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October 30, 2004

recordsroundup: October 30th, 2004

The Frontline "Who R You"
We mentioned this album in this weeks newswrapup. Now we got the album, and it's banging. And we say that about a record that in many ways is 'gangsta' (listen to...uhm..."Gangsta"), it features a lot of westcoast influenced trunk rattling beats (by E-A-Ski - of "is your solo album out yet?" fame and his longtime partner CMT). The hits of course are "Time 4 Bizness", "Playin' Wit Fire" (both actually produced by Left) and "The Ripper" (even though it's kinda dissing the old school). The biggest disappointment of course is that Locksmith never gets as agitated as on his infamous battles, like "KMEL Battle (Made You Shook)". But nevertheless, him and Left are good rappers. But yes, you could argue if they actually get to show it on this album. Still: get it when it drops nationally December 16th. More information on www.thefrontlineonline.com.

Wordz "You Haven't Heard Me Yet"
Fresh from - is it Chicago again? - comes Wordz with his album of eighteen tracks. He features collaborations with Sev Statik, Manchild of Mars ILL, Adeem and Thaione Davis. He goes through a lot of intelligent topics, including a political "Welcome To America", battle rhymes and everything in between. Production comes from Overflo, Dust (of Mars ILL) and deftone, who offers some of the best beats on here. Much of the message is contained in interview excerpts that are featured throughout the album. Too frequently though, as it always gets the album to a full halt. While very interesting, it should have been contained to less parts. Apart from that, another one to check out. More info on www.reservedrecords.com.

Avatar "Deus Ex Machina"
Avatar returns a with a new album, after last years "Double Negative Pt. 1 : For Lack Of A Better World". There's many differences in his rhetoric: he sounds much more frustrated, less depressed and in a different way angry. So the topics range from politics to certain people better not giving birth to kids, asking the question: why do you need a license to drive, need to be 21 to drink, but can have a kid whenever, however? The production was all done by DJ Obi, who matches Avatar's style well, with less industrial backgrounds (compared to the last album), but complex soundscapes that feature much more organic funk. More info on www.dumptruckrecords.com.

Elyops "The Ops LP"
There's not much we can say about this CD-R release (on Break Ya Neck) despite that it didn't impress us much. There of course - as almost everywhere - are a couple of joints that are worth listening to again, but overall the album fails to really stand out and do much. Beats by The Beat Down Committee. No credited guests. Holler at them at elyoptics@hotmail.com.

Blueprint "Chamber Music"
The album opens with excerpts of a radio show. And the host talks about how this album is going to be of Blueprint's 'experimental side.' Yes, this does not sound like what we're used to from Blueprint, what at the beginning will disappoint enough people to dismiss this record. However, once you got over those first damning expectations, you'll really get into this record. It's mainly instrumental and features very few guests, but those are notable: Vast Aire, Aesop Rock, Illogic and WindnBreeze. More info on www.weightless.net.

Infinito vs. Molemen "He's Definitely Not In The Building!"
There's a million people that claim that they are the hardest worken men in the business. They are not. Infinito is though. Shooting videos (including the great Thaione Davis video for "The Connection") all the time, recording an album ever two weeks or so, Infinito is one of the most productive out there. And not just that: he has a consistency to it, what makes every one of his releases worth listening to. There's more out there we could mention, like the new I.T. album "Low Income Housing" (check www.dominationrec.com), but this one is kinda interesting. As it is combining Infinito on the rhyme and the Molemen behind the deck. Mixed by DJ Waht, you get two of the best Chicago entities team up. More information at: infinito2017.tripod.com and www.molemen.com.

Kurram "The Anonymous Network"
Whenever people say that it's a bad thing that everybody and their mother gets to release an album, this album could be one of those they are referring to. Then again, this is one of those typical cases where the record is not meant for everybody. Out on Basement Troubadour, there's little that had us wanna go back to it any time too soon. Then again, this was maybe not meant for us. Maybe it's meant for you though.

Raw Produce "The Wack MC / Breathe Deep Remixes"
Raw Produce is very good at milking their equally good "The Feeling Of Now" release. There's the album, there's the EP, there's the Japan only release. And you know what: you shouldn't be mad at it. This is quality music and considering all the crap that gets released, we should praise good music to come out; in all forms and fashions. Next is this 12" that features two songs off the album in all new remixes. Who did them? Jon Doe (of Prophetix fame), 7L (of & Esoteric fame), J. Rawls (of Lone Catalysts fame) and Omid (of a whole lot of fame). Favorites: the 7L and the Omid remixes are really, really good. So check the record, as it will come out on Female Fun.

Cadence "...presents State Lines"
Speaking of Raw Produce: one half of the troupe Cadence will release his debut production album. After last years "Poisons The Minds Of The Children" that features Cadence production along with his rhymes, he now lets other emcees rip the mic, while still providing the boom bap. It's enough to just mention who's on here to get you interested in the project. As you'll get Mike G of the Jungle Brothers, Binkis Recs, Yesh, Zimbabwe Legit, Esoteric, Dooley-O, Mike Ladd, and many, many more. The record will drop on Domination Recordings.
Plus, as a special bonus, urbansmarts.com will 'leak' one of the songs exclusively on this blogger within the next couple of days. Watch this space.

Human Cropcircles feat. Ubiquitous "The Tiananmen Square"
Avid readers of urbansmarts.com will already know this name, considering that we have already reviewed two Human Cropcircles albums: "Human Pride And The Lack Thereof" and "The Future Is Not What It Used To Be...". While the first album was a collaborative effort of the brothers Hexagram23 and Joker70, the second was a Joker record and so is this EP here. That has him team up with Ces Cru's Ubiquitous to do a record that's half instrumental and half with rhymes, while all political. But there was something very good about the first album: it was uncomfortably eerie. That has gone now, turning this EP in a more or less typical rough indy album. What's not yet a bad thing, but it lacks that special quality the first album definitely had.
The Ces Cru, by the way, have also just released an album: "Capture Enemy Soldier". And that one is ill. Just listen to "Black Water" to be convinced. More information on www.cescru.com.




