Exponentially fresh.

So I have issues and when you place me in front of a TV (a rare luxury in my life) I end up watching “Lockup” on MSNBC. Usually nothing in the videos is too crazy to me, but tonight I saw an episode that had my jaw on the floor. They showed these two guys that TATTOOED THE WHITE PART OF THEIR EYES.

What. The. Fuck.

I’ve been considering getting my first tattoo for quite some years now, so I pay attention to shit like this, but this has to be the weirdest tattoo-related thing I’ve seen in a while.

Warning: this video miiiiight creep you out a little bit, but click here to see a clip from the show.

Do people think this looks good? Are they trying that hard just to be different? It makes me question people’s motives for alterting their appearance. Maybe they have a fetish for pain? Either way, I’m not easily creeped out but this is a little extra. I thought ultraviolet tattoos were insane but…ugh. No words. Am I late on this and this is old news? And WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?!?!

It’s been eight months since I officially moved my residence from Northern Virginia to Brooklyn and I really haven’t taken much time to come back to the DMV since I left. You don’t really realize how much you’ve adapted to new surroundings until you take a trip to your old ones. I’m amazed by the weirdest things now, and certain habits I have don’t fit in down south. For instance…

I stop at all red lights, even when I want to turn right. I remember once upon a time when I first started driving in Brooklyn a few years ago, when a friend of mine freaked out because I turned right at a red light somewhere in Flatbush. I was like “what do you mean I can’t do this? There’s no sign that says I can’t!” I was so confused. Eventually I learned that was a big no-no in the five boroughs, and I embraced this rule so thoroughly that I’ve forgotten that you can do this anywhere else that isn’t NYC. Now when I come back to VA for a visit I catch myself stopping at a red light with my right turn signal on and a clear road ahead of me, and it usually takes the person behind me honking at me for me to realize what I’m doing. Oops.

I ignore speed limits. See, New York area traffic lights are synchronized very well, and if you go just a little bit too slow, you’ll catch a ton of reds. Maintain your speed though? Smooth sailing, green lights for a mile. And the other thing I quickly learned was that on elevated freeways like the BQE, there’s never a shoulder. Where will you get pulled over for speeding? Pretty much nowhere. So the way I drive in NYC is to go as fast as I can until something is in my way, be it a car, a red light, or ballsy pedestrians. And this works. I get where I need to be safely and efficiently. This is impossible in Virginia. We got every variety of fed or state trooper lurking behind every corner just waiting for you to go two MPH over the limit. And traffic lights are so spread apart that synchronicity doesn’t really happen. I caught myself going 65 on Rt. 236 one day just because I could…then I remembered where I was and slowed the roll back down to a healthy 45mph. Insane. I’m officially a speed demon.

I get the worst cravings for Dominican food. What do you mean I can’t get cuchifritos after going to Zanzibar? There’s no woman selling pastelitos out of a cart anywhere? I can’t have fried cheese for breakfast? The ABC stores don’t sell Brugal?! I miss Bushwick.

Suburbia amazes me. Wait, what is that, an electric stove? WOW. Oh my God Based God, you have  central air conditioning? CARPET?!?! But what about the bedbugs! No roaches? No mice? This must be heaven. Do you know what it feels like to feel fluffy carpet beneath your bare feet after you’ve gone six months without it? It’s euphoric I tell you. And as if that wasn’t enough…is that a reserved parking space I see? And you don’t have to pay hundreds a month for that? No wait, you have a driveway? A garage attached to your crib? No fucking way. And if I park my car I don’t have to move it for street cleaning? But…there’s no way…it makes no sense…it’s…wow.

Silence scares me. I’m so used to ambient noise such as the project hallway domestic dispute, the bachata music blaring from the bodega, car horns, or the J train tracks that when things are dead quiet it’s creepy. I stopped by VA for a bit in like August or September and something crazy happened to me…I was standing outside with some friends at like 3am and not only was there almost zero traffic on the street, but I heard crickets. A sound I had grown up with as a child but that suddenly became foreign to me when I moved to Brooklyn. I never even noticed that I had never seen a cricket in NY until I heard them all loud and clear back in VA. The sound was so pronounced that it stood out to me like a fire alarm. My friends thought I was crazy.

