STAFF EDITORS Efehi Ogbebor Kaymar Haye Amanda Mester Latoya Tyson
ART DIRECTOR Efehi Ogbebor WRITERS Amanda Mester Arthur “AC” Copeland Christina Ledesma David Padilla Kia Riley Jason Thomas PHOTOGRAPHY Kaymar Haye Elizabeth Guerro ADVERTISERS’ INFO Arte of Makeup (pg. 13-14) Arteofmakeup.com Dolshe Boutique (pg. 39-40) Dolshe.com Figure Eight Events (pg 41) Figureeightevents.com For inquires on writing, modeling, ordering, advertising..etc contact us at:
RAWMAG@RAWWATER.NET LOS ANGELES RAWWATER 849 South Oxford Avenue, Suite 402 Los Angeles, CA 90005
Remember the summer of ’96? I was about to start 9th grade and I remember going to orientation, registration, or whatever it was and seeing juniors and seniors, fully developed (well as far as I knew), finer than wine. Holy shit this was going to be fun. Biggie and ‘Pac were still alive, Aaliyah (my future wife at the time) premiered her new sound (Timberland) and new video “If Your Girl Only Knew” (tear). I was still bumping Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check & The Score (Fugees) was in HEAVY rotation. I copped this dope ass cassette by this dude that NO ONE ELSE WAS ON, a new cat by the name of Jay-Z, the album: Reasonable Doubt. Wow… I’m not sure I fully understood what I was listening to, but something about it made me flip the tape, rewind and push play again. The following week, I rode my bike to pick up It Was Written (Nas), a hard choice when seeing the also newly released Stakes is High (De La Soul) sitting right next to it, sorry De La, I could only afford one. A few weeks later, back again to pick up that ATLiens (Outkast) joint. All albums were purchased from Target of 1
course because Warehouse Music didn’t want to sell a parental advisory album to a “minor”; you wonder why they went out of business? Fuck the summer, the whole year for Hip Hop was BANANAS! Just look at the albums I already mentioned and add Ironman (Ghost face Killah), Hell on Earth (Mobb Deep), Muddy Waters (Redman), Psychoanalysis: What Is It? (Prince Paul), All Eyes on Me & The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (‘Pac), Bow Down (Westside Connection), Hardcore (Lil Kim, written by Biggie, of course), Wrath of the Math (Jeru the Damaja), Nocturnal (Heltah Skeltah), and At the Speed of Life (Xzibit) just to name a few. No year before or after really compares to 1996. These albums take me back to a time when I had everything figured out, and my biggest concerns were if I should give that girl this note in my hand and hoping my mom will get me the Nike Air Penny’s (to no prevail btw). So while you kick back and read this issue, put on your favorite album from ’96, and reminisce… enjoy.
L Á RAW SUMMER QUARTERLY
MEN’S FALL FASHION
DORK:THE BOWTIE GUY
WHO’S ALL GOING? PART 1
HANDS OF THE YOUTH
HONOR FLOW PRODUCTIONS
WHO’S ALL GOING? PART 2
BLACK PARTY POLITICS
Mr. Dibia$e His name strikes fear into competitors in the LA beat battle scene and beyond. He’s worked with artists such as U-N-I, Black Milk, Exile, Devonwho, and his own crew, Green Llama. Though legendary in the underground, Dibia$e recently defended his crown in the Red Bull Music Academy Soundclash Los Angeles semi-finals, moving into the finals where he faces other top beat makers in a national competition. Despite a sore throat, he was still gracious enough to speak with me at Smash Cartel’s venerable Beat Cinema biweekly. I found that despite his reputation as a champion, he’s as humble and real as any hungry cat just trying to make his mark on the game. During the interview, MC/producer and recent Stones Throw signee jonwayne abandoned the 404 he was diligently working with to add his own insight into the man known as Mr. Dibia$e. Me: How long have you been winning battles? D: Man, I started getting into beat battles around ‘05, well actually, 2001 but I was losing then in those battles but ‘05 they had these beat battles at Rehab and you had to make the beats on the spot, they gave you like an hour or so. Me: So they shoot you the track? D: Yeah everybody had the same sample, they had to get the drums from the drum break 5
and while everybody’s performing on the other side of the club, the producers in the back were working on their beats and after the performance was over they do the beat battle. I ended up winning like 3 or 4 of those and then they stopped throwing them. Me: Laughs D: But they had other cats winning them too. Then I started getting into the Hotel Room battles. Me: I think that’s when I first talked to you; it was you and GRocka. You had that Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis battle. I remember that shit was dope that was one of the things that made me want to play my shit for other people really. What do you think it is about your style that consistently wins? D: I think the element of surprise, kind of. I try to treat it like a dunk contest and just try to do the craziest dunk, pretty much. I used to do it when I was losing battles; I was coming with the standard shit. And the judges were telling me like, “yo man, your beat was hot, we would go with that shit in the studio without a doubt but, the other cat that won he had technical shit.” Actually the person that won, that was Mike Gao who’s rocking tomorrow and shit (at Low End Theory for Dibiase’s record release). Another person I lost to was Nosaj Thing before I knew who he was and shit. I
had some shit, but it was kind of standard, and they had their shit structured and building up and shit. They put some time in that shit. After that I felt like, I’m going to keep my bump to it, but I’ma just build it up and have all that technical shit. Me: So about your gear, I’ve been following you for a while, I remember when that shit happened with your MPC back at Project Blowed (it was stolen after a beat battle), then it seemed like after that you switched to the 404... D: I had a 303 and an MP for a minute already. (Flying) Lotus showed me how to use the 303. I started using that, then I had just the 303 by itself when the MP got stolen; it made me learn that shit and get comfortable with it. Then the homie had an extra MPC and he laced me up with it, ‘cuz I used to lace him up with beats all the time. Me: So he just gave it to you? D: Yeah he had an extra one, he was like, “dude, you shot me so many beats, here man.” That’s some crazy shit right there. Me: Damn my friends won’t even buy me drinks, I usually have to pay for these motherfuckers to get into the spot half the time. D: (laughs) Man, I guess he just believed in my like that. He had an extra one. But the cold thing was I was about to buy that 2000XL from the other homie, and I still had to buy that shit even though the other one was
stolen. ME: That shit was foul, I remember that. So OK, you just dropped Machines Hate Me on Alpha Pup Records, Daddy Kev’s (founder of Low End Theory) label. What’s your statement with that project? Where is like, the 2010 Dibia$e? D: I’m still on progressive shit, but I’m still on my standard soul shit as well. It’s just more finetuned, I think. A little more precise, detailed, structured and shit, but still the same elements. I still come from hardware, the 3000, the 404; I go through different moods and shit. Each machine takes a different character pretty much. Sometimes it’s just Reason, but sometimes I combine them, every piece of gear and every piece of software and it comes together on some Voltron shit. Me: Laughs your machines form like Voltron and you’re the head right?
D:Yeah man, Machines Hate Me, the album was supposed to be called “Low Tech Mastery” originally, like just utilizing all kinds of low budget equipment and just maxing it out. That’s what I started with, like an 8 second sampler, a walkman and a tape deck, making beats off of that for a few years, just maxing it out and shit. So it’s still bringing that element with today’s new age shit. We got all this technology and shit where it’s like, easier to find out shit instead of like, trial and error and shit, but I appreciate both of them. Me: So this is my last question, I know your voice is hurting you and shit. So, everyone knows coming into a battle with you is going to be difficult, who are the few cats that you’re like, “oh ok fuck I’m going up against this cat...”? D: (laughs) It’s a lot of cats man. The funny thing is, I’m nervous before every battle.
