Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ART CONNECTS: Thank you, AMANDA DIVA!!

I have been a big supporter of Amanda Diva, a beautiful and incredibly gifted MC/ painter/ activist/ MTV host, whose new solo album "Life Experience" is a reminder that the world needs to pay more attention to females in hip-hop. If her superb emceeing/singer/songwriter skills aren't enough alone, then add her talent as a visual artist, and you'll get a superwoman...damm! So you might understand my excitement when I found out that she put me on her blog on OKAYPLAYER! Definitely check out her blog, where [as expected] you'll find some of the funniest posts next to some serious revolutionary calls for awakening. It is the bomb. Thank you, Deev!


Amanda Diva: true beauty+real talent+activist spirit=supawoman!

So last Monday, I had a second chance to paint live alongside Amanda during the LOVE IS LOVE event at the Highline Ballroom. The show was incredible, with The Real Live Show, Maya Azucena, the amazingly talented Sybarite dancers and a number of dope live artists such as Flygirrl (Philly), Marthalicia (she is another fly artist), Criket, Mark "Eyes" Biala, Pesu, & Riz22, among others.
Shout out to the hosts, Voodoo Ray and Danny Castro, as well as to Yaz who put me on to the event.

As you can tell from the photo, Amanda is no joke. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I am honored to be part of her event as one of the live painters on Thursday at SOB's where she will share the stage with Lydia Caesar, James Watts and DJ Spinna!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

YOU JUST MADE MY DAY, Joshua

Today something very special happened to me. It was a beautiful afternoon, one of those hot yet balmy summer Fridays in Brooklyn. I was pretty exhausted after a whole week of hard work, little sleep, and way too many projects. I set out on a walk to find some space to breath and relax a little before I'd go back to yet another project. And that's when I met 12-year old Joshua, who as I can tell (pure intuition), is not only a very talented creative young man but is waaaay ahead of his time. (He and I met about a month ago, when I told him my name and that I am an artist, but I didn't realize this immediately). So Joshua was passing by me and after a short word-exchange, I found out that he was familiar with my work and had an amazingly deep observation about it. I was shocked and touched at the core...Thank you, Joshua, your appreciation of my work means so much, you don't even know. You just inspired me to do new stuff! And this encounter just made me want to give a shout to every single person who believed in me and/or was moved by my work enough to reach out to me about it. Thank you thank you thank you. Those words of encouragements were (and are) the fuel of my inspiration and drive to never give up and to always push the boundaries.

J, I'm sending you an excerpt from My Neighbor Totoro - 1988 Studio Ghibli film by Hayao Miyazaki, one of my all-time favorite Japanese animations.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

iRECOMMEND: 7/28 Love is Love (live art) & 7/30 Oveous "Live" w/ Turnstylz

Check out THE LOVE IS LOVE Showcase with amazing talents, Maya Azucena & The Real Live Show (with homies LaMae & Stimulus). I'll be doing some live art with Livingroom Johnston, Pesu, Riz22, and many other NYC painters....hope to see you guys there!
Monday, July 28th Highline Ballroom. 7pm-12am


Also, on Wednesday July 30, , my friend, dope spoken word poet/MC Ove is having a live performance at Club Love, featuring his big hit "I Apologize" with Osunlade (Yoruba Records).




iRECOMMEND: KRS_ONE afterparty with live art by Amanda Diva, Lichiban, Pesu & Riz22

Come and check out the amazing Amanda Diva, Pesu, Riz22 and truly yours doing live art at the KRS-ONE afterparty tonite!!! Based on my last month's experience, it's going to be off the hook!

Monday, July 21, 2008

ARTIST TO WATCH: Little Dragon

I can't get over this video...it reminds me of the Eastern European animations I grew up on....seems like a perfect match for the haunting track of Little Dragon, the Swedish band which is about to make it really big globally. Little Dragon's amazing singer, the lovely Yukimi Nagano may have been familiar to US audience through her tracks she did with Ge-ology a few year back. Check out more videos and read Sarah White's blogpost about Little Dragon on our joint blog, WRONGLIPS.
By the way, I should make a note on why I've been posting the questionnaire I started with originally my girlfriends (See 'My Girlfriends Rule') only with answers from my homies (My Homies Rule To'). I do support the ladies, of course, but I've been posting up their answers on WRONGLIPS, my blog with Sarah, since we use WL as a forum specifically to expose and network creative women in the industry. You can find Yukimi's answers to the questionnaire under the same post on WL.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

iRECOMMEND: REWIND 7/23 and TURNTABLES ON THE HUDSON with Dhundee 7/25

Wednesday July 23rd,
Word To Tha Mutha!
at REWIND with WAAJEED, Brainchild and Sistamatik


iRECOMMEND: THE REALNESS this Saturday


This one promises to be the dopest '80 jam of the summer...put on your freshest 80's gear and groove the night away with Dj Spinna and Dj Scratch this Saturday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

