Friday, September 7, 2012

About those Fidel Castro T Shirts at The RodStarz of Rebel Diaz

A funny thing happened in Charlotte, NC at the Wall St South protest this last weekend. The RDACBX had been invited to perform at The FestivaLiberacion on Sat Sept 1st and after the March on Sunday Sept.2nd. The RDACBX is The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, the autonomous community Hip Hop collective that 4 yrs ago turned an abandoned candy factory in The South Bronx into a 5000 square foot community center. There was 11 of us and we wanted to make sure we didnt get lost. One of our members owns an independent clothing company called MalaAndMental. We decided to go to the march in uniform as The RDACBX usually does at big marches. The choice for this march was the new Fidel Castro tshirt that MalaAndMental came out with. We figured the bright yellow colors would make us stand out and make it easier for us not to get lost. The logic behind the Castro tshirt was that we view Fidel as a true champion of the people, a man who started and continues to represent the views of revolution merely 90 miles south of the imperialist monster we call home. At RDACBX our political line is clear, we are about People Power. We decided if asked about the shirt we would symbolically say that we were campaigning for a Castro/ Chavez 2012 ticket. We live in the poorest congressional district of the United States in The South Bronx, a community where Hip Hop was born, and also a community that has historically been forgotten by the Democrats and Republicans. The South Bronx is an immigrant community, which in the late 70s, was almost completely burned down by building owners who would rather burn down their buildings and collect insurance money than sell them at lower prices.The borough is still in a recovery process in 2012. Our reality is that neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have or ever will set foot in our community. However, in 2005 it was Hugo Chavez who arrived in Hunts Point at The Point CDC, to offer low cost heating oil to our communities poor. It was Citgo, the Bolivarian Revolution owned Oil company that set up The PetroBronx Social Program which has funded our community space for the last 3 yrs. It wasn't the Democrats or Republicans. When we put on the Fidel tshirts we expected to get attention, but never expected to get attacked the way we did by anti Cuban journalist Rafael Prieto Zartha, who at the sight of us went ballistic. His approach wasn't that of a journalist. A true journalist tries to get to the bottom of a story, tries to to find out information and asks questions. This guy was a raging lunatic, foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog at the sight of young people repping for Fidel Castro. His first statement was that we were ruining it for the immigration movement by wearing the tshirts. If he did anykind of research he would have seen us performing our song "Im An Alien" for the Undocubus riders.Throughout my life I've encountered these Anti Castro lunatics, and there's no discussion or perspective that will change their mind. Besides, a moving protest isn't exactly the best place for this type of in depth convo. I merely smiled and told him we were promoting a Castro/Chavez 2012 ticket. He went even crazier and started insulting us and then at one point tried to physically stop me from marching by putting his hands up to my chest as if to stop me from walking. This guy is an elder and I'm not gonna allow myself to get provoked by that behaviour so I told him that I was gonna beat him up if he didn't get away from us. He saw I meant business and walked away. A black cop who witnessed it all actually thanked me for restraining myself and even said he wouldn't have put up with that nonsense. I hate cops so I smirked and kept it moving. Two days later this journalist writes a crazy article that comes out in El Diario, in the Huffington Post, The Miami Herald etc... in which he talks about our encounter, but completely twists the story as if we were the aggressors. He states: "When I was about to argue that it was a contradiction that we were enjoying a democratic activity that was impossible to do in Castro's Cuba, he simply acted like a lumpen bully and threatened to beat me." "Luckily, the incident didnt go any further, when the leader of the group, who had braids and a small goatee, left with his group to another part of the parade and i continued observing the march." "To those that hate this marvelous country, though it isnt free of defects, i tell them that the doors are small to come in and immensely wide for those that want to leave here in disgust, including those that come here and act like common criminals." This bad journalist didnt bother to get our names, he even took a picture of us in which we are smiling and drinking water, not exactly running to beat him up as he described us. Maybe we were too Hip Hop for him? Maybe from his light skinned right wing point of view thats what led him to describe us as criminals? Did the sight of Hip Hop artists in a Fidel shirt offend him more than say another Anti Cuban like Pitbull degrading Latina women in a music video? I would rather rep for Castro than Obama anyday. I want a world with free education and healthcare. I want a world where its people over profits. I support a revolution that has historically fought for Africa. I support a revolution that came from within. While we were at the march, we werent there asking for immigration reform, we were chanting for Legalization for All!!! If Fidel Castro was a young man now, he would not have settled for a DREAM ACT that aims to send you to war, and will still deport your parents. Would he? They say that Castro is a dictator, when we know that the real problem is that cruel and inhumane economic blockade the U.S has imposed on the Cuban people. If the United States was really against dictators they would have been against Augusto Pinochet in Chile. The reality is that Fidel Castro is painted as an evil dictator by the U.S capitalist media and the right wing Cuban mafia that has monopolized Spanish language media. In Charlotte, the home of Bank of America, it was clearer than ever that the banks and corporations are the dictators of the United States. There was 5 cops to every protestor, proving to us that we are in a true police state. Try telling Ramarley Graham's parents in The Bronx differently. Try telling Trayvon Martins parents differently. A real democracy has more than 2 political parties. A real democracy doesnt have 3 million people incarcerated. In this country we are left with the choice of the lesser of two evils, both choices which are controlled by the corporations that run this country and not the people. RodStarz de Rebel Diaz, Sept 7th, 2012 Check out how we caught him in the act: Who is harrassing who here???

