Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EF Cuttin is New Orleans best kept secret...

EF Cuttin' is my favorite dj. He's been deejaying longer than most of you have even been alive. Between making mixtapes for local New Orleans artists and Djing for Truth Universal and now CurrenSy, it's amazing that he still has time to release heat like the TwixShow mixes...

TwixShow #1

TwixShow #2

TwixShow #3

Each one of these mixes is a festival of pop culture and hip hop obscurity sure to make any self respecting music lover laugh, cry, and shake their bodies down to the ground!

You can catch up with EF Cuttin on his myspace @ Facebook @ and twitter @EFCuttin

Holler at him and tell him how fresh the TwixShow mixes are. And also be on the lookout for the multitude of EF Cuttin projects slated for release in the very near future. Show love. I'm out.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

AS-1 Gets RAW!!!!

In my interview with AS-1 I don't know how I missed this... I'm floored. This is so fresh!!

I have offically been "warned"!!!

So after taking a while to marinate, apparently Ryan now really wishes me and my family some physical harm. Today when I checked my Facebook messages, he now wants to get "gully". Are you fucking kidding me??? This isn't 1996 and this isn't Brooklyn brah, ya heard me?? So once again for the sake of public record, I'm going to post the threats. So please everyone out there, be on the look out for this Ryan Hodges person. He's obviously very emotionally unstable, probably a danger to himself and others, and most definitely in need of some mood stabilizing medication.

Subject : Gully

Ryan: you say we got problems the next time you see me? I know where your mom lives, where you live, and your girl lives. You want real beef? I have no problem airing you out in my city or yours.

So apparently I'm going to be "aired out". I think my friend Don Libido put it best this morning, and I quote, "Plus... 'I have no problem airing you out in my city or yours.' Umm, where is HIS city, again? And what would he have to air out? That you're a deejay? That you play more than just underground Hip Hop? That you hosted the first DMC in NOLA? That you (and a handfull of others) are the only ones doing Hip Hop still in the Crescent? Him trying to call you out is like me calling Mannie Fresh out as a bitch who doesn't know shit about production..."

As Jermaine Quiz said, "Its just hilarious, its not even beef... its tofu!"

So there you have it, another man's opinion. I'm not going to release the myriad of personal messages, but I will tell you some of the message titles: "Douchebag", "What an ass clown!!", etc...

So my best advice to this guy, is to check your ego, get a job, get a home and lastly get a life. Please seek some professional psychiatric help. I'm sure you have some deep seeded emotional problems. So good luck with your mental health issues. I sincerely hope you get some help.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shiftee's Salsa School of Scratch!!!

After about a week of being totally exhausted, it's time to pick up where I left off. New Orleans DMC is a thing of the past so, now I'm gonna focus on some of the US Finals competitors. Shiftee is a brilliant dancer, sandwich maker, and mixologist. Let Shiftee, take you through his mild scratching lesson. SALSA!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up (Fashionably Late) PART ONE

I have been waiting my entire life for a weekend like this. I'd been hoping against hope that one day my fair city would be able to support events of this magnitude.

My Friday started early, I had a pickup of my best friend and Zulu 206 representative, DJ Gumbeaux, at the airport. I needed some help on stage, and he seemed like a perfect fit. We were also having a Zulu outreach meeting on Sunday, so it was dual purpose. Well it seems that the two hours I had between first pick up and drop off was the only down time I would have all day. I wish I would've savored it.

Well, next were I-dee, Steel, Rugged. I ended up picking up Concept too because he was on the plane with I-dee. I had a full car load on the way back to the city, and everyone was pretty hungry. So we went to Crabby Jacks for some poboys. Then we went to check I-dee in to his hotel room, well... pre-checked in. From then on there were people who were posted up on my couch and on my turntables until 7:30 when I had to pack up for the Howlin' Wolf.

Lesson #1 : Never book people in separate hotel rooms. I spent far too much time in the car on the night of the battle picking people up when my time would've been better served in the venue getting everything ready.

Well after picking up Christie Z, Teeko and I-dee, I scrambled to get everything set up so that the battle could start. Originally we had around 20 djs set up for the battle. Only 10 showed up on the night so let the prelims begin...

Truth Universal was the perfect host for the evening. He kept the crowd involved throughout the night even when some of the delays lasted a little longer than the regulation 2 minutes.

