Up Next: Jordan Page

If you don’t know him, you should familiarize yourselves with Jordan Page, a young producer from North Carolina living in New York who makes serious beats. Peep some of his work:

Experiment 2

Track 2:

My personal fave is the “Ain’t Hard to Tell” remix on his SoundCloud page. I had the chance to talk to Jordan during the Grammys last week, and he offered some insight on his motivations for making music.

NE: How do you want your music to perceived? How did you get started?

JP: Really I think of it as just a hobby, even when people tell me that I should pursue it seriously. When I feel like it, I do it, when I don’t I don’t. To be honest, it started when I was watching Fade to Black. There were lots of shots with producers, and I more or less thought to myself ‘I could do that, I have decent taste in music, and I feel like that taste can be translated to beats. After that I asked my brother to teach Fruity Loops Studio and Cool Edit Pro, and kinda took it from there.’ Continue reading

Black People, By City

Going to an HBCU will teach you many things: how to effectively navigate the “runaround”, how to tie a bowtie or walk in 4-inch heels (or both), how to make a whole steak dinner using a toaster oven. In my opinion though, the most important thing that going to Hampton has taught me is the ability to distinguish the various types of black people from major metropolitan areas with a frightening accuracy, thereby allowing me to gain their trust by finding something specific to their region that I can to talk to them about. “Stuff White People Like” actually has a pretty cool poster of the different types of white people by city, so I thought I’d throw my kente clothe hat in the ring and represent for the black folks. Here goes nothing….

DC/MD/NoVA

Most used slang: “Ji,” “young,” “bun,” ” lunchin’”.

Uniform: Nike boots, leather/wood/afrocentric chains, NorthFace, dreads or twists, colorful make-up  (women)

Personality: Moody. When angered a DMV resident may use the power of go-go to beat his/her feet upon your face. Sense of black pride is strong.

Biggest Employer: The Man. Everyone in DC has a ‘guvament job’. Full benefits, pension and job security are standard.

Patron Saint: Wale

I'm not mad, this is my normal face

NYC

Most used slang: “son” “dun” “dun-son”

Styles: Flashy (Harlem) or very conservative (BK) **Please note that while Brooklyn is known for its rappers, Downtown BK/Fort Greene is THE mecca for the natural hair/urban hipster set. You will see a fair share of nappy roots, stylish african prints, window-glasses and ironic clothing. Be advised.**

Personality: Hustling.

Patron Saints: Jay-Z, Cam’ron, Mos Def

Who's better?

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The Headwrap Pass: Swindle of the Century

I only use juices and berries

When I attended the Bilal performance a couple of weeks ago, I found myself doing something that I swore I would never do.I had a decent view of the show, and there were two young women who wanted to get a closer look so I unlatched the velvet rope and let them in front of me. Why? Because one had on a headwrap, and the other had dreads and could have been my twin sister.  I gave them The Headwrap Pass. I made the assumption that they were just like me - that they hold the same values as me, and for that they deserved to see the show more than my chemically relaxed sisters. It was wrong, but I figure its not the first (or last) time that people have benefitted from assumptions and stereotypes. Here are the top 5 “natural woman” stereotypes that I run into most, and which always make me laugh:

1. All women with natural hair spit poetry

In college, a young lady who was competing in the Ms. Hampton pageant requested that I write and record a poetic introduction for her African dance performance piece. Now, I don’t recall having EVER publicly performed any poetry, and there were definitely people more qualified than me. My hypothesis? I had a nappy afro and  seemed artsy, so I was a safe bet. My roomate at the time hated on me because she had natural hair too but it was long and wavy and she didn’t look ‘poetic’. But you know what, I did that sh*t and enjoyed it too! Take that, wet and wavy ;)

2. We are all vegan/vegetarian

Let me tell you something. I am from Virginia, and my family is from Mississippi. I will devour a pork knuckle in ways that are obscene. I will assault a fried chicken wing and annihilate an ox-tail.  Stop asking me if I eat meat! (That includes you, mom.) Continue reading

You’re a Muthafuggin’ Queen Girl…An Ode to Valetine’s Day

This is dedicated to the loverrrrrrrrrr...in you!

