Exponentially fresh.

This is the only picture I have of my meal from Tiffin Wallah, and it’s not even something I ordered. Usually that would be a bad thing – in this case it’s fucking amazing.

I’m not the biggest fan of Indian food, but lately I frequently find myself in that little area in the high 20′s on the East side of Manhattan that perpetually smells of curry, and I had to succumb to the smell. My first destination was Tiffin Wallah – a decently priced yet very nice looking spot near the corner of E. 28th and Lexington Ave. I cheated on this one – I didn’t actually eat there. But in the five or so minutes I was sitting around waiting for my order, they managed to impress me perhaps more than any restaurant’s service I’ve been to since I’ve lived in this city, save for the guy at the Italian spot next to the Blind Barber in Alphabet City the other night who laced me with some free food for no good reason at all.

See, I ordered one of their weekend specials to go – the Curried Fried Rice (their version of Chinese fried rice with onion, carrot, cabbage, bell pepper, soy sauce, & spice, $9) and sat down like usual near the back to wait for my food. The guy brings me my check. It’s cheaper than the price listed on the menu. No complaints there, that’s for sure. And then it got better.

They brought me that big ass mango lassi in a wine glass. Not as a mistake. They plopped it down and said “here, while you wait.”

SAY WORD.

I love a good mango lassi. LOVE. I drink that shit like it’s water. Can’t tell me nothin’. It’s like Low Key to Egg Nog. And to get one free of charge?!?!? Man, that’s the key to my heart. That, and Mobb Deep over Alchemist beats.

So in a nutshell, I spent a dollar less than what I had planned to spend, and walked away with a free beverage on top of that. WINNING.

But how was the food? Well, it was amazing enough that I forgot to take a picture. They employed basmati rice as the weapon of choice in this Indian version of fried rice, and it had a spicy kick to it, yet not overwhelmingly so. It’s served with a yogurt sauce that cools the spice to a pleasant summertime level, and it has veggies and amazingness in there. I had leftovers for the next day, too, which is nice. It wasn’t overly greasy or anything. The whole thing was just…pleasant.

Their service is top notch. Eating there would be dope too, because it’s a really cool looking spot (painted shades of cool greens and shit, or something, I don’t know, this was like a week ago and I have a terrible memory), and of all things they were playing Dancehall in the restaurant for Sunday evening dinner. Didn’t make too much sense to me either but I love Dancehall, so I ain’t mad at that.

Also important to note – they have an all you can eat lunch buffet. Now, because I suck at taking pics, feast upon these that I stole borrowed from Tiffin Wallah’s Yelp page.

Tiffin Wallah, 127 E. 28th St., New York, NY

They got me back at it again this week with a review for Crooked I’s Planet C.O.B. Vol. 2. In case you care about what I think of this piece of work, you can read my thoughts at HipHopDX.

[READ] Crooked I Planet C.O.B. Vol. 2 Album Review (via HipHopDX)

Yessssssss. Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of his project with Trez, I’m never mad at a new Tragedy Khadafi release. Official track list and press release below.

New York, NY-  Fellow Juice Crew member and Hip-Hop icon, Tragedy Khadafi is set to release a new mixtape on September 20th, 2011  The mix features Killa Sha with production by: araabMUZIK, Shroom, Audible Doctor, Now & Laterz, and Ayatollah. The debut video entitled “Ill-Luminous Flow” will be available August 2, 2011.

Tragedy says, “Over the years we got allot of support on Part 1 & Part 2 so I want to give my core fan base Thug Matrix 3 before I release my official album Still Reportin.

In the late 80′s… Tragedy caught the attention of Marley Marl, who went on to produce the duo’s next two singles. He was soon made a junior member of the Juice Crew alongside renowned artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and MC Shan. After a conviction for robbery followed by time in a correctional facility, Tragedy became a Five Percenter and began working under the alias Intelli-gent Hoodlum. His self-titled debut, Intelligent Hoodlum was released in 1990 and produced by Marley Marl. It was full of political commentary, Five-Percenter rhetoric, and controversial messages in tracks such as “Arrest The President” and “Black and Proud”… Tragedy cemented his place in Hiphop history. He returned in 1993, released his second album, Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum. This would be his last album under that moniker.