Hablando de esas camisetas de Fidel Castro en la Convencion Democratica.....por RodStarz de Rebel Diaz

Algo chistoso sucedió el fin de semana pasado en Charlotte, NC durante la marcha de Wall Street South. El RDACBX había sido invitado a cantar en el Festiva Liberación el sábado, 1ro de Septiembre, y después de la marcha el domingo, 2ndo de Septiembre. El RDACBX, es el Colectivo de Arte Rebel Diaz del Bronx, un colectivo de Hip Hop autónomo que hace 4 años convirtió un edificio abandonado en el Sur del Bronx en un centro comunitario inmenso. Éramos 11 participando de la marcha, y no queríamos perdernos entre las miles de personas por lo que decidimos ir a la marcha uniformados. Las camisetas que nos pusimos en esta ocasión son hechas por un miembro del RDACBX quien tiene una compañía independiente de camisetas llamada MalaAndMental. La camiseta traía la imagen de Fidel Castro. Pensamos que el color amarillo era más llamativo, y a la misma vez facilitaba el que no nos perdiéramos. La lógica de usar la imagen de Fidel, es que para nosotros él es un campeón del pueblo. Fidel es un hombre que empezó y continua representando ideologías revolucionarias solo 90 millas al sur del monstruo imperialista al que nosotros llamamos casa, EEUU. Nuestra línea política en el RDACBX es clara y simple - creemos en el Poder Popular. Decidimos que si nos preguntaban por las camisetas que diríamos que estábamos en la campaña (simbólicamente) por Castro/Chávez 2012. Los miembros de RDACBX vivimos en el distrito congregacional más pobre de todos los Estados Unidos, el Sur del Bronx. En esta comunidad nace el Hip Hop, y también es una comunidad que históricamente ha sido ignorada por los Demócratas y Republicanos. El Sur del Bronx es una comunidad inmigrante. En la década de los 70s, esta comunidad casi se quemó cuando los dueños de los edificios preferían quemar sus propiedades para cobrar el dinero de aseguranzas que venderlos a precios módicos. Todavía en el 2012, la comunidad se está recuperando. La realidad es que ni Barack Obama ni Mitt Romney han venido, o vendrán a nuestra comunidad. Pero en el 2005, el Presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez fue quien vino a Hunts Point. En el centro comunitario The Point, Chávez demostró su apoyo a los pobres del sector y anuncio sus donaciones de petróleo a bajo costo para calentar las casas de los pobres en el invierno. Fue CITGO, la compañía de petróleo venezolana, quien inicio el Programa PetroBronx de programas sociales. Este programa es que nos ha apoyado económicamente por los últimos 3 años para poder mantener el local abierto. No fueron los Demócratas ni los Republicanos quienes nos apoyaron con las monedas. Cuando nos pusimos las camisetas esperábamos atención, pero nunca nos imaginamos el ataque que nos llegaría del "periodista" anticubano, Rafael Prieto Zartha, quien al vernos se volvió loco. Su acercamiento no fue la de un periodista. Un periodista verdadero trata de conseguir información, busca detalles para su trabajo y hace preguntas. Este hombre llego como un perro con rabia echando espuma por la boca al ver un grupo de jóvenes apoyando a Fidel. Su primera posición era que estábamos echando a perder el movimiento inmigrante en usar esas camisetas. Si hubiese hecho su trabajo de periodista hubiese visto el concierto que hicimos al final de la protesta en que le cantamos nuestro tema- “I’m an Alien!” o “¡Soy un extraterrestre!” a los del UndocuBus que viajaron desde Arizona. Durante mi vida me he encontrado con estos locos anticastristas, y no hay discusión ni perspectiva que les cambie de opinión. La realidad es que una protesta en movimiento no es exactamente el mejor lugar para este tipo de discusión. Solamente nos reímos y le dijimos que estábamos promoviendo la campaña de Castro-Chávez 2012. Se volvió más loco y nos empezó a insultar hasta que llego al punto que se me acerco un poco más, como para impedir mi capacidad de seguir caminando. Este es un señor de edad, y no me iba a dejar provocar por ese comportamiento, entonces lo advertí que respondería a su comportamiento si no me dejaba tranquilo. Fue en ese momento que el noto mi seriedad y se fue. Un policía afro americano quien vio todo me dio las gracias por no haberle hecho nada, ya que el admitió que él no hubiese tenido la paciencia. Yo odio a los policías por lo que sonreí y seguí caminando. Dos días después, este mismo periodista escribe un artículo desinformativo y loco que sale en El Diario, The Huffington Post, The Miami Herald, etc, en cual habla de nuestro encuentro, pero cambia completamente la historia y nos presenta como los agresivos. En el artículo dice- "Cuando estaba a punto de argumentarle que era una contradicción que estuvieran disfrutando de una actividad democrática imposible hacer en la Cuba de Castro, simplemente actuando como un matón lumpezco amenazó con golpearme... El asunto por fortuna no llegó a mayores, el jefe del grupo, que tenía el cabello arreglado con rizos y una chivera mínima, se fue con sus áulicos para otro lugar del desfile y yo continué observando la marcha... Y a los que odian a éste maravilloso país, que no está libre de defectos, les digo que las puertas son angostas para entrar e inmensamente anchas para que se vayan quienes estén aquí a disgusto, entre ellos los que vienen a actuar como delincuentes comunes..." Este periodista era tan malo que ni siquiera se preocupó de conseguir nuestros nombres. Nos tomó una foto en que salimos riéndonos y tomando agua, no estábamos amenazándolo ni pegándole. ¿Quizás éramos muy Hip Hoperos para su gusto? ¿Quizás dentro de su perspectiva de un Latino blanco de derecha, nuestro grupo se veía como lo que él entiende son criminales? ¿Quizás la imagen de un grupo de Hip Hop con camisetas de Fidel lo ofendió más que lo que pudiera ofender un video del anticastristas Pitbull humillando a la mujer latina? Yo prefiero representar a Castro en vez de Obama cualquier día. Yo quiero vivir en un mundo con educación y cuidado de salud gratis. Yo quiero vivir en un mundo en que las personas son más importantes que las ganancias. Yo apoyo una revolución que históricamente ha luchado por África. Yo apoyo una revolución que nace desde adentro. Cuando estábamos en la marcha no estábamos allí pidiendo reforma migratoria, estábamos cantando por legalización para todos. Si Fidel Castro fuera un joven en esta época, ¿creen que se hubiese quedado solo con el “Acto de Los Sueños,” que igual nos manda a la guerra mientras deportan a nuestros padres? ¿Qué creen? Dicen aquí que Castro es un dictador, pero nosotros sabemos que el problema verdadero es el bloqueo inhumano que Estados Unidos le hace al pueblo Cubano. Si Estados Unidos fuera tan antidictaduras hubiesen estado en contra de Augusto Pinochet en Chile. La realidad es que Fidel Castro se nos presenta como un mal dictador por los medios capitalistas y la mafia anticastrista en Miami quien controla los medios en español. En Charlotte, el hogar de Bank of América, estuvo más claro que nunca que los bancos y las corporaciones son los dictadores de los Estados Unidos. Había casi 5 policías por cada persona protestando, mostrándonos una vez más que vivimos en un estado controlado por la policía. Traten de decirles a los padres de Ramarley Graham aquí en el Bronx que no es esta la realidad. Traten de decirles a los padres de Trayvon Martin que no es esta la realidad. Una verdadera democracia tiene más que 2 partidos políticos. Una verdadera democracia no tiene a 3 Millones de personas en sus cárceles. En este país nos quedamos con la opción de elegir entre el mejor de dos males- los candidatos presidenciales. Los dos son controlados por corporaciones, que son quienes tienen el control de este país. RodStarz de Rebel Diaz, Septiembre 7, 2012 Y aqui tenemos al famoso Rafael Prieto Zartha y como ven...el que esta siendo el agresivo es el!!!

