Read In Your Language

Happy 50th Birthday, Graffiti!

In 1967, some dude in Philly wrote his name on a wall to get a girl's attention. My how this culture has grown up since then.

Taggin Ass City

A historical look at the origins of the 1st element of hip hop in this new documentary. Culture kicks the facts.


A LEGEND amongst legends has passed away in Philadelphia. You should probably know this name if you SAY you love hip hop culture...

The Art Scene: The Fun Gallery

Street Art? New???? Our Big Brother Samo, aka Basquiate and the crew was doin that back in the day in NY, sun. Take peep into the start of a movement.

Da Buze Bruvaz: Hard Liquor

Our favorite rap group is back making that unmistakable hip hop music. Nothin but fire. see if I'm wrong...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

$ykotic Quickstrike: The Stakes Is High

I think The Roots should give De La Soul a little bit more love. The more I listen to De La music, the more I can hear The Roots' music.

But anyway, this collage shows you what people will do to get their hands on that big payday. 'For The Love Of Money' should be the quotation, but I would like to bring forth the thought that most aren't thinking of, that you should never believe that the field of competition is playing fair. Just because you are.

Kibblez & Bitz:

SMH @ Cheetos 'Mighty Zingers' being nothing but crumbled up returns/leftovers of flavors being re-sold to you for full price.

And 'Hmmm' for the offshore drilling thinking of being allowed now around 'Da Boot', when Baby said earlier he's got a 'company' for the same type of business.

Liquid Swords

FIRE! *Lil' Fame of M.O.P. voice*

Yeah I'm suffering from a heat-flash of Wu-Tang right now. I'm searching for old prescriptions to help me get over my fever. Too many of these new over the counter drugs are bad for the health so I'ma stick with my old earth's advice and take one of those home remedies.

Today I'm on the 'Weapon of Wisdom' tape (that's what the title means) and listening to all of the jewels that the GZA lays down on the tracks. 'Gold' is an all time favorite, you gotta get that money somehow, especially in this climate where survival is not as easy as it was 5-10 years ago.

Looks like Katrina right? That's Rhode Island, covered in RAIN, not a broken levee or hurricane/typhoon/tsunami. That's a mall in 10ft of rain, and insurance doesn't cover 'acts of god'. Even considering the abnormal amount of precipitation, if rain can do this to RI imagine what a hurricane/typhoon/tsunami could do. For someone who asks "how can you prepare for something like this?"

For goodness sake it's an ISLAND. How are you NOT prepared to handle a significant amount of water on an island? The architects and engineers were so busy thinking about the surrounding water they forgot the water from above. You can imagine the houses on the hillsides and the valley homes, built in nice pockets that would fill up with water like a Kool-Aid jug. It's a 'Cold World', the wolves will get you, even your own pack. SEWAGE. Big money game right there. WaterWorks and the Electric Company give you a controlling position on the 'Monopoly' board game.

Being sharp and adapting when displaced shows character. You never know when that next move on the chess board will threaten your kingdom. These days a rainstorm can checkmate you. Look at that mall. It just seems like there's a lot of displacement going on lately, like a 'Hell's Wind' is being blown around.

Sharpen those swords people.

Kibblez and Bitz:

Reason #19 Y I left NY:

An everyday experience...LOL @ the young chick...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mr Rap Dude Of The Year+3 Headed Monsters

I'ma call this one early. If you think about the albums released last year by rappers you can see that 'Only Built For Cuban Linx 2' is one of the few projects with relevance now in 2010. 'Blueprint 3' has pretty much ran it's course, sans the rotation heavy 3 songs. It received it's plaque of status but it didn't garner the LOVE. The same with 'Relapse', then everybody immediately started looking for the sequel. 'Deeper Than Rap' may still cause a conversation, but that project has been tucked away already so that 'Teflon Don' can be promoted. It will take a couple of years for the hate to clear away from how 'Before I Self Destruct' was a good album. But besides the Black Eye Peas, Raekwon is the only other artist from last year who has a buzz still going, I'm talking about he's still releasing videos on the project, and the response/interest is still major. And OB4CL2 was so successful, Raekwon couldn't even position himself to submit more music for the Wu collabo released on a major record company, 'Wu-Massacre'. I thought it would be Meth mostly absent. Although the 'Massacre' isn't complete, a push back on this project would have been feasible (it shows a little desperation on Def Jam's behalf), they will garner interest from the fans for more music. Tour shows off of this album have the potential of producing some of the best line-up melody sets of any other Clan tour.

