About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Popular Columns

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Artist Of The Week – iLLspoKinN
Sunday, December 31, 2006

You may have heard his work on the album 60 Minute Spin Cycle, and you may have seen him hosting Freestyle Mondays at Sin Sin in New York City, he’s iLLspoKinN and he deserves your attention. After moving to New York from Massachusetts five years ago iLLspoKinN quickly became a fixture in the city. He’s been hosting Freestyle Mondays, a running open mic featuring a live band and some of NY’s top MC’s, for the half decade he’s been in the city and it was during those events that he met the folks who would eventually become Spokinn Movement. Not limited to the Sin Sin stage, iLLspoKinN’s also done shows with the likes of Run-DMC, KRS-One, Digable Planets and Black Sheep. Today he's sitting down with me to discuss his group, his music, and what makes him unique in this crowded rap game.

Adam Bernard: Help me out here. There's iLLspoKinN and Spokinn Movement. What's the difference?
iLLspoKinN: I’m glad you asked that. Some get confused during introductions and say "iLLspoKinN and The Spokinn Movement." I'm iLLspoKinN and all of us together are Spokinn Movement. Spokinn Movement consists of Dave Cinquegrana / Guitar, Chris Cuzme / Bass, Yoni Halevy / Drums, and myself.

Adam Bernard: Being an MC in New York City is sort of like being ice in Greenland, there's a lot of ya'll. What do you feel sets you apart from your peers and makes you an artist people should listen to?
iLLspoKinN: Quality! Hearing a dope album and seeing an equally impressive live show seldom happens. I'm usually disappointed in one or the other. You can hear the energy in the tracks I record, because the booth is also my stage. The live show speaks for itself, check out my MySpace page and you'll see what I'm talking about. Other than that, just straight untarnished, no preservatives, out-the-box raw skills man. You can have all the glitter and pretty packaging, but if you aren't a lyricist it'll surface and cats like me will be waiting at ground level, hungry!

Adam Bernard: If you were to choose one of your songs to be THE song to put you on which would it be and why?
iLLspoKinN: That's one question I hate to answer because I'll change my mind by tomorrow. Today the answer is "Delicious." Why? It's dope! It's one of those songs where I'm just talking shit and the beat is ridiculous. It's also a crowd favorite at live shows. There's something about seeing heads react to an intro to one of your joints, it makes it all the more worth it.

Adam Bernard: When it comes to collaborating with other artists what qualities draw you to an artist and who have you linked up with recently?
iLLspoKinN: The three things you have to have are energy, uniqueness, and compatibility. You got to rock with someone who compliments your style and vice versa. Two artists I've recently linked up with are my younger brother Jaelle Haze and Chicago emcee Presence. Jaelle Haze is a talented young singer with a distinct sound His vocal range and ability to adapt to melodies makes for easy recording live or in the studio. Presence and I have been rhyming side by side at Sin Sin for three years now. There are some people that just click together when on stage or in the booth, Presence and I compliment each other during both. When you go to battle you want someone next to you who’s skilled and can hold you down if you get hit, Presence is that dude. Both Presence and Jaelle are featured on 60 Minute Spin Cycle bringing their individual flavors and raw talent.

Adam Bernard: Finally, if listeners were to only learn one thing from your music what would you hope that thing would be?
iLLspoKinN: Hip Hop is ALIVE!

For more on iLLspoKinN you can check him out at spokinn.com & myspace.com/spokinnmovement. You can also take a listen to 60 Minute Spin Cycle at cdbaby.com.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:15 AM   0 comments
My Highlights Of 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006

Don’t worry, I won’t be like Skillz and try to wrap the entire year up in a rap, but I am going to put down my Christmas copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and turn off my continuous loop of Gamera movies for second to reflect on my various accomplishments of 2006 and attempt to see how I can build on them for 2007. I don’t do this as an ego thing, but rather as a realization of what I’ve managed to do over the past year. I remember a few years ago I was speaking with an old friend of mine and I told him I felt like my career was kind of stagnant and he replied that’s because I’m only looking at things in the short term, I needed to look at things long term, like how things have changed over the past year, two years, etc. That’s the only way we can truly measure how far we’re going in life. With that in mind let's go to the videotape (or, er, words)!

Before I even get to the work related stuff let me begin with 2006’s personal highs. In 2006 I earned my second degree black belt, the Mets reached game seven of the NLCS, I found yet another author I love (in previous years it was Henry Rollins and Chuck Palahniuk, this year is was Jack Kerouak), and I continued to make a ton of great friends along the way.

When it comes to work 2006 was a huge year for me as I placed 35 articles in over half a dozen major magazines including XXL, Soak, Foam, Elemental and metro.pop. I continued to make moves in the entertainment world as I had FIVE cover stories for Soak this past year and interviewed everyone from Charlie Murphy to WWE Diva Candice Michelle. I also branched out even more with my profiles of painters and clothing designers for metro.pop and Foam.

My work in Hip-Hop was still extremely prevalent this past year as evidenced by my articles in XXL and Elemental, as well as the nearly 40 full length interviews I did for RapReviews.com which included extended sit-downs with RZA, The Game and Duck Down CEO Dru Ha.

After years of sitting in the co-host's seat at WVOF, 2006 saw me earn my own solo prime time slot on Friday nights and I manned that seat over 40 times during the year.

In 2006 I attended nearly 40 events including the Pulse Magazine launch party at Hofstra University where I was a featured speaker. In addition to the events I was at in-person, this past year I was also quoted for articles that ran in AM New York, The Villager and on WWE.com, and even had a guest spot on the What She Say Show, a radio program based in Seattle.

This very site, Adam's World, had record highs in hits and unique users in 2006. I’d like to think this is due partly to people liking my writing and partly to the Artist Of The Week features I post up every Monday with a new interview with an up and coming artist the masses may not have had the chance to wrap their ears around yet.

2007 looks to be another year of continued growth as I’ve already placed articles in ten publications (The Source, Vapors, Soak, Mean, Foam, metro.pop, Beyond Race, Xpoz, Crunk and Fire) and I’m still gunning for more. All in all, when I look back on 2006 I’m pretty happy at the growth I see in both my life and my career. I’m not sure what 2007 holds, but I think if I keep my hustle as strong as it is now, and find a way to make a few more inroads where I need them, it will be another year of upward movement, and that’s the real goal, continued positive upward movement. Who’s with me?
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:15 AM   2 comments
Closing In On New Years
Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas has come and gone, Chanukah is a distant memory, and about seven people know that Kwanzaa started on Tuesday, making New Year’s Eve our next major holiday. New Year’s Eve is a funky little holiday that’s ridiculously close to Christmas but totally different in every conceivable way. Christmas is all about giving and family and love while New Year’s Eve is all about drinking and acting as stupid as humanly possible all in the name of putting up a new calendar and the screwing up of the writing of the year on all of our first of the month checks. That being said there are some definite rules to live by when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve correctly, here are mine.

