new zealand music writer

Rich Homie Quan For Brick Mag

Passion of The Weiss Favourite Songs of the Summer part one

rap summer mixtape

I concepted and organized this feature for Passionweiss, as well as part two.

Asking music writers to agree on one thing is an impossible task. Some think Young Thug’s otherworldly yelps ruled the summer while others would prefer he return to his home planet. One thing you can depend on is most of these tunes will inspire unrestrained dancing all the way into autumn. See below for our varied favourites from the sunny season. 

My picks:

Migos: “Handsome and Wealthy”

Based on which Migos track has infiltrated more clubs and white family minivans, you might assume I would choose “Fight Night” as my favourite song of the summer. However as someone well versed in Versace connoisseurs rapping in triplets, I prefer the karaoke-inducing chorus of “Handsome and Wealthy.” Quavo, Takeoff and Offset released their crowded “No Label 2″ mixtape earlier this year, which featured 25 tracks of Pyrex kitchen cookware references and shout raps. This tune sees the group pushing their sound into more melodic territory while continuing their ascent to overthrow ZZ Top as the world’s best power trio. The three amigos from Atlanta have also perfected novelty ad-libs, if you’ve never chanted “handsome” “professor” and “can you tell me” in quick succession you’re missing out.

Runner Up: iloveMakonnen- “Tuesday”

It’s a rare skill to make partying on a weeknight sound melancholic and Makonnen’s pitch shifting wail delivers. I’m not convinced the 25 year old who feels guilty about the good times will live up to his current hype, but along with this and “I Don’t Sell Molly No More” he’s got two unique jams in the chamber.

Read the rest here. 

B. Bravo Interview

Originally published on Myspace

Conjuring images of smoky discothèques, groovy roller discos and uninhibited dance-offs, this L.A. producer with a rich musical background creates undeniable boogie jams.

NAME: B. Bravo

HOMETOWN: Monterey, Calif.

HOMEBASE: Los Angeles, Calif.

B. Bravo's cosmic grooves and talk-box experimentation push the boundaries of funk while spreading the positive vibes of a far from gone genre. The LA based producer's natural progression toward intergalactic tunes was partly stimulated by the G-Funk sound of 90s rap and he continues to be inspired by the forefathers of funk. Bravo has graced Red Bull's Music Academy and he keeps busy working with production partner Teeko as well as playing sax and keys in San Francisco band Bayonics.

What drew you to funk music?

I remember going to the Monterey Jazz Festival when I was a kid in school and Tower of Power were playing there. The reason they stood out to me was that they were so different than all the other acts. Everybody was sitting down for the other performances. They [Tower of Power] were just like this powerhouse and they had this horn section with a driving beat. Everybody just jumped on their feet and started dancing. It was an instant reaction, everybody was dancing even like the security guard. I remember seeing my friend's dad just dancing and smiling. I was just like "wow what is this? This is crazy." I was like "what are these sounds?" Just the feeling and the energy they created was totally different so that was one of my first experiences seeing it live.

Have you played with any of your personal funk heroes?

Years ago, back in the Bay Area, my band Bayonics were playing on KPFA Radio in Berkeley. George Clinton came in the studio with his bass player named Thumpasauras Rex. We got a chance to meet George and talk with him, and we ended up jamming all together in the studio. That was pretty epic; this must have been in probably 2005. It was pretty crazy, the whole time we were kind of looking at each other like, "Woah man. This is insane." I remember he had the thickest, manliest hands I'd ever shook, it was like grabbing on a tree branch or something.

A large part of classic funk and soul music was related to the struggles of Black America. Did you find it hard to relate to that growing up?

Myself growing up, I wasn't necessarily from a poor family. My dad was actually from a really poor family in Japan, so he basically came to the States with nothing in the late 70s and so through his stories I've known a lot of that- the struggle of making your own way and being your own man. The area that I grew up in was definitely working class, but I think it's a universal message. Funk music was originally made by people in the struggle, whether it would be race, economics or class.

Do you see funk regaining the same relevance it had in the '70s and '80s?

I mean a lot of people are like, "Oh you guys are bringing back funk. It's a like dead genre." I don't really see that. It transcends through a lot of different genres to me. I don't know whether there's going to be top 40 funk songs or not. I'm not sure if that's where it's heading, but I don't think that's really the aim. The aim is to spread the message to people. We're not trying to make pop music. We're trying to make music that will touch people and uplift people, give them something they need in the world that they're not really getting from other sources.

You've collaborated with Salva and released music under his label, how did that happen?

He's the one that really got me started releasing music as a solo artist. We met at this regular job in software. This was in about 2007. He hired me to work for him and on my resume it said I had an interest in music and DJing. We got to talking and we were listening to each other's music. He was like, "I want to create a label and release some music; do you want to do something?" So I put together an EP and that was kind of my first solo release. That's what started everything for me. He's right here in L.A. so we've been working on stuff together and that's my main man.

Jeezy ft Jay Z - Seen It All

Originally published at Passionweiss

Presidential parties, museum tours and marriage ensure we won’t be getting ‘98 Jigga bars anytime soon, but in 2014 “Seen It All” is as close as it gets. Jay-Z shunned Kanye’s wedding to the Kardashian dynasty last month, so there’s a chance Jeezy may become his new best friend. They’ve worn matching pleather jackets, they knew Pimp C but probably locked their car door when talking to him and they’ve been collaborating since Jeezy’s 2006 single “Go Crazy.” While this evidence may be circumstantial, the duo has a solid track record and the rap Proleteriat needs a break from Jay’s rhymes for the 1%.

The Snowman will never be a lyrical scientist. He’s found his rap formula, which is strictly limited to raspy boasts and A-grade adlibs. No matter how many water features Jeezy adds to the mansion, he’ll never stop rhyming about selling drugs. “Seen it all,” delivers accordingly and Jeezy’s biggest decision is whether to blow the cash at Atlanta strip-club institution Magic or at the mall. His verse is nothing special, but most of us clicked play to hear his guest feature verse anyway.

Then it happens, Jay swoops in during the 1.30 mark and it’s tough to believe these bars came from the Magna Carter Holy Fail sessions. There’s no blatant flow jacking or overdone Basquiat references, just tales of his dope-boy past life over a melancholic instrumental. Jay-Z excels on this track because unlike Jeezy, he refers to specific experiences as a felon. There’s drug connects in Saint Thomas, expanding his fledging empire to Maryland, his uncle’s stabbing and more memories that make you thankful you weren’t Shawn Corey Carter before the fame. Despite snubbing DJ Khaled’s crew for the “They Don’t Love You No More” shoot, he might even attend the video for this one. While no one is proclaiming this as Mr Beyonce’s comeback, Jay can still deliver.

