Exponentially fresh.

Yup…still a fan of Phil Ade.

I DON’T NEED YOUR LOVE (feat. Phil Ade) (prod by JC Beatz) by Young Lyxx

Before my typical audience here says a damn word, I dare you to find a flick on Google images that offends your eyes any less than this one when it comes to SSION. To be honest, I don’t even know what this shit is. All I know is that I kinda fucks with it, and I do live in Williamsburg nowadays so I think this kind of shit comes with the zip code or something. It’s 3:40 in the morning and this is getting played on repeat. Judge me as you please.

SSION – My Love Grows In The Dark (Nightfeelings Remix) by Dovecote Records

The video feels like one big moving instagram picture, but this guy’s bars aren’t bad at all. A little different than what I’ve been posting lately. Not quite fitting of my current mood these days, but can’t deny a good song when it’s in front of my face. This is a joint effort between King I Divine and ScienZe. Like it? Download their collaborative LP here.

It’s so cold in the D, and yet the music stays hot. Michigan-based artist Drew32 is teaming up with DJ Skee for his “Label Me” mixtape, and the first track I’m seeing off of this features none other than Jon Connor. I dig this. Keep an eye on this one. Stream and download below.

Wayne Wonder hit Webster Hall recently to unleash his newest single “Caught Up (3 Way)” upon the New York City venue’s packed crowd. Check out the new song below, as well as a bonus video of his appearance at Webster Hall. You can learn more about how to make your own videos using digital multimedia by visiting www.graphicdesigncollege.org.

New Meek Mill makes my day start off well. This is going straight onto the iPod for my upcoming road trip back to NYC. That being said, who got some gas and toll money on a ride from the DC area to NYC? You should already know how to find me…

…but I digress. To hear the new Meek Mill track, head on over to Pitchfork to stream and catch a free download.

[DOWNLOAD] Meek Mill – Flexin’ On Em (produced by Jahlil Beats) (via Pitchfork)

Lots of Curren$y-related news today, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records. His new album The Stoned Immaculate will be dropping June 5th, his lead single with Wale is out today (see below for a stream), and his tour kicks off in April in Houston, TX. Damn! Check out the lengthy details in the press release as well:

April 3, 2012: Burbank, CA:

New Orleans’ “Jet Life” ambassador Curren$y will release his newest project The Stoned Immaculate on June 5thth via Warner Bros. Records.  The full-length studio album’s lead single, “What It Look Like,” features Maybach Music Group rapper Wale and premiered on Complex.com today (April 3rd) at http://www.complex.com/music/2012/04/premiere-currensy-f-wale-what-it-look-like.  On April 8th, the video for “What It Look Like” will premiere on MTV2’s Sucker Free and beginning April 9th will be MTV Jams’ Jam of the Week.  “What It Look Like” will go on sale at iTunes on April 10th.

In the upcoming weeks, Curren$y will embark on the “Jet Life: The Stoned Immaculate” tour, which kicks off April 19th in Houston, TX.  The tour will preface fans for The Stoned Immaculate and its June 5th release.  Fans eager to pre-order the album can do so beginning April 20th at CurrensySpitta.com.  Dates are below.

The Stoned Immaculate is the latest project from Curren$y, a rapper whose work ethic is unmatched in the Hip-Hop game.  Just last year he released the critically-acclaimed projects Weekend At Burnies’ (its title a play on the 1989 cult classic film Weekend at Bernies’) and the Alchemist-helmed Covert Coupe, which New York Magazine called “a solid ten-song block of underground head-nodding, uninterrupted by pop hooks, production shifts, or anything else that might break the spell.”  Since last year, Spitta has released his Verde Terrace mixtape, with DJ Drama, a 5-song FreEP called Here released to fans via Twitter during Superbowl weekend, and most recently an EP collaboration with Yonkers rapper Styles P titled #The1st28.

Initially signed to fellow New Orleans rapper C-Murder’s Tru Records in 2001, Curren$y was brought over to Master P’s New No Limit Records in 2002.  From 2004-2007, Curren$y enjoyed a stint on Cash Money Records as part of Lil Wayne’s burgeoning Young Money Entertainment before venturing out on his own.  In 2009, Curren$y was selected as one of XXL Magazine’s “Top 10 Freshman” in recognition of his talent and drive amongst the likes of B.O.B, Kid Cudi, Wale and others.  Since then Curren$y has released a series of mixtapes while building his J.E.T.S (Just Enjoy This Sh*t) apparel and lifestyle brand.

Curren$y Ft. Wale – “What It Look Like” by CurrenSy

You know what one of the best things about the holiday season is? The parties.

