Diddy, currently going by P. 50 Cent has signed on to re-
Twitty, is working on material for place actor Forest Whitaker in the
his upcoming album titled Last upcoming ﬁlm The Expendables.
Train to Paris. He recently let fans Sylvester Stallone is writing and
get a taste of the buzz single Diddy directing the action picture, which
Bop. The album is slated to drop also stars Mickey Rourke, Jet Li,
on September 22nd, 2009. Eric Roberts and Sly himself.
Eminem will be the presenter for On June 16th, Downtown Records
Run-DMC’s induction into the will release Guns Don’t Kill People,
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a Lazers Do, the debut album
ceremony on April 4th in Cleve- from Diplo & Switch as Major
land, Ohio. Lazer. This concept project
features dancehall vocalists Vybz
Cartel, Ward 21, Fambo, and Busy
Signal. Diplo & Switch recorded
the album at Tuff Gong and other
studios in Jamaica.
1492 Entertainment has optioned Having established their success
the motion picture rights to Ben with individual careers, Hi-Tek and
Templesmith’s graphic novel Talib Kweli recently announced
Welcome To Hoxford from IDW that they are busy working on their
Publishing. Templesmith is the co- long-awaited follow-up to their
creator of 30 Days of Night comic Reﬂection Eternal album due out
series, upon which the hit horror later this year.
ﬁlm was based. His credits include
the critically-acclaimed serial
Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse
and Singularity 7.
Nature Sounds will release a new Big Pooh’s latest project is
J-Dilla album on June 2nd, titled, Delightful Bars, and there
2009. The project is titled Jay Stay will be four different ﬂavours of the
Paid and it consists of 25 unre- album made available, including a
leased Dilla beats mixed and ar- special iTunes only version (Candy
ranged by Pete Rock. While mostly Apple Version), which will be
instrumental, J$P also offers a few released on March 24th, 2009 and
guests vocals from artists that Dilla the North American retail version
worked with or admired including (North American Pie Version) will
Black Thought of The Roots, MF be released on April 21st, 2009.
DOOM, and M.O.P. No details about the other two
versions have been released yet
except for the cover of the Belgian
Quantum of Solace Chrysalis Slumdog Millionaire
20th Century Fox Anchor Bay 20th Century Fox
When I hear the name James Bond I automati- I love foreign ﬁlm and I especially enjoy action You think you got it rough? Imagine coming up in
cally think of a young Sean Connery. But the movies from Asia. Namely from Japan, Hong the slums of Mumbai, India. Slumdog Millionaire
world has changed drastically since the 1960s. Kong, Korea or Thailand. European countries is from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and
Connery’s style, class and countless gadgets like Spain, Italy and the UK are all fertile breed- is so utterly unconventional, that it works bril-
have been replaced by Daniel Craig’s ruthless, ing grounds for a less kinetic and more cere- liantly. The back story centers on two brothers
cold-blooded killing sprees. This new actor play- bral actioner, which I can also appreciate. But who, after escaping a ruthless businessman’s
ing Bond seems more like a villain than a hero. when I think of France’s cinema I think of cult “orphanage”, hustle and grind to make it on the
What was the casting director smoking when he classics like The Fifth Element and the ﬁlms of daily. One goes onto a life of crime and the other
picked this dude? He lacks that signature James Jeunet and Caro, or amazing animated features is our central ﬁgure, Jamal (played by Dev Pa-
Bond charm. He comes off more like a ex-con- like The Savage Planet, The Triplets of Bel- tel), who by chance is selected to compete in
vict that would be better suited to play Croco- leville, and Renaissance. Other than Luc Bes- India’s version of Who Wants To Be A Million-
dile Dundee. Who knows maybe they wanted a son, I can’t recall a French director well known aire? To everyone’s disbelief, including local au-
rough around the edges, Vin Diesel-type of ac- for action ﬁlms. Enter Chrysalis, a sci-ﬁ action thorities, Jamal makes it to the ﬁnal question for
tion star. I guess he’s better than Timothy Dal- ﬂick that caught me off guard. I wasn’t expect- 20 million rupees. The tale revolves around his
ton but that’s not saying much. Even the name ing much and I got one of my favorite movies interrogation where the powers that be cannot
Quantum of Solace doesn’t sound like the name of 2009 so far. With a clever plot, brutal ﬁght ﬁgure out how this kid advanced to the ﬁnals.
of a James Bond movie. Sure they had the car scenes, a clean look, and simple but well ex- With each question Jamal breaks down how he
chase scenes and a few hotties for Bond to get ecuted effects, this movie achieves a quality came up with the correct answer and the stories
with but back in the day Bond got laid twice as that not many sci-ﬁ movies realize these days. painted are immensely captivating and take you
much. They show you tons of violence but no The acting was not great but the story was en- on a journey through the underbelly of one of the
skin! There was even this knife ﬁght just for the gaging enough to overlook it. Albert Dupontel, poorest nations on the planet. It’s truly remark-
sake of having a knife ﬁght. Where’s the classic who stars as ofﬁcer David Hoffmann, should be able once pieced together. From human rights
James Bond villain? At times I didn’t know if I singled out as his solid performance cannot be violations to heart-pounding chases, through to
was watching Transporter 3 or a James Bond grouped with that of the rest of the cast. The bittersweet vindication, Slumdog Millionaire is a
movie? The only good things about this movie story here borrows ideas from Brazil, City of the must-see. Anil Kapoor almost steals the show
were the dimepiece actresses Olga Kurylenko Lost Children, and Blade Runner, yet does not as the smarmy game show host. You just wanna
and Gemma Arterton. As I’m typing this I just come off as a bite of any of them. What do a top slap him silly. If you missed this multiple Oscar
saw a commercial on TV say this is the best secret technology that digitizes memories, ex- winner in the theater, you’re gonna wanna rush
James Bond movie ever made. Cough, cough... perimental remote surgery, and human trafﬁcing to the video store before their whole wall of
bullshit. Casino Royale was deﬁnitely better in Paris have in common? You’re gonna have to Slumdog Millionaire is rented out.
than this follow-up. At the end of the day this get with hard-nose cop Hoffmann to investigate
movie is missing way too many main ingredients further.
to even resemble a James Bond movie.
A lot of urban lifestyle magazines have ﬁlm sections and
video game sections, maybe even a book section, but in
this day and age what is really needed is a section in which
intellectual properties are the focus, regardless of the me-
dium. So, here it is, a section that covers the newest toys,
movies, video games, comics, and more.
Comic Images have released a fresh line of Marvel super-
deformed plush; Iron Man and Spider-Man are pictured.
Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 3
Good old fashion fun and adventure continue as Marvel’s answer to DC’s weekly series like 52 and Countdown continue
in the form of weekly Spidey comics! The trade paperbacks are coming out almost as fast as a monthly series puts out
single issues and the wild thing is there is no loss of quality. No compromise in the art or story. These book are a harken-
ing back to hey day of the title and it’s great to see!
The stories ﬂy by quickly and ﬁll pages with zippy Spidey dialogue that you expect from the Wall Crawler. The art is split
between three artists in this volume. The two more noteworthy are Phil Jiminez whose Spidey is a tip of the hat to the
old McFarlane days, while Chris Bachalo brings his own thick and chunky, pseudo anime style to Spidey and it can’t be
denied that it’s a welcome addition and a breath of fresh air. Good things are still brewing in the house of ideas and this
title is deﬁnitely one of them.
The Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares
Iron Man faces his greatest challenge yet! With one of the largest grossing blockbuster movies ever,
his agents at Marvel scramble to launch a new ongoing series for him. The timing is crucial. They need
to capitalize. To lose the momentum would be foolish. But can old Tinhead entertain on the page the
way he had on the screen? There’s no way he could do it alone. But wait, how about a team-up? Rising
talent Matt Fraction seems like a good ﬁt with our favorite Avenger, right? After all, those are pretty big
shoes to ﬁll since Warren Ellis’ Extremis miniseries.
So, let’s peak into the kitchen and see what we’re cooking with; we’re bringing back Pepper Potts,
good call, and Obadiah Stane’s kid is the new villain, another nice tie-in to the movie for people just
jumping on. What about the tech? Well, Ellis should be proud. No one has used his new suit yet, but
this is how it should be. The title The Five Nightmares refers to Tony Stark’s worst fears which start
to come true in this story. People are getting hurt by technology he created, someone has stolen his
designs, and he has lost control. Has Obadiah designed a better system than the Iron Man suit? And
if so, how will Tony defeat him?