Winter Playlist Series

Written for Passionweiss. I organized this feature and there's plenty of other great sounds ranging from Blaxploitation soundtracks to electronic so check them out. 

This mix defines my winter tastes pretty well – grumpy old and new raps combined with soul and funk. While I’ve been listening to beats and rhymes since before the Willennium, booty-shaking riffs and smooth grooves are something I’ve only properly investigated in the past few years. However one has inevitably led to the other – Kanye is a big Curtis fan, Three-6 Mafia put me on to Willie Hutch, and RZA blessed his crew with several Stevie Wonder samples.

Many of these classic tracks contain some form of social commentary relevant to whatever era they were recorded in. This makes them both uplifting and gritty, which is a lot like the season where you are just as likely to spend all night in a toasty bar as you are to get hail flying diagonally into your face on the way home. Push play and pray for summer.

Also as per last season’s mixes, thanks to BJ Beatson and Aaron Frank for helping me put these together. Link after the jump. 


1. Big L – Danger Zone
2. Vince Staples ft Schoolboy Q – Back Sellin’ Crack
3. Joey Fatts – Picture Me Rolling
4. Jay Z – Can’t Knock The Hustle
5. Boldy James – Optional
6. The Beanuts ft Big Pun and Cuban Link – Off The Books
7. Elzhi – Memory Lane
8. Big Pun – Punish Me
9. Droop E ft Nite Jewel and J Stalin – ‘N The Traffic
10. Willie Hutch – In and Out
11. Curtis Mayfield – Wild and free
12. Stevie Wonder- Living For The City
13. The Manhattans- New York City
14. Marvin Gaye – What’s Happening Brother
15. Curtis Mayfield – We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue
16. Kool and The Gang – This Is You, This is Me

Fall Mixtape Series

cool mixtape

By Jimmy Ness and written for Passionweiss. I organized this mixtape feature and there’s plenty of others you can check out here if you need some more good sounds.

If you live on this side of the world, the sun has vanished and you’re now undergoing seasonal depression. There’s no children running under fire hydrants or bikini-clad bodies to be seen and when it rains you watch re-runs instead of venturing to the bar. But it’s not all bad. Some of the best music is made for listening during winter and without it we wouldn’t have classic cold season albums like Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” or most East Coast 90s rap releases. For that exact reason we’ll each be posting a playlist during the next few weeks. After all, “Winter Warz” is still 100% more listenable than “Beach Chair.” I’m not alternative or interesting enough to post over 60 minutes worth of artists you’ve never heard of. Plus I supposedly have more important things to do with my time. Instead I’m sticking to what I know in the hopes that I’ll drop some musical gems upon you like manna dropping from the sky to the Israelites. If you listen properly, you might even catch Freddie Gibbs and Kanye West on the same track. If Dipset, Krayzie Bone and The Re-Up Gang coupled with the undeniably funky tunes of The Gap Band and Carl Carlton doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. Half way through this playlist you’ll probably think “how are any of these tracks relevant to the cold season?” I don’t really know, but I’ve always felt that the grimiest of music works best in the grimiest of weather. You could also say the soulful stuff is for that classic winter feeling when you step outside and it’s raining diagonally into your eyes and the funky part is to pick up your spirits. Or you could just shut up and listen. (Shout out to Aaron Frank and Brad Beatson for helping me organize this feature)

Download link and tracklist after the jump


1) Dipset – “Dipset Anthem”
2) Re-Up Gang – “Bring It Back”
3) Krayzie Bone- “Heated Heavy”
4) King Chip ft Freddie Gibbs and Kanye West – “Stand Up King”
5) Big K.R.I.T ft Raheem DeVaughn – “Players Ballad”
6) Ab Soul ft Alori Joh and JaVonte – “Empathy”
7) Devin The Dude – “Doobie Ashtray”
8) Illa J ft J Dilla – “Timeless”
9) Slum Village – “Players”
10) Outkast – “Spottie Ottie Dopalicious”
11) The Gap Band – “Outstanding”
12) ThEESatisfaction – “QueenS”
13) Carl Carlton – “Bad Mama Jama (She’s Built. She’s Stacked)”
14) Sly & The Family Stone “Everyday People”

Download Link

M Will Interview (Marley Marl's son)

By Jimmy Ness and originally published for Potholes In My Blog

M.Will is the son of legendary producer Marley Marl, one of rap’s greatest beat-makers, and he’s been entrenched in hip-hop since birth. When Marlon Williams Jr visited his dad’s house on weekends, it was a hive of musical energy, with rappers showing up constantly. Whether to record in the House of Hits home studio or to do a show on Future Flavas, which was broadcast on Hot 97 and one of the first internet radio shows.

If you’re picturing legendary artists snatching pieces of toast out of M.Will’s hand or drinking milk straight from the bottle, you’re probably not far from the truth. Craig G, Common, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, Evil Dee, J Dilla, Jay-Z, Black Thought, Raekwon, A Tribe Called Quest and many more recorded in the house. Despite being surrounded by famed artists and a multitude of talent, M.Will says his upbringing was balanced and it didn’t scare him away from making his own music. The 20 year old has recorded at least half a dozen beat tapes including 2012’s As Above So Below and definitely has his own sound with influences from Alan Parsons, Dexter Wansel, Kanye West, the esoteric and golden age hip-hop.

We talked for almost an hour and M.Will gave thoughtful answers about growing up around music, living with his dad’s legacy, cultivating his own sound, his first production credit with LL Cool J, turning down working with Joey Bada$$, and too much more to list. 

You started playing piano at five years old?

Yeah, that’s about correct. My school was an elementary school as well as a graded music school. It was really cool, I liked it a lot.

You use a lot of piano loops in your music?

Oh yeah, I think piano and keyboards in general are one of the greatest inventions or instruments that humans have ever done.

You’re also classically trained, but didn’t enjoy the music at first?

Initially when I was really young, you always rebel like “oh this stuff sucks,” but it gave me the integrity that I needed to understand the full spectrum of music and it’s just really something I enjoy to this day and I have a great appreciation for it. I didn’t know as much about hip-hop or popular music or anything else besides what was immediately in front of me.