But you know what can be the worst thing about a party? The bouncers. I make it a point to be super sweet to bouncers, because they are the gateway to places I need to be, and it doesn’t matter who I know inside that party, because the guy working the door does not give a fuck about anyone inside that place. So I smile. I stay patient. Sometimes I wait for lines of partygoers to die down because I don’t want to seem holier than thou skipping lines because I’m press or on a guest list. I have my ID ready. I move to the side if there’s some type of hold up. I’m like a bouncer’s fantasy, as long as they don’t pat down my boots. But let’s not talk about that.

So anyway, I show up to a spot ready to go. ID in hand, +1 by my side, and walk up to the bouncers. Convo goes like this:

Bouncer: What are you here for?

Me: [So-and-so]‘s party.

Bouncer: Do you have reservations?

Me: No, I’m on the guestlist.

Bouncer: Well what about [the person with you]?

Me: I have a +1 on the list.

Bouncer: Well you still need reservations.

At this point, another guy interjects and hands the bouncer the guestlist, in other words saying “fuck yo reservations.” Score one for me. It’s obvious this guy is already being a dick. After looking over the list, fronting like my name wasn’t on it only to have another bouncer point it out to him, and checking my ID, he decides to fuck with my +1 who was admittedly a little bit under dressed for the event. I wasn’t even putting up a fight, just a sad face because I knew I wasn’t going to leave my friend out in the cold or in my car while I went inside for a drink and to mingle, so my plans for the night were shot. Then the conversation went like this:

Bouncer: You see everyone walking in? They’re dressed casual. He…well, he’s a little too casual. You know, he’s dressed urban.

I said something snarky and flattering toward my friend, so as to help them not feel some type of way about the criticism of his appearance. At this point I just wasn’t digging the scenario so I bounced, but on the drive home my cranky ass self kept coming back to that word – “urban.” It has always sat negatively with me, and it seemed to be sitting extra negatively with me when directed toward someone I care about. But why?

I’ve spent the last few years of my life dedicating my attention, passion, time, and effort into the market that some people label “urban music.” In those last few years, I can’t recall one time that I referred to this genre of music as “urban.” My Geography degree taught me better than that. Urban has to do with high population density urban centers, technically, in other words – large cities. The counterparts to this being, of course, suburban and rural. And as someone who has lived in both urban and suburban areas and who has also spent quite a bit of time in rural areas, I know damn well that “urban music” is coming from places far from urban.

I also know that I spent my whole childhood dreaming of moving to New York City. I wanted Manhattan – urban – life. A tiny apartment until I moved into a swanky condo with a nice city view out of my windows, a nice car, a steady job, great public transportation at my fingertips and boredom a non-issue. I changed my mind and decided to be a Brooklyn resident once I finally made it up here, but it’s the same shit. I live in a a literally urban area, working in not-so-literal “urban” arts and entertainment. This has nothing to do with my race, religion or lack thereof, what I choose to wear, or who I choose to associate with. It’s numbers. Population. Fucking. Density.

Hip Hop (I emphasize this because it’s what I deal with, as opposed to R&B or other “urban” musics) originated in an urban area. I’ll give it that. But that’s about the extent of its legitimate association with the word. For the longest, thanks to some PR and marketing exploitation “help,” “urban” became a questionably PC synonym of “black.” Those of us who know better will still argue this was an inappropriate usage of the word even aside from its undertones of racism, since “urban” music of the last decade or so has been consumed by a shit ton of white people, overseen business-wise by a shit ton of white people, and even created by a shit ton of white people. Ironically even UrbanDictionary.com agrees with this, if you read the definitions of “urban” their users have submitted. And, additionally, even the most urban of urban areas, my own home of NYC, is still majority white according to census statistics.  This in itself makes people feel a certain type of way toward the word (what makes the “urban music” label any different than that of “race music” from the earlier portion of the 1900′s, besides the fact that Hip Hop didn’t exist back then?), and for good reason.

The thing was that my friend isn’t black. More like Latino of the light skinned variety. And, of course, this happened in the middle of fucking New York City, which again, in case it isn’t clear, is an urban area, so this is kind of an urban, you know, New York CITY party. In a nutshell I was confused as to what the bouncer really meant when he said it. The point he was conveying was clear – he thought my friend wasn’t, or at least didn’t look good enough to be at that party. It wasn’t his jeans, sneakers, or hat, because I saw other people go in wearing jeans, sneakers, and hats. But that’s what urban means now? General inferiority, regardless of whether an urban setting is in the picture or not (it was, so looking “urban” should be normal in this scenario), and even with its previously implied race not a factor? Switch out the word “urban” with “inferior” in the contexts I know urban is used. Inferior music. Inferior style or inferior fashion. Inferior lifestyle. Ouch. Would it have been so hard for this guy to have said underdressed instead? Or just simply “no, I’m sorry he can’t come in with those shoes on.” Nope, he took it there.