Stay Away From NYC – It’s a freaking ball people. If you really want to see it drop check it out on TV as Dick Clark attempts to rock your New Year’s Eve for an 875th consecutive year. As someone who’s lived in and around NYC for nearly my entire life I can tell you two things about the city on New Year’s Eve, it’s crowded and it’s fucking cold. See NYC’s sights some other time, spend New Year’s Eve indoors.

Find A Friend – New Year’s Eve is by far the worst time to go to a bar or a club. Most drinking establishments will have high cover charges to get in or some sort of “pay X amount of dollars for open bar” where the X would equal enough alcohol to fell a lumberjack. It’s not worth it. If you’re going to head out on New Year’s Eve find a friend who is having a party at their house.

House Rules – If you’re going to a house party don’t be the schmuck that shows up empty handed, you’re entering someone’s home, bring something. This should be common sense as the more drinks people bring the longer the party can last. Your friend is doing you a service by hosting a party for your loony ass, the least you can do is bring a six pack. Also, respect the house, don’t miss the toilet seat!

At Midnight – For some reason there’s a tradition of finding someone to kiss at midnight. Here’s where everyone who lucked out by not having to get gifts for a significant other for Christmas gets a panic attack. Yeah, all that bragging about not having to shop has turned into not wanting to be the person kissing his or her own beer bottle when the clock strikes twelve (if you really want to torture yourself play the time zone game and try to find someone to kiss at EVERY midnight). There is zero cure for this other than finding a drunken member of the opposite sex who seems to be in the same boat as you are, or convincing yourself that the St. Pauli Girl really is the only woman you want to make out with.

Drunken Hook Ups – It’s bound to happen. You got drunk, someone else got drunk, you hooked up. There are a myriad of possible scenarios in this event, the most likely being you have no idea who the other person is. You will hastily jot down your first New Year’s Resolution to “never drink that much again,” which will be quickly broken within two weeks.

Resolutions – A lot of people use the changing of the year as a time to find ways to better themselves. They make resolutions that, on the outset, seem reasonable, or at least admirable. As a gym rat I see the reolutionites (my own word) invade my workout space every January. They usually peter out within the first two weeks leaving us with our normal crowd plus one or two newbies who find a way to actually stick to their guns and do what they planned. Now, I’m not one to talk with my half finished novel sitting here that I still keep saying I’m going to finish “this year,” but I will say I’ve stuck to more resolutions than I’ve broken. If you’re going to make a resolution don’t do it on a snap judgment, like the aforementioned “I’ll never drink that much again,” but rather focus on something that’s a feasible goal that you might actually have a shot at accomplishing within a year’s time.

The Next Day – New Year’s Day used to be reserved for watching college football bowl games. Thanks to advertising and the BCS, however, we now barely have enough games to fill the day. I can remember waking up by 10AM on New Year’s Day just so I could flip through all the major channels that had bowl games, almost never catching an ad. Now it’s not that simple. You are still required by law to watch football on New Year’s Day, but this year there are only six games for our viewing pleasure (I can distinctly remember a time when we had four games going on at the same time only a decade or so ago). My bet is Georgia Tech – West Virginia will be the best game. Tune in or risk deportation.

So there you have it, my official guide to enjoying New Year’s Eve. Take heed and be like our old pals Wayne and Garth and “party on.” Oh yeah, and don’t be a douchebag, don’t drink and drive. DUH!

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:20 AM   0 comments
Artist Of The Week - OnCue
Sunday, December 24, 2006

There are a lot of MC’s looking to break into the rap game at a young age. There aren’t a lot of young MC’s like Connecticut’s OnCue, though. Only a high school senior, OnCue has already rocked a number of the states famous stages and has released two mix-CDs. His third mix-CD, I Piss Excellence, is due out in early 2007 and it's an album he feels is “by far my best work to date.” With OnCue gearing up for graduation I sat down with him to talk about his goals in the music world as well as some of the hurdles he’s run into being a white MC who isn’t even old enough to vote yet.

Adam Bernard: A lot of people judge a book by its cover. What misconceptions do people have about you from first glance?
OnCue: From an outside perspective I'm a studio-thug. I'm artificial. My love for the music isn't there. I don't what Hip-Hop is. I'm not Hip-Hop. I read these things on AllHipHop.com, translated it to my own life, and there you have it – my music. I'm a "wigger," too. All these things are not the case. Hip-Hop has been in my life since I was young, before kindergarten my brother would bring home rap tapes and I fell in love with it. The biggest misconception about my music is I'm portraying I am a gangster, or that I make gangsta rap music. I think people get this misconstrued because my delivery sounds alike, but the words I'm saying are opposite. People don't listen to the lyrics, they soak up what they want to hear. I'm used to it, it just makes things harder and that's fine with me. What a lot of people in Hip-Hop get so mixed up today is whose "real." Their definition of "real" isn't honesty, it's who sold the most drugs and shot the most people. But real is what it is, it’s real with yourself and real with the people you surround yourself with.

Adam Bernard: That’s a great definition I agree with wholeheartedly. Now, you’ve been making moves from a very young age, you're just graduating high school this spring, what are some of the obstacles you've run into with being so young?
OnCue: In many peoples eyes my skin color is an issue, but I don’t think me being white is a bigger problem with Hip-Hop than my age. After seeing Paul Wall drop, no one focused on his white skin, but Em and Bubba, they did. Why? I really have no clue. That’s why I say my age is a bigger problem. Let’s go through all the young rappers that were put into the game. First we got Bow Wow, Romeo, the first wave of the little kid rap. Now you have newcomers that are fairly young like J-Kwon and this new dude Jibbs. Let me flat out say they’re all horrible rappers. They might be pretty dope entertainers, they prove they have a steady fan base of 11 year old girls, which I probably do too. At so young of an age, you say 17, shit, I’m so fucking immature, like as if I still have a bed time or whatever, and my parents drive me to school and shit. I’m grown, I’ve seen a lot in life. I study the art of Hip-Hop, I use lyrics, I use wordplay, I also speak about the world around me, I’m not an idiot. Many people want to be famous, I want to be remembered as a dope MC of my time, that’s it. But the age, physically sucks for venues for shows that are 18+, 21+, because afterwards I can’t chill at the bar and speak to the people, so lately I’ve been chill on the booking shit, it’s pointless right now. But one thing I will agree with the general public, I’m still finding myself, not as a person, but as the person I want to be portrayed as.