MC Elijah Black Release New Ep: Futuristic Negro

When most of us hear the word futuristic, we think of technology, gadgets, flying cars, etc. But what about the real future of humans? Mental and spiritual advancement. The Futuristic Negro is the true advanced human being. He finds himself constantly fighting off evils of the world, which try to stop his mental and spiritual growth. Take a journey through the mind of the Futuristic Negro on this 9 track EP. credits released 29 May 2012 Production by Lone, The Underachievers, SoulChef, Maxx Scian, Batsauce, KVZE, OffbeatKid, and Manifes. Recorded by J Free at The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective Mixed by Manifes ( ) Special thanks to The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, Manifes, Negros Americanos, SoSoon, Deshawn Supreme, and Lateef Dameer! tags

Chief 69 releases video for "Soul Clap"

Bronx native Chief69 releases his first single "Soul Clap" off his upcoming debut album "Knowledge Of Self" Chief69 is a recognized MC, Bboy and Graffiti artist; he is also a member of the FRC (Floor Royalty Crew), TBB (The Bronx Boys), & The RDACBX (Rebel Diaz Arts Collective). This man IS Hiphop. FREE DOWNLOAD OF "SOUL CLAP" For More info on Chief69: Twitter: @Chief69HipHop Directed By: Dayv "Mental" Cino Twitter @MALAandMENTAL

RDACBX tears it up at Columbus, Ohio- National Student Power Convergence...

Check out Grammy Luss killin the stage at The National Student Power Convergence. We performed, did workshops and even played ball!!!

