Scholar Vision – NYC, WWE SummerSlam, & NXT Takeover

20150822_175206For our second installment of Scholar Vision, I found myself in New York City for two Pro Wrestling events on consecutive nights at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The main event was SummerSlam 2015 on Sunday August 23rd, WWE’s second largest pay per view of the year (behind Wrestlemania) and the undercard was NXT Takeover on Saturday Night. For the non-wrestling enthusiasts out there, NXT is WWE’s developmental promotion which typically films out of Fulsale University in Florida. NXT Takeover in Brooklyn at The Barclays was the first major NXT event held outside of Florida, and boy was it a smashing success. In fact, the best match of the weekend, and quite possibly the match of the year across any Pro Wrestling promotion took place during the NXT Takeover event, a Divas match featuring two outstanding young women who are primed to takeover (pun intended) the industry in the coming years. More on that shortly.

20150824_095533Accompanied by my lovely girlfriend, we arrived in New York early Saturday afternoon and checked into a hotel on Orchard street in Manhattan’s the Lower East Side, about a 20 minute train ride from The Barclay in Brooklyn. Though due to circumstances that forced us to alter our original plans for the weekend it was a last minute booking, it turned out very well for us as all things considered the two night stay ended up being very affordable for us and featured an extremely comfortable bed and a beautifully fantastic view of both The Freedom Tower out of one main window and the Empire State Building out the other. Orchard street and the surrounding area featured a bevvy of bars, restaurants, bodegas, and places to shop, so though we were on a fairly tight schedule to ensure we were at The Barclays for the two events, we were able to enjoy the town. If you ever end on Orchard st., I highly recommend the burgers at the Hair of the Dog bar. At half price beers for a good chunk of the weekend and featuring a couple of Beer Pong tables, it’s a fun place to hang out.

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Our trip also featured a day spent at Coney Island, taking in the boardwalk, amusement park rides, and some good eats. For some reason I never knew that people actually swam at the beach at Coney Island. I had just assumed it was the rides and the restaurants, so given the fairly warm late Summer Sunday, it was nice to walk out onto the pier, watch people enjoy the ocean water, and take in the Coney Island experience. We had some good food at Tom’s Coney Island (the Cherry Lime Rickey was delicious, I could’ve drank 4 of those things), got on a ride, and walked out onto the pier to take in the sites of people fishing, selling waters and mangoes, and just enjoying a beautiful day. All in all, it was the perfect pre-game for the main event of the weekend, SummerSlam 2015 which at four hours was the longest SummerSlam in WWE history. With special guest host Jon Stewart in the fold and featuring a main event between future WWE Hall of Famers, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, we were surely in for a treat. And truth be told it was wildly entertaining.

20150823_154030-1 2015-08-24 14.26.50

20150823_190150WWE Superstars always save their best work for the big events and SummerSlam was no different. The Seth Rollins vs. John Cena “title for title” match (with Seth as the WWE Champ and John Cena as the US Champ each putting their championship on the line) was a great display of athleticism and ended with a Seth Rollins victory by way of a Jon Stewart chair attack on John Cena. Both The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar have great entrances. Watching them both live was awe-inspiring, especially The Undertakers’. The ending of that match was a bit perplexing as Brock got Taker to tap out to his patented Kimura Lock submission maneuver, but the ref didn’t see it. The Bell Keeper did see it however, rung the bell, causing the ref to run over to that side of the ring to advise that no pin was made and the match had to continue, giving Undertaker just enough time to hit Brock with a low blow while the ref wasn’t paying attention.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICS AND THOUGHTS ON WWE SUMMERSLAM & NXT TAKEOVER

Blackalicious, Magnaball, and Ship of Fools

It’s Summertime and along with the NFL preseason and my birthday celebrations, that means the live music continues! On Sunday night I got to catch Blackalicious at the Sinclair in Boston – yes, they’re back! – along with two great openers but we’ll get to that in just a moment. For the hippie in me, the jam band rock ‘n roll, highlighted by Dead50 last month , continues running strong here in August. Last weekend (Aug 14) I hopped aboard the Ship of Fools for its 9th annual cruise around Boston Harbor, starring Playin’ Dead, a fantastic cover version of the best band in all the land (i.e. the Grateful Dead). Alongside our good friends and rock ‘n roll companions known in these volumes as N2D2, my lady and I and 300 others took to the high seas to dance with an electric soundtrack in front of us and the glowing Boston skyline off the starboard bow. Food for the soul administered in rocking waves.