Who enrolled you in the music classes?

I think essentially it was my mum’s idea, but my dad saw that I was pretty interested in music at a really young age and just being around the House of Hits and around keyboards, I was always really fascinated by them.

How was it being in a family where hip-hop was such a large part of your life? What was your childhood like?

It was really balanced. There was a time for everything. There was a time for hip-hop, but there was a time for practicing and just doing different activities, so it was pretty structured. There would be a time to enjoy good music or when music was going on, and that was something I really appreciated and admired about my upbringing that I guess it was very balanced and structured. The premise of course was hip-hop that was something that would never go away so it was just like what else do we have to take care of?

What are your earliest memories of growing up with rap music?

I grew up in Flushing, Queens and that’s when I was old enough to understand everything. Around elementary school I remember just cool cars and loud music – BMWs and just hearing some good music like Biggie Smalls or something. Like okay, there’s something going on, there’s a powerful force here, just something way beyond my comprehension. I never really even quite understood what my dad did until I was like seven or eight years old, it was just something we were so submerged in. It was like, this is life and we are just living before it gained some sort of definition.

You were growing up while Future Flavas, the first ever online rap radio show was being recorded in your house. There must have been a lot of energy in the air, at the time.  

Oh my gosh, I was so fascinated but I never knew how powerful what was going on was, it’s the ripple effect of the things that would go on from there. The topics that were being discussed, it was always up to date, always on the money, on everything that was going on. It was fascinating just to know so many people were connected at the point. I could never fathom the concept during that time period, it was way before everything is now like how the internet, you can’t live without your computer. This was during that transition and it helped propel the understanding that we have now with music and the internet. It was totally ahead of its freaking time. It was so sick.

I’m sure you saw all these famous artists that were always at your dad’s house, but they seemed more like extended family or uncles rather than big celebrity musicians.

Exactly, we were all living simultaneously - I was just the young one growing up. We would share the same food, hang out and pass around homemade cooking. It was just the real deal, the human side of everything behind the mystique and behind everything else. It was just a real normal human experience – emotions, frustrations and happiness. It was really cool.

Were there any artists that your dad was particularly close to or who were always around the house just hanging out?

Yeah definitely, Pete Rock lived just a couple of miles out and he would be over all the time, like forever. That was always really really great, that was someone who I saw literally as an uncle. It was always them two just hanging out all the time that was a really great friendship and companionship to witness at a young age. Aside from that, Craig G was around a lot, a bunch of different artists. You know just constantly, so many I can’t even name, people would be around the time. Callie Ban he’s the man, Aisle 12, these were just some of the familiar faces I remember seeing all the time.

Do you still see these people around or not so much anymore?

My dad has such a wide social circle you know. Occasionally yeah, you’ll see them all the time at certain areas and at events. Just recently they did a really cool reunion with Pete Rock and I up was there and got to hang out. That was really cool, see how it was when they were doing their thing together. My dad’s always doing something, he’s a freakin superstar, it’s ridiculous this guy just runs around and does shows forever and he’s damn near pushing half a century. He’s always just out there [laughs] it’s awesome. It’s really cool.

J Dilla came through to the station once didn’t he?

From my understanding, yeah. Him and Pete Rock were really tight. That was the first time ever Pete Rock was breaking Slum Village records and Busta Rhymes records and Tribe records, and the station was just a real taste of where you could find the goods.

Big L’s number was also written on the wall at the studio?

It’s so crazy, the House of Hits itself is so remarkable with all the relics and just everything that’s ever come through there. It was right above the vocal booth, I think they were scheduling Big L to come through a couple weeks before he actually got killed. It was in the works, about to happen because I think Lord Finesse had made the call because he was on Future Flavas for a short time before it occurred and it was in the motion. At that time period, man there was so much hip-hop coming in and out of the crib.

Did Wu Tang ever come through? Because I know GZA was affiliated with the Juice Crew for a while.

Everytime we see Wu Tang they show mad love. I’ve seen Raekwon, I’ve met him a couple of times. He just shows mad love, he’s so embracive. I know that Raekwon, RZA and the GZA have been on Future Flavas before. They’ve definitely passed through a couple of times. I know that ODB has definitely been in the House of Hits. I recently met his son and we kicked it for a bit and that was mad chill. I love the new generation because they’re carrying on the legacy. I’m really good friends with TJ Mizell as well. (Jam Master Jay’s Son)

Rock music respects its legends and a big part of the culture is playing homage to them, but rap tends to pay less respect because it’s a young people’s game. How do you feel about that, being a young dude but growing up around all these veterans?

I just think that it’s just a natural thing that comes with time, we’ll hold onto certain records and things because they become the soundtracks to our lives. I just think that’s how rock has been able to maintain because it has such a resonance to its fans, I think hip-hop will get there, for the past 20 years it’s definitely gaining in prestige. I really see hip-hop getting the prestige that jazz music did, when it gets older I will become something really monumental a lot more than we can even fathom because it has touched so many lives.  

You starting producing when you were around 12 or 11 years old?

Well, yeah I guess. For fun I made loads of little tapes and stuff, here and there when I was really young. Sometimes my dad would just record me fucking around on a keyboard or something. I’d go up on weekends and that’s what we would do, that would be our bonding time because I was always really into music. By the time I started really cultivating sounds and doing things like that, it would probably be around 11 or 12, I think I was like 13 or 12, I had an iBook or something and I was just fucking around with GarageBand.

I heard that your dad told you early on not too mess with hip-hop too much. Why was he less encouraging early on?

You know, just as a parent it’s always one of those things like “I did all of this so you don’t have to replicate it.” Just as a parent it’s their perspective that they’re busting their ass to make you not do what they had to do, because they want you to have it whatever way. It’s just like a parent’s concern. I hear about my friends telling me things like that all the time in different situations and that’s just how it was with me. My dad was like “I want you to be a doctor, or lawyer or a surgeon” when I was really young and I was like “screw that, I want to be the man!” But I’ve grown up and matured, and definitely seen all the different revenue streams that come from hip-hop. My dad was just very much like “nah you don’t want to be in the spotlight, you want to do it up right and have it wholesome.”

Listening to your music, you’re definitely trying to do something different than what your father did. You can hear the odd sample or influence, but you’re definitely trying to carve your own path.