More And More And More And More: YC The Cynic Drops A New EP And Dishes Out More. Interview with ALLHIPHOP.COM by Skyhook caught up with YC The Cynic to check in on how things have been going for the lyrical tyrant ever since he made our “Top 25 Underground Artists Of 2011″ list, and what projects he’s working on, as well as who he’s currently working with. We sat down with the Bronx Ambassador himself – check out our elevated conversation with YC The Cynic and see why they still want “More and More”! Thanks, YC, for taking some time to talk with YC: Of course! Thank you for reaching out. Let’s just get right to it! The last time we checked in on you was for our “Top 25 Underground Artists Of 2011″ feature. What’s been going on with you since then? YC: First of all, thank you guys for that honor! Since then I’ve been living, loving, hurting, improving, making music, changing, manifesting, attracting. Almost in that order. Life is good. I’m excited for what’s next. We know you had a brand new project drop within the last week, and that you even had a party for it, complete with performances by Soul Khan, Nitty Scott MC, and a host of others. What’s the EP called, and was there a concept for it? YC: The new EP is called Good Morning, Midnight. It’s fully produced by Yuri Beats. He’s a genius. There were two layers of loose concepts. One was me sharing the thoughts that came along with insomnia. I rarely sleep, literally. And, I damn sure don’t sleep at normal hours. My only sign that I have to rest is when the sun is coming up. But the second loose concept was the idea that it takes “a community to raise a child.” And every project is like a child. I was inspired by a conversation I had with Soul Khan about how he creates. And since I’ve had a similar relationship with my homie and engineer, Otis Clapp, I really wanted to open the floor to suggestions, ideas, and general feedback. I think it worked out pretty well. What was your inspiration for this one? It’s definitely different, not just for you, but from everything that we’re hearing right now. YC: Thank you. Something came over me. I wanted to be honest. Completely honest. I found production that I liked, and I did whatever it called for. I think that’s music in its purest form. I didn’t want to second guess or doubt myself, so I just did it. I think feeling and honesty are just as important as anything else in music. Are there any features on this one that we should check for? YC: There is one (unofficial) feature. A band called tUnE-yArDs, led by Merrill Garbus, that I’m a HUGE fan of. She’s incredible, and the song the Yuri re-did is insane! I’m really glad that it came to life the way it did. I’m still trying to get Merrill to listen to it! [laughs] Can we expect to see some videos from this project soon? YC: For sure! I shot a video for a song called “Driver’s Seat” that will be done very soon, and I’m thinking up some more as we speak. Have you been working on anyone else’s projects lately? YC: Always – there’s an awesome singer that I’m working with named Luss. Let me tell you, he’s going to be a superstar. He’s given me the opportunity to pen some songs, and help develop my ability as a writer, engineer, etc. It’s a whole different side of creativity that I recently fell in love with. Getting my Quincy Jones on. [laughs] Alright, dope! So, what’s next up for YC The Cynic? YC: Look out for Luss’ project in the winter. Other than that, I’m working on my debut album, GNK. That;s almost done. That’s going to change a lot of things in my life; I can assure that. And, I’m also just making music to explore what I can and want to do. So there might be some random projects soon that I know nothing about. I couldn’t even tell you what genre of music it’ll be. I’m going with the flow. And there you have it! Lastly, how can your fans stay connected to you? YC: The best way is in person. I’m in the Bronx – see you there. [laughs] No, really, Twitter has been a great way to keep in touch with everyone, so @YCtheCynic. Hit me up! Catch up with contributor Skyyhook on Twitter (@SkyyhookRadio) and at