October 29, 2004

newswrapup: october 29th 2004

Birthwrite Records is at it again.
The best release of 2004 so far, yes Thaione Davis' "Situation Renaissance" (read the review) is now available on vinyl and is in stock. Should be out there at all good record stores.
Psalm One gears up for "Bio Chemistry 2:esters & essays" in stores 11/30/2004. Psalm One is by far the next level of the female emcee. Formerly a member of the Chicago crew Nacrobats, she has been releasing music independently for nearly 4 years recording with the likes of Casual (Hieroglyphics), Brother Ali & Ant (Rhymesayers), Illogic, Maker, Overflo, Offwhyte, Thaione Davis, Chester Copperpot, Longshot, Lord 360, and others! This album was originally released in 2002 independently (read the review), but now is being released through Birthwrite with 5 new exclusive songs and new artwork.
Psalm is also going on tour with Brother Ali of the Rhymesayers. Go to birthwriterecords.com for the complete lists of shows.

win Wu-Tang Clan DVDs...
Back in the days, the Wu-Tang Clan was known to be booked for shows, with only three members showing up. Heck, I myself have seen a supposed-to-be-a-Wu-Tang show with solo Meth and Raekwon performances, that ended up being Ol Dirty Bastard and Buddha Monk performing everything from their own material to "C.R.E.A.M." and "Bring The Pain". For all those with similar experiences, Sanctuary Records come to the rescue with this DVD: "Disciples of the 36 Chambers". On July 17th, 2004, the whole Clan regrouped to perform at the Rock The Bells festival in San Bernardino, CA. All nine original members: RZA, GZA/ Genius, Method Man, Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Raekwon, Masta Killa, and even Ol' Dirty Bastard shared the stage for the first time in years. Joined by special guests Redman, Street Life and Cappadonna.
If you wanna catch a glimpse of what went down [and to answer the question], watch the trailer: Quicktime: Large Medium Small Windows Media: Large Medium Small
Thanks to Sanctuary, we can offer two copies of the DVD to two lucky winners. Just answer this simple, oh so simple, question.
The hook of one Wu-Tang song plays in the trailer for a couple of seconds. Name that song.
So, if you know, send the answer, along with your post mail address to get@urbansmarts.com before November, 12th 2004. the winners will be drawn from all the correct entries. only the winners will be contacted. Unfortunately we can only offer this give away to our friends and residents in the USA. Sorry friends and residents in the rest of the world.

Formula Werks looking for artists to sponsor.
Formula Werks, who you might also know from this interview are looking for new artists to sponsor with their clothing. So if you are a more or less accomplished artist, then check out this link and get in touch with the guys.

"American Pimp" documentary (w/ Snoop Dogg) Raw Outtakes.
You can view here, concerning:
- Ever been in love?,
- When did you start pimping?,
- Explain some of the slang,
- Snoop talking about Mack of the year,
- Snoop talking about getting pimped.

Snoop give away on urbansmarts.com
Speaking of Snoop: his next album "R & G: Rhythm & Gangsta (The Masterpiece)" on November 23rd, 2004. Just like the first single, it will feature The Neptunes production and most certainly some illustrious guests too. You can view the video of the first single "Drop It Like It's Hot" by clicking one of these links: Windows Media: Lo Hi; Real Video: Lo Hi; Quicktime: Lo Hi
We have three t-shirts and three singles to give away, so three winners will win one each.
In order to win, just answer this easy question (at least easy if you've watched the video):
Snoop has something in his back pocket: now what would that be?
So, if you know, send the answer, along with your post mail address to get@urbansmarts.com before November, 6th 2004. the winners will be drawn from all the correct entries. only the winners will be contacted.

The Frontline's Debut album "Who R You" makes Billboard charts first week.
If you checked tadah's "Year 2003 in retrospect" list, you might saw him bigging up Locksmith (of The Frontline) "KMEL Battle (Made You Shook)". Locksmith is a monster. And he's part of the Bay Area rap duo the Frontline. Their LP "Who R You" charts at no. 48 on Billboard Independent Albums chart the first week of release. "The record just dropped last week and only select, local indie outlets have it," remarks Locksmith of the albums' quick charting, "so we're as surprised as anyone that the record already made Billboard." But the albums' quick success is no surprise: MC's Left and Locksmith's debut album "Who R You" is a highly anticipated project after the albums' single, "What Is It," featuring platinum rapper-producer E-A-Ski was one of the most requested songs in the country on top rated commercial radio stations last year. The track was a club-favorite from Atlanta to Los Angeles and as far as Australia. The Frontline were catapulted onto the national scene when the duo appeared on the first "MTV Battle (May 2003)", where Locksmith was awarded runner-up, though clearly he was the crowd favorite. What's more, the group has been mentioned in national publications such as XXL, XLR8R, and Murder Dog, to name a few. The national release for "Who R You" is December 16, 2004.

New Xzibit video
You can view the Video to Xzibit's official single "Hey Now (Mean Muggin')" off his "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" album (in stores December 14, 2004).
Windows Lo : Hi Real Quicktime

Roots Manuva returns with new album and internet only single.
Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva has completed his brand new album, "Awfully Deep". The album isn't due to drop until the very start of 2005. Luckily, Mr Smith completed around thirty tracks from which his album was whittled down and some real stunners missed the cut. So Big Dada offers you an exclusive mp3 of a track that won't even be on the final record. The track in question is "Double Drat". This track will be available for the knockdown price of 99p (a little more if you're using SMS) from rootsmanuva.co.uk from November 15th for two weeks only. There are no plans to release this track on any of Mr Manuva's forthcoming singles so this represents your best and indeed only chance to own it.
On top of that, Roots Manuva is officially going digital. On November 1st, the official Roots Manuva website rootsmanuva.co.uk, no less, will be launched. Along with that, Big Dada will run a remix competition to see who can come up with the best beats for the number 1 UK Hip Hop single of all time (as voted for by Hip Hop Connection) "Witness (1Hope)". So not only are prizes aplenty for the lucky winner, but everyone wins with the previously unreleased acapella becoming downloadable.
A live track from the Montreux Jazz Festival "Conversations" will also be readily available for download for free. For a limited period only and exclusively on rootsmanuva.co.uk you will be able to listen to the man performing live, just before we release the dates... exclusively on the site of course.
Other website features include: a video diary of Mr Roots Manuva talking about the forthcoming album in three parts, SMS texting and picture messaging enabling Roots Manuva and the fans to send messages onto the site, exclusive artwork previews and exclusive tour dates.

