Ahem. That said, I'm an asshole for not honoring the second anniversary (Oct 30) of the death of Jason Mizell, the one and only Jam Master Jay, in this column. Jay's contribution to this culture of hiphop is immeasurable; as a fan, as a hiphop lover, and as a Mizell, I honor him and his family. Sadly, our soldiers in this hiphop game all too often come to a violent end. Northern Cali rap legend Mac Dre was killed in a shooting in Kansas City November 1. A Vallejo native, Dre first LP dropped in '89; sadly, soon after he was convicted of conspiracy to rob a bank and sent to prison for a five-year bid. After getting out in '96, Dre dropped hella material, including the influential Rompalation series. May his killer be brought to justice, as well as the men who murdered Tupac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay.
Okay, Costco-sized kudos go out to Portland patriarch and NW legend Cool Nutz for his POH HOP festival, the ninth installment of which went down a couple weekends ago. Cool Nutz deserves praise not just for his own considerable and consistent catalog, but for his efforts to expand the visibility of NW hiphop. With a theme of "Politics as Usual," POH HOP 9 included panels and workshops on producing quality product, the election, and hiphop activism. The performances wisely focused on artists trying to start a movement, not just drop a CD and disappear... Byrdie, the Blue Scholars (opening up for De La Soul on the 15th), Split 50's E-Dawg, and the one and only Sonny Bonoho reportedly put it down for the Emerald in grand style. P-Town Oldominion representers Siren's Echo also did their thing, rocking with a live band. If you're not up on Siren's Echo, I'd recommend you find their self-titled debut and peep them when they come through town next month; the surprisingly harmonic marriage of chanteuse Toni Hill's sultry vocals and Syndel's Thorn City spitfire result in a sharp, soulful gumbo that have made them a force to be reckoned with in Rose City and beyond.
So what did you do Tuesday, November 2? If your lame ass didn't vote, you owe me an apology everyday until W's upcoming Supreme Court appointees kick the bucket, let's say roughly... 50 years from now? Sigh... Well, if you've got a free Tuesday coming up, here're just a couple of recommendations. There's FourthCity's "Stop Biting" weekly at the Lo-Fi, featuring DJs Hideki, Kamui, and Bumblebee; just a couple weeks ago they had Dr. Oop of L.A.'s Black Love Crew up there. Also worth checking on Tuesdays is O'Deezy's Hip-Hop Showcase at the Rainbow, one of my favorite grand dives in town. They feature live performances from local talent, so sign up if you're trying to get out there, kids....
And yeah, R. Kelly is suing his now ex-tourmate, Jay-Z, for 75 million; Kells claims one of Hov's camp pepper-sprayed him backstage... Damn, it's a pisser when noxious fluids are sprayed in one's face.
Oh, and did I mention we're fucked?