Nov

Finally…

Ok, apologies for being gone for so long… I’ve been hard at work in the studio though. I’m happy to announce that the album is finished! The release date is December 6th.

I will be following up with more details so stay tuned. In the meantime, hit me up on facebook.

May

Coach Q

Imagine you’re putting together a basketball team. You’re the coach and the GM. Over the course of a year you hand-pick your players from the best schools and playgrounds you know of. Some are more talented than others. Some are a little raw but have potential. You don’t get every player you try to recruit, but you do the best you can to construct the best team possible.

This team means a lot to you, and you are dedicated. Throughout the year you spend every spare moment you can with the players. Usually you work one-on-one with them, spending hours and hours in the gym, on the playground, anywhere there’s a hoop. You make them do drills. You see them getting better. Sometimes they disappoint you. Sometimes they amaze you. Sometimes you practice for hours and you don’t make any progress at all. If anything, it looks like they’ve gotten worse.

You sacrifice time with your family in an effort to make these players the best they can be. Often the players confide in you, and in the role of counselor and friend you stay up late with them, giving them as much time as they need. You spend entire weekends with them traveling to exhibition tournaments.

In these experiences you laugh together. You cry together. You share moments and make memories. You become close. Each player becomes part of your life. Part of you. You love them. You want them to succeed more than anything. Continue Reading…

Mar

Prostitution Escalating in Los Angeles – Good or Bad?

I’m not sure which is worse – the proliferation of prostitution in Los Angeles, or citizens being in favor of it.

Because of a loophole in a recently passed state law concerning therapist certification, many areas of Los Angeles are seeing a noticeable increase of erotic “massage parlors”. Bad for the community right? Not according to the majority of comments left on the article. Here’s a small smattering of opinions in reaction to some police busts and local community leaders who are trying to crack down on it:

“Those darn right-wing Christians are running California into the ground!”

“I am really sick of the puritans of this country telling me what I can and can’t do.  You can pass all the laws you want.  You cant’ stop it.  Idiots.”

“This is AWESOME!  Finally, something in LA that is what the people want.  We need more places where men can go escape from their wives.  Thank you for making this possible!  Legislature, YOU ROCK!  Why would anyone want to stop this?”

“Oh Who cares if two consenting adults agree to an erotic massage for money.  It is nobodys damn business. I am so sick of these uptight religuous freaks telling people how to live their lives.”

“Why on earth is it the government or law enforcement’s job to regulate sex between consulting adults?  We have religion to blame for this”

 

I could go on. There were also many that want police to concentrate on “real crimes” such as robbery and gang activity.

It’s all perspective right? Being mugged or shot is something bad that could happen to you, whereas paying money to human traffickers to have sex with girls that may or not be prostituting themselves willingly is something bad happening to someone else. As long your own salacious desires are fulfilled it’s all good right?

If we have religion to blame for attempting to keep this world from becoming one big seedy red-light cesspool, well, thank you religion. And thanks for reminding us that our potential is infinite, that we can be much more than animals controlled by every carnal impulse. Some nerve you have religion, some nerve.

Link to LA Times story

Feb

Way Back Home

This video hit me on a lot of levels. As a kid that watched “Rad” hundreds of times and lived on a bike for years (and still attends the X-games most summers in LA), I can tell you that the bike stunts are amazing, but you won’t need me to tell you that when you see it. There is also much artistry to behold in the scenery, the music, and the camera work.

You know how it’s almost discouraging when you see the awe-inspiring things that other people can create? This is one of those times.

 

 

Original link: Danny MacAskill’s “Way Back Home”

Jan

My So-Called Life | Retro Review

Today TV is littered with so-called teenage dramas, mostly unwatchable and predictably base. In comparison My So-Called Life, which ran about 15 years ago on ABC stands out like a diamond in a landfill.

The show was so far ahead of its time that there will probably never come a time when its time arrives. It perfectly captured the agonizing teenage quest of identity and purpose without being pretentious or careless. And it had the heart of a lion. Lead by Claire Danes in her unforgettable breakout performance, the cast of characters made you feel every emotion and you could relate in some way to all of them. You celebrated the good times and your heart wrenched with the bad, because everything that happened on the show felt real, like it was something that happened to you or could happen next week. If you’re a fan a show, you know how just hearing the theme music conjures up nostalgia, heartache, hope, angst. The writing, acting, and execution all seem flawless, but what I can’t stress enough is the realness of it. It’s raw yet refined. As today’s shows drift further and further into fantasy and superficiality, MSCL stands as a beacon of authenticity.

