New York .:Feb 20 09:.
For Valentines Day...Myself, Jen and her friends Marvyn, and Christine headed out to NY. More pictures to come....soon....I'm lazy. Pulled this one from Facebook.
Soul Sauce Flyer .:Feb 14 09:.
Jaba needed a flyer made real quick. Event was on Friday though.
FlavorInnovator .:Feb 09 09:.
When I moved up to Union City a little more than a year ago, and it came time for me to find an internship for my graphic design program at Chabot College, I found a local studio in Newark, of all places, on Yelp. It was called FlavorInnovator (www.flavorinnovator.com). I emailed the studio, sent my portfolio, and maybe a few weeks later, Steve Ha had me working on a di-cut sticker for one of his clients. What was a weird coincidence is that I had seen this record at Amoeba by a cat name "E Da Boss" a couple weeks before that, that had caught my eye on the cover alone. Turned out he designed it. Romali was going to buy the same record coincidentally on the design alone. He's actually designed a few covers of records I had bought in the past.
I put in a lot of work at FlavorInnovator, in exchange he had taught me how to use Photoshop, and is always there to give me some guidance and constructive criticsm for my work. Fast forward to the present, about over 100 beers, 3 bottles of Jack Daniels, 5 packs of cigarettes, 1 run-in with a security gaurd, a few toy freestyle sessions, and a couple Jo_iLL tags on some random trash cans, we have become good friends, and he a mentor to me.
(Jo_iLL, Romali looking hard as usual, and Nam aka FlavorInnovator)
Vimby (www.vimby.com) had just did a feature on him, and I'm proud to see him getting some shine. Here's to good luck on the design tip in the '09.
Exile vs. D-Train .:Feb 09 09:.
Lab Rat .:Feb 05 09:.
[IMAGES COURTESY OF KEEN OF "BEAUTIFUL MUSIC BABY"]
This is my record collection. I've been buying records since '98, and my collection pretty much takes up 95% of that 5x5 cube shelf thing from IKEA. About 5 crates of these are a collection of funk and soul passed down to me from my parents, aunts, and uncles. The rest is a lot of underground hip-hop from 98' to the present; a small collection of classic hip-hop; and a few crates of jazz, funk re-edits, uptempo, midtempo, downtempo, electronica, nu-jazz, etc. And given the diversity of my collection, I'm mainly known as a scratch DJ. And I only own like 4 scratch records...1 of which I "borrowed" from DJ Argonaut in 2000 (thanks Jay...I gained much skill from that record). I remember when he used to always tell me to "return your rentals".
These turntables get scratched on at least once a day. For a long time scratching has been very therapeutic for me. Listening to your technique, and mastering it is like learning a new language. The brain waves coming from my mind, translate to sounds, and if recorded, translate visually on screen in the form of a WAV. It has fascinated me for years. When my mind is cluttered, scratching has always been my way of "venting", and focusing my thoughts, and energy. I would share that fun fact with kids sometimes when talking about hip-hop, and they'd look at me all crazy.
Musically with my style, I take a lot cues from jazz, old-school/foundation scratch techniques, and I'll funk it up as best I can if the beat calls for it. There IS a foundation and there IS a vocabulary for scratching...no matter how much you want to say "I don't really follow all that, I just do my thing". Well the elements of "your thing" was probably created by somebody else. If you recognize that, and build on it, then you will ultimately create your own style. "Style" is a combination of technique and personality. Style is a reflection of your influences since the day you were born. This is how I understand art...it's all about style and technique.
I haven't been mixing, or listening to my records as much as I would like too ever since I've been pursuing graphic design as a career. But last night while working, I was listening to my records, and realized how much I've lost touch with them. It was refreshing to hear some of the stuff I got. I need to remember a big chunk of my style came from incubating myself in this room (as much as it has traveled). I am looking forward to what 2009 has to offer. I will definitely be making more music. Now is the time for me to build with new cats, expose myself to new things, and stay inspired.
Romali on the cut at Jo_iLL's .:Feb 02 09:.
Romali and I spent the whole weekend together. He comes through to
Fremont to get away from his dorm mates, hang out, scratch, and eat all
the food that I cook. We tried recording a podcast but, he kept
picking the records I already played, and it's hard for him to stick to
the "U Ain't Hip-Hop" format...so, we ended up just recording this vid.
Romali can be a beast on the cut.