Congrats Rae, you proved them wrong. And this song is flames, even in it's unfinished form.

Don't forget he's also a free agent, that EMI situation was a one shot deal.

So listening to the "Massacre' album, I started thinking of some 3 headed monsters who should collabo.

Jean Grae/Bahamadia/Rah Digga


Roc Marciano/Jadakiss/Fab


De La Soul/Pac Div/Tanya Morgan


Sean P/Ghost/Rae (P!'s already got a song for it...)

I know y'all have some mash-ups in mind. Throw them out...

p.s. I got the Ghost cover.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Think about it...

I know y'all forgot about this song. Found it all dirty in a cracked cassette case. Spike had Brooklyn looking real good, but 'Clockers' was my movie.

I'm thinking about all the drama of hood/project life while watching 'Clockers' and I'm like we are soooo displaced from nature and programmed that it's not even funny. Hood life don't mean a damn thing in a forest. Man was given dominion over the planet and it's surroundings, and most of us have no idea how to utilize or adapt to our natural landscape.

Where you going? You gonna just start walking? How you gonna read that map? Please tell me you have a map of where you are.

The cotton in the Zippo dries out. Waterproof, light on anything matches are cheap. Fire is an essential element of survival.

A Swiss army knife that cuts through certain densities of metal. Everyone should have a can opener on them.

This cleans lake or river water. Most people don't even know this item exists. This is bigger than any shoe/sneaker or piece of jewelry out.

Most people will say "I don't need that stuff" and don't realize that you use derivatives of the same tools I posted everyday. Possess your own tools, because once these same derivatives aren't around for you to use, you have a serious problem. You should now begin to see how dependent we've become when it comes to urban structured civilization. People know more about their cellphones than they know about lakes, rivers, or streams.

History has shown us that civilizations rise and fall. Hunting and hiking will never go out of style. How do you think the people went to the next piece of land and set up shop? Pick up one of those outdoor magazines or watch the Verses channel for a minute, what they're showing you is something 106 & Park can't fux with.

Think about it...

Friday, March 26, 2010

$ykotic Quickstrike: Intervention

* in 48 hours this blog will self destruct. Think I'm playing... *

Yo it's fukked the fuk up right now. It is not a game, it is a challenge you feel me? Time is ticking, utilize it or watch it unfold. Hell I refute comedy cause ain't a damn thing funny.

Man I'm holding some serious gems. The name acronym means the Pulverizer of Hideous Dialect.


If they didn't say Drake is the man, you wouldn't even be thinking about homie.

That drop about Ghostface is official issue tissue.

The game is boring as hell right now.

Don't be surprised if that GAME album rocks.

Mobb Deep>>>>>>>>The L.O.X.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whatcha Doing?

First off I want to say I KNOW some dudes' NCAA brackets are toast. Those lower seeded teams ain't playing pushover this year.

You don't know about National Corn Dog Day? Brush up on what's the deal. It may sound wack or what have you, but a day where people get together and sloth out on corndogs, tater tots and Pabst Blue Ribbon (Jones Co. soda also if you're a sober hova) is a good thing. The party is usually all day and you spend it having fun and watching March Madness. Trust me this shingdig starts like around 10AM and lasts until midnite or later, because that's when the click goes bar hopping, or dragging depending on how much PBR you drank. And I know beer pong will be involved. If you don't know about beer pong, you should know it's the best way for a broke ass person to get drunk as a skunk. When you lose is when you win. This game should be ridiculon (© Dallas Penn) popular in ANY hood.