Dälek, Norbert Möslang, Bit-Tuner & Göldin mega-show.
Make sure you're in the Kugl in St. Gallen on December 17th, when Dälek (USA, Ipec Recordings), Norbert Möslang (CH, Ex-Voice Crack), Bit-Tuner & Göldin (CH, Quiet Records), Projekt084 (CH, Local_Form Records), Klangforscher (CH, Local_Form Records), DJ La Bombe (CH, Quiet Records) and DJ Coerl (CH, Grime, Local_Form Records) perform there. Kieler-Meteorschaua of Local_Form and Gang Production will do the Visuals.

Typql Clothing...in case you're naked right now
If you are, then hop on over to http://www.blogger.com/app/www.typqlclothing.cofor new new t-shirts, baby ts and hoodies. And while we're properly dressed over here, tell 'em to send us some stuff anyways...

Wordsworth Joins the Spitkicker Family
Halftooth recording artist Wordsworth is now officially a member of the Spitkicker family. Spitkicker was founded in 2000 as a collective unit that, through the power and use of words, sets trends, unifies cultures, and creates positive standards for communities. The Spitkicker movement consists of musicians, actors, and athletes who can positively influence youth in all communities and includes the impressive roster of artists including Kanye West, De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Dave Chappelle, Blackstar, Pharoahe Monch, and J-Live.
Spitkicker artists have participated in the Rock the Vote program and other voter registration programs to encourage young Americans to vote. Recently, Wordsworth played an instrumental role and gained a lot of attention by participating with the Slam Bush organization and making a hilarious video 'battling' George W. Bush. You can also read a Wordsworth interview on urbansmarts.com here.

Fredwreck goes political and teams up with Mobb Deep, KRS One, WC and many more...
Fredwreck has put up two audios of monsterous posse cuts, as the S.T.O.P. Movement, on his website www.fredwreck.com, talking about how Bush needs to go. The tracks include artists like Everlast, Mobb Deep, The Alchemist, Mack 10, WC, Evidence, Defari, KRS-One, B-Real, Tray Dee, Daz, J-Ro, RBX, Soopafly and Bad Azz.

And finally, we're currently listening to (and recommend):
- Rob Sonic "Telicatessen"
- Masked Avengers feat. Maylay Sparks "So Wonderful" EP
- Cadence "presents State Lines"
- Avatar "Deux Ex Machina"
- ArcSin "The Wrath Of Saigon"
- Blueprint "Chamber Music"
- J-Zone "A Job Ain't Nothing But Work"

Oh, and while we're at it...
Read these two articles "FBI Investigating Halliburton Contracts" and "IAEA Says It Warned U.S. About Explosives". And ask yourself if you have done enough to make sure that Bush does not get reelected.




October 28, 2004

article on war for political purposes

the Guerrilla News Network has now posted an article on Bush saying he plans to invade Iraq, back in 1999: "Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000".

there's also more information coming out on the missing explosives, you can read more here: "Bush, Kerry Spar Over Missing Explosives". there's now an a journalist who was embedded with the troupe who says he did see the explosives back when the troop and he came through there.

And if you still wanna vote for Bush, then you maybe wanna read this here: "Clueless People Love Bush" Isn't it quite telling?




watch Eminem's "Mosh" video here

The buzz is on: watch Eminem's "Mosh" video here: Real Audio; Windows Media




realwordisms: October 28th, 2004

The ghostwriter of George W. Bush's autobiography says that Bush thinking about invading Iraq back in 1999. Why? For political gain. Sounds incredible? It is. Nevertheless, it's only entering the press now. I haven't found an article yet, but I'm sure there's going to be more on this soon. That's not the only thing: Bush is also exploiting 9/11 for his agenda. At least according to Carter: "Carter: Bush Exploited 9/11 for Political Gain" (more on that here and here). This is incredible: allegedly this guy is going into wars for his own personal gains; political gains that is.
Moving on, the whole election starts to look more like a sham. Consider the reaction to the same problems in a country like Venezuela, or how a Germany would get clowned. So let's start: "New Florida vote scandal feared" (also reported here); Greg Palast is at it again, and he has incredible news. Watch this video along with the article. Amongst the troubles: Black people probably getting challenged, guys filming voters, and some stuff that's too difficult to put into one sentence and to amazing to believe. Moving on: "Experts Fear Messy, Disorderly Election", "Florida is focus of furor again" and it's now so bad that "Voters Skeptical About Election". By the way, to catch up what happened four years ago, read this: "Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election". This is the official government analysis.
This is kinda old, but there's rumours about Bush being ill, ill as in Bush allegedly shows signs of "presenile dementia," or an early onset of Alzheimer's disease. You wanna read about that? Read it here: "A medical cause for 'Bushisms'?" (and here, and here, here and here).
In other news: John Ashcroft has mounted an effort to effectively nationalize the death penalty. (read "Ashcroft’s Dances with Death"), "White House pressed on 'mission accomplished' sign" and "US TV vows election night caution". Oh, and last but not least: "Bush website blocked outside US".




October 13, 2004

newswrapup: october 13th 2004

Okay, some rap news. But to 'keep it real', go to urbansmarts.com. we asked a couple of artists, like Wordsworth, Sole, Alaska of Hangar 18 and Thaione Davis if they are going to vote, why it's important to vote and what the most important issues are right now. With that out of the way, moving on to the news:

Jamie Cullum does Neptunes
Jamie Cullum is a young British Jazz artist who now enjoys enormous success with his album "Twentysomething". That itself wouldn't be worthy of a post here. But on the special version of his album, he does "Frontin'", as popularized by N*E*R*D and Jay-Z. I haven't heard it so I dunno if it's good.

Dooley-O does a mixCD
For his "The Beat Segment" mixCD, Dooley-O's returns back to the scene with this lively and lush Funk-mix. As a precursor to his upcoming debut album of all new material "I Gotcha", DJ Dooley-O pulls out the breaks and songs for both the skilled-in-the-trade crate digger as well as enthusiastic music fan. Mixed exclusively by Dooley for Female Fun Records, this is the man who found one of hip-hop's greatest breakbeats "It's A New Day" by Skull Snaps which was subsequently used by partner Chris Lowe on the seminal "It's My Turn" by Stezo, some fifteen years ago.

