December 24, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 12 - It's RasMaz Day! Farewell


It's RazMas. It's been twelve straight late nights getting a better understanding of an outstanding album from a young man that has a brilliant future ahead him. "Spilled Milk" is just the beginning. We're sure that Top $ Raz will continue to excel with his musical endeavors for he is a driven individual that creates with purpose. It's fitting that final track on this LP is entitled, "Farewell". He began with a powerful emotional impulse, and closes with a just as powerful moment of reflection. The end is bitter sweet and poignant. Peace and infinite blessing on this RazMas...


1. Farewell is a fitting song for the end of this album. When did you actually complete this song in relation to the rest of the album?

I had the hook and first verse for this track for a while, it was like the third song I had completed. My first intention was to record it over a Prezzure beat, but one night while in the car with my girl she put me on to the Donny Hathaway version of "Someday We'll All Be Free" (a song I always loved but only heard the Aretha Franklin version) and I was like BOOM! That's it, I need that beat. The stuff that Donny is talking about that song, about holding on and his real life story of suicide was the kind of irony I was going for with the entire Spilled Milk project. Like, yea we got to keep moving, you cant cry over Spilled Milk, but then again you will cry over it, cause you're only human. So I sent it to Imagine That for them to flip for me. Shout out to Prezzure though cause the original beat he made really pulled that emotion out of me.

2. What was the inspiration for the chorus and the delivery of it? How do you personally feel about this song? Will you ever perform it live?

I honestly don't know where any of this stuff comes from, its just flows through. Some hooks I have to really think about, like the intro took me a while to come up with, but this one came natural. Aside from "No Tears" this is my favorite track, I'm really proud of how this joint came out.

3. What does the future hold for you Top $ Raz? What will you do different in 2010? What will you do the same?

2010 means demanding respect and getting it. Making better music, smart decisions, and precise power moves. Thinking everything through and having a plan.

4. Are there any last things you'd like to say on this RazMas day? Anyone you'd like to mention?

I'd like to thank everyone involved and all those who have showed love for Spilled Milk. I'd like to thank every artist, fan,supporter, and blogger that helped with this (Iheartdilla, Freehiphopnow, Above Ground Mag, Adam B, Kalil Kash, OISD, Imagine That, Thinker, and everyone else out there) The response to this album has been overwhelming. All I want to say is I hope we keep moving forward, and although it seems like we are moving fast we have a long way to go. I want everyone who is pursuing this rap thing to be rooted to reality. Chasing the dream is important, but so is having food on your plate. Take care of yourselves.

Freehiphopnow.com would to thank Top $ Raz for allowing us to follow him on this journey, while answering all of our questions in an engaging and thoughtful manner. We also would like to thank all of the supports of this project and ask that you continue to spread the word about Spilled Milk.

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12 Days Of RazMas: Day 11- RazMas Eve: Wo(men)

It's RasMaz Eve! Yep It's already been eleven says and we've nearly completed the journey through Top $ Raz's album "Spilled Milk". Today's selection is entitled, Wo(men).In this track Raz tells the stories of the troubled lives some women face that are easily over looked and considered not.


1. Explain what Wo(men) means. Have you ever heard Organized Konfusion's "Invetro", your first verse has a similar theme as Pharoahe's verse in the song...

I called it Wo(men) with men in parenthesis because I'm a man on the song speaking from a woman's point of view. Nah I haven't heard that song before, those cats seem to be the innovators of creative POV storytelling. A lot of cats think Nas was the first to do the whole talking from the point of view of a firearm, when "Stray Bullet" came out a year or so before.

2. Do you have future plans of being a father? If so, how will you introduce your child or children to music?

Yeah of course I'd like to be a father, but no time soon. I'd definitely filter out the explicit music from their ears until they're old enough. I want my children to know their history and know the contributions that black folk have made to all music genres. I also want them to have an eclectic taste in music. When I was young everyone told me rock and roll was for white people. I had to learn myself from that, I don't want my kids to have to do that.

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Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" concludes with Day 12. Farewell.

December 23, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Days 9 & 10 - Be Gone feat. Kalil Kash/ Burning Bridge feat. Scienze

Back to back collaboration tracks with Kalil Kash and Scienze. Definitely two totally different types of records for Raz, showing his diversity.


1. How long have you known Kalil Kash? When did you first begin to record and perform with Kalil?

Top $ Raz: I've known Kalil Kash for about a year and a half now. We met at Training Camp Tuesday open mic at the Pyramid club. That was my first day of pursuing this hip hop thing as a career. First track we recorded was "Be Gone" and then after that was "Right in Kissah" with J Monopoly. We were both coming up and figured it make sense to join forces. In the beginning there weren't many shows so we would give each other a song on our sets, and make sure we performed "BE Gone" at every show so each of us could shine. I think it's worked out well for us.

2. You guys ever discuss doing a full length project, the likes of say Red and Meth's "Blackout"?

Top $ Raz: Yeah we've discussed that. As a group we are Blac Dinero. First priority however is to get our solo projects as much burn as possible. Kalil Kash will be dropping his album in January titled "The Exit Method". It's gonna be dope.

1. Kalil Kash: Looking at the full project, Spilled Milk how do you feel about aside from the fact of actually being on it?

I think the album definitely shows a lot of growth from his last one. Just feels like he took more time with this one to make it a more memorable piece of work. I was very impressed.

