1.30.08: Lupe Fiasco @ The 930 Club

Last night was absolutely exhausting. Evidently, my lack of sleep the past few days only furthered fucked up my health. Now I'm blowing into tissues and I've already skipped two classes, sleeping an astounding 12 hours last night.

Luckily, it was all worth it. Here's a timeline:

3:00 pm: I'm struggling to finish typing up the interview for Amanda Diva. Just I finish, I realize the voice recorder the radio station gave me was fucked up. It kept saying it was "locked." And the directions, which I "downloaded" online, doesn't even tell you how to fucking UNLOCK it. So I run out my dorm and begin my search for a Radioshack.

3:15 pm: I kept imagining this Radioshack that actually doesn't exist. So basically, I walk about 8 blocks until I realize I'm going in the wrong direction. Then I walk 8 blocks in the opposite direction. So, in case you're keeping score at home, I walked 16 total blocks, although I really only had to walk 2. Nice.

3:34 pm: I'm just about to reach Radioshack. But I get a phone call from AD's camp asking directions from Baltimore. I'm a dumb motherfucker when it comes to giving/following directions unless I have taken the route a million times. So I end up calling Moms (thank you) and she mapquests that shit. Luckily, they were on point. 

3:57 pm: I get to Radioshack. And wouldn't you know it, the place is fucking packed. At the register a very American manager is speaking to a very Latino customer in fluent Spanish and these two carry on the longest conversation about god knows what. It took nearly 15 minutes for these two to end their love affair, and once it was over the manager switched right back into his average American accent. Yet there was another customer ahead of me, so add an extra 10 minutes there. Overall, I spent about a half an hour at Radioshack. And spent 80 dollars. Yeah.

4:24 pm: I'm back at my dorm. I get another call from the AD camp. They're almost here, and I'm scrambling to figure out how to use the new voice recorder. I stuff everything imaginable into my backpack and run over to the student center. My man Acey Blackstar meets me over there. On the way, I find out I get to interview Emily King this weekend. Dope.

4:56 pm: We begin the interview inside the MCC. Amanda Diva has some great responses, perhaps it's because she's so experienced on the radio. Out of all my interviews yet, I ended up doing the least talking. And that's a good thing.

5:45 pm: We wrap up the interview and say our thanks. Benson got some great pictures, (which hopefully you'll get to see very soon). They inform me I've gotta be at the 930 club by 6:30 pm. That means little homie's got rush.

6:00 pm: I'm running down the stairs of my building in a total rush. I hit the ATM and run out the building. I throw my hand up at the first cab I see and hop in. Halfway around the block I realize my ATM card is still in the machine. I ask dude to turn around and I jump back in the dorm. No card in the machine. Luckily, one of our "everyday-friendly" UPD officers has it in his pocket. No identity theft this time, muhfucka.

6:20 pm: Im at the spot waiting outside with 4 people who end up all waiting for Amanda. 15 minutes later we're inside 930 watching opening act Optimus soundcheck. I'm thinking, who the fuck are these dudes? They ended up rocking the crowd. 

7:30 pm: Doors open and I head up to the balcony to my usual spot on stage right. Hipsters rush right up to the stage and stuff their posters in their Jansports. The DJ starts to play some Mos, Nas, and Pharcyde. He puts on De La and asks the crowd who's heard 3 Feet High and the crowd is silent. Instantly, he responds with "that's what I thought." Shoutout to MN8 for putting on these great shows at 930. And yeah, the crowd was mad young. (But who am I to talk?) 

8:15 pm: Deev gets up there and kills it. It's shame she was the first artist out there, and only got to perform two songs. Fuck that. Just like on the radio, she's got a great presence whether it be over the air or with the crowd. Go cop Life Experience, now.

8:45 pm: EDIT: Reemstarr made his appearance. My earlier comments have been removed. I LOVE DC HIP HOP!

9:15 pm: Optimus hits the stage with a very solid band. Dude's sthick is cool, and he def got the crowd moving. I guess Lu found him out in LA and brought him along for the entire tour. He was very grateful to be in the position he was in. Shortly after his set begins, Eric and Nathan scramble upstairs after copping tickets at the last minute.

10:15 pm: After three opening acts, Lupe finally wanders out on stage. The concept for the first half of his set was very cool. The lights would dim and he would ask the crowd "do you remember when?" and go right into some of the tracks that made him famous. He rocked over "Feel Good Inc" and got the crowd moving to Food & Liquor hits like "I Gotcha" and "Daydream." The latter was one of those joints