LOOKBOOK x brooklyn sungazer

Big shout out to LOOKBOOK.nu who invited me to post a look on their cool fashion blog. It's predominantly reader generated content makes Lookbook the place to check for what young fashionistas are actually wearing on the streets around the globe. Thanks Yuri! [photo by Artistic Bling aka Sarah White]
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iRECOMMEND:Brooklyn Cook & Bounce Saturday w/Dhundee & K-Salaam

Catch the homie Dhundee spinning twice this Saturday: first at Frank White you have a chance to stimulate your tastebuds & leg muscles while supporting a good cause at the backyard cookout party at Frank White and then the legendary BROOKLYN BOUNCE returns later at Brooklyn's new hot spot, Deity.
Also on the roster another homie, K-SAALAM, who recently signed with his partner, Beatnick a 3-album deal with VP Records (Sean Paul, Elephant Man) with distribution through Universal. Their first album, titled "Whose World Is This?" will be in stores everywhere on July 29, 2008. The album features original songs from Young Buck, Trey Songz, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Outlawz, Papoose, Saigon, Rakaa from Dilated Peoples, & Kardinal Offishall, Buju Banton, Sizzla, Capleton, Anthony B, Luciano, Richie Spice and more.

BACK IN THE DAYS: three stripes forever

Now me and my adidas do the illest things // we like to stomp out pimps with diamond rings // we slay all suckers who perpetrate//and lay down law from state to state. 
Back in the days, RUN DMC and a whole generation of hip-hop heads put adidas on the map.

Despite that adidas has been lagging in the freshness department in many ways these days, as soon as they decide to bring back some old skool goodies, hearts begin to melt. Check out this A-15 jacket/pant leather tracksuit combo made entirely of high-quality leather with red stripes and gold Trefoil logos. (The suggested retail price is approximately $974 USD.) Shout out to fellow NYC bloggers, the Flew Humble Martians, where I found this dopeness.

ROCKSMITH FALL 08 video

My lovely amiga, Jenn of Rocksmith Tokyo & Kilo Intl aka Diamond Girl., just showed me their new Fall 08 promo video starring Masahiro Ito & Theophilus London, who is also the one singing over the beats of Machine Drum. Kilo & Rocksmith are some of my favorite peeps in the streetwear industry...they've got the best team, and they are taking the world by storm. They just returned from Barcelona's Bread & Butter Trade Show and are getting ready to drop the hottest Fall gear.



Diamond Girl teamed up with Handshake to host an OBAMA fundraiser and they booked me for August 9th, 2008 to do some live painting at the event, which I'm very much looking forward to. Make sure to check back for details. Among the many talents will be the peeps responsible for the soundtrack of the new video above. Rocksmith will be selling their super fresh Obama T's to raise funds, so this is the time to show your support and go home with a dope tee.
Check 3 of my favorite T-shirt Rocksmith designs which you can buy at the Karmaloop.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WATER-FUELED CAR.... Imagine that!

Imagine a world of no pollution, no war for oil, no blood spilled for drops of liquid black gold. The future is here...let's hope that the ecologically aware half of the world will demand that this miracle car will actually gets to be produced safely and sold around the world, instead of remaining a wild utopian dream vehicle.

"Developed by Genepax in Japan, this commuter vehicle is able to travel at 80km/h for one hour on just a single liter [approx. quarter of a gallon] of water. The concept is much the same as other fuel cell vehicles, except you don't need to feed the car with straight hydrogen. The Water Energy System (WES) and Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) are used to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water. Details are slim by they say this is accomplished through some sort of chemical reaction.

