Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Don is Gone


We’ve lost yet another Titan of black music this week – to kick off black history month no less. The great Don Cornelius’ life ended in a manner that none of us would have imagined. But his gruesome end does nothing to tarnish his legacy in my opinion. In my most formative years, he, along with other recently passed music luminaries “had me feelin’ like black was the thing to be.” Soul Train was a celebration of black culture at its best orchestrated brilliantly by the Don’s uber-cool persona and trademark baritone. His life’s work lives on in all of us who were blessed to take part in the celebration. I just pray that he’s been forgiven and shimmied his way on down a Soul Train line into Heaven.

Thank you Don,
Rest in Love, Peace and Soul

Written on February 4th, 2012. 0 Comments

R.I.P. Heavy D

All I can say is that I’m in shock. Heavy D was one of the first and few rappers with crossover success that maintained hood respect. His party jams are an indelible part of my childhood memories and part of the reason many of the hip hop generation fell in love with the music. We lost another great, but I smile at the thought that the big man upstairs welcomed him home with his classic shout, “the overweight lover’s in the hooouse!” Yes, indeed. Rest In Peace…

Here are some little known facts about the late, great emcee.

Written on November 10th, 2011. 0 Comments

Elliott Wilson Interview

Al Lindstrom interview with legendary hip-hop magazine magnate, Elliott Wilson, known to the interwebs as the main blip over at Rap Radar. Here he drops a bit of science about what it takes to run a successful magazine as well as his new venture with Respect Magazine, which showcases hip-hop culture through high end photography. He also throws a couple shouts to my man Bonsu Thompson who’s now heading up the Source. Definitely check out the sites and be sure to support the Source in its new incarnation.

Written on December 20th, 2010. 0 Comments

LA Chronicles: Wolfgang

Its Saturday morning, Day 2 in LA, and my main mission is to find a place to live before I run out of dough! So of course I hit up Craigslist. Now, I know there are better options out there to find a place to live for sure but I figured, eh, why not? As long as I steer clear of that classic Nigerian send me the money, I’ll send you the keys hustle, I’ll be fine. Right?! … Wrong! I got got y’all and here’s how it all went down…

I found what I thought was the perfect crib for me. The price was right, it was close to work and in a great neighborhood. Another selling point was that it was a private guest house in the back of the property so I could make as much (ahem) noise as I wanted and didn’t have to deal with roommates/neighbors. The flatscreen HDTV was just the cherry on top. So I set up the appt, drive down to the spot and meet up with some dude named Wolfgang. From the jump something was a little off about him but I couldn’t quite figure it out, but hell if I care, I’m diggin the place and ready to make a deal. So I sit there with the dude and have a quick convo. He tells me about his experience living in Inglewood and how he likes “the black people.” I chuckled lightly but the over-sensitive, angry black man in me thought about slapping him where he stood. But I digress. So I cut the convo short figuring that if the LA market was anything like NY, I had to make a power move to secure the spot right then and there. I offered all the bread up front, he agrees, I hit up the bank to get the dough, get back and close the deal. We sign a contract, he hands me the keys and says I’ll be able to move in in a few days after taking care of some maintenance issues. Bet!

The Okie Doke Begins

Fast forward to the end of Murphy’s Law day. I get the first sign of bad news. Apparently I couldn’t move into the apartment right away because there’s some work that still needs to be done in the bathroom. Definitely not happy about it but it’s whatever, I can wait for another day. Not gonna kill me. I booked my room for another night and shrugged it off. At the time I’m not really thinking nothing of it. Sh*t happens you know.

Next day comes along and I get another text. “Sorry, I got screwed over by the contractor and the work won’t be done for another few days.” Aiight, now I’m really starting to not like this dude. But I’ve been through it myself so I figured I’d take him at his word and give him a pass. Problem is, I’m running through my budget crazy fast and can’t keep it up much longer (||). So I figured I’d just cut my losses and get my bread back. Then dude offers to cut the rent by a hundred dollars and give me money to stay at a local motel for a few days to tide me over. Now before we move on, another thing you should know about me is that I’m a pretty low maintenance dude. Give me a place to rest my head and clean myself up and I’m not really trippin’. So I grit my teeth and accept the offer. He gives me a couple hundred bucks, I book the motel for a few days and mark my calendar for the day I get the spot.

My First LAPD Encounter

First night, I pull up to the spot, LAPD is parked out front ice grilling me as I pull in. I’m thinking I made some kind of driving infraction and they’re about to pull me over and beat me to death. But they just peeled off when I pulled in so I thought nothing of it. I pull into the parking lot and sure enough the cops dart up the alley outta nowhere and hop out the car, flashlights all in my grill, approaching me “cautiously”. Now I know I was joking before but now I’m really thinking that I’m seriously about to catch a Shawny King for no reason. But eff trying to “get along” they thought I came to the motel to “get it on.” Turns out that they had an ummm, prostitution problem, at my Motel and were just checking to make sure I wasn’t stopping by for a massage with the happy ending. The minute I opened my mouth they knew I wasn’t a local and chilled out a bit. Told them I was here on biz at the local radio station, cop got all groupied out and let me go. Funny thing is, when I walked up to my room, sure enough there were two young girls next door peeking thru the blinds like I was a come up. Damn shame…