I almost got back on the bridge to drive back and punch the guy in the face, but I decided to come home and write it out instead. Karma will come around to that guy at some point, I’m sure. Maybe someone will puke on his suit tonight. Not that I’m wishing that on him or anything. But it wasn’t just an insult to my friend’s lapse in fashion judgment, his utilization of the word was insulting to the career path I’ve chosen, my passions, and my goals. And to hear that come out of his mouth at the doors of a party closely connected to the “urban music” scene blew my mind.  I know that this isn’t any new development or anything, but I was shocked to hear someone still using the word in such a context, and particularly in that setting. It’s time for “urban” to die as a classification. There’s nothing wrong with dressing a certain way, making a certain type of music, living in an area of a particular population density, being black, white, or any color inbetween including Butter Pecan Rican. It’s been inappropriately used for a while now, but it’s also downright rude when you see how people really use it.

So fuck you Mr. Bouncer. I do what I do, love what I love, and associate with the people I associate with, and I wouldn’t change a thing, no matter what your loosely enforced dress code is.

Been a while since I did one of these (I say that a lot, don’t I?) but a very unlucky weekend reminded me that I should. To say the rain in New York City has been a pain in my ass would be an understatement, so it’s a perfect occasion for me to do a Sunday Sounds of a few of my favorite tracks in my musical library which have to do with this extremely inconvenient form of precipitation.

Gilbere Forte & Adele – Set Fire To The Rain (remix)

Adele…’nuffsaid. I was happy someone laid a verse on this.

Don’t you dare judge me. This video fascinates me because before watching it, I assumed it was going to be something way different. Who saw this coming? I mean really. I get the concept…the “rain”, the drought on the farm, OK. Sure. But some of it still doesn’t make sense. What’s up with the girl lying on that pile of dirt with the mutant-sized spider on top of her? What’s up with the fake birds? And most perplexing of all, why am I not seeing more ass in this video? I give them props for branching out and not giving me what I expected. Seriously. I’ve seen enough ass when this song is played in strip clubs. The farmers and scarecrows and shit just make this song that much more entertaining.

Slaughterhouse feat Novel – Raindrops

This really is a great rainy day track. It’s been featured in a previous Sunday Sounds, but it’s just so fitting.

A Tribe Called Quest – Go Ahead In The Rain

Off their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm. I was two years old when this came out. Scary, huh?

Raekwon feat. Ghostface Killah & Blue Raspberry

My favorite rainy day song which actually pertains to rain ever. Yo, real talk, I sit back and count ways on how to get rich on rainy days too, son. From the samples, to the verse, to Blue Raspberry’s appropriately melancholy singing, this. is. my. shit.

Hang on to those umbrellas folks, and cross your fingers that you have better luck with the rainy weather than I have.

It might be because I was a Geography major in college, plus a certified food nerd, that I get extreme pleasure from local delicacies wherever I travel. I spend a decent amount of time in the North Shore area of Massachusetts and their regional specialty just happens to be roast beef (among other things bad for you, like steak tips and chicken finger subs). In general, roast beef is something I avoid, but what they’re serving up here is a far cry from your deli counter, sodium-laden cold roast beef.

Please, come here and order a junior beef 3-way. What they’ll give you will change your definition of roast beef.

It’s warm roast beef, obviously fresh, not packaged to last for two months in a refrigerator, on what I swear is a lightly toasted hamburger bun, with cheese, mayo, and BBQ. These days I usually order without mayo and cheese because I’m watching those calories for summertime and every shortcut counts, but when done properly, it’s an amazing sandwich. The beef is on the rare side (when done right), and pink when you bite into it, as evidenced above.

Thing is, there are roast beef and sub shops on nearly every corner around here. So how do you know which one to go to? Well, it depends what you want. In the case of People’s Choice they offer a few things that some of the other local spots do not – late hours (well, late by Massachusetts standards, this is no New York City), some kick ass bottled lemonade and iced tea from a local supplier, arcade games to play while you wait for your food, jovial staff, and of course the weekend post-club people watching.

Yeah, that above picture was taken the night before the alleged rapture of 2011, despite the fact that the capri pants and white on white AF1′s would make you believe it’s actually 2000 and we had just dodged the technological faux-rapture of Y2K. Total sidenote, but homegirl’s friend had on the exact same pants too. Power in numbers? Not sure, but shortly after I snapped this flick, she leaned over to pick something up and a one hitter of Southern Comfort fell out of her pocket. Oh you classy, huh. Not to say I haven’t rolled around with some firewater in my bag or my pocket, but I at least leave the denim capris at home. I love it though. Just careful if you go people watching on weekends as there will probably be a ton of cops outside arresting everyone. Drive slow, homie.

Things People’s falls short on? Their fries are subpar compared to competing sub shops in the area. If you get in there during that weekend rush you might be waiting a while for your order. It’s metered parking outside, rather than free at all times. But goodness those roast beef sandwiches are good. Remind me to grab another one before I leave this place. Matter fact, I think I’ll go now.

People’s Choice, 17 Market Sq., Lynn, MA