Monday, February 28, 2011

AshyReview: Lupe Fiasco - Lasers (2011)


Lupe Fiasco's artistic leap from "Food & Liquor" to "The Cool" was like The Hulk jumping for miles at a time in ONE jump. It was for this reason I have been anticipating this album so much. The other reason being that I saw Lupe live last summer here in Milwaukee and the show was AWESOME. But more than the performance being great was the MUSIC sounded HUGE. The combination of live instruments and synths and background singers was just GREAT.

So after more than his unfair share of release push-backs, Lupe's new album "Lasers" (finally) is geared up for release. While I would love to say long-time fans will be overjoyed by this record, I'm afraid there's no way in hell I can.

The album starts off with the brow-raising "Letting Go". While it's a nice track, it musically feels dated (Think 2006 Just Blaze); while the vocals by Sarah Green steal the show here, Lupe's cheesy distorted vocals kill my mood as soon as every hook ends. Next up is the 2nd single, "Words I Never Said" ft. Skylar Grey. This is without a doubt the best song on the album. And DAMN this song is SUPER DOPETASTIC. From lyrics to production to the *gasp...did he just say THAT?!?* factor Lupe fans have come to expect, this song seriously makes up for the albums' missteps. Unfortunately, one is right around the corner.

"Till I Get There" is what I would call a "victim of sequencing" track. Its a somewhat decent song, but unfortunately its a SOFT song that comes right after possibly the hardest song on the album. It also doesn't help that Lupe seems to have taken this track off lyrically. Nothing really important to hear here. Keep it moving...

All a sudden we've got a Timbo/Will I Am sounding track, which is unfortunately a sign of whats to come. The clone job on the beat is DAMN well done. While it definitely gets your neck snapping, it never really feels genuinely Lupe. Sure his flow is on point, and he's spittin some nice lines, it feels totally contrived. What's starting to CLICK, is this album is Lupe is definitely going after pop radio. As I'm CERTAIN the Trey Songz assisted "Out of My Head" will land.

Lupe for 97% of the album is every bit as lyrically visceral and labyrinthine as ever, but most of the album is VERY synth heavy, which is something a majority of hip hop purists and fans may shun. While this could be easily chalked up as "growth", at it's worst points, it definitely comes off as formulaic. The omission of producer Soundtrakk, who was a primary contributor to Lupe's first 2 albums, from this album is glaring. As I alluded to earlier, this album is a definite step away from the sound & feel many, including myself, have come to expect from Lupe. But, knowing the artist, that's probably exactly why he changed the formula so drastically.

Rating: 3/5

Awesome: Words I Never Said, All Black Everything, I Don't Wanna Care Right Now, Out of My Head, Break The Chain,

Wackness: Till I Get There, State Run Radio, Never Forget You

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New EminEm Tracks!!??

Some new heat from Em. I'm not sure how new, old...whatever. It's new to ME, and I'm sure most of YOU. A few are definitely from the D12/Obie Trice Shady Records era. I would primarily like to direct your immediate attention to "G.O.A.T." as apparently all "white rapper politics" have gone out the window.

Yep, just have a listen. Make sure you keep up as you may have to remind a few times to catch a few "WTF?!" moments.


Emulate ft. Obie Trice

The Apple

Going Crazy ft. D12

I Get Money (freestyle)

Wee Wee

AshyMix - The Best of Devin The Dude

I been a Devin fan since about '99 when I got his 1st album "The Dude" in an old record pool. First song I ever heard was "Boo-Boo'n". Ya'll unfamiliar with The Dude will find out, He's got his own lane and damn it's a fun ride(pause).

Lacville '79
Who's That Man, Momma?
I Need a Song
Doobie Ashtray (prod. by Dj Premier)
To The X-treme
Boo Boo'n
What a Job ft. Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000
I Can't Make It Home
See What I Can Pull
El Grande Nadgas
She Useta Be
Payin Fa Pussy
Fuck You (prod. by Dr Dre)
Right Now

Total Time: 44:40


Saturday, February 26, 2011

SPEAK Easy - So To Speak (Renegades Freestyle)

Yeah, so you've heard about a million rappers spit over the Renegade beat by Em & Hov since 2000-whenever, but DAMN. I can't front...the homie SPEAK got the fuck OFF (pause) on this jawn here.