I’m starting to feel like an outsider in my own hometown. This is only the tip of the iceberg of little things (public transportation woes outside of NYC, how crappy other cities’ radio stations are, how early clubs close, the lack of awareness of Jewish holidays) that have now become a way of life for me. It all just makes me more glad that I got out of my surroundings and took that leap into a new place and realized how much the world has to offer. But for now I gotta get used to being down here because until all that snow melts I’m a little stuck…glad I skipped town when I did!

Snowed in on Sunday? Yeah, me too. Well not quite, it ain’t snowin that bad in VA, I just don’t feel like going anywhere. Enjoy my Sunday sounds, because this is what I’m vibing out to right now.

[DOWNLOAD] Blitz the Ambassador – Ghetto Plantation

Blitz the Ambassador stays being one of my favorite artists out right now. This album was FIRE. Cop Stereotype ASAP. Thank me later.

[DOWNLOAD] Nas – No Idea’s Original

[DOWNLOAD] Rakaa feat. Mad Lion – The Observatory

Off of Rakaa’s Crown of Thorns album. Click here to read my review of the LP at TheBVX.

Jadakiss feat. Styles P – Top 5 Dead or Alive

As I’ve said before…any day is a good day for some Jadakiss.

[DOWNLOAD] Jay-Z – All Around the World

Enjoy your snow days. No better cure for those Christmas hangovers!

You know what I want to do when it snows? Leave for somewhere tropical. So when DJ Suss One of Power 105 fame dropped off a Merry Xmas email with a shit ton of mixtapes he’s done, this was the one I clicked on first. I fucks with Suss One heavy – his music selection is always on point, even considering the constraints of FM radio politics. May visions of Jamaican beaches and dutty wining beauties dance in your head. Puff puff pass.

[DOWNLOAD] DJ Suss One – The Reggae Party (Part 2) Mixtape

So yeah, I’ve obviously been missing from the site lately. Life is a little crazy like that, and some things need to be dealt with but best believe this place will be updated frequently soon. I’m thinking once 2011 starts. But just because I’ve been away from the internet doesn’t mean things aren’t still interesting. My last week, in pictures:

Blurred on purpose. This guy did a ill drum set but had LED lights that changed colors on the tips of his drum sticks. Looked sick on stage.

BONUS: Video of the aforementioned drummer. Looks better than the pics but the sound quality is ehh. What can I say? UntitledType is still a low budget production. Sponsors? Hmm? LOL

The talented Maya Azucena and Mazzi gracing the stage at SOB’s before Young Chris and Yelawolf’s sets.

The b-girls came out to play…

It’s hard for me to take rap battles seriously after I started going to more Grindtime events. I wonder what Rosenberg was thinking during this moment? Somehow that girl won (don’t ask me how) and she went head to head playing Rap Star with some guy…playing video games during shows is cool now? I dunno. But she won a PS3. AND showed up at SOB’s again the next night.

Young Gunz performing. Didn’t think both of them would be here so this is a surprise. Because “No Better Love” was my shit back in the day. Kinda crazy was that Young Chris came out with one chain. At some point in the night he gained two more, which looked like Roc chains. I never once noticed him slip two more on. One of those rapper stage tricks I suppose. Young Chris interview coming very soon. And thanks to crazy media types in the building y’all know what happened next so moving on…

Yelawolf…uh, serenading? Some chick on stage. I never seen him rock live before. I’m still not sure what exactly I think of the dude but I know one thing for sure: white girls love Yelawolf.

Day 2 I switched to the iPhone camera since I wasn’t on some official business type shit that night. Sold out show at SOB’s found Reek da Villian, Fred Da Godson, Busta Rhymes, and Joell Ortiz gracing the holiday-themed stage. Less pics because of obvious picture quality issues. The above is the view from the DJ booth as Busta did his thing. He tore it down. And so did DJ’s Kast One and L-Boogs. Random Mobb Deep sets? Oh yes please.

Mr. Yaowa ending the night on a strong note. Brooklyn was in the building heavy!

The rest of the week was a little too hot for TV…uh, internet… (it involved a Bronx strip club, a Christmas hotel room with faulty CO2 detectors, and a couple jail visits amidst other not so wonderful things) but the fast life has finally caught up to me and I’m laid up in my parents’ crib in VA sick with the flu. Bah humbug. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday! Keep it locked cuz I’m working on some good things…DMV what are the moves this week! I haven’t been out here in so long…phone # hasn’t changed so you know what to do!