Trag continued to record throughout the remainder of the 1990s, working with Capone, Noreaga and Mobb Deep, recording “LA, LA,” a response to Tha Dogg Pound’s “NY, NY,” now working under the name Tragedy Khadafi. He also worked extensively on Capone-N-Noreaga’s debut album The War Report.

In 1998, Tragedy formed the group the Iron Sheiks along with his lifelong friend, Imam T.h.u.g. who hailed from the Queensbridge Housing Projects as well.It was on the release of an Iron Shieks EP Tragedy dissed Noreaga accusing him of stealing his style. Soon thereafter, Noreaga retaliated with “Halfway Thugs Pt. II.”

Khadafi’s third album, Against All Odds, was scheduled for release in 1999, but conflicts with his label stalled the release, it was finally released in 2001 to critical praise and featured the first appearance of emcee HeadRush Napoleon & The Late Great Killa Sha who continued to work with Tragedy on future recordings.

In 2005, Trag released Thug Matrix independently and also released an album as a member of the group Black Market Militia. Khadafi’s latest releases, Blood Ballads and Thug Matrix 2, were released simultaneously in 2006.

Recently, Tragedy starred in a documentary entitled: Tragedy- The Story of Queensbridge. It focused on his life and struggles and highlighted growing up a junior member of the Juice Crew, the numerous times he was incarcerated, and the toll life offers growing up a poor African American child who faced life without a father and a mother who was addicted to heroin. The documentary was immersed in well-suited beats and melodies that truly accentuated the tone of the situations that were being described on camera.

Tragedy Thug Matrix 3 Tracklisting and Credits:

1.  Narcotic Lines (Produced By: araabMUZIK)

2. ILL-LUMINOUS FLOW (Produced By: Now and Laterz)
3. Black Prince (Produced By: Ayatollah)
4. Free Thinkers (Produced By: Shroom)
5. Each One, Teach One (Produced By: Audible Doctor)
6. Gorilla Warfare Ft: Killa Sha (Produced By: Asmatik )

7. The Wake Up (Produced By: Booth)
8. Still Breathing (Produced By: Now and Laterz)
9. Outstanding (Produced By: Audible Doctor)
10. Best Of Both Coast Ft: Killa Sha, King David & Planet Asia

Definitely looking all types of forward to hearing him over some araabMUZIK and Audible Doctor.

Been a while since I seen Wordsmith, or did an iPod Five post. So I continue on in the series bringing you five random songs from Wordsmith’s digital crates along with some commentary from him as to why he fucks with these songs. I think he’s the first one to openly admit that he passes on his musical taste to his kids. Dope. Rappers can be family men, too, ya know.

1. Coldplay – Fix You

This is the first song I let my kids hear by Coldplay, and they have been hooked ever since.

2. Lupe Fiasco – Kick Push

My 7 year old son is a fan of Lupe due to putting this on both of our Ipod’s.

3. Smif N Wessun – Bucktown

Reminds me of when I was in High School and had a damn bedtime; I would spend it under the covers listening to Smif-N-Wessun’s classic album “Da Shinin”

4. Michael Jackson – Earth Song

Puts me in the zone to think about life in general

5. Kanye West – Dark Fantasy

Kanye’s new album dropped the same week my Grandfather passed away, so songs like Dark Fantasy remind me of that time

And there you have it – a glimpse into the NU Revolution Entertainment and Revolt Radio rep’s (who also has a degree in Theater Arts) musical landscape.

This “Otis” beat is making rappers lose their minds. I’m not a fan of rhyming over other people’s beats unless the emcee is super extra exceptional, so don’t expect me to post many of these, but Skyzoo deserves the nod. Listen as he goes in over the ‘Ye and Jay madness.