Of the three representatives from Louisiana, Jermaine Quiz, Know Respect, and Beverly Skillz, only one looked as if to have ever put a routine together prior to that day. That simple fact made me wish I could've entered the battle even more, and that the rest of my crew would've entered also. I remember the days of Raj Smoove, Hektic and HC when coming to New Orleans to battle would make you want to step your game up. I guess since battles began to dwindle years ago, so did everyone's desire to battle. Well, of the three from Louisiana, Beverly Skillz advanced to the 6 minute round.

I got an interesting insight in the judging that night. I got to see exactly how each competitor is scored and I got to see each judges score sheet. Well, without going into detail the top six scorers were as follows:

1. Steel
2. Concept
3. Rugged One
4. Beverly Skillz
5. Axis Powers
6. The Don Santos

Shortkut did a little party rocking interlude, and we were in to the final.

The Don Santos went up first, his routine was pretty solid, but not loaded with any real high degree of difficulty. He did do a blindfolded beat-chase, which was cool albeit gimmicky.

Axis Powers has his showmanship turned all the way up. His strength lied in his cutting but his beat juggles weren't where they needed to be for a top three and we all knew it. He ended his routine by breaking a record on the turntable, which for the crowd was entertaining the display IS a little overdone.

Beverly Skillz was the fan favorite. As she stepped up, the crowed roared and she basically had them eating out of her hand the entire routine. She did really well except for some skipping on one of her juggles. When she began cutting to the Triggerman beat everyone went nuts in the crowd. She really knew how to play for a room of fans.

Rugged One from Boston, had the only flawless routine out of the three in my opinion. His routine was comprised of combo juggles (juggles using two different records) scratching, and just plain funk... It was a stark contrast from the next competitor...

Concept from Boca Raton, Florida was up next and his routine was uptempo and in your face. His routine reminded me a lot of what Netik and Rafik are doing in Europe with Le Jad records. His set was almost flawless and it seemed the crowd was pretty in to it. All Concept would've needed to take first was a little more showmanship and another juggle. Which brings me to...

Steel representing New Jersey was the highest scorer from round one, and he performed last in this round. Steel had his 1st place game on. Everything was right on, his juggles, his scratching, his transitions, and he didn't miss a beat when I mis-read the timer and shorted him one minute. He resumed his juggle like nothing had happened. His difficulty level was the highest of all the competitors. The fact that he made it look effortless only added to his set.

Well once the finals wrapped it was showcase time. I-dee went first. He unleashed a barrage of scratches first, and then went into juggles of maddening proportions. As the routine progressed he seemed to get better and better and more and more into the crowd. He might as well have entered. He could've given Steel, Concept and Rugged a run for their money. I-dee finished to uproarious applause.

Next up was Teeko. Admittedly, I was looking forward to Teeko's set most of all. He'd brought a synthesizer, a Vestax Controller One, and an MPC 1000. He began by tapping out a beat on the MPC, and building the melodies using the Controller One and the synth. He continued with a C1 cover of Billie Jean, and he ended with a unbelievably hot cover of Herbie Handcock's Rock It. Teeko was a huge hit with the crowd also and he wrapped up to an uproar from the crowd.

I expect to be seeing Teeko and I-dee a lot more in New Orleans.

Well it was time to announce the places. After deliberating with Christie Z, it had to have been the shortest decision of the night. The scorecards were identical and, Truth Universal strolled out to give the crowd the results.

3rd Place was Rugged One
2nd Place was Concept
1st Place was Steel

That was exactly what I had decided also. Had I been a judge, the results would've been the same.

Next up was the ICU to close out the night. I couldn't stay around for their set because I had to wrap up all the lose ends on stage, pack everything up, and make sure everyone was taken care of and everyone got to where they were going in time.

Well at this point I was pretty frantic, trying to get people to Handsome Willy's for the afterparty, even though the battle ran waaaaay late. Well, I got there and a few people followed, not as many as I'd liked. But nonetheless, it was a good party. I could finally wind down, have a beer and relax.

Well time passed pretty quickly and it was time for us to leave. We all decided to go eat at Deja Vu on Conti. By that time we were all pretty delirious, and by the time we walked out of Deja Vu, the sun was coming up. No rest for the weary, because I had to bring Steel to the airport at 10. The weekend goes on...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Now it's time to get excited y'all...