(At this point, jonwayne cuts in.) J: (to me) Why are you talking to this dude? This dude’s wack. (to Dibia$e) Seriously, you’re wack on the beats. Me: Ok we got jonwayne right here, you and Dibia$e are part of the 4 Horsemen right? J: oh the Dark Horsemen, yeah. Me: Excuse me, Dark Horsemen, right. Ok so who all are in the Dark Horsemen? Just you two? J: Yeah just us two, we’re just a little rap group, making rap music. Me: And when is that shit coming out? Here and there, trickling out? D: I don’t know, I’m just a knob fiddler, dubstep fiddler, what’s that called? J: Dubstep twiddlers (laughs) D: Yeah, dubstep twiddlin! J: Yeah as far as when the shit’s going to come out, I gotta go in the time machine and talk to my
future self, cuz I don’t know. Me: Well, you can’t know what you don’t know, you can only know what you’ve done. J: (looking at my phone) So what is this? Me: It’s some silly ass dictaphone app I had to download to do this. J: So we’re being wiretapped? Me: Yeah but I’m not going to post this, I)’m going to transcribe it. J: This fuckin’ fool, drinking red bulls and getting interviewed everywhere he goes. D: Aw man... J: This dude is wack. (Everyone’s laughing.) Me: I was just asking him right now, ‘cuz everyone’s afraid of Dibia$e in the beat battle, who are the cats that (he’s afraid of)... He said the respectful thing, saying “I’m nervous before every beat battle”, but I know he’s like, “I’m not scared of this motherfucker.” D: I be nervous! Ask this fool, I be nervous before every battle. When I get up there, then I be
cool, but I got a paper with my strategy and shit, I’ll be like, “I’mma play this shit” it’s on some mind game shit, pretty much. But um, a lot of the homies in the camp is pretty much, heads that if I gotta see ‘em, it’s like, “aww fuck.” Me: Everyone from that whole circle is dope, but like, even a while back, TOKiMONSTA put up a beat (on Twitter) and was like,“I put this in a battle against Dibia$e, and I lost of course” but it was like, everyone loves TOKiMONSTA and even she’s like, “of course I lost”. D: Aw man... J: He wins all the beat battles, but he gets super nervous... D: I don’t win every battle. I’ve lost a grip of battles actually. Even during the hotel room battles, I lost battles. Some of them might have been suspect, some of them might not have been, but I just try not to get embarrassed. Anybody could lose on any given day, man. Me: That’s it right there, anybody could lose.
J: What people don’t know is that this fool listens to like Billy Ocean and Barry Manilow before he goes on. Helps him calm down. Me: Is that for real? J: (pauses) Nah. Me: (Laughing hard) D: Ay but this dude listens to Lionel Richie though. Me: I believe that though D: Kenny Loggins, he already got the Kenny Rogers cut. J: But yo, Kenny Loggins got that heat! Kenny Loggins got that heat, dude. Me: Alright this is going to turn into a Dibia$e-jonwayne combo right here. D: That’s the set up man, we be clownin’ like on some Comedy Central. Machines Hate Me is in-stores and online now. Mr. Dibia$e and Green Llamas’ Llamaville is a free download available from their site at www.myspace.com/greenllamacrew
#-0$,1"35: Every once in a while a college puts on a bad ass free show. This one was at the University of California at Riverside on September, 24th featuring The Cool Kids, J. Cole & Estelle
Shoot out to the UCR ASPB Staff
Ms. Smith...if you Nasty In a time when the community of true artists is becoming slimmer, and fewer people are taking the time to learn and perfect their craft, LA’ Raw has chosen to highlight an individual who is doing the opposite. Someone who doesn’t just claim an attractive title such as actor or music producer, but is actively honing in on a craft. Kimberly Smith is a third year Dance and Theater Arts major at Cal State LA. Her journey began as a kid when she was active in martial arts, basketball, drill team, and cheer. As she entered into college as a Psych major, she soon answered her true calling as a dancer. Kim has done numerous productions and is always looking for more to do. In her own words “I am always continuing to expand my training.”. She can never have too much on her plate. As a dance and the
ater major, Kim is learning every phase of how to put on a production. Whether it's back stage or center stage, she knows and understands every aspect of putting on a performance. Kim is very versatile in her skill, not only knowing the conventional tap and jazz, but also branching out to cultural and ethnic forms of dance. One of her current projects is a production called “Heal the LA River”. This performance is based upon the element of water. Every aspect, from the fluid movements, to the resonance of the music, is intended to embrace the movement and sound of water. It's not simply something that you watch and hear, but rather it is an entity that you should feel. The purpose of this performance is to raise money and awareness of the devastation that has happened to our city’s
source of water. At 51 miles long, the LA River was once Los Angeles’ primary recourse for water. However, now it has been polluted and compromised beyond recognition. Her efforts to make a difference is and honorable and worthwhile cause. We all tip our hats to Kim for learning an art that not always receives the most praise but it is so important to our society of arts. She hopes of touring the world with dance, and someday owning a studio of her own. There she can pass on her knowledge to others and continue putting on beautiful performances. So we encourage Kim in her knowledge and training and commend her for her community efforts. There can never be enough individuals who care to make a difference. -AC
WHOâ€™S ALL GOING???
This is an interactive fiction blog that combines gritty and entertaining writing with pictures and innovative music to bring the reader an experience like never before. Rosalyn Michaels is twenty-three and her life is going nowhere fast. With the help of her friends she decides to get it together. Their trials and tribulations, sexcapades, and personal battles provide for a drama-filled ride you donâ€™t want to miss! Written by Kia Riley, edited by Arianna Fajardo, photography by the talented Maria Arganda, and music supervision by Kia Riley and Arianna Fajardo. www.latentscholarmedia.com
Episode 1 “So, what did Mike’s letter say? Who knows, but I know Logan won’t tell me,” she said. If he meant what he said in the letter, then he needs to act like it. Whatever that means. Did Seth lose his virginity? I haven’t had a chance to talk to Rachel about it, or Seth for that matter, so here we are. My writing class has completely captured my attention. Last week, our assignment was to write a short story that was a depiction of our real lives with a hint of fiction. I decided to write about a party that was out of control. Feelings were revealed and virginities were lost. My work was impressive to me and my professor gave it an A with a comment saying “that’s some kind of embellished life you lead.” I’m on a whole other tip now, embracing life, inviting opportunity and excitement. No longer will I wait for things to happen to me. I’m going out and grabbing them. Dating is on the end of my list and in the back of my mind, so I feel sorry for the few guys who will hit on me. Work has yielded a few of those, but it’s almost as though work is simply my means to an end. I go, clock in, and walk around for a couple of hours and leave. It used to be such that I socialized and involved myself in the on goings, but now, I couldn’t care less because I realize and understand that there is a life outside of there that has yet to be discovered and I am brave enough to experience it.
Rachel: ‘Three shots of Jack and a few cans of Bud.’ Me: ‘Well the next time we hang out is going to be awkward.’ Rachel: ‘Yeah.’ I hadn’t really had a chance to talk to Seth since our fight at the party, but I wanted to make up with him. He was my good friend and I missed him. Besides, I did want to get his take on how the night ended. What else could I do but send him a text saying “wish it would have been me.” It tickled his fancy because he texted me back. “Me too.” I called and apologized; he apologized and explained how he didn’t sleep with my friend, and how he realized how much he had changed since the weight loss. He also told me how much I would enjoy going down to his internship to see him and the people he worked with in action. Some day, but not today. I’m inspired to write.
Mike has been moping around work all week begging me to tell him if Logan had mentioned the letter to me. Of course, I asked him to tell me what the letter said, but he would only respond with “everything.” Whatever that means. I told him what she had told me on Friday. He called out on Saturday and now I’m worried. I guess if it said how much he liked/loved her Logan’s response was a sensible and reasonable one. I It took a whole week or so to get Rachel alone to mean really, if Mike wanted to be with Logan, ask the inevitable: Me: ‘Look Rach did you and maybe he should stop sleeping with everything with a vagina, just saying. However, in his deSeth do it, cuz you know he’s a v-dog?’ fense, it wasn’t like she was available and offerRachel: ‘What? No we didn’t. I think we just made ing him a place to keep his heart. I don’t know, matters of the heart are so difficult and I don’t out, took our clothes off, and passed out.’ understand most of them. Me: ‘How do you know?’ List of things to do: visit Seth at work, hang with Rachel: ‘Because the next morning when I woke Logan, study for my midterm with Rachel, and up my undies were still on, my flower didn’t feel figure out what I’m going to do with my life, still. touched, and he didn’t show any signs of blast Thank you Jesus for motivation and art, amen. off.’ Me: ‘Ah-ha. And how exactly did this happen?’