2. Kalil Kash: Does Top $ Raz make an appearances on your forthcoming project? When's the album coming and what is it about?

Yes, he appears on "Right In The Kissah" on The Exit Method. I'm aiming to release the album late January. It doesn't really have a concept, but the title itself represents the mental getaway that the album should provide the listener; hence the name "The Exit Method".


1. "Burning Bridge" sounds like a reworked Dilla track. Are you singing? Do you think that in the future you'll be doing more then rhyming on tracks, possibly producing them or even singing seriously?

Yeah that's me and Scienze 'singing' on the hook, without auto-tune! I probably will keep the singing to a minimum. I produced a few songs off my first album "The Narrative", including the lead single SSDD, but this time around I just sent certain songs to sample and put my 2 cents in to what kind of songs I wanted.

2. Do you ever create music with a specific audience in mind? Like you know what, this time out the gate, I think I wanna do a song 'just for the ladies'.

I did that with the first album, and that's why this one is better. this album is just me being honest and not forcing anything. I did what the beats pulled out of me on this one, I didn't try to make a song for everyone. This track is based on something that really happened to me, so I wasn't trying to make something for the ladies, the beat was just asking for it. Before I made that track I was thinking "damn I don't have one track for the females," but even knowing that I refused to ask for a beat from a producer so I could make that track. I wanted to make sure everything came natural, and that's why this album is special to me.

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December 21, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 8 - Perfect Strangers - Top $ Raz

We're sure you've already figured out without even listening that this song is not about two silly cousins in Chicago that get into messes. Perfect Strangers showcases Top $ Raz's ability to tell a story. Not just one , but three. Sit right back and you'll hear a tale.


1. How many Perfect Strangers have you directly encountered in your life time?

Ha ha, if you're referring to the characters in the verse, I haven't directly encountered any of these characters, but judging from the stories I hear in the hood and on the news I'm pretty sure they all exist somewhere. Also, anyone who has BET has seen the preacher type in verse three.

2. What moved you to create such a song over this track? Was this another one where you already had the idea in mind and requested the producer use that sample for you to deliver these words to it ?

When I was making this album Badd Lukk was the first producer I went to. We've been making music together since I was 15 and he was 14, we used to be in a group called "UnderAge" with two childhood friends of ours. This was one of the many beats he sent me, with the KEM sample saying "Perfect Stranger". So I figured the best way to use this beat would be to tell a story.

3. When it's all said an done, what do you want people to gain from the music you create? What kind of tattoo are you looking to leave on the art form? How do you think you'll make it happen?

Simply put, I want people to like it. I want people to learn from my music and vibe on it. I want my lyrics to become proverbs, like when shit is bad ya boy is tellin you 'we men, no tears...' or 'hey it's all spilled milk, but you cant let it stain...'. I'm hoping I can show artists you don't need to kiss someone's ass to get ahead. You just have to grind like your life depends on it. Like I've said before, I represent the real underground. We don't put on perfume and a pair of 'stunna shades' and pretend to be friends with someone who knows nothing about our culture or music at 'networking' parties in order to get ahead. We lace up our kicks, get on that open mic list, spit our heart outs, create dope music with quality production, and after a while they cannot deny us. DEAD! video is at 1900 views in little over a week with no management or promotion team behind me. "Spilled Milk" is in everyone's car and ipod. I've dropped two videos and 2 LPs in one year. Can they still deny me? I don't know, some choose to, but sooner than later they will have no choice. We're here! We're in their faces. We are not Perfect Strangers.

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Tomorrow,
"12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 9. Be Gone feat. Kalil Kash

December 20, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 7 - Cold Blooded feat. Imagine That

Truman Capote didn't write this tale featuring, Imagine That on Spilled Milk for this 7th Day of RazMas. Top$ Raz did. Tonight we find out that there was a second track that didn't make the official Spilled Milk release and you get to hear it too. We'll call it a bonus. Raz did.


1. Cold Blooded may be the most 'left' track on the album in terms of theme throughout the entire LP. It definitely veers slightly off of the path you charted at the beginning of "Spilled Milk". You only have one verse? It's like this track is off of Imagine That's LP and you're the guest appearance. Break down the song for us. What is it about? How do you know Imagine That?

Yea the original intent was for me to be featured on this track, but I like this song so much I threw it on the LP. We already had a song we did for my album called "Gimme Mine", which I'm sending as a bonus cut, but I liked this song more. "Gimme Mine" was made at a time when I was still trying to find my voice. If you listen to the two you can see on "Cold Blooded" that I'm more comfortable with the flow changes. I met Imagine That at the Training Camp open mic at pyramid when I first started hitting the underground circuit. It was a mutual respect from jump so we decided we should do some collaborations. Back in Oct. 2008 Imagine That gave me my first showcase. I'm really grateful for knowing them cats because they definitely played a major role in getting this album done. They recorded, mixed and mastered 90 % of the album as well as produced 3 joints on it and are featured on 2 songs (Mike Love on Far Rock '95, and as a group on Imagine That). As far as theme of the song, I was tryna talk about what I felt was cold blooded in this world life, the streets, my style, work, all that stuff.

2. Okay. Obviously this album is full of adult language, but you're adamant about the fact that there was no use of the 'N' word. Why is that? Can you explain why you chose to do that? Do you think in the future you will ever do an entire album sans cuss words?

