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    Jul 19, 2006
    Sorry for the delay....my schedule is maaaaaaaaaaaaaad off this week (for the second week in a row - this is crazy!!!!)!!!!
    The City Paper BIG MUSIC issue came out today (Wed. 7.19.06) and it was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than I could have ever imagined. They really co-signed for Bmore rap in a BIG way! I am so very honored to have been included in any capacity.
    Big Ups to everyone that was featured and/or immortalized in the very cool trading cards the City Paper crafted in honor of our city's most notable hip hoppas! (complete with personalized stats - even tho it seems like ere body was eronenously added to the Bang-A-Rang crew. C.O.M.P. is the only person that waves that flag, as far as I know) Above is a collage that Skarr Akbar* made by combining all of the cards. (* One of the many STARS to be featured on the IBB show next Wed. 7.26.06 @ SONAR). It's being posted all ova MYSPACE (as bulletins and comments...LOL! check out my page), message boards and blogs. Looks very cool!

    This issue (much like the Ladies of Baltimore Hip Hop set featured at this year's African American Heritage Festival) is not all inclusive, but that's OK!.....the fact that local Hip Hop is considered a relevant addition to any family-friendly event and/or city wide publication speaks volumes about the tremendous amount of work that the scene as a whole has been puttin in.
    LET'S FACE IT: There is no way that everyone can be included in everything. suck it up!!!!


    Let's take my upcoming mixtape: The panel reviewed 50 + songs submissions. Many of them.... I bought to the table myself

    (side note: I cannot believe the number of super stars that NEVER submitted music, but had the nerve to ask me what song of their's I used for the mixtape!!!!!???? NEVER AGAIN!!! I gave folk a chance to be on a DNA mixtape for free....IMA EAT THAT!!!! many of you are the same ppl that squawk about how much it costs - go figure???)
    .....after you sift through the songs that are just plain garbage and the ones where the sound quality and/or mix was so bad that it would disrupt the overall flow of the CD....you still may be left with 30 - 35 songs
    ....then this number still has to be cut down because you can only get 80 mins on one CD (actually 74 mins. to be safe....see...LOL! I just learned dat!).
    .............This is when the real hard work begins.....
    You have very real decisions to make....one has to think about the marketability, recognition and street credibility of the artist, the relationship with him or her (This matters tremendously- pervious or future), strategy (self-explanatory), feasibility (time constraints), content (will the target audience like the song?), etc.
    ......After all that...you get your list down to 24 tracks (by being very calculated) and you still have to hurt feelings. Thing about it...that was never your intention (especially when you started the project out of love and/or admiration)
    SAD REALITY: YOU CANNOT COVER AND SHOW LOVE TO EVERYONE AT ONE TIME!!! The decision maker has to realize that (AND NOT BEAT HIM OR HERSELF UP) and so does everyone that feels like they've been excluded. Its usually a timing thing!...............THAT OR EITHER U NEED TO STEP UR GAME UP - ACROSS THE BOARD!
    so without further adieu......
    Big Ups to Al of Govt Names!!! I appreciate your candor and willingness to express your passion about what's right and wrong Baltimore's local music scene. I've said it once...& I say it again....you inspire me.
    No one could say it better:
    per GN: "The Best Of Both Worlds is my baby, my big article about the history of fusion between Baltimore club music and hip hop. I did a lot of interviews and research for this and I think it came out pretty good, although honestly I'm too close to it to be objective yet. I focused primarily on club producers who also make hip hop, including Booman, Debonair Samir, Blaq Starr, Dukeyman, Rod Lee (who I didn't get a chance to interview), DJ Ron Rico, and Say What (who I did interview, but unfortunately the stuff about him got left on the cutting room floor, so apologies to him). Harvell deserves a lot of credit for greenlighting and editing the piece, and adding his two cents to a lot of the article and helping it take shape, a lot of the turns of phrase and perspectives in there are his. Over the next couple weeks on Gov't Names I'll have posts about each of the producers spotlighted in the article to really share some music and show people what I'm talking about if they're not familiar."
    Appropriately titled, The Come Up, Jason Torres did a tremendous job with compiling and making sense of a discussion that was all over the map (focus-wise). The is the result of last month's City Paper roundtable that included DJ K-Swift, Ogun and Wink from Real On Purpose Records, Mike Mcintosh from Architects Studio, Victor Starr from 92Q, Shawn Caesar from Unruly Records, Sekani Williams and I. Additional commentary was later added by Ahk from 88.9, Golden Seal and OOH of Brown F.I.S.H. to round out this award winning story! Big Ups to you Jason...this was a real page turner. You are a truly captivating writer.
    (I know OOH [all caps, please] is mad they didn't (edit 7.21.06) spell his name "right"...LOL! Forgive them brotha, for they know not what they do)
    JUST SO YOU ALL KNOW: I really hate my pic and if it pops up anywhere- YOU "the poster" are BLACK LISTED!!!! ...LOL! j/k, but not j/k!
    Congratulations are in order for Shodekeh (Baltimore's most recognized Human Beatboxer)!!!! Not only did you snag the much coveted cover, but the article, Spitting Game (by J. Bowers), was well written and much deserved. Keep up the great work!!!
    Timmy Grins and TheBreakdownTV are EREWHERE. Big Ups to the team...including one of my newest Myspace friends...DJ Excel. Check out Stream Of Consciousness by Jess Harvell when you get a few!!! Very Informative!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmh!!!!
    Turning The Tables by Jaye Hunnie about DJ Spontaneous was a great read. GO SPONTANEOUS!!! You can catch him every morning on the Big Phat Morning Show (92.3 FM).
    The Big Music Thing is a downloadable mixtape of local music, featuring mp3's by many hip hop and club favorites including Dirty Hartz, Mullyman, Barnes, Cooli Hi, and producer Rod Lee.
    Much of the words (opinions) offered by anyone of us (with regards to the future of Baltimore Hip Hop) is more often than not based on a hunch, insight, a feeling, a wish and not so much on actual album and/or show ticket sales (aka PROOF).
    I see the writing on the walls (I see a bright future), but much of my optimicism is not based on anything substantial. I just feel blessed and fortunate to be part of something bigger than me. I feel anxious and nervous about all of the new challendes I face daily - for me that has always been a GOOD sign. FYI: No one is going to play cheerleader for ever. This IMO was "I got your back"....no more no less! The City Paper shined a spotlight on the scene only - NOW WHAT???? You got to keep on giving them something to talk about or else they won't write about us again.
    Its is at times like this that those of you mentioned need to really check your priorities and not get all caught up on the fact (& SMUG) that you were mentioned or covered and not some one else ....YOU ARE NOT BETTER (....& in some cases, not the most polished)...just in a better postition to be recognized by people with a "voice".
    .................and those of you that didn't get your shine this time need to devise or modify your promotional (this includes publicity) plan ...to better ensure that next time you are considered. I do hope they add more to the collection.
    Oh yeah!!! did yall peep the pic of D.O.G.? You have got to see those hats up close...I think they are so fly. The O's is blinged out! I may get a few and give them away as door prizes at the show.
    I know some of yall like "B....please!!" .....& you just gonna be mad for a min....NO MATTER WHAT I SAY.....LOL! ...all im saying is supress your jealousy, congratulate your contemporaries and tell the devil to get back! (that's all it is, baby!) Your time is coming! fo sho! stay motivated! church!
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 7/19/2006 11:31:00 PM  
    • At Thursday, July 20, 2006 10:37:00 AM, Blogger Al Shipley said…