Shinichi Ishikawa 15
L.A. KING If you think pouring champagne over your pregnant wife’s belly is deplorable and offensive, you might as well turn the page. Killer Reese One, who makes up fifty percent of King Fantastic, did just that in their video for a remix of Bassnectar. Of course I banged that shit out because ain’t nothing better than dubstep and champagne. Reese and Troublemaker met at the Roxy when performing with Bleu Collar and 87 Stick Up Kids, respectively. Since then, they’ve released their debut project entitled “Finger Snaps and Gun Claps,” a concise study in Westcoastsynthesizerbeachbumgangstermusic. I can’t take credit for that word, but I will take credit for bumping that shit all over NYC. My personal favorite on the album is “Stop Fucking Playing” where Reese asks the very important question “if we ain’t fucking, why the fuck do I hang witcha?” With Troublemaker’s bass-heavy and supersynth beats and Reese’s years of gangster shit under his belt, this duo ain’t for the kids. They have incredible chemistry and it only took them a week to record their album, which is probably about 5 times better than any album you’ve ever made. AM: Where did you come from? KR: I was born and raised in Compton and Marina del Rey. I know that sounds fucking ridiculous, but it’s true. My mom was the “successful one” and tried to keep me out of trouble. I even went to Crossroads for a little while. My dad is a maniac, so my mom tried to make me the opposite. I didn’t play football. I played baseball. I went to CSUN. Her plan didn’t really work because until I was about 26, I was doing really stupid, stupid shit. I’m 31 and that’s a fucking miracle. I should be in prison for life, but I’m a slippery ass nigga. AM: I guess that answers my question. Maybe I should have asked who are you? KR: I’m Supernigga. I’m the best nigga of all time. I was reincarted and I never even died. 17
Reese tells me he’s been rapping since he was 12, but that he’s never really made any money doing it (lol). He swears by 80s R&B and Gangsta Rap. He names B Legit & C-Bo as his favorite gangsta rappers, and Tash from the ‘Liks as his overall #1. He also loves metal. Actually he “really fucking loves metal,” and thanks to Troublemaker, he’s diggin’ dubstep. AM: What are you trying to do with the music? KR: I really hope to be banging it out next year, going on tour and shit. I’d like to do a lot of projects with Troublemaker. There’s some shit I want to get out my system, but I can’t do it without money. I wanna do remixes with 100-piece orchestras and shit. I have ideas, I just need enough money to force people to make it happen immediately. This interview covered a wide range of topics, including why Twitter is responsible for the de-evolution of mankind (“it’s making us even stupider. Real gangsta niggas don’t say ‘LoL’”), breast cancer (“we’re gonna make a King Fantastic shirt in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, because titties matter“), and his credo (“my life is based on the realization that we’re all gonna die”). Believe it or not, this guy has a wife and a newborn baby. I know, I know. Crazy right? KR: I have a newborn son named Raider. Yes, like the football team. He has black hair and silver eyes.Yes, just like the football team colors. My wife is a bad bitch. I saw her at Monroe’s one night. She’s a teacher. I like smart bitches. We were engaged 6 months later. I proposed on the 405. My wife married me not because I’m tall and handsome. It’s cause I’m a rapper. I hope I have some fucking groupies. I’m not ugly. I’m about to lose some weight and become a sex symbol.
AM: What are your favorite things in LA? KR: I’m a sports bar nigga. I’m a dumb jock in a way. I like to go to bars and drink. I’m at the Hustler casino a lot. It’s hard to be out… .I like a good old house party with people I know so I don’t have to slap the shit out of somebody. I love the Little Temple. Outside of rapping, Reese has been known to paint here and there. He says he’s a hack job and doesn’t even know what paints to buy, but the shit looks good when he paints it. In fact, you can go to his website and buy some of his art, along with a bullet on a chain
and a T shirt. For $300. Good luck with that one, Reese. These two guys are crazy talented and remind me of Eazy E & Dangermouse in some weird way. They’ve got a music video with a porn star (“Why? Where? What?”) and song titles like “The Lost Art of Killing.” What more could you want? You can download their album for free, as well as peep some remixes at www.thekingfantastic.com. Do it now! That shit is fantastic. -Amanda Mester
HANDS OF THE HOMELESS YOUTH OF L.A.Y.N.
Stevie Crooks The Modern Robin Hood I went to the Blue Monkey Lounge in Hollywood to see him perform. The dimmed lights against the red satin curtains gave the spot a laid back vibe as the DJ threw on some old school tunes ranging from Common to Outkast. Many others came to the stage to pay their dues, but nobody got the crowd moving like Stevie Crooks. As they called him to the stage, the crowd grew and grew as the beat got louder and deeper in their chest. One by one, they staggered in from the back door pushing through the sea of people, fighting their way to the stage. He pierced the crowd with the intensity in his eyes. And once his raspy voice lingered over the mic, the heart of the crowd became alive. At eight years old, Stevie Crooks - also known as Stevie Anthony Montgomery - started listening to his brother’s Wu Tang records. “I would wait until he would leave to school, go into his room and listen. I didn’t really know what I was listening to. I just liked it and it ended up growing on me.” Crooks was brought up in Bellflower and at 23 years old, he laid down his first mixtape called “Can’t Stop the Crooks” and recorded the majority of it with a black ski mask over his face. The mask is not only part of his performance but also serves as a metaphor for Crooks to steal back hip hop. Today in the hip hop world, a lot of artists are using it the wrong way, but Crooks’ “Robin Hood Theory” is what sets him apart from those artists. “I’m stealing back from the greedy, people who are abusing people’s talents to put money in their pockets. This has the game very tainted right now.” Crooks started rapping young and had no idea that money was involved in hip hop. He fell in love with hip hop and can’t image doing anything else. “I can’t go a day without listening to hip hop or free styling. Everything I am is hip hop.” Though the game is tainted, there are still a few true hip hop fans who want to hear rappers with substance 21
and who actually can rap. And Crooks is definitely an artist who stands out and is rapping for the right reasons. He isn’t just stealing back hip hop; he’s also bringing back the “American Dream.” Crooks believes that our society does not teach children to dream anymore. “When kids are in school, the teachers don’t tell them that they can be whatever they want to be.” The purpose of his music is to try and change this image of our society and influence others to follow their dreams. “Nobody can take that away from you. If you want to do something in your life, you can do it. Nobody has control over what you do, your decisions, or what you make of life. You have the power to do whatever you want to do.” A lot of his inspiration comes from his little nephew. He knows that he has a major influence on him and wants to be a positive role model in his life. “He pushes me to go as hard as I can and be as real as I can with myself.” He’s here to change the game, to show that hip hop can be diverse and that artists can do everything. He grew up in the 90s golden era, listening to artists like De La Soul, Pharcyde, and Ice Cube. And there’s an East Coast sound that has influenced his music from that time. Make sure you check out his mixtapes “Can’t Stop the Crooks” & “Diamonds and Guns” and keep your eye out for his upcoming project, inspired by James Bond. Crooks’ balance between his music and reality has definitely kept him grounded and defines who he is as an artist. He’s right in the middle of hip hop between underground and mainstream. “I can actually make good records, but then again I don’t want to sell my soul just to be something I’m not.” He laughs as he says underground isn’t going anywhere. Like DJ Premier said, “underground is going to be here forever.” -Christina Ledesma
Episode 2 Imagine the best sleep of your life; you’re fully relaxed in a deep trance, allowing your body to rest. Then: “Oh you fancy huh? Oh you fancy huh? Nails done, hair done, everything did…” begins playing so loudly it startles you awake.
Mike: ‘So, you think I should stop dating and just wait for her while she dates some other guy?’
Mike: ‘I just want her to talk to me.’
Mike: ‘Can you come get me please?’
Me: ‘Ok, I’ll work on it.’
