Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wu Review

Okay, I'm damn sick of writing about the Wu Tang Clan now. Still and all, I posted like a mahf about this show so I know I gotta run it down for my people.

The Habs and the good people at Boreale warmed up the crowd - well, me and my crowd - so I got to the venue in time to take a leak and walk down to the bar, at which point the DJ on stage was yammering on about something or other. I guess he was introducing the show, because within about 15 seconds all these cats swarmed the stage and the opening bars of Nuthing Ta Fuk Wit kicked in on the speakers.

K...there's 4,5,6....wait...5 again...4. Hardly a Clan. Who we got up here? There's Rae...GZA I see you...U-God, I know you're in the that Deck? Nah wait. Masta Killa. Hmm. But...

Shit was ill from the get-go. For once the sound people at Metropolis got it right. Hip hop has a bad habit of not making it past the monitors in that place so whoever was on the boards that night, let's get him/her back next time.

The half of Wu Tang that bothered showing up at least brought their B + game. Genius looked a little beat, and Masta Killa barely did shit, but they all delivered on their respective times to shine. U-God stole the show as far as solo material was concerned, playing a ton of new joints and getting a great reaction. GZA was the man of the hour with all the solo clasics you coulda wanted (at least, the ones from Liquid Swords).

I gotta say, the high points of the show for me were when Raekwon decided to spit a bunch of inflammatory comments at the crowd, and then again later when he totally contradicted himself. Apparently if you have a family and a home you should own a gun and use it - but of course the Wu only preach peace. So..yeah. Amazing.

Also - and someone put this up on YouTube so see for yourself - Rae was the bearer of bad news: that Ghostface, Deck, etc., couldn't make it. Evidently customs are just awful. I don't buy that shit for a second, but you know, the four of them pulled it off. The show was tight, crazy hype, the crowd went off, and if you divide the cost of a $55 ticket you know you'd pay roughly $13.75 to see any of these guys live, so all things considered, they brought the muthafuckin ruckus.

An interesting contrast in expectations that evening: Montreal hockey fans, having just watched their team win game 7 of the first playoff round, rioted and set cop cars on fire on the west side of town. Meanwhile, Montreal Wu Tang fans (not that these are two mutually exclusive groups), having just been bilked of a couple of key members, went home happy and caused no bullshit whatsoever - although I did see the riot cops gearing up to go bust up the peaceful playoff celebration that was going on outside Metropolis.

So from now on I propose we blame society's ills on hockey and not hip hop, eh?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wu-Tang Montreal: 11th Hour

Clan In Da Front

Within 48 hours of this post, we'll know how it all went down. Until then, things are looking fairly promising for Monday night's scheduled Wu-Tang Clan concert at Metropolis in Montreal.

The show is sold out, according to the official Facebook event page. Incidentally, someone on there is saying cameras won't be allowed. I wasn't gonna risk getting mine smashed to bits but if you read this, leave your technology at home. Let someone else be a YouTube hero. I'm looking forward to a show that doesn't have a goddamn press scrum taking up the first 5 rows.

RZA is not on the tour, and word has been out for a second now that Method Man isn't currently doing shows due to Hollywood obligations. Their show in NYC the other night went down, but how much of a stretch is it to get the Wu together in their own city? Still, be cautiously optimistic. It feels nicer.

People are all worried about who won't make it over the border, that type of thing, but the Wu have been in Toronto more than once. If any of them don't get to Montreal, it won't be because customs don't let them in. After 15 years in the game these guys have the resources to get their papers in order. This isn't '96.

Let's be very fucking honest here: we need Ghost, Rae and GZA, together under one roof, to make this one for the books. If they're in the building, they give Deck, Masta Killa and U-God added value plus interest. I got love for all these fools but for 60 bucks I wanna throw up the fullest Ws possible. Half a W is just one hand. What's the sound of one hand making Ws? Not even a V. Sheeit.

I bet Big Baby Jesus coulda done it though.

Have fun at the show. Play nice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Buckshot Collabo W/Nelson Muntz

I dunno. I just...I just don't know. This would seem like a good idea to me, maybe, if I felt like I had money to piss away on nothing. Maybe for five minutes. Then I think I'd decide to spend my doll money on one of those videos with strippers and cars.