In lieu of tomorrow's festivities, I thought it only fitting that I would post some of my favorite DMC routines of all time in their entirety... This is a post for everyone to enjoy... So take time out of your day and check it out!!!

That should be more than enough to wet your palette for Friday night!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Plus One is Still # 1 after all these years!!!!

This is an excerpt of Plus One (Scotland) and his I'm Still #1 beat juggle. This helped him win a DMC World Championship in 2001. Show love to this!

The Inkwell Press does ink well!

Inkwell Press is on it's grind. Gabe Flores started his business with a dream and confidence that he could break away from the 9 to 5 life and make something that truly belonged to him. I've been a fan of his art and music for well over ten years. In fact Gabe is one of my oldest friends in New Orleans. He's always treated me and my people with the utmost hospitality and respect anytime we came to New Orleans. So in turn we supported him both by buying his shirts and traveling to see him perform as Soapbox. He was one of the first people I looked up when I first moved to the city, and I'm incredibly happy to see Inkwell taking off.

Gabe was the very first sponsor of DMC New Orleans, and I'm proud to feature this interview here.

T5: So what got you started with designing, and more specifically t-shirts??

GF: When I was 16 i got caught spraypainting my high school. As punishment my principal suspended me and made me submit to an art contest that Coke was having for a new soft drink called "surge". I ended up winning the contest and getting exploited, (I think that was the first time my art was on a billboard though) and afterwards a local screenprinting company hit me up to see if I would come to learn to do the graphics at their shop. That's how I got my start back in 96'...I even had my own streetwear company called Evrywear back then, R.I.P.

T5: Hahahahah, yeah it 96 was the first time you art was on a billboard, but most certainly wasn't the last. I remember EVRYWEAR, I still have two old Evrywear shirts. So back to spraypainting... How'd that contribute to your development as a recognized artist/designer??

GF: Contribute? Im not sure. I guess I got a little street fame from painting. God Awful Krewe painted the entire upstairs Jungle room of the State Palace back in '98-'99, and I used to design flyers for Children of Bass and Family of Light as well as our Gray Area shows. I think that spraypainting taught me alot about technique, style, and rendering. I didnt go to art school so most of what I know about design came from graff and street styles.

T5: Who are some of your biggest influences in and out of the art world?

GF: My main influence is Hip Hop. The mentality of making something from nothing. Plus the culture encourages keeping your game up so that your skills are sharp, because life is really just a battle with yourself. I learn about a new person killing it in their artform everyday, and thats what inspires me. Whether it be someone from my krewe or somebody I never met...I like the underdogs and the unappreciated masters of their craft.

T5: DOPE!! I like that... The underdogs, the unappreciated masters... Well, I've always known that you've had a passion for making badass t-shirts. So how'd that translate into Inkwell Press?

GF: Well, like I said, i basically learned the graphic side of printing by working for other people. In the late 90's I was pushing my line called Evrywear. I had about a dozen or so designs out, some are still in circulation. This was before Sean John and Roca Wear and all that. I think Wutang had a clothing company around that time though. Anyways I was pushing my gear on Decatur in front of a Redman/Methodman show at HOB and I met their tour manager Seven, who claimed he would get me in the show and get Meth and Red to wear my shirts. After I was done hustling I went to get in and they told me I wasnt on the list, so I thought I got beat. Next thing I know the owner of Urban Trends (A streetwear chainstore that used to have spots all over New Orleans) calls me up yelling about how Method Man and Redman were wearing my shirts on stage! After that dude tried to buy into my company and wanted to mass produce and take it to China and all that, but I wanted to make sure the trademark was in my name. It never panned out b/c he didnt want me to have that kind of control so I walked away. Unfortunately the whole affair left a bad taste in my mouth so I quit fooling with t-shirts for awhile. I was 18 back then. After that I worked a bunch of odd jobs and then I started working at a print shop in Metairie. I worked from the bottom up and eventually learned to print and everything else about the production side. Couple years later I Micheal J. Foxed my way into owning my own business...

T5: What are you working on now??