Oh yeah, for sure. There’s definitely I feel, a certain perspective or edge that comes from my understanding of music because in any way possible I like to do a little tweak or whatever it ends up being, just a creative tangent from a song I already love. I love sampling so much, I appreciate the art. It’s essentially a musical collage, and if you’re able to really execute it well, it’s totally just reinforcing the original song. What more as a music lover can you do?

Your first production credit was “You Better Watch Me” on LL Cool J’s album Exit 13 that you made with your dad. You guys were actually just having fun and its placement was a surprise?

Initially that’s how it came about. I wasn’t actually in the studio with LL while it was happening. But the beat itself me and Dad made together, really one of my first new trials when I think Reason 4 came out. I was using Reason 3. We were just fucking around like “this is so cool, look at all these new things.” We were like little kids in a candy shop just going crazy over this new stuff and we just ended up making one of those beats and next thing I knew, dad was like “yo, check it out.”

You also have a production credit on the joint album between your dad and KRS-ONE. For those who don’t know, tell us why their collaboration was such a special moment and what it was like being around in that process.

It was a big deal, even just for my dad’s life story and everything that it incorporates. It was a really really monumental period, I remember that really vividly. I was turning 14 at the time, becoming of age and really grasping bigger concepts. It was a really important monumental thing just because you know, my dad jokes around about it all the time but that whole “Bridge War.” I still get pissed off when I hear “The Bridge Is Over” just because he’s talking about my dad. It’s huge. It’s a big thing and something we’ve always appreciated and celebrated. It’s so funny, one of the first things that from ear I taught myself to play was the “Bridge it Over” before I knew what it was and my dad was laughing like it was real real funny and I was like five and he’d be like “Don’t ever play that in Queensbridge.” It’s engrained in our collective story so to see that come together was like really awesome. They were always friends outside of the whole shit, but it’s a big deal because there’s always resentment that can exist after you put some shit on wax like that. So there’s always something but it was awesome. I know they did a couple of sessions upstate and a couple of sessions in LA but they really did it up nice.

You’re also quite a big fan of progressive rock? How did you get into it?

That’s for sure. I’m a big fan of music in general so I like classic or prog rock a lot because of its depth in music and inclusion of themes that are so much better, I don’t know. I’ve always really appreciated progressive rock or progressive anything for that matter. I’ve always grown up around the classics in elementary school, there were a lot of The Beatles and The Beach Boys going around. There was a really eclectic bunch of adults that were teaching my school so I’ve known about The Rolling Stones. I’d say I got into it myself after I went to high school.

Do you feel these different influences make your music more interesting?

Definitely, it’s like a microcosm to life. You have so many different flavours going around, taking little gems here and there and making something new is really fun.

What made you focus on the esoteric for As Above So Below?

Oh man, I’ve always been into that kind of stuff just given my life and things that I have experienced. It’s just really really fucking cool, it fascinates the shit out of me. I love history and I’d love to be a professor of hip-hop or some shit one day and I just think the stronger you understand the power of certain knowledge you can time travel kind of. You’re reaching the same thoughts and the same frequencies that were thought of not too long ago, you go back into time and look into how amazing certain buildings or structures were and it really wasn’t that different. I think that’s why I’m interested in older music too, these guys were geniuses and we just need to remind ourselves of that all the time, of Frank Zappa or my man Alan Parsons. I think it all correlates in that regard.

You also dedicate an album to Dexter Wansel?

That’s one of the funkiest keyboarders, dude is just the man.  I just really really took to his music when I came across certain songs. Hip-hop is a lense for me, I see a lot of my favourite songs and I see what they sample and look into the original songs. I think how I got into the Dexter Wansel stuff was The Cool by Lupe Fiasco, which was a song that I really like and it was produced by Kanye West and I just found the original sample from that. I started listening to a lot of untouched gems and stuff that was on the internet or YouTube like “oh my god, this is some of the most potent shit I’ve ever heard.” I just love it, the whole Philidelphia sound and everything that came out of that era was just so righteous, they were playing their asses off and I love it.

Tell us about your Supreme Team DJ mixes on Soundcloud.

It’s homage to the 1980s radio of Mr Magic, the world famous Supreme Team of Newark, WHBI as well as Kiss Fm and the whole radio rivalries. How blogs essentially became what radio was in terms of breaking records was really what I wanted to allude to and just never forget how powerful someone like a Frankie Crocker or some of these really awesome DJs were.

Because your dad is so renowned and he’s a pioneering musician, is he also one of your harshest critics at times?

I’d definitely say he’s one of my toughest critics by far, by absolute far. Especially more recently, in the past couple of years. It’s good though, I know he’s involved and I know he gives a shit and I know he’s really really listening which is great. Like hyper listening and I know he likes it which is cool. We go back and forth making beats sometimes, but I know there’s things I’m able to do that are an extension of what he wants to do.

Does he still listen to a lot of new music? You know there’s a stereotype about hip-hop legends as grumpy old heads who hate everything new.

That’s so funny. I think somewhat because my dad, he’s in his own kind of world in that regard only in terms of the music that he plays and the stuff he’s around. He knows what works, he knows what the classic “make you want to get up and dance records” are and he holds tight to that. He’s definitely really open to new things, but he’s always recultivating things and remixing songs that have been out for eons. Doing his own thing. I guess I can see that, but I always put him onto new things and he doesn’t quite get it until it gets a big nod from a record company or aside from that, but he’s pretty open with new stuff.

I’m sure he can appreciate the more lyrical guys like Kendrick Lamar or even Nas is still making great records.

Yeah, of course he’s up on that, but even Kendrick now has a huge nod from Interscope. I was talking about Kendrick when he was when we both had our music put up on Kevin Nottingham at the same time. It was just one of those things where I would have loved to have been like “yo, dad let’s bring this new guy from Compton, I hear he’s really dope, bring him to the studio.”

I read a Tweet where you said “I think it’s corny when some people’s parents have vendettas against my dad and they use their kids to try set up traps in the music business.” Is this something that you encounter, people are that petty?

Yes, all the time. There will be something that pre-dates me but I’m the one that has to deal with it or some sort of “oh well your dad was a jerk to me.” Something stupid and it’s like whatever, holding onto a grudge of one little small nothing that really wasn’t that big of a deal. They look for any kind of reason to see you in a negative light. I encounter that sometimes. There are people who still work in the industry to this day that hold their grudges, they could still be at Def Jam or anywhere.