I hope there is some scheme afoot here other than Buckshot just owning Simpsons dolls. He can't even do the damn voices.

Anyways, him and 9th drop The Formula on April 22. More on that here.

The question of the day is this: what's he hitting at 0:19 in that Simpsons deal? Refer to scene at 1:09 before answering.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time Keeps on Slippin', Slippin'

Hola fam, been a few days. It's been nice out so I've been risking the bombs and leaving the sheltah a little more often.

Actually that's not entirely true. Lotsa school stuff going down for the past week, and it's done now. Fully, officially finished. I think. But I should get a diploma in the mail some time this summer, so that feels aiight.

I started a journalism degree in 2003, peaced in 2006 when my young'un was born, and have only now just wrapped the bow around it. I mention this not because it's any kind of distinguished achievement (sure as fuck hasn't been for me) , but really to say that in 5 years, this blog is the first assignment I can say I've really loved being on for credit in and I look forward to keeping it on an'poppin'.

That said, The Bombsheltah can also be a bit more of a shitshow now. School's out, children.

I'll talkatcha soon about something more interesting than myself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Termanology Poppin' Off In '08

Term doin' his damn thang

Here's something to look forward to this year.

Ill Massachusets emcee Termanology is set to drop his debut Politics As Usual this year on NYC indie Nature Sounds, whose roster also includes underground champ RA the Rugged Man and hip hop demigod Pete Rock.

I only became aware of Term earlier this year due to his heavy involvement in Statik Selektah's Spell My Name Right LP (well worth copping, by the way). Termanology has skills for days and a number of pedigreed hip hop figures in his corner. His collabos on the
Selektah record prove him to be in league with some of rap's nicest.

I wish this was out now, I need something dope to listen to.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

5 Canadian MCs to Check For

12 time Juno nominee J-Roc & crew

Yes yes yes. Spring is finally starting to kick winter's ass down the steps, and Quebecers have earned themselves a nice summer this year, Alhamdullilah.

Canadians don't realize sometimes that we're part of a significant minority of people on planet earth built to withstand the cold. After the winter we just had, be proud of yourselves. You can't buy that in stores. True north.

The next few guys I'm gonna mention do offer Canadian heat that you can, for the most part, actually purchase at fine retail outlets or online. Or, just go download I'm sure, if you promise to tell 10 friends*. So here, in a very deliberate and painstakingly precise order**, are the Top 5 Canadian MCs currently bruisin' mics.

*The Bombsheltah takes no responsibilty for you or your ten friends doin' dirt, see me?
**Untrue. This list is pure chaos. K-os, however, isn't on it.

1. Wordburglar

Wordburglar is this cat from Halifax. He has a record called Burglaritis. He's got some jokes and the beats are alright most of the time. Thing I'll say about the guy is that he's kinda the best of all kinda half interesting Canadian indie rappers rolled into one. I'm looking so hard at P&C right now.

2. The Narcicyst

Narcel X is a citizen of the planet. We're just lucky to have him count Montreal among places he calls home. Already a veteran of local hip hop in his mid-twenties, we'll be proud to have this man represent the city in all of his endeavours for a long time to come. Here's his blog and here's a free mixtape he put out recently, Stuck Between Iraq And A Hard Place Vol.2.

3. Shad K

From London, Ont., Shad has been making a name for himself for a minute, but the release of The Old Prince this year seems to be the real jumpoff. The beats are eclectic but highly listenable. Subject matter and talent are moving in tandem bar for bar. Good looks to fellow Londonite B.Greene for putting me on to Shad.

4. Wasun

Here's the thing with Wasun. Unless you're from Jane and Finch or the GTA you probably haven't heard of him yet. His debut EP, What Must Be Done might be hard to get your hands on, even. I don't know if he's even making music these days, but I certainly hope so.

We met in '06 when he came to town to see M-1 and network a bit. I love this cd. Listen to the stuff on his MySpace page. You'll hear the streets in a way you might not be used to from Canadian rap.