In a similar vein, this past weekend in Watkins Glen, NY marked the return of Phish to super-festivals with Magnaball, a three-day concert with the Vermont quartet as the sole performers, complete with 7 official sets and one “secret” entirely improvised set (the “Drive-In jam”) that began late night Saturday/ early Sunday (1 am). The 10th such weekend-long festival put on by Phish throughout their illustrious career, it is truly a feat few bands could undertake, both in endurance (nearly 12 hours of music) and catalog (no song repeated). And though I wasn’t fortunate enough to be in attendance (N2D2 were, those glorious bastards), thanks to the miracle of modern technology and Phish’s command of the interwebs I was able to tune in to the live webcast on Saturday, continuing my summer #CouchTour with all the living room dancing fervor expected and required of my hippie soul. Any day that begins with “Divided Sky” is a-okay by me and I find myself digging the new song “Blaze On”, despite/because of its Trey-simplicity. But it was Tweezer > Prince Caspian to end the day’s second set that was the real highlight. Reports of one Bodacious Bathtub and an excellent ‘Hood were plentiful from Day 1, while Day 3 was wider and more colorful than it was deep. It all it was a weekend that for many Phans felt like home, capturing an energy and sprawling excitement reminiscent of Clifford Ball, complete with trampolines, vacuum solos, fireworks (glow stick and otherwise) and a feeling that both the band and the fans were right where they were supposed to be.

HIP HOP, BRASS BANDS, AND MORE… READ ON…

InnerSpace: Plum Juice Too

space solo on rusty platformIt’s 7:27 a.m. and I’ve been doing this chronological countdown since 4 with more time counting than not.  Sandy looks so beautiful and peaceful when she sleeps I hate to wake her. I rather love indulging in the quiet and peace that is her while she enjoys her calm.  Throb, tick. Throb, tock.  Lying here, would be hell if not for her. Hell, it’s her snoring that’s making me chuckle through the pain right now.  I can’t believe it happened to me…

Doc said it would be hard, and even all the reminders of past fortitude barely prepared me for this. Hahaha.  Had a couple before I thought; but these here are the trying times.  Sigh and heavy breath.  I still feel it. The leg. My leg. But it’s not there anymore. Sigh again at the sight as the covers slowly roll away to reveal the space where something should be.  It will come back some day I think to myself, like a lost limb is akin to a lost pet with a good honing device.  I still want it back.  The silent fight between grief and will power is steady right about now and I’m winning like a coin flip.  Parched.  Gulp. Gulp. Swig. Ahhh.  Bubbler next to the bed was the best thing I’ve thought about in a while.  Water is amazing.  It is life, gives life and takes it pretty much too, you gotta respect that… Life on the water, has to be great.  Just picture it – fresh smells, large swells, gulls, and the view.  Sails wide open the sea, the world and you….

“Hey Sandy, you awake?”

“….”

Slight rattles vibrate and a rollover nudge try coaxing the sleepy one…

“Sleeping beauty, you can stay that way…. And when you wake, it’s gonna be a good day…”

Sleeping beauty smiled in her sleep dreaming the whole time she was thinking of being rescued by a good captain of a mighty swell ship.  Sleeping beauty had always loved the water since her days as a girl and the awe it inspired in her.  She longed to be at one with the sea, swim like a mermaid and see the treasures beyond the beautiful horizon.  Adulthood didn’t quite dim the flame, it just lessened her outbursts for “fins over feet!”.  An instant reply of laughter usually ensued, only furthering her silent indignation.  Luckily for all of her ambulatory enmity, she found it a necessary warm up for dancing and swimming and so did so, but sparingly.