Immortal Technique hangs with Babygrande
Viper Records and Babygrande have announced that they will partner up to release Immortal Technique's next album "Middle Passage". The album will be released world-wide some time in 2005. Babygrande and Viper are also discussing the release of a DVD documentary about Immortal Technique's life and experiences as a hip-hop artist.

Wagon Christ's new single
Wagon Christ's album "Sorry I Make You Lush" is really good. If you know, you know. If you don't then make sure you listen to these Audios (and Video) of his new single:
- Shadows: Real Windows
- Shadows (Video): Real Windows
- The Groove: Real Windows
- Loose Loogins: Real Windows
- Deux Ans De Maia: Real Windows

Wu-Tang "Disciples Of The 36 Chambers" DVD Trailer.
Check out this video trailer for WU-TANG’s DVD “Disciples of the 36 Chambers”, in stores October 19!
Quicktime: Large Medium Small
Windows: Large Medium Small

Massive Attack's new album
Get at taste of Massive Attack's new "Danny The Dog / Unleashed" album/soundtrack by going to this player: http://www.massiveattack.co.uk/danny/

New Xzibit songs
Off the album "Weapons of Mass Destruction” (in stores December 14, 2004 on Columbia Recrods), you can listen to two new Xzibit songs off that record:
- "Hey Now": Windows Lo Windows Hi Real Audio Quicktime
- "Mutha Mutha (Clean Version)": Windows Lo Windows Hi Real Audio Quicktime

The Mad Men II Project
In February 2005, the Mad Men team up again. The project obviously features Declaime, Kazi, Medaphoar and Coach D. and production by Oh-No, Kankick, J-Rawls and K.O.S. Productions (Zion I).

New Sampling Laws passed
A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that recording artists must clear each and every sample they use in their productions - even if that sample is minor or unrecognizable. Yes: unrecognizable. Those wishing to sample someone else’s work need to get legal permission to do so, or face the consequences of their actions if they do not, the court ruled. The penalties for copyright infringement range from compensating the copyright holder for the amount of money that should have been paid if permission had been sought and granted; punitive damages from $750 to $150,000 per incident; an injunction against further selling or distributing the work, and if the work is already publicly available, forcing the infringer to physically remove the work from store shelves nationwide; destroying the material in which the infringed work is present; band jail time.
Oh isn't it a great greedy world?

Vordul Mega(llah) "The Revolution Of Yung Havoks"
Everybody awaits the release of Vordul (of Cannibal Ox fame) record, right? Well you'll only have to wait until November 2nd and the album will drop on Nature Sounds. And after listening to both Vordul's and Vast's solo album, the conclusion is obvious: they are better together. Plus, the too often rhyme over mediocre beats. Nevertheless, here's the tracklisting?
1. Neva Again (produced by Opto)
2. Spitamatic feat. C-Rayz Walz (produced by Ruddy Rock)
3. Holla III (produced by Soul Purpose)
4. Hell Yeah (produced by Belief)
5. Hard Times (produced by Dev 1 aka The Prof.)
6. Blade (produced by Belief)
7. Stay Up (produced by Belief)
8. In The Hood feat. Karnage (produced by Dev 1 aka The Prof.)
9. Pray (produced by Belief)
10. Believe feat. Jean Grae (produced by Belief)
11. Struggles (produced by Blockhead)
12. Handle That feat. Vast Aire (produced by Omega One)
13. Megallah (produced by Belief)

Vordul, Kong, Karneige and others form new Supergroup
There's a new 'supergroup'. It consists of Kong and Spiega from MIC, Vordul of CanOX, Priviledge, Stretch Nyce, Akir (as heard on Immortal Tech's "Revolution Vol. 2), Karneige (Def Jux), Killarmy's PR Terrorist, Hasan Salaam and Backwoodz' Billy Woods. The album title is "Terror Firma" and they are toying with a couple of group names, while nothing is definite. For more information, check backwoodzstudioz.com

Typical Cats return with "Civil Service"
Representatives Qwel, Qwazaar, denizen Kane and DJ Natural - along with special delegate Kid Knish - return with the thirteen song heavy new album. No guest, all beats by DJ Natural, live instrumentation. Of course on galapagos4 Records. You can listen to some of the songs here:
- Easy Cause It Is
- Justice Coming
- Butterfly Knives

Planet Asia and Main Flow Europe Tour
"The Goldchain Music Tour" with Planet Asia, Main Flow and DJ Architect will come to your town, if you live in these towns:
Oct 27 - Paris (F), Nouveau Casino
Oct 29 - Wil (CH), Remise
Oct 30 - Praha (CZ), ITF
Oct 31 - Köln, Stadtgarten
Nov 3 - Nürnberg, K4
Nov 6 - Biel (CH), La Coupole
Nov 9 - Berlin, Knaack
Nov 11 - Aachen, Bar Museo
Nov 14 - Düsseldorf, Unique
Nov 16 - Kiel, Luna club
Nov 17 - Copenhagen, MWB
Nov 18 - Leipzig, Conne Island
Nov 19 - Münster, Skaters Palace
Nov 20 - Madrid (ES), Clamoris
Nov 21 - Weinheim, Cafe Central