Me: ‘Mike, its 3:30 in the morning!’
As I’ve said before, when Logan has something set in her mind it might as well be tattooed without the possibility of being lasered off. Currently, her mind was set on never talking to Mike again. Having a little more insight I decided to attempt the laser surgery with no guarantee of success.
Silence on the other end. He’s serious. Me: ‘Okay, where the hell are you?’ Mike: ‘I’m at O’Riley’s.’ Local bar hangout. Me: ‘I’ll be right there.’ There’s something about seeing a friend down on their luck that makes you do two things. Count your blessings, seeing that things could be worse. Feel so bad for them and attempt to help them, but often come away feeling helpless. I found Mike sitting in the parking lot, slowly regaining his sobriety. His face was bruised, as was his spirit. Apparently he had been on a two day drinking binge and got punched by a jealous boyfriend at the bar. On the way back to his place we engaged in a lovely conversation: Me: ‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Mike: ‘I’ve been going through some things and just trying to forget.’
Me: ‘No, I’m saying you should stop hoeing and show her that she should take a chance on you.’
Me: ‘Just talk to him. Tell him you don’t ever want to talk to him again, but you gotta give him something.’ Logan: ‘Why can’t you relay the message?’ Me: ‘Uh, because we’re not in high school anymore, and because I’m tired of telling you guys what you should be telling each other.’ Logan looked down and looked back up at me with slight tears in her eyes. I knew then that my messenger days were not over. Logan: ‘You can’t tell someone you love them and then traipse around with other people. All that letter did was help me not sleep. Imagine lying next to a nice guy that loves you and is ready to take that leap, all the while thinking about the guy that makes you smile who’s probably lying next to a one night stand.’
Me: ‘If this is about Logan, deal with it.You told her you liked her and she has a boyfriend, what did you really expect?’
Me: ‘Clearly you’re not in a position to tell Mike any of this right now, but in all honesty, he needs to know.’
Mike: ‘I told her I love her.’ What?! Now, I’m officially shocked, but I had to keep my composure.
New list of things to do (in order of priority): get Mike and Logan to exchange a sentence or two, study for midterm, and visit Seth. Life is going to reveal itself to me at the necessary time…
Me: ‘Well, do you?’ Mike: ‘Yes.’ Me: ‘Then stop smashing every cooter you come across and getting punched by their boyfriends.’
Kia M. Riley CEO of LatentScholarMedia.com ‘Who’s All Going?’ Blog
UP words by AC
When beautiful, elegant melodies meet the hardcore crotch-grabbing middle finger of rock and roll, you get Black Party Politics. This is a band that gives you something so wonderful yet it makes you want to kick someone in the face. Playing the devil’s music, Black Party Politics represents the individual way we choose to negotiate our lives. What is okay for a person to say, think, or believe? Who sets our moral guidance? It’s the freedom of expression, the horror of conformity, and the panic of losing self-identity. In other words, it’s whatever you want it to be. Black Party Politics is for your individual emotions and psyche. For those reasons, LA’ Raw fucks with BPP. Black Party Politics has been a project in the making for approximately four years. It began with two high school friends, Miles and Eddie. Eddie, an exceptional vocalist, has had training in opera and other forms of vocal performance. His clarity of voice instantly strikes you as something that requires more than just a few hours of practice singing along to “American
Idol” on a Wii. It’s undoubtedly a voice that has been crafted and molded over time. He fuses a soulful sound into the hard sounds of the music. Miles was a baseball player before he picked up a guitar, simply because he wanted to learn. Since then, he has fallen in love with his instrument and music, to the extent that he is currently working on finishing his composition degree at Pasadena City College, and has aspirations of furthering his education in music. The next addition to the band was Bonnie. While the official story of how she came to meet Eddie and Miles is only allowed to be told in a Bonnie first-person narrative, she began jamming with the boys when they crossed paths at Cal State LA. Bonnie, a classically trained pianist, never played any form of rock until she linked up with Eddie and Miles. Fast forward to present day, and she’s a badass rocker chick who rocks out like a sexy Jerry Lee Lewis. You haven’t seen anyone rock a keyboard until you’ve seen Bonnie jamming on stage playing the keys upside down without missing a note….
Like I said, BADASS! Though a great trio was formed, they were not complete until Chris was integrated into the band. Chris was a co-worker of Eddie and Miles, who became the missing piece to the band. A ten plus year vet on the drums, Chris has studied all forms of percussion. Heâ€™s currently the only person I know that can rock out on tympani, or show four different ways to make a funky groove on a triangle. Currently, the band is working on completing their album and booking shows all over Los Angeles, including a steady appearance at the Boogie Den. Something that I quickly picked up on when talking with BPP is individually (as well as collectively); they are extremely smart and perceptive. This intelligence comes through in their music to the listener. While their music makes a statement, their intent is not to become a Rage Against the Machine type of political band. So who do I recommend BPP to??? Well, if you have an appreciation for good music, enjoy an intellectual conversation from time to time, and on occasion stick your middle finger out to assholes that donâ€™t put their blinker on before making a left turnâ€ŚI recommend you get some Black Party Politics in your life.
Men’s Fall 2010 Fashion Nachelle Hawkins
My little urbanites, it is time to get your wardrobe in order for the fall. Summer is leaving us and fall is rolling in. But I have some good news, guys. You don’t have to throw away your clothing from spring. Fashion has found a way for you to recycle those trends. The runway was flooded with great fashions this season, and I have identified some that should keep you looking fresh this season: Po’ Boys, College Preparatory, and All-American Athlete. These trends can be pulled off appropriately with the right swag. Po’ Boys is www.trendy.com with its newsboy inspired look. It is very urban with lots of denim paired with scarves and grandpa cardigans. This can be translated with fitted jeans, a graphic tee and a neon-colored cardigan. College Preparatory trend takes the likeness of a catholic school kid with bowties, Sadie shoes, and blazers. But dressing like a square is not fitting for a bunch of misfits. For an eccentric translation into urban culture, you could pair a plaid shirt with a bow tie and oversized black-framed glasses. All-American athlete is all about paying homage to comfort. American culture is laid back. This is your time to play with texture and patterns. There’s a lot of army fatigue, sweatshirts, and thermals in this trend. So, keep your wardrobe popping and your swag fresh for fall 2010.
Trends for this Season
The first time I encountered New Kingdom was at a Raw Water fashion show on the Cal Poly Pomona campus in 2009. Noah (lead vocals) was running up and down the runway like a mad man. Evan (drums) was rocking out so hard he popped the head of his snare drum which, as a fellow drummer, I know is no easy task. There was a short pause as Evan taped the hole with some duct tape… and then they were back to rocking. Over a year later, I can honestly say New Kingdom is one of my favorite bands. The more I listen to them, the more of a fan I become. Needless to say, we at LA’ Raw were beside ourselves when they agreed to grace the cover of our Fall issue. New Kingdom is the primary reason we started this magazine. Not the band itself, but we wanted to cover artists that we are truly fans of. I never write an article on a band that I haven’t heard of or seen live. Therefore, you know it’s as real as Tom Selleck’s mustache when I say New Kingdom are future rock stars. Which makes LA’ Raw badass because we’re not only the first magazine the band has been in, but also the first to recognize that these guys are cover worthy. The band consists of Noah (vocals), Oren (keys), Evan (drums), and Joe (bass). Something that you might notice right away is that there is no lead guitarist. That’s one of the many things that make New Kingdom so unique. Most bands are formed around a guitarist, or a vocalist who plays the guitar. However, that rocked out synthesizer sound you hear in the music is Oren on the keys. I asked them if they ever had a guitarist or thought of adding one, and they said that they had tried out a few
but it just never took. Eventually, they discovered that a part of their sound comes from not having a guitarist, and that they might be better off without one….agreed! Though the band has been together for about two years, recently the band released its debut Album Naked Time. According to the band, it’s been a process of finding and spending a lot of time learning about the band and their sound. Naturally, I then asked how they got their sound and where it derives from. Oren replied, “The sound is almost by default.” They all went on to explain how they try to fatten the sound since there is an absence of a guitar. Joe then said “sometimes it’s also by accident.”