It was actually when I went out to record "Gimme Mine" that I decided to stop using the N word on my songs. Imagine That, for those who don't know, are white (with mad soul might I add). When Imagine That picked me up from the train station they were playing Pharoahe Monch's "What it Is" where he's like 'when they see me they say that's that nigga my last name should be that's that nigga, sounds kinda nice Pharoahe that's that nigga...' and I was kinda uncomfortable. Like not because they was listening to it, but because we couldn't sing along to this dope record without it feeling awkward. It was at that point that I decided I shouldn't use that word at least in my music because all it does is separate us. If you go to any hip hop show you'll see that Hip Hop is uniting cultures together. It's a beautiful thing, I'm just trying to further that unity with the words I use.

As for not cursing on a record, Top $ Raz concludes, 'Nah that'd be corny as hell. lmao. The word "motherfucker" can be pronounced so many diff ways, it's too fun...'

As promised, bonus track: Gimmie Mine


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"12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 8. Perfect Stranger

December 19, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 6 - Far Rock '95

It's day six and it's beginning to look a lot like RazMas. A blustery, blizzard threatening evening in NYC. Perfect night to be inside with good company, mellow out and enjoy some tunes. Tonight Top $ Raz along with Mike Love and Vithym transport us back to Far Rockaway circa 1995.


1. "Far Rock 95" sounds like it's something from straight out of the west. What was the motivation for this song? Was it influenced by any artist in particular?

"Far Rock '95" like every song on "Spilled Milk" was inspired by the beat. I sent Courley Dennis the sample, Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale", for him to make a beat out of it and what came out of that was the beat for "Far Rock '95". The beat sounds so 90's I was like yo you know I got to do a '95 flow on this right? I think the Bone Thugs West coast flow is def a staple of 1995. "1st of the Month" is one of my favorite tracks from that year.

2. How'd you decide you wanted Mike Love and Vithym to rock over this one? Did you come up with the concept for the song?

I feel like you should only do features to enhance the concept or completely convey the feel of the song. Mike Love and Vithym have a natural 90's flow so I called them up to get that fulll '95 feel on the song. I wanted to make it sound like one of those 95 posse cuts, where everyone is saying the hook at the same time. I also wanted to get creative and make a clear distinction that this was not us, (I don't move packs of anything except music 'all the way to California') and that we were paying homage to the era. In order to do that, I made sure it was a story line that we were following. This song is their story, them real street cats rapping in 95, that we're paying respects to.

3. In 95 you were like 7, what was young Raz doing, 14 years ago?

Haha, I was just about to go in to second grade. I wrote my first rhyme in the second grade. I was going by my government name Rasheem, until 97 when I heard that Biggie track "Victory" then changed my name to "Cashtro". I was a fat kid, so the line 'used to call me fatso, now they call me Castro' really inspired me. That was actually the first rhyme I learned by heart.

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Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 7. Cold Blooded feat Imagine That

December 18, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 5. DEAD! - Top $ Raz

Day 5."DEAD!" Freehiphopnow.com was around for the video shoot for this song. A number of up and coming NYC underground artists make up the main cast of this video. How many faces can you spot?



1. When you wrote "DEAD!" did you have any particular 'real' person in mind, or is this song a general non-specific commentary on a frequent occurrence in many hoods?

An actual person that the kids on the block looked up to was shot and killed in the building across from mine. It was scary to me, instead of learning from his mistakes, they glorified him like he was some martyr. When Terrestrial Papo played the sample for "DEAD!" I immediately came up with the hook, inspired by what was going on at the time in the neighborhood.

2. What kind of feelings if any came about before,during and after the taping of the video?

Before the video I just was focused on making a video that had to do with the song. I'm an advocate for story driven videos, I think anything less is a waste of time. But when the video came out, and I watched it I was like wow. I didn't know the funeral scene was going to be that powerful. Shout outs to Director Lee Walker and cinematographer Max Rejmer for capturing the feel of the song on video.

3. Who were the people involved with the production of the video? How'd you get them involved wit the project?

The entire crew were, like myself, students and alumni of the Cuny Brooklyn College Film Department. Who said you had to spend 40 grand to get a film degree at NYU?

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Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 6. "Far Rock '95 feat. Mike Love and Vithym"

December 17, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 4. Get Up Get Her - Top $ Raz

Day 4: We head to the club because we're now old enough too. after all that we gotta go get something 'healthy' to eat...



1. Is "Get Up Get Her" the 'anti-club' club song? How'd you come up with it?

Haha, the 'anti-club' song, I like that. Well I feel a 'club song' can be lyrically dope. A lot of these new club songs have filler verses and are more focused on the beat and the hook. I was fashioning "Get Up Get Her" after the more lyrical club joints like "Lex Coops Bemmas and Bens" and Jay-Z's "Do It Again. Both of those joints are good for club, but they also have some darts in the verses. That's how you do a club track without selling out. When Terrestrial Papo played the beat to Get Up Get Her for me, the hook came to me almost immediately. "If you want that girl go get up get her". As an artist you need a track like "Get Up Get Her" cause it's the perfect call in response for the live show. I usually perform this joint at shows, it's a lot of fun.

2. You turned 21 earlier this year, that means no longer having problems getting into clubs to perform. Do you go to clubs?

Yea my girl has been dragging me to clubs lately. But the 21+ card has benefited me mostly with supporting my peers at their live shows. It's always good to support your peers, not enough of that is going around these days. And then folks wonder why nobody supports them.