GF: Right now i am running the bizz and printing for a lot of local artists, as well as doing DVD and CD duplication for cats who are trying to put music and videos out. Im still painting canvas and permission walls. You can see my work on Desire and St. Claude and also Press + Dauphine. Im looking into buying a house real soon and making sure my 7yr old has what he needs. Some of ya'll might know me from my days on stage as Soapbox, I played shows allover the city and went on tour with Galactic and Media Darling records. I have put the music aside for the time being to get my business in order but I plan on releasing some new and old unreleased material soon, in collaboration with the Able Chris and Prospek of GPC. So stay tuned. Big ups to the God Awful Krewe, Guerilla Publishing Company, Private Pile, Impulss, and all the DJ's keepin the wax spinnin'...R.I.P Bionic Brown & Money are missed.

Of course you can catch up with Gabe in the various ways. He's got a Facebook page, also checkout which I'm sure he put up for his 2012 Presidential Run. Lastly check out THEINKWELLPRESS.COM

So hit him up for all your printing needs. Spread the word because INKWELL, does ink well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

OK, this is what's up USA, stakes is high!!!

This has been directly taken from Christie Z's post on Geo's Board!!!

VA: As-One (Rockville MD)
TX: Ohm (Albuquerque NM)
NY: Shiftee (New York NY)
CA: Shmeeze (Fountain Valley CA)
NOLA: ??

but provided the following DJs pick up their own expenses to get themselves to NYC for the battle on August 1st...

I am also inviting all runners up:

VA: Ty Handswell (Cockeysville MD)
TX: Q-Base (San Antonio TX)
NY: Fascinate (Tilton NH)
CA: Mista B (San Francisco CA)
NOLA: ??

as well as 3rd place in
3rd: Lodus (Pico Rivera CA)

This is not guaranteed to happen in years to come (because God willing, we will one day know qualified promoters in more states to bring the battle to their area) but for this year - I think it will be an exciting battle.

4 out of the East Coast (NYC & VA)
4 out of the South (TX & NOLA)
3 out of the West (CA)

Other pros:
1. increased interest in the battle
2. reps from more states
3. more people attending the US Finals
4. better show at the US Finals
5. interesting array of the top battle DJs in the US for the dvd

I hope you are as excited about this as I am!
I can't wait to see who wins in New Orleans!!!


D. Francis... D.O.T. (Death of Twitter)

So D. Francis of Tygah Woods hates twitter. So he made a song. I thought y'all should check it out.

Tygah Woods interview coming soon... I still like twitter, but you raise some good points.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I enjoy being photographed in Dirty Coast T-Shirts...

Man, I don't know what it is, but I was going through some pictures on my Facebook & myspace pages, and I was taken aback by just how much I've been photographed in Dirty Coast Shirts... I honestly just have 6 (six) of their shirts, but from looking at my photos, you'd never know it. I'm also not particularly fond of being photographed in the first place which only adds to the extreme oddity of this phenomenon.

At the SXSW Skratch Session

I first heard about Dirty Coast from lil Doogie. I know, I know, never take advice from a puppet, but in the Doogie Shirts video he just burned those words in my brain.

"Dirty Coast got dem shirts, big shybe on the scene. Come to Five-Seven-Zero-Four Mag-a-zine. (repeat chorus X4)"

So that became my mission, I absolutely needed to get a Dirty Coast Tee. More specifically, I NEEDED a Doogie shirt. As we all know when you go from wanting something to needing it, it becomes a responsibility. So I headed on down to good old 5-7-0-4 Mag-a-zine. As I was passing the Jefferson St. corridor through all the cool little boutiques, I was looking for Dirty Coast on every storefront.

"I really don't remember seeing it out here," I said to myself...

There's no way I could miss it though. The address is burned into my mind. So I pass Whole Foods...5600 Magazine.

"Awww yeah!!! I'm getting close!!!!"

Then I peep it, and at the last minute make the left turn into the parking lot. I finally got there, and Doogie led the way... As I enter, I become surrounded by local flavor. Not only are all the shirts beautifully designed, but every single one of them is in some way Louisiana themed, more appropriately, New Orleans themed. I looked around...

"Damn, wow!!!! It's the Supa Saint picture that Doogie was rapping in front of in the Dirty Coast video!!" I'm like a kid going to a new candy store.

Supa Saint is another local internet phenomenon I'd become familiar with while doing my "research" on Doogie and Dirty Coast. He really does capture the spirit of every single Saints fan in this city, but I digress.

(L to R) Beverly Skillz, Kid Sister, Tony Skratchere, lil Doogie, A-Trak

So I begin to eye the merchandise. I realize, I've seen some of these designs before. Whoa, "Be a New Orleanian wherever you are". That bumper sticker had been on my car for months. Now I struggled to remember who gave me that sticker. How had I not come upon this t-shirt paradise before??