Dumb nice teaser for the upcoming album.

Album Show Flyer Fin

I'ma lil salty I got no credits or guest appearance on the record, but I'm good. LOL...from what I've been hearing the album is SURE NOT TO DISAPPOINT.

Peep the track...

AshyMix 2.26.11

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I've got a couple mixes on deck for release today...the first is the old school hip hop mix. I tried to slip a couple not so typically blended joints in there...hope ya'll dig it. My fault for taking so long with the update...

2Pac - Pain
The Pharcyde - Passing Me By
AZ - Rather Unique
Jay Z - Dead Presidents (Original Verses)
The Notorious BIG - Things Done Changed
Mobb Deep - Hell On Earth
Xzibit - Paparazzi
Common Sense - Resurrection
Outkast - Players Ball remix
Nas - If I Ruled The World
Black Moon - Buck Em Down
A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation
Digable Planets - Rebirth of Slick
Naughty By Nature - Craziest
Beatnuts - Off The Books
2Pac - If My Homie Calls
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - T.R.O.Y.
Nice & Smooth - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow
De La Soul - Saturday

Total Time: 57:56


Saturday, February 19, 2011


Performances by King Hell Bastard, The Hollowz and Raze...

Live Art by Elias Vallejo and You with the Interactive Graffiti Wall!!!

Winner Receives $100, 2 Hour Studio Session @ True Skool and gear from All the Sponsors!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Real Talk with Raze: Obsession, Lies and R&B

I love hip hop. I truly do.

Know why I love hip hop so much? Because it's founded on a basic, essential principal...THE TRUTH.

Phrases like "Keep it Real" or "That's my Word" come to mind. Sure, along the way the truth may be stretched and often become WISHFUL truth, but none the less hip hop is always at very least en route to the realizing of SOME truth.

But oh no...not R&B. Every ounce of truth, and reality for that matter, are nowhere to be found and it seems the more absurd the lies, as long as they are sang in the most cry-babyish, desperate and helpless way possible, THE BETTER.

R&B dudes been lying from day one. Let's look at a couple examples from the past & present...

HEATWAVE - Always and Forever

I won't even break this shit down lyric for lyric. By virtue of the title itself, anybody that possesses at least ONE logical molecule in their brain should know this band was on some bullsh*t. I mean "Always" is a hefty enough claim as it is, but damn nigga...FOREVER?!? Not even Jesus told Mary Magdalene "I'm gone make sho we work this thang out and keep it goin..togetha....FOREVER". Even the good son from the big homie upstairs knew there was just certain sh*t you ain't supposed to say to no chick. It's no wonder it was written & produced by a white dude. White dudes been settin brothas up for falls since the beginning of time. Had these niggas sellin lies to our own people and we've sopped it up with cheddar biscuits for generations. My momma fell for it, and I'm sure plenty of ya'll momma's fell for this crap too. Songs like this are the primary reason for the over population of dumbf*ck crack babies who's souls never shoulda had a chance at life.

F*ck Heatwave.

Bruno Mars - Grenade

This is the most inexcusable song I may have ever f*cking heard. This brotha is in need of therapy, a stylist and most importantly a damn strait jacket. (Notice at the :50second mark, even the homeless dude has the "WHAT THE F*CK?!" look on his face watchin this buffoon drag a piano uphill in the middle of traffic.) To fully understand the absurdity, you gotta fully comprehend the story the song is telling us. Young Bruno, while rocking that dumbass hat (designed by Douchebags&Dipshits) got the hunch that somethin wasn't right from the FIRST kiss, because her eyes were WIDE open. That's usually a sign that the person wasn't expecting that kiss. But for him to see her eyes open, HIS had to also be open. This is the first sign that this brotha is on some bullsh*t. (His hair was another clue as well...)