Adam Bernard: What have the reactions been from older MC's and those already established in the scene?
OnCue: The ones that actually reach out show love for real. The ones that don’t are yet to be heard from. I’m happy with the music I’m putting out, I feel it’s some of the best material coming out of Connecticut, and I’m not boasting, I’m telling my opinion. There are very few overall well rounded dope rappers here, but I think at the end of the day you erase your mind of all the reasons you shouldn’t want to listen to me, I think it’s the truth. Between lyrics, hooks, flows, message, it’s really no question. A lot of rappers here convince themselves they're nice because they rap about the hood. I’m sick of seeing these MC’s all around, they really do all sound the same. If they all hopped on one track, I’d think it’s a solo joint. The whole “I got a nine right up under my vest, and my broad got about a kilo in her breast” bullshit.

Adam Bernard: I know you're off to college in the fall, so what are your plans for your music, and life in general, at that point?
OnCue: My plans are to end up in New York to further my career. I’m not trying to stray too far from CT, and obviously I’m gonna still rep the state, it needs the most help possible. I just purchased studio equipment for a home studio that I can rock up at college, but my main purpose in going to New York is the interning over there. I’m trying to get my foot in the door and witness this business first hand for myself. I want to know my business and get my money right when the time comes.

Adam Bernard: Finally, you're a high school senior who's had his songs on the biggest Hip-Hop station in CT, you've shared the stage with some pretty huge stars, how has this changed your everyday life as a high school student? You have to have your pick of every lady there!
OnCue: People who know me as an artist are surprised at how I am in “real” life. When at the end of the day my name is Geoff to you and not OnCue. I’m a real personable guy, I’m funny, I’m outgoing, I’m usually always in a good mood. It’s funny because I try to separate the social life from the music as much as possible. So once you know me, the whole OnCue rapper aurora kind of fades away and I’m just me, man. But the ladies…c’mon what you think? I’m fresh baby, that’s what they tell me.

Check out OnCue on MySpace at myspace.com/oncue. He also has an album available at mixunit.com/oncuemix.html.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:33 AM   0 comments
Livin Just Enough For The City
Friday, December 22, 2006

LEE from The Square Egg and yours truly

Last Saturday I had a plan to go into the city to see The Square Egg perform. Originally the show they were a part of was going to be in the Union Square Park area, but a week or so before the event I found out it had been moved to Harlem. That’s a jump from 14th street to 133rd street, but I hadn’t seen them perform in a while so I was determined to make it happen. Since I’m me, however, I was also determined to not just see a concert, but to also see as many of my friends as humanly possible in the short time span that would be my time in the city on this day. This is where things got interesting.

Step one was seeing my boy Ralph, who lives in the village. This required me to take three trains from Grand Central, normally not much of a hardship, except one of the lines I needed to jump on wasn’t running and they didn’t make an announcement until the train we all should have gotten on had left already. This left me chillin underground waiting for the next Q train. I needed to go all of one stop before catching my next connecting train so I wasn’t in the greatest of moods. Thankfully seven, yes SEVEN, Santas showed up all in full Santa regalia (though none of them were beatboxing). One of the Santas was actually a smokin hot leggy blonde Mrs. Clause who, had I been in a better mood, I would have gone up to and mentioned I knew her man would be gone on the 24th. (wink wink, nudge nudge).

The Santas got on the next train as I waited for mine. The really funny thing is the only thing I could think of when I first saw the group of them together was The Tick Loves Santa (yes, my life does, at times, revolve around old cartoons). My train finally arrived after the Santas had left and I eventually made it to Ralph’s place (took an hour instead of 30 minutes). He and I, along with another friend of his, headed to a sports bar to watch a combination of the Knicks game on a few screens and the Falcons – Cowboys game on the rest of them. Ever since Masters Sports Café closed in Westport I haven’t been to a really authentic sports bar, Nice Guy Eddie’s most certainly qualifies.

After much drinking and yelling at Eddie’s, including us starting up the Jose Reyes “Jose! Jose! Jose!” chant despite it not being anywhere near baseball season, my friends Kush and Naomi showed up to grab a bite and head to Harlem with me. No subway this time around, the taxi got us there much quicker. We showed up at the Harlem Grill at around 10pm, a few minutes before the show was going to start. I got the chance to catch up a bit with my friend LEE, who is the lead vocalist for The Square Egg, and then took my seat for the show.

We all dug the first act, a female vocalist by the name of Renee Sebastian, made it through the second act, who we didn’t enjoy very much, and then after a short delay (hey, it takes time to set up a ten piece band) The Square Egg hit the stage. Every time I see TSE perform I’m reminded of why I like them so much, they’re simply the best Hip-Hop band out there. Melodic flows, fantastic instrumentation, great songwriting, I could seriously listen to these cats all day long and be happy. Since they got started late a few people had to leave during their set (it was getting past midnight). When one table got up after a song had ended LEE went up to the mic and gave me a great shout out, saying “Oh man, Adam’s gonna miss his train.” Thankfully I didn’t miss my train, but the shout out was hilarious and I really dug it. That’s The Square Egg for ya, always down to create a good vibe.

When Lee and company had finished their set we said peace and made our way out. On the way through the bar, however, we bumped into our biggest, at least in overall size, celeb sighting of the night as WWE wrestler Mark Henry was chillin in the other room having a drink with some friends. It put a nice final stamp on the night that said “yeah Adam, you came into the city and boy was it worth it.” Not only did I get to hang out with friends I’ve known forever and see another friend perform (and yes LEE you are a celebrity!), over the course of my travels of over 130 blocks I also bumped into a team of Santas and saw Mark Henry! All that and I still caught the 1:22AM train home from Harlem. Now that’s a heck of a night!
posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:57 AM   0 comments
That Fighting Spirit
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I’ve written about my Knicks a number of times on this site and over the past few years little of what I’ve had to say has been complimentary sans my adulation of the play of one David Lee. Well, a funny little thing happened on the way to what appeared to be another mediocre season. On Saturday night the Denver Nuggets decided they wanted to pour it on. Up by 20 with only a few minutes left, and with every Knicks starter on the bench, the Nuggets left their starting five in to run fastbreaks and score as much as possible. Isiah Thomas, who I, like every Knicks fan, have been hyper critical of, had finally had enough. He brought back the Isiah Thomas of the Bad Boys days. With two minutes to go he apparently told Carmelo Anthony that it “wouldn’t be a good idea to go anywhere near the paint.” A minute later Mardy Collins threw J.R. Smith, who was driving right into the paint on a fastbreak, to the ground and brawl ensued. While many have said the incident was awful, as a Knicks fan I have to say it brought back my faith in the team.