3. You have a special diet. What led you to make the choices that you do foodwise?

A few years ago being a vegetarian was a "Special Diet" but nowadays everyone is vegan, vegetarian, or a raw food vegan. There's really no story behind it, one day I was eating a salad with chicken in it and realized I couldn't taste the chicken, but only the tastiness of the vegetable and dressing. So I said, why not let me just cut the meat out all the way. I've never felt better. I find that ever since I went vegetarian things have become tastier. Vegetarianism forces you to be creative, use different ingredients to make a tasty meal. It takes a lot more creativity than just throwing Lawry's and flour on some chicken.


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Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 5. DEAD!

December 16, 2009

Long Beach Native Warren G To Be Honored By The Boys & Girls Clubs Of Long Beach

Boys & Girls Club honors Warren G with Long Beach Image Award

Long Beach, California (December 16, 2009) - On December 18th, Warren (“Warren G”) Griffin III, west coast rapper, hip-hop producer and Long Beach native will be honored with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Image Award for his commitment to the youth and community of Long Beach.

The event, which will be held at the John C. Wallace/Petrolane Club, is set to include an awards presentation at 4:30 p.m. followed by a toy give-away to local youth at 5:00 p.m.

Also in attendance will be Percy Daggs, Jr. (actor) and Samie Parker (NFL Wide Receiver) who will be honored with Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach Alumni awards as well as Jeremy Williams (professional boxer) and Daniel Crockett (actor) who will be presented with Community Leadership awards.

“There is so much greatness that comes out of Long Beach,” said Branch Director, Keith Lilly. “It’s a good feeling knowing that no matter how successful our honorees have become in life, they still continue to give back to their hometown. There’s something very humbling about that. Especially at this time of the year.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach have provided after school programs to the Long Beach community for 70 years. Eleven Club sites are operating in the most economically challenged areas of the City. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is to provide a positive, safe, and nurturing environment where youth from ages 6 to 18 are encouraged to become responsible members of the community. Membership is $15 a year and is available to youth from ages 6 to 18. Call 562-599-3377 562-599-3377 for additional information. The address of the John C. Wallace/Petrolane Boys & Girls Club is 1920 Lemon Street.

# # #

For more information please contact:
Wron G
A Warrior's Vision Entertainment
Hollywood Hills, California

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12 Days Of RazMas: Day 3. No Tears - Top $ Raz

We're three days into this celebration of RazMas and now we're taking a listen to track 2 on "Spilled Milk", entitled "No Tears". It's a very personal song for Top $ Raz produced by Thinker.

You know they say the good die young and I'm only twenty-one, I'm scared,
Homie hold knives, hold guns round here
I'm thinking that they killin us for fun, I swear...oh yeah, but we men...





1. For a song like "No Tears" what frame of mind do you get into to write it? What's recording a song like that feel like to you?

Recording a song like "No Tears" is scary because it's very personal. On it I talk about my brother's rebellious attitude and his father's addiction to crack. I didn't make that up, that's real ish. It's my favorite song on the album. Thinker's production on it is just crazy. Those drums spoke to me.

2. Is it true that you don't write? How do you feel about young artists that denounce writing as if it is a 'weak' thing for an emcee to do, and make attempts at free-styling everything they do, instead of really trying to put thought into their songs?

Yes it's true, I don't write. But I think it's very corny to brag about it. It's just a different way of doing things. I find it tedious to write the lyrics down, because my mind is always ahead of my fingers, and it's easy for me to retain the information in my memory. It's like writing the song in my head, it may take a whole 2 weeks before I finish a verse in my 'mind book'. A lot of these other cats get it twisted and think not writing something down is 'freestyle'. It's not, even the most famous of the non-writers, Jay-Z, will tell you it's not an off the top of the head process. Put effort in to your songs, for the most part you don't get props for saying you don't write. Most people just think you're trying to be Jay-Z when in fact many artists, like Common, Biggie(RIP), and T.I, don't write lyrics either.

Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 4: "Get Up Get Her"...

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December 15, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 2. The Introduction - Spilled Milk - Top $ Raz

It's day two of 12 Days of RazMas and we're going to start from the best place. The beginning.The first track of an album should set the tone for it, right? Well let's see. We speak with both Top $ Raz and producer of the intro track Thinker, about working together and future collaborations.



1. What new challenges were you met with, creating your most recent release,"Spilled Milk"?

T$R: I faced the challenge of trying to be as honest as possible, yet still be relatable. At some point in recording the album I realized that it was more important to make music that people could connect to than it was to come up with the illest punchlines or catchiest party tune. I wanted to show people who I am as a person. I feel like although my first album was a valiant effort, it didn't exactly give you a clear description of who I am.

2. How did you meet Thinker (producer of the title track, "Spilled Milk" and "No Tears")?. What was it like working with him? Will there be more collaborations?

T$R: I met Thinker through my brother from another Kalil Kash. I believe the first time I spoke to thinker was through a Facebook chat. The first time we met was at Sin Sin in the lower east side. Before I met him I had my eyes on a dope track on his Myspace page for like two weeks. I knew I needed that beat for the album and if I got it it would be the intro.