5. Cadence Weapon

Probably the guy with the most shine on this list, the gifted young Edmontonian runs back and forth across the country showin' off like Terry Fox. If you haven't heard Cadence Weapon yet go cheer him on the next time you see his name on a flyer. He's nice behind the boards and unique on the mic. See him on tour across Canada with Buck 65 and Skratch Bastid in the weeks to come.

If you're an mc somewhere up here in the Durty North, send me your stuff. Can't hurt. If I don't like it I'll leave it alone, but if it's good I'll mention it. Just a thought.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wu-Tang Poll Update!

Pertaining to the question of whether or not the Wu-Tang Clan will make it to their Montreal date, we have some action. Three people think they'll be here, one person says maybe, another says no, and a sixth says never.

So, it's official: nobody reads this thing.

8 Things To Consider Hating

I don't have any real news today, but as I look around for something to write about so much stuff is aggravating that I'm just gonna list off the top 8 random things that I'm tired of reading about re: hip hop.

1. Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell's supergroup

Child Rebel Soldier ain't said shit yet but somehow there's a new story about them every day. The rumored collabo won't see the light of day until after '08, according to Lupe Fiasco.

A planned promotional campaign involving a gigantic three-headed robot hype machine is scheduled to pillage and then level your city sometime next fall. That oughta get the album pushed back until at least '10. 'Til then get your $80 ugly t-shirt while you can.

2.Rappers' reality shows

Flav, Ice T, Run, Snoop: Can't you all just pander to 10 year olds on wax like the rest of the rap world? I mean, there's sucking and then there's sucking. Snoop, which is working better for you?

3. Lil' Wayne

Enough already. Check out how bad this is. If that's not enough, the comments section almost made me check into music rehab. I swear hip hop is on some Flowers For Algernon shit.

4. Hip Hop Court Cases

Busta, T.I., Beanie Sigel, Prodigy, Remy Ma. Assault, guns, piss, guns, guns. I mean, so what? Meanwhile this F1 fool hires an army of hookers to treat him like a prison camp inmate and gets to give a press conference about it. Since he has a video maybe he'll just get a slap on the wrist.

5. Serato Haters

The future is so five minutes ago. Where does that leave you? In the Bronx with a flashlight ? How's that thing with your prostate going, by the way?

6. The Fif

Not to judge him on this story, because we don't know all the facts (and because there's plenty of other stuff to judge him for), but 50 could fly around the world on a sleigh giving out presents and I'd still wish him the worst. Just go away and make room for the up-and-coming talentless hacks. Speaking of which...

7. Flo-Rida

You fucking kidding me?

8. Jay-Z's Next Move

First he had the R.O.C.. Then he took over Def Jam for a minute. Rumours that he would move to Interscope were bogus. Then he was supposed to do something with Apple but that got deaded. Now it's this. Hey, about a fully decent record again? Remember those?

Alright. That's enought hating. Nothing but love for the next little while on The Bombsheltah.

R.I.P. Frosty Freeze

Mr. Freeze of the Rock Steady Crew passed away yesterday at age 44. Peace and blessings to his family, friends and fans. He left behind a legacy for sure, but 44 is too young. Rest in peace Freeze. Long illness is an understatement.

Monday, March 31, 2008

CJLO Brings The Heat

Photo by Jacob Whitaker

The real hip hop is ova' here.

We all know 95% of Montreal radio gets the bozack. Some mathematicians have even speculated that 97.2 % is a more accurate figure.

While Astral Media-owned stations and the like continue to find ways to play Black Eyed Peas and Akon while completely ignoring the rest of the culture they jack, Concordia radio has the freedom to play hip hop without regard for what your little sister likes.

So, in schedule order from Sunday to Saturday, here's the run-down of rap music at CJLO.

North Of The Border
The Reign
Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em*
Underground Spiritual
What's Really Good? Radio
12" Satisfaction*
Phantastiq Cypha*
The Limelight*

*100-hundred-percent Bombsheltah approved. Listening pending for the others.