Collecting issues #1-7 of the new Invincible Iron Man, this book comes busting down doors. Salvador
Larroca’s art is a perfect ﬁt and follow-up to Adi Granov. Both old fans of the comics and new fans of
the movie should enjoy this book.
Xbox 360 game review
Most anime is ideal to be adapted to the video game format. That’s most deﬁnitely the case with Afro
Samurai. The movies are like Wu-Tang meets Ninja Scroll. RZA’s scores are incredible and the voice
work by Samuel Jackson is priceless. So take those ingredients and turn that into a video game. What
you get is a gift from the video game gods. Who didn’t wanna be Afro? The baddest muthafucka with
the #1 head band! Now you can be the one slicing ninjas in half and cutting off demonic robots’ heads.
This game takes you through the whole story. Obviously RZA laced another impressive backdrop of
ﬁght music here. Hollywood is sleeping on him right now. He needs to be scoring more movies...and
video games for that matter. Sam Jackson is genius with his wise-ass comments. “Body part poker” is
hilarious. You get different cards for different body parts you gotta chop off foes! Three heads, that’s
trip kings! Watch out for the dude with the ﬂame thrower. I was stuck ﬁghting him for hours because I
didn’t know about the run button. A homie made it further than me already. Damn! He told me that he’s
ﬁghting the Seven Monks. Damn! Take my advice people, this is more than rentable, this is a must-own
If you’re a fan of the Afro franchise, you’re gonna need the new movie, Afro Samurai: Resurrection (2 Disc
Special Edition Director’s Cut), and the RZA presents Afro Samurai: Resurrection Soundtrack on CD.
Freak Angels Vol. 1
Like most any Warren Ellis project, Freak Angels smacks of a competent hand and unbridled creativity. Of course,
we’re always faced with the same problem afterwards, we all have to sit and wait to see whether we’ll get any
In a post-apocalyptic world, twelve children protect England with their bizarre mental powers. While the series has
the great perspective of existing in the aftermath and constantly referring to events we haven’t seen, the ﬁrst vol-
ume should have revealed more to the reader. While you gotta love Road Warrior style stories, this book only has
a taste of what you want. It is a great taste, but it will only leave you hungry for more.
The Punisher: Girls In White Dresses
Following the most epic run in the Punisher’s history is going to be difﬁcult. To follow messiah of debauchery Garth
Ennis on any project would be daunting to say the least. But combing the two would seem to be complete madness.
Luckily that is exactly what new writer Greg Hurwitz brings to the table. That and a big pair of brass balls.
Hurwitz retells a classic movie story from Seven Samurai or the Magniﬁcent Seven when a lowly farmer comes
over the border to enlist the aid of the Punisher to stop some butchers from horribly mutilating their women. The
story is made personal by Hurwitz as he constantly fuses these horrors with the tragedies that befell Frank’s family
in the past. Of course the entire story ends in a horrid bloodbath as one would want in this situation. Both fast and
dirty, Hurwitz has proven himself as a worthy successor to Ennis’ run.
Batman: The Man Who Laughs
One of the most celebrated comics of all time now has a sequel! Unlike the mostly abysmal Dark Knight Strikes
Again, this continuation of a Batman classic is actually good! While some may say a sequel to the Killing Joke is
blasphemous, it might be better put to such sensitive ears that this isn’t so much a sequel as it is a follow-up of
events by a master of making the unbelievably epic seems like it could never have been otherwise. Ed Brubaker’s
writing seems as though he’s documented these events rather than making them up. The ﬁrst half of this book is
The Man Who Laughs, a tale told of the ﬁrst Joker story ever. This takes place immediately after the Killing Joke
and the Red Hood scenario. While this story could be enjoyed purely on its own merits, having read Alan Moore’s
classic gives so much context for the Joker’s actions and back story that this becomes chocolate sauce on the ice
The second story, also by Brubaker, is a collection of Detective Comics that team Batman up with the original Green
Lantern. No, not Hal Jordan, the Golden Age guy with the cape. The story is entitled Made of Wood and is a nod
to Golden Age Green Lantern’s weakness: wood. Even more lame than yellow, right? Well this is a cool story and
teams up two characters that you’d never think of putting together. While the plot is pretty cool, it’s the sentiment
between the two capes and their generation gap that really sweetens the deal.
Deﬁnitely worth picking up. Whether for a great concept, a great writer, a good Batman story or all of the above,
this is one more to add to the library.
Well, it was a long time coming but Thick ﬁnally has a video game section, Level Up. Like always,
our reviews express the everyday Hip-Hop head’s opinion. Where a video game magazine might
break down the mechanics of a game, we try to focus on entertainment value. While we only in-
cluded Xbox 360 and Wii reviews in this installment, we will be bringing you PS3 and Nintendo DS
coverage as well.
Major League Baseball 2K9 F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Resident Evil 5
2K Sports Warner Interactive Capcom
The 2009 Major League Baseball sea- First-person shooters are a dime The end of the world is always a solid backdrop for a video
son opener is only a few weeks away. a dozen these days. Whether its game storyline, so many lives to be lost, so many ways the
So, to get hyped up I jammed out on the Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War proverbial “shit” could hit the fan. There’s quite a few games
new Major League Baseball 2K9. I have or Left4Dead, they’re basically all where you have to ﬁnd a way to save humanity, some of
to admit, I had to play training mode for just non-stop killing sprees. One them feature threats of nuclear winter, alien invaders, or
about half hour before I got the control of of my favourite titles in the genre paranormal enemies. With our society becoming more glo-
the batting and ﬁelding down. After that was 2007’s Bioshock, which this balized, a popular theory for doomsday predictions is mass
it was all gravy! I created my own player game deﬁnitely bares some re- pandemics and plagues. Resident Evil 5 is the latest and
and then started my own season. I signed sembelance to. However, F.E.A.R. greatest in the realm of apocalyptic avenger RPGs and
Manny Ramirez and Ken Griffey Jr. Then 2 is, without a doubt, the next level has a plot that sees the player battling an infected zombie
I made some crazy trades for David “Big in the progression of the shooter army while investigating Bio Organic weapon runners in the
Poppi” Ortiz and Ichiro. Eventually, I genre. I can honestly say, it’s scar- cradle of civilization, Africa. This title from the Resident Evil
traded Griffey and Ichiro to stack up my ier and crazier than any game I’ve franchise is actually the 7th game baring the Resident Evil
bullpen. Really, the options are limitless ever played. Turn the lights out and name, this time around the Capcom-developed release has
when you’re the GM. I broke the “most get into the zone. The gruesome a vastly improved arsenal for the main characters to use.
home runs in a game by a single player” imagery and built-up tension will There’s a sidekick female character named Sheva Alomar
record only three games into the season. have you jumping out your seat. who aids lead agent Chris Redﬁeld in his assault on the
The pitching is fun too. Most pitchers Luckily, there is a slow motion but- infected hordes, and investigates the work of a crooked
have three or four different pitches they ton, so you can slow everything corporation likely behind the strange occurrences. Resident
can throw. You gotta pay close attention down like you’re Neo in the Matrix Evil 5 picks up about ten years after the last game’s story,
to their stamina and composure meters. dodging bullets. Whether you’re and uses the same basic controls and POV for the frighten-
If the pitcher starts to lose his composure mowing down black-ops soldiers ing encounters. It had been in the works since around 2005
you gotta send the manager out there to by the handful or blowing zombies and has had quite a bit of build-up for it’s release. There’s
calm him down. If he loses his stamina to little pieces, this game is guar- even a custom Xbox that you can get in honour of the new
and composure you best already have a anteed to get your blood pumping. game. The third big budget Resident Evil movie, with femme
relief pitcher warmed up. Whether you’re I just got a rocket launcher and I’ve fatale Mila Jovovich, came out a couple years ago and was
playing versus friends or you got your gotta destroy this giant robot with a theatrical success, showing that there’s obviously still a
own season going, this game is hours and dual gattling guns for hands. If you huge draw for the most important horror action game series
hours of fun. My only gripe is that MLB are looking for an adrenaline rush of all time. RE5 features some enjoyable co-op play, along
2K9 is too time-consuming...but anyone in the form of a video game, then I with other online multi-player modes. To top it all off, some
who loves baseball knows just how long suggest you check out F.E.A.R. 2. of the people who worked on the original groundbreaking
one game of baseball can be. It’ll have the most hardcore horror Resident Evil game came back to aid on creating this install-
fans shook...on some Poltergeist ment. This new chapter in the saga will be sure to satisfy not
shit! only the diehard fans, but also newbies to the genre who like
to have nightmares about their virtual adventures. Resident
Evil 5 is a sureﬁre winner, point blank.
