Homeboy Sandman – Nourishment

It’s rare in any form of music for someone to come along with something new and unique. As the old saying goes, it’s all been done before. On Nourishment Homeboy Sandman proves himself to be one of the few exceptions to that rule. From the almost vaudevillian “Knock ‘Em Out” with it’s crazy piano laced hook, to the hand clap beat of “VerbalSoulClapMania,” Homeboy Sandman pushes the boundaries of rap music and, during a time when many people feel Hip-Hop has become stale, has found a way to come with something fresh. His rapid fire flow is surprisingly easy to understand and he arms it with plenty of knowledge to share. All this adds up to Nourishment being a potential year end Top Ten album.

For more on Homeboy Sandman check him out at


QN5 – Asterisk 4

When I went to see Sideshow last month I picked up Asterisk 4, the latest compilation CD by QN5. First off, this CD is actually mixed, which is a nice change of pace from all the mix CDs that are just tracked. Second, there’s a lot of dope music on this album. I didn’t skip a single track while playing Asterisk 4 and when it got to the point where most CDs get boring and repetitive, which is at around the one hour mark, Tonedeff and Substantial came through with a truly amazing song titled “Punk (Megashow Mix)” that combines the best elements of Hip-Hop with the best elements of electronic music. The joint would fit in at any dance club in the world. Overall I was very pleased with Asterisk 4, and I’m not usually one to give props to 79 minute albums.


Dynamite Warrior

I’m a sucker for a good martial arts flick, so when Dynamite Warrior hit my desk I was psyched to block out a few hours to dedicate to it. Unfortunately my excitement was quickly squelched by a nonsensical plotline that attempted to mix a martial arts film with a bad sci-fi flick. Set in early 1900’s Thailand, the main character attacks cattle rustlers with rockets, ends up falling for a girl, has to fight someone who’s been blessed with superhuman power from a demon, and must get the menstrual blood of a virgin, who happens to be his love interest, to break the spell. Sound ridiculous? It is. Martial arts movies should stick with the martial arts and leave the cheesy sci-fi stuff for the cheesy sci-fi movies. As Dynamite Warrior proves, the two don’t mix well at all.


Sketch Tha Cataclysm – Party Music 4 Pissed Off People

Never has an album been as appropriately titled as Sketch Tha Cataclysm’s Party Music 4 Pissed Off People. PM4POP is exactly as advertised, socially conscious music that you can dance to. While a lot of artists have attempted to play both sides of the coin Sketch has managed to succeed where most of them have failed. Neither lyrics nor production take a backseat on PM4POP as Sketch has made sure both shine equally without letting one overtake the other at any point during the album. If you’re looking for something that will make you think and will make you shake your ass at the same time pick Party Music 4 Pissed Off People up. With songs such as “The Revolution Will Not Be…” and “Betsy Ross and the Miseducation of America,” you won’t be disappointed.

For more on Sketch Tha Cataclysm check him out at


Live Free or Die Hard

Action seekers will find much in this the fourth installation of the previously thought retired Die Hard series. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis), Mr. Analog living in the digital age, is probably the only anti-hero capable of stopping an American cyber-terrorist plot with his cool humor, calm demeanor, and McGyver-esque tactics. Each of the characters were well chosen including: the nerdy hacker suspect turned indispensable assistant Matt Farrell (Justin Long); the sassy, street-smart teenaged daughter of the hero, Lucy McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead); the exotic cyborg? killing machine and mate of the evil genius, Mai Lihn (Maggie Q); and the mildly cartoonish villain himself, Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant). Two hours of shots blasted, disasters averted, panicked escapes, jets, planes, and automobiles and I rushed home to brew some green tea to calm my frazzled senses. I do hope director Len Wiseman made sure Mr. Willis had his vitals thoroughly inspected before and after filming. Men his age shouldn't entice the grim reaper with such shocks to their biomechanical systems.


Transformers - Sum's Review

This summer was starting to look like total torture in the world of comic and cartoon adaptations for the big screen. Two hours of Jessica Alba prancing around in tights on botox cocktails wasn’t enough to cut it for The Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and although there’s still hope for the Spiderman series, the last installment was a pain in the ass. Then came Transformers…. Director Michael Bay weaves the epic tail of Autobots vs. Decepticons on a collision course for the Allspark with a huge budget, dope images, explosive altercations and best of all HUMOR. There may have been just a little too much folly, but the fact that we could see Optimus Prime introduce himself with his original voice, or hear Megatron tell Starscream that he’s ‘failed him again’ made up for the few missteps. Add an urgent plot, John Turturro, and some robots with great acting coaches, and you have the beginning of possibly the best adaptation since Batman Begins. Bring on the sequels...this is a must see for the kid in all of us.