“Sandy, ahh you look so sweet, keep dreaming those dreams…”

“…..”

Sandy’s head was clear as a bright day ready for flight.  Life was different now, and she was different now because of Chuck, but everything didn’t have to change.  She was hoping and praying remaining positive bright and supportive.  What was the alternative?  Chuck would pull out of this slump, right?  Am I wrong for just thinking? I just don’t wanna talk, right now.  Sleep, dreaming is good … And Sleeping Beauty is dreaming of a captain, swimming in the sea and days mixed with adventure and other things she imagines…endlessly.

 

CLICK HERE to read the first volume of ‘Plum Juice’

InnerSpace: Journalistic Pictures Logged In My Existence

I’m living life through pictures these days.  Walk with me in my past month or so.  Boston is so much hustle and bustle sometimes.  There’s constant construction and things moving in the city, all things and beings speeding and needing to be somewhere. As Forest Hills is undergoing another change; it struck me that we should appreciate change even if it’s ugly as hell and not always smooth.  And…. When things are naturally beautiful and calm, we should appreciate that too.  As you look at these photos, just breathe and appreciate and put yourself in that moment.  Thanks for sharing my moments.  I hope they gave you some awesome thoughts or at least a little tranquility. Be well.

InnerSpace Photo A @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo B @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo C @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo D @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo E @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo F @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo G @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo H @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

InnerSpace Photo I @ www.JPLimeProductions.com

34 Bars For Professa’s 34th Birthday

Prof vibin bestAs JP Lime’s own Professa turns 34, JP Lime’s own Scholar (see what I did there?) commemorates the occasion by highlighting 34 choice bars (or musical measures) from our 2012 release, Blue Star Boulevard.
Professa is a critical part of the JP Lime Productions operation. His weekly contributions to #JPLMagazine are intriguing, fun, and very informative. He’s the visual force behind many of our promotional designs and co-writes, films, and edits our monthly Rap Flashbacks, truly bringing that vision to life. Prof is also instrumental in the planning, production, and execution of The Oddball Show podcast, our joint venture with the wonderful folks at Oddball Magazine.

That said, his contributions to our music over the years, both lyrically and during the mixing and mastering process, have been just as critical and enjoyable as his efforts in the aforementioned initiatives. As such, let’s take a look at 34 bars that I find particularly fun, creative, well-executed, and emblematic of the artist we sometimes call Prof, other times Professa, Profdizzle, Dr. Prof Esquire, and umm, hippie. Happy Birthday Chris Everson, and keep Limin’ homeskillet.

First off, 2 bars from “Liming On“, a track for and inspired by Summertime (yes, both the season and the classic track from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince).

Captive only to my passion when it’s at its peak
But I’m relaxing on the grass like the hippie in me

We start with these lyrics to highlight Prof’s passion for what we do at JP Lime Productions. Whether Hip Hop, podcasting, blogging, or promoting such ventures, Prof is truly dedicated to our operation, almost maniacally. Typically a free spirit, one you’re very likely to find “relaxing on the grass” (a la his hippie tendencies), when it comes to JP Lime, Prof turns it up a few hundred notches. Aside from his family, friends, and beautiful fiance, the only other thing that he’s “captive” to is said “passion when it’s at its peak.” And at JP Lime Productions, we’re always at our peak. Professa is a huge reason why such is the case.

Next up, 8 bars from “Loud“, a high energy banger we often close with at performances.

I act like Rick, make moves like Russell
Captivate the game with a gang of trouble
Bass and treble, a full range of levels
Unsane, deranged planes I’m on several
Like an unchained, derailed train I’m unsettled
Bounce with me, bitch, or play some heavy metal
I’m about to bubble over like a screaming kettle
Even the mezzanine ain’t on my level
Come on, bounce!