You’re trying to stand on your own as an artist, but your dad is a legend in the game. Do you ever get tired of talking about him, where you want to be known as yourself rather than as Marley Marl’s son?

Yeah for the most part, that’s every angle or selling point that’s ever used. Everybody who I’ve ever worked with like that, it’s always the huge huge sell point. Initially, no one is supposed to know, my early releases I’d just drop them on my own and not even really care. But it’s not something I can escape like alright I’ll take it for what it is and still try to do my own thing, it’s always going to be there because it’s in my name, I can’t do anything about it.

What’s next for you?

Well, I always have my hand in a lot of projects. I’ve been really tied up with a lot of different things. We put together shows in the city, I’ve been doing that a lot, just throwing parties or shows at Webster Hall or somewhere downtown with some of friends just really doing some cool stuff. I’m trying to get into the technology world with music and help cultivate some cool things with enhancing the music experience.

I’ll always have three, four, five projects lined up, I’m definitely dropping something really soon, a beat tape that is just a by-product of all of these other great activities. That’s really how my music comes to be, As Above So Below is a perfect example as all of that stuff is a by-product of my life experiences at that time so I’ve got to make it tangible in some way.

Who would you love to work with?

It would be really cool to work with Q-Tip, if I had to pick a favourite producer without a bias I’d say in terms of the hiphop aesthetic that I really appreciate the most it would definitely be Q-Tip. God bless the dead, if I could bring Dilla back I’d love to work with him. Pete Rock I still haven’t worked with and would love to. Another rapper that has unfortunately passed on, Charizma from Peanut Butter Wolf and Charizma. That’s like the dopest swag right there. And of course Nas. Large Pro. My friends Ratking. I’d love to work with Stevie Wonder or some shit. I’m a big fan of Robert Glasper, Thundercat, Flying Lotus I love that shit. I really really really like Thundercat and Robert Glasper.

Joey Bada$$ is pretty cool, but I turned down being a member of Pro Era because they didn’t want to set me up right. They wanted me to do like five gigs for free on some real sucker shit and I wasn’t really bout it. But you know, that’s still a homie. We still hang out aside from music and shit. We got a close circle.

Is there something you’re trying to achieve with your music in particular?

I’m not sure, I guess it’s a little ambiguous but I think as long as you’re able to get something from it. I mean, I’m putting so much stuff into it. Everything from knowledge to just some cool sounds but as long as you like something that’s what I’m cool with. I think I just want to preserve and teach what I know as the truth or what I know as reality from my perspective and hopefully I can help create and cultivate an enlightened culture through hip-hop or music in general. Sun Ra is my dude and I really love what he stands for and I feel like him and I are on the exact same frequency in that regard. I know we have the same birthday but just in terms of the power of music and what it can do for humanity. It’s a great, great tool and I want to help cultivate, refine and make it as best as possible.

Discovering Mobb Deep's The Infamous

mobb deep beef
Here’s the first part of this feature I organized for Passionweiss. 

No matter how much of a music nerd you are, there are albums that you’ve inadvertently skipped. Whether it’s due to age, oversight, or just plain ignorance, even classics sometimes slip through the cracks. “The Corrections” is a recurring feature intended to remedy this oversight. The idea is simple: the Passion of the Weiss staff writers listen to an album they should have heard but somehow haven’t, and write about the experience of encountering it for the first time in 2013. 
“An eye for an eye, we in this together son, your beef is mine.” Modern day Mobb Deep view their friendship much differently than their younger counterparts did on their 1995 classic The Infamous. Havoc and Prodigy have been fighting since last year, but recently “buried their differences” to capitalize on the duo’s 20th anniversary with a new tour and album. Havoc was the most public with his anger and recorded a diss track as well as claiming that Prodigy had sex with other inmates while in prison. As Bun B said on Twitter, some things you can’t take back once you’ve put them out there.

Not everyone will admit it, but many music fanatics have a gap in their knowledge – that one album they never got around to hearing and find a way to avoid when it comes up in conversation. For some unknown reason I’d never listened to Mobb Deep’s early work. Illmatic, Enter the 36 Chambers and Ready to Die were close friends of mine, but me and the Queensbridge duo had never been formally introduced. This is strange considering how intertwined these four groups are. Nas and Havoc went to school together, Mobb Deep toured with Biggie and they frequently collaborated with Wu Tang.

My twisted perception of Mobb Deep was as squabbling brothers rather than legendary East Coast pioneers. I incorrectly considered Prodigy, now 38, to be a has-been who was eternally bitter over former rival Jay-Z’s success. He couldn’t seem to recover from Jigga putting pictures up at Summer Jam 2001 of him dressed as Michael Jackson. Instead it appeared that he pacified himself by pretending Hova was a member of the illuminati, rather than just a smart businessman.

P’s output with producer Alchemist is solid, but so is almost everything the former Whooligan is involved with. Mobb Deep’s work with G-Unit was uninspired and nothing I heard stood out as particularly special. But in 1995, Prodigy and his partner Havoc made one of the best albums I’d never heard.

Kejuan Muchita (Havoc) met Albert Johnson (Prodigy) at 14 when they attended the High School of Art and Design together. The duo formed a crew called the “Poetical Profits” and after changing their name, released a debut album at the age of 19. Juvenile Hell flopped commercially, partly due to their label not putting any marketing behind it. When Mobb Deep tried to make a second album, Havoc claimed in a 1995 Ego Trip interview that producers had started sending them throwaway beats. “They probably felt like, Yo, Mobb Deep – they kinda weak. We was like, fuck it man. I ain’t gonna stop… Ain’t nobody stopping my show.” Havoc, who had minimal beat making experience, was forced to produce the majority of their entire sophomore record. The duo even considered forming their own label if their second project flopped. Mobb Deep were backed against the wall, but determined to succeed and The Infamous was their stunning counter-attack.

Unlike other rap albums that give the listener a respite from debauchery with a conscious song or r&b track, The Infamous shows no remorse. The angst of two teenagers being almost forced out of the industry and trapped in the cycle of poverty fuels the album’s hardcore subject matter. Havoc compares himself to the grim reaper on “The Start Of Your Ending” and Prodigy has no mercy for anyone who struggles with completing their prison time. From punching your nose bone into your brain to shooting at women, their nihilism is relentless.