Anyone who’s rooted for the Knicks for any significant length of time knows that some of our best teams were ones that sparked some of the biggest fights. Who doesn’t remember Jeff Van Gundy wrapped around Alonzo Mourning’s ankle during the playoffs, or Derek Harper going medieval on an entire Bulls team? We have always been the team that beats you physically, and if you try to show us up we will make use of all six of our fouls per player to make sure any victory against us has some kind of negative effect on you. This past Saturday our current crop of overpriced stars and underutilized youngsters became a team. They said they weren’t going to take being bullied anymore, joined forces and made something happen. They lost the game by 23, but they physically beat up the Nuggets, got their star suspended for fifteen games, and may have even affected him mentally. In essence, this team of somewhat randomly assembled players became Knicks this past Saturday night.

Though no one will ever come close to being the player John Starks was Nate Robinson is angling to be the modern day version of Basketball John. Listed at five feet nine inches Robinson comes equipped with a massive Napoleon complex, constantly trying to prove his height doesn’t matter. This came in handy when wanted to body slam a member of the Nuggets into the front row. Before Saturday night Robinson was known as the guy who needed a bazillion attempts to hit a dunk in the slam dunk contest. Now he’s known as that guy who threw down someone twice his size in the brawl and was looking to hit someone else afterwards. The ten game suspension for the incident just cements his place in Knicks history.

Then we have the issue of the Nuggets Carmelo Anthony. Melo was leading the league in scoring and on his way to the All-Star game before the brawl erupted. During the brawl, however, he proved himself to be a bit of a coward. After the initial fight had simmered down Carmelo rushed in to sucker punch a Knicks player then RAN AWAY, backpedaling as fast as he possibly could all the way to half-court. Hey Melo, it looks like that yellow streak doesn’t just go down the side of your jersey. For a guy who wants people to stop snitching you sure made yourself look like a little punk. A bit of advice for you Melo, if you’re going to get involved be involved for real. Either be in it or out of it, none of this punch and run nonsense. I can see your next shoe ad now, “buy the new Melo’s, they’re light for when you have to run away from a fight you should have never jumped into in the first place.” Jared Jeffries gets all the credit in the world from me for attempting to chase him down even if he never got the chance to take a swing at him.

In the end seven players were handed down suspensions by the NBA. Now, the Knicks weren’t exactly tearing up the league before this incident, heck, it was sparked by being mad at being down by 20 at home, so what would happen playing with a massively depleted roster was anybody’s guess. Game one with an eight man team was Monday night. We beat the Jazz on a last second shot. David Lee had 17 points and 20 boards. Renaldo Balkman has 15 boards. Channing Frye had 10 and 10. Did someone say “inspired?” With the terrible state of the Atlantic Division, the Knicks, if we can come anywhere near .500, have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. If we make it there we’ll all look back on this past Saturday night as the turning point. I, for one, am proud to be a Knicks fan again.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:10 AM   2 comments
Artist Of The Week – Chaz Kangas
Monday, December 18, 2006

Originally from Minnesota, or Murderapolis, MoneySnowta, as he jokingly calls it, Chaz Kangas is not your average MC. He’s witty, he plays with the crowd during live performances, and throws cultural references into his rhymes that are so atypical they’ll have you running to Google to figure out what he’s talking about. Though he’s still not old enough to drink legally, Chaz, a student at NYU, has already performed at some legendary venues, including opening for the final Hip-Hop show at CBGB’s. So grab a seat and get ready to meet an MC you won’t soon forget. This is Chaz Kangas.

Adam Bernard: You opened, and hosted, the final Hip-Hop show at CBGB’s ever. What was that like and how did you get such a high profile gig?
Chaz Kangas: It was an emotional night. Being from Minneapolis we have one of the largest live show bootleg trading rings and I grew up on so many great shows from that place. The night of I approached the stage holding a “Gabba Gabba Hey” sign, a specific reference to this particular 70’s Ramones bootleg from the place that holds a special spot in my heart. We oversold the house by the end of the night to the point where people had to be turned away. Sharing the stage with the likes of J-Zone, Cee-Lo, The Juggaknots and Louis Logic was wonderful, as well. It was like performing live with my junior high / high school playlists. One more special note about the event, I attended high school with this girl named Jane Keenan who graduated a year before me. We met sitting next to each other in Geometry class and remained good friends until losing contact when she graduated and I spilt for New York. We used to write in the margins of each others’ notebooks about how we dreamed of someday moving to New York. She wanted to bartend at CBGB’s, and I wanted to perform there. Fast forward five years later and who do I see at the show but Jane herself. She had reached her dream of being a CBGB’s bartender, and I had achieved mine. Life is a carnival. She got me into the after party at the final CB’s show on October 14th as well. If you watch the footage of the infamous CBGB’s awning being taken down, you can see me standing in front of the doorway.

Adam Bernard: That’s a beautiful story. With all the bootlegs from CB’s I have to ask, who have been some of your musical influences and how did you come to create your oftentimes very humorous style?
Chaz Kangas: My style really arises from things I’ve always wanted to see artists do that they’ve never done. Further, my live show is a mix of things I love to see live, as well as pushing the boundaries of what can be done in the constraints of a rap performance. And I’m happy to hear other people find me funny! Honestly, the humor in my rhymes is just an extension of my personality. My parents have a great sense of humor and tie that with growing up on Kids in the Hall, South Park, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Troma films, and my comedic influences/approaches should be evident. I’ve also always been drawn to MCs who had real personalities. Characters, not caricatures, who had this Marvel Comics superhero quality that made you want to follow their career and their various adventures. Reading interviews and meetings some of these cats you realize that this charisma doesn’t rise out of some gimmicky-quality, but more so of being themselves with the volume turned up on stage and on record until becoming a larger-than-life personality. That’s the approach I’ve always taken to my live shows and my recorded material, to be Chaz Kangas with the volume turned waaaaay up.

Adam Bernard: Why do you feel the humor element is important?
Chaz Kangas: For one thing, it’s different. It stands out. I trace the roots of MCing back to the live show. It’s where everything, be it singles or albums or anything you do as a Hip-Hop artist, comes from. With a live show it’s all about maintaining the attention of an audience and making sure everyone has an enjoyable, worthwhile, experience. I find a great way to bridge that gap between myself and the audience is openly joking with them. Yes, I’m a serious about the artistry of my work and am passionate about each of my endeavors, but I’m not Keith Jarrett about it. I like to maintain an intimacy, but at the end of the day I’m participating in an art that has its roots in a party atmosphere and the guy at the party who can make everyone laugh and still look cool is usually the one who leaves with everyone talking about him until the next party where he’s highly anticipated and greeted with the fondest of welcomes. Plus, a good joke is arguably a lot harder to write than a sad story, so it’s a triumph of the challenge within the craft of writing.