I’ve always loved these bars first and foremost because of the reference to Def Jam co-founders, Rick Rubin and Prof profileRussell Simmons. It’s common music industry knowledge that Rick Rubin is musically very talented and a master collaborator who’s also known to be very laid back, frequenting studios barefoot while reclining on a sofa as he delivers input and instructions to engineers artists alike. While thankfully Prof has yet to remove his sneakers for a studio session, he’s very relaxed in the studio and one of his greatest strengths is his ability to mesh his own ideas with those of others to create something we can all enjoy, not unlike Mr. Rubin. As for making moves like Russell Simmons, as previously mentioned Professa is very dedicated to JP Lime Productions and works very hard to ensure we’re always moving forward as a company. He’s a hustler in every sense of the word.

Ever the artist, I’ve also always dug how he utilizes his poetic license to use “unsane” instead of the proper “insane” to strengthen the rhyming consistency within the couplet. “Unsane, deranged planes” rhymes much better with “unchained, derailed train” than “insane, deranged planes” would have. Lastly, the use of simile and metaphor in the last few lines is excellent. Again, “Loud” is very much an upbeat track meant to pump up the listener. Prof drives home this feeling with imploring the audience to either “bouce” with him or “play some heavy metal” because he’s about to “bubble over like a screaming kettle” (i.e. can barely contain his own enthusiasm). And lest you’ve yet to figure it out by his infectious, high energy delivery, he reminds us that he’s so amped (turnt up if you will) that “even the mezzanine ain’t on [his] level.” Also noteworthy for its sonic brilliance, he pronounces “even” with a long “e” (eveeeen) so that it rhymes with “mezzanine.” Fantastic work all around.

Next up, 8 bars from a party vibe, swagger-filled track called “Oh Yeah” that’s pretty much a fun track about picking up women.

Oh the magic of her heartbeat
Her tragic love of art
And the pageant that we started, we flee
<We flee>
So passionate our hearts be,
Mashing ‘til we pass out,
The daylight crashes, we sleep
<We sleep>
Waking up wrapped in bed sheets,
The dawn hits the bed, she,
Me, Al Green, repeat
<Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat>
The stereo is still on
So keep on rocking them hips like they’re playing our song, baby

IMG_2178-1993970639-OThese bars stand out within the context of this track for a couple of reasons. For starters, Prof usually raps with a very amplified, hard-core delivery. I often joke that listening to Prof rap is like listening to the late WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage rap had Savage had any formal Hip Hop training. In this verse however, Professa tones his voice and delivery down a few notches, using an almost whispering tone to get through the verse. The lyrical content, with lines like “magic of her heartbeat”, “tragic love of art”, and the reference to Al Green, though certainly appropriate for the song is a lot sweeter and more romantic than the more direct and explicit nature of the other two verses (ex: “show me what you’re working with, clothes off” and “fingers in, you know I need a taste”). Usually the most energetic on a track, Prof manages to completely switch up his style and provides a softer, radio/lady friendly balance to this track. He shows his range as an emcee on “Oh Yeah”, proving that a one trick lyricaly pony he is not.

For our last 16 choice Professa bars, I’ve selected his entire verse from “Bartleby“. “Bartleby” is a character / song concept that Professa brought to us. The general feel of the track is one of introspection where the Bartleby character is dealing with a very tough period in his life. Each bandmate interpreted said struggles differently, and the final product is a deep track that paints a picture of a damaged soul wandering through life, trying to figure out what his next move is, never quite coming to a concrete resolution. When it comes to painting that picture, Professa really hits the nail on the head.