It's great working with Thinker because he's extremely fast and productive. He understands the artist and really listens to them. There are a lot of future joints coming with Thinker. A few collaborations including, Ciph Diggy of Sleepwalkas and MC K~Swift, as well as some solo tracks for the next project. It's hard because every time Thinker sends me a beat I have an urge to make a new album, they're that ill, but he keeps tellin me to chill and just promote "Spilled Milk".

3. Mos Def on record said, 'The first cut should be the deepest...' Do you agree with this theory?

T$R: The first cut should definitely be one of the most personal. It's basically and overview of what to expect and an introduction to the artist. As underground artist on the come up we have to make sure that first track is a banger. We only get one chance out the gate. I know many people that press the eject button after the first track if it isn't to their liking. So I made sure I had a certified joint for my intro. Everyone that I've gotten feedback from put "Spilled Milk" near the top of their list as their favorite joints on the album.

4. What made you decide to work with Top $ Raz?

Thinker: After seeing him perform S.S.D.D. at "A Monthly Bondfire". I knew he'd be someone that I'd like to work with. I let Kalil Kash hear a few tracks on my Myspace page and soon after Raz reached out. One of the tracks on the page would end up being the intro and title track of his album "Spilled Milk".

5. How do feel about your production being the first thing heard when people hear this record?

Thinker: It's an honor and pleasure to have my track selected to set off an album that I enjoy listening to and would recommend for others to give a full listen to. I feel like it sets the mood for the "Spilled Milk" experience.

Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 3: "No Tears"...

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December 14, 2009

12 Days Of RazMas: Day 1. El Presidente - Top $ Raz

If you don't already know who Queens emcee Top $ Raz is then you can't really claim to know about current NYC Hiphop. Top $ Raz defines the New, New York. Young, confident and proactive. The "Empire State" of the underground circuit that in a lil over a year, seemingly from no where has gained the ears and respect of his peers and then some in this rotten apple. He's proven, you do not need the yes man co-signage of an in-genuine blogosphere in order to garner real support. What you do need is exceptional music, a strong work ethic, great stage presence and true determination. Never take no for an answer.

With all that said, tonight FreeHiphopNow.com begins celebrating the, "12 Days Of RazMas". Each day leading up to December 25th, we'll be focusing on one track from Top $ Raz's current release "Spilled Milk" in an effort to continue creating awareness for this solid production. Also, gaining more insight on this young artist and those who contributed to the creation of this work.



1. "Before The Milk Spills - El Presidente" is a pretty healthy pre-introduction to listeners preparing for the release of the album "Spilled Milk". Did you record this before or after your trip to the west coast? What was the trip like out there and what were you doing while you visited L.A.?

"El Presidente" came before the trip to LA. It was supposed to be on the album, but I scrapped it due to a falling out with a producer. So yea, "Spilled Milk" would've been 12 tracks. I suppose god works in mysterious ways cause the album has a nice synergy to it at 11 tracks. Flows nicely. The trip was nice, the people at Trash Can Music took care of me out there. I got free breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. I recorded the album out there for the 2nd time. After thinking about my future, I decided I didn't want to release the album with them so I did it independently. So I rerecorded the album in three hours at the Imagine That studios in Port Chester.

2. When'd you get the idea to record "Spilled Milk"? How did you map out the creation of the album?

I knew I wanted to do a new record after "The Narrative" to show fans and spectators where I am right now. "The Narrative", even though it didn't get an official release until November 21st 2008, was mostly created when I was between the ages 17-19. Half of the record was recorded in my senior year of high school. At 20, I felt I needed something more focused, that shows my skills today. I got in the lab to make this new record. It took many different turns. At first it was called "Captivity", but after a while it morphed into "Spilled Milk". I felt the title was more fitting.

Tomorrow, "12 Days Of RazMas" continues with Day 2: The Album Introduction - Spilled Milk produced by Thinker. We'll speak with both Top $ Raz and Thinker.

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Dead - Top $ Raz

December 11, 2009

50 Cent – Do You Think About Me featuring Feat, Vivica Fox


Looks like 50 Cent remembered how to make a decent song again. This is an interesting one. Makes you wonder what this crafty, shrewd character really has up his sleeves, doing a video with Vivica Fox... Very interesting...

December 9, 2009

A Silent Genocide ~ A Brief Insight into HIV/AIDS by Tantra-zawadi and Oliver Covrett



NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 7, 2009 -- Brooklyn born performance poet/artist Tantra-zawadi, announced the released of a short documentary titled A Silent Genocide: A Brief Insight into HIV/AIDS today. The film, shot on location in New York City and Los Angeles, features a commentary by Betty Makoni, the founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide and a Top 10 finalist for CNNs 2009 Heroes Award, offers insights into the personal experience of those living with HIV/AIDS. Through art and activism, A Silent Genocide shows viewers how these individuals are striving to decrease the staggering numbers of new infections.

A Silent Genocide is directed by Ms. Zawadi and Oliver Covrett of XYAYX Multimedia who also edited and produced the film. Musical contributions for the project include Tut Burks and Xavier Kemp with artwork by Shanna Melton.

December 5, 2009

Money Streams From Music Streaming by Gif

At a rate of roughly half a cent per stream, how valuable is online streaming revenue to the career of an unsigned artist? One hundred streams earn an artist a meager $0.50. Ten thousand streams earns an artist only $50 in revenue.