[DOWNLOAD] Skyzoo – Otis Freestyle

And yet another interesting book release comes from the Powerhouse crew. About the book:

New York City has been home to a Puerto Rican population since the mid-1900s, with the most noticeable migration boom beginning in the 1950s. As Puerto Ricans settled in New York over the years, they stamped the city with their culture, indelibly altering neighborhoods like the South Bronx, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and downtown Brooklyn with rhythm, style, flavor, art, language, and claro, Latino cuisine. Arlene Gottfried, herself a native New Yorker, grew up side-by-side with the burgeoning Puerto Rican community, never straying far from its influence whether living in Brooklyn or the LES. In the heart of the barrio, Gottfried began shooting pictures inspired by her friends, using them as subjects in apartments, on the streets, and in the park, in times of radiant joy and heart-breaking sorrow.

The book launch event is going down on August 2nd at the Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO at the corner of Main and Water streets. A/C to High St/Brooklyn Bridge or F to York. RSVP to the email address listed in the flyer. Drinks will be served.

…the latest Southern rapper (I think? Hard to assume anything these days) to make his way up north to mingle with the media types and bring his thugged out amazingness to the masses. I was a little bummed I missed his Atlantic Records-sponsored shindig last night since after a long day of seriousness there’s nothing like a little ignorance to lighten up the mood. Plus, is “The Definition of Fuck Shit Pt. 2″ not one of the best mixtape titles ever?

Here’s his video with Young Jeezy and Yo Gotti in case you missed it, and now care about anything Jeezy-related since he absolutely utterly fucking destroyed the Highline Ballroom the other day. For the record I been rocking with Jeezy from the start, fuck a Highline show. Yeeeeeeeeeah!

And, of course, you can cop the tape here.

After quite a night of having guys drop trousers right next to me at the Flud party (congrats on the new summer line, guys) and then finding a body laid out in DUMBO (still alive, at least), I was hoping I’d wake up fully recovered and with a somewhat calm inbox today. Yeah right. This was the first track I opened, and if a Hell Rell track is any indicator of how my day will go, I expect more fuckery.

“Rap money slow up? Crack paper pick up, get the Benz clean, scoop a wack hater’s bitch up”

You already know. Sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!

[DOWNLOAD] Hell Rell feat. M-Dot and Benefit – Nothing To Fool With (Prod. by FRZ)

Bronze Nazareth’s album is due out September 13th, and the official tracklist is as follows:

1.    Intro
2.    Jesus Feet
3.    The Road (feat. Masta Killa & Inspectah Deck)
4.    Fire Implanters (feat. L.A.D. aka La The Darkman)
5.    Instrumental Interlude
6.    The Bronzeman 2 (feat. Canibus) (Additional vocals by Raekwon)
7.    King Of Queens
8.    Instrumental Interlude
9.    Fourth Down (feat. Salute Da Kidd, Kevlaar 7 & Phillie of Wisemen)
10.    Fresh From The Morgue (feat. RZA)
11.    Malcolm School Skit
12.     Pictures (Stem Cells)
13.    Records We Used To Play
14.    The Letter
15.    Gomorrah (feat. Killah Priest)
16.    Instrumental Interlude
17.    Reggie (feat. Rain The Quiet Storm)
18.    Farewell (feat. Willie The Kid)
19.    Cold Summer (feat. Salute Da Kidd & June Megalodon of Wisemen)
20.    Worship (feat. Salute Da Kidd, Kevlaar 7, & Phillie of Wisemen)

The other day I sat down with former Bad Boy turned Duck Down emcee Black Rob to discuss a few things, including whether or not Puffy and the Bad Boy fam held him down while he was locked up, what he sees as being the biggest flaw in the prison system, if he feels “Whoa” overshadowed the rest of his career, and more. Read the Q&A over at HipHopDX. Game Tested, Streets Approved for sale now.

[READ] Black Rob Reacts To Post-Prison Life, Clarifies Image, And Praises Duck Down (via HipHopDX)