The Dudunt-Dudunt Move

So this went on for like another two weeks or so. I bounced from hotel to motel telling myself it was all a part of the overall adventure of moving to LA. He kept giving me bread so I wasn’t trippin’ too much. I’m thinking that I’m gonna come out this one a winner at the end somehow. On top of that, he had two adorable daughters who I happened to meet and as bizarre as his BS stories were a part of me felt for those little girls going through his supposed issues. Everything from breaking up with his ‘fiance’ to getting hustled by a contractor. But mama ain’t raise no complete fool, I was still looking for another place just to cover my bases but I couldn’t find any real leads. At one point I straight spazzed on him and got my money back but because I couldn’t find anything I went back and struck up a new deal with this fool again. But this is where I pulled the super dudunt-dudunt move: I gave the summumabitch my money again! I can see my mother giving me the dummy look right now. SMH. In hindsight I should’ve waited until I was IN the place before I gave up the bread again…Of course, a few days and delays later, I go to call dude with the ultimatum and what do I hear? “The phone number you are trying to reach is no longer in service…GOT!

The Verdict

I get a call from some random lady the night his phone went dead. Turns out that not only did he get me, but about 12 other people for a significant amount of money. The story made the news and all that. So here I am working with the police getting clowned by the homie J.U. for my Start Snitchin campaign work. Eventually the cops tracked him down and I finally headed to court on Friday just to look in the dude’s eye one last time and let him feel that shame. I already know I’m not gettin’ my money back. When I get there I see a gang of people waiting too, more victims. We all have the same story, suckered by the sob stories and most importantly our concern for his two daughters. So we all want the judge to throw the book at this fool. The DA, who just happens to be the Mayor of Compton turns out to be EXTRA cool. Gives us a thorough rundown of the case, tells a few war stories to lighten the mood and lets us know what our options are for restitution. Then we wait for 2 hours to see this fool for two minutes. I get my ice grill on, see him shuffle away in chains, smirk to myself and chalk it up to another life lesson.

Moral of the story…

Hold on to your change and NEVER trust a dude named Wolfgang. Sheesh!

Update: Never trust a person named Wolfgang. In 2010. In Los Angeles. (c) @DBillz … Word!

Written on September 29th, 2010. 12 Comments

LA Chronicles: Murphy’s Law

Here I am. In LA! Sure the first day didn’t go so smoothly but I’m hyped. This is where I’ve always wanted to be. The land of sunshine and crooked ass one-time. I got my whip, a little bit of chips and a heart full of optimism. Saturday morning, I take a walk through the city, soaking up the sweet sunshine and hot ghetto-ness that is Downtown LA. Its like they tried to create a lil’ slice of NY, then said, “ahh, fcuk it” and gave up. I’ve already seen more Mexican folks in a day than I’ve seen in my entire life and I have Mexican folks in my fam. Bananas! But I’m all about it. Took a nice long walk through those barren streets looking for a NY fitted. One thing you must know about me is that I’m a contrarian. For the last year I’ve been rocking an LA Dodgers hat in Brooklyn. Bull stares and side eyes a’plenty but fcuk it, I’m “different.” In LA, its only right that I keep up my M.O. and rep NY hard. Per my cousin Teisha’s instructions: strictly Fitteds and Tims…no doubt! But of course, I can’t find a proper Yankee fitted in LA. Really, what was I thinkin’! So I’m stuck frontin’ in my Dodgers cap with that trying too hard NY ditty-bop… I finally made it back to my room, pressed to find a place to live while I’m out here. I only have this swanky ass hotel room booked for a few days. So I do what everyone else does, hit up Craigslist. That was the beginning of the end! I’ll explain later… I quickly found a spot, met up with the dude, give him my deposit and get my keys. Boom! I’m set. Everything’s luv luv. Or so it seemed…
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Written on September 27th, 2010. 7 Comments

LA Chronicles: Day 1

LA, LA, big city of dreams…and schemes it seems. You know, I’ve been wrestling with the idea of even blogging about my experience out here at all. Its been so crazy that I haven’t quite had the time to gather my thoughts. Of course at first I was completely engulfed in the novelty of it all – the beautiful weather and women, my new gig, etc – and loving it. But that feeling faded pretty quickly. Here’s why…
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Written on September 25th, 2010. 6 Comments

LA Bound

LA hat

Its funny how things come together. I’ve been rockin’ this hat for the past year just to be different. I’ve been out to LA once and actually didn’t care for it too much. At least not in comparison to New York. To be fair, it was the last stop after a long 26 city tour (Lolapalooza 2003) working for theTruth, so I was really just ready to get back home. I didn’t quite have the energy to really “do LA” and give the city a fair shot. Since then I’ve been hoping to take another trip out there but never could quite find the time to do it. So when I was offered an opportunity to take on a new challenge and relocate to LA for a new job at CBS, of course I jumped at the chance. I’m really looking forward to getting a taste of the California lifestyle. As my homie CJ told me a few days ago, I’ve always thought that “LA was more my speed.” I’m a laid back dude for the most part so the slower pace should suit my personality much better. I’m hella excited to get out there but I’m definitely gonna miss New York – specifically my newfound love affair with Brooklyn. But I’ll be back sooner than later. I’m especially excited to take some new pictures out there. Can’t wait to share those and my new experiences with you all. Wish me luck!

Written on July 12th, 2010. 4 Comments

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