On Myspace my all time music plays are currently listed at 35,859. I decided to do a little math:
  • 35,859 plays X 0.005 (Half a cent) = $179.295
If I were earning half a cent every time someone listened to my music on my Myspace page, I would have earned $179.295 in revenue. The plays I have accrued on my Myspace page pale in comparison to the numbers I have seen other artists pull. I've seen some artists get as many as a thousand plays a day. At that rate those artists could have earned an extra $1,680 a year.

Math:
  • 1000 plays a day X 7 days a week X 4 weeks a month X 12 months a year X 0.005(half a cent) = $1,680
Think of it in these terms, if you have, let us say a ten-song album, 1000 visitors come to your site and each visitor listens to every song on your album a day, that’s a revenue stream of $50 a day.

Math:
  • 1000 visitors a day X 10 plays per visitor X $0.005(half a cent) = $50 a day
What are the odds of an artist generating that kind of traffic? I’m being really idealistic with these numbers right? Maybe, if you believe you aren’t creating anything compelling enough to draw this kind of interest.

I look at a site like Last.fm where the more people listen to your music, the more people listen to your music (No, the repeat of the phrase is not a typo). Every time a user listens to a song it gets syndicated through an activity stream to the pages of all that user’s friends, which can lead to one play possibly resulting in multiple plays. Through Last.fm’s activity stream alone, depending on the amount of friends and reputation of the listener, one play can balloon into 10 or more.

Will artist be able to quit their day jobs and live off of the revenue generated from online streaming? Perhaps not. Does it beat the blank artists currently earn from people listening to their music on sites like Myspace and personal music players on their artist web site? You bet!

http://twitter.com/IamtheGif

Nola Darling - "That Nola D"*Boom Boom Pow* Remix

Eric Sosa - 'The Heart'

We have our eye on this kid and we like this tune, 'The Heart' from the Queens bred, young emcee (not be mistaken for Marvin Young) Eric Sosa. He and Sosa Management are everywhere in NYC right now, so there's a good chance you'll catch him live on stage or out and about, patronizing the city's many performance venues and clubs. Definitely keep your eyes and ears open.


Please rate this post and drop a comment. Let us know what you think about Eric Sosa's , 'The Heart'. Artists need thoughtful feedback, especially those on the come up!

November 30, 2009

Desperado Soul - Abstrak


Desperado Soul, long time supporter of the very successful 'A Monthly Bondfire' show at The Bowery Poetry Club in NYC gives us a taste of things to come on his yet untitled debut album. He says that most likely this track will not be on the project.

Please rate this post and drop a comment. Let us know what you think about Desperado Soul's , 'Abstrak'. Artists need thoughtful feedback, especially those on the come up!

Follow Desperado Soul on Twitter.

November 23, 2009

11-24-09 Bondfire Welcomes Sleepwalkas And GNU to the Concert Series Stage!

Bondfire Welcomes Sleepwalkas And GNU to the Concert Series Stage!

Bondfire Mic Open with 15 Slots available broken up in sections of 5 spread out through the show!

SPECIAL MiC Open Guests:

Kalae All Day, emcee/vocalist ( http://www.kalaeallday.blogspot.com/)
Shavon Meyer, poet/author of "The Quiet Storm Vol.1 (www.thebsideshow.com)
Kojo, vocalist (www.myspace.com/kojo4eva)
Robert Gibbons, blues vocalist/ spoken word artist
Tzitzi Farmer, Poet

Special Guest Painter: Demostina
http://www.twitter.com/demostina
http://www.demostina.com/

Be on time you to get your slot. No call ins, text ins, emails or tweets. That's just not fair...

If you miss this one. Well, just don't miss this...

As always A Month Bondfire is hosted by The Bronx Über Villain & co Host TastyKeish [WBAI 99.5FM] Rise Up Radio
DJ - DJ Boosh Wheelz! [Tah Phrum Duh Bush]

The Bowery is an All Ages Club.

$5 B4 10:30PM $10 After

308 Bowery btw Houston & Bleeker

November 18, 2009

Rakim talks about Dr Dre, Aftermath and why he left



http://www.hardknock.tv Rakim talks to Nick Huff for Hard Knock TV interview about his current relationship with Dr. Dre, why things didn't work out for him and Dre at Aftermath, why the album "Oh....
http://www.hardknock.tv Rakim talks to Nick Huff for Hard Knock TV interview about his current relationship with Dr. Dre, why things didn't work out for him and Dre at Aftermath, why the album "Oh. My God" never came out and speaks on his new album "The Seventh Seal".

November 3, 2009

Jay Electronica - Exhibit C (Prod. Just Blaze)



Jay Electronica - Exhibit C (Prod. Just Blaze)

Lyrics:

When I was sleeping on the train
Sleeping on Meserole Ave out in the rain
Without even a single slice of pizza to my name
Too proud to beg for change mastering the pain
When NY niggas was calling southern rappers lame
But then jackin our slang
I used to get dizzy spells, hear a little ring
The voice of a angel telling me my name
Telling me that one day imma be a great man
Transforming with the MegatronDon spittin out flames
Eatin wack rappers alive shittin out chains
I aint believe it then, nigga I was homeless
Fightin, shootin dice, smoking weed on the corners
Tryna find the meaning of life in a corona
Till the 5%ers rolled up on a nigga and informed him.

"You either build or destroy, where you come from?"
"The Magnolia projects in the 3rd ward slum"
"Hmm, its quite amazing that you rhyme how you do
And how you shine like you grew up in a shrine in Peru."