One day when I was on my way to the 9 to 5 last week, I did what I usually do: listen to the Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg morning show on Hot 97. I mean I won a $100 Best Buy gift card through their show once, and I’m a sucker for free shit, so you know I stay listening to them. For those not in the area or those who just never gave a fuck, the show goes like this: Cipha Sounds is the token Puerto Rican, Rosenberg is the token Hip Hop head Jew, and then there’s a girl, K Foxx, who tries to chime in with her two cents about shit but usually gets shut down by Rosenberg. It really is quite funny. Racist jokes are abundant, and hell, even their promotion (“A Black, a Puerto Rican, and a Jew” billboards lining the streets?) is racially slanted. But we all know it’s a joke. Hell, I even laugh at it half the time. Then again, I glued myself to this book for an hour after I bought it, so I obviously have no tact:

(In case you’re interested the book is great, and available at Amazon or currently for sale for $10 at the Powerhouse Arena at 37 Main St. in Brooklyn)

So it was only fitting that I’d laugh my ass off in my car when Cipha Sounds said this on air last week…

Oh, the classic Haiti and AIDS joke. We all know Haiti is fucked the fuck up, and this was the kind of quip that would be type offensive if you were Haitian…and the Haitian massive is strong out here in NYC. But let’s break this down a bit.

First of all, they make jokes like this all the time. About all sorts of races of people. It’s kinda their schtick. We all know it’s a joke. Second, it seems as if Cipha was a bit outdated in his joke anyway, as Haiti’s AIDS rate has been dropping and was estimated to be only a mere 2.2% in 2009, which leaves it with a lower rate than the District of Columbia during the same year. It probably would have stung more, statistically speaking, if Ciph had said he never messed with a D.C. girl.

What I’m saying is this push to get him fired all of a sudden, although I can understand the outrage from what he said, just seems a bit extra. If anything what this is doing is getting people like myself to look at the current situation surrounding the AIDS epidemic in Haiti, and abroad. Which isn’t exactly something at the forefront of the news. And now a lot of people are listening thanks to all the large Hip Hop media outlets picking up the story. If I were a Haitian offended by this comment, I’d be taking this opportunity to contact the press and get coverage on what the situation down there is really like right now, and spit out statistics to prove Ciph wrong. Turn the negative into a positive. At this point I’m sure he’s going to be thinking twice about what kind of jokes he cracks on air, and probably off the air as well. We all say stupid shit, is this really worth firing him over? Plus anyway, if I ever wake up early enough again to hear their show I don’t really need to hear K Foxx and Rosenberg bickering with each other all morning.

I’m liking the stuff these guys are putting out right now. New video for your visual senses. The Only Number That Matters Is Won will arrive in 2011, and this single is available for purchase on iTunes.

Another day, another album review. In my latest venture into critique land, I tackle Diddy’s latest “concept” LP, Last Train to Paris.

[READ] Diddy/Dirty Money Last Train to Paris Review (via HipHopDX)

Sipping many alcoholic beverages at Brian Allonce’s Bar Exam show at PNC in the company of good friends can only mean one thing:  a belligerent crowd of hungry people by the show’s end. That, and a good time. So over to El Almacen in Williamsburg we all headed.

It’s a small place – make a reservation. But the main point is that this is Argentinian cuisine in the heart of Hipsterland. And it’s pretty decent. The price point is a little high, but so is the quality of the food. Pictured above is an order of the Enchiladas (pulled chicken with tomatillo salsa)…it was pretty good, but I feel like the price justified the presentation of the dish rather than the flavor, as I’m sure there’s spots nearby on Grand Ave. that have just as tasty enchiladas for half the price. It was good though.

But what this place does very well is churrasco/grilled meats. Served on wooden planks, that aren’t planks so much as they are cross sections of tree trunks, various cuts of meat are grilled and seasoned perfectly. At times steaks can be on the tough side, but the flavor is on point. Side dishes are too small, though. No question about that.

Also tried the churros for dessert – they were miniature versions of a churro (of course, since all portions are on the small side here) served up with dulce de leche or warmed chocolate sauce. You can’t really go wrong with fried dough covered in sugar, but at the same time it wasn’t excessively impressive.

I probably won’t return as I know I can eat way cheaper in the area and just as well, but I could see this being a good go-to for a date or something.

El Almacen, 557 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY

It’s a Teddy Pendergrass kind of day. RIP. In a few hours I’ll probably be drunkenly out of this musical mood, but this video will still be great.

Teddy Pendergrass – Love TKO