated upstate. The trees and the grass changed the air around him. Now he could actually breathe.

This is why Scatt was so ruthless on the streets. He almost had to stay moving just to breathe, just to get some fresh air in his lungs. When he went home he would feel trapped again. As he experienced his older cousins’ difficulties with prison and drug abuse, Scatt would bring that frustration and sense of helplessness out to the streets with him.

scat

We were on a mission coming from Art & Design High School when we got into a ‘what’ on the Lexington Ave downtown express. Bodies were being scattered, from schoolkids to commuters to whomever was unlucky enough to be in our way. As the express train rumbled into the Union Square station I tried to alert everyone that we would be encountering the police since Union Square had a precinct substation in its bowels. When the train doors opened mayhem ensued as police entered and passengers fled. I transformed into stealth mode, looking out for ThunderCracker and SoundWave, making sure they both had exited safely as they were my first priority. The police however had captured Villain and Scatt. As the train was held in the station I watched the police place the cuffs on Scatt and then drag him off the platform. We made eye contact and ScatterBlast never batted an eyelid. He was stoic and undefeated. That was the last time I saw ScatterBlast, until this fateful evening as I was riding up Third Avenue.

Scatt was still the same excitable dude who spoke with determination and the volume turned up to 10. He was telling me how New York City was no longer the place for him. He was going to leave the city for somewhere, anywhere else. The one thing I will say about Scatter is that he was the type of cat that could relocate himself because he had that courage inside of him and that belief that he could make it on his own. We exchanged phone numbers, but our lives never intersected again. Not until I received an e-mail several weeks ago…

“Yo Dallas,

If this is you holla back at me! This is Scatta-Blast from the Stuy……Went to Printing in the 80s before getting locked down…..One of my boys sent me the link from FEDS mag about the CONS and I saw your name as the link! Cy told me about the article……….

Hit me up……………

Hail MEG!”

I’m telling y’all that GOD is good because behind Scatt’s government name were three letters. P.H.D. In fifteen short years this man has reached the potential inside of him that we all had. I’m not even gonna front and act like I didn’t have a piece of dust in my eye when I called my brother up. Fifteen years is a long time, too long, not to speak to someone that you love and respect as a brother. Scatt told me the story of going to Baltimore with nothing to lose and graduating from Morgan State and then Maryland University and then continuing at U of M for a doctorate in criminology. All the while, he never lost focus of why he left New York City and he never stopped believing in himself. Now ScatterBlast is a guidance counselor for at-risk kids in and out of the prison system. He is married and raising his own family while he tries to save some of the kids from the beast that is the prison industrial complex and the demons within themselves.

ScatterBlast IS the transformation.

Hail Meg!

the fools

Meyhem Lauren: Silk Pyramids

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Meyhem-Lauren-and-Buckwild-Silk-Pyramids

Meyhem Lauren has been going hard in the booth since we last heard a full length project from the young Queens lord. Last year’s ‘Raw Cashmere’ EP, done alongside the producer Ice Rocks found Meyhem Lauren cleanly in the boom bap backpack vein. The beats and the rhymes were perfect for wearing contractor Timbs and headphones for head nodding. That’s dope for an EP project but ‘Silk Pyramids’ is a full length album and much more is expected from Meyhem Lauren at this stage in his catalog.

Buckwild DITC comes thru on the production like a sage mentor to provide a soundbed of dope music a young hardbody emcee would love to rhyme over. I look at Buckwild like a Cadillac DeVille of the beats. Smooth and steady beats that give you a controlled ride even on top of uneven asphalt. Buckwild’s drums are on point and a welcome sound for rap music in 2014. There’s been so much rap in my recent memory without drum kits present I was wondering if we would ever hear the snare again in Hip-Hop.

Meyhem Lauren doesn’t come to the album without bringing his rap friends either. Longtime co-defendant Action Bronson, former DasRacist heartthrob Himanshu, XXL Freshman Troy Ave, Lo-Life general Thirstin’ Howl 3rd, and Outdoorman AG da Coroner are all spitting the bars like this was their project and not a feature for their big homey. Himanshu and Coroner’s verses stand out as gems to me even from dudes who I’ve heard from for the last several years. AG da Coroner’s debut album is another highly anticipated project on my 2014 list.

Meyhem Lauren is justifiably part of the NYC rap renaissance I’ve been waiting for since Wu-Tang phased out and the Diplomats flamed out. Meyhem has kept improving his verses so that he isn’t outshined by Action Bronson or outclassed by Troy Ave. Listening to Action on a DITC soundbed reminded me of Big L and the wit he displayed with his verses. Then I thought to myself how Meyhem Lauren along with Action Bronson was the second coming of Lord Finesse and Big L. Just like Finesse on the microphone was a master lyricist I see Meyhem having that much dedication to his words and verses.

My favorite track on the album is ‘Honey Sorbet Champagne’. Buckwild murders the music and Meyhem str8 decapitates with his verses. ‘Salmon Croquettes’ with AG da Coroner’s feature is serious Hip-Hop. The keys from Buckwild and Coroner’s appearance guarantee Meyhem will use this as funeral music. If you ever needed an anthem to get you hype for a stickup then ‘Where The $ @’ is your jam. Peace to Thirstin’ Howl on that sick ass verse. Himanshu and Meyhem trade verses on ‘Narcotics Anonymous’ and I live for Meyhem’s ad-libs at the song’s end. ‘100 MPH’ opens the album and also features Action Bronson. Nuff’ said.

Don’t take any of this hyperbole from me on face value. Stream these three(3) tracks from the album right here and right now. NYC rap ain’t making a comeback because it never left. #RespectTheFlyShit