They continued to explain how sometimes there are mistakes that are made during their live shows. And though the fans do not catch on, they as a band do. Those mistakes can later become a modification of the song, or lay a foundation for a new song. The first single off of their album is “When Can I See You.” I’m not lying to you when I say this is my favorite song of the year. You can’t help yourself when you hear it. It’s as if the music compels your body to make a face like someone just boiled Ben-Gay in hot dog water, pulls up your pants by the belt loops, and slid across the floor like James Brown playing Dance Revolution. The music is funky and raw. It has a retro feel to it, yet seems ahead of its time. Fair warning, listening to this song in public will cause you to make old men pause and stare for long awkward moments and runs the risk of you startling young children. In addition, if you choose to listen to this song with headphones, people can still hear you, even though you can’t hear yourself. In other words, chances are you’re going to look like an ass. This is coming from personal experience. However the song is so cool that if you’re anything like me, you just won’t give a shit. Hell, I’m singing right now as I’m writing this. “No I can’t find her…. No I can’t find her… Whoa….” Though the song is great by itself, the band made the song a brazen smash once they shot a video to accompany it. The video is a guerilla shoot of Noah running all over the greater Los Angeles area in nothing but his skivvies, Converse, some shades, and a wristband. And when I say all over I mean just that. From Melrose to La Brea, to the Santa Monica beach, to the Roxy on Sunset - he was literally at every
stop you would make on Star line Tours which just so happened to make a cameo in the video. If an MTV video award still meant anything, this would be worthy of video of the year while winning viewer’s choice by a landslide. Sorry Justin Bieber. We met up with the band for the photo shoot and interview at their studio, which doubles as a man cave. First we went outside to shoot the photos for the cover. Much like the madman that I had first seen at Cal Poly, during the shoot we all got a good laugh while watching Noah scale the light post and pose for some awesome shots. Kaymar, our photographer, told them to just do whatever comes to mind, and quickly it became one of the most hilarious and entertaining shoots that I have ever been a part of. After the shoot, we went back into the studio so that I could ask the band a few questions and chat a bit. It is an awesome situation, as an interviewer, when your interview becomes less question-answer, and more of a conversation. The guys were so cool and laid back, I noticed that there was a period where I was enjoying the dialogue so much that I had closed my notebook and was simply taking pleasure in talking to four guys that I happen to be a huge fan of. At the end of our conversation, I asked the band “what do you want our readers to know about you guys? What do you want our readers, and potential New Kingdom fans to know about who New Kingdom is?” There were about 15 seconds of contemplative silence before Noah lifted his head, and in a laid back voice stated “we’re a group of dudes that will smack your mom’s ass.” And that ladies and gentlemen, is New Kingdom. -AC
Here‘s A Little (Rich) Story
that Must be Told Since I’m in NYC now, I thought it would only be the judicious thing to do to introduce some East Coast talent, RAW style. When racking my brain for story ideas, The Nuyorican Café instantly came to mind. For those of you who have never heard of it, Google that shit. It’s one of lower Manhattan’s jewels that folks from all around flock to & hear incredible spoken word poets. The Nuyo has hosted and fostered some of the greatest poets in its 36 years of existence, and is packed to the seams on any given night. Luckily for me, I know a guy that knows a guy, and I was introduced to Rich Story. A 24- year-old New York native, Rich has only been in the game since ‘08, but already has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt, including being on the 2009 Nuyorican Poet’s Café Slam Team. After attending Dickinson College in Pennsylvania (shout-out to higher education), Rich returned to his hometown and has since gained recognition as one of the rising stars in NY. We met up at Starbucks (where else?) where he graciously and eloquently explained how this whole poetry thing works to a completely unknowledgeable me. AM: For those who don’t know, like me, explain the difference between a spoken word artist and an MC rhyming acapella RS: I would say there are some subtle differences. Poets & emcees are essentially cousins, only there’s no musical accompaniment in the slam world. As a poet, you’re not as constricted as a rapper. I don’t have to drop a 16 or do a refrain if I don‘t want to. I can be a lot more expres33
sive, and there are fewer hang-ups. As a poet, I feel that people expect more. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and then you have to maintain that grasp for several minutes. Poetry provides a space to go deeper and it’s always acapella, so there’s no beat to hide behind. You have to really be saying something and saying it well to keep your audience captivated.
AM: What hopes do you have for this art form? RS: One aspect that bothers me is the way it’s viewed by the masses - they have a love affair with poetry. People are getting exposed, but it commercializes it. I appreciate when the masses get into it, because it allows poets to explore other things. It can also lead to the de-evolution of it. The greater it grows, the harder it is to know that it’s authentic and real. It can still be, at its AM: How did you get started? root, like a coffee shop thing, I would love to see RS: It actually started by accident. I was always it grow, but I want the progression to be natural around poets but was never one myself. As it be- and truthful. As long as nobody’s writing to fit a came more mainstream, I became more exposed mold, then let’s keep it growing. to it and was around more talented poets. I heard something I finally wanted to respond to (Lupe Poetry has not only become an emotional and Fiasco’s “He Said, She Said“) and that sparked a personal outlet for Rich, but also a source of nerve. When I started, it was just a verse, but it great friendships. Sharing sometimes very difeventually became my first slam piece. It’s called ficult and deeply hidden slices of life in front of “True Story Part 1.” strangers and other poets creates a foundation for close friendships. “With spoken word, you’re AM: What part of the art form that is spoken word starting from a place of very vulnerable honesty. do you value the most? That’s a crazy place to start, in terms of developRS: I love stories, and I think reciting heartfelt ing friendships.” And don’t let the warm & fuzzy poetry is an important skill in terms of learning concept of artists coming together and sharing about yourself. Even if the poem isn’t about you, their vulnerability intoxicate you too much… there’s some self-reflection in every piece. You there’s beef in the slam world! Like any other have to look within yourself to be able to convey subculture that involves performance, there are the emotion you want to. For me, it’s cathartic and haters. “At the end of the day, a poetry slam is a I reconcile a lot of stuff. It helps me to come to competition, and big egos are not unheard of,” peace with a lot of different issues. Rich explains. “It’s not all peace love and in poWhen I asked Rich to give me the names of other etry. I’ve been written about. A girl wrote a poem poets who inspire and influence him, he had a about me ‘cause I beat her in a slam.” difficult time answering. Actually, his response to the question was “sheesh…” He admires Jive Poetic’s ability to merge the seriousness in po- Before you go thinking that poetry slams are etry with the lightheartedness of being comedic. only for artsy hipsters that wear berets and snap Omar Ion Holmon’s homage to Bob Barker is a their fingers, I can tell you first hand that slams favorite of his, as are the incredibly laced meta- have some of the most diverse audiences in perphors of Tongo, the world’s tallest poet. His list of formance art. Performers and enthusiasts alike favorite female poets includes Falu, Mahogany are multi-generational, multiethnic, and heteroBrown, and Eboni. And of course, his own broth- geneous on many levels. It’s not rare to hear a er who goes by the moniker of Paragraph rounds white suburban kid do a poem about hating his out the list. girlfriend only to be followed by an inner-city woman expressing how society has made her AM: I don’t think I could ever get on stage and feel unworthy because of her ebony skin. Topics recite a poem in such an artistic and expressive range from the hysterical to the horrendous, but way they all have raw and organic honesty at their RS: Stage is safe space. You should be able to go core. Before I left our meeting, Rich left me with up there and express yourself. Even if people these words: aren’t receptive, they should be respectful. Re- “It’s not the story, but how you tell it that makes a gardless of what your poem is about, people are difference.” going to respect you for simply getting on stage. Snap. Snap. When the feeling strikes you, go for it. Knock on wood, but I’ve never seen somebody die on Amanda Mester stage from ridicule.
