Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Coolest Fuggin' Thing in a Minute!!!

I'm not a hardcore gamer.  In-fact, growing up I ALWAYS felt like I was behind the 8-ball.  By the time I got a Nintendo, a year later the SNES dropped and all the friends I finally bonded with, dumped my ass for a MUCH cooler system.  The story was replayed again and again as each system was upgraded or replaced by an new platform.  So, what did I do?  I just got down with the latest joint at my friend's houses instead of trying to keep up with the "Jones'."  (safe bet... save the cash and cop records instead)

X-Box, Wii, PS3... pha-git-a-bou-dit.  Now, when cats come to my spot they're geeking over the old school joints I've got.  I remember when Louis Logic, Johnny October and Type spent the night at my house after a gig, they started flipping when they saw all the old school joints I have.  In a way it's like an SP1200 now.  When the MPC dropped, everybody quit the SP1200 like a bad habit.  Now, MPCs are a dime a dozen and beatmakers want the SP1200 sound again.  Anyway...  those old school joints MAY be dope, but they take up a gang of space that has to compete with the blu-ray player etc. 

SO, the other day, I copped one of these bad boys for roughly $50, the Retron3 by Hyperkin.  You can play NES, SNES & Genesis games all on one system.  You can also use your old controllers with the system instead of being forced to use the 3rd party controllers, which was the sell for me.    (side note:  The SNES controller is by far my favorite controller of all time)  It has AV and S-Video outputs, but the NES will not work with S-Video.  Despite NES not being compatible with S-Video, the SNES and Genesis games look sick through the S-Video.  I've heard people complain that you can't play "Castlevania III" with it, but you can play some of the import SNES games with the system, which is pretty dope.  I don't have "Castlevania III" or any of the import games, so I don't really care.  The only thing that really matters is if the "Contra" code works.  So, what did I do 1st when I hooked up this bad boy?  Plugged in "Contra" and up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, a, b, start.  Works.  Ballin!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tapes: Side B (Dub Styles video)

After copping those tapes at the Goodwill last week I thought about going through some of my collection and making a little promo vid for "Dub Styles."  If you haven't heard, this is the remix of the original song from "Basement Sessions" and will be featured on the upcoming "Dub Styles" project. 

Real G's rock tapes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tapes: Side A

Rock the deck with the ill cassette!!!
The other day I went to Goodwill not even looking for music, but because I'm a digger, I had to go through their music section.  It's just something I have to do.  Even if I put down the mic and the beats, I know when I go into Goodwill or Half Price Books I WILL thumb through their LPs, CDs and anything else they carry.  So, as I looked through their tapes I found what had to be some cat's early 90s hip hop collection.  They were $.49 each and I picked up a gang of them.  Classics like Cypress Hill, Lords of the Underground, Onyx, Digable Planets, LL Cool J and more.  I honestly stood there saying, "Oh SH!T" again and again as I found gem after gem.  Whoever out there dropped off those tapes, please know they went to a good home.

In this digital age there's something lacking and what makes old school tapes/cassettes so dope.  I'm not sure how much of it is nostalgia from cats my age or if it's because there is something that is missing in music in this iTunes generation.  I will say, amongst audiophiles, there is the argument of digital vs. analog regarding dynamic range.  I wouldn't consider myself an UBER audio hipster, but no doubt there is SOMETHING in the way a tape or record sounds vs. a CD or digital file.  (not going to even get into the whole MP3 compressed frequency argument)  As the technology improved, everybody jumped on the "what's next" vibe and went for the ease of selecting tracks and the "clear/crystal" sound of the digital age.  It's only been in the last few years that people have started to crave what they missed.  The warm buttery sound that vinyl and cassettes had.

But, it wasn't just that...

Coming up there was music was that was discovered via tape and the culture around it.  You'd make dubs, there would be dubs of dubs passed around of really rare tapes, like "Project Blowed" or the Casual Vs. Saafir battle on the wake up show.  It wasn't just buying albums, there was a whole culture of mixtapes and recording radio shows.  As CDs became more popular, the format was put on the back burner.  I knew growing up, whatever release came out, I wanted it on CD, but regardless I would still make a tape of my favorite joints for the walkman, for the ride or for my boys.  Heck, I'd even throw it on tape like how cats make playlists on their iTunes.

Cue J-Zone.

Flip over to continue the post on Side B

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Shining

5 years ago... Rest In Beats.

I'll be honest, there are times when I'm kind of sick off all the pseudo 2pac ish all the cats are gushing over Dilla, but... that doesn't mean he wasn't dope.  (because he was and STILL is one of my fav producers of all time.)  This is a dope video and you really should check it out. 