Adam Bernard: Do you have a list of specific do’s and don’ts of live performances? And if so, care to share?
Chaz Kangas: Yes, and the Care Bears taught me sharing is caring, so here you go. My two biggest pet peeves are eye-contact and cupping the mic. Seriously, I want every MC to read this close. Don’t wrap your hand around the big ball-y part of the mic! The club you’re at has a much better system than you’re giving it credit for and nobody wants to hear your frustratingly wack “freestyle” over the “Show Me What You Got” beat particularly when it sounds like you’re delivering it from a ninth-generation cassette dub of a phonograph recording made from vocals delivered through a wet telephone. It’s worse when you blame the soundperson and demand they raise your vocals. You want the monitors raised because you can’t hear yourself, but we can, sadly, all hear you. If they raise your improper mic usage any further it risks blowing out the system and your eleven-guy on the stage typhoon of mediocrity isn’t worth the potential hazards. Also, look at the crowd. Make eye contact. Feel free to break the fourth wall any time Willy Lowman, this is Hip-Hop, stop shoe-gazing. You didn’t get any dates with cheerleaders that way, and you won’t get the crowd to go to the prom with you that way either. And if you’re coming off the top with the freestyle 12 of your 16 bars should not be about how you’re coming off-the-top/off-the-dome/off-the-brain/not-written etc. We get it. We know what a freestyle is and get that you think you can do it. Now prove it by not being restricted to freestyling about freestyling.

Adam Bernard: Finally, why should people support Chaz Kangas?
Chaz Kangas: Because I’m probably going to need to pay off these NYU student loans someday. Also, I can promise a one-of-a-kind live performance, genuine albums that will only get better with each release, and something different that isn’t different for the sake of being different. I’m not only the dopest, I’m humble as fuck. Not to mention, I’ll probably make the best MySpace friend you’ll ever have. I’ll read your blog, respond to your chain bulletins, and not randomly throw impersonal promotions in your comments. A vote for Chaz Kangas is a pledge towards great hip-hop for you and your children, but not your children’s children as I don’t think our nation’s youth should be having sex. (what up Jack Handey!).

You can hit up Chaz on MySpace at myspace.com/chazraps and check him out at YouTube. He also feels he’s found the meaning of life HERE.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:58 AM   1 comments
Give Me That Feel Good Vibe
Friday, December 15, 2006

The other day I was watching some old music videos on BET Jazz or VH1 Soul (it was one of the two) and a video block came on that consisted of Heavy D & The Boyz “Nuttin But Love,” Chubb Rock “Just The Two Of Us” and Salt N Pepa “Shoop.” I can’t lie, I rocked out to ‘em. It wasn’t some deep nonsense like it reminded me of a simpler time or brought me back to my youth. The fact of the matter is the songs just made me feel good. There was an innate quality about each one that just makes me want to smile and vibe with them. To me, this is a quality that’s harder to find in music today, but it’s completely worth it when you do.

I hate to sound all old and curmudgeonly, but back in the day we had a lot of artists that produced music that made us feel good, that old school summer barbeque with family and friends type of music. Everyone knew the lyrics to Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime,” even more so than some of the artists that are more revered now from that era. Some of the listeners and historians out there are quick to name drop KRS-ONE and Rakim, but for as great as those artists were there’s no denying the ones who focused on the fun aspect of Hip-Hop still grab us to this day just as well, and at times even more so.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying I don’t catch a vibe whenever I hear “I Ain’t No Joke,” but the vibe is a different one, it’s a “that’s why I love Hip-Hop” vibe. With the fun songs the vibe has less to do with the song or the lyrics, even though a lot of the fun songs had dope lyrics, but instead has everything to do with the mood the song puts you in. I’m not talking about the songs we as Hip-Hop heads love because we love Hip-Hop, I’m talking about the songs that make us smile because they make us happy.

During my channel flipping I came across the Gym Class Heroes video for “Cupid’s Chokehold.” The song had my laughin with its chorus of:

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one I got ba ba da da
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot ba ba da da, ba ba da da


It’s funny, it’s harmless, and you can’t help but smile the way it’s delivered. I’m also reminded of the Murs / Supernat collaboration on Z-Trip’s Shifting Gears album titled “Breakfast Club.” On the song the two MC’s talk extensively about their favorite Saturday morning cartoons and the cereal they used to eat while watching them. Murs even opens the song by reminding listeners “if you can’t relate to this song, you’re taking the shit too serious. It’s hip hop man, its fucking fun.” I only wish more MC’s had that attitude more often. Say what you will about rappers like Young MC and Tone-Loc, but they always made us feel good. C’mon, admit it, you still know all the lyrics to “Principal’s Office” and “Funky Cold Medina” and neither song was either artist’s lead single. Do I even have to mention “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock? I think you catch my drift here.

I know I’ve been harsh on a lot of artists both on this site and in conversations with others, but in all honesty what I want out of my music sometimes is just some good old fashioned fun. Hearing about how rich you are, how many people you’ve shot, or how you’re the greatest isn’t fun to me, it’s boring. You’re rich? That’s great, congrats. Really, you’ve done a great job. Now say something interesting. Please.

Personally I’d almost always rather hear a song like “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson,” “They Want EFX,” or “Luchini” than someone yelling at me about how great they are. Don’t say it, show it! Tony Toni Tone’s “Feel’s Good,” anyone? Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talkin about!

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:16 AM   3 comments
Beyonce Will You Please Go Away
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

There is nothing worse than a star who wears out their welcome. OK, maybe there’s one thing worse, a radically untalented star. While Beyonce has some talent, though not nearly as much as her fans may want to think, the girl needs to sit down and be quiet for a while. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I, for one, have become sick of the over-exposure of Miss Knowles (something I realize I’m actually adding to by the writing of this) and, most recently, her insults to her Dreamgirls co-star, former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson.

It seems everywhere we go now we see Beyonce as she has been chosen as one of the lucky ones who is talented enough to get airplay on her own but is getting pushed to the moon by people who are constantly telling us how great she is until many of the listeners of her music actually begin to believe it. It’s vaguely reminiscent of how her boyfriend, Jay-Z, got to where he is today, as well, making them America’s most annoying celebrity couple. With Destiny’s Child Beyonce had other voices performing with her, though we all noticed when they got rid of LeToya Luckett, the beautiful one, so Beyonce could be positioned as the beauty of the group. And who managed that group again? Oh yeah, Beyonce's family. Ahh nepotism.