Check out ThickOnline.com for more new video game reviews including:
Street Fighter IV, Skate 2, Halo Wars, Wanted: Weapons of Fate, Retro Game
Challenge and more!
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
Zombies just won’t die. Take that how you like, but what I’m saying is that the zombie phenom isn’t going anywhere anytime
soon. From H.P. Lovecraft and all the way back to myths and folklore involving golems and homunculus, bringing dead
ﬂesh to life or giving the inanimate the spark of life is a human obsession. While ﬁrst-person shooters on the Wii can be
a bit iffy in my opinion, Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop provided some satisfying zombie slaughtering with not too much
intro tutorial play. There is, however, too much loading. I feel like I was waiting for loading every ten steps. The story takes
place in a suburban mall and they start you off ﬁghting run of the mill zombies, but then they start to throw in zombie parrots
and zombie poodles, which might not sound menacing but they will fuck you up. Eventually these rotund undead security
guards with tasers in each hand start showing up everywhere too. You can weild the obvious zombie killing weapons like
chainsaw, baseball bat, and shotgun, but you can also use anything from a park bench to a patio umbrella to eradicate the
undead. This game was developed by Capcom, the same people who do Resident Evil and there is deﬁnitely some plot,
graphic, and gameplay similarities. Your job is to unravel the mystery behind the zombie outbreak and save survivors.
Sound familiar? What really added to the fun was the ridiculous level bosses like the clown with twin chainsaws, or the
grocery store manager so intent on protecting his store he’s armed a shopping cart with spikes and blades to run you
down in the aisles. The title gives you a good idea of what you’re in for, but in my case it could have been Chop Till Your
Thumbs Are Numb.
Left to Right:
With visual artists starting to favour DIY toys as their new Soopa Coin-Up Bros. by ESC-Toy
medium of choice, the selection of blank toys out there has Mei Mei by Crazy Label
grown exponentially. Thick introduced many readers to urban Bizarrgoyl by Monster Bucket
vinyl more than half a decade ago, and we currently feature Vimobot by Mimoco
designer toys each issue. So, to continue our faithful coverage
Di Di by Crazy Label
of the movement we now bring you some of the most unique
DIYs on the market. 8” Glow-In-The-Dark Bax Bear by OSO
beer comes in the dark amber ale (my favorite)
Okay, so last we spoke I was preaching about and the light lager style.
how everybody is quick to jump on a drink trend Vancouver penthouse. Now Benny is a guy that
before they even know what they are down- took the advice of my last Drink Different piece, Next time you’re ordering the same old cocktail
ing. This time around it is we’re gonna go with he makes wild concoctions that look and taste at the club, or grabbing your default 6-pack at the
a more hands on approach. Call it adver-torial, good. cold beer & wine, try something different!
call it shameless promotion of our sponsors, call
it what you will, in the end it is simply an encour- Another recommendation for you is Organic En-
agement to think before you drink. I recently got ergyMax, a healthy alternative to Red Bull and
put on to a delicious line of organic sodas called Pureian Mangorita
Monster, being that it has no taurine. EnergyMax
Pureian Springs. The eye-catching cans contain is now the ofﬁcial energy drink of Vancouver 2 oz. 1800 Reposado Tequila
pure spring water, certiﬁed organic ingredients Whitecaps FC. 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
and they’re sweetened with blue agave (a main 2 oz. Pureian Mango
ingredient in Tequilla). Pureian is great mixer and My last suggestion is yet another organic bever- 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
is available in Mango, Cranberry and Natural. age, this time beer. NatureLand Organic beer is Muddled Kiwi
in my opinion one of the top ﬁve beers on the
I had my bartender friend Benny G. make us up market, it is made with extreme care, premium 1 tsp. Simple Syrup
some highend cocktails (pictured above) at his ingredients and brewed in small batches. The Blend with ice and serve with a sugared rim
Since the ﬁrst Star Wars movie in 1978 the
property has grown to include books, comic
books, video games, RPGs, animated se-
ries, and much more. Every Star Wars tale
told outside the ﬁlms is referred to as the Ex-
panded Universe. Here we use a variety of
toys and models to illustrate the expansion of
some popular designs and themes from the
AT-TE by Titanium Series
AT-ST by Star Wars Miniatures
AT-RT by Revell Models
AT-OT by Titanium Series
Imperial Shuttle by Star Wars Minis Vader’s TIE by Star Wars Minis V-19 Landspeeder by Micro Machines
Millenium Falcon by Tomy Slave 1 by Tomy Vulture Droid by Micro Machines
TIE Fighter by Star Wars Minis TIE Interceptor by Star Wars Minis TIE Bomber by Star Wars Miniatures
MC80 by Star Wars Miniatures Rogue Shadow by Titanium Series
Imperial Knights: Yuuzhan Vong:
Sigel Dare Jedi Hunter
Ganner Krieg Shaper
Antares Draco Warrior
accu and co
for d rate. Wh llectible
are esigners ile vinyl addict”
maq being us , wood, is the ma ight be
uette ed f P
s. or s VC and terial of c more
tylish ot h
new her mat oice Spac
ﬁgur er by W e Crab i
es a ial heat n
nd y Wh White
pairs always t
stree of sne ry to sh
are c ts yet. W aks that owcase
by th oming w e wante we ain a couple
to in e fashio ith some to highl ’t seen fresh
cleanclude th n and a dope s ight Pum on the
and e K- rt tyles a
class Swiss scenes, inﬂ , who
ic loo pair and uenced
k. beca w
use e had
by P u Mid L
into the an vinyl ha
public s work
ﬁgure c e
market onsciousnes d its way
ﬁlled th has qu s, the s
e ie caled
and pre void betwe tly crept up
of the s ium statue re coll and Two-Fa
caled ﬁ collecti ecting
At this g ng ce /
size it is ure world is th . The king ys / DC Harvey De
e 12” ﬁ
gu Direct nt 1/6th
detaile , yet big enou ugh to displa re. When Scale F
d. “How gh to b y on Ho ully Po
and “w many p
ingly went a t Toys ﬁrst d seable
ho did fa pe shit
. After ebuted Action
ns in th the sculpt” a rticulation” could d
o with their in picture
s of the Figure
Kong’s is type re the withou the vis sane Ir ir The
Hot To of colle key t their ages o on Man Dark K
as the ys is cting. H face, b guis fC ﬁgures night 1
Sidesh p producer o idely recogn ng
o ut they es. As you c hristian Bale, , eve 2” ﬁ
ow, M f 12” ﬁ ized the Tw do an an see Aaron ryone was ex gure line, co
Enterb e g o-Face astoun above Eckhart cited to llectors
ay are dicom, Triad ures, while Harvey he din the an
Dent, a ad. Hot Toys g job of repli y not only na d Heath Led e what they
the oth Toys that, yo s well cating g
r playe and u as alte include the h il
the bu ed every pore er...with and
of The can easily p rn ea rn
rs. Dark K ose yo ate hands sc d and suit jac t ﬂesh and ra of Eckhart’s
n (The ight. The Da Two-Face e to ﬁt th ket to make w mus
Dark K rk Knig xa ev the
night V ht serie ctly like he a arious acces pre-acciden
ersion), s also p s t
The Jo include pears in you ories. With a
ker, an s Batm r favori ll
d The J a te
oker (B n (Original C scene
ank Ro o
bber V stume),
Run f the De
ner b a
y Pu d XR
Thick: When did you know this music thing Jerkins and word travels. When you’re rep pre- rhythms, or all of a sudden, BOOM, you
was what you were meant to do? cedes you, you got your foot in the game. They guys click and you get down to business
Keri Hilson: I always took comfort in knowing started to say, she can sing too. Polow was in and start making the music happen?