Zion I US-Tour
Zion I are on the road in conjunction with the "Family Business Mixtape".
Oct. 13, 2004: Santa Barbara, CA - UC Santa Barbara
Oct. 14, 2004: Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
Oct. 15, 2004: SACRAMENTO, CA - COLONIAL THEATER
Oct. 16, 2004: LOS ANGELES, CA - EL REY THEATER
Oct. 17, 2004: POMONA, CA - THE GLASS HOUSE
Oct. 18, 2004: OFF
Oct. 19, 2004: SAN DIEGO, CA - EPICENTRE
Oct. 20, 2004: TEMPE, AZ - OLD BRICKHOUSE
Oct. 21, 2004: ALBUQUERQUE, NM - SUNSHINE THEATER
Oct. 22, 2004: SAN ANTONIO, TX - THE SANCTUARY
Oct. 23, 2004: HOUSTON, TX - ENGINE ROOM
Oct. 24, 2004: AUSTIN, TX - EMO'S
Oct. 25, 2004: OFF
Oct. 26, 2004: ORLANDO, FL - THE SOCIAL
Oct. 27, 2004: ATLANTA, GA - EARTHLINK LIVE
Oct. 28, 2004: CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - STARR HILL
Oct. 29, 2004: WASHINGTON, DC - 9:30 CLUB
Oct. 30, 2004: OFF
Oct. 31, 2004: PHILADELPHIA, PA - TROCADERO
Nov. 1, 2004: NEW YORK, NY - BB KINGS
Nov. 2, 2004: NEW HAVEM CT - TOADS PLACE
Nov. 3, 2004: NORTHAMPTON, MA - PEARL STREET
Nov. 4, 2004: BOSTON, MA - THE PARADISE
Nov. 5, 2004: KILLINGTON, VT - THE PICKLE BARREL
Nov. 6, 2004: TORONTO, ONT - PHOENIX THEATER
Nov. 7, 2004: LONDON, ONT - PHOENIX NIGHTCLUB
Nov. 8, 2004: OFF
Nov. 9, 2004: DETROIT, MI - ST. ANDREWS HALL
Nov. 10, 2004: CHICAGO, IL - HOUSE OF BLUES
Nov. 11, 2004: BLOOMINGTON, IN - BLUEBIRD THEATER
Nov. 12, 2004: COLUMBUS, OH - LITTLE BROTHER'S
Nov. 13, 2004: MADISON, WI - THE BARRYMORE
Nov. 14, 2004: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - THE QUEST
Nov. 15, 2004: OFF
Nov. 16, 2004: BOULDER, CO - FOX THEATER
Nov. 17, 2004: FT. COLLINS, CO - AGGIE THEATER
Nov. 18, 2004: COL.SPRINGS, CO - 32 BLEU
Nov. 19, 2004: SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SHAGGYS
Nov. 20, 2004: PORTLAND, OR - ROSELAND
Nov. 21, 2004: BEND, OR - DOMINO ROOM
Nov. 22, 2004: SEATTLE, WA - SHOWBOX
Nov. 23, 2004: EUGENE, OR - MCDONALD THEATER
Nov. 24, 2004: SAN FRAN, CA - THE FILLMORE




October 12, 2004

realworldism: October 12th (including Jon Stewart interviews Bill O'Reilly)

Okay, just a quicky today. but Jon Stewart talked to Bill O'Reilly. and damn, that ape comes across quite likeable. now, if only he would be as 'fair and balanced' (heck, he even criticizes the administration to some extent) in his own program as he was in this interview. watch it at the Comedy Central page.
Now, showing an incredibly nack for putting their own interests over the necessities of a current conflict, "Major Assaults on Hold Until After U.S. Vote". Make sure you understand what that means: we'll stop doing what is necessary to win this thing, in order to not hurt our chance of getting re-elected. That is incredible.
At the same time, "Bush Slams Kerry for Comments on Terror" even though Kerry's comments make a lot of sense. Remember, in a TV interview Bush said that you can never win the war on terror ("President admits war on terror cannot be won"). Only later to flip flop and say the opposite: "Bush Now Saying 'We Will Win' Terror War". Plus, Cheney himself has said that much of the success in the war on terror has been due to law enforcement (especially if you look at the rest of the world, where many countries have had great successes in their fight against terrorists by making arrests) on "Meet The Press".
Kerry's comment, by the way, stems from Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser in the first Bush administration, who said the United States can break the back of terrorism "so that it is a horrible nuisance, and not a paralyzing influence." (read it here). Nevertheless, "Bush, Kerry Trade Charges Before Debate". Kerry's newest thing, quite rightfully: "Kerry Says Gas Prices Help Bush's Friends".




October 11, 2004

realwordisms: October 11th, 2004

Another day another story to read. The voting fiasco is still continuing as the "Backup Voting System Could Cause Problems" (read this: it's incredible) and because of all that mess, "E-Voting Research Delayed, Experts Say".
That's bad news. Good news however is that "Young voters find a voice". Bad again however is that "Bush Rhetoric Becoming More Aggressive". How classy.
On the war front "Retired Gen. Franks Criticizes Kerry". Remember, this is the guy that paid Iraqi military to not fight. Oh, you never heard about that? "Smart Bribes: Centcom's real secret weapon". And just for good measure and to refresh your memory: "Definition of 2003 invasion of Iraq".
It's also interesting on how the "Administration Chooses Anti-Feminist Group to Train Iraqi Women". That's funny. But look at the board members of this organisation. Any names ring a bell? It's just shameless how this administration is giving the jobs to them and themselves.
Isn't Bush always quick to pose with the Military? So he must like them, right? Well, maybe not as much as you think he does: "Wages of war Entry-level salaries of troops barely higher than a theater usher's", "Bush administration slashes veteran’s benefits", "Bush administration mistreats military" and "This is how Bush supports our troops".
Bush is also quick to play the religious card. So you might wanna ask "Why W. Doesn't Go To Church" and how after four years, the president's faith-based policies have proven to be neither compassionate nor conservative: "Faith Without Works".
And while we're at it, "Cheney Once Pushed to Lift Iran Sanctions". Isn't Iran in the Axis Of Evil? Oh, it wasn't back then. But it's a big business and we all know that Cheney looks out for them. On the other hand, "Kerry Vows to Fight for Middle Class".
So maybe all of this is the reason why The Lone Star Iconoclast, the paper of Crawford, Texas, Bush's hometown, is endorsing Kerry: "Kerry Will Restore American Dignity". And what happens when they do this? In the country of freedom of speech, they are threatened: "Aftermath Of Last Week’sEditorial Endorsement".

That should be enough for today.

P.S. There will be some new interviews on urbansmarts.com this week.