This year the party is in Sacramento, Ca. My girl's little bro is sponsoring this year so we're taking the ride to go have a little fun. Nothing to do on Saturday? You can create your own version of it. Either hit the supermarket for the goods and call the homies, or find a location on the website's listing that's closest to you and join in the festivities. Trust me there are good times involved, people sign up for sponsorship to this event in January because the companies involved send out coupons and other goods to help make the event festive (CHEAPER).

There are chicken corn dogs too. Buffalo wings are optional but it kinda takes away from the whole idea of it being corn dog day.

Sunday we're gonna do the rafting thing before we drive back on Monday, y'all should know I have to get my nature exercise on. I need to prep the verdegris then I'm out in a few hours so I can hit most of the outlets along I-5 and see what's coppable.


Be safe, stay safe.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lost Kingdoms: New Balance

I had those Worthy's back in the day. Good quality shoes for the courts. NB bought them back.

So maybe you have never copped a pair of NB's, but you have always seen them. Hip Hoppers have rocked New Balance whether it has been past or present representatives. A lot of people say "those are them old people sneakers." First off that tells me the support of the shoe is official, second I would think that statement comes from a Nike fan, because Nike makes some fugly looking shoes too. New Balance makes a couple of their sneaker lines in the US, which is almost unheard of these days with NAFTA and cheap foreign sweatshop labor. You would be helping someone out there keep their job. And I can't forget, pro and amateur runners co-sign New Balance to the maximum, just like Asics.

I have the 999's in all gray. Before last year they were discontinued. 10 years and counting on my pair. I always liked the reflective N on them. US made.

I'm feeling the forest green look, and also the Gore-Tex. You can't pass on a pair of kicks with Gore-Tex. You can rock these in whatever weather. Do you guys see the old school 'Lotto' sneaker in these? The 'N's are velcro (oranges ones too!). I might have to let a bill double up, these are camping/trailing/chilling sneaks, right up my alley. If I had to leave the house on an emergency 'the sky is falling' basis, I would either put these on or my high top Timberland Gore-Tex field boots. If I have both, the boots go in the survival bag. But notice both pairs of shoes would have Gore-Tex.

I like the colorway. See the tongue? Someone on US soil can pay their rent now.

I've always wanted the original 1500's which came in a grayish blue leather. About the time I was willing to pay close to $200 for a pair of running shoes back then they were discontinued, so I won't leave out the part where the price for these is pretty much the same now ($180).

Here's the colorway I always knew the 1500 series above to be in. The 1300's (and 1400's) are the better quality version of the hood heavy 574's. US made.

And here's the 574, a hood staple. A good idea to keep a running shoe around in the hood, especially when the warm months ahead usually provide some type of reason to run in the first place.

Salutes to New Balance. Pics and kicks found at kicksonfire.

Bonus: Sneaker fiends take a moment to browse all of the discontinued (retired) NB's.

Friday, March 12, 2010

$ykotic Quickstrike: The Texas Backstep

The dilapidated building you see is the first thing you get when you Google Texas school building images.

This was an interesting email someone dropped in my box.
Am I surprised? No, I’m not surprised. If you have ever watched ‘King Of The Hill’ you should know it’s not about Hank’s faithful patriotism, it’s about his Borg-esque assimilation of Texas culture that you sympathize with (laugh at).

What I’m saying is where are the rap representatives in Texas? People we worked hard for this rap thing to get recognition within the American culture. Yo Slim! Z-Ro! Bun what’s up? We already know what the state thinks about J Prince. Paul Wall, where you at? Chamillionaire? I know you guys are just ‘rappers’ and you can reach your audience in the streets, but so can Country/Western, the music curriculum the state is replacing your rap music curriculum with. Do you Texas rappers know if this ruling will still allow you to go speak to the kids at school? This looks to me like it covers elementary schools all the way to colleges. How long before they strike it from all venues, even if they have cabaret licenses? Ya’ll gonna let this go that easy?

