Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Sittin' on Chrome"

Masta Ace, I.N.C.

"That music is the answer... And it goes on..." (repeat) | 'Da Answer' (track 13)*

At the last home football game (Aggie Stadium) me and the soulVerse crew had a discussion about albums we don't skip through, Hip Hop classics.  Ready to Die by B.I.G. was thrown out there... Pac albums were debated... Illmatic was mentioned... I think Pidi mentioned Em... I said Let's Get Free by dead prez & Scars and Memories by Grimm ... Soul on Ice by Ras... Jus mentioned Ghostface's Supreme Clientele.  And we discussed the Wu's 90's catalog... some early Kast records, QB records, Dre's debut, etc.

On my day off this week, I recieved Sittin' on Chrome by Masta Ace.  I had to re-order this album after giving it away some years before.  Been ridin' to it for the past couple days.  Opening rotation, no skips. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"A Change in Time (NYC)"
Photograph by Jamel Shabazz*

CLICK HERE  to view an interview  I conducted for Hip Hop Alumni (HHA) with photographer Jamel Shabazz, author of several photography texts including A Time Before Crack and Seconds of My Life.  The interview is titled 'The Kingdom, Brooklyn, 1981'...  Much respect to Jamel Shabazz!

Jamel Shabazz Interview: CLICK HERE

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Celebrating Victory with the King of Soul"

This week, I'll be checking out the Sam Cooke album above.  It was Cooke's last album released within his lifetime and features one of my favorite songs, 'A Change is Gonna Come'.  I first heard this song in 1992, at 11 years old, in the company of my brother's godfather and his son (my friend) at the premier of the Spike Lee film Malcolm X in an El Paso theatre. 

Today, I was reading the Muhammad Ali Handbook by Dave Zirin and arrived to a chapter titled 'Celebrating victory with the King of Soul'...  Here is a quote, "After the fight (vs. Sonny Liston in Miami), Clay (Cassius X) had nowhere to go because his promoters, not expecting a victory, didn't plan for a victory celebration.  Instead he went back to Malcolm X's hotel to eat vanilla ice cream with Malcolm, Sam Cooke, and football great and political activist Jim Brown."  ...Imagine that. 

On March 13, 2004, I broadcasted a program called A Session of Malcolm X, which I also subtitled, A Session of Sam Cooke on KRUX 91.5 fm (NMSU).  Throughout the two hour broadcast, rotation included speeches by Malcolm X, and various musicians including some of my favorite songs from Sam Cooke, 'A Change is Gonna Come', 'Peace in the Valley', 'Chain Gang', 'Wonderful World', 'Mean Old World' & 'End of My Journey'.  It was what I considered at the time, my most accomplished moment on air.

"Wu Tang Forever (Ciudad Juárez 06')"
-Click on image to enlarge-

"Those same twelve notes have been here since the beginning.  The combinations may be almost infinite, but it all has the same basic limited foundation.  Whether it's being sampled or not, it's the repitition."

-The RZA, Tao of Wu
Digital Culture, Art in the Age of Ones and Zeros

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Avoid things that die easy,
and get your own soul ready to die well..."
-Gordon Parks

"Flag Football"
Season (1)

Working on a highlight video for a good friend of his son's 1st season on the flag football team.  The image above is linked to a larger picture.  Shout to Young S.A.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

"When I write  I bid farewell to myself
I leave most of what I know behind and wander through the landscape
of language..." ~Jimmy Santiago Baca* 

Quote from Arts, Literacy and the Classroom Community Video: click here*
"Sunset (El Paso)"

"Picture me rollin'..." -2Pac

"The Aggie"

One night away from the Battle of i-10... NMSU vs. UTEP.  Last week I bet on PHI, and lost a few crispy 1's.  This week the stakes are higher.  Picture above is linked to a day time shot from my Blackberry of the Aggie's season opener against San Diego.  So far, 0-1, NMSU.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Two for One (Gato & Corea)"
-Latin Connection-

An incredible record. I think I found the sample of a track I hadn't heard in years from an MC & producer I met while at KRUX 91.5 fm. The track is "Latin Connection" on Gato's Ruby, Ruby 77' LP. The MC & producer is Good 4 Nothin', which consisted of an MC by the name of Chase Millions and the producer Benneli.  I can't remember the name of their track (and I don't know if I might have the production confused since Chase made music with a few others). Chase & Benneli created a dope collection of tracks in Las Cruces, New Mexico while I was on air. I recall Benneli adding on to the base line of one of my favorite Barry White songs and looping the audio for a talk over. Listening to "Latin Connection" off the Gato record a couple days ago, the music sounded crazy familiar. I kept replaying the track thinking if I played it enough times, I'd remember. At first, I thought it might've been a sample used by Ghost, Pun, Technique, or some artist I'd randomly heard back when downloading off of Soul Seek. Didn't think I'd remember til' it occured to me who it was... Chase & Benneli. A lot of those tracks I was rotating during the early millenium have since been lost, but if I find the cassette recording of an interview we did at KRUX I'll post it up.  There's not much online about the "Latin Connection" song which also (to my suprise) features Marvin Gaye on the credits.