I haven't heard all these shows, but check their playlists to see if they're for you. For that matter, get your head outta wherever you keep it and listen to something other than hip hop for a change. There's tons of dope shows, like this one. It's hosted by a pretty girl and even though it's listed as a rock show shorty just played ODB. This station is whassup.

Prodigy Drives To Jail

The P: Poster Child For The American Way

I gotta put up a link to this video, in light of the last post I put up.

Here's Prodigy driving himself to jail.

This shit is kind of sad. It probably seems like I think The P is jokes but that's far from the truth. I'm just a dick. I love this fool.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Prodigy Blogs From Rikers

Prodigy of Mobb Deep began a new celebrity blog for yesterday. He'll apparently be posting from prison while also finishing his autobiography.

In jail on a three-and-a-half year bid for gun possesion, Prodigy has some time to kill, and is opting for a G5 instead of a .45. Actually, the way Mobb Deep records have sold for the past decade or so, he's probably using an Acer.

It looks like it's gonna basically be full of piss and vinegar. I hate to get joy from another man's sorrow but I gotta see how long it takes before he completely fucking rips 50 and G-Unit. And then after that, it'll be fun to see how long he bothers keeping it up at all.

I'm pretty sure I'll get my answers within the week.

I also don't know what to think about this threatened autobiography. On one hand I feel like that's a trainwreck I'd stop to watch, but after reading one page of The P's blog I'm not sure I'd make it past the forward. He'll be needing a good copy editor. Holla.

Here's Mobb Deep in better times.

The Roots & Erykah Badu - May 6th

Erykah Badu pictured with Kamal of The Roots.Thanks to WonderWyze for the picture.

This is pretty nice. Tuesday, May 6th the Old Port of Montreal will harbor The Roots and Erykah Badu as they stop through Quai Jacques Cartier for a hot double bill.

G.O.D. willin' we'll have some seasonal weather to accompany the show, but I'll settle for just being outside. Honestly, if this were just Erykah I don't know if I'd be so geeked about it, but something about a double-header with The Legendary Roots Crew makes the whole ticket well worth the $50 admission.

Badu is promoting the release of her latest record New Amerykah Part One. The Roots drop a new one, Rising Down, on April 29th.

I didn't see the Roots last stop in Montreal last fall, so this will by my first time seeing them without bassist Hub, who left the group last August. I feel like his absence might leave a bit of a void in the live experience. Do me a favor, Roots. Fill the gap with Malik B and Dice Raw on this one.

Other than all that, I just can't wait to get drunk outdoors. Also I'm kinda hoping Badu's wig blows off like it did in Block Party.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I Wish My Brother George Was Here

G & Me, early '07

My homie George went out west last summer to partake of the milk of Alberta's flowing teet. Aside from being a talented and creative illustrator, he's a true humanitarian and a person I'm extremely lucky to have as a friend. I'm kind of just dropping this as a tribute post to him, to say whassup. We grew up together, got in trouble together, hosted radio together and have had many, many laughs.

In terms of hip hop, George got me back into to rap music at a good time. After a childhood infatuation with hip hop, I spent most of my teenage years just not identifying with much of it. Some of mine and Geo's earliest common ground in terms of music were Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and Led Zep, but we definitely diverged at some point. I loved Ice T and he loved Del. I loved DK, he loved Goldie. Neither of us ever loved Tag Team, to our credit.

One time in CEGEP, at a typically toxin-fueled Tuesday night house party at a friend's, Geo played me Splattitorium and Runnin' from The Pharcyde, and I started to take his advice on hip hop fairly seriously around that point.

Check out this wicked link I got off his blog, all kinds of info about this famous drum sample as it pertains to the Golden Ratio. That's the kind of dope shit this man has running through his head most of the time.

I'm taking this opportunity to list a number of things G has put me on to. I'd go so far as to say that Geo has helped shape who I am and what I take out and put into the world. That's what good friends do, it's to be hoped. If it weren't for him I'd probably be a roadie for GrimSkunk or something.

In no particular order, here's a bunch of random shit G has gotten me into over the years:

Steel Pulse
Philip K. Dick
Black Star
Wendy's v. other fast food chains
Def Jux
Ralph Steadman
The (original) OfficeThe Internet
Coca Cola Zero
Trailer Park Boys
Jay Electronica
Blu & Exile

Much love man. Get back here soon.