Dork: The Bowtie Guy The bowtie he wore was made out of a shower curtain that was dyed black. He took apart the lights from Disney toys and put them inside the bowtie so it would light up. “I make something out of nothing; that’s my favorite thing to do.” The traditional black bowtie has always been a part of formal attire - “back in the day, the bowtie was a step above the tie.” Nowadays we see a lot more of the bowtie in fashion. Djork Dozier, also known as “Dork,” has taken the traditional bowtie and added his own creative style to it. “I’m taking it to a whole new level.”
is a lifestyle. “I’m about being myself; a lot of people are scared to be themselves.”
Being true to himself and following his passion has led him to start his own bowtie collection called “Tabb” which stands for “Think A Bit Bigger.” Every bowtie he makes is one of a kind, handmade with vintage fabric and custom stitching. Each bowtie can take anywhere from 3 to 9 hours to make. Most of Dork’s inspired bowties come from unique patterns and old shirts that he doesn’t wear anymore. Every morning, Dork wakes up and stands in 20-year-old Dork is from Inglewood and start- front of his closet picking out what he’s going ed his unique style and love for fashion with to wear. Not because he’s trying to set trends handmade sweaters, embellished clothes or because he wants to become a fashion icon, and thrift store shopping. “People would but because his style is his form of expression think that I shop expensive, by the way I put and he dresses how he feels. “I feel like I’m a my clothes together. So it’s not what you wear canvas and in the morning my clothes in the but how you wear it.” His view on fashion isn’t closet is my paint brush and it’s my choice about name brands or the hottest trends. It how I want to paint my picture. I feel like a has nothing to do with fashion at all but about piece of art.” being true to who you are. For Dork, fashion -Christina Ledesma
Los Angeles RawWater is a lifestyle brand created by 2 individuals who decided that their interests, visions, and political views were lacking in the world of fashion and print media, so they decided to bring them to the forefront. RAW = genuine, pure not corrupted WATER = greatest force in nature
Did you know that a minor marijuana possession in California is considered a criminal misdemeanor? If you are charged with this offense you have to go to court, pay a fee, and attend a program. And if you do not attend the program, it stays on your record for two years. This may even affect you from getting a job in the future. Who would have thought a little weed, could make you a criminal. Unfortunately, oppressing marijuana users has been going on for years, but slowly things are starting to change. In September, the assembly won the majority vote for Senate Bill 1449. The passing of this bill will reduce the penalties in California for marijuana possession. And will charge users with an infraction, instead of a criminal misdemeanor. To be on the safe side, a lot of users are purchasing medical marijuana cards to avoid harassment by the law. For those of you who do not have a card, you will be able to obtain 28.5 grams of marijuana. And if you happen to be charged with possession, you will only have to pay a $100 fine. Hopefully, this bill will stop users from being labeled as criminals. And help our judicial system focus on the real criminals in our society. According to NORML’s Deputy Director (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), “Passage of the bill would save the state millions of dollars in court costs by keeping minor marijuana offenders out of court. The number of misdemeanor pot arrests has surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008. Adults who consume marijuana responsibly are not part of the crime problem, and the state should stop treating them like criminals.” Recently on Sept. 30, 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took all of this in account and signed the bill. Passing this bill will save California millions by keeping marijuana users out of court. This new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011; if marijuana becomes legal smoking in public will be considered a small infraction. Let’s all thank Gov. Schwarzenegger, for realizing that prosecuting marijuana users is a waste of time and taxes. For more information visit http://norml.org/ -Cali Green
Figure Eight Events â€œMaking Memories Last An Infinityâ€?
Photo by Herman Johnson
Honor Flow Productions
I never really had much school pride during college. I never lived on campus, so I never found myself engrossed in the community you become a part of when you’re posted in the dorms all day. Sure, I went to a couple of sports events (we were usually always terrible), and maybe one or two quintessential “college parties.” It wasn’t until my senior year that I found myself spending more time on campus, actually joining an on-campus group, started by my friend J-Hyphen. Actually, I’m not really sure why I joined the group; it was for beat makers, which I am not…at all… Anyway, it was at one of these meetings where I would become introduced to Honor Flow Productions. The first member I met was MC/Producer Chuck “DJ Chuck ‘thE oLd SouL’” Nunley, who also worked at the KXLU radio station on campus. Over the course of the next year or so, I gradually met all of the members: DJ Lord “DJisLord” Advincula, MCs Keyon
“Key-Real” Mitchell and Paul “Elimn8” Parker, bassist Kerwin Tsang, keyboardist Steve Lewis, drummer James “J.D.” Daniels, trumpeter Brian “B-Willie” Williams and guitarist Justin Levy. I mentioned school pride because it wasn’t until I watched these guys perform at-and eventually win-LMU’s Battle of the Bands, that I ever felt proud of LMU students. I guess you could say I became somewhat of an HFP groupie. I went to see them perform at the Roxy, where they opened up for KRSONE. After that, I followed them to the Key Club, in front of a packed house full of Pete Rock fans. I caught up with the guys of HFP at Simply Wholesome to learn more about these dedicated musicians.
which still continues today. I had been writing rhymes since junior high and continued to do so into high school. Around the last couple months of my senior year, I had finally started geting more into the process of original production and started to make my own beats. I had known Key since freshman year, when we met trying out for the basketball team. We discovered our mutual talent for writing; he wrote poetry, and I wrote rhymes. When I started to get into production, I grabbed him and some other classmates and we started making demos together. DJisLORD: I was approached by Chuck on campus. I knew of him through word of mouth, and he told me he was looking for a DJ. I rocked with them at Battle of AM: Describe to me the begin- the Bands in ‘09 and we’ve been nings of HFP putting in work ever since. DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL”: I Justin: Kerwin, James, & I have started Honor Flow Productions been jamming together at in 2003 during my sophomore Marymount College. We had year in high school as a back- really big dorms, and I had a ing company for my DJ service, drum set. Chuck lived a couple
doors down and heard us jamming one day. He came by, we invited him to come by and rap, and it just kinda started from there. We had our own band called Dorm 25 and we collaborated with Chuck a lot and in return, became the back-up band for HFP. Paul “Elimn8” Parker (MC): I became involved with Honor Flow Productions by hanging out with Chuck. We first met during orientation as freshmen at Marymount College. We connected fast because we had a lot of the same interests. As a matter of fact, in terms of H.F.P, I wasn’t even supposed to be a part of it. I would just come by Chuck’s dorm and listen to some of the tracks he was working on. This led to recording our first song together on Chuck’s little makeshift recording set-up he had in his room. That was beginning of what would become 2 years of making records and putting out these promotion albums and EPs for the students there. Brian “B Willie”Williams (Trumpet): My initial interactions with Honor Flow Productions started as being a session horn player on Chuck’s beats. We met through an LMU student organization we were a part of called Brothers of Consciousness. It was through those meetings that we built a friendship. Chuck actually had been trying to get me to officially join the band for 43
almost a year and half, but because of all things I had going on at school, I just didn’t have the time to fully commit. After graduation came and went, he once again extended the offer to join and I thought “Why Not?” James “J.D.” Daniels (Drums): My beginnings with Honor Flow Productions started like Kerwin and Justin, as a member of Dorm 25. As the story goes, Justin had just fired the drummer they were playing with at that time and needed a drummer for what would become our first show together at one of the dorm residences at Marymount College. Justin and I first met as members of this short lived “Rock Club” student group on campus earlier that year. And at this time, Chuck had just started to work with them. So Chuck and Kerwin had Justin call me call late on what I think was a Wednesday night or whatever, to come jam with them that next night. I came to that practice and the chemistry just clicked instantly. This was surprising given that outside of playing at my Granny’s church with my cousins and friends since the age of six, I had never played with a band before. Steve: Senior year at LMU, I was living with Lord in the same house. I got a keytar that I would tinker around on, and when they got rid of their old keyboardist, I got a call from Chuck asking me if I wanted to play next week at The Roxy and I said “sure!!!” AM: As another hip hop group in a huge city, what separates you from others? Key-Real “The Poet”: I think the energy and the live band
appeals to a wider audience than just hip hop heads, which is great. We want our music to touch the masses. We don’t want them to just hear it, we want them to feel it. Our live performance has a lot of energy put into it and we want you to get what you paid for when you come to our shows. Chuck: We don’t try to be commercial, or try to be underground. We’ve just done whatever the fuck we want to do musically and people have gravitated towards us, which has been the most vindicating feeling of all this from an artistic standpoint. We want to create some positive impact. We want people to feel something. Our music is based off raw, honest human emotion. We intend to make real music for the everyday person. From a business standpoint, we are a grassroots operation from the recording, to the album promotion, to the gigs. Our live show is our bread and butter given that we have made almost 95% of our fan base from it. Many acts in hip hop today do not take into account the importance of their live show. Elimn8: We are not a gimmick. We are in it to make great music, not just to make a profit. That’s what motivates me to fly back and forth on a consistent basis from the Bay Area, which is where I’m finishing up my degree. We’re not some loose leaf group just pulled together to make music. We were all friends first before the music, so the creation process is always organic J.D.: I knew from jump the chemistry was there because
of the different elements we all brought. What makes us stand out is that we can combine and change up styles up in a heartbeat. This is still evident with the current lineup. For example, you have Chuck as the hip hop head; Kerwin, who is into progressive rock; Justin, whose main influences are classic rock bands; and Steve, who has been classically trained on the keys since an early age. My church background has made my feel of playing very soulful. It’s funky with an R&B/Gospel twist.