I could say this quickstrike may be too early, but this was a state government vote, you gotta believe that there was some type of public release about this information. Why not get the attention of the rap heads on the InterNets to help bolster the outrage factor? And when the first attempt to commit this fukkery failed why wasn’t anybody on the lookout to check it when it showed it’s face again?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Learn The Rap Alphabets

Are you an aspiring rap artist? Do you have skills with the production? You might want to check this out. Now if you just wanna flow over some beats and hopefully get a deal, or sell your street CD's (mixtapes), this info may not be useful to you.

I get people approaching me all of time with a CD. At the store, in the street, especially in the bars. I’m an approachable guy, and hell, free is a good thing. But I always ask while looking at the CD, “which one are you with, ASCAP or BMI?” 95% of the time the answer is “what’s that?” That’s the moment when I return the CD.

“Naw I’m good, I don’t want it.”

“Why not?”

“Your music isn’t protected, anyone can steal it.”

“Naw ain’t nobody gonna steal my sh*t, everybody knows who I am.”

Although ASCAP & BMI do not protect your music from theft, when I do this to rap dudes I have started a conversation with them that makes them reassess what they are truly trying to do with that CD of music, whether it's a demo or a beat tape. Dude might have a couple of good songs, ideas, choruses or very good production on the CD that are ripe for the taking. How many times have we heard about a rapper or a producer who goes public saying so and so artist took that beat or song from me?

“I sent them a beat tape /gave them a CD at one of their shows…that number one song on the radio was my idea/song/beat.”

I feel bad for you homie, but you have to take that loss. Just like inventors have patents to protect their inventions from being stolen, if you truly, truly want your music out in the public it should be copyrighted (Library Of Congress) for protection. There was one incident where one of my homies was in the studio and made a certified banger, and one of his friends begged for an instrumental copy so he could play it in his CD player on the way home and think of some rhymes. That dude disappeared the next week and took my homies song, memorized the chorus and verses. Got signed off of that song and blew up. And another incident where dudes would listen to demos to snatch rhymes and beats from them, under the ‘looking for new talent, send us your music’ cloud of secrecy. Foul sh*t huh?

How many of you remember the Drake/Kia Shine situation? The InterNets were going crazy calling Kia a hater, saying he’s dick-riding Drake for fame, he’s lying because it was Wayne’s song first, Kia’s broke. But Drake backed down from denying it. Applaud Kia Shine for knowing his rap alphabets. Every time ‘Best I Ever Had’ gets played Kia will receive a check.

Now what inspiring artists/producers do not know about ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC is that these companies can help you get your music out there, they are not only about collecting royalties. They have workshops where record label artists and producers get to listen to your music. A lot of ghostwriters (songwriting) are made this way. Movies, TV shows, commercials and video games have music too. You can get a plaque if your music is on ‘Mortal Kombat 39’ and it sells 500,000 copies, music on a video game is classified as a soundtrack. In some instances, being a member of these organizations and being a part of their scheduled activities can get you noticed quicker than passing out a mixtape or demo (do they even call them demos anymore?) in the street. If you’re very active and have good material they can/will showcase you to RSVP’d industry people. Being at these workshops also gives you the opportunity to meet other artists and industry personnel so you can pass the business card around. Every artist should have business cards. It looks more professional than a Sharpie-d CD in a jewel case. And a card with your name, email address, website address where your music is located, label or group logo (do you have a logo? Every company/business has a logo.) is cheaper than making up CD’s.

Do you aspiring music artists know that your publishing catalog is your ultimate bargaining chip in the music industry? Think of Michael Jackson owning The Beatles’ publishing rights (Sony/ATV is the third largest music publisher in the world, owning the rights to songs by Elvis, Willie Nelson, Akon, Bob Dylan, and Eminem) as well as his own Mijac publishing. He was able to always get money by selling percentages of those two music catalogs, and he also had a say in where the music can be played (elevator music, music at sporting events is subject to royalty collection). Perfect example of this is the lack of Beatles music on iTunes. Most ‘blinded by the lights’ artists realize way too late in the game that they gave the label way too much of a percentage of their publishing and recording rights. Most rappers do not own their publishing (you may hear the jargon ‘owning the masters’). A lot of old school artists get pennies on the dollar for some of rap’s classics you hear all the time because of this fatal error. Think of Dr. Dre still suing Death Row for unpaid royalties on ‘The Chronic’, Jay-Z signing that Live Nation deal that included his publishing, The LOX doing D-Block because Puff gets a healthy cut off of anything looking like a LOX (he controls the name too) song or project, Fat Joe eating off of Pun’s catalog.