Are The Wu Comin' Thru?

The Wu: Consummate Pros Photo by london_jimenez

NYC's notoriously disorganized Wu-Tang Clan are slated for an
April 21st appearance at Metropolis. The promoters, Gillett Entertainment Group and Greenland, are not fly-by-night operations by any means. The show has been well promoted and I know first-hand that tickets have been selling.

The question on a lot of people's minds, though, is whether or not the Clan will honour the Montreal date. So far both promoters websites still have the show listed.

Over the years, the Wu have missed a show or two, to be sure. Solo acts from the group have played Montreal dates, and to my knowledge the events have gone off, though please fill me in if you know otherwise.

A Facebook notice I read today called into question whether or not the show will go on. Frankly I haven't been paying attention to what's been happening in other cities, but this made me do some searching.

This message board has a number of naysayers, though someone claiming to be a promoter stated on the official Facebook event group page that the show is going down. This was shortly after 12 AM this morning.

This page, supposedly the RZA's official booking agent's MySpace blog, says that the tour is pushed back and only four scheduled dates in the US are going ahead as planned.

I have no answers. I have a ticket, but no answers.

What do you think? Are we gonna get the muthafuckin' ruckus up here in April or not?

I'll keep you posted. Or you can keep me posted. Whatever happens first.

It's too bad if it gets nixed because I really wanted to show Pretty Tony I bought Big Doe Rehab and "have a pow-wow" with him. I still love you, Ghost.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcome Back, Jesus

Photo courtesy of these people

Happy Easter and good spring to you. Here at the Bombsheltah, we're all just a little worried that end times are upon us. Easter is in the middle of winter and I think my cat just barked. Repent thy sins.

In an effort to shine a little light on us all, though, I sat down and more or less randomly chose 11 songs that might bring warmth to those of you burning the final embers of your sanity this winter. Songs I think sprout some of that fresh grass to replace the frozen sod of our souls.

Here they are.

Digable Planets - Where I'm From
DJ Jazzy Jeff & Big Daddy Kane - The Garden
dead prez - Happiness
Micranots - Heat
J-Live - The Best Part
DM & Jemini - The Only One
LL Cool J - Get Down
Cage - Perfect World
MIA - Sunshowers
De La Soul ft. Butta Verses - No
Atmosphere- Sunshine

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mother Dre Gets Blunt

I think it's fair to say that Dr. Dre is the greatest roll model of all time. This touching story from the New York Post's Page Six reminds us of a fact oft-forgotten about Dre.

When the teenaged gangsta-to-be had to step up and do the right thing, he went large. He turned his experiences with drugs, violence, prostitution and firearms into a multi-platinum, award winning music career.

His mom is so proud of him that she's writing a book about her dear son the Doctor.

I think that's amazing. How many mothers would put their embarassing stories about their famous kids on the line for the sake of a few bucks...uh, I mean, books?

Dre, just please make with Detox before the biopic gets produced.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Sunday, March 16, 2008. St. Catherine street, Montreal, post-St.Patrick's Day parade. Photo by me.

I think the photo says it all.

I had to work through this year's parade, which ordinarily is like Christmas to me and my family. On the upside, I was downtown and got to view the parade's aftermath through sober eyes for the first time since adolesence. It occurs to me that St. Pat's is Mardi Gras for WASPs, with pipes and jigs instead of jazz and orgies.

So what does St. Paddy's have to do with hip hop, besides some similarities in terms of gaudy dress and headwear?

Nothing at all, but I do have to mention this: hardcore thugs at the parade make me laugh every year.

You know who I mean. They huddle up along the St. Cat's storefronts, trying to hide their beers in their jackets while glancing around furitively, just waiting for someone to step. Meanwhile me Irish mum is wearing one of those beer hats and Auntie Maureen is doing shots of Jameson out of a little green plastic tumbler hanging on beads around her neck.

Don't the homies notice that there are about 1000 cops standing around, not giving a damn?

For three hours, thugs, would you just be Irish?

