Monday, April 27, 2009

Hip-hop: Tryin' to make it or just playing 'the role'?

Sorry, I've been MIA, I've been out and about. I know, I know that's no excuse to neglect my three fans :). So last week, my good friend had his first solo performance at Blue Cafe in Long Beach. Let me start by saying it was interesting to say the least. I was pretty disappointed in the turnout but it was a small club in Long Beach on a Tuesday, so its unlikely that unless you know a performer that you're gonna show up. Sucky I know.

So I took some pictures, I figured I can make this like a quick picture diary to outline my experience at the show.

1) Phebian - OK I'm sad I don't have a pic of this girl, but I didn't realize I had the camera until later. WHAT THE HELL was going on here? This woman was a hot mess. Not only did her voice make me want to take shots, but her outfit made me want to buy her some new clothes. Her shirt wasn't so bad, a sheer animal print shirt, but she was wearing cut off shorts. Why are you wearing cut off shorts? Her dress code was not reminiscent of her singing style which is supposedly Rock/Electro/Neo-Soul, at least that's what she says. What it was, was a off-key crow singing on top of her song and not matchin' up the timing, walking around the stage like she wanted to be America's Next Top Model. I think she has the potential to maybe be good, but she needs direction and FAST, not to mention her lyrics were kind of like the poems that little girls write when they have young crushes at the age of 10. So many mixed messages with this performance, not to mention that there was no-one there for her, except one dude; who I suppose is either her boyfriend or someone who wants to get in her short shorts. Clean up your act the words of MTV...NEXT!

2) EazyBukks - Unfortunately his Myspace has been cancelled so I can't show you what he's all about, but I do have pics of this dude. Lyrics were that of a wannabe thug. The beats weren't that bad and eventually he had three guys on stage that was somewhat entertaining. I mean I wouldn't sign him but I wasn't running for the hills exactly. I mean I only needed to drink a cocktail to digest this, not shots.

3) Ego Tripp - First I think his name is stupid and while I can't really dogg his performance all that much, it wasn't something to write home about. To be perfectly honest, I don't really remember it all that much. I wasn't drinking so its not that, it just didn't stick out. I never heard myself saying damn he's good or the beats are tight. Everything was just mediocre. I mean did any of these people come here to put on a good show? DAMN!

Now for the main event!
Ok its the main event for me anyway. I came to support my long-time friend Proverb. I have heard him rap for years and can see his potential, but I can't lie when I say I don't know if it was a well-rounded performance. He didn't disappoint and he was by far the best of the night, but what does that say if everyone else isn't that good? Verb - if you're reading this: you're only as good as the company you keep and I know you know what I'm talking about. Its fine for a starter, but I expect to see bigger and better things from a man with your talent and potential.

4) Proverb - This was the most lively show by far. Almost everyone who was at the venue was there for this. A huge asset is having support, existing support tends to foster more support because other people find comfort in knowing that they are not alone in liking something new. The great thing about this performance is that he chose a variety of tracks to work from. While he started with a true hip-hop track, he mixed in a little comedy in there with 'sexy ladies, where your ugly girls at'. I think the crowd went through more than one emotion, showing that there was some depth in his performance. Being as unbiased as a can though, he needed a little something more. Proverb has a great presence, but you really have to put on a show to get people engaged. As many rap artists do, Verb brought a few of his 'homies' up on the stage to join him, however, they didn't add to the show. If ya'll are not gonna ad lib in the back and do nothing but sit there and bob to the music, you're not adding to my overall experience and that's just they way it is. Clearly, this wasn't the venue to pull out all the stops, but every performance should be a performance that counts!!!

5) Icky Green - Ok, so its hard to follow an act that gets the whole place rowdy and involved. Not to mention, this guy was from SD.

Sticky got on the stage with a drink in his hand very nonchalantly; after hearing the others I wasn't in positive mind. Then...Sticky begins...shit, he's pretty freakin' good. Its sad that he's from SD and doesn't really have any 'crew' with him, but he actually was a very good compliment to Proverb's show. Its too bad that everyone else made this place unbearable. I was surprised that I actually found myself enjoying this interesting dude named Sticky. He was also solo and went up on stage with a shirt and khakis like this was something he does when he gets out of bed in the morning, no pretense, just himself. He had his own unique way of performing. I would be interested to see him on stage with some acoustic instruments or something.