When I bought this record a few months ago, I thought it was a double Gato vinyl. I didn't get around to listening to it til' now. Instead, the extra record was by Chick Corea, 78', titled Secret Agent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Heaven or Hell" (12')

All-time favorite track from a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It doesn't seem so long ago until you see how old these kids are now.  My brother (far left) in an Atlanta Falcons jersey, our younger brother's Godfather (middle), and the godfather's daughter (right).    

"The Pacific"

My younger brother had to tend to a family emergency in California with his wife.  It was his first time Far West and he took a camera that my father gave to him.  He returned and showed me pictures he took along the way.  The bird shot is linked to another picture of the Pacific.  Amongst the three of us brothers, he's the first to step foot on an ocean shore.  And the bird above is missing one.

"Just Like Music, Just Like Cover"

I was raised between Michael Jackson's Thriller and Marvin Gaye's Midnight Love LPs.  So I always pick up their records if I'm lucky enough to find, especially if it predates 80'.  I recall listening to some radio station in northern New Mexico a few years ago and hearing a song that sounded like an extended, hook-only, version of Marvin Gaye's "Turn on Some Music".  At first I thought it was the instrumental version of Erick Sermon's "Just Like Music" that sample covered the Marvin original.  But having heard alternate versions ever since, I have yet to re-discover the track I know I heard that day...  "Turn on Some Music, Turn on Some Music, Turn on Some Music, Turn on Some Music"... it went on forever.

Anyway,  a few months ago, I'm flipping through a crate at a thrift and noticed the Marvin Gaye record above.  I don't have any Marvin LPs before 1971's What's Going On, so I was hype.  However, I slide the cover out the bin and could feel that it was vinyl-less.  No music, just a cover.  I ended up getting the Marvin cover for free though and have it posted on my office wall.   

Friday, September 10, 2010

'Chess Lessons'

"In the end, the best strategy, the best tactic you can have in chess is the same one you should use in life:  Never give up.  Never let them count you out.  That's how the greats play, right down to the last move.  That's one more reason why chess is like a swordfight.  It's to the death.  You should play it that way, like you should live your life, as a game with mortal stakes.  A game you play right down to the last move."

-The RZA (p. 49) | The Tao of Wu

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Today's find.  Richard Pryor talks "Discipline"

"Loving You Through Music"
((Side 1 | Track 5))

Cool production.  The cover caught a co-worker by suprise since the album title is the same name as her daughter.  I've had this record for quite some time but have only listened to it once.  Sounds good the second time around.  On the record sleeve in fine print it says, "(*In the Bronx, in Manhattan, in Brooklyn too)"

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sunday, September 05, 2010

"Hayden Valley"

An incredible photo from the files of Hurricane D who recently shared her gallery of pics from a trip she took with family and friends through the lands of Montana (Yellowstone).
"Operation Poisoned Pawns"
-Chess Everywhere-

"Federal Prosecutors said the indictment is a part of a six-year investigation they dubbed "Operation Poisoned Pawns." 

From an article titled 'Public Corruption: Feds Allege Bribery, Kickbacks': SOURCE*

"Tales from the Darkside"

Another shot from Jus' roadtrip.  Was checking out the photographs from his laptop gallery and this one caught my eye cause of a television show it reminded me of from the 80s.  Tales from the Darkside: YOUTUBE

"Ximenace Photography"

Last October (2009), I was checking out the El Paso Times and saw an article titled "El Paso-style Loteria: Photographer Rick Jimenez Carrasco Comes Up With Winning Idea"... Growing up visiting my Abuelita's house in the Felipe Angeles Colonia (Cd. Juarez), I'd find Loteria cards scattered throughout the home, mostly on the kitchen table.  I never learned how to play but was always mesmerized by the images on the cards.  The article details how Carrasco, a photographer from El Paso, shot images in El Paso and Juarez that matched the images included in the Loteria cards.

In August (2010), I was looking for a place that would be able to print out a 2 1/2 by 4 photograph of my mother, brother and I for a frame I purchased for my Mom's birthday (August 22nd).  I visited Walgreens, but they were unable to print out the size.  I visited the Sams on Pellicano, but their Kodak computers ran out of paper and were down.  Finally, the day before my Mother's birthday I went by the Sams next to the Cielo Vista Mall.  It was a bit of a wait, and while I waited, I noticed this amazing poster-size photograph of a night-time shot in El Paso.  I asked the individual who was waiting on a few more prints about the details of the shot and he turned out to be Rick Jimenez Carrasco from the El Paso Times article I read about the year before!  I didn't realize this until about ten minutes into our conversation when he passed me his card which displayed the loteria images I immediately recognized.  Being as interested in photography as I am, it was cool for such a random series of events and being on the last hour of purchasing my Mother's gift, to be able to meet a photographer representing the area I was born and raised in and who's work I had a lot of respect for. 

Above I've linked the image to his website and to view pictures from his Loteria collection, you can check them out here: Ricky Carrasco's | Loteria' El Paso   Shout out to Carrasco for representing the scenes and people of El Paso and Cd. Juarez for the beauty that it is.