I had a passion for music. I’m doing exactly Atlanta and little did I know he told Timbo about KH: Tim’s always inspiring. Never a dull mo-
what I’m supposed to be doing. me. He told Timbo he saw me write and per- ment. With Tim you’re gonna laugh, have fun,
form and told him to check me out. Tim was it’s all music. Before we start, we usually pop
T: Were you one of those girls listening to looking for an R&B solo act and he said, let’s in other people’s stuff. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MIA,
your favourite artists in your bedroom and do it! whoever and just listen. He loves to compete,
singing right along thinking, “That’s me he loves to top himself every time. Luckily,
one day.” T: What’s it like in the studio with Timbo? Is we’ve been able to do that.
KH: Of course and when I used to watch per- it hours and hours of testing out beats and
formances I used to imagine myself there and T: For those who don’t know you’ve writ-
I would tear it up. ten some massive hits for people. What are
some you’re most proud of?
T: Who are some of your all time favs? KH: Gimme More for Britney, Runaway Love
KH: Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jack- for Mary J, Wait a Minute for PCD, Usher I did
son...Lauryn Hill later in life and she became a Red Light, Chris Brown’s Young Love. There
huge part of my inspiration. is no blueprint for how music happens. Some-
times I write on my own and other times I get
T: What happened to Lauryn Hill? summoned to work with these artists and we
KH: Man, I don’t know! I hope that I can hap- just bang it out. The Britney experience was
pen to Lauryn Hill. I wanna write her come- wild.
T: Who is #1 on your list to work with
T: When you get into the game as a writer, again?
how do you get your stuff out there? KH: Justin Timberlake! He is like
KH: Before the team, I’m with The Clutch now, the Jay-Z of R&B. He doesn’t write
I had placements with Usher, Ciara, Chris anything down. And Jay-Z doesn’t
Brown and Ruben Studdard. It’s much like write anything down. We co-wrote
any other business, you have to grind. Grind it for my album, it’s a song called Slow
out and take every blow as it comes. I worked Dance and when people hear that
hard. I’m 26 now and I started writing at 12. the response will be huge!
I got my deal at 14 in a girl group. I know so
many people I met along the way that gave up. T: I’m dying to know who is han-
It’s survival of the ﬁttest. dling beats and who is guesting.
Fill me in.
T: Is it tough getting in the game as a writer KH: Timbo and Polow bring the heat.
as opposed to a performer or vice versa? We kept it mostly in house. Danja
KH: Songwriting was always my plan B and I Hands is incredible. I did reach out to
was complacent as a songwriter. (I was) just Roy Hamilton and a few others too.
happy that I got my cake and got to eat it
too. I got to write my song and demo the T: What’s the overall vibe on the disc?
song, and then “direct trafﬁc” for an artist, KH: Versatility. Free and fun. You’ll feel what
producing their vocals. That’s how Tim- it’s like to be in the studio with us. From
baland discovered me. tears to fun and everything inbetween.
T: You hooked up with Polow ﬁrst, T: Your debut In a Perfect World drops
Timbo second…those are some soon and the ofﬁcial second single is
pretty big names in the produc- Turning Me on with Weezy!
tion ﬁeld. How did it all go KH: That’s a fun joint! The inspiration be-
down? hind that is, guys have NO CLUE how to ap-
KH: When you’re working as proach a woman. They have no clue. None.
much as I did something And women who act like little immature girls,
is bound to pop. Before the ones who give it up too easy, they make it
long I was working hard for the rest of us. I really wanted to write a
with Dallas Austin, song as a script on how to talk to a woman.
Thick: You guys went to Harvard and met there. Is the school full of do the mixtape and do some collabos with P, JD, Diddy, Pusha from The
stuck up chicks? Clipse, Talib Kweli and a number of others. The record is not a Hip-Hop
DA: (There is a) good number of nerds, and a good number of good, nor- album but the mixtape is. Max and I spent a week in Boston with Clinton
mal, grounded creative people from all over the world who like to learn. It’s Sparks and we just made all original beats and then we sent them out to
kind of a hard place to pigeonhole. those who we wanted to be a part of it.
T: Not only do you sing and write your own stuff, you produce the T: The Chester French remix of Jay-Z’s Excuse Me Miss was bananas.
majority of it too. How did you get into producing? Speak on how that happened?
DA: We started the band as a live band. It was us and three of our friends DA: There’s a DJ in Boston, DJ Moneybags, so we did it for fun and gave
in our freshman year. We’ve been doing this for ﬁve years now. We’re it to him. This is before we got signed. The idea was to do new versions
just now having the chance to expose ourselves to a larger audience. We of songs that the Neptunes had produced. We did that and Slim Thug’s
got heavily into production our sophomore year when both of us became I Aint Heard of That. When Pharrell heard that he was like, “What the
engineers at an on campus recording studio which we later ended up run- fuck? These guys are doing Neptunes remixes? It was all complete coin-
ning. We had this little studio with a modest amount of gear but enough cidence. He lost his mind and was all about it. We did that for fun in about
to record this album we were gonna put out. Just through trial and error an hour and a half and there you have it.
we learned how to engineer and how to produce, so our hearts were in
T: You guys have some pretty big co-signs in
the industry from the Hip-Hop world from JD to
Kanye, to Pharrell who signed you to Star Trak.
How did that all go down?
DA: We got extremely lucky. We made our entire
album, Love The Future, while we were still in
school. We ﬁnished it in our junior year and sent
it everywhere. The music made its way into the
hands of these folks and luckily they loved it. P
got it through his recording engineer, Drew, who
got it from a magazine writer who had written an
article about it for a music engineering magazine.
These people found us through a long chain of
generous folks who were nice enough to pass our
T: What’s it like working with Pharrell?
DA: I just got the ﬁrst collaboration that we’ve
done together in my email today. It’s a song for a
Clinton Sparks mixtape we’re putting out for free
in the next few weeks so the world can taste our
music before they pay for it. We produced the mix-
tape, it’s all original beats we did and on that song
I sang the hook and Pharrell is rapping on it. We
have not had the chance to work together in studio
but we’ve been around him a lot and he works ef-
ﬁciently and is always full of amazing ideas.
T: What’s the name of the song and the mix-
DA: Jaques Jams Vol. 1 and it’s us and Clinton
Sparks and the song (with Pharrell) is called Life
in L.A. about our experience living in L.A. after the
year we graduated college. It’s a more melancholy
perspective on life out there.
T: Your CD is called Love The Future. What’s
the vibe like throughout the disc?
DA: During college we were obsessed with artists
who made albums you could listen the whole way
through. We didn’t wanna have any ﬁller. None
of this, two good songs and the rest is garbage.
We’ve got songs that are electriﬁed swing, more
orchestral Beatle-ish stuff, and everything ﬂows
together with a number of interludes. Max, the
other half, scored a lot of it by hand. We did it all
ourselves. No features. That’s why we wanted to
Thick: Where do you ﬁt into the Street T: So, Street Fighter IV keeps that 2D look style of 2D ﬁghting game. Marvel’s licenses
Fighter legacy? we all know but also has 3D special moves, are held by other companies right now but who
Seth Killian: The long version abridged is that right? knows what the future holds. In Japan we actu-
I’ve been playing the game since I was a kid. SK: That’s the new angle for Street Fighter IV. ally just did a new one called Tatsunoko Vs.
I sorta grew up with it. I got better and better, We struggled for a long time because every- Capcom. Tatsunoko is not really well known in
and started winning some Street Fighter Tour- body here loves Street Fighter but they were the States. This game only came out in Japan,
naments. Then I played on the ﬁrst US Nation- like, do we have to do a 3D game? And if we do so a lot of people have been importing it over
al Team for Street Fighter. We went over and a 3D game, will that alienate all the fans of 2D? here. Tatsunoko is an animation studio in Ja-
played in Tokyo. Since then I kept on running I think they decided to stick to their guns and pan. Their characters are like Speed Racer, the
tournaments, which also continued to get big- be like, we’re gonna make it with fully 3D mod- guys from Battle of the Planets, the Gatchaman
ger and bigger, and more international. Every els but the classic gameplay. Ikeno-san, who’s guys and a bunch of others. They’ve been do-
year we have probably thirty different countries the art director on the project, did a great job of ing it since the ‘60s, so they have a huge char-
in attendance, and our total is over 70 different bringing these great characters that everybody acter list. They’re sort of like the Marvel Com-
countries that have attended the tournaments. knows and loves into 3D. So, the characters ics of Japan in a lot of ways. That game came
And I found my way into Capcom by running look really fantastic but it keeps that same core out a few months ago and it’s been one of the
these tournaments. I had a completely unrelat- 2D gameplay, which not only feels really great, most heavily imported titles over here (US). It’s
ed job teaching college. I would go by Capcom’s but it’s familiar to all the old fans of the series as been a big hit. It’s a lot of that same over the
booth at E3 and say: “Hey, we got this tourna- well. So when you pick up and play it’s not alien top, zany, crossover world fun. It brings a lot
ment, can we get some posters or something. at all. You can still throw your ﬁreballs and do of great Capcom characters together with their
The kids would really love it.” And they would your electricity and whatever else just as you (Tatsunoko’s) crew. People who aren’t even fa-
be like: “Buzz off weirdo.” Then, eventually always did. But now you’ve got these great new miliar with Tatsunoko characters love playing it
they hired some new people and those people visuals, as well as some new mechanics like just because it’s a ton of fun.
offered me a job and I came over to Capcom. the ultra combos, which are really beautiful and
From there I came on as the Senior Manager of have a lot of 3D camera angles on them. You’ve T: Is there plans to bring it to North Amer-
Community, which I’m still doing. I get people also got what we call the “focus mechanic”, so ica?