You can go back to being sketchy again right after, I swear.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

KRS-One Podcast

It is with great and humble pride that I present to you The Bombsheltah's first ever podcast. Download it ova' here.

This is a compilation of clips from KRS-One's performance Sunday
March 9, 2008, at Le National theatre in Montreal.

Despite being dumped on by a foot-and-a-half of snow in the 48 hours leading up to the show - and the fear that The Teacha wouldn't be able to make it as a result - energetic Montreal heads made it out on a Sunday night, en masse.

The sold-out show provided a rare opportunity to see this hip hop legend in action, and as you'll see, KRS still brings the ruckus better than most emcees half his age. Since the kind of loose theme of this blog is "too old for hip hop", I thought it was worth showing that a dude in his forties can still get live. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Money And My Mouth

Photo by me

A couple of weeks back I did a post about local graffiti writer Castro, and how a local anglo daily called him out. At the time I was griping that they hadn't run flicks of any of his stuff, but I didn't have any, either.

Luckily, I was caught in traffic on the Ville Marie this weekend and had time to take some snaps of Castro's work over the exit for De La Montangne.

It's not that this is bad or good or ultimately worth posting, one way or the other. Just, not putting up a picture myself has been bugging me since. I kinda dumped on the dude's style in my first post. Since then I've seen what seems like more and more throw-ups along the 20, and I gotta say a couple are decent.

Somehow it's just good to see him again. His shit is like comfort graffiti or something. Now if only Fase6 would return...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Atmosphere: Life, Lemons and Leakage

Photo by: Glass Slipper Gourmet

Okay, I’ve been completely lazy this week.

Actually, that’s false, but blogwise I’m collecting dust. At any rate, just a quick word about two guys that don’t know the meaning of lazy, at least when it comes to getting their music out.

Say what you will about Twin Cities duo Atmosphere, you can’t fuck with their work ethic. A dozen tours in half as many years, consistent output of LPs, EPs and side projects, and now a weekly YouTube show hosted by Slug and Ant. Admittedly I’m a fan, but you can’t knock the hustle even if you hate their music.

Basically, in these segments,they sit at someone’s basement bar answering viewer mail in a back-and-forth interview format that burns 10 minutes up pretty nicely. Ant brings a Hollywood cool to balance out Slug’s Appalachian hillbilly swagger, both bringing it home to roost with their Midwestern folksiness. It’s pretty much comedy.

Their new LP, When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, drops April 22. Here’s a rundown of the campaign trail so far:

- Three new installments of the Sad Clown teaser EP series, with a
fourth due any second now.

- A free online full-length album, “Strictly Leakage”

- The YouTube show

- The leak of "Shoulda Known", the first single from Lemons

- A sold-out pre-order deal" that includes a limited edition copy of the new CD

Also, between now and the end of ’09 expect them to have moved to your city and been over for Sunday dinner at Grandma’s.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Whose credibility suffers more here? Celine’s rural Quebecoise-cum-world-class diva status is already a strange enough phenomenon without the b-girl image. Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas further proves he’s on the fast track to becoming rap music’s Elton John. Hmm...Celine, Will and Elton - did someone say "supergroup"?

Celine’s attempt to beatbox in her intro was kind of charming, I have to admit. Too bad it came from that “I-just-don’t-understand-this-stuff” breadbox corner of middle-aged humour. I guess that makes for a successful network special. That, and two of the most irritating figures in pop culture sharing a stage. What a time to be alive. Watch out, Fergie.

The N-word? You mean...Nas?!?

Photo by: Jazmin$Million

After unilaterally proclaiming hip hop dead with his 2006 LP, Queens rapper Nas is taking it to the next level on his upcoming album, which he wants to title "Nigger". CNN got his two cents on the Grammy red carpet, where Nas wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the controversial adjective. His wife, R'n'B singer Kelis, also wore a "Nigger" shirt, though hers was more discretely adorned with the slur across the back.

"The meaning of the word is supposed to be ignorant," Nas explained to CNN's Brooke Anderson, "so there is money being made off us poor so-called ignorant people. No longer are black people niggers. Today it's also me and you."