He’s mercilessly lazy, hazy, crazy
A genius maybe but maybe he’s just mean
Shedding friends like Sheen,
Shedding skins like leaves shed green
November, no rent cash, dash, he just leaves
A pack of backwoods in his backpack
A matchbook and beat-up dreams
With the swing and the pain of a mean right hook
The frying pan, a recipe that he can’t quite cook
He just fiends
Sparks to life in the spotlight, yo, but behind the scenes
He’s a drop in the ocean with low self-esteem
And we’re all liable to drown in our personal streams
But when he’s face-to-face in person with his personal disease
With his thirst for herb and bourbon
His anger and his greed
‘Let it be,’ says he, it’s the Fame that makes his free
But like a panoramic camera there is so much more to see
Come on Bartleby!

Line for line, Prof’s verse really builds a tale of a lost soul. Bartley is a “mercilessly lazy, hazy, [and] crazy” who maybe a “genius” or “maybe he’s just mean.” He’s a guy who “sheds friends like [Charlie] Sheen” who in the absense of his November rent money, “just leaves.” The imagery of shedding friends like leaves shedding the green of their skin (it is November afterl all, the Autumn season) is very vivid and nothing short of brilliant. In the next few lines Prof continues his mastery of wordplay with lines like “backwoods in his backpack” and “the frying pan, a recipe he can’t quite cook,” all the while continuing to paint the picture of Bartleby as a troubled man without a plan. A man who in a crowd “sparks to life in the spotlight” but “behind the scenes” is a “drop in the ocean with no self-esteem,” your prototypical attention whore who when left alone has no clue what to do himself.

He continues this motif by informing us that when Bartleby is “face-to-face in person with his personal desease” he turns to his vices, namely weed and alcohol or as Prof alliterates, “herb and bourbon.” He then comes back to Bartleby’s thirst for attention, as it’s the only thing that makes him feel better (“it’s the Fame that makes him free”) and closes with a fantastic line that encompasses not only the complexity of Bartleby, but really the vivid imagery of the entire verse; “like a panoramic camera there is so much more to see.” Prof’s use of metaphor with the panoramic camera reference tells us that there’s a lot more to Bartleby than what he’s already laid out for us, but that he did so is ironically fitting because this verse is akin to a panorama. Sure, we want to learn more about Bartleby’s struggle by the 16th bar, but the only reason we care to in the first place is because of the vivid picture Professa manages to paint in this, the first verse of the track. Again, simply fantastic writing on Professa’s part.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of lyrics from our very own Professa. Please be sure to check out some more analysis of Professa’s lyrics in this piece here, where we dug into his verse from “What You Need” and if you haven’t already, wish Prof a Happy Birthday. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your kindness.

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On the Eve of My 34th

profile pic for lifeOn the eve of my 34th birthday I sit on my porch with pipe and pint scratching into a small black notebook observations about myself and what I know of the world around me.

I am consumed by my desire for family and children but have a hard time reconciling that against my lack of professional success and the visions I have for my children’s future.

Conversely, I have made the best decision of my life in choosing my Queen and my confidence in that choice provides stability for the rest of my life.

I still like to explore the Universe and imagine I will continue to do so regularly throughout my life.

And while I remain unsure of just want I do believe in many spiritual realms I know I believe in the Universe, its power, its unending force and mystery.

The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know, that there is infinitely more knowledge, truth, and beauty than I can actually understand, hidden in corners, small places, and unexpected locations all across our existence. This brings me great joy.

And then I wonder, have I left the sophomore period of my life or am I still in the middle of it, “the wise fool”, continuously believing I know more than I do?

I’m finally going gray but slowly and in a distinguished manner so that’s cool.

I love music. Perhaps more than any other time in my life thus far I feel its power and yearn for what I have not heard. I become taken with a particular song or band, often for days at a time until it works its way out of my system like a bead of sweat. It’s something my soul cries out for and I am glad the well that is classic rock (other genres too, but that’s the home base) has a seemingly unending supply to nurture me.

Update: Uncle Sam, that's who I am...

Update: Uncle Sam, that’s who I am…

I am excited for my new tattoo tomorrow and think it is an excellent tradition I have set for myself (now three years running). How long will it continue I wonder? I am not a heavily tattoo’d individual (yet), currently at a total of four but if I were to continue until my death at the ripe old age of 88 I would have 58 tattoos and that’s something I don’t really picture.