ﬁred up about our games. Obviously, I have you can do these focus attacks. SK: There’s a lot of fan request right now. Ba-
a long history with Street Fighter and know...I sically the problem with that is, in Japan all
don’t know everything about it, but pretty close. T: So, we hear the end boss is named after the rights to Tatsunoko characters are held
So I was able to work closely with the Street you. Did you push for that? by Tatsunoko, but outside of Japan there are
Fighter IV team because they were just kicking SK: I deﬁnitely didn’t push for it. I would never like sixteen different rights holders. So, to re-
off the project as I arrived. Now I’m the special have thought of trying to do that myself. When lease the game in the States we would have
adviser to the Street Fighter IV project. I started on the project I deﬁnitely considered to get deals with all of them which is very com-
myself the low man on the totem pole and as a plicated. But we do still hope to ﬁnd a way to
T: Somebody was telling me today about a big Street Fighter fan I felt very lucky to be able bring that game out in an ofﬁcial fashion here.
well known Street Fighter viral video where to even talk to these guys and have them listen There’s a lot of fans that would make very, very
a guy waits until his life bar is almost out, to some of my ideas. I was a little bit star struck. happy. It’s been getting a lot of press. Actually
while his opponent hasn’t lost any life bar, So when the idea came up, it was thrown out it’s got magazine covers even though it’s not
and pulls one giant combo and wins. Is that there by the producer, and I had to think about even released outside of Japan just because
you? it for about a tenth of a second before I was people are so excited by the Capcom cross-
SK: It is and it isn’t. I’m not the one playing like, yes, that’s okay with me. Yeah, it was big over games.
but I shot that video. That’s my tournament, honour for me to be a little part of Street Fighter
and I’m the one holding the camera and it’s my history. Something I never would have thought T: So your character looks a hell of a lot like
voice narrating it. There’s a nerd who gets re- of as a kid growing up in the arcades. Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen.
ally excited and his voice starts cracking and SK: (Laughs) There are other colours you can
freaking out, that’s me. We calculated it last T: Does Capcom have plans for any more choose for Seth where he doesn’t look as much
year because there’s different versions of the Vs. games like the classic Street Fighter Vs. like Dr. Manhattan. And Dr. Manhattan doesn’t
video, and it had 15 million views on Youtube. X-Men? have a yin yang on his stomach. The giant bald
Which for a video game tournament clip is pret- SK: We had great success with the Capcom Vs. buff guy in a speedo is deﬁnitely well-worn ter-
ty impressive. But yeah, those players were a SNK games. SNK has a great ﬁghting legacy ritory in the comic book universe. I think with
couple friends of mine, Justin Wong who is as well. Our biggest crossover success was the the blue colouring and his serious face he has
from New York, and Daigo Umehara, one of Marvel series, Marvel Vs. Capcom and various some similarities to Dr. Manhattan but his style
the greatest players in the history of the game earlier X-Men Vs. Street Fighter games. Those is all his own. It would be nice if he was om-
from Tokyo. were really popular and invented a whole new nipotent but he has to ﬁght like everyone else.
T: Since the ﬁrst single dropped it was obvi- GS: Some of ‘em might have missed out on for us to even dig it. We always seen Piece of
ous Camp Lo were onto something differ- Let’s Do It Again, which came out 2002. It had the Action as being high energy, a non-stop
ent. I get that your styles meshed well but the song Glow on it that a lot of Lo fans would ride.
how did you decide on the throwback kinda be familiar with. That was a limited edition al-
ﬂavour? bum right there. So, they might have missed T: You started with Proﬁle but have been in-
GS: Our parents were pretty involved in music out on that. That was the second thing we ever dependent since then. Speak on the indie
and fashion, and they were pretty much strung put out after Uptown Saturday Night. route.
out on the Marvins, and the Stevie Wonders, GS: Proﬁle was the biggest independent at the
and all of that. It trickled down to us and it deﬁ- T: How did the Japan only release come time. In that sense, we always been on an in-
nitely hit Chee really hard. When we sat down about? die label. We’re used to the intimate settings of
at the round table right before we really kicked GS: I think it was just a matter of somebody dealing with people on the close up.
everything into full gear and we said, how are over there had contacted our people over here SC: When we tried a showtime label, it didn’t
we gonna come into this? ‘Cause we knew we and expressed an interested, and me and Chi work out right. They couldn’t really see our
wanted a different approach from what was al- already had a catalogue ready to go. Our work- boutique style of music. They wanted to de-
ready out there. So, we started mapping out ing process is that, we just record a bunch of partment store our music.
how we would approach it and we decided to things and then pick the ones that we feel most
throw in inﬂuences, and one of the inﬂuences ﬁt that project. So when they hit us, we pretty T: Who was the label?
was the seventies. So, we started doing heavy much had all of that stuff in the catalogue al- SC: Arista, before they switched to J. Records.
research on that, started hitting all of the video ready. So, it wasn’t really that difﬁcult. So, we got caught up in waves that we wasn’t
stores. We did our homework, on top of what SC: It was nothing we made with Japan in digging. So, we asked for a release and inde-
we were already inﬂuenced by. We mapped it mind. It something we already had and being pendent has been our route since then.
all out from then. We knew we was gonna come that they was interested, that’s what we gave
with the slang, the fashion, we knew we were ‘em. That’s kinda how it panned out with the T: Where did the name come from?
gonna intertwine the seventies in it. Obviously, Black Hollywood too. SC: We used to roll dice and we had found a
being from the Bronx, all that stuff we grew up set of dice that had cards on it. Ace of Spades,
on, Bambaataa, Cold Krush, KRS-One, we T: Tell us a bit about the new mixtape? King of Hearts and all that stuff. So what we
knew we was gonna intertwine all that stuff into SC: On Caught On Tape we hit ‘em with a cou- would do instead of rolling for bread at the time,
it. When we did our ﬁrst couple of tunes on the ple songs that they been wanting us to come ‘cause bread was real...we was about 200 lbs.
demo and the response was good, we just kept out with for a minute. We hit cats with some between us at the time. We used to roll for
ﬂowing in that direction. By the time we got to new energy, so cats who is not familiar with us push-ups. Suede had me at the time ‘cause he
Coolie High, we pretty much had mastered it can dig where we’re coming from. We got the was always losing.
and were completely comfortable with where laidback recliner type joints. We got the up en- GS: (Laughs) I wish we could ﬁnd them dice
we was going. So, that’s pretty much how that ergy, drummed-out type joints. We make sure right now.
came about. our music doesn’t sound like anything that’s SC: Yeah, man, that was the Sugar Street
poppin’ at the time. We’re sticking to our roots Dice.