We all know the n-word gets bandied around left and right in rap lyrics. It's about time someone in hip hop gave it center-stage. Evidently the chairman of Island Def Jam, "L.A." Reid, isn't so sure.

The Beatles had their "white" album. Jay had his "black" album. Why shouldn't Nas up the ante with the “n-word” album?

First of all, it's going to be hilarious hearing white college hip hop deejays trying to figure out how to reference the record. Then again, we'll also see certain factions of whitey jumping up and down for the chance to say the word with full artistic license.

If the title gets the green light, we'll likely see Blacks divided between defending and blasting Nas. Personally (and I'm white - my vote doesn't count for much, let's face it) I'm all in favour of shit disturbance. If this move encourages dialogue, good for Nas. If it pisses everyone in the mainstream media off, good for Nas. If it sells records, well, that can’t be bad, either. I’m just trying to figure out which of these three things Esco really wants to accomplish the most. I’m going with number three.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Out For Shame

Photo by Rob Taussig, The Suburban

The Suburban, a local weekly primarily geared at anglophone families in the west end of Montreal, has declared a notorious tagger apprehended on this week’s cover. “Castro Found!” the paper boldly declares. Unfortunately he was lost again before the end of the article. The graphic seen above was the cover shot. Quite strangely, that is not Castro’s tag. "Is it art?" the Suburban wants to know. Really - is it even news?

This guy actively wrote his name all over every available surface west of St. Laurent Street for years, and then disappeared. Those with a keen eye for vintage vandalism have surely noticed that he’s back at it. Minus, it would seem his trademark “VC” crew. Feels like it must have been at least five or six years since I saw his lazy scrawl scribbled about town. He’s still out for fame, but besides managing to get named by a reporter and then bouncing, there’s nothing new happening style-wise. Reporter P.A. Sevigny gives Castro’s age as 27.

So why not show a Castro piece? Aside from the fact that there’s nothing to them, they’re giving the poor bastard more exposure than he ever needed by printing his real name. There is a criminal case being built against him, according to the paper. I guess the idea is not to cater to his ego by putting his work in print; just to convict him there. The guy is 27 and he still needs people to pay attention to his drawings. I think he’s suffering enough. Unfortunately I can't find a flick to post myself.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Too Old For Hip Hop

Welcome to The Bombsheltah. I'm Archie Bunker, a.k.a. Darcy "Darbles" MacDonald, and as it happens, today is my 30th birthday. I didn't plan this out. I just happen to be sitting here today, with nothing to do. I'm wearing my version of pajamas and a housecoat, I guess - dirty sweats and stinky t-shirt. I'm kinda hungover. Why not start a blog?

A few cover-all answers to projected FAQs and we'll move on.

Firstly - why Archie Bunker? Well, a couple of reasons. Firstly, someone once mistook my first name for Archie. That means nothing to you, but if you were constantly referred to by new acquaintances as "Darren" or "Darryl", you'd feel me. There was at least a phonetic value to the error that made sense. I thought it was funny. If your name is Archie you may disagree, I suppose.

The "Bunker" part is plain logic. C'mon now. This is the Bombsheltah.

The name Archie Bunker is a nod to the '70s TV sexist bigot with the heart of gold, who just didn't know any better. Does such a person deserve praise? Absolutely not. Praise implies worship. A nod simply happens when real recognize real. The real Archie Bunker, g-d rest his script, was on the cusp of hip hop - intolerant, indignant and indulgent. An O.G.. Way too old for hip hop.

I wonder how often "real" and "right" ever get to be the same thing. I don't promise to keep it real, or keep it right. I'll keep it light and tight, and as much as possible, polite. This blog is about hip hop culture and it's tentacles. Promises would be impossible. One man's Source article is another man's toilet paper.

Finally - why the played out "ah" replacement of the letters "er" in the URL to this blog? Nothing less than a perfect marriage of availability issues and bandwagonism.

Thanks for checking this out. I'll do my best to keep you informed on things I find noteworthy and leaving you appropriately tickled or pissed, as the case may be. Enjoy and please feel free to say whatever is on your mind.