October 08, 2004

realwordisms: October 8th, 2004

Oh man, the spinnsters must do overtime right now, after the Duelfer report shows that, not only, Iraq didn't have weapons of mass distruction, he didn't even have a program to produce them in the future. None. Nada. Rien. Nothing (read article 1, article 2, article 3).
Are you aware of the meaning of this? Remember, before the war, the hawks told everybody that was willing to listen, how the world couldn't wait for a smoking gun. How the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud. How the threat was imminent (something they later claimed they never said). Remember that? (if you wanna listen to their pre-war rhetoric again, buy the DVD "The Whole Truth About the Iraq War")
That was their argument to refuse to let the Weapon Inspections to go on - something that would have been completed in a matter of months. And their complete refusal to wait was the very reason why 'Old Europe' didn't join the team. So note: the whole argument of 'preemtive' war as selfdefense is out the window. Heck, and Kofi Annan already said the war was illegal. Can anybody say warcrimes, courts, impeachment, etc?
So what are our good friends over at the White House doing? Well, "Cheney: Weapons Report Justifies Iraq War". How? Just because he wanted the sanctions to be lifted? Cuba probably has weapons of mass distructions, and if they don't, they may neither have a plan to build some. So kinda like Iraq. And I'm sure they want their sanctions lifted, right? Man, we better go there asap. Oh wait, no oil there, right? But anyway, "Bush Defends Iraq Invasion Despite Report" even though they also "Bush, Cheney Concede Iraq Had No WMDs" (while he still can't help it: "Bush Unleashes Newly Sharpened Attack" and "U.S. report says Iraq posed no threat, but Bush insists he was right").
In the vice president debate Edwards was asked if Saddam would still be in power with Kerry as president. That an interesting question. Because even though it is good that Saddam is in jail it is not enough to justify the war. Fact now is that Iraq did not pose a threat, and by far no imminent threat. Therefore the argument of selfdefense is gone. And that's the only one ever brought forward to justify this war legally. All the others like 'helping surpressed people' and all that jazz are illegal. And thus...well, you know.
So what's the consequence of all of this? "US report on Iraqi weapons deepens Arab hostility towards America". And that is exactly why this world is not a safer place (that and because of things like: "Blasts at Egypt Resort Kill at Least 19" and "Insurgents Hit Baghdad Hotel With Rockets"). Plus they are also mad because of things like this: "Sharon Aide Nixes Palestinian State".
But there's other places twiddling with things that can be end up as a WMD. How about "Iran Readies Uranium for Enrichment; UN Watching"? How about "Scientists resurrect killer genes from 1918 flu pandemic"? Oh but the US is doing the latter, so that's okay. And while we're at it, the consequences of "Lead Levels in Water Misrepresented Across U.S." is also a mass distruction. And you are drinking it.
What else is happening? Oh yeah, here's an article on Rumsfeld saying he was misunderstood: "Rumsfeld Says He Was Misunderstood on Iraq-Al Qaeda". No he wasn't. You've seen the footage. There was no way to misunderstand what he said.
So, today is another debate. The last one was a draw, people say: "Viewers See Cheney-Edwards Debate As Draw", even though I - personally - think that Edwards looked really, really bad and was quite annoying at times. But anyway, remember how Cheney said that this was the first time that he met Edwards? Well, it wasn't: "Meeting Was Not First for Cheney, Edwards". There's even footage of them sitting next to each other.
But yes, there's still a vote going on. Even though by now it's amazing how someone could still - with a clear conscious - vote for Bush. People find that "Voter registration up considerably in three key US swing states" and that "Higher Voter Registration Could Affect Election". The newest numbers show that "Kerry Takes Lead Over Bush in AP Poll", however, if you wanna believe this "Electoral Vote Predictor 2004", we'll get four more years of mayhem.
That's why you must go out and vote. And you may also get people to watch Fahrenheit 9/11. Because "The Less That See It, The Better For Bush". So please buy a copy (for example at Amazon) and make sure that all your Republican friends and family members watch it. So far the movie mainly preached to the choir. Now it needs to be seen by the audience. There's a reason why the Republican's hate Michael Moore (and want to have him thrown in jail, also read this article).
And finally, just two more articles that might be of interest: "Ethics Panel Rebukes DeLay Over Conduct" and "Senate Rejects Intel Oversight Suggestion".




October 07, 2004

recordsroundup: October 7th, 2004

Recordsroundup is the name of our section where we will - more or less quickly - introduce you to a couple of records that got to our offices. Enjoy.

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz "Kings Of Crunk"
You wonder why? Well, there's a new (I guess European) special edition now that comes with a ton of remixes and videos. Plus, and that's a rather big plus, you'll also get Usher's "Yeah". Along with two versions of "Get Low" (one with Busta Rhymes and the horrible Merengue Mix with Pitbull), a remix of "Throw It Up" with Young Buck and Pastor Troy, a remix of "Put Yo Hood Up" featuring Jadakiss, Petey Pablo, Chyna Whyte and Roy Jones Jr. Plus, for good measure the song "What You Gonna Do" by Lil Scrappy. And as said videos: "Get Low", "Play No Games" (feat. Trick Daddy, Fat Joe and Oobie), "I Don't Give A..." (feat. Mystikal and Krayzie Bone), "Bia Bia" (featuring Ludacris, Too Short, Big Kap and Chyna Whyte)" and heck, even a couple of more. So if you don't have this album already, get it now. More on www.liljon.com and www.tvtrecords.com.

Ying Yang Twins "Me And My Brother"
By the way, the European version of the Ying Yang Twins album features the video for "Salt Shacker". I haven't yet dared to listen to this. More info at http://www.tvtrecords.com/.

Usher "Confessions"
Speaking of re-releases and Usher: His multi-plus successful album "Confessions" also gets a re-release. Bonus? "My Boo" a duet with Alicia Keys, "Confessions Part II (Remix)" featuring Kanye West and Twista, and two more new songs: "Red Light" and "Seduction". Plus all new photos and a bonus fold-out poster! Hooray. And if you're really lucky, there's a limited first print with a 3-D cover. Well, bad luck buddy if you already have this album, you might wanna shell out the dough again. More information at www.laface.com.

Johnny Bass "The Misunderstanding With John O'Connor"
This cat is from Sweden. But rhymes in English. And looking at the artwork, he's into graff, he meets a lot of US rappers and looking at the cover, "99% of the lyrics are true...that's why I spit that real shit." I actually still have to listen to this, but I'm sure it's good. Check www.solidsenders.com, www.exit-stance.com and www.recordnet.se.

The Talpa Caeca "Odes To The Postmodern Century"
Also from the Solid Senders camp is the Talpa Caeca. Also Swedish, also rhyming in English, and he has some intricate and dark beats. Hard to grasp in only few listens and probably needs some time to grow on you too. But something worth to check out.