Back in college, I was involved in the poetry/spoken word/collective action group Spark O.N.E. (now I know how much this was inspired by Love Jones, and I’m compelled to go watch the movie in full). Everyone was trying to be deep, most people had natural hair, and we were just young folks trying to find ourselves in this cold, cold world, feel me?

On February 14th of my freshman year, Spark O.N.E sold bags of assorted Valentine’s Day candies, and attached were homemade VDay cards. Mine said, “You’re a Muthaf**ckin Queen, Girl.” Both utterly ridiculous and utterly true, this homemade hip-hop Valentine’s Day card was ignorant AND genius. It single-handedly made me love Valentine’s Day again, even when I hadn’t really paid attention to the holiday since 7th grade.

In the spirit of  that beautiful card (which I still have, btw, 7 years later), I want to share some Valentine’s Day love. Remember, YOU ARE A MUTHAF**CKIN QUEEN (or King)!!!

XOXO (you see how I doubled up on ya??)

NE

The Top 10 Grammy Moments

I came in to the house just in time to catch the Grammys, and I must say that I was not been disappointed by the contents it held. The joyousness of this occasion was magnified by the fabulousness that is Twitter, so here are the highlights:

10. Justin Bieber and Ursher – People hate on Bieber (yes, he does look like a lesbian), but that boy can SANG! And he plays the guitar, and by gosh, he’s kinda cute. Usher on the other hand looked like he desparately needed a 10 minute break. Usher you should fire your stylist…is it me or were his pants soggy in the middle? 

9. Bob Dylan singing with that country band – While I respect the fact that they are talented musicians, that whole set kinda scared me. As one of my friends said on twitter, “As long as white sheets don’t come out” Lol.

8. Cee Lo Green – Looked like the NBC Peacock!

7. Rihanna – I can’t believe this chick…from the islands, can’t sing or dance worth a damn. Her hips are so wooden. Rihanna = Red Snapper

6. Nicki Minaj – Another island booty beauty, she looked a hot mess as well. She needs to fall waaaaaaaaaaay the f*ck back with that cheetah vomit dress

5. The people in my Twitter timeline – Disclaimer: my timeline is predominately African American. Everyone seemed to have drunk a gallon of hateration before tuning into the Grammys, especially for the non-Negro performances. Stop expecting this to be some sort of Ruff Ryder reunion, every type of music has to be appreciated  @ the Grammys.  THIS IS NOT THE EBT BET AWARDS!!!! Continue reading

Review: Jay Z – Decoded

Rap Writing

I know I should like this book more.  He is superrich, supertalented, and this book is just icing on his Empire-Building shaped cake. I know. It’s his own personal “heat check“.  I know this. The New York Times says this is a “provocative, evocative” book. Bullshit.  Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- for being “Shawn Carter’s most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay Z.” Even bigger bullshit. To me that just seems like a bunch of fluffy talk from people who a. don’t really know how to appreciate hip-hop, but have been forced to acknowledge its sheer pop-cultural power and relevance or b. fear Illuminati Hov*.

I’m not scared of him though. Despite the fact that Reasonable Doubt makes me feel like a gangster because of its undeniable realness, I can’t get over the fact that this book is, in my opinion, pretty average. Kind of like the Kingdom Come album, just an overall anti-climax in book form. Here are 5 reasons why I feel this way and the 2 redeeming qualities that saved this book:

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

Get this book!

I know the rest of Steeler nation is still hurt over the spanking that Green Bay administered last night, and I am pretty sure that everyone in the ‘Burgh has a long face today. The Steelers are to Pittsburgh are what pink wigs are to Nicki Minaj–completely separate from the person, but totally entrenched in how they view themselves. I’m sure there was plenty of wailing, gnashing of teeth, renting of clothes and ashes placed upon heads in mourning in the city of Steel, and according to one of my Facebook friends, “even the squirrels seem sad.” Still, things can’t be that bad.

With that said, today I found a story in the New York Times that felt like a big win despite the pall of gloom that has been cast over the world since the Steelers lost. Rebecca Skloot, the author of a well-received book about the life of Henrietta Lacks, is using a portion of the proceeds and fame that she has garnered from her book to help the family of the woman she wrote about.

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