Destiny’s Child, or as I liked to call them Beyonce and her ever-rotating cast of not-quite-as-fine friends, gave listeners passable R&B music with some really awful lyrics. Who can forget their date rape song debut “you’ll be saying no, no, no, no, no, when it’s really yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,” or when the girls wondered aloud if we could pay their “automo’ bills?” Yeah, that’s some songwriting ability. And what kind of “independent woman” asks someone else to pay their bills for them? Ugh.

As a solo artist Beyonce would move on to literally wailing her lyrics at times with complete disregard for my, or anyone else’s, eardrums, but because she had her boyfriend on the track the public was bamboozled into buying it up. Oh yeah, and then there’s her ass.

Beyonce has a nice booty, there’s no denying that, but so do a lot of women. If her ass sang I’d pay for a ticket to see that, but it doesn’t. The scary thing, however, is that recent pictures show that though her ass may be fine her face is falling apart. If someone’s entire face cracks under hot light maybe it’s time people stop referring that person as a “natural beauty.” The really frightening thing about this is if you rip off her mask she’s actually Mark Anthony.

My annoyance with all things Beyonce came to a head last week when I read her comments regarding her Dreamgirls co-star Jennifer Hudson, who is, by all accounts, stealing the show with her portrayal of Effie. Rather than being nice about it and supporting her co-star Beyonce shot her a bevy of backhanded “compliments” including “I wish I could have gained 20 pounds and played Effie,” and “I'm already a star. I already have nine Grammys. Everyone knows I can sing.” Sing, yes, be gracious, obviously not.

So let’s all take a minute and think about how the musical landscape of our lives would be affected if Beyonce were to fall off the face of the earth. Well, I liked the beat for “Ring The Alarm,” but other than that I could seriously do without her and her vapid lyrics. Let’s face it, even if you own a bunch of Destiny’s Child and Beyonce albums ten years from now you won’t be listening to them because within the next ten years you’re going to realize how awful the songwriting really is. For instance, does anyone else notice in the lyrics to “Irreplaceable” although she’s saying she can have any man she wants she’s “replacing” her current man because he’s cheating on her? Hmmm, who exactly has been doing the replacing in that song? And women find this empowering?

Someone call Sade. Someone call Vivian Green. We need some dope soul singers back in action to show people how it’s supposed to be done!

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:04 AM   11 comments
Artist Of The Week – SumKid Majere
Monday, December 11, 2006

SumKid Majere is a self-described scientist and “black nerd.” He’s also been obsessed with writing ever since he first learned how to. “I just feel like writing the way I talk,” he explains, “stories, little novellas, poems and rhyming.” The rhyming aspect of his work is what’s on the verge of taking him to new heights. His first official release was in 2002 with his crew, The VJC (Vinyl Junkies Crew), and since then SumKid has appeared on numerous compilations and mixtapes. At the start of 2006 The VJC released their first LP, Strange Arrangement, and last month SumKid dropped The Lil Folk, which is already getting rave reviews. Today he sits down with me to talk about his work and what aspects of music drew him to the craft.

Adam Bernard: Everyone has their reasons for wanting to express themselves through music, what were your reasons when you started and has anything altered those original thoughts and feelings?
SumKid Majere: My favorite songs are time capsules. I can listen to them and remember everything surrounding the time when I first listened to them; smells, what I was wearing, the weather, the colors. I want to make time capsules for myself and other people like my heroes did for me. I try to capture my experience in a song and share it. Then when you bump it you have your own experience to my music. Then we got a human connection. The only thing that’s altered that mission is my obsessive need to perfect that science and injecting a spiritual aspect into everything I do.

Adam Bernard: What makes a song a time capsule for you? What are some of its qualities and what are you doing to make sure your music has some of those same qualities in it?
SumKid Majere: Sincerity, funk and color. I wanna know a fool is comin from the heart and they got something real, tortured, funny, original or human to say. I don’t really do anything to make sure I keep those qualities. I ain’t really got a choice in the matter. What’s the point in making something that ain’t real, tortured, funny, original or human? Keepin it funky is important, too.

Adam Bernard: So how do you feel your music is different from what people are hearing already?
SumKid Majere: I’m trying to perfect the craft of writing songs. I used to drive myself mad with making something different from what everybody else is doing, but that’s a trap. Nothing is new under or around the sun. I try to just channel whatever creative energy I have into doing and seeing the things I would want to hear as a fan. I just finished an epic fantasy story set to Hip-Hop called The Nobody Hole. In a few years, everyone will know it. It’s different from anything else I’ve ever seen, but I wasn’t trying to make something different, I just decided to deal with the human experience in a new way with VJC producer BadTouch. That’s when real magic happens... finding new ways to deal with old shit. It’s like keeping a relationship healthy. You gotta reinvent the way you deal with each other. My producer buddy Belief and I just wrapped our collab album that’s a series of bluesy stories and personal folk tales. It’s something different, but I wasn’t trying to make something different. I was just pensive and a little depressed and I caught him at a bluesy time in his musical evolution. Wish I could take credit for that kinda stuff, but it’s all blessings from God, The Universe.

Adam Bernard: Hip-Hop is sometimes all about the connections. How do you decide who you want to work with?
SumKid Majere: Even though I’d love to collab with many people I’ve mostly been concentrating on bringing my fam, The VJC and BLX up. I feel like Morris Day surrounded by 12 undiscovered Prince-guys that I talk to on the daily. It’s hard to collab with folk surrounded by so much talent that everybody’s sleeping on. But our time is coming. One day I’d like to collab with Tom Waits, Nas and Organized Noize. Nigel Godrich, too… I want to be the first Hip-Hop artist he works with.

Adam Bernard: Finally, who would you say your audience is and what else do you think they’re into?
SumKid Majere: Man, that’s the million dollar question. I’ll let you know when I figure that shit out. It’s lookin like they’ll find me before I figure out exactly who these people are. I’d like to think they’re real music lovers, though.

You can find SumKid Majere online at vjcrecordings.com and hit him on MySpace at myspace.com/sum.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:51 AM   2 comments
Real Government Health Care
Friday, December 08, 2006

Yup, you were eating that

This past Tuesday marked a momentous day in America’s health history. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, banned trans fats at NYC restaurants. This is a huge step to our government giving us some sort of universal health care. In fact, as I and many others would argue, it is government health care and it’s a very good thing.