I imagine how I will be on the eve of my 35th, married and, Universe-willing, nearly a father. In no year yet has my life changed so rapidly. And yet the changes are ones that I have been planning since I was a child, becoming a husband and Dad, so they don’t feel jarring or even frightening. I eagerly await them.

Change. It’s the only constant, for us as humans and existence as whole. Everything is always moving, always changing from one form to another, always transferring energy into its neighboring molecules, people, and worlds. It is one of the few truths of the universe I have learned thus far and it can be both the scariest and most comforting of concepts.

I am thankful for every person that has ever taken the time to know me because they have, in very meaningful and visceral ways, shaped who I’ve become. Sometimes it can difficult to see the dents people make as they shape you like clay but we impact, continuously and constantly, those around us. It’s important to see the beauty in that.

Beauty is abundant, Truth is rare.

One of the few Truths I know about myself is that I am intended for greatness. But you can’t get where you’re going without being where you’ve been. I can see alternate timeline versions of myself, ones where I’m further along in the areas I currently lag. But those versions aren’t me because somewhere along the way something in my life had to be changed for them to exist, something important and formative perhaps, or something small and yet still formative.  And despite my missteps I have never not believed that central Truth about myself.

There are so many wonderful, beautiful, exciting, surprising things in this world and I know that currently, on the Eve of my 34th, I am experiencing ghastly few of them, far fewer than other times in my life, be they sights, experience, places, people, or simple moments of life. I will soon change this.

I love my Family, each and every one of them. They are indeed strange and crazy, but there’s never been a moment when they weren’t the most important people in my life and I in theirs. And my Family keeps on growing.

Writing, putting pen to pad, has been one of the most reliable constants in my life since I was 12 years old and whether I am able to make a living of it or not it will always be my life’s work.

Though I have made my share of mistakes and missteps (there’s a difference) I find myself more confident in who I am, what I like, what I want, the way I present myself than ever before. I know that comes with age but for someone who began life somewhat shy and unsure (especially in those awful middle school years) I am encouraged that I am growing into someone that not everyone will like but I sure as hell would hang out with.

Find more in the as-yet-unwritten work, The Tao Te Prof: A Work in Constant Progress.

Rap Flashback, August Edition

‘Straight Outta Compton’ has finally arrived and with it comes your monthly dose of Hip Hop history with the August Edition of the Rap Flashback.  This month we devote an entire segment to a roundtable discussion of the World’s Most Dangerous Group, as well as featuring releases from Outkast, Junior MAFIA, and Rob Base and EZ Rock.  PRESS PLAY below to travel back through Rap’s fabled past and tell us what you think about possibly the most impactful entity in Hip Hop’s timeline, NWA.

The Oddball Show 15 – Life on Marsachusetts

For the 15th edition of the Oddball Show, the boys were joined by Mars Jupiter, a poet, artist, musician and Universe explorer from Boston.  In true Oddball fashion the discussion ranged wildly- we talked Hip Hop, from Boston to Compton, discussed a variety of musical influences and expressions including electrified coconuts (trademark pending), we hit on the death of Sean Price, and we heard performances by our own Jason Wright and Scholar.  It’s all here on the hottest and wackiest new podcast to the waves of the internet, The Oddball Show, presented by Oddball Magazine and JP Lime Productions. #WeAreAllOddballs

Pertinent Links:
Mars Jupiter on Bandcamp

The 7th House on Bandcamp

The 7th House on Soundcloud

http://www.jplimeproductions.com/compton-the-soundtrack-4-things-to-check-for/

Twitter handles:
@MarsJupiter @7thhaus @the_vibrary @JPLime @Scholar_JPL @DrProfEsq
@OddballMagazine @manthestorm @Chad_Parenteau

 

Also, this:

Jagged Thoughts #87: Millennials You Got to Learn the Fundamentals

I got a monster in me,
It tells me where to go,
Directs my flows, and the pro’s prose, I know.
I got a crooked eye, like Crooked I
I got radio ears, and a mask like Doom
I got 35 under my belt, and a cat with
Nine lives departed too soon
And no one cries, no one mourns,
We put the headphones on and listen more
If you earned respect you are immortalized
Like a mural, painted on walls,
You never go away, you are missed
But when we listen to the music
You exist.