He then goes on to describe this chick as an abusive, self centered beeyotch that treats him like a science project; testing the limits of just how far CAN she sh*t on dude til he ultimately breaks. Then, like a piano falling from 12 floors up landing on guillotine above my penis, THE CHORUS.

"I'd catch a grenade for ya."

Wait...hold on, WHAT?!?!

Oh, but then it gets WORSE.

"Throw my hand on the blade for ya,
Id jump in front of a train for ya.
You know I’d do anything for ya.
See I would go through all this pain take a bullet straight through my brain.
Yes I would die for ya baby..."

See there's multiple problems here. First problem is he's obviously f*cking insane, or a pathological liar. If he's REALLY willing to do these things, the chick should run FAR away, get a restraining order and hope this kid gets HELP. If not, he's a liar and too damn desperate to EVER warrant her respect. I mean damn, JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN?!?! me one chick that would fall for this sh*t and I assure you she'd be jumping right along with this fool. Which would prolly make the world a much better place...but I digress...back to the point.

My final issue with this the very last line of the hook.

"but you won’t do the same." f*ck it. Are you FOR REAL?!?! This broad has emotionally abused you, maybe physically as well, and you on some creative suicide sh*t...only to reveal to her (and the world) that YOU KNOW SHE WOULDN'T RECIPROCATE?!?! As if the song had ANY merit before this line, it totally throws even the old school R&B liars for a loop, I'm sure. I mean, dang can the b*tch at least be a cutter or SOMETHING?!? No? Nothin...? See what REALLY scares me, is if this sadistic b*tch really IS as abusive as he paints her to be, and he KNOWS this...why would he tell her he would even do this shit...FOR HER?!?

I admit, even I would feel compelled to call this jagwagon's bluff.

Man...that's enough for now. Maybe I'll dive deeper into other famous Lies of R&B. Or maybe some of ya'll will share your own that you find. But it's 4.30am, I'm sober, overtired and apparently over-analyzing what should in all honesty be outright ignored.

G'nite & G'moanin.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

AshyMix - 2.5.11

New AshyMix for the week!!

Once again, if you have any music you'd like to submit for the mix, send it to

Wiz Khalifa - G'd Up
EminEm - I Need a Doctor
Lupe Fiasco - Words I Never Said
Terrace Martin - Thirsty
Slaughterhouse - Microphone
The Hollowz - Batter Up
Dirty Mouf - Punk Ho
Yelawolf - I Wish ft. Raekwon
Diddy Dirty Money - Someone To Love Me ft. Mary J
Blood Type - I Have Dreams
Al B. Sure - Nite & Day
Krush Groove All Stars - Krush Groovin'
Total Time: 43:57


The Celebration of Ignorance: Gangsta Dre K. - G.D. Folk

Sometimes you come across a record that's just SO drenched in ig'nant you can't help but be compelled by it.(yes, I've used ignorant as a NOUN.)

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So, I undexpededly stumbled upon a track titled "G-D Folk" by Gangsta Dre K. Ok...seriously, it's true. And letting the music be what it is, IT'S NOT BAD AT ALL. I've learned sometimes you just have to accept that certain types of music are gonna be what they are. This is hip hop people, not fine classically trained fingers tickling the ivory. Just plain and simple, it's a gangbangin' azz nigga that is rappin bout his nation. And along with the likes of say, PLIES, I found a blissful few minutes after I hit play.

But please believe, it's DEFINITELY IG'NANT.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Real Talk with Raze: The Club & Longterm Lockdown

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A question was posted on a message board I frequent last night...

"How often do you & your wife/girlfriend go clubbing without each other?"

...and it got me to thinking.

As a married man, I believe very strongly that despite the adage of "two becoming one" in a long term relationship, that both parties NEED to retain some semblance of individuality or said relationship is doomed. I believe this to be true because typically if one party has other interests/hobbies, but the other doesn't, one will "have sh*t to do" while the other will "have time to sit around bored thinkin about what sh*t the other is doing". Which can lead to all kinds of issues (jealousy, lack of attention drama, etc).