YC Interview with VICE-Talking about Rap and Rapping with YC the Cynic

YC The Cynic is not very good at ping-pong. I know this, because last month YC The Cynic and I met to play ping-pong together at SPiN NYC and I beat him three times in a row. YC is a rapper from the Bronx, and he excels at melding concerns both social and personal into a cohesive narrative. Sometimes, he gets emails asking him if he is the YC who made the song “Racks” with Future (he’s not). He’s 21, incredibly talented, and probably the nicest person in the universe. He raps like the type of person who eats, drinks, and thinks rap music. You should listen to his new mixtape Good Morning, Midnight, because it is very good. SPiN NYC is a weird-ass place. It’s an upscale nightclub that is owned in part by Susan Sarandon and has a bunch of ping-pong tables inside of it. They play loud music, and then you play ping-pong while sipping expensive drinks. YC doesn’t drink, so we just played ping-pong. After we played, we hung out in a park and talked about everything under the sun. As we were walking to said park, we saw the hip-hop mogul Damon Dash walk out of SPiN, flanked by two women. This is not the type of thing that YC usually sees. We didn’t talk about seeing him in the interview, but I like to think that the spirit of Dame was watching over us as we talked. VICE: What's your least favorite thing about being interviewed? YC: Questions. (Laughs) Do you have a day job? I rap full time. I helped found a community center in the Bronx, it's called the RDAC-BX. Rebel Diaz Arts Collective. So that's where I am for the summer. But I was talking to a friend of mine who's a blogger, and they were like, "You wake up in the morning and write raps, what are you doing with your life?" Do you think you're happy? Right now? Yeah, I think I am happy. I'm a big believer in karma. Good things can only happen when you want them to happen. Cool. So yeah. Would I be happier in the future? I'm sure. And once success comes, I'm sure. Right now I'm cool. Where do you see yourself in like a year? I see myself being good at a lot of things. I started singing recently and I feel like I'll be really good at that. I've been writing songs for other singers, and just having all of those different things, I've started engineering for myself and other people... so in a year, I see all of those things growing into their own, more opportunity than the rapping itself. I hope, that'd be amazing.
You just sort of want to be able to do stuff in the industry? I wanna do everything. Like Cee-Lo is my biggest influence in life, so I want to rap, I want to sing, I want to make songs with people. I wanna be as close to music as I can. I wanna be recognized as one of those types that embodies the music. That's kind of heavy, right? That's like a better answer than a lot of people say. They're like, I'm gonna be on the top of the rap game Haha, in one year? It's scary how fast a year goes, man. Especially this past year. LIke, I feel like it was just January 1st. This year flew by. It's crazy. When did you turn 21? In November. Did you go to a bar? No, I just chilled with close friends and drank. It did nothing for me. I was trying to get drunk just to see what it felt like for me, and it did nothing. That was the first time I tried to drink. I grew up around people getting high and drunk and acting so stupid that it just completely turned me off to the act. But I turned 21 and I was like, "I want to see what getting drunk is like." I probably didn't get the best drinks; I had like two Mike's Hard Lemonades... it absolutely knocked me on my ass. Then I got frustrated and drank two shots of whiskey, then I just fell asleep. What do you think about architecture? We're looking a lot of empty buildings right now. I think it is probably the most fascinating thing in the world. Like, somebody just drew that building, that came from somebody's drawing. That's crazy. It is crazy. How do you even…how do you even build it? Cranes? Just cranes for days. I have no idea, man. Like have you ever thought about what it took to build the MTA system? It had to be like aliens or something. I'm convinced. It had to be like the pyramids. Do you think you'll evolve as a rapper as you evolve as a person? You're still young. I don't know. I've evolved a lot in just like the stuff I believe in and the stuff that I talk about, in music and in life. I never see how I can get better, I guess it just happens. So I can't really see the next step in my evolution. I mean, it could just be getting better at the things that I pointed out before. That would be an amazing step. But I don't know. That's kind of scary. Tell me about your Twitter bio. You say you're everyone's favorite socially aware, socially awkward rapper. (laughs) Yeah, I'm involved in a lot of activism and politics. That was kind of the place I was put into coming up, and being close to this group called Rebel Diaz. They're a political hip hop group from Chicago who moved to the South Bronx. They're really rooted in activism. They founded and built the community center that I'm a part of. Being super close friends with them and them really putting me onto these political shows, it just thrusted into this political activist world.