win spent the first 20 years of his life in Singapore, and Steve had never even really listened to (let alone performed) Hip-Hop. B. Willie only had experience with a Pep Band, & J.D. had only rocked out at granny’s church. DJisLORD is deeply connected to the Filipino community in Los Angeles, and is very involved with SIPA (SEARCH TO INVOLVE PHILIPINO AMERICANS), where he teaches kids how to mix & scratch. Members’ musical influences range from The Roots to The Who to Bambu to Rush to Elton John, which exThe way that life brings people plains where the depth of HFP’s together baffles me sometimes. musicality comes from. These guys have all come from vastly different backgrounds Honor Flow Productions, with and have managed to harmo- all of their motivation and denize themselves as a cohesive termination, are racking up and impressive live band. Ker- performances and are without
a doubt a refreshing change from the utter BLAH that is usually the opening act. They are continuously striving for better, and place enormous emphasis on providing a great show for their audience. In fact, the name of the group is attributed to the idea of an honor student. To quote Phonte, the group wants to provide a “recession proof” show. You get what you paid for, and then some. They want your voice to be shot from cheering, and they want ladies leaving the venue with their perms sweated off. Readers can peep them out at HFPuniversity.blogspot.com. And remember when you hear “Bass Check, Bass Check, 1,2 1,2,” you know it’s on. You heard it here first. -Amanda Mester
Vivian Rivas 45
I don’t care what those anti-smoking ads say. I meet some of the most interesting and diverse people while smoking a cigarette outside of a venue. It seems that all the cool kids are doing it these days. Thanks to VerBS, I checked out Murs at the HOB in Hollywood and after taking several shots of dark liquor, I moseyed on out to light up. It was there that I was introduced to Intuition. Immediately, I was struck by how well-spoken & intelligent this guy seemed to be. Needless to say, after checking out his music, I was sold. After weeks of back and forth contact and a crosscountry move to graduate school (shout-out to F.U.), we finally had the time to get it in. This cat might be the best thing to come out of Alaska since Jewel. And her voice irks me, so he’s probably even better. As the child of an Air Force father, Intuition attended a tiny buy diverse school on an air force base. Even within this isolated slice of geography, rap music seemed to be the preferred genre of music. His eventual relocation to Southern California had nothing to do with music, but with his initial desire to become a professional snowboard photographer. On an academic scholarship from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Intuition did an exchange
program at Cal Poly Pomona before finding himself in Santa Barbara, where he went to school for photography. He started going to shows at the Glass House, and “just kind of fell into” the music. It was in Pomona, however, that Intuition first started making moves towards rapping. “I had been a closet rapper in Alaska. California just made me realize that maybe I had a shot,” he tells me. “They have this thing in Pomona called ‘Session A’ - I think it’s still going on - and I was the first dude to rap there.” My buddy Graeham that I used to make music with really took that program from a dorm gathering into a big-ass event with hundreds of people.” After Pomona, Intuition moved to SB, where he started to put some demos in local stores. This was how he would meet his future musical partner, Equalibrum. “The guy I’ve ended up making the bulk of my music with (Mark Pawlak aka Equalibrum) got his hands on one of my demos, and when we started working together was when I started getting really serious about it. This was in 2003, maybe. The first show I ever threw on my own was with all local dudes from SB. We managed to sell out a 300 capacity venue, made a
G to split between the groups, got a shady ass lap dance from a girl at school I wanted to bang, and took home a 19 year old Latina with a perfect body....so I was like ‘yeah rap is the thing for me.’” I would have to agree. With his critically-acclaimed “Stories About Nothing” released in 2007, his collaboration with VerBS on the “BUZZ” EP, and his sophomore album “Girls Like Me” under his belt, as well as a side-project called “I Ruined These Songs for You,” it seems that taking pictures of snowboarders will definitely be taking a back seat. AM: Who are your musical influences? Any outside of hip hop? MCI: I have a very eclectic musical taste. These days, rap music is hardly a part of the palette because I don’t like to be influenced by the genre too much. I listen to a lot of various genres - a lot of old soul, a lot of lo-fi indie stuff, and just various weirdness and oddities I can get my hands on. A good sampling of the type of music I listen to on a regular basis can be found on “I Ruined These Songs For You.” My favorite MC ever is probably the 97-2001 era of RZA. I could listen to his raps from that era all day. I’m really a fan of specific performances from rappers too...like Redman’s performance on “Dare Iz a Darkside,” Snoop on “Doggystyle,” Nas on Illmatic. I don’t really vouch for the rest of those guys’ careers, but those particular albums are what I grew up on and still have memorized. AM: Give me your thoughts on the LA hip hop scene. Can you name some of your favorite places to perform? MCI: I love it but I hate it. I find myself not really fitting anywhere in the scene. I’m too straightforward for the underground/experimental part, and too underground for the jiggy/cool guy/streetwear scene. I feel like I kind of float around in this purgatory of where the “underground” and “mainstream” meet. It’s tough in LA to find your following because there are so many folks doing it, but I feel like I’ve been pounding the pavement for a while and I’m definitely starting to see familiar, real FAN faces in the crowds at shows and creating my own little niche, so that’s nice. My favorite places to perform are odd places...shows that have no stage, free drinks, and are all ages. I’ve played at a ton of venues, and would much rather, at this point, play to 100 kids that really love my music, than play to 1,000 kids that I’m having to try and impress that don’t know me from MC Pee Pants. But 47
don’t get me wrong, performing in front of 1,000 people is still awesome. AM: What is your creative process? MCI: I get a beat...I decide in the first listen whether or not it suits me and if I’ll write to it. I listen to it while I drive around and create the song in my head. I rarely write things down, but I’m not on some Jay-Z shit where I just hop into a studio and write a song in my head in a half hour. I just find that not writing things down makes you “flow” a bit better, gets rid of extra syllables and such, makes you save room for breath. It just varies from song to song. Sometimes a hook comes instantly and then the verses write themselves, or sometimes I have no idea where a song is going until I’m done with the first verse. Also, I record in my closet, by myself, generally in nothing but boxer shorts. Sorry for the mental image. It’s cool. The girls like you, right? I bet some boys do, too. AM: How did you link up with VerBS? NoCanDo? What makes for a great collabo? MCI:VerBS I just used to see around everywhere, and I’d see him perform, and I’d always give him rides home because he’s a nomadic dude with no car, but lives right down the street from me. NoCanDo is one of my best friends. He’s a good dude that I’ve known since probably ‘03. We met when he came up to Santa Barbara to record an EP with Equalibrum. We just got along well and share a similar outlook on life. I look at him like a brother. I’m not sure what makes a great collaboration...being on the same wavelength? Intangibles? Luck? As far as upcoming projects, Intuition says we can look forward to more work with Equalibrum. He’s also “trying to convince” Dibia$e to do an EP with him. “I tell Alpha MC I would like to do a record over his beats all the time, too, so hopefully he reads this.” Shout-out to Alpha! All you self-proclaimed heads and music lovers can head over to http://intuition.bandcamp.com and dose yourself with some incredibly distinctive style and flawless story-telling. AM: Any closing words? MCI: A closed mouth don’t get fed. Word! -Amanda Mester