Like when EyeDea, left,
His last album made so much sense,
His sadness, and anger
“By the Throat” is one of his best
Still haunts me. Let his spirit rest,
But come alive again on wax

It’s the hip-hop planet, remember that
its where the masters of the mic
Go when they, say good bye,
they ascend from the earth into the sky

I have a heavy head, and a sullen heart
I’m thinking about Sean Price, and hip-hop
And I am reminded, though P is gone,
His music lives on, and that is the greatest gift
Showing humanity on wax.
Waking up with lyrics in your head, like EV said
And knowing your words hold weight like gravity
The mind flows, like a tsunami
Edging the rivers, and roadways,
‘you can’t stop me, you can’t stop us,
the hip-hop planet
from ash to ash from dust to dust
rhymes we bust, on the topic of lust, but wait…
Did you catch that lyric?
It was MCA rest his spirit, let it rest in space

Dilla one of the greats, left so much work behind
Let him rest in space, but if you need a taste
Put on Jaylib, or Dilla’s Donuts
When you need an escape.
When I write to the beat I use his instrumentals
Yeah, Yeah I’m a poet, but I know the fundamentals
And I learned it from the music I listened to
Pac, Biggie, and Guru, just to name a few

(Binay wants me to write about Binay and the Beast
A fable of fighting tooth and nail, sharp teeth
And a heart beat, that ones overdue, how bout next week??)

But I’m still thinking about hip-hop. I breathe it. I live it
I’m a poet, first and foremost, but can’t stop thinking
That some of these emcees emceeing is the reason I’m still breathing
I listen to it, it keeps my headstrong, it keeps
My mind vibrant, and I’m thinking about
P, and the sound of silence.
43, rest in peace, Sean P.

Then I think about the popular music,
And fighting over ghostwriting?
Never been one to bite, and every hip hop cat,
with a mic,

why bite?

Sean Price would never do that
Jay D would never do that.
Guru would never do that
Pac would never do that

I hear Madlib, and think Murs,
And be like, they would never use another ones words
Unless in tribute, like shouting out a rapper
Who influenced them, grabbing a hot line, one quick sentence
To show the influence, and represent respect

LB’s right, it’s a minstrel show, Rap went TMZ
But the greats are still putting out mix tapes
And dudes like Mac Lethal, who is so sick with his flows
Goes so underground, the only way the mainstream knows
Is when they put on the YouTube and hear his fast flows.
Dude has like 10 CD’s, and has been putting in work
Way earlier listen up millennials,

You want to love hip-hop
You got to learn your fundamentals.

(Here listen to this list, if you want to understand rap

Alright. In no particular order

You got Kool G. Rap, you got Wutang Clan
You got Redman and Methodman
You got tribe called quest, and Q-tip
You got MCA, Adrock and Mike D
On the old school tip
You got Reverend RUN, you got Boogie Down Productions
Where you think KRS one come from?

You got the classics, you got Big Daddy Kane, and Slick Rick
And Rakim, You got Pac, came from Digital Underground, with Shock G
You got N.W.A and Notorious B.I.G
You got Rakim, and you got RZA, GZA, and Raekwon the Chef
You got Eminem, Mos Def, Kweli and Common
You got Slaughterhouse, and Dr. Dre, the Chronic

