Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Road To Tribeca Pt. 1

So, "White Lines and The Fever" has been accepted into the Tribeca Film Fest! Could I be happier? I dunno, I was stunned silent when we won the Grand Jury award for Best Documentary Short Film at SXSW Film Fest, and now we're heading into Tribeca?!? Wow...

I got the call at somewhere near midnight a few nights ago. Honestly, I was sitting in my other office (the bathroom) when my cell phone started ringing. "Who in the hell is that calling here at this time of night!" I said out loud, cause I don't want my wife thinking some woman is calling me or no shit like that. Anyway, she opened the door to my other office and handed me my phone, it was Michael Mouncer.

"What in the hell is Mike doin' callin' me at this time of night?" I thought to myself. "Oh no, maybe we got booed or some shit like that at the film fest. Goddamn it.

Me: Hello
Him: (loud party noise in the background people cheering and shit like that) Hello Mark
Me: Hey Mike, what's the deal?"
Me: Huh?
Me: How?
Him: We won in our category, we got the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Film Short
Me: No shit?
Him: No shit buddy!

I couldn't move. Damn. We won. Still sitting on the can I called the one person in the world to whom I owe it all to.

"Hey Pop!" I blurted into the phone in the middle of the night still sittin' on the can.
'Hey!" My dad said, probably looking at his clock and wondering the same thing that I did: "who-in-the-hell-is- this, and if it's Mark calling my house at this time of night, something is really wrong."
"Hey Pop, we won."
'You won, won what?"
"Hey Pop, we won in our category at the SXSW Film Fest."
"What? Hold on a second Mom's up. Hey, Mark's film won it's category at the film fest."
"Oh shit!" I heard my mom say in the background.

Understand this, I didn't start writing until I was 34 years old. And please believe my mother has been encouraging me to write since I was in the third grade. But I couldn't see it.

"Wow," she said into the phone, "did you ever believe something like this would happen?"
"Nope, not ever," I told her.
"Hey," My dad said in the background, "bet you didn't see this comin' fifteen years ago!"
"Hell no I didn't," we laughed.

Fifteen years ago...what was I doing? I need pencil and paper. I can write my ass off, but I need pencil and paper to do math.

Oh shit, I was twenty-six years old. I was working as a telecom tech and mailroom clerk at James River. I was hustling my demo tapes everywhere and was getting nowhere. I had my heart set on my music. Glad to see I had more to offer the world than just music. And I'm even happier to realize my God given gifts, millions of people walk through life not knowing what they were put on Earth to do. It is truly a blessing....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Turntable Skillz 101 with Grandmaster Flash...

I didn't get to see this back in the day, basically, cuz my family was too poor to afford cable television. I remember asking my moms, "Yo Ma, when're we gonna get cable?" To which she would look up and say something like, "When somebody around here can afford it!"

I remember hearing about HBO when I was a kid in the late 70's and early 80's, but I never saw it. I heard about MTV in the early 80's, I didn't see it until one day at my home boy Rod's house, he was watching Mike Jax singin' "Billie Jean".

Back in the 80's I heard stories of Flash being on MTV demonstrating his "quick mix" skills. At that time, on MTV, if you were Black and weren't Mike Jax or Prince, then you got no love from MTV! So to hear about Flash being on MTV with his turntables was some other shit!

I never got to see it until now...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Makes You Wanna Holla

This ain't hip-hop related but humor me for a moment here...

When I think about what the forces of evil (the Machine) have done to our culture, I swear it makes me wanna holla, throw up both of my hands and yell from the tallest building.

But I'd get arrested and thrown in the looney house so I won't be doing that anytime soon.

But for real. Look at the values that have corrupted our culture. Materialism is first and foremost, there used to be a time when you would say that a person was so fake that they were plastic, now look, girls wanna look like Barbie, so much so to the point that they literally look plastic.

Let's take inventory here:
Fake lips
Fake hair
Fake nails
Fake tits
Botox in forehead
and last but not least, and probably should be at the top of the list

What da fuck?

I saw a pic of a video model, who shall go nameless here, and this chick looked like she weighed no more than a 130 how can that ditz have a 60inch azz?

Women i know and have seen with 60 inches of azz are clearly over two hunnit. They ain't pushin' two hunnit, they are over two hunnit. Ain't no way some broad 5'3 and 130 lbs can have 60 inches of azz!

Makes me wanna sing that old Teddy Pendergrass song "Be For Real..."

And the homo thugs aren't any better. Recent news about an artist I have always respected has me looking at him sideways now. Didn't see that one coming.

When I think about all of it, I feel like the last man that really cares. That forgotten person stranded on planet in some Twilight Zone episode. Wait, not the Twilight Zone, right about now I feel like Chief Iron Eyes Cody, from the "Keep America Beautiful" commercial. You know, The Indian in the commercial from back in the day.

You know the commercial, right? the Indian cat is rowing his boat in the peace and serenity of the great and beautiful outdoors. Everything is lovely...and then all of a sudden some jackoff in a station wagon drives by and throws some trash out his window. The camera pans to the Indian who has a lone teardrop fall from his eye.

Remember it now?

That's how I feel, when I see what these morons have done to our culture!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shout to Guru

So glad to hear Guru, who will always be known for Gang Starr, has pulled through this major crisis in his life. It's a wake up call for all of us, to take better care of ourselves.

In the early 90's hip-hop (da boom bap flava that is) was at its apex, Gang Starr was one of the groups that was taking things to the next level. This wasn't a couple of guys with dope beats and a marketing gimmick, these were two serious brothers who were dedicated to taking the music beyond its boundaries, but still have it grounded in its original form.

Keith, put a lot of thought into his lyrics. He understood how to match themes with the atmosphere of the beats Premiere supplied. They were one of few groups back then who's songs were "in the pocket" so to speak.

Even when he did "love rap" Guru was still hardcore!

My favorite Gang Starr joint is "Check the Technique", this Marlena Shaw based sample is Guru at his best lyrically. Guru and Premo forged the bridge between hip-hop and jazz like no one had ever done before. Jazzy Jeff's "A Touch of Jazz" was the first to cut breaks (Harlem River Drive, Change Makes You Wanna Hustle) but Premo turned the world upside down with his jazz and funk based samples.

Guru this is for you...

The first time I heard the name Gang Starr it was a group called Gang Starr Posse, it was Keithy E and a couple of others, that crew went nowhere, but once Guru and Premo hooked up and rocked the streets with "Words that I Manifest" it was over...