Genepax is currently shopping around its technology to various automakers, so we're not sure when (and if) these water-powered cars will ever make it into production."




via mobile mag

Friday, July 4, 2008

BRINGING THE REAL SEXY BACK: PPP droppin new album in Fall 2008

One of the most memorable days of June was my interview with WAAJEED of PPP and BLING47. Waajeed's complete dedication to music left me inspired to say the least...inspired to further push the boundaries and to keep refining the craft. I had a chance to listen to the complete new PPP album, ABUNDANCE scheduled to drop in October, just before it was sent off to their record label, Ubiquity (apparently only Ge-ology and the PPP fam had a chance to listen to the album fully)...all I can say is that this album is going to be HUGE! Not sure how to express my excitement about this record...enough to say that I've been listening to it for the last two weeks pretty much non-stop (alternating with other PPP & WAAJEED gems). By the way, Waajeed is also a dope painter, though making music keeps him too busy to get down with the paintbrush these days.

Hands down, ABUNDANCE set the bar for new music. Breaking all boundaries, PPP's new album defies labels and forced categorization; it is what great soulful, sexy music should sound like, comparable to the quality of music produced by giants such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool and The Gang, or Prince back in the days when popular music had SOUL (something that is so desperately missing from today's overpolished and formulaic pop music.). With incredible musicians, Coultrain and Karma Stewart (whose powerful voice evokes Aretha Franklin's spirit), added to the core of PPP consisting of Detroit-bred Waajeed and Saadiq, you can be assured that these guys will take the world by storm. Long-time PPP friends, Invincible and Jamila Raegen, among others, also blessed the record with their vocal skillz. Carrying on Detroit's Motown legacy, PPP's ABUNDANCE is a future classic.

They have already begun touring with the album, so if you're lucky, you can catch PPP killin'em softly at SOUTHPAW, as they will provide the highlight of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival at the Official Afterparty. I'll be painting live at the VIP tent during the day at the festival! You can peep the PPP page for the concert schedule.

I can't give away much now, but make sure to check back later for the reference to my interview with WAAJEED about his musical journey from Detroit to Brooklyn, about the birth of the new album, finding the new cast, future directions, and everything else in between. Also, WAAJEED fans are in for a double-treat next week: come check out FANTASTIC, featuring WAAJEED and old-time friends, T3 of Slum Village and DWELE at this special event at Sutra (16 1st Ave, NY) on Thursday, July 10th.


This just came from Waajeed...get a taste of the making of the album


Music hasn't felt this good!
The new PPP crew:Coultrain, Karma, Waajeed & Saadiq
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KON & AMIR Digging 101 with XLR8R



A few weeks ago XLR8R TV asked my homies Kon & Amir to take them around for a round of crate digging. Above is the result...if you want to be up on latest news about Kon & Amir and would like to get some free quality music (a ton of rare disco, boogie and soul joints and some obscure breaks and beats) check Kon's blog here. Definitely cop his live mix he recorded at his latest gig at APT.

Kon & Amir will be spinning at LOVE on Thursday, July 10th. Their dope new record, OFF TRACK 2 is out on BBE finally....it is fire! You can get it on iTunes and in record stores.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Jamel Shabazz

I have been a fan of JAMEL SHABAZZ for years. As an activist myself and firm believer in the responsibility of artists to give back and to raise awareness about issues that matter today, I have enormous respect and admiration for Jamel Shabazz's extraordinary work that has always been about celebrating the community and capturing the human spirit with a loving lense. He documents life in its ephemeral beauty not simply for the sake of recording history, but because he has a genuine love for his subjects...images that inspire and make you want to know about the lives of people in his photographs. His photography is a lesson 101 into how to capture flavor, soul, intimacy, playfulness, style and simply realness. [photo source: jam.com]

As the excerpt from his new collection of photo memoirs states, SECONDS OF MY LIFE, "Exposed at an early age to provocative images (Leonard Freed's Black in White America) of both Southern and urban life, Shabazz has long been committed to documenting his community and the people who gave it life;to counteract the damage society can wreak on self esteem. Shabazz has been an inspirational force in black culture since 2001: his photoraphic essay Back in the Days, a 20-plus-year documentation of urban life and hip hop culture, from fashion and performance to verbal and visual languages."