While you and your signif may have a lotta things in common, ultimately, you were still two individuals with your own groups of friends that did your own different stuff for "fun". Needless to say, a LOT of what was done for "fun" when you were single ain't exactly appropriate when you're NOT single.


See, The Club is a meat-market. Nada Mas o Menos. Anybody that tells you otherwise is simply lying to themselves for a few metaphorical reasons; maybe because they like the attention of being viewed as a delectable slab of beef, admired and drooled over by would be carnivores? Perhaps they enjoy the popularity of being the most sought after pork chop, only a biscuit and a few ounces of gravy away from satisfying the hunger of their inner attention whore. the end, if you're in a long term relationship, going to the club without your significant other, is simply asking for "trouble...trouble...gone be trouble" [R.I.P. Bernie Mac]. I believe people psychologically condition ourselves to behave a certain way around certain people and in certain situations. For example; despite the past 11yrs of growth, experience and change, I STILL have the behavioral tug-of-war within myself when I talk to my daughters' mother to regress back to how WE have conditioned ourselves to act and treat each other...for the past 11yrs. When I'm in a club setting, my eyes and my penis have been conditioned to think and view women, bartenders, bouncers and coat-check broads a certain way. And in spite of being a married man, this is how I have been trained and have trained myself to act in this setting.

So now, after this psych101 lesson, why on Earth would it seem like a good idea to send your significant other off to the same setting he/she used to broker drunken "Cock Exchange" deals? Some may view this as having "jealousy or trust issues", but I assure you it's neither. And perhaps this has more to do with my view of ME than my signif, but it's definitely a respectful nod to human nature and basic behavioral psychology. The subconscious is a powerful S.O.B. and if/when you add mind altering substances (weed, alcohol, etc) to the mix, what you would justify as acceptable in your partner's absence vs what THEY would consider acceptable in their presence, can differ substantially. An innocent hug that's held half of a split of a piece of a second too long can be viewed as an "embrace" and then all it takes is a misconstrued, or exaggerated text message to your signif and it's "trouble...trouble...gone be trouble". Unless you & ur signif are into seeing each other "back dat azz up" on random club-goers (swinger type ish), that's most likely trouble in waiting as well...

So, I don't go to "clubs" anymore...without my wife. I have single friends, but ultimately out of respect for my relationship, I leave the "doin single sh*t" activities to them, and we find other stuff to do as friends.

Besides, dancing is a lot like f*cking with clothes on. And if ANYBODY is gonna "not get some" or be blue-balled by my wife, it damn sure BETTER BE ME.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fire Dancers @ Grassroots Wednesdays

Check out the fire dancers @ grassroots wednesdays. Family Power Music in effect

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

True Skool DJing and Music Production Classes!! FREE!!!

DJ Classes start Saturday February 19th, 2011 from 1:00-3:00pm
Students in the DJ Class will earn a certificate of completion after learning basic DJ skills and how to use the DJ equipment. Students will perform a 10 minute DJ set at the Certificate Ceremony which takes place off site after the last session. Youth ages 14-18 years old can sign up by emailing us the information listed below. You MUST pre-register for this class. This session is only accepting 10 students and lasts 10 weeks. Participants are required to complete 5 hours of community service during the session with TRUE Skool in order to take this class for free and not miss more than 2 classes or their spot can be given to someone on the waiting list. The service hours can be completed before or after the DJ Classes on Saturdays or after school until 8pm on Wednesdays starting in February.

Music Production/Recording Classes starts Wednesday February 16th, 2011 from 5:00pm-7:00pm
Students will work on a TRUE Skool mixtape, learning how to write and record original music and beats and how to use basic recording equipment and software. Youth ages 14-18 years old can sign up by emailing us the information listed below. You MUST pre-register for this class. This session is only accepting 10 students and lasts 10 weeks. Participants are required to complete 5 hours of community service during the session with TRUE Skool in order to take this class for free and not miss more than 2 classes or their spot can be given to someone on the waiting list. The service hours can be completed before or after the Music Production Classes on Wednesdays or on a Saturday between 1-3pm starting in February.