On the outstanding “Shook Ones Part 2,” P informs the listener that “I’m only 19, but my mind is old” because of everything he`s lived through in the projects. However, just a few lines later he claims “It aint nothing really, hey, yo Dun spark the philly.” Mobb Deep were youths who had given up hope of change, they understood the hopelessness of their situation and embraced it.

Hav produced the majority of The Infamous and his rugged beats suit the album’s portrayal of their unholy lifestyle. If you’re a rap fan, you already know their stripped down sound is typical of East Coast rap in the 90s, but it works especially well here. The lack of complex production leaves room for the duo to make their threatening presences felt. This album doesn`t have the immediate appeal of catchiness, but as you hear more captivating narratives from the MCs involved it grows on you. Havoc’s beats also sound similar to RZA’s early work, which is high praise considering he’s one of my favourite humans. Q-Tip was reportedly heavily involved in the album behind the scenes and with his guiding hand, it’s probably no coincidence this is their magnum opus.

The Mobb are also joined by a small, but formidable list of guests. Nas retains his stellar 90s form on “Eye For An Eye” and his flow is impeccable. “New York metropolis, the Bridge brings apocalypse, shoot at the clouds feels like, the holy beast is watching us.” He recorded two version of this verse and it would be a safe bet to assume they were both godly. Nasir’s also joined by Raekwon, which makes the track a kind of prelude to the classic “Verbal Intercourse” off OB4CL. Rae returns later in the album with Ghostface Killah for “Right Back At You,” and my 90s rap nerd checklist is complete. Q-Tip also shows up to rhyme about personal vices on “Drink Away The Pain,” but other than the occasional verse from Mobb affiliate Big Noyd, Havoc and Prodigy solely run the show.

The duo kept their rhymes simple in comparison to Big L, but they both focus almost entirely on hardcore crime narratives and had no issue with playing the villain. Mobb Deep is also obsessed with beef. At every chance, they warn other crews not to mess with them and reiterate they are only loyal to the Mobb. Prodigy spends over two minutes threatening rivals on “The Infamous: Prelude.” He also disses Redman and Keith Murray, for their “crazy space shit,” which resulted in Murray later punching him in the face. At the time of recording, Mobb Deep were in a zone where their only concern was their own success. Prodigy thought both B.I.G and Wu Tang were cheesy when he first heard them, and he even believed Biggie had stolen some of his lines.
The duo’s hostile style led 2Pac famously raging against them on “Hit Em Up” where he mocks P for having the Sickle Cell Anemia disease. While the two MCs withstood attacks from people outside their circle, their internal beef hurt them more- at least as far as first impressions go.
Mobb Deep have been rhyming together since they were 14 and close friends often fight like brothers, but airing out dirty laundry is never a good idea. This is an excellent album which has aged well considering it’s 18 years old, and it’s a shame to avoid such great work because the MCs involved have let personal disagreements taint their image. There’s something to be said for protecting your legacy. Thankfully, the Infamous remains indelible.

No matter how much of a music nerd you are, there are albums that you’ve inadvertently skipped. Whether it’s due to age, oversight, or just plain ignorance, even classics sometimes slip through the cracks. “The Corrections” is a recurring feature intended to remedy this oversight. The idea is simple: the Passion of the Weiss staff writers listen to an album they should have heard but somehow haven’t, and write about the experience of encountering it for the first time in 2013. - See more at:
No matter how much of a music nerd you are, there are albums that you’ve inadvertently skipped. Whether it’s due to age, oversight, or just plain ignorance, even classics sometimes slip through the cracks. “The Corrections” is a recurring feature intended to remedy this oversight. The idea is simple: the Passion of the Weiss staff writers listen to an album they should have heard but somehow haven’t, and write about the experience of encountering it for the first time in 2013. - See more at:

Cappadonna Interview

wu tang clan

By Jimmy Ness and originally published at Passionweiss

During the mid to late 90s, Cappadonna spit deadly verses alongside his fellow Wu-Tang killer bees on “Ice Cream,” “Triumph” and “Daytona 500.” But those bars were nothing compared to Donna’s masterpiece: the final verse on “Winter Warz.”

Darryl Hill held a clinic on how to rap well. He effortlessly delivered some of the most entertaining verses on any Wu release, a huge achievement considering the quality of the Clan’s early work. In around sixty seconds Cappa Donna Goines rapped old English, rhymed a numerical code, compared himself to Freddie Kruger, put his face on a $20 bill and threateningly used the word “discombobulate.”

Cappadonna’s first album, The Pillage remains one of the most underrated releases from the Wu golden era and it seemed like he was only a small step behind Raekwon and Ghostface. Unfortunately, the Clan’s energies dissipated and his later career was inconsistent despite releasing a largely unnoticed, but quality project called The Pilgrimage in 2011. 

We spoke about the ups and downs of his career including recording in the first Wu Tang mansion, being voluntarily homeless, claims that his manager was a police informant and sharing his lyrics with other Wu members. Cappadonna also laughed hysterically while telling me about the time he almost fought a midget Kiss tribute band, so you should read that.

In the early days, local rappers including some of the Wu Tang Clan called you the Staten Island Slick Rick?

The Slick Rick of Staten Island, yup. Because that’s the style that I had, you know. I had the clothes plus I had the big jewellery. Even when I was young I was doing that. I was wearing slacks. I didn’t wear jeans until I was about 18 years old. I dressed like a gentleman with slacks and dress shirts and wore stuff like that to school. I took a brief case to high school instead of a school bag [laughs.] Book bags were disgusting to me. I didn’t want to have anything on my back, you know what I mean? I was like “I’m so fly, I’m gotta put my books in this.”

Method Man said you were the best rapper he knew in the 80s and you would use each other’s rhymes in your music. Is there a particular rhyme that we might know from the Wu albums that was originally yours?

Most of my early demos were by myself, but me and Meth did some demos. We used to hook a speaker up to the window and make mixtapes.

I had so many different lines. I can’t even remember all of them myself, but we all used a little bit of each other’s stuff. I think one of them was “life is hectic” [The final lines from Inspectah Deck’s verse on Cream] or something like that. There were a couple of joints. “Life is hectic” was a song that me, Rae and Meth had a long time ago. We all basically took pieces of that and used it in other songs like “Cream.” Meth got so many songs on his album, I probably didn’t even hear them all. We just do stuff like that. Even like “love is love.” It just so happened it was part of another song and it just went well, so we’ve got: “Love is love love, love is love love” and that’s not even my song, it’s Meth’s song. [Cappadonna is referring to the hook he uses on Method Man’s track “Sweet Love.”]

