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About

"Still over the stove cookin' that raw/ And I analyzed the game when Killa took me on tour/ All the G's salutin' me bitches screamin' my name/ Felt good to be on stage rocks gleam from the chain/ I put my life on paper when I record my music/ You can look me in my eyes and see it's more than music"

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"The Black Martha Stewart/ I can show you how to do this!/ Break down pies to pieces/ Make cocaine quiches"

The 'chives

$B + Jesus Piece Thursday, October 5 |

$imon Bentley and the Jesus Piece are going to be joining forces at the new From the Polo Fleece to the Jesus Piece to be located at http://jesuspiece.blogspot.com. Unfortunately, this means that $imon Bentley will no longer remain open on its own, but we are looking to do far bigger things with the Jesus Piece. Mike was having difficulty keeping up with his design work, Jesus Piece, and his advertising job so he picked us up and we agreed to run a joint venture. Although we were only up for a couple of days, big thanks to Jerome over at betterthanyours.net and the crew at still-listen.com for seeing the potential in our work. With that said, $B out.

Supa bang bang! Monday, October 2 |



AZ ft. Little Brother - "Rise & Fall"
The Federation - "I Wear My Stunna Glasses At Nite"

Back from the nation's capital and chillin' in the middle of VA again. I've finally gotten wind of AZ's new LP "The Format" and I'm impressed with what I've heard so far. I watched the video of the title track produced by DJ Premier the other day and seizures aside, I was feelin' the AZ-Primo connection. AZ's been largely forgotten by the mainstream hip-hop audience post-"Sugar Hill" and if anybody remembers him, it's as Nas' weed carrier. Unfortunately, AZ is nothing more than an underground "legend" at best and a nobody on the regular. Well, I don't want to remind AZ or his fans any more of his irrelevance to hip-hop and that said, "The Format" looks to be an enjoyable follow up to his last (and solid) LP "AWOL". The bulk of the production is handled by longtime collaborator Emile and "Rise & Fall" was one of the handful of tracks turned in by J. Cardim (with an assist by Little Brother's Phonte). LB's Big Pooh handles the first verse serving mostly as an introduction to his more deserving and talented partner, Phonte. Phonte is becoming a legend in his own right by catching praises from hip-hop enthusiasts and purists alike. He's been called one of the top five MCs at the moment among other things, but I won't comment on that. He's a charismatic MC where most of the current crop are dull and uninspired and that'll be the stock compliment from $B. This almost doesn't seem like an AZ track at all, but it does fit in with LB's increasingly better catalog since departing from strictly 9th Wonder work. Nothing against 9th Wonder because anybody who can do what he does with Fruity Loops gets props, but he was becoming the definition of formulaic and... boring. The latest LB work has featured Pooh and Phonte rockin' over DJ A-Trak and Nottz among other less formula (soul) based producers.

I'm not going to pretend like I know anything about hip-hop from the Bay; I do know that I tend to dislike most of it. E-40, hyphy, and the post-Mac Dre resurgence of the Bay in hip-hop circles hasn't produced anything of much interest or quality. I'm not gonna lie though... I have a soft spot for The Pack, best known as purveyors of "Vans". "Club Stuntin" by The Pack floored me the first time I heard it. Something about the robotic voiceovers over extra dirty synths and the almost spacelike bounce of the drums had me nodding my head more than anything in recent memory. So after my recent foray into Bay-born hip-hop, I decided to try out some more in the form of The Federation. Again, I don't know anything about them and I'm not going to do my research. All I know is The Federation took some circa-80's synths and produced an anthem dedicated to wearing sunglasses at night. I can't stand E-40's delivery, but everyone else is okay in my book. A lot of East Coast kids are probably pissing in their pants about how the Bay and friends (the South?) are ruining the state of hip-hop, but I can't front: hip-hop is club music just as much as it is street tales and introspective hustler narratives. After I cut out E-40's verse on Cool Edit, "I Wear My Stunna Glasses At Nite" is finding its way in my rotation. For you DJs out there, maybe E-40's verse would be a good time to do some mixing.