Scratching at Sasha's House

It was a t-shirt paradise. Being a designer myself, it was a design nerd's paradise. There were little subtle digs at pop culture, homages to other t-shirt brands, rip-off's of logos tweaked in Orleanian fashion. There was a Supa Saint shirt and the coup de grace... Doogie.

So, I grabbed a Doogie shirt and eventually settled on a Supa Saint shirt. I went up to the counter with my purchases...

"Why did you choose this one??" the guy behind the counter inquired pointing at the Doogie shirt.

"Because of Doogie, I love his videos. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time!! I've been talking Doogie up to all my friends. That sh*t is the TRUTH!!!" I replied.

"Those guys are friends of mine."

"Well, tell them that I'm a fan. I can't wait to see how far this goes... I think all it's going to take is the right person to see this and Doogie will have his own show on TV."

Me and Doogie in the Grotto

The guy thanked me for my purchase and gave me some free stickers. I walked out feeling like I had just bought a gold brick, or a really rare comic book. I couldn't wait to sport my Doogie shirt. I WANTED people to ask me about it, so I could tell them how genius the videos were, and how I'd found this gem of a t-shirt store uptown. Well every single time I wore the shirt, it had exactly that effect. This was a pretty long time ago, before the magazine covers, before the big room shows at One Eyed Jack's, before Doogie was rapping with PNC, waaaay before his album came out. I was trying to figure out the exact date. I left a comment on the day I first saw the video on Vimeo, but for some reason I can't figure out how to view the comments. I was the first and only person to leave a comment on the Doogie shirts (uncensored) video. If someone could please tell me how to view them I could give you an exact date.

Well fast forward to today, and the real point of my story came when I saw a Dirty Coast twitter post about posting your flicks on their flickr group. I just went through all the pics on my computer and various social NOTworking sites, and I realized how many pics I had wearing Dirty Coast couture. I've played at least five shows in which I wore a Dirty Coast tee, and I've been photographed by friends in almost every bar or social situation. It all boils down to me just being a big fan of Dirty Coast and feeling a sense of pride when I wear their shirts. I'm not sure whether it's about supporting local business, or the "cult of cool" started by Doogie, or that the designs are just flat out fresh, but I do seem to enjoy being photographed in them.

You can check out Dirty Coast at the aforementioned address, also at Stop by the site, sign up for the mailing list, keep up to date of special promos, official Dirty Coast events (like DMC New Orleans *shameless plug*). Stop by the store. Check out the quality. It really has to be seen to be believed. You can also add the Dirty Coast myspace and Facebook through the website portal. You can also follow them on twitter @dirtycoast Check them out!!! They are officially what's happenin' in New Orleans.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gizmo has the best "job" in the world!!!

It's time I turned all you dj/general technology nerds on to a site very near and dear to my heart. is owned and operated by Mark "Gizmo" Settle. He and his rag-tag team of veteran djs from all corners of the world have the daunting task of reviewing all the latest dj equipment, software, and general miscellany dealing with global dj culture. I'm not so sure Skratchworx will ever be featured on the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, but it's a tough job and someone has to do it.

Since I first discovered Skratchworx about 2-3 years ago, it's become my GO TO resource whenever I'm shopping around for new gear. The reviews are comprehensive, detailed and accompanied by beautiful photographs, no doubt taken by Gizmo himself. I bought my last dj mixer (AEM-100i) on the strength of the Skratchworx review, and I've never been more pleased with a piece of equipment. Thanks Skratchworx!

Here is a video of Gizmo hard at "work" on the Numark NS7...

I'm going to go and take a nap now and dream of a life in which I'm surrounded by dj toys. Although it appears to be all fun and games, Gizmo is a hard working chap with a penchant for expensive toys, and a family to feed. All in all Skratchworx is absolutely the most comprehensive site for dj equipment news and reviews. You may have heard me mention Skratchworx's dj message board step-brother Skratchlouge, sign up there and make some friends.

I'd advise everyone to check out also I highly recommend checking out Skratchworx's youtube page HERE!!! It's pretty entertaining and informative... Oh and you can keep up with Skratchworx on twitter also @skratchworx

Drop Gizmo a line tell him you appreciate all of the blood, sweat and tears he puts into his work or worx, as it is.