Do you think that hip hop in a lot of ways can fulfill the same role that hardcore punk did? As like, this sort of musical force that's also politically driven? Yeah, yeah, definitely, I think it does. Artists like Public Enemy and Dead Prez and Immortal Technique, those are like the heroes of the political world. And hip hop has always been a tool of rebellion since the beginning. So I think definitely, it is, but it's also, you know, stuff you hear on the radio. Tell me about the "socially awkward" part. (laughs) Uh, I think I'm just socially awkward. You seem fine! I don't know, maybe it's…maybe it's going away. But I kind of embrace that part of myself. I embrace awkward situations. I don't get embarrassed, so anytime there's like an awkward moment, I kind of live for that. So I take the socially awkward thing like a medal. I enjoy that. It's funny seeing other people react when there's an awkward situation. In your raps, what percentage of stuff is direct personal experience versus your observations about the world, sort of like your pointed political analysis? I think that's a tough question because it's been a complete 180 with the last EP I released. Before it was maybe like 80/20 with my perception of things, but this last EP was mostly personal, and that's the direction that I wanna go in. So right now, overall, I would say that it's…65/35. And I'm trying to even it out more. But yeah I just realized the super importance of honest, personal music. It affects people a lot more. Is there anything that would ever happen to you that would be off-limits to rap about? Only if I feel like it would make someone real uncomfortable. I don't wanna hurt anyone too bad. On the new Nas album there's a song about his daughter's personal life. That was a big controversy. Her mother is really upset. She was like, "You're so selfish, you didn't ask her, you didn't think about she would feel and how it would affect her life." I think his daughter was in the video though, so all of that went out the window. But if I feel if there was someone who would be really hurt by what I rapped about then I probably wouldn't put it in a song, or at least I wouldn't release it. But with me? I don't think anything is off-limits. I feel completely open, now, and honest about everything. Do you ever go through something and then in the back of your mind be like, "Oh, maybe I'll rap about this someday?" I don't think that's how it really happens. I never had something happened to me and was like, "Oh this is gonna be a song." I feel like it's more like the beat is played and that emotions kind of like, pops out. This goes on this beat. It kind of just comes together…like that beat is a magnet and that particular event or emotion was attracted to it. I feel like asking a rapper how they come up with lyrics is like asking a painter how they come up with stuff to paint. It just happens, yeah. But you know, there's always people that have a real process. It's just always tough to explain. Do you sit down, hear a beat, wait for it to evoke something? Yeah. I put on a beat, I walk around, and then hopefully a phrase or an emotion or a melody or something... some first spark, first idea comes to mind. Sometimes it's not a good one, so I look for the first good idea and then I build on that. Usually the words are last. Usually goes like idea, then melody, then words. Do you have a wishlist for who you want to work with? Cee-Lo, Eminem, Mos Def... I don't know if I can call him Mos Def. Yasiin Bey? Yasiin Bey. I will never say Yasiin Bey again. Who else... Kanye West I would love to work with. I would love to work with Andre 3000. Erykah Badu. There's a lot of people. I can't even think of them. But definitely Cee-Lo, Kanye, and Andre are at the top of the list. I feel like that's almost a meme at this point, working with Andre. If you're of a certain level, Andre will give you a verse. I'm glad though. He's rapping a lot more frequently than he was before, and that's amazing. It's almost like a stamp of approval. It's so dope! It's a whole new way of keeping yourself relevant. Of course everyone wants the album, but the Special Appearances Andre is special. The thing that always gives me hope is that Big Boi said he was working on an album for five years, so maybe Andre will come through. He's really smart. He really broke it down in a way that made me and I think a lot of people understand about age in hip-hop—it's not that easy to rap and say things that affect people. So of course it takes more time, and I don't really blame him for falling back the way he did. But if he put out an album, I'd probably buy it. @drewmillard By Drew Millard