This past month, I had several occasions to watch the 'master at work'...my admiration grew even bigger as I watched him interacting with those in front of his lens. His love for people I could intuit from his work was completely confirmed in real life. First, on June 8th, I had a chance to participate in the realization of the project called "A GREAT DAY IN BROOKLYN" that my organization, DOPE SWAN had been working on for months. Here is an excerpt from our press release.
JUNE 8, 2008
Shooting A GREAT DAY IN BROOKLYN at the Brooklyn Museum

"Brooklyn, NY – June 17, 2008 – On Sunday, June 8, community arts organization DOPE SWAN launched Brooklyn, Stand Up!: Documenting the Brooklyn Renaissance with “A Great Day in Brooklyn,” a historic photo event shot by renowned cultural documentarian and Brooklyn native, Jamel Shabazz.

“A Great Day In Brooklyn” follows the footsteps of Art Kane’s iconic image of jazz aficionados, “A Great Day in Harlem,” and will be the cornerstone of Brooklyn, Stand Up!, a year-long study into what has been called the Brooklyn Renaissance. In addition to the photograph, the Brooklyn, Stand Up! project will consist of several components, including: monthly arts programming in and around Brooklyn, an online archive of interviews collected from Brooklyn’s self-made leaders, and a scholarship fund for Brooklyn students wishing to pursue an education in the arts.


Left: Rock of the Boot Camp Click, Cynical & Mos Def...Right: BK represent (Lichiban & Sarah White=WRONGLIPS in upper right corner)!

Several amazing artists, activists, and entrepreneurs whose lives and works breathe the essence of Brooklyn were in attendance, including the owner of New York City’s first eco-eatery Sean Meenan, Michael K. Williams from HBO’s “The Wire”, hip-hop emcee, actor and community activist Mos Def, Black Girls Rock! founder DJ Beverly Bond and Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam artist Suheir Hammad. Read more and check more flix on the DOPE SWAN site here.

JUNE 20, 2008
The follow-up shoot of A GREAT DAY IN BROOKLYN at the Manhattan Bridge, DUMBO + book signing with Jamel Shabazz at Powerhouse Arena



JUNE 21, 2008: AVANT YARD at MOCADA

On June 21st, one of NYC's underground art collectives, AVANT YARD had opened its door to Ancient Futures: The DNA of Cultures and Civilizations curated by amazing photographer, Malik Yusef Cumbo at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA). "A revival of the critically acclaimed 1990s Avant Yard underground art movement in Tribeca, that took the New York art world by storm, the exhibition Ancient Futures will feature work from several of the previously exhibited artists that started the revolution, as well as newer, emerging artists that are continuing the tradition of pushing the envelope." You can check some of Jamel Shabazz's work, as well as other talented AVANT YARD artists here until September 7, 2008....not to be missed. To get a taste of the art, check my post on WRONGLIPS.

JUNE 22, 2008
Sunday @ Danny Simmons' Corridor Gallery: Artist Reception & Opening for POSITIVITY, Curated by Jamel Shabazz

Then, to finish off the month, I had a chance to see his work the forth time and express my admiration for his relentless work in supporting community empowerment and artistic growth as a mentor, inspiration and photographer extraordinaire.

POSITIVITY, a group exhibit curated by Jamel Shabazz "explores photography beyond its subject matter highlighting the POSITIVITY represented in the definite moment when the lens captures and shines on an individual or object."

On View: June 22 July 26, 2008. Artist Panel Discussion: Saturday, June 28 4-5pm. Moderated by Danny Simmons & Talib Kweli Danny Simmons Corridor Gallery, 334 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Check the flix from the reception of one of the talented photographers, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (right) here. Stay tuned for her show at MOCADA opening on August 3, 2008, entitled KINDRED COOL that captures some intimate moments from the life of contemporary jazz musicians. I had a chance to design Laylah's flyer for the show, so make sure to check back for details at the end of the month.
[photo: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn]

I heART beats: DSTRBO & WAAJEED

Live painting is experiencing its renaissance these days in the apple...though let's not forget that live art has been around for quite some time. Some of my biggest inspirations, art collectives such as Barnstormers (Doze Green, David Ellis, Maya Hayuk, Ge-ology) and Heavyweight (HVW8) have set the standard sky high. Check the ill combo of Waajeed of Platinum Pied Piper and Bling 47 and one of my favorites of HVW8, DSTRBO killin it. Waajeed's beats are a perfect match to make your heART beat faster while watching this dope live artist in action. check it!

HAPPY FEET Fight Club Remix

this is just the beginning...