      glad you enjoyed the issue, thanks for the props. I don't know how the mention of Bang-A-Rang Gang got into Tha Plague's bio, I guess someone made a typo. I'm definitely looking forward to your show next week and the mixtape.

    • At Thursday, July 20, 2006 12:36:00 PM, Anonymous jess said…

      the (multiple...like, uh, bossman didn't drive a cab) errors in the trading cards will be corrected next issue. i was tired, y'all.

    • At Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:22:00 PM, Blogger Al Shipley said…

      haha yeah, one of the things that a fact-checker called and asked me about was the cab thing, and I told them that as far as I knew he drove an ambulance, not a cab. also, you should correct one of the things you added to my article about what artists Rod Lee has worked with, he never produced B. Rich.

    • At Friday, July 21, 2006 11:03:00 AM, Blogger C Love "The Rap Addict" said…


      LOL! Only someone that is totally into Bmore HIp HOp would have even picked up on the whole bangarang thing...LOL! Im way too into details.....

      + its not like you would be in bad company ...I doubt many ppl would complain..... they got a card...they need to stfu...LOL!

      Also...you may have been thinking about Cappadonna...he was the "hack" aka taxi driver.

      its all good tho!!! it was still one of the best City paper's EVER!!! seriously!!!!

      I am excited about Wednesday...I hope others are excited as well. The mixtape is gonna be crazy!!! SERIOUSLY!!! I couldn't even do any talking ...there is so much great music I wanted to add!!! Ill def make sure you get a copy. Also..al...do you have a mailing addy...DNA wants to send you a package. He may hit you up via e-mail.

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