T: Between your debut and now you have as far as that’s concerned. GS: Basically, we was running with Cee-Lo
released quite a bit of material some people at ﬁrst ‘cause we was playing so much dice.
might not know about. Give us a run down. T: And then what we gon’ hear on the album We had kinda got comfortable with it too and
Sonny Cheeba: Well, they missed out on that’s following that? then somebody had told us that there was this
Short Eyes. That was a Japan thing. They SC: We try not to duplicate what we already cat in Atlanta named Cee-Lo. That’s when we
might have missed out on the Black Hollywood walked over. We like to make the new music, changed the Cee to Camp and kept the Lo.
mixtape too. new music. It has to be new, it has to feel fresh
it was previously. tioned, we did Snoop Dogg’s Never Have
Some people were To Worry. Then we did four videos off The
separating internet Roots’ Rising Down album. We did the Be
videos and music A Nigger Too video for Nas, which didn’t
videos, and it kinda make it on his untitled album but it was
blurred the line a a viral piece that got out there. We did a
little bit after we did video for Wale, Artistic Integrity. Another
that. video for Nas, Sly Fox. We did The Truth
which was off the Jake One album fea-
T: The buzz about turing Freeway and Brother Ali. We did
your videos has re- three videos off The Renaissance for Q-
ally grown, speak Tip which was Move, Renaissance Rap,
on when the tide and Man Woman Boogie. Then in ‘09 we
turned. I know you did Arab Money for Busta Rhymes, Part
mentioned the Jay- of Me for Royce the 5’9”, Rotate for CNN,
Z trailer was a ma- and the last video we just shot was In My
jor moment. Sleep for Joe Budden. So, it was a pretty
RC: That was in ‘07. busy year in ‘08.
So it was a series
of small breaks and T: Do you write the treatments for the
working with a lot of videos or do artists bring an idea to
major label artists. the table?
After Blue Magic we RC: A little bit of both. I like to get an idea
did Snoop Dogg, of what they want ﬁrst and then we shape
which was our ﬁrst the treatment together usually. There’s
West Coast artist, been a few times where I kinda nailed a
which was great. treatment for a song but I like to get their
Talking to him, he feedback ﬁrst and just build on that. If they
really saw what we have an idea I don’t necessarily just write
did we Joell Ortiz’ it verbatim but I usually try to incorporate
videos and that’s their idea and add on to it. (We) make
why he wanted to them see something that they hadn’t ini-
use us. What’s kind tially seen in the song visually...to chal-
of interesting to me lenge them, and put them in the situation
is that you would where they’re challenging themselves on
think these major set. It’s not just performing in front of a
label guys and the white wall, we’re giving them things where
legends are used they have to emote and show some acting
to a certain way of skills sometimes.
Thick: Introduce yourself and tell the shooting videos, like how it was ten years
people where you ﬁt into the music ago. But really they’re kinda doing a lot T: Were you behind the idea for Royce’s
world. of research and seeing what’s out there. recent Part of Me video?
Rik Cordero: My name is Rik Cordero So guys like Snoop and Jay-Z, Nas, Bus- RC: Yeah. I mean the song speaks for
and I’m an independent music video di- ta Rhymes, they pay attention to the stuff itself obviously. Royce just wanted a
rector specializing in Hip-Hop music vid- that we do for some of the underground Twlight Zone theme to it. So, we decided
eos. I think myself and my team, Three/21 cats and they want that look or that spon- to shoot it in black and white, and I stud-
Films, we specialize in creating a varied taneity of just going out there and doing a ied a couple episodes to get a feel of the
landscape of music video for the Hip-Hop video without having to worry about huge cinematography. That’s sorta what we ap-
genre using non-traditional techniques amounts of money to visualize one of their plied to the video, giving it a very still and
and focusing on the songs that you songs. The money is not really there and static frame and making sure that our ac-
wouldn’t usually hear or see a visual to music industry is deﬁnitely going through tors were able to say the lines to the song
on a mainstream level. That’s kinda what some changes. We’re adapting to it and and at the same time act. Also because
I do. it makes sense for everybody involved to the song has some kind of shock value to
give some options to these artists to do it, it was important to not go too over the
T: What was the ﬁrst artist that paid songs that they want to do. What the la- top with it. We didn’t want to make it a re-
you to do a video? bels will do is release a street single and ally crazy exploitative video showing full-
RC: The ﬁrst artist that really got some at- video, and then the main single and com- blown nudity or anything like that. It was
tention in the current underground is Joell mercial video. I think there’s deﬁnitely a important to keep it very subtle, to keep
Ortiz. We did a video for Brooklyn Bullshit lot more in the catalogue of these artists, the artistry in it. Once you cross a certain
off his The Brick: Bodega Chronicles al- not just a street single and mainstream line the viewer’s will feel like what they
bum. That got a lot of attention. Back then single to shoot videos for. We focus on the had in their imagination was more power-
everybody was anticipating his album. So, stuff that’s right in between. Whether it’s ful than what you actually executed. So,
we ended up releasing a video for that, a storytelling single or something a little I wanted to leave it up to the viewer’s to
which got a great response. That lead to more personal that isn’t necessarily com- feel more horriﬁed than what we actually
me doing a video for Consequence from mercial. Those are the videos that we do. showed. The response has been pretty
G.O.O.D. Music. We did a video called The turn around time and being honest to great. Some people just won’t watch
Uncle Rahiem and once again, that got a what these artists want is why they keep it again. I think it was effective. It really
great response. Then we were shooting coming back. comes from Royce being an incredible
a lot of stuff for Def Jam and that lead to lyricist, his words are so visual already. It
the Blue Magic trailer for Jay-Z’s Ameri- T: List off a bunch videos you’ve done. was very easy to shoot that one.
can Gangster album. That made the in- RC: In ‘08 we did a lot of videos. As I men-
ternet video a little more accepted than
Thick: Take us back to when you an Agerman were a group even
before 3X Krazy.
Keak Da Sneak: Me and Agerman hooked up in like ‘93 and we
formed a group called Dual Committee. We was doing a lot of shows,
a lot of local talent shows in the Bay Area. We hooked up with AWOL
Records, we signed a ﬁve years contract with ‘em with a two year
option. That didn’t work out, so we put Bart in the group and changed
our name to 3X Krazy. By ‘94 or ‘95 we had a deal with Virgin Re-
cords. We dropped an EP called Sick-O and we dropped the major
album called Stackin’ Chips in ‘97. It’s been on ever since. By ‘97
things wasn’t going right with the group, so everybody chose to do
solo albums. That’s where we at now. I’ve been building Keak since
T: I was remembering hearing the group split because someone
went to jail. Is that the reason?
KDS: It was a few things, it got real political.
T: What’s the likelihood of a 3X Krazy reunion album?
KDS: I don’t see it happening right now. ‘Cuz Agerman changed his
life, he don’t curse no more or nothin’, and BA got into to trouble to
where he’s out the scene. It’s just me right now.
T: Yeah, I was gonna ask about Agerman, isn’t he doing Chris-
tian rap now or something?
KDS: He did a couple gospel albums. I talk to him, he’s still rappin’.
Me and him are supposed to do an album this year. But I don’t think
there’s gonna be another 3 X Krazy album. Don’t get me wrong, I
would love to do it. That’s one of my drives, that’s one of the reasons
I’ve been still doing it for so long.
T: Seems like Bart is always into something. Is he gonna be
away for a second?
T: Since then you’ve done a bunch of solos and a couple colla-
bos. Talk about doing albums with other rappers.
KDS: I hooked up with E-Hustl, that James Rossman is a real good
dude. It’s rare to ﬁnd a good dude in this business. I’ve been looking
for one for ten years. And me and Quinn, we long over due. We bin
talking about doing an album for a while. I fool with Quinn, the young
baby boy. Right now I just want to stay active, stay working. For me
it’s just all about working, man. Keeping something new out, keep-
ing something hot out. And not just only Keak albums. I’m doing col-
laborations with people who’s doing good music. Me and Quinn just
dropped an album called Welcome to Scokland, and I did the album
with Baby S and QZ called Word Pimpin’. It’s really actually their al- T: What’s the big slang in the Bay right now?
bum featuring me, it’s really like a Keak Presents thing. KDS: Right now it’s Go music. It’s Hyphy but it’s Go music, it’s green
light. It’s still sticky. That’s some shit we saying right now, this shit is
T: Speak on the rise and fall of Hyphy and if you think that was sticky. It’s still dumb-ass hyphy. It’s just stewie-ooee right now. It’s real
just the media portrayal? stewie. RIP Mac Dre. That was a major loss. That put a lot of weight on
KDS: Hyphy is a ritual, it’s a way of life. It’s what we do, it’s how we my shoulders. At the same we got a lot of new upcoming dudes, from J.
have fun. So, it will never die. As far as media putting it out there Stalin, Beeda Weeda, my camp, the Allnthedoe Camp, Bruce Banner,
like a movement, it’s really how we get down. It’s history on repeat. Philthy Rich...we got a lot of new dudes coming.
