Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Weird Wednesdays: review of Nameless' "Beyond" album

A couple Wednesdays a month I'm gonna try to show you guys something off the beaten path that I'm bumpin'....
Nameless, leader of the nameless Nation, is one of those artists who is just having fun with the styles of music he likes so it’s fun to listen to him. A nerdcore artist/producer as well as So Cal based educator, Beyond is a cool introduction to this very chill yet very active musical mind.
 
“How I Roll” barrels in with middle-eastern tinged 90’s pop-flavored bangin’ boom-bap and Nameless plays it cool for “all you creepy muthafuckas who be kool-aid smirkin’.” “Kush” is a Latin-language mixed posse cut stoner anthem. “Afterhours” is the anthem of the album in which Nameless tells you when he wants to see you- the melodies on tracks like these reminds one of 2pac-era crossover rap singles but with modern sensibilities of positivity and nerd references.

"Bhangra Boogie" shows his consistent relish of different kinds of melodies. “Feelin’ Good”  and “Love in the new Caliphate” showcase Nameless’ love for remixing the classics in experimental electronic tones and they add a nice expansive texture to the project as a whole. “Oshun” continues his fascination with the east and spirituality and the idea of the album as “Beyond” takes more shape- his cultural hodgepodge senses the spiritual thrum and rhythm of California’s life in this post-modern moment- the solemn and the celebratory co-exist within the common bonds of melody and electricity.  “Escucha” is a delightful bit of Latin indie-pop that sounds familiar even though I’ve never actually heard anything quite like it.

“Concrete Jungle” is Nameless and friends take on a Wu-Tang style group romp, followed by his Cudi-style embrace “Both Hands”. “Spirit Bombin’” depicts psychedelic blowedian type exploration, leading into “Rewind” a dance-hop cut that reminds me of the Matrix and Blade movies. Listen for what he doesn’t say, for the math in the distance between songs, the breadth of the many styles of Nameless, listen for what’s beyond. 

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

I.E. HIP-HOP SPRING FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: ALIVE & KICKIN IV + THOPFEST III

 Once more Blue Chips brings Alive & Kickin' Fest to the IE! This year at NOS Event Center in the Dino on Saturday, March 2nd- event page here!
60 East presents THOPFest III at Firewater in Ontario April 6th Saturday! Tickets here!

Go to these festivals, support this community, have a good and safe time!


Friday, January 25, 2019

Fatfinger Forever: Nick Croom tribute and appreciation post

    
     Only in retrospect can you see the fuller picture. The great comic book scribe Grant Morrison wrote in the Invisibles about how your true body is the caterpillar across the earth that your life story is, the sum total of everything you’ve done, looked upon without the illusion of time to obfuscate as one big picture from a helicopter or spaceship perspective. This is how I feel about Nick Croom right now. Croom or Fatfinger as many of us knew him was a talented producer, teacher, MC, friend, partner and father with an enormous heart that we lost this last weekend and the Inland Empire music community is still processing it. We’re still in shock and anger to be perfectly honest at having lost someone so genuine and positive so soon. 

        It didn’t occur to me just how many of us had created with him until everyone stood up in the wake of his passing to share their sense of astonishment and loss. I didn’t know he grew up with the people he grew up with, or had been doing things for so long with so many corners of the community. He was one of those people you feel like was just finally getting his due. 
          
           Even within the realm of my own little life, it took Nick’s passing for me to grasp how much I actually did with him in the brief time we spent together. We met at a Sunny Days & Vibes show; he was one of our first friends in the community. Now I know that that wasn’t a coincidence…he was friendly and nice and didn’t hide if he liked what you did at all because he was real and kind. He sent us a few beats almost right after we met and he asked for nothing in return. My first video cypher was produced by him. He headlined a New Year’s Eve show my crew threw as 2015 became 2016 because I fell in love with a beat he dropped on New Year’s eve the year before. He taught kids with me with Edwin Johnson and the CHORDS program. We dropped a summer single with him in 2016. He saw The Force Awakens with me and my best friend on the opening weekend. Studio sessions at Dean’s, playing MC Lyfe shows together...he was always just down and was hella cool to chill out with. 

        It feels foolish and cliché to say things that were obvious truths about him so let me try to do better: he was so kind, talented and humble that you could miss how talented, smart and prolific he was. I knew him for less than 5 years. I enjoyed his company immensely and I think he liked my crew the West Coast Avengers and I but we weren’t close friends that hung out a lot; I regret that now. He was generous of spirit, aid and music to his friends, to kids, to the world. He had great taste; he was always up on something you were into whether it was super heroes, teaching, sports, or cannabis and music culture. 

      I’ve lost family members as many of us have but given his very young age I personally cannot imagine what his family must be going through and I won’t pretend to. You can help his family and donate to his legacy fund here. This post broadly was intended as a tribute and memorial post to him from a few of his hip-hop friends in addition to all of the lovely words folks are sharing for Nick on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and in personal conversations.

     IE staple Notiz Yong released this pretty and thoughtful beat in Croom’s honor as well as providing Jooseboxx with this statement: Nick always went out of his way to check up on you during hard times, or to congratulate you on your latest accomplishments. The most giving person the world had to offer. He will be missed by everybody that was blessed to have met him. Love ya brotha!

                                                    Art by Isaac “knamean” Asimoff 

Veteran producer Rok3m also made a tribute production that particularly made me think of Nick at the beginning and end but is a beautiful and wide-ranging piece throughout. 