Flight of the Conchords on HBO

For years HBO has been searching for a suitable half hour program to follow their standout program Entourage. Two years ago there was The Comeback, which was fantastic at times, but could also make the viewer feel very very awkward. Last year’s attempt was Luckie Louie, which was ambitious, but oftentimes depressing. With this year’s Flight of the Conchords, however, HBO has finally found the perfect show to follow Vinnie Chase and his boys. Flight of the Conchords follows two very funny musicians from New Zealand who have one fan, who is a borderline stalker, very few gigs, and who, at times, randomly break out into song about whatever situation they’re in. It’s almost as if Weird Al had a British sense of humor and his own TV show. Flight of the Conchords is downright hilarious and will hopefully be around for quite a while. Make it a point to catch this show.


Coolzey – Soixante-Neuf EP

When I first saw this CD in my mailbox I had no idea what to expect. The album had no tracklisting and no picture of the artist on the cover, just some artwork and a sticker that said it was the second EP in a series. After listening to it I’m looking forward to the rest of what’s to come. Coolzey has a unique style all his own and although you only get to be engulfed in it for 15 minutes, it’s a fun, albeit short, ride. The final track on the EP, "Artworld," is the real standout, where a mock Wal-Mart like store is created as the last place on earth where people can buy music, but the kids are becoming too smart to fall for the capitalist creation and rather than purchase the watered down, store-approved, version of art they are out creating their own.

Raheem Jamal – Boombox

A rap album that positive, but not preachy, as well as being funky and fun? A radical concept to say the least, but Raheem Jamal took that concept and ran with it, creating Boombox, an album that Hip-Hop fans should be cheering for. The name of the album is incredibly appropriate as Jamal takes the listener back to a time when we heard dope Hip-Hop playing out of boomboxes on nearly every street corner. Jamal doesn’t imitate those times, however, he has his own updated version of it, so don’t think of Boombox as yet another artist attempting to channel the quote-unquote “Golden Era,” rather think of it as an artist attempting to create a Golden Era right now. Give this one a spin, you won’t be disappointed.


Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty, the not quite sequel to Bruce Almighty stars God himself, Morgan Freeman, and one of his funniest straight men, Steve Carell. In this rendering, God touches a vain mortal in a life changing way but, give or take a pop-culture reference, the similarities end here. Release your notions of Jim Carrey’s Bruce and let Steve as Noah, uh Evan, tickle your senses with his personal brand of physical humor. Ok, it isn’t what some expected, but should the Almighty’s sequel be predictable? I think not. The world was long overdue for a light family comedy that doesn’t require us to explain to the kids the thinly veiled violence and sexual innuendo; we get enough of that from commercials and cartoons, green CGI monsters included. Thanks Almighty and the Almighty’s crew for another winner, even though the hipsters weren’t pleased that you didn’t really doom us all.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Slavery. The American South. Life. Chains. Color Lines. Toil. Love. Sweat. Confusion. Legacy. Tears. Loss. Freedom. A litany of characters- black, white, and Indian, bound and free- living in the antebellum south. Owning, stealing, buying, maiming, loving, killing, but never freeing slaves. Only a great mind could conjure up so many lifetimes and eloquently reveal them in the disjointed way one remembers their own past, intertwined in the lives of those around them, with a non-intrusive narrator who reports what he knows and sees without judgment. This tale of the true South captured my attention, stole my emotions, and released my spirit only after I digested every word. Know what you never knew. Read The Known World by Edward P. Jones.


Sideshow @ The Knitting Factory 6/21

When 5G Productions and QN5 Music came together to create the first Sideshow they couldn’t have possibly known how instantly successful it would be. The crowd that gathered to see what was billed as “a night of singer / songwriter Hip-Hop” was only two people away from being a total sellout, though, so Louis Logic, Tonedeff, Substantial and Miz Metro, the four performers for the evening, had to know they were on to something. Overall it was an amazing night of music that mixed Hip-Hop with live instrumentation including two artists, Tonedeff and Louis Logic, showing off their skill on the piano. In a bit of marketing genius, everyone who attended the show was given a ten track CD featuring the music of all the artists. In an era where the underground rarely gets a chance to be played on the radio it was a fantastic move at getting listener retention for music that seriously deserves it. Everyone involved in Sideshow should be extremely happy with how the first one turned out and if you see another being advertised make it a point to go.


Sole Inspiration @ Sputnik 6/27

Yes, dear readers, custom sneakers are officially a form of art. That was immediately obvious to anyone who attended Sole Inspiration at Sputnik in Brooklyn. The first installment of In The Studio explored the artistry behind the spirited sneaker culture, and doubled as a benefit to help youth in Brooklyn’s Help 1 Family Shelter. Featuring sneaker designs from customizers such as Future Kicks and Tough City/Uncutt Ink, the event definitely let the sneakers shine. My personal favorites were the low tops with the NYC cityscape in black and white. Before the exhibit opened, there was a small reception, which featured previews of two upcoming ‘sneaker head’ documentaries, Jordan Heads and Know You Got Sole. What really set the mood was the music by DJ NessDigi. He took us all back to the time when we fell in love with sneakers and Hip Hop; two art forms forever linked.

SolWorks, the event promoters, will have bi-weekly events in the near future. When they do, you’ll know where to find me – with the cool kids in the one-of-a-kind Dunks.