The final word...
One thing lacking in all the hip-hop performances was a hype man. Haven't ya'll learned from watching shows, watching a solo artist with nothing in the background in not a fun show. You need a DJ, hype man, band, dancers, whatever....I would say 1/2 the show is the performer and his/her skills and the other 1/2 is the performance...Put on a damn show, I want to smile, dance, laugh, bob my head!

Well I'll report from the next show I go to, but if all 'up and coming' artist shows are like this one, I understand why the music industry is not doing so great right about now. Yikes!

Monday, April 20, 2009

You'll never be bored in downtown LALA!

I've seen some strange things since I've moved back out here to LA in October. Today was strange, so I thought I would share some of these moments with you. Unforuntately, I don't have photos to show you exactly what I mean, but I can show you the locations.

1)Death in downtown; I think it was an overdose. The first week I was back, some homeless guy was dying on this corner of downtown LA. Freaked me out a bit.

2)The pirate guy. I love him, I must say. He is probably one of the most interesting homeless men I have met in Downtown LA and he is ALWAYS very nice and polite and goes about his own way.

3)Dead body outline near Coffee Bean. Early in the morning, I drove by and saw tons of cops at this location and a sticker outline of a man and a dead man being rolled into an ambulance, Yipes!

4)Slip and slide on the Sidewalk right in front of Hotel Cecil. Today I was driving back to my place from a day of apartment hunting and saw three little girls slip and sliding on the sidewalk. This is a rough block of main, where you can probably score some recreational drugs, or at least it seems that way. I realize that it was over 90 degrees today, but this is not a residential area, this is downtown, NUTZ!

5) This sign in Little Tokyo, which I STILL am having trouble interpreting. Please HELP

If you can't read it, it says; The Japanese Pollo Loco, \the chicken tastes like Lexus! Surprisingly enough, the Yelp reviews are pretty good for this place.

This place is crazy, but its never a dull moment!!! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A few of my favorite things!

I thought I would use this blog as an opportunity to Julie Andrews said "a few of my favorite things" with you. Here they are:

My Blackberry Curve

My iPod; ain't she cute?

Red Velvet Cake from Doughboy's

24 Hour Fitness

S'mores Poptarts

My downtown loft

My turntable

Strawberry Milkshakes from Farmerboy's

Virgin America

And last but not least:

My Sony Vaio

Ok so that's not the last thing but these are just...well...'a few of my favorite things'.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Try, try again!

So this probably the fourth attempt to write my first person blog. The first time it was about my life in SF, second it was about the bet I had with some colleagues to lose weight, the third time was a resolution to blog more in 09'. Fortunately, I have one success under my belt; I am now a regular contributor to the TennisMetro blog, blogging about one of my passions in life, Tennis. Ahh Tennis! I won't go on about that here though.

This is my attempt again to produce a journal-like blog of my crazy endeavors of life. After all, we learn from personal experiences and from others, right? I actually have the habit of learning from my own mistakes, however, that does not mean that I won't go on to eventually just take a shortcut and learn from someone else's.

Well a bit of background then: I'm a public relations professional, which I am very passionate about. I love being outdoors and traveling all over the world. I'm doing my best to eat healthy and ....big surprise...slim down and be more fit! I have been loving my turntable and playing my favorite records lately, I feel bad when I neglect the little guy. I have been very athletic this past month and am determined to get in tennis shape so that I can partake in a couple of tennis tourney's this year. In my short life so far, I've been luck enough to experience more fantastic things than unfortunate things and I accredit a lot of that to my ridiculously optimistic nature. I have crazy Indian parents, which also means I am first generation born in the United States and I have a very 'interesting' older brother, whom I affectionately call Brotha Numsei (a reference from the movie,'The Golden Child').

What will I blog about? Well probably not tennis, since I got that taken care of, but...everything else! I guess I'll be writing about life's little lessons and how to handle interpersonal relationships, questions I have about the planet and our world, as well as the things I find completely irritating and/or confusing. So let this journey begin and thanks for coming along.