Trans fats are one of the more ugly food products people ingest as the fats are used in frying and baking and result in extended shelf life for products. For people the result is raised LDL (bad) cholesterol, clogged arteries and heart disease. That’s right, not only is the resulting “food” bad for you, but it’s been kept on the shelf extra long so it can be bad for you months down the road and still keep its “freshness.” I feel both food and freshness have to be in quotes here because there isn’t anything very fresh or natural about the hydrogenation of vegetable oil, which is exactly how we get trans fats.

Banning trans fats isn’t the first important move Mayor Bloomberg has done in the name of healthy living. A few years ago Bloomberg adopted the law that banned smoking in bars. At first I was skeptical about this one, but not only does it lead to better smelling clothes at the end of the night, a lot of smokers will tell you they now smoke significantly less when they go out because they don’t feel like constantly going outside to light up. This improves everybody’s health and, after some initial quibbling, I think most people see it as a positive.

Even with the trans fat ban there will still be plenty of fatty foods for those who don’t care about their lives to feast on, but hopefully those foods will start disappearing over the course of the next few decades. Of course this is also up to the people to start demanding better, healthier, food. I recently spoke with a holistic medicine expert and he pointed out McDonald’s will never go out of business, they’re too smart to, but they will change what they serve if enough people change their way of life.

When most people talk about wanting universal health care from the government they’re thinking in a very lazy, self-centered, way. Basically, they want to be taken care of when they get sick. A whole lot of people want a giant safety net so they can go on leading their lives as unhealthy as they want and every time they get sick the government will pick up the tab. Well guess what, that won’t work in America right now because too few people are actually healthy. This is why the smoking ban and trans fat ban are great ideas. If we keep finding ways to potentially make people healthier then the need for universal health care will be lessened. Once the need is low enough, and the people of America are healthy enough, the government won’t have any problem providing universal health care which, at that point, will be used, for the most part, by those who truly need it. Right now, however, it would be a doctor’s office free for all with the number of very preventable diseases and ailments people are giving themselves via their poor diets and equally poor ways of life.

Yup, a lot of what ails people today is curable, the problem is most people who are ailing expect someone else to do the curing for them. The new laws have helped with that, but what these laws are also doing is showing people this is easier than they think. It’s easier to get healthy than most unhealthy people realize. Rather than expecting someone else to cure you it’s time to step up and realize you can cure yourself by making a few adjustments to your diet and way of life. People hate to change, though. Why do anything when you can sit around, get sick, and then have someone else pay for it? That’s what a lot of people want out of government health care. I know there are still plenty of folks who want government health care because they can’t afford it any other way, but I think the message that’s being sent with these laws is clear, if you take care of yourself, and pay attention to your health before giving yourself the opportunity to get sick all those wants and needs for universal health care will be lessened significantly.

Some people are giving these health laws the Big Brother tag. The real irony in that is that the people labeling them as such are the same folks who expect their government to simply be a Rich Uncle. I’m not normally a fan of anything government related, but props to Bloomberg on this one.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:57 AM   0 comments
Rappers In Advertising
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Common fell into the Gap

Here’s a weird coincidence for everyone. A few weeks ago Vinnie Scullo released his latest album, a project titled See You At The Gap. The title is tongue in cheek as the song of the same name is all about how stores like The Gap are destroying individuality and how you will never see Vinnie at such a place. Around the same time he released the album I turned on my TV and saw Common, an MC I’ve had nothing but the utmost respect for over the years, in a Gap commercial. Two MC’s I respect as artists and people were throwing completely divergent ideas at me at the same time, but I had to ask myself, can both be right?

I completely agree with Vinnie that stores like The Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch destroy individuality and create a world where people identify their level of coolness and self-worth with what brand of clothing they have on. I walked into a Gap store a few months ago and not only did everything look alike, but it was also a bit pricey for my taste, which is why I walked into their lower end store, Old Navy, to pick up a few things. Yeah, I know, it’s giving money to the same company, but it’s hard to turn down a $3 t-shirt when you need some new gear. So is Common supporting mildly expensive, and kind of bland, clothing with his ad for The Gap? Is he telling us to go buy our clothing there? Well, yes, but it’s really not that bad.

Back in the day LL Cool J did an ad for The Gap. He managed to throw in a Fubu reference that nobody at The Gap caught (“for us, by us, on the low”) and it made the ad legendary. LL grabbed a check from The Gap while also helping out a black owned company he was cool with. While Common didn’t manage to do that, and while my soul still throws up a little every time I see Common’s ad, I think I’ve come to terms with it and while it isn’t a great thing to see it also isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Common made some money, he didn’t hurt anybody (Gap's been working to eliminate sweatshops), and he expressed to the Hip-Hop community that there are clothing options out there other than the oversized gear plastered with logos that Hip-Hop clothing companies have been throwing at us for the past few years (whatever happened to dope looking Hip-Hop gear!?! Step your game up designers!).

Rappers are, more and more, appearing in advertisements, from Common’s Gap ad to Jay-Z doing commercials for Budweiser. This can be both good and bad for the culture. It’s bad when someone like Kanye West puts a company logo in his haircut and walks around looking like a fool for a check, but it’s good when an MC like Common can get some dap from a company like The Gap without giving up a piece of his soul. Once rappers become the norm in ads, though, like athletes are now, it will be time to make some important decisions.

If rappers get to a point where they are the ruling class of pitchmen it will be time for them to look at the products they’re being asked to hawk and carefully pick and choose who and what they will lend their voice and power to. So while it’s OK to take most any ad opportunity right now (ahem, most any. Get that logo out your hair Kanye!), a few years down the line it is my hope that MC’s will choose to disassociate themselves with the likes of liquor companies, fast foot restaurants, and any place with questionable overseas labor practices, in favor of places that support the community, give jobs to American people and promote a higher quality of health and living.

It’s important to show we as a community have power, but what’s more important is what we do with that power.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:02 AM   5 comments
Artist Of The Week – Far East
Monday, December 04, 2006

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, Far East, also known as Far East Productionz or Far East Platoon, has earned a reputation for being fierce performers in and around the state. Recently, however, the group, which used to have as many as eight members in it, trimmed itself down to three. I sat down with Bannah to talk about this move, what it means to the group, and what’s next for this talented trio.