What about “Run?” You used lines about running from the police on your album The Pillage, then Ghostface Killah made a very similar song on Supreme Clientele?

Yeah, Ghost took a lot of reference from the “Run” I did to do his “Run,” and he reworded it a little bit, but basically wrote the same song. A lot of cats did “Run.” Juvenile did his “Run.” Xzibit did a “Run.” They all basically came after the captain. They took a little piece of that, it was good and they just wanted to do it over man. It’s flattering.

When you were in prison, Method Man replaced you in the Wu Tang Clan. How did you feel about the success they were having at the time?

I felt great for them, but when I was in prison I was in combat mode. While they were doing all that, I was in Rikers Island like Three Upper. They call it 374: Adolescents At War. So I was in there. Big up to all my niggas locked up. It was about survival. So when all of my dogs were popping off and on the TV, niggas already knew that I was from Shaolin. They knew that I had skills on the mic. I wasn’t going around about all that though. I was focusing on my bid and after I got out of Rikers Island, I went straight up North. I went to Fishscale, from Fishscale I went to Elmira. I was in the hub for a little while, out all night and all that. So through that whole transition I been popping darts off and watching the Wu Tang grow and watching them do what they doing. Everyone knew I was a close affiliate. I had pictures and all that, of my brothers, with my brothers and when I got back, you know I didn’t pursue no music. I wasn’t looking to get on or nothin. I felt great about everything that was going on, but I had a different thing that I wanted to do. I was a hustler, I was just a hustler man, you know?

Tell us about when you did get back in the studio with them?

At that time, studios weren’t popular like that. You couldn’t just rent them at any time. I had been in some before. Some of them were exquisite and expensive, some of them were homegrown. The majority of them were homegrown studios. So you know, that wasn’t really what “did it” for me, but it was definitely an adventure to be recording in [RZA’s] studio for the first time. We did Ice Cream and another in RZA’s first homegrown studio and it got flooded out right after that, so you know we lost a lot of stuff.

So where did you record The Pillage?

By that time we were doing fairly well, the clan was doing very well. We did that in Jersey, at the first Wu mansion. We were still fixing that up, you know, just bringing in furniture, bringing in stuff and deciding who is going to sleep where and how many beds and rooms were available. So we basically slept there. I slept there to record that album and whenever any Clan members came over it was easy access for them to just jump in the studio with me. Like I didn’t have to go flying nobody out, we never had to do that because we were always right there and everybody could just hear what you were doing and just drop a verse right there. It was the best. It was beautiful.

How was recording with Wu producer Tru Master?

Tru Master was the one that was there engineering the whole time and he made The Pillage into a successful album. Like he was 75% of that album man, and he knew what kind of tracks went well with my voice. He had a special gift for that, you know what I’m saying? Probably not only for me, but for a lot of other brothers that he did work with. Peace to True Master man. Hold your head baby, come home soon. [True Master was imprisoned in 2011 for fleeing court on assault charges.]

Tell us about “Milk The Cow?”

Milking that cow, the best way we know how. It’s just trying to feed your family, and trying to make money and survive. Trying to keep your job, trying to survive, the best way we know how and sometimes to pay that rent you gotta have two jobs. Word.

A lot of your standout verses on “Ice Cream,” “Camay,” “Maria” and “Jellyfish” have been about beautiful women?

Yeah, those verses are kinda raunchy too at the same time. I was never one to try game a chick. I would always just kind of go up to them and be like “Yo, I’ve got four girls but I would love to sleep with you tonight.”

Have you ever thought of buying the number “917 160 49311″ from your verse on Winter Warz? There’s a lot of discussion about it online. Some people even claim they called it and spoke with you.

Nah, that’s a code. Only the ones who know, know what it is. I’ll tell you, the 160 part that’s my building number. 49311, only people who mastered it, know it. It’s just a code.
[On further investigation, 917 is the NYC area code and 49311 spells out a certain explicit word if you associate each letter of the alphabet with a number.]

After your second solo album, The Yin and The Yang was released, you were voluntarily homeless and working as a cab driver. How do you feel looking back on that situation?

At the time I did it, I had a lot of different reasons but one of the reasons was to test the people that were around me. I wanted to see who would be really on my side and there was no way for me to see that because everyone would stick around me because of whatever they thought I had to offer. Once everything was gone and I was looking back, I could see who was really on my side. It was basically a test you know, just to see where I stand and it also gave me the opportunity to annihilate myself. It was kind of like it equally damaged me as much as it gave me morality and strong morals. It definitely was a shot to leg.

Did you feel like you had to give up all of the material excess?

My family started to look at my value based upon what I could do for them and not really look at me as a loving individual. So yeah, I definitely had to give that up. I gave it away mostly to the ones that clung onto it and that’s what they ended up with in the end. They ended up with all of that and none of me.

Your manager Michael Caruso was fired after it was claimed in a Village Voice article that he had been or was a police informant. Can you tell us about that?

I don’t know. I don’t know about his personal life. We did some work together, he worked for me. He was good at what he did and I hired him on those basics. I didn’t do a background check on him. I’m not no kind of agency or anything like that, but he did good work and that’s how I know him. I have no information on his past life and whether or not he was involved with certain activity or not.

Here’s a random question. Ghostface said on Jimmy Kimmel that during a tour you nearly got in a fight with a midget Kiss cover band?!
[Laughs] I think I remember something like that very vaguely. I don’t know what happened, but I think they were more or less mad at me because I probably walked across their set. I think the anger came because I was so tall. They were kinda upset about that and when I came in there everyone started focusing on me, but at the end I was with them. I was bouncing with them on their lil set. We were together, so in the end everything worked out and we made it peace. But they definitely wanted to penalize me for stealing their limelight.
You’ve commented in the past that not all Wu Tang members have respected your position and have tried to pay you less than equal share. This is despite close friends like Ghostface or Raekwon claiming that you’ve been an important part of the group from the beginning.

Do you feel like the members respect you now?

It’s not a matter of whether they respect my position or not, it’s just the fact that if you’re dealing with greed, you’re dealing with greed. Word, because respect is something that you’ve gotta earn, it’s not something that you buy.

How have people received your latest album Eyrth, Wynd and Fyre?