Friend of Croom’s Jay Bester aka JB Swift provided Jooseboxx with dedication for Nick:

The King of Metaphors. There will never be another Nick Neech. 
RIP Bro. Primexample Forever.

There will be more hip-hop community tributes, works, and shows for Fatfinger in the weeks and months to come and I’ll do my best to share them on here and online in general. Many musicians I know including myself are gathering unfinished works we had produced by and featuring Nick for release in the hopefully near future so I expect that to be the form a lot of the forthcoming tributes may take and look forward to hearing the sweet melodies in his mind once more. Rest in Peace Nick, my friend. Fatfinger forever. 
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Recent Video Round Up with Notiz Yong, Kill C Rey, Greaseball, Hvlloween, Theez, Pak, West Coast Avengers, Asend, Monocle and more


                              FTP by Notiz Yong 
                              Produced by Notiz Yong & Theez
                              Video by Chris "Kill C Rey" Reyes

             Fresh State fam killed it on this strident little ditty- peep that Theez co-production credit too!
                                  
            
Alligator King by Greaseball
Video shot and edited by Alexis Reynoso of Monoclecollective

Greaseball is a Hunter Thompson meets the Kingpin in a Wes Anderson directed horror movie and the Monocle Collective just keeps upping their cinematic skills game- don't miss this!


                      Ment to Be by Hvlloween
                      Produced by Ac3 Beats
                      Video by New High Filmz

Hvlloween gets more personal and real in his work all the time- this song about counting on yourself continues that trend with  tuneful production from Ac3 Beats and relatable smart writing.

                      Metamorph (Up in the Head) by Pak
                      Produced by Sinima Beats
                      Video by DJ Wunda                       

It's refreshing to see this style done so earnestly- the nice vid by Wunda doesn't hurt! Nice message and flow here from a cat I am just learning about this year Pak.


                    Saison by West Coast Avengers
                    Produced by Asend
                    Video by Alexis Reynoso for Monocle Collective

Monocle Collective helped WCA promote the American Airror mixtape earlier this year with this collab!

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Monday, October 29, 2018

MUSIC MONDAY WITH FAIMKILLS, KID PRESENTABLE, ASEND, DOPE KID DANNY, ZOEN AND MORE

SMART WENT CRAZY BY TOM G / PRODUCED BY ASEND

Tom G smartly snatched up this Asend cut from being taken for granted by too many cypher MCs to turn it into a nice introduction to both artists.

WHIP BY FAIMKILLS / PRODUCED BY DOPE KID DANNY / MIXED BY CA$HONLY

"I be on that tikka masala"
Hit the avenue with some heat as you bump this late summer slapper from Faimkills with help from Dope Kid Danny and Ca$hOnly.

TEMPTATION BY KID PRESENTABLE / PRODUCED BY ZOEN


Do you miss the old Atmosphere? Bump this recent Kid Presentable gem, full of personal bars and nice flow with a gorgeous Zoen production you'll be thinking it's 2003 with an I.E. twist in no time.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Friday, October 5, 2018

Funky Friday: Stay Wavy by Cee Nario x Instigate


On some Fridays I'm gonna try to do something a little funkier and highlight a project in which singing is central....


             Think Jack Johnson meets Ginuwine- this Stay Wavy EP produced by Instigate is chill, light and sweet full of crackin' hip-hop breaks, fresh polished production and silky melodies for days from Cee Nario a talented So Cal vocalist. The first song "Be My Baby" will be stuck in your head endlessly, slappin' with that summer night energy. "Bliss" finds Cee Nario barring out and then effortlessly slipping into a 311-style chorus of powerful tunes. The chill but agile sounds remind me of reggae, Bone Thugs and Nate Dogg. Instigate's production is top-notch: layered and full of sneaky synth lines, Instigate has a modern west coast style and flair on every cut. Cee Nario's podcast partner Jo Well comes to deliver some fly left coast rhymes on 2 tracks of this swift but memorable 6 track project from a singer that is too smooth and dextrous to be slept on by a people hungry for vibey tunes- bang it one time this weekend.

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com

Thursday, October 4, 2018

EoTRSDAY 10/4/2018

There are a lot of reasons I give EOTR Network their own weekly day on Jooseboxx- they're dope, they're entertaining, magnetic and likable when recorded but also because they represent a new wave of Mexican-American hip-hop artists fighting to be heard that thousands of Latino youth in Cali and beyond can relate to. I want to associate myself with the side of cultural history that embraced this wave. Note how the Hollow Visions and Vile videos work in tandem with their (at the time) upcoming music releases; take notes kids....

Hollow Visions has a new travelogue story series, pull up a chair or just sit cross-legged.

Don't miss Kiddo and Macks on this gritty but fun knocker by Badson Beats.
Never to be outdone or stagnant, the Soul Providers bring you a new literary discussion series on Youtube for your perusing convenience! 
    
    Between the last EoTRSDAY installment and now these foos made a video for this track so peep it one time! Chill ass banger.
                                   
  It feels like Mescal drops a new definitive manifesto every year and this year is no different- each time they feel like the ultimate one so let's see if he can't top himself in 2019....Had the pleasure of seeing him rock this one at Blackbooks & Rhymebooks in July and haven't quite had it out of my head since.

Til next time....

Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is staff writer for JooseBoxx, a youth hip-hop and poetry tutor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers. Catch more of their work at westcoastavengers.com, follow Tristan on Twitter @Tanjint or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com