live: through the mic at lacma

last night was an amazing night for LA hip hop.

blu & exile. how good is their chemistry? below the heavens was my shit and maybe one day has gotten major play lately. loooved watchin ex kill it on the mpc. fashawn and some of the dirty science crew came out too.

madlib cuttin it up

urban lights never gets old

gangsta gibbs lookin kinda like pac hah. dude knows how to put on a show tho… glad i finally saw him live.

taken from my girl’s [@kristinapolk] instagram. my fav shit, the country boy, is now the obama special! man has it really been that long?


Live: September events in LA

The fun never stops.

This Saturday I’m going to see Pretty Lights with DJ Shadow at the Shrine!

Tickets here.

Through the Mic Series at LACMA

LOVE this collaboration of LACMA and Murs, which LACMA calls “An extension of conversations around intersections of ctmpy art and film, art and music and art and performance.” Went to the launch of the series back in May with 3MG (Murs, Eligh, Scarub) and it was a really dope event with Urban Lights as the backdrop.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib (DJ Set) Peep their Thuggin’ EP.

Blu & Exile.

Below the Heavens (2007)

Maybe One Day EP (2012)


Tickets here. (Sold out)

Wonder-FULL is back! Don’t wait in line (made that mistake last year) and cop your tickets now while they’re still $9 ($12 total inc. fees). Tickets will sell out, the line will be long, and your feet will not stop grooving! So excited for this and DJ Spinna is one of my top 5 DJs for sure. Wonder-Full, an annual event dedicated to the great Stevie Wonder.  Featuring Brooklyn NY native DJ Spinna, one of the world’s most respected DJ/Taste maker/Producer, spinning all Stevie exclusives, covers, samples & remixes.

The Echo

$9 Presale | $15 Advanced | $20 Door

21+ 9PM-2:30AM

Tickets here

FB Event

(love this flyer!)

ArtDontSleep & Mochilla present: East Side Story at The Mayan Theater.

Presale Tickets:
15$ Early Bird | 20$ General Admission | 25$ Door Entry

6pm-12am :: 21 + Wiser

FB Event

music: top 3 favorite tracks with sleigh bell samples

not so festive sleigh bells

i love me a funky bassline and some horns, but hearing sleigh bells on a track adds a delicate richness that IMO complements a strong lyricist nicely.

1. nas- halftime (prod. by large pro)

2. pete rock & cl smooth – one in a million (prod. by pete rock)

3. presto ft. blu – pour another glass (prod. by presto)

i’m missing something huh? this is all i can think of hah

live: back to basics festival in santa ana

such a dope lineup. visionaries, people under the stairs, zion i, evidence, fashawn, blu, chali 2na, planet asia, strong arm steady, ugly duckling, and rebel to the grain. it’s too bad i only saw the last couple of headliners because i came late. it was hot as a mutha… i can’t see why the observatory couldn’t turn on their A/C. it sucks because towards the end during visionaries you can tell the crowd was runnin on fumes. despite the conditions, i’m still grateful to finally see the visionaries live and to see all these dope crews grace the same stage.

Presto feat. Blu – “Pour Another Glass”

So KUCI has a blog that you where you can download mp3s and read staff reviews. presto

No stranger to the game, Presto has been producing and DJing for almost 20 years. He describes his sound as “hip hop with a soul backdrop and jazz edge.” It is almost too easy to guess his influences: DJ Primo, Pete Rock, Jay Dee, Tribe–yet, he brings to the (turn)table a definitive edge.

Although State of Art was released June 2008, hip hop heads continue to sleep on Presto. Why? Because the digital age has led to saturation of wanna-be artists/producers now that hip hop has imploded the music industry and American culture. His album does justice to the hip hop luminaries before him and his collaborations on “State of the Art” with such influential hip hop greats such as Large Professor, CL Smooth, and Sadat X is an indication that hip hop, even with its explosion in the mainstream, is still capable of producing quality music.

His sound is jazzy, soulful, organic, old-school with refreshing enough to keep it contemporary. The layered instrumentation of jazzy keys, echoing horns, easy-going drum composition, and the inclusion of sleigh bells in a meticulous, yet subtle synthesis of samples shows his skill as a producer.

And so the age old question still remains: what is hip hop? Is it flashy videos, blatant misogyny, violence and brutality, or reinforcing materialistic values? To avoid sounding like a diatribe, the answer remains ambivalent.

One consolation is that Presto takes us back to the fundamental sounds of the early 90’s. Sampling jazz and soul music using a keyboard rather than an MPC gives the production a sense of intimacy and live instrumentation.

Blu still doesn’t disappoint. A favorite in the underground scene, his consciousness and ability to illustrate day-to-day vignettes demonstrates how the resurgence of West Coast hip hop deviated away from gangsta rap and into an art form used to contextualize his environment. His flow displays his excellent storytelling skills about how he emerged from being a eager amateur to internet/underground success. Blu balances his cockiness while still maintaining his cool against the jazzscape background.

His album does justice to the hip hop luminaries before him and his collaboration on his album “State of the Art” with such influential hip hop greats such as large professor, CL Smooth, and Sadat X is an indication that hip hop, even with its explosion in the mainstream, is still capable of producing quality music.

You can buy from iTunes or download it here