DJ A-Beats and DJ JS-1 "The East Coast Invasion - hosted by Doujah Raze"
Mr. A-Beats is one busy little feller. So here's a new mix-CD to feast on, and it features him doing part one, playing tacks like Styles P "The Future", Critically Acclaimed feat. Kenn Star "Maintain", Pharoahe Monch & Miri Ben Ari "NWS" (produced by Kanye West), Brother Ali "Fire In The Eye", Nas "Disciple" and A-Beats remixes of "On Fire" by Lloyd Banks feat. Nas and "60 Bar Dash" by Sean Price. Well, this and of course more.
Part two is done by DJ JS-1 and he goes through a freestyle by C-Rayz Walz, Akrobatik, Breez Evahflowin and React, goes through "Jesus Walks (Remix)" by Kanye West featuring Common and Mase, you get Pack FM feat. Jean Grae "Freaky", the infamous "I C Dead People" by Redman featuring Biggie, Tupac, Big L and Big Pun, plus much more.

DJ Ayres & Cosmo Baker "Hip House 2"
Oh, them guys Ayres and Cosmo Baker are at it again. After the first one was a sever bliss and quite the trip down memory lane (read the review). What's good? They put more classics on there, like KZYE "Stomp", Tyree "House Music Is My Life", Twin Hype "For Those That Like To Groove" or Tony Scott "That's How I'm Living" and they mix 'em with newer versions of the same something, like Armand Van Helden & Common's "Full Moon", DJ Quik's "Sexuality". Plus they did remixes themselves, like of dead prez' "War Zone" or of "Blackalicious "Make You Feel" and they digged up many unauthorized white label remixes of songs by artists like Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip and Kool Keith. What's all good. But what's bad, that it's not as much fun as the first one, as that one just really had all the classics amongst the classics. Nevertheless, a good pick and addition to the must have first installment.

DJ Eleven "Spitkicker present The Best Of Talib Kweli"
This is a very good supplement to Kweli's album "The Beautiful Struggle" which is out now. So amongst the obligatory "Fortified Live" you also get songs like "Real Life" feat. E-40, "Redefinition" off the Black Star album, you get "Anti Love Movement On Mission" off the Beatminerz album, you get Talib Kweli and Styles P "Buck 'Em Down", Reflection Eternal's "African Dream" and many, many more songs. All brought to you by the good people of Spitkicker and the man behind the decks, DJ Eleven.

Longshot "Sacrifice"
After his really good album "Open Mouths Fed", the good people the Molemen bring us Longshot's new album "Sacrifice". The production is of course kept in house and Panik handles the majority of the boom bap. As for guests, there's only Vicious on "Powerful Gun". But who needs guests when the emcee is Longshot? Exactly. Ahh, Chicago rap....you gotta love it.

Kool Keith "Official Space Tape - DJ Junkaz Lou Selection"
Hmm...what is this? Does he mentions this in the urbansmarts.com interview? Well, if not read it anyway. However, it's put out by the good people of Junkadelic and Nocturne and two phat cds deep. The first goes through such favorites like "One Two, One Two", "Sex Style", "Keep It Real", "Poppa Large" and "Ego Trippin' 99", while the second CD features "Blue Flowers", "So Intelligent" and "Plastic World". Thirty nine songs deep and something you want to listen to, cause Kool Keith is just one of the dopest.

Rodney P "The Future"
Yes, the world is not yet too focused on UK rap. Why? Heck, there's no reason why. After the success of Roots Manuva and Skinnyman, and after the distraction of Dizzee Rascal, Rodney P is a probable next UK superstar. The album is fifteen tracks deep, features Mystro, Karizma and Olivia Chaney, beats by The Sea, Stone, Joe Buhdha, Skitz and Pepper and really good artwork. So go over to www.lowliferecords.co.uk and listen.

DJ Green Lantern "Conspiracy Theory: Invasion Part II"
You may know the Green Lantern as Eminem's DJs. That's why it's always good to get his records, because you always get some exclusive Eminem shizznizz. Same here, where CD one features an Eminem freestyle, a Ja Rule freestyle for good measure, features Eminem, 50 Cent, Tony Yay and Lloyd Banks "Bump Heads", features a Jay-Z freestyle, Eminem, 50 Cent & Busta Rhymes "Hail Mary", features The Notorious B.I.G. & Cam'ron "Gun Talk" and features a ton more by FT (oh, man, where has he been lately?), Kon Artists, Obie Trice, Fat Joe and many more.
The second disc revisit another of Eminem's past beefs, as we get his "Invasion", his "The Sauce" and his "Nail In The Coffin". We also get the super lackluster Benzino track "Pull Yo Skirt Up" and a freestyle. There's a ton more freestyle on here, by the Flipmode Squad, Obie Trice, 50 Cent, Golden State Project, Proof, FT, Gang Starr, Young Zee and for good measure Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Rakims "The Watcher Pt. 2" and a Green Lantern remix of 2Pac & Nas' "Thug Nation". Should be enough, right?

mcenroe "5 Years In The Factory"
Moving away from the Peanut & Corn imprint (only for this record though), mcenroe hooks up with the Vertical Form imprint to do this new don't-call-it-an-album compilation. We still get his homies YY, Pip Skid, John Smith and Birdapres drop by on some of the fourteen tracks, which are some rare, unreleased, b-sides and all that jazz tracks.

Shambhala "The Lotus Of..."
These cats combine buddhist knowledge with hip hop beats on an album that you may/should/must study. That's why there's an introduction to meditation printed in the artwork. Beats are done by a couple of 'who?' cats going by the names of Axiom, Munch, Damu and Young Raven. The music is very ethereal, so don't be surprised if you hear a zitar amongst all the boom bap. Songs like "African Sunflower", "The Wind" and spoken word efforts like "Full Moon Of The Tao" are standout cuts. As the promo package came with incense, the digipack is all smelly now. What's not a bad things though. Nor is this record. More information at www.199records.net.

Death In Vegas "Satan's Circus"
There's some non-rap to talk about too. After their supreme release "Scorpio Rising", they now return with "Satan's Circus", a double CD featuring the new album, and CD two giving us old songs played Live at Brixton. You really want to check this out.