Fall Fashion Tips White After Labor Day Most people have heard that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day as a staple of fashion no-nos. However, I’m here to shed light on this myth and educate the community. We all have heard this so-called rule, but no one knows where it originates. As you’re aware, Labor Day marks the end of summer. It’s back to school time and fall is officially in place. If you live on the East Coast, this also means wet weather and slush are on the horizon. Therefore, you’d be an idiot to wear white on Oct. 7th in Syracuse, New York. Ahhh, but alas, we live in Southern California baby; land of no seasons, where the sun stays out to late October and we complain when we get five inches of rain in January. Thus, the rule of white after Labor Day does not apply to us. Hell, you can wear a full on white-on-white outfit in November, because chances are it’s going to be 69 degrees and partly cloudy. Moral of the story… Cali kids get to break all the rules. Monochromatic For those who are not familiar with the term monochromatic, allow me to use my expensive FIDM education to break it down for you. Mono: Greek word meaning one or single, Chroma: Greek word meaning color. In other words, it translates to using various hues of one color. This fall, monochromatic is big, especially using blue, olive, or grey. Ladies - if you’re wearing boots and tights this fall, rule of thumb, boots and tights should match but please people, let’s limit the monochromatic styling to subtle colors; I better not see anyone out in public wearing four shades of chartreuse talking about “AC at LA Raw magazine said this is hot. Mono on Chrome outfits you ain’t on it!” In the Trenches The trench coat is probably the hottest item you can add to your closet this fall. This goes for men as well as women. We’re all aware that fall is the time we begin to wear layered looks. The best way to top off that layered look is being trenched. Camel is the most popular color because it’s
versatile. It can be dressed up or dressed down and goes with just about anything. H&M has some very cool trenches with European cuts for around $75 and up, depending on the material and lining. If you want to bump your price tag a bit, $125 at Zara will have you looking fly in a trench. Also, great styles for women are in Target right now starting at $50. They aren’t cut as trendy as Zara or H&M, but they’re lined, which makes $50 a pretty good steal. Sizing So the summer is over, but while it was here, a re-occurring sight troubled me - improperly fitted shoes. Ladies, there is nothing sexy about you forcing your foot into a size 6 when you’re really a 10 ½. Seriously, who are you trying to fool? And it’s especially bad when you do it in sandals because now everyone can see exactly how your toes are stretching out over the end of your shoe. A proper fitting shoe should have approximately ¼ inch space in the front and back of your shoe. Do yourself and the rest of us a favor and just wear the size 11 your foot requires. Look at it this way; wearing the wrong size shoe is just costing you extra money. Instead of going to get a pedicure every two weeks like most women, you have to go every three days to fix all those chips in your paint from scraping your toes on the concrete. Be cost effective! And for all you dudes who are 5’4” buying size 12…. stop it. There is no correlation between shoe size and penis size so you can stop fronting. How are you going to put on shoes that are as long as you are tall? I’m 5’7” on a good day, which means a size 7 suits my foot perfectly. The reason your shoes have that huge ass crease in the toe like you unfolded them when you bought them is because that isn’t your size bro. They’re creasing because there’s not enough foot to fill that size. Also do yourself a favor, until they invent an iron that can steam out that crease in your Steve Maddens, just buy your actual size. -AC
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Fall is here and that means a few things to many people: school is back in, scarf and coat weather, new fall television line up, etc. Fuck out of here with all that, except for possibly school, which I support, but I don’t want to hear you bitch about. We all had to deal with midterms at some point too, stop crying. Anyway, EO gave me this spot both to hate and help, or help through hating, something along those lines, and I would be amiss if I wasted this opportunity by just snapping on pop culture. For the sake of my regular readers who are expecting the hating, I can just run through a few things very quickly. Recently, your boy has been hitting the gym with a fury (fuck knows why). The gym seems to be ground zero for corny bullshit, or rather, a microscope slide on which I can more thoroughly examine the corny shit in the outside world. Here are my findings: Tattoos are fucking stupid. Once a statement of rebellion and differentiation, nothing screams “conformist” louder than tattoos. If you have a generic tattoo that you’ve assigned a personalized meaning to (i.e. stars), you’re not convincing anyone that you’re not bandwagoning bullshit except yourself. You are not a beautiful and individual snowflake. Also, spider web tattoos on the elbows used to mean you drew blood (murdered) someone (a minority, more spe49
cifically, black person) in the race war. Stop getting that. Pretty boys with sleeved arms, you’re fucking corny, drown. Your hipster scruffy face, v-neck shirts and blackrimmed glasses inspire a hatred in me like few other things outside of Young Money. Also, pretty boys, you may have the slanted fitted, white tee and Drake on your iPhone, but you’re about as hood as a Justin Bieber concert, or a Drake concert for that matter. Don’t rap in front of the mirror after you finish your set, or I’m going to bludgeon your bitch ass with a 45LB plate and string you up on the cable machine. Also, your waxed eyebrows and zirconia studs are about as masculine as Elton John’s throat. Beanies hanging off the back of your dome, fake eyeglasses, coordinating headbands, DMX barks, whooping after a set, t-shirts with the sides cut completely out, mouthing along to 15+ year old “gangsta rap”, and morbidly obese people taking a whole lane in the lap pool to do their pointless water aerobics should be boycotted. Outright. 2 years ago I would have said mohawks are played out; now, they’re just hilarious. Keep getting those. You look cool, I mean “cold”. That’s the hip thing to say, and being hip is of the utmost importance. I say this often, but besides the actual culprits of these absurdities (corny motherfuckers), there is another party to blame for this bullshit. Women, you know I love and re-
spect you, but this is your fault. If you would stop rewarding (see also: fucking) these corny bastards, this shit would stop, but no, you keep spreading for these cats and they keep taking it... and leaving. Here’s a little secret: guys who go out of their way to do whatever the latest cool corny shit to get pussy aren’t trying to wife you, they’re trying to see if your homegirls are impressed by it too; you can quote me on that. Next woman that flirts with me to try and sell me Herbalife is catching a fade, not from me though, but from somewhere. Incidentally, are any of my female readers interested in being my personal drop-kicker? No experience needed; I provide all training and certification. All roasting aside, there is something serious I have to address. Forgive me for being pedantic, but as a person who thinks a lot, an educator and social worker, an American, and a parent, I have been incredibly concerned with the future of our community, state, country, and the world in which we live, and I’ve a request to make. Elections are coming up, and a lot of the dethroned “powers-that-were” have spent a lot of money to regain their lost foothold, while the corporations that we bailed out are funding systems to ensure their dominance. With the electing of our president, we demonstrated that we are a force in the shaping of
our world’s future. Record numbers of new voters, and typically non-voters, went to the voting booths and made their voices heard. That cannot be a fluke. In the wake of our historic election, the faltering economy caused by poor decisions in the last presidency is causing an escalating tension between people, an opposition to the reform proposed by our president, and an ultraconservative movement, fueled by corporations that don’t have their best interests at heart, which seeks to dictate the way you live according to their dogmatic laws. We cannot allow that to happen. I don’t want to be too preachy, but we are on the verge of a crisis. New scandals and abuses of power are turning up left and right in our state; what’s been discovered in the City of Bell I’m sure is only the beginning. Our governor is leaving office with an unresolved budget, one that is the most delayed in our history. Unemployment is up, foreclosures are up, radical conservatism is up, dropout rates are up, and our state is now the lowest ranking in education nationally. We need you to stand up, to speak out, to vote, to get involved, to work towards a resolution, or we our doomed. There is no time to stand by idly whilst the rug is pulled from beneath you. Get involved, or get the fuck out of here. Peace.