It goes back to the Black Panthers, we trend-setters in the Bay. A lot
of our slang, a lot of things we do is out there, everybody uses it in T: What are you working on right now?
their music. From poppin’ collars to stuntin’ to giggin’ to goin’ stupid, KDS: Another album called Keak Hendrix. I got a shoe coming out
everybody uses a lil’ bit of that. And they put it out and tried to give it this year, Keak Sneakers. We working on a couple movies. I got The
another name but it’s still what it is. We trend-setters from facheezy 3X Story, a documentary on 3X Krazy on what happened, how it hap-
to yadaddamean. It’s just what we do, it’s how we have fun. I don’t pened. I think me and Quinn are gonna do another Scokland album.
think that could die, it’s still active right now. I’m still doin’ shows in PSD, me and Messy Marv are going to do another Bidness album this
other places where they’re still giggin’ and wearin’ stunner shades, year. I do an album called the Farm Boyz every other year, I’ma do
they going dumb. I made up the word hyphy. I been saying it since another Farm Boyz album this year. The Allindadoe Family album is
‘96. So why just now they saying “Hyphy movement” and all that? It’s coming. I got a lot of different projects I’m working on. It’s non-stop.
like, yall late. We been hyphy.
Squeak E. Clean
Thick: Give us a N.A.S.A. brieﬁng. alive and it didn’t happen and then he passed away while we were
Squeak E. Clean: N.A.S.A. is myself and DJ Zegon from San Paolo, making the record. It would have been amazing to work with him but
Brazil. We actually met at a party at a studio in L.A. A good friend unfortunately it didn’t happen.
DVNO from France, from Ed Banger label was ﬁnishing up his re-
cord and he had a party. So that’s where we met. We started talking T: So how long had you been working on this album?
about music and Brazilian music, and just hit it off and the next day SEC: Five years. We started doing it in April 2003.
we were in the studio making our ﬁrst tracks together.
T: Who does what in the studio? What was the process?
T: With so many artists and a partner in Brazil, did the album SEC: Ze would bring records from Brazil every couple of months
happen with a lot of ﬁle swapping? Or did you actually have all when he’d come. And we’d have these things called “beat seasons”,
these people in studios? where we’d sample the records, chop ‘em up, start programming
SEC: Pretty much we were in the room with the people when they drums, lay ‘em into ProTools, do a lil’ bit of arrangement. We’d do
recorded, with a couple exceptions. And as much as possible we that with as many tracks as we could in the few weeks he was in
also got the different artists that were collaborating on the songs town. I would ﬁnish the tracks, add live instrumentation, do a lot of
together, in the room together. arrangement, etc. Then we would decide together who we wanted
on the songs and then when we actually recorded, we would always
T: Were Kool Keith and Tom Waits in a room together? try to be with the people that were recording just to kinda keep a
SEC: We did Keith in New York ﬁrst and then we did Tom later in this certain cohesion to the record. So, it didn’t feel disjointed.
crazy log cabin studio in Northern California near where he lives.
That was an example of people that I didn’t want in the same room T: The song with Tre and Fat Lip seems like halfway to a Phar-
together. I just thought the two of them live in their own worlds so cyde reunion. Did you consider having them all on there?
much, that they might not really relate to each other in the studio. SEC: We stepped to the other guys but they weren’t into it. But that’s
And I might be wrong, but that is one that I purposely thought, okay, cool. Those dudes are both my homeboys, Fat Lip and Tre. We did
let’s record these guys separate because they’re one-of-a-kind a few songs actually because we were thinking about doing a whole
dudes that might not get each other. record with the two of them...but it just didn’t end up materializing.
T: Any cool session stories? T: On top of all the musical collaborators, you also worked with
SEC: One really cool session was with Charli 2na and Gift of Gab. some superstar visual artists for your videos, speak on that.
Basically the song is with those two guys and David Byrne, and we SEC: We’ve been collaborating with all our favourite artists too in
did the parts with David Byrne ﬁrst. He was talking about Adam and terms of doing music videos and animated bits with them. That’s
Eve, and what it means to be a man... Me and him came up with been really cool. Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Marcel Dzama,
the idea that the song was actually about evolution, and then we Sage Vaughn, all these crazy people. We also shot the whole mak-
came up with the idea that we should make the song a conversa- ing of the record, so we’re making a ﬁlm now that combines a lot
tion between God and man, let’s get two different rappers. Charli of the animation and the documentary footage in one long feature
2na’s voice is very deep and booming, so we decided to get him to length ﬁlm.
be God, and then we decided to get Gift of Gab to be man. When
those two guys were in the studio together they were totally vibing DJ Zegon
off each other and writing together. There’s one verse where man is Thick: What were some of the acts on the album that you really
asking God all these questions about the meaning of life and why wanted to see on there?
we’re here and God always responds with another question back to DJ Zegon: We had a dream list together. Me and Sam had pretty
man. Every time they would come up with a new question that would much the same kinda taste musically. George Clinton is for sure like
totally stump each other, like, fuck, you’re asking me, why does hate a dream having him on the record. I’ve always been a big Wu-Tang
exist? That shit is no joke! That was really interesting and fun just fan, so Method Man, RZA and ODB on there was crazy. I’m not a
‘cause they were really getting into it and challenging each other. It super emotional person, but I got happy every time we got someone
felt like more than writing a regular rap song. on a track, we’d celebrate. I felt like it really happening after Chuck D
recorded. Public Enemy for me is one of my biggest inﬂuences ever.
T: We heard that ODB verse was the last one he recorded. So having Chuck D there was crazy.
SEC: Before he passed away we went out to New York and linked
up with his manager. It was actually one of the ﬁrst song we did on T: Did you want to get any artist that just didn’t happen?
the record. We were lucky enough for him to bless us with one of his DJZ: Yeah, it almost happened with Rakim. He showed up at the
last living verses. studio, he listened to the record, he was vibin’. He was a cool guy,
so I don’t know. It didn’t happen this time. Also one of my favourite
T: How did you decide the line-ups on the tracks? tracks is with Posdnous from De La Soul, it’s unﬁnished. I know this
SEC: We would just vibe out. We would ﬁrst do the track and then track is going to be huge when it’s ﬁnished. It’s not on the record. He
be like, this feels like Method Man. Then once we had one person, made two sixteen bar verses.
we would try to come with somebody else that was completely unex-
pected from that person. We had this big board of people that were T: Can you list some of the Brazilian records used for, or in-
like our dream list of people for every song, and slowly, one by one spired, the N.A.S.A. record?
they ended up being on the tracks. That was really crazy. When we DJZ: Cry Baby, Os Brasoes, Miguel de Deus, Assim Assado, Toni
would write to people, we never expected they were actually gonna Tornado, Tom Jobim, Toni & Frank, Mao Branca, Zimbo Trio, nove-
do it and then they did. las soundtracks, and beats from the north of Brazil called Forro
T: Who was #1 on your list that you got and was there anybody
you didn’t get that you really wanted? T: Is there any Brazilian artist on the record?
SEC: I can’t really say who was the #1 person that we got. Every- DJZ: Seu Jorge is on the record but he’s a close friend. We played
one was really great. It deﬁnitely was amazing working with George together for many years and I did this track for him too. He’s just
Clinton because he’s such a hero of mine, working with David Byrne, singing backing vocals on Money, and we have an unﬁnished track
working with RZA, he’s a big hero of mine, Tom Waits was really where he ﬂipped a verse and a chorus. We have a bunch of songs,
great because he is just so cool. In terms of people we didn’t get, so we have to choose what we’re gonna ﬁnish. There’s also a bunch
the person I really wanted because he’s my favourite musician of all of (Brazilian) percussionists on the record. The Brazilian side of the
time, James Brown. We tried to reach out to him while he was still record is really me and all the sample resources.