October 05, 2004

a quick update on today's post

We just heard that Rumsfeld said - once again - that he was misunderstood. Seriously. But who is he trying to kid?
Okay, for all those that missed today's earlier installment: what did he say? He talked about how he hasn't seen any evidence of a link between Saddam and Bin Laden. Read the article here: "Questions the Saddam and Bin Laden link". Now, I have heard what he said (on a Swiss radio station). There is NO way to misunderstand what he said. NO WAY. He said what he said and now he realizes that it was a serious 'oopsie' and is desperately doing damage control.
Another one doing an 'oopsie' was Paul Bremer ("Bremer criticizes troop level"). and he now says that his remarks were actually off the record and not meant for the public. Heck, that's probably what Rumsfeld thought too. So, when they think that no one's recording what they are saying, they are finally saying the truth? Or to put it different: the truth is not meant for the public? Oh boy...




donfugetaboutit: Oct. 5 2004

While Bush is still traveling the country saying the same ole things - probably using the exact same cards he used in the first debate (wasn't it funny when he ran out of things to say?) - about WMD, about Saddam and Al Quida links, his good ole buddies are suddenly letting their tongue slip. Or the finally learned what the rest of the world already knows. Newest 'blunder'? Well, suddenly Rumsfeld "Questions the Saddam and Bin Laden link". Let's repeat that: Rumsfeld doesn't think that there was a link between Saddam and Bin Laden? Wow. So another reason for the war gone. The WMD thing is out the window for some time now, and Powell "Regrets Iraq Weapons Claim for War". Next thing they'll say that it had nothing to do with the war on terror. It didn't, you know. And heck, now Paul Bremer, you know the guy that ran the country for a little while, is "Criticizes troop levels in Iraq" (more versions of this by AP, Washington Post), echoing John Kerry. He says funny things like that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Mistakes? Really?
Speaking on the war on terror, there's new evidence, that "Bush's Saudi Arabia Buddies Harm the War on Terror".
Good news though is that there's still time to win this election. And many people seem to want to vote, as "Americans are signing up to vote in record numbers: report". That's good news. Bad news - for Bush at least - is that "Arabs in Florida Angered by Bush". Just as it's bad news, that those damn Brits are still focusing on those damn machines in Florida: "The machinery of an anxious democracy" gives a good introduction to the different types of machinery.
We already introduced you to Greg Palast. He was on Air America Radio yesterday talked about his must get DVD "Bush Family Fortunes". But back to that Florida election. He talked about such darling little things, like intimidated elderly people, about Republicans telling their followers to go the absentee ballot route and not to go to those voting machines - as they all work so well - and how the envelopes have the party printed on 'em. Just so that the good folks there know which envelopes to 'loose'. Heck, Florida is a mess, and it's scary that this is not a huge scandal over there. It's not even as big as Britney's last marriage.
But anyway, today is the next Debate and if you ever wanted to visit the official government page for the debates, then you can find it here: www.debates.org. And if you want to read on another analysis of last week's debate, read how "Bush's smirk and Kerry's smile send the wrong message, say experts".
If you want to wear a funky t-shirt telling everyone that you support ABBB (anybody but Bush), there's some really good garments over here: seeyageorge.com. If you're really generous, get at me, cause I'd like to get one of those and I'd be a happy opinion leader wearing them for the next 30 or so days. If those shirts are not enough humor for you today, then watch this special message from Will Farrell as George W. Bush. That was put together by the good people of America Coming Together.
Finally, and for some reason I assume you'll like this: some scientist has found out that farting can save your life. At least if you're a fish. How? Well, read this here: "Flatulent fish net Ig Nobel award".
Then again, finally finally, we're actually still looking for a catchy title along the lines of 'newswrapup' that we use for the hip hop related news for these more political updates. So if you have one, tell me at: get@urbansmarts.com.

P.S. I know I promised you a 'newswrapup'. Sorry there's not one yet. But we got three brand new interviews on the site that you'll enjoy. They are with Chicago's Single Minded Pros and Verbal Kent and with Colorado's Time.




October 01, 2004

more news we hope you care to know.

Okay, the first debate is over, and Kerry did a good job. Or Bush didn't. Same difference. You can get the Washington Post's twist on things when you read "Iraq Takes Center Stage in Debate". But after reading that, make sure you also read "Debate Promises May Differ From Policies", as it's quite telling, or even hilarious, to compare what Bush said back then to what he actually did. Now, the debate of course was boring. That was no real debate when the candidates didn't have to go against each other directly. But anyway, Kerry wasn't sweating and Bush didn't look too short, so let's be happy for a change.
If you still hate Kerry, don't fret. Go to kerryhatersforkerry.com. Yes, it's okay to hate Kerry but to vote for him.
In the mean time, Michael Moore faces more and more University cancelling his appearances: "George Mason U. Cancels Michael Moore Talk". There have been others too. So go to Michael's site and also visit his 'must read' section. Because that's what it is.
One of the most important issues right now are the many, yes many, organizations talking about how there are some serious and troubling aspects about the procedure. I know, I linked this article before, but it's incredible when an OSCE is ringing the alarm bell. So read "OSCE Concerned About US Voting Procedures". The British paper The Independent also published an excellent article on the troubles in Florida. Remember, four years ago it was The Guardian in the UK that published Greg Palast's research. Now it's again a British paper that talks about it. So you must read "Something rotten in the state of Florida". And share these facts with your friends. And if you think it's only Florida where some shady business is going on, think again, and think Ohio: "Desperation and 80 Pound Paper Stock in Ohio". Oh yeah, and if Bush realizes that he might loose, he can always postpone or cancel the elections. What then would be a "Coup d'Etat in America?", but hey, didn't Bush say something about 'it would be easier in a dictatorship'? Oh yes, he did: read this.
Now there's of course more happening in the world. Like "Canadian City Blocks Memorial to U.S. Draft Dodgers" (they probably didn't wanna host Bush when he came visiting it). Big Brother is watching you with a new toy: "Security blimp tested in Washington skies". The GOP is playing dirty tricks: "9/11 Panel Wants Clauses Taken Off Bill". And when the Democrats vote against the bill in order to prevent these 'bonus' clauses, the Republicans will call 'em anti-patriotic again, right? And finally the world is changing. And so is the face - or faces - of America: "Minorities majority in more areas".
Okay my friends, that was it for today. Next blog entry will probably be on some more rap news. That what you came here for anyway, right? I hope you'll still check out one or two of these links though.