If you are truly serious about being in the music business you SHOULD treat it like a BUSINESS. There are so many ways to sell your music, and perhaps getting on stage and doing tours and dealing with the industry fukkery may not be in your best interests. Think about the Schoolly D ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force’ rap theme song. Every time the show comes on, even if it’s a marathon, he gets credit for a spin and is entitled to royalties. My homie has a band that strictly does commercial and TV show music, no musty ass bar shows or MySpace account. He's clocking ducats. All the rappers who have music on NBA Live and Madden know they can get a platinum plaque and some good royalty money off of those games. Don’t forget there's music on the news. Think about the sad violin or climatic horror movie music (remember movies go to DVD). Kid cartoons need music too. Being in the game doesn’t only consist of wearing a fitted with a chain and grabbing the mic to rap about getting money. You can sit home out of the public eye and still get a lot of money off of your raps (songwriting) and production.

Thank me later (no Drake).

The $ykotic Don McCaine

Friday, March 5, 2010


yo! yo! i saw this joint and it got me hype! this is that shit!

i think a lot of people love rap music. but i think a whole lot of mothafuckas forget about HIP HOP. and this is part of it.

the thing that fucks me up tho, is that a lot of times i see the shit a lot of the dancers do nowadays and its just like the other elements of hip hop. it seems like even tho we've had a whole lot of shit to build on, it seems that most of these mothafuckas have actually REGRESSED with their skill set. or their desire to add a new perspective to the collective conversation. it used to be a robust discussion. now people just repeat what they heard, or just agree with what he said. no more pirates. just a lot of parakeets.

this is the legendary Mr. Wiggles from the Rock Steady Crew. if you dont know, please dont embarrass urself. google it or somethin. but my man has got to be in his late 30's if not early 40's still gettin it in like THIS. but it's more than just the technique. it's the STYLE, baby. these new dudes is gonna have to learn that the hard way. your style cannot shine if it is not YOUR style.


OH YEAH... just to be clear poppin and electric boogaloo come from THE WEST COAST. IT DOES NOT ORIGINATE IN NEW YORK (neither does graffiti, but i'll speak on that later). west coast niggas spend too much time now a days complainin about what they not included in instead of gettin back to bein as fly as they used to be...

now air THAT the fuck out...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

$ykotic Quickstrike: Colored Money

“and treated me like a wet food stamp”-Biz Markie

“Yo, yo, why you wanna act like a tramp, a wet food stamp”-New Kids On The Block

Personally I think the government could use this currency right now. It could be supplanting the dollar in this recession, keeping the buy and consume market working with the transfer of goods and services. What ever happened to all the bills? They even had plastic coins back in the days. Y’all done went and burned them didn’t you? I can imagine all of the trees and ink used for these coupons, you always had to go to the check cashing place and get new books every month (and I remember some of those 2-5 hour waits on line too). People would have held on to the green money and spent these coupons in a hot minute today. We used to even hit the Chinese restaurant with these. When the parents got divorced and the old earth was between jobs, we had to eat. But the worst thing was getting wet and trying to spend that wet food stamp for a bag of BBQ and hot BonTon’s and a bagful of penny candy Jolly Ranchers. You see the disclaimer on the bills, “do not fold or spindle”. You were ‘supposed’ to carry the whole book, and rip them out when it’s amount due time. And for all the “it ain’t real money” sayers, them food stamps got you mugged like it was green money.

I know they have EBT cards now, but it’s obvious it doesn’t work like the coupons did. You could spend the colored money in different states like green currency, can’t do that with an EBT card. You just lost revenue with that maneuver right there.

A smart person in government would/should revive these like a NY Nets Julius Erving jersey.

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