Archive for the ‘His Story’ Category

A Soldier’s Story…

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015


I just came home from Cypress Hill Cemetary where my dad is finally resting from his long journey.

Even though he was only on the planet for three score rotations around the sun, he had traveled to the ends of the planet and back again. He was hardbody and he had logged in a lot of mileage. I can remember him telling me how tired he was one evening as we sat on the deck in the back of his house. He was tired of the heavy lifting and the emotional baggage was dragging him down. In all of my life I had never heard my father sound so vulnerable. He was clairvoyant also because the following morning his heart failed him as he was leaving for work.


If there are any U.S. servicemen overseas that can read my blog in their downtime I salute you men and women for your sacrifices. The ideal of America that you put your lives down for should represent you better than it has. Part of the problem is that we citizens don’t demand courage or compassion from our elected leaders. Instead we have rewarded complicit duplicitous cowardice. We are to blame for the senseless deaths of U.S. lives abroad as much as the greedy war mongering power brokers. As long as our lives are relatively easy and filled with leisure we will never demand justice for all of the people of this planet..


After my father’s passing I discovered some of his old paperwork and keepsakes from his time in the U.S. Marines Corps. One of the most startling items was my dad’s draft induction letter. There was an NYC subway token taped to the top of the letter. The scotch tape was that industrial type from the 1960’s that could rip the hair off your arm. The imprint of the token was embedded in the tape’s glue, which was long dried solid.

It startled me that the Armed Forces was so dead serious about draftees making this induction physical so much so that they were mailing you the carfare if you didn’t have the means. My dad was always bitter about being drafted since he was in college at the time and there were plenty of people standing on the street corners or hiding behind their parents’ wealth that could have used the discipline that the Army provided.


My dad actually did two tours of duty in Vietnam. When he returned home after his first tour in 1968 he found out that America was deadlier on a Black man than Vietnam was. MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr. had been assassinated earlier that year and the subsequent civil unrest that followed removed much of the opportunity that he had seen as being progressive for Blacks in America. He returned to Vietnam where the color of your skin meant little or nothing to all of the grunts that were over there just trying to survive another day.


An interesting sidenote is that one of the men in these pics with my dad would be one of our neighbors in Queens where I was raised. He and my dad never shared more than a word with one another. I have no idea what those two men experienced and my father never volunteered any stories to me about his time spent in the Marines. My dad did take me to see ‘Apocalypse Now’ during the opening weekend in 1979 and he told me that it was an actual account of what Vietnam was like.

Suffice to say, I never completed my Selective Service registration. I sit here relieved of my duty because so many brave men and women have volunteered their freedom. Veterans and active servicemen deserve our unfailing support even if their captains and commanders are men with only the conviction for money and ill gained trappings. Without their sacrifice this blog would never have been possible.

Thanks dad.


Get Ready For Combat…

Friday, March 21st, 2014


“You think you know the history of New York Hip Hop? You really don’t know jack until you talk to Jessica Rosenblum. Hear her talk about her role in opening the downtown NYC nightlife scene to Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. Listen as she shares about her role in making a then unknown Sean “Diddy” Combs into a household name. Learn as she walks us through what really happened that fateful night at the tragic CCNY event and why she wasn’t responsible. Marvel at how she decided to build Funk Master Flex into the brand that he is today. Take in her close and meaningful relationship with the late, great Chris Lighty. We only scratched the surface as to this woman’s integral role in contributing to this culture, but this episode’s lessons is an important and mostly overlooked in this thing we call rap.

PLUS: Dallas Penn shares how he single handedly broke the Internets with his ingenious execution of Pologate.”

Combat Jack

A-VILLA x Roc Marciano: A Hustler’s Soliloquy

Monday, March 10th, 2014


A-Villa is a self-taught Hip Hop producer out of Chicago, IL. He has worked with emcees ranging from Action Bronson to AZ, N.O.R.E. to Chance The Rapper, Kool G Rap to Big K.R.I.T. And most of the world has never heard of him…yet.

In 2014, A-Villa will release his self-produced debut album, Carry on Tradition via Chicago indie label, Closed Sessions. The album is a passion project taken to the extreme, recorded over the a 3-year span, and featuring a wish-list of emcees that includes Cormega, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T., Kool G Rap, Joell Ortiz, Chance The Rapper, M.O.P., AZ, Freeway and many more.

“A Hustler’s Soliloquy” features Roc Marciano and serves as a prelude to Carry On Tradition. It will not appear on the album, and is available now as a free download.

Archival photos used in this video by Camilo Vergara – 1984

A-VILLA featuring Roc Marciano: A Hustler’s Soliloquy from dallas penn on Vimeo.

One 4 All…

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


Shit gets deeper than the ocean with Lord Jamar sitting in the booth of the Combat Jack Show. The history of the Brand Nubians gets discussed as well as the 5-percent Nation and the current state of rap music politricks.

Punks jump up to get beat down, but not when Lord Jamar is in the building. Get ready for Combat…

The Misadventures Of Zwarte Piet…

Monday, December 9th, 2013


Santa’s helper is out here in the streets sourcing the shit the fat man is gonna drop off to all the good kids.

Don’t be out here fuxing shit up for you make Zwarte Piet have to snatch you up in his satchel and spirit your ass to the diamond mines.

Zwarte Piet takes a trip thru the New Amsterdam for the high holiday season, and I do mean ‘high’.

If you had seen me bust my ass on that bus exit you would be in tears. It was awesomely epic.

The final scene calls for a little Blackoake version of Donnie Hathaway’s ‘Soulful Christmas’