644 Seymour Street
The Fall started as an artists gallery and tattoo parlour in Halifax around Mishap is a self-taught practitioner of all things musical, including the
1998. But after a ﬁre gutted the old location in 2003 and they didn’t have business side. As callous as most try to appear in the Hip-Hop scene,
insurance, owner Paul Tynes decided it was time for a fresh start. That ethics are extremely important in the underground and bad word of mouth
fresh start was with new partner Josh Melvin and it brought them to the can quickly sink you. After molding the Erthtonez into an extremely potent
other side of the country, Vancouver, BC. Situated in the heart of down- clan of their own, Mishap is ready to show he can be an all-in-one en-
town Vancouver, the new The Fall opened in October 2007. This shop is tertainer. He arranged, engineered, and recorded his debut solo album,
serious about body art, they employs seven tattoo artist and three pierc- Mishap Muzik Vol. 1, chiselling the sound down to perfection in the stu-
ers, and the location houses a hospital-quality sterilization room. All tattoo dio. And the grind is paying off, you can get his album on iTunes and he
artists are encouraged to contribute to the monthly art shows to exercise is about to share a bill with Kardinal Ofﬁshall. One of the most enigmatic
their skills in other medi- local performers this city has seen, I understand where his inﬂuences like
ums. After only two years Method Man have had the most impact. Mishap Muzik Vol. 1 showcases
in operation, The Fall has thirteen tracks of a Vancouver emcee/producer carving out his place in
become a coveted spot the game. He also rips up production from DJ Extremidiz, Ominous, and
for up and coming artists DJ Crown from France, while there’s lyrical contributions from Gee Wun-
to do solo shows and the der, and of course part-
space in booked well into ner Xxxplicit. Not slowing
2010 already! They even down while the music is
have annual events like ﬂowing, Mishap also has
their charity show for the a collabo EP in the works
Pivot Legal Society, and with up and coming pro-
a custom toy show every ducer Phonik Ops. Look
Christmas. Well, it might for that 10 track banger
have taken a huge ﬁre in the Spring. Check out
and a cross-country move Mishap at: myspace.
but The Fall tattoo studio com/mishapmuzik
and “active” artist gallery
is now a Vancouver des-
tination for those looking
to get ink and those look-
ing for ﬁne art with some
edge. For more informa-
tion and portfolios check
out their website at:
Metrotown Center, Lower Level
Cleverly named after not only one of the most recognizable cities in the “Lifestyle marketing” is the buzz catch phrase of our ﬂailing economy; as
superhero world but also the location in Metrotown, Metropolis Comics & our lifestyles are forced to change we look for companies and products
Toys is a new school comic and toy shop...and I mean brand new, we vis- that reﬂect our inner selves better than the desperate and over priced
ited during their ﬁrst week open and the place was buzzin’ with customer major brands that have been exploiting the market for years. As R13
activity. I even got caught up in the frenzy and picked up a few pieces of Clothing founder Wess Lambright says, “Our clothing is like your second
the very popular Gundam line. skin.” Started as many clothing labels do, with a desire for edgy designs
Gundam is a glueless, build-it- not available in the current market, R13 is perfect for the new breed
yourself model series by Bandai of high octane youth that follow the “work hard, play harder” mentality.
that retails for anywhere be- Most of them also follow MMA religiously, so the octagon-inﬂuenced
tween $20 - $450 and Metropolis design and ﬁt of the shirts is killing it for MMA fans that also have a life
carries all the accessories and outside the ring. Look for R13 as a sponsor in the upcoming Battle of
paints to get them looking right. the Cage in Nanaimo. Their Reaper silouhette logo will show up as Gary
The most obvious feature of the “Evil Ginger” Wright enters the ring. Evil Ginger is the undefeated Cana-
store is comics, and while the dian Welterweight Champion. His Shotokan Karate style won the KOTC
mere presence of a comic shop Canadian Welterweight title back in April 2007. Outside the ring, look for
in a mall is pretty unprecedent- the clothing line to expand beyond t-shirts to hoodies and shorts next.
ed, it’s a deﬁnite reﬂection of The strategic marketing angle for R13 is to do more sponsorships and
the industry’s commercial resur- have the Reaper appear in music videos and at more lifestyle associat-
gence. Metropolis is considered ed events like Motor X. Recently, R13 has landed support from Organic
the destination spot for Trans- EnergyMax, a natu-
formers by serious collectors. ral product that will
You can get the classic style toy hopefully give R13
line, the popular Animated toy sponsored ﬁghters
line, Japanese imports, Trans- an edge. Retailers
formers Mighty Muggs, or even interested in carry-
loose, prebuilt Transformers. ing R13 can contact
They also carry ﬁgures in vary- Wess Lambright for
ing sizes from properties like orders at: sales@
Star Wars, Marvel, DC, GI Joe, R13clothing.com
Halo, and Gears of War, made
by companies like Hasbro, DC
Direct and NECA. I went into
Metropolis a superﬁcial fan and
left with a better understanding
of the collector’s mentality.
Metrotown Center, Lower Level next to Toys R Us
The Plague - LT Moe presents The Plague EP
What do Ludacris, Murs, Chingy, and Tha Dogg Pound all have in com-
mon? They’ve all got songs produced by LT Moe. You might not have
heard his name before but you’ve heard his beats. From radio hits to
hood anthems to boom-bap neck-snappers, his versatility is amazing.
When he’s not in the studio with your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper,
he’s working on music with his group The Plague. The group consists of
rappers Donny Arcade, Okelis and Buddy Boie. I’ve had their self-titled
debut EP on heavy rotation since it dropped a few weeks ago. The Intro
really starts shit off proper. Three emcees spitting that high voltage shit.
No chorus just hard bars. Voice Of The Plague has this horror feel to it
that really sets the vibe of the EP. Afﬁliate group members Phoenix Jones
an Ahdae both spit ill verses on the Plague Allegiance. Atlantis is more
of that doomsday music. The Outro ends shit with a exclamation mark!
Just like Okelis says, “Iron Sheik suplex niggas to sleep.” LT Moe’s top
notch production and the trio of dope lyricists make this EP a rare gem in
today’s dumbed down Hip-Hop market.
Classiﬁed - Self Explanatory
Sony BMG Records
Real talk in Canadian Hip-Hop is hard to ﬁnd. Which is strange consider-
ing our country is praised for its modesty and positivity. Classiﬁed is a
breath of fresh air for a couple of reasons, he wears his experience on
his sleeve and lets his ear for producing great beats inform his rap style
and cadence. Most of all though, he doesn’t front like he is something
he is not. Class has two distinct ﬂows, on some tracks he is aggressive
and on others he rocks as his smoked out alter-ego. The title track is the
opening cut and he breaks down his life and perspective. Class is so sure
K’naan - Troubadour of his diversity on this album, he includes Choose Your Own Adventure
Universal Records interludes that give you a choice of what kind of song you want to skip to.
I feel Class is at his best on feel good joints like Up All Night and Things
Somali street soldier K’Naan may call Canada home now but remem- Are Looking Up. Quit While You’re Ahead with Choclair, Maestro and
bers his nightmarish upbringing vividly and on Troubadour the super Moka Only is what little braggadocio us Canadians can muster...well, at
emcee transports you back to the dirt roads where ducking gunﬁre is least the most since Northern Touch. Your boy Class is fortunate enough
the daily. Story has it he and his mother were on the last ﬂight outta to be on Sony, thus making it easier to get ill Phil Collins samples cleared
dodge before shit hit the fan. What’s even more astonishing is the fact like the one he uses on Anybody Listening. Oh…Canada is a fun almost
that he learned the English language through studying his favorite rap- South Park look at the quirks of being a Canadian emcee in an American
pers’ cassettes and CDs. With quick quips and razor sharp rhetoric dominated industry. Class has stayed on his grind and this major label
K’Naan is one to keep an ear on. Troubadour plays out like a theatrical release is the next level for his career, here’s to his continued success.
production with incredibly deft instrumentation and penetrating lyrics
that you’ll swear ﬂoat word for word in front of your eyes. One of the
most touching songs is Wavin’ Flag. K’Naan sings an eloquent ode to
his homeland and parallels Bob Marley carrying the weight of Jamaica
on his back, and likewise Wyclef working for the betterment of Hai-
tians worldwide. From eye-opening lines to political pontiﬁcation, this is
one emcee that speaks from the soul sans posturing. The production
throughout is upper deck and Troubadour is more world music than
Hip-Hop with ﬂavours for every musical palate. Guests run the gamut
from old school kingpin Chubb Rock on ABCs, to pop power player
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 on Bang Bang, to rock god Kirk Hammett on
If Rap Gets Jealous, through to two of Hip-Hop’s best, Chali 2na and
Mos Def on America. Rarely do you ﬁnd an entire body of work you can
listen to end to end but K’Naan will not lose your attention.