Question 14 Muslim lesson 2: Dip diver, civilize a 85er
I make the devil hit his knees and say the our father
Abracadabra! You rockin with the true and living
Shout out to Light Out, Joseph I, Chewy Bivens,
Shout out to Baltimore, Baton Rouge, my crew in Richmond
While yall debated whos the truth like Jews and Christians
I was in Cecil B, Broad St, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker
6 Mile, 7 Mile, Hartwell, Gratiot
Where niggas really would pack a uhaul truck up
Put the high beams on
Drive up on the curb at a barbeque and hop out the back like "whats up"
"Kill a nigga, rob a nigga, take a nigga, buss up"
Thats why when you talk that tough talk I never feel ya
You sound real good and you play the part well
But the energy you givin off is so unfamiliar
I dont feel ya.

Nas hit me up on the phone said "what you waitin on"
Tip hit me up on a twitt said "what you waitin on"
Diddy send a text every hour on the dot sayin "when you gon drop that verse nigga you takin long"
So now im back spittin that He could pass a polygraph
That Rev Run rockin Addidas out on Hollis Ave
That FOI, Marcus Garvey, Nikki Tesla
I shock you like a eel, electric feel, Jay Electra.

They call me Jay Electronica
Fuck that, call me Jay ElecHannukah
Jay ElecYarmulke
Jay ElecTramadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Supana Watallah through your monitor
My uzi still weigh a ton, check the barometer
Im hotter then the mothafuckin sun, check the thermometer
Im bringing ancient mathematics back to modern man
My momma told me "never throw a stone and hide your hand"
I got a lot of family, you got a lot of fans
Thats why the people got my back like the Verizon man
I play the back and fade to black and then devise a plan
Out in London, smoking, vibin while I ride the tram.

Thai'Matic - Goin Down


They've spliced up a car commercial... Yeah, for serious jacking right here... Can we all agree, this is sampling on some next level...?

"DIRTY"--The Official ODB Biography Premiering in NYC 11/10

New York, NY -- On Tuesday, November 10th, ImageNation Cinema Foundation will present the New York Premiere of the Zu Films’ ‘Dirty’ One Word Can Change the World. Directed by Raison Allah, DIRTY is a personal tribute to one of the most enigmatic, controversial and tragic figures in Hip-Hop music history, Russell Jones, aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard or ODB. DIRTY features interviews with Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB), his family and friends, and other Wu-Tang Clan Members: RZA, GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killa, Raekwon Da Chef, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, ODB’s Brooklyn Zu, Sunz of Man, Kllarmy, the Black Knight and more of the 36 Chambers.

This special premiere will open with a live performance by ODB’s group Brooklyn Zu and will close with a panel discussion with director Raison Allah (ODB’s brother in spirit and cousin by blood), members of the Wu Tang Clan, Brooklyn Zu and Terrie Williams, author of Black Pain: It Just Looks like We Aren’t Hurting. Panelists will discuss ODB’s life, the genius of his work, and will touch on how the Black community handles mental health and substance abuse issues.

DIRTY is an in-depth documentary that traces ODB’s life from his childhood in Brooklyn to his eternal influence on music, time spent in prison and, finally, to his untimely death just two days before his 36th birthday. ODB one the founder members of Wu-Tang Clan, whose 1993 debut CD, 36 Chambers, received enormous critical praise and is now widely regarded as one of the best and most influential albums of any genre of that decade, as well as one of the best hip hop albums of all time. Perhaps the best-known member of the group, ODB was armed with a seemingly crazed, slurred, half-sung/half-rapped delivery.

About Zu Films

Stephon Turner (Raison Allah) formed ZuFilms to bring the story of Russell Tyrone Jones (aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard) to the world. As filmmaker Michael Moore braves the

controversial political landscape to ferret out truths, Allah takes his camera where no outsider has previously accessed. Currently, ZuFilms is developing a feature film based on its successful documentary, Dirty: one word can change the world. The company will also release three tribute albums, which will include performances by the next generation of the Wu Tang Clan. Also in development is a revolutionary Internet television network, MglobalTV.com, which will feature streaming live content. For more information, visit www.mglobaltv.com or www.brooklynzu.com.

About ImageNation

ImageNation is presented by the ImageNation Cinema Foundation, a Harlem-based media arts organization, founded with the goal of establishing a chain of art-house cinemas, dedicated to progressive media by and about people of color. Through a variety of public exhibitions and programs, ImageNation fosters media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlights the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide. Designated space by the City of New York, ImageNation will open its first movie theater, the ImageNation Sol Cinema (ISC), on 125th Street directly across from Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater. The ISC will be Harlem’s first and the nation’s only art house movie theater dedicated to Black and Latino independent films. For more information, please visit www.imagenation.us.