My So-Called Life

Inconceivably to it’s viewers both past and present, it only ran for one season. The entire series is only 19 episodes, but that only adds to the show’s mystique. Had it continued on it likely would have been the victim of network pressures and ratings chicanery. So maybe it’s better that way. For that one season they captured perfection on film, and its audience is better for it. Short-lived, yes, but timeless.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some links. Whether you are a teenager, were once one, or are thinking about becoming one, I think you will like it.

DVD box set

iTunes

Hulu

Nov

New track – Top of the World

A new track from the album! Ok, you might have heard this one before – a rough version was floating around the internets a couple years ago. Here’s a more polished version, though still unmastered. More on the way.

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Sep

Update

Just wanted to say that I’m alive… sorry for the lack of posts. Feels like forces are combining to keep me from finishing the album.

Nothing will stop me though. Progress is being made. I’m moving forward. Still shooting for the end of the year. I can’t post any tracks yet for legal reasons, but new music is coming soon, I promise!

Thanks to those that have been asking – I appreciate the support. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Q

Jun

Album Update – June 23

Just a quick update on the progress of the album… I’m at different stages of 13 songs right now. Working with some great producers and starting to collaborate with some distinguished guest artists. A few songs are already finished and will be posted here within the next few weeks.

I don’t want to let too much out of the bag just yet – I will share more details as the release gets closer. Just wanted to let y’all know that progress is being made. Conscious hip-hop is still alive! What I can say right now is that there will be something for everyone. Something to make you think, something to nod your head to, something to inspire you, something to make you move, maybe even something epic. And some surprises.

Stay tuned.

Jun

The Karate Kid | Retro Review

The Karate Kid All-Valley Championship

I have mixed feelings about the idea of a remake of my favorite movie of all time, but I’m going to see it. I’ll post a review, but first my thoughts on the original…

I will always remember where I was when I first saw The Karate Kid. In the living room of a friend’s house I sat stunned in a black recliner, overcome by excitement, wonder, and amazement. The year was 1986 and I was 9. I had seen movies before, probably quite a few. This was the first time one actually captivated me.

I was at just the right age for the movie to be a perfect storm. I was old enough to be emotionally involved, but not old enough to see the big payoff coming. The scene where Mr. Miyagi reveals to Daniel that the chores he had been doing were actually karate training blew my mind. I volunteered many times that summer to wash my Dad’s car. I also stained our fence, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t need it. The movie’s soundtrack provided an inspirational backdrop for many football and basketball games in my backyard – I had to buy more than one replacement cassette tape. The tournament scenes were reenacted with friends and unfortunate little brothers who involuntarily ended up playing the part of Johnny Lawrence. Thousands have created their own Daniel Larusso or Cobra Kai costumes for Halloween, and all kinds of merchandise is still made and sold on eBay. Continue Reading…

Jun

Beautiful Imperfection

On June 2, Major League Baseball pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from pitching the first perfect game in Detroit Tigers history. In 135 years of MLB there have been only 20 perfect games thrown – fewer than people that have orbited the moon. Its the feat of a lifetime for a pitcher.

The 27th and would-be-final batter hit a routine ground ball which was fielded and thrown to first in time to get the runner out. However, the umpire incorrectly called the play safe, single-handedly stealing the perfect game from Galarraga. The New York Times called it “easily the most egregious blown call in baseball over the last 25 years”. The Tigers’ manager and many players were understandably upset and immediately began arguing the call in defense of their teammate. Anyone who’s played competitive sports knows how upsetting it can be when umpires or referees make a bad call, and this was the worst of calls on the largest stage.

Galarraga must have gone crazy right? Nope. He offered a sheepish smile, collected himself, and calmly retired the next batter to end the game. Because of the the way he conducted himself in recording the first ever “28-out perfect game”, he will be remembered more in the hearts of many than if the umpire had made the correct call. Asked about it after the game he said “I got a perfect game. Maybe it’s not in the book, but I’m going to show my son someday.” Asked about the umpire, he said “nobody is perfect… Inside of my heart, I don’t have any problem.”

Quite the contrast from the actions we’ve been seeing from other pro athletes recently.

Its worth mentioning that the umpire involved, Jim Joyce, also handled it well. He immediately owned up to his mistake after seeing the replay, and was very apologetic to Galarraga. The next day at Comerica Park the two would shake hands as Tigers fans stood in recognition of the great sportsmanship on display. Joyce wiped tears from his eyes when the crowd serenaded him onto the stadium field with applause in a sympathetic show of forgiveness and understanding.

I just wanted to give props to both and say thanks for being good examples. I’m going to try to do the same going forward when in similar situations.