La Pena Del Bronx 25th Anniversary!!! Sept 15th 1-8pm. Brook Park

Celebrate La Pena del Bronx 25 Year Anniversary!! 25 Years of Struggle!! September 15th La Pena Del Bronx 25th Anniversary!! 25 years of Struggle!!! People Power!! Performing Live: Rebel Diaz SubVerso ( Chile/Detroit) Bandolero Duran ( Chile/Detroit) Hermanas Colorado de Mexico RDACBX (VI, Shell Sneed, MC Elijah Black, DJ Illanoiz, Chief69, Philoz ) Origami Workshops, Face Painting, Therapeutic Massages, Spanish Rock- Necrofilia Belly Dancing @Brook Park 141st and Brook Ave 6 Train to Brook Ave For More Info: 718-292-6137 Bring a plate of food, a dessert, bring refreshments, this will be a community style cookout! Brook Park Bronx, New York View Map · Get Directions

Uptown Beat Down! Sept 14th. Hosted by Rugged N Raw.

Come out to the 1st ever Uptown Beat Down! Be a part of history as we inaugurate this Monthly event which will go down every 2nd Friday. Beat Battles and DJ Battles. Hosted by Beat Battle Champion- Rugged n Raw. Come thru!!! Showcase your beats and connect with MCs. See you there Friday Sept RDACBX! $7. 8 slots available for DJS and Producers.