Who: ImageNation Cinema Foundation
Raison Allah, Wu Tang Clan members, Brooklyn Zu and Terrie Williams
What: New York Premiere of DIRTY: the Official ODB Biography
When: 7pm, Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Where: The National Black Theatre, 2031 5th Avenue (125th & 126th Sts.)
How: Purchase online at www.imagenation.us or call 212-340-1874
How Much: $15 in advance / $20 at the door

November 2, 2009

Artist Of The Week – Guante

The Midwest is one of the country’s true hotbeds for hip-hop right now and Minnesota is the state that’s leading the way. After former Artist Of The Week Sketch Tha Cataclysm moved out there he immediately told me about Guante, a Minnesota-based emcee and poet who is originally from Wisconsin. I checked out some of Guante’s work and was really impressed. His most recent album is El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment, and he just finished up recording a collaboration with Big Cats! titled An Unwelcome Guest. He’s also working on a one-man spoken word theater show he hopes to debut in the spring, tentatively titled The Fist that Lives in Your Neck. Guante’s work qualifies as both unique and intense. A good example of this would be the way he describes An Unwelcome Guest, saying “it’s a concept album, a zombies-superhero-love-story-parable that deals with issues of displacement and violence as a tool for social change.” This week I caught up with Guante to find out more about his work, his causes, and why there’s a good chance he’s on a first name basis with his pizza delivery guy. Read more...

October 29, 2009

Bisco Smith - Fresh Water



Fresh Water by Bisco Smith aka Bisc1, produced by J.Vegas. Directed and Edited by Hector Nava of Lasek X. Video from the new Bisco Smith LP titled, The Broadcast. In Stores Jan 19th 2010.. video features J.Vegas as the program director and Bisco Smith as the Disc Jockey..

October 26, 2009

10/27/09 A Monthly Bondfire's 1st Anniversary! With Poison Pen & Eagle Nebula

FreeHiphopNow.com Presents...

Tues Oct. 27th 2009

"A Monthly Bondfire's 1st Anniversary"


It's The Bronx Über Villain's Bornday Celebration! Nuff Said.

Bondfire Welcomes Poison Pen And Eagle Nebula to the Concert Series Stage!

Special guests that will celebrate with bonus performances:

Spills & Felecia Cruz
StarPower (Of the Dugout)
MC ~Kswift
Amo1
Coole High
Super King Armor
SleepWalkas

+ Special Surprises Throughout the evening...

Such a big show makes for an even larger Bondfire Mic Open with 15 Slots available broken up in sections of 5 spread out through the show!

Same deal. Be on time you to get your slot. No call ins, text ins, emails or tweets. That's just not fair...

If you miss this one. Well, just don't miss this...

As always A Month Bondfire is hosted by The Bronx Über Villain & co Host TastyKeish [WBAI 99.5FM] Rise Up Radio
Resident Live Artist - Marthalicia
And Our New DJ - DJ Boosh Wheelz! [Tah Phrum Duh Bush]

The Bowery is an All Ages Club.

$5 B4 10:30PM $10 After

308 Bowery btw Houston & Bleeker

Artist Of The Week - YC The Cynic

YC The Cynic is an emcee I’ve been aware of for a number of years. I’d not only heard his name from some artists I trust and respect, but I’ve even had a handful of conversations with him. What I hadn’t seen until a few weeks ago, however, was YC The Cynic perform. Thankfully he was able to jump on the mic at the last Bondfire show and it didn’t take long for me to figure out what all the talk was about, YC The Cynic is seriously dope. He’s also young, which makes him part of the next generation of emcees in NYC. This week I caught up with him to find out more about what that next generation has to offer, if he’s really as cynical as his name might suggest, and why there are certain hip-hop shows were you definitely don’t want to just hit on anyone in a dress. Read more...

October 19, 2009

Artist Of The Week – Nyle

Anti-machismo, lonely stoner, and a post-Tribe/Pharcyde type of vibe are just three of the ways Nyle feels his work can be described. Most people who hear him rhyme, however, have found a shorter, one word, description for his style – dope. Nyle’s fan base has been growing steadily since his arrival in NYC from Philly a handful of years ago and he points to his content as one of the reasons for this, saying “the stuff I write about is easy to relate to.” Nyle also has a great range when it comes to his music as he point out his body of work includes everything from “straight rap jawns like ‘Gangrel,’” to “a T-Pain parody song called ‘Fuck A Nice Guy.’” No matter what he may be spittin about, Nyle has developed a reputation for always gettin busy on the mic and this week I caught up with him to ask him about making it in NYC’s crowded hip-hop scene, which kind of naysayers he loves, and why so many people know him by so many different names. Read more...

October 8, 2009

The Noisettes + Kanye West... UK Rockers.... Remixed!

Mick Boogie and Terry Urban once again unite with some of their favorite artists and producers to curate a unique remix project... this time remixing one of biggest sensations in the UK music scene, The Noisettes.

Taking the acapellas from The Noisettes album Wild Young Hearts and merging them with the samples and ideas from Kanye's sublime 808s and Heartbreaks, Mick, Terry and friends provide a completely unique and soulful take on the exciting music being created by Shingai and the gang.

Tracklisting:

1. The Noisettes f/ 6th Sense: Say You'll Be Noisy (Remix by 6th Sense)
2. The Noisettes f/ Esso: Never Bad (Remix by nVMe)
3. The Noisettes: 24 Winters (Remix by Matt Friedman of ILLFONICS)
4. The Noisettes: Cheap Cops (Remix by Double 0)
5. The Noisettes f/ Christian Rich: Saturday Night Paranoia (Remix by Christian Rich)
6. The Noisettes: Upset Lockdown (Remix by 6th Sense & Apple Juice Kid)
7. The Noisettes: Amazing Heartbeat (Remix by The Cataracts)
8. The Noisettes f/ Dao Jones: Sometimes I'm Heartless (Remix by Apple Juice Kid & 6th Sense)

Download Link

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