The double album is a classic right now. I call it my “miracle album.” Right now it’s 89 on the Hiphop Billboard Chart, getting great reviews, getting front pages on a couple of websites, getting five mics in a magazine. It’s the highlight of what’s going on right now. It’s the force behind the upcoming album, The Pillage 2. This is the bird that I’m creating so they will know that I’m there. I’m in the area, I’m next door and I’m ready for war.

Speaking of The Pillage 2, how is that going?

It’s going well. I’m getting good cooperation from the involved parties. It was a little tender in the beginning, but now it’s breaking off.

What about the new Wu Tang album, have you contributed yet?

Nah I haven’t done my contribution yet, but the Wu album is in the making, recording and it’s getting done. It’s popping off and more things will be popping off soon, but it’s out there.
Remember Wu Tang is forever. Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game HUH!?

I'm travelling again!

tulum photograph

Greetings. In case you didn't know/care I'm currently in Mexico dodging organ harvesters before heading to America, Iceland and London. I'm falling asleep on the beach and forgetting what day it is, but give me until late March and this website will be updated as per normal. If you want to pay me big dollars to write about music for you, I'll be checking my emails with a naive sense of hope. Peace and congratulations for surviving 2012.

MWill - As Above So Below review

new zealand music blog

By Jimmy Ness and originally published at Passionweiss

After seeing the above cover art, my third eye was opened and all of the sacred chakras were energized. Either that or I wanted to hear what a beat tape from Marley Marl’s 19 year old son MWill sounded like. I love esoteric stuff, but ever since people claimed Jay-Z was in the illumaniti, artists everywhere have been pandering to basement conspiracists with half-hearted masonry references and stupid owl t-shirts. If mystical cults are using all of their elite power to get people to listen to Drake, they’re doing something wrong.

With my scorn for hipster Hermeticism in mind, I approached this project from a critical distance. Had all of the work gone into making obscure references in the track listing or would it be legitimately interesting? Luckily, it was the latter. As Above So Below is an instrumental EP dedicated to and featuring samples from progressive rockers The Alan Parson’s Project. 

Usually beat tapes can’t hold my attention, but there’s a lot going on. In just over 30 minutes, it packs spoken word, rap samples, classic prog and futuristic loops. “Elohim” features a catchy guitar sample, Homer Simpson introduces “Atlantis” and “Zohar” is a lo-fi dreamscape for drug trips on rainy days.

If you’re expecting MWill to carry his father’s legacy with authentic boom-bap beats for the “real” hip-hoppers, you’ll be disappointed with these astral sounds. MWill instead pays subtle tribute to Marley Marl by mixing lines such as “rap annihilist flowing like Pegasus” with chilled electronics. Plus, a Lords of the Underground guest spot. 

After all, it’s important to respect the past, but there’s nothing better than innovation. Talent can come from good genetics. The reptilian humanoids that control modern society will be pleased with this record. Even if they don’t have ears.

Janine and Homebrew dodge bullets in the R&B matrix

janine and the mixtape bullets

By Jimmy Ness

Coming from a small country like New Zealand creates a strange inferiority complex. You have a constant urge to compete against the bigger and badder nations. Being the inventors of the electric fence and the tranquilizer gun might not count for a lot overall, but we really do have some genuine talent hidden amongst all the sheep. New York based, Auckland musician Janine and the Mixtape definitely belongs with the capable few we can be proud of.

Janine, 23, uses a battle metaphor for her harmful relationship on the remix to “Bullets.” She’s dodging hot lead from a dark place, and predicting the next pull of the trigger. Her dream-like vocals create a melancholic vibe to this scenario and Janine’s definitely an impressive singer.

Kiwi stoners Homebrew also jump into the soundscape with Haz Beats supplying a post dub-step beat and Tom Scott rapping with a bitter edge. I support anyone who wears gold rope chains and quotes Biggie in 2012, so look out for her upcoming EP or I’ll be forced to call the New Zealand Task Force.

The PotW Staff Remembers Their First Favorite Album

Music listeners are essentially dopamine addicts. The chemicals are secreted every time we hear a song we love.  We all remember the CD that changed us from casual listeners into audio fiends. Maybe we enjoyed the smooth grooves of a boyband or decided Sisqo had some street cred, but there’s nothing quite like discovering that life-changing album. Even if it was Creed’s greatest hits. Allow us to wax nostalgic for a second.

My introduction to music had an uncertain beginning. As an eight year old, I went through the painful process of being forced to return several albums by god-fearing parents. Targets included: Coolio for explicit language/bad hair, The Bloodhound Gang for poo jokes and boy band All-4-One, of “I Swear” fame, for sweetly harmonizing sex metaphors.

Months after letting Bryan Adams and a Christian rap tape gather dust, I sat watching Space Jam in a small theater. During the scene when a young Michael Jordan dunks, my eyes watered as I pictured myself also soaring through the air. I was blissfully unaware of a future in which I would a) still be white and b) only grow to the height of Big Sean. However, as soon as I could convince my family I wasn’t about to turn into Satan, the Space Jam soundtrack was in my uncoordinated little hands.

It was a crash course in rap and R&B, featuring everyone from Jay-Z to D’Angelo, to disappearing acts like Changing Faces and my former musical brethren All-4-One. Before his underage rendezvous gained interest, R Kelly sung his anthem “I Believe I Can Fly,” Coolio gave inspirational life advice which he clearly didn’t follow on “The Winner,” and Biz Markie met the Spin Doctors on “That’s The Way I Like It.” There was also a mysterious artist called “feat”or “ft,” who seemed incredibly prolific and appeared on almost every song. I distinctly remember telling people they were my favorite artist, until I discovered months later that “ft” was actually short for featuring.

“Hit Em High” was the album’s posse cut and undoubtedly my personal favorite. Somehow it managed to sound hardcore despite featuring no swear words, a feat even that the mighty Lil Romeo was unable to achieve. I listened to the soundtrack almost every day and could rap the lyrics word for word. My perception of music was forever altered and although my basketball career tanked, my obsession with everything audio had begun. It wasn’t until years later that my musical taste regressed to Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Oh the follies of youth.


I'm going to Hawaii!

Not that anyone cares, but I'll be drinking out of coconuts, getting sun burnt and playing tiny guitars in Hawaii for the next week so if this website isn't updated for a minute, you know why! Also speaking of Hawaii, have you ever seen Jay-Z's early video "Hawaiian Sophie"with his mentor Jaz-O? It's terrrrible.