Adam Bernard: Talk to me about the history of Far East. I know you’ve gone through your fair share of changes over the years and have slimmed down a bit now.
Bannah: The main reason for the slimming down was lack of focus and communication. Tao, Kraze and I stayed connected, no matter how far apart we grew the love was always there. We are the original three members. I started practicing the art in ’94 in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York, but didn’t take it that seriously because, you know the story goes, everybody hustling! (laughs) So I move to CT in ’98 and met the homie Trife. We started collabing on a few things, paying our dues spitting with the best of them, traveling to Norwalk to do the Five Fingaz Show, gaining exposure as Bannah and Cain, meanwhile Tao had his group going, Dreadnaughtz, with Henrock and was gaining exposure, as well. As time went on we all grew older and moved on to different things. I was a little older than everybody so I was busy doing the family thing, but as fate would have it in the year 2000, on the 31st of October, I unknowingly knock on Tao’s door with the kids trick or treating! To my shock the young producer lived right around the corner from me. We kept in contact and got to work immediately. By the middle of 2001 we were eight people strong going by the name Far East Productionz with Tao as the main producer behind our sound.

Adam Bernard: Now you’re gonna have every MC trick or treating next year! You’re down to three men, now, though. How do you feel the most recent changes with the group will affect both your music and your performances?
Bannah: To tell you the truth it hasn’t hurt our music at all. You know we’re just like any other human beings, we evolve and we adapt to the situation that’s before us. As the founding three our presence was always felt in the recording process, you couldn’t hear a Far East track without hearing Kraze’s voice, or Tao, or me on that shit. And when we’re live the energy is there because we were born to do it!

Adam Bernard: I know you were beasts when it came to releasing music when you had eight members. Are you still going to have the kind of output you had before or has the game plan changed?
Bannah: The game plan did change. We, as men, matured a lot and we’ve upgraded the equipment. I also took time to build my home studio and take up the challenge of the art of producing, so I’ll be bringing my unique sound to the monitors, as well. This has slowed us down to some extent because we all work and we all have bills to pay. People see me at work all the time and think I don’t have the time to record or I’m not making music anymore, but on the low we swapping Pro Tools sessions on a daily basis preparing for a more aggressive comeback.

Adam Bernard: You've been in Connecticut's Hip-Hop scene for a while. In what ways have you seen it change and in what ways has it stayed the same?
Bannah: Connecticut’s Hip-Hop scene has changed a bit thanks to the monster that moved in named MySpace. Having a free web page and to see so many people in your area doing the same thing, hearing their updates and giving them the ability to check for you has been extraordinary. You can tell who’s real by the ones that reach out. Connecticut’s scene has stayed the same in one way, though, too much fucking hate! People, this is Hip-Hop, if you’re here to make music do what you do, but don’t hate on the next man because his style is different from yours. To each his own. I embrace everyone for the love of this shit, you hear me!

Adam Bernard: Finally, take ten seconds to hype up your next release.
Bannah: Our next CD will be out by the end of January early February. It’s a double CD, our ninth and tenth overall, and it bares the name of our new production company Platoon Kanon Beatz (p.k.bz.), so look out for them to land in a hood near you!

You can check out Far East on MySpace at myspace.com/fareastproductionz, myspace.com/platoonkanonbeatz & myspace.com/Tao224.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:09 AM   0 comments
Adam The Mediator
Friday, December 01, 2006

Lindsay vs. Paris - Who but I can solve their issues?

On this site I’ve said a lot of things over the years. Some have said I love to criticize while others have gone as far as saying I’m a (gasp) “hater.” Well, guess what, I do love to criticize, it’s one of the great aspects of being a critic! I, however, am no hater. In fact, I’m going to take today to be a mediator and bring some feuding folks together. That’s right, on this momentous day I, Adam Bernard, am going to be a healer of celebrity skirmishes, a referee for the fighting fabulous, a voice of reason for those not given the gift of that voice themselves. So sit tight rich and famous, Adam’s here to help.

Celeb Fight #1: 50 Cent vs. Oprah – A lot of people read my thoughts on Oprah vs. Hip-Hop earlier this year, but 50 Cent decided to remind us of this battle just the other day when he said that he felt Oprah has become a middle aged white woman. In his own words, "(She) started out with black women's views but has been catering to middle-aged white American women for so long that she's become one herself.” I’ve interviewed 50 a number of times and know him to be a smart businessman with a pretty good sense of humor, but in this case I have to say you need to check yourself homie. I’m not going to say you’re wrong in this instance, because it’s purely your opinion, but I will say that you live in Farmington, CT, and being that I live in Fairfield, CT, I can tell ya I know the only way a bullet is whizzing by you in Farmington is if Gheorghe Muresan speeds through the town (is that cabbage Gheorghe?). Have you become so assimilated in Farmington that you’re suddenly a rich white man? Nope. But have you lived in that community as long as Oprah’s lived in hers? Nope. 50, I know this is hard, but envision yourself after 20 years of living in the burbs and chill out on Oprah a bit.

Celeb Fight #2: Snoop vs. Suge - This one’s gonna get ugly before it gets better. Snoop made some disparaging remarks about Suge Knight in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Snoops claims “(I) never was afraid of him. I was afraid I was gonna have to kill him. That's what I was afraid of.” Suge has countered that Snoop is a rat and “when there's trouble, he runs to the police. He throws up and starts crying.” Don’t worry you two, Adam’s here to help. Snoop, stay the fuck away from Suge Knight. This should be common sense for you at this point. Seriously bro, why are you even talking about Suge? Is there anything, and I mean anything, positive that this can lead to for you? That’s a rhetorical question my man, the answer is no. And Suge, don’t say anything about Snoop that may land you in jail again.

Celeb Fight #3: Lindsay vs. Paris – If ever a celebrity beef should be settled at a free clinic it would be this one. Lindsay Lohan, who Brandon Davis once labeled “Fire Crotch,” a phrase we should all be happy has been added to the American lexicon this year, has been talking out of both sides of her mouth when it comes to the one who was once dubbed an “oversized human condom” (that would be Paris Hilton). One day she’s saying Paris hit her, the next day they’re BFF’s, and the day after that they hate each other with a passion. Girls, thank your lucky stars I’m here to help you out. I have two words for you two: Foxy Boxing. Yeah. We all see Paris at the UFC events and Lohan looks to have some fight in her, as well, so strap on the oversized gloves and settle it. Oh yeah, one provision, because you all know how big of a pro wrestling fan I am, loser can’t be seen in public ever again. Now let’s git it on!

Celeb Fight #4: Britney vs. The Underwear Industry – Seriously Britney, I don’t need to see your crotch or your nasty c-section scar ever again (and clearly those links are NSFW). You’ve reached your limit of terrible up-skirt pics for the rest of your life. It’s time to knock on Michael Jordan’s door and invest in some Hanes. And while you’re at it get some lotion for that scar. I know your doctor had to have prescribed something for it other than apple martinis and cosmos.

So there you have it, Adam the mediator. I really feel like I’ve done some good today. There’s nothing like helping to resolve celebrity conflict to invigorate the soul.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:15 AM   5 comments
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