They were going to have a Dilla tribute show here in Indy, but the weather from last week pushed it back to March.  (wait till later then)

Check the video and play some SV, Donuts, Ruff Draft or anything from his catalog!

"J.Dilla: Still Shining" from B.Kyle on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Basement Sessions OG photo shoot and alt cover-art

This was the final product, but there were several shots from the photo shoot and a few drafts of LP covers before we ended up with what you see.  In my opinion I think the final result was AWESOME, but I'm always interested in a little behind the scenes info on movies, music etc.  (so here's a little bit behind what made the cover)

A good friend of mine, Christina Klucarich took the pics shortly before I left Seattle and moved to Indy. She came through and over an afternoon one weekend she took color and black & white pics in my basement studio.  Within a couple days I developed the pics and then sent a select few to my man Dan Dejos of Juxism to design a cover. 

We moved to Indy and I began working on the 2nd and 3rd version/mixdown of the album before it finally got mastered.  As I was focusing on post production I felt that I needed to do something else than just work on mixes and that's when I technically began really working on "Revisionist History," the untitled LP & the "Dub Styles" projects.  I will not name names, but the project hit a HUGE financial snag when an emcee I used to look up to and have flyers up on my wall took a sum of money to record a verse for "Revisionist History" and fell off the face of the earth.  (so to speak)  He even changed his cell phone number.  (what a douche)  This ended up putting the LP back about 6 months or more, but all in all I wanted to have a release party in my hometown of Seattle anyway. 

As the months passed, I got the LP mastered by LROX at Redsecta, who did an amazing job, and Dan developed a few drafts of the LP. Ultimately, I chose the version that you see above and in the layout labeled "final draft," but here are the alternate album covers that were designed for the album.  Originally I was going to have a digipak layout/packaging, but as we were facing a time crunch and our budget, we went with a regular CD tray layout. 

Alt cover layout
Alt digipak cover
Alt digipak cover
Final version
Alt covers

As you can tell the covers are mostly variations of the same pic and I really dug that.  What was surprising was that the pic that Dan chose was not the one I thought he was going to select.  (BUT, I'm not a graphic designer and I don't have his vision when it comes to these things, so there you go) 

Once the LP cover was finished, I sent it off to get pressed and left for Seattle.  The rest is a cliched sentence that I will not utter.

I hope you dig the alternative cover art and photos to see what ultimately developed into "Basement Sessions."



Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Welcome to Hoth.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in "Empire Strikes Back" without any of the cool speeders, AT-ATs or Tauntauns, welcome to the ice/snowstorm of 2011.  The past two days we've been pelted with freezing rain which has encased everything in ice.  Although it LOOKS like snow it's about 4 inches of ice.  There is no give whatsoever when walking or driving on this faux snow and you'd think a 2,000lb car would leave tracks, but no... just a clean slate of untouched white.

Our Honda, we parked outside, was completely covered in ice and I would slowly scrape the ice off of it throughout the day and try to chop away at the ice in the driveway to make some sort of drivable terrain for us to make an exit.  (if needed) 

Once the car was released from it's icy tomb I decided to take some video and pics of what the house and everything looked like.  After taking about two steps into the front yard I slipped and fell completely on my a$$. 

The Thing... it's morphed into a branch!!!
I took some pics of the front and as you can see in the video some of the limbs that fell off of the trees have been encased in ice like "The Thing."  OR IS IT?!  All I know is if I see a helicopter chasing a dog, I'm NOT inviting it in.  I'm staying inside homie. 

I bet when spring rolls around I'm going to find an assortment of cavemen and squirrels on my front lawn.  The museum of natural history is going to have a field day.  I hope Ben Stiller makes a cameo.

Roll film...

As you can tell as the video cut, I slipped and fell on my a$$. Actually, I slowly slid into the ditch and then onto my a$$.  The best part was trying to get OUT of the ditch.  Now I can officially say that I pulled myself out of the gutter.

Take two...

This time I'm thinking, the backyard may be a little safer.  Meh... not so much.

If only I had a blaster.

In my book of rhymes...

"Dub Styles," "Revisionist History," "Trans Atlantic," "Untitled" & guest shots.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eratic & Mr. Kinetik - Green Hornte EP

BOOM BIF!!!  Some ill boom bap for the 1st of February.   Eratic & Mr. Kinetik help hold it down in Naptown and put together this nice EP that is available for free.

Click here

Does it have anything to do with the release of "The Green Hornet" movie?  Who knows and who cares.  Eratic, honestly, is STRAIGHT bonkers on the bars and Mr. Kinetik is so ill on the rhymes and decks.  It's nice hearing a dope duo and CUTS on a track for once. 

Don't sleep!!!