You got Ice Cube and Mac 10, you got Scarface and Gangstarr
You got Atmosphere, Dilated Peoples, and Evidence, Rocca Irascience
You got Public Enemy, Chuck D, Doom, and Murs dropping science
You got cats like P.O.S and Astranautilis, and you got Nas and Jay Z
And the Ether diss, there was beef for a long time, like crosstown beef,
Soundbombing, Kool Keith. You got LB and Ludacris, and you got Phonte,
You got Chaundon, and Big Rapper Pooh, and Mac Dre, did I mention MF Doom,
And have you ever heard Madvillain? Say G and E, Grouch and Eli straight chillin’
You got Brother Ali, and you got Aesop, and you got More underground hip-hop
You got Why? You got Black on Both Sides, you got Madlib who I am listening to while I write, you got Buckshot, and you got Helta Skelta, you got People Under the Stairs, and Danger Mouse, your got RJD2, and Ghostface Killah, DJ Shadow, Wax Tailor and the Others, You got Binary Star, and One B Lo and you got Action Bronson, and you got Kanye, and you got Jay Z, and the hip-hop family, you got Murs and the song Everything, you got a whole bunch of other cats, that remain still

You got immortal technique, you got Jedi Mind Tricks, you got Mobb Deep, you got Das Efx, you got the Justice League, you get the point…man theres more, hip hop runs deep

So don’t waste you’re time on some twitter beef.)

oddball and lime together @ www.JPLimeProductions.com6

Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

Prof’s Political Meanderings

The air, it seems, is suddenly aflutter with the commotion of the US Presidential race, still more than a year away but breaking ground in the hearts and minds of voters across the country. Donald Trump has filled said air like a Macy’s Day balloon, blocking a large amount of sunlight from hitting the other 16 candidates vying for the party’s nomination. With last week’s first Republican debate and other events of our day as backdrop, I invite you to take a brief walk with me through my Political Meanderings.

Staring out over this current political landscape I feel lost. I remember how I felt in 2007, that real change was coming, an end to the reign of the neo-cons, hell-bent on American isolationism and a foreign policy bred on fearmongering and ignorance, led by a monkey sitting in his daddy’s chair. Now it’s eight years later and while that tide has been broken (for now), it was certainly no easy swimming as our (certainly my) beloved Obie was bent from passionate idealism to pragmatic maintenance, forced to settle for small stolen victories rather than ushering a new progressive era. The extremism within modern American conservatism is something I’ve long found troublesome and within the past half decade it has seemed to find a more open and often bellicose voice in our national discussions. That extremism is used to veil racism, discrimination, and greed beneath the issues of personal liberty and national security. It works to justify a cowboy attitude both foreign and domestically, one that makes us the ire of the world, which we then foolishly convince ourselves is because other nations don’t like freedom. ‘Merica. It embraces a contrived battle against “political correctness” because “we just don’t have time” to not be sexist, racist, blowhard pigs. While I support freedom of speech, the notion that we don’t have an ethical responsibility towards civility is alarming and ugly.

And electing incivility is sure as hell a bad sign.

We have allowed that ugliness to edge its way out from the shadows to which we are often able to banish it, permitting a fertile breeding ground to develop for hatred, fear, and war.

Then I’m forced to wonder, did we ever actually banish it at all, or was I simply too young to realize? Were we all too young?

What kind of Sixth Reich am I living in where Donald Fucking Trump dominates the race for POTUS? A horrorcore circus dragged out over a calendar year, a battle of attrition between the performers, slugging it out like college kids in a power hour, fighting to be the last one not vomiting on the floor.

Armed open militias roam Missouri streets as if we haven’t evolved past the Old West. Used to justify their love of guns and aggressive tendencies, it’s “for the protection of the people” they say, forever one shot away from scrambling into anarchy and fulfilling the vision of said militiamen, lost on dystopian dreams of societal destruction where bunkers of munitions and stored food will divide the wise from the dead.

Were we ever more civil? Were we always like this? Will we always be like this, locked in a cycle of constant fear of unknown enemies because it makes us feel more safe than opening ourselves to someone that may be different than us?

Were we truly once a nation of stately men, too eager to do right by the world to have their vision consumed by their own greed and special interests, or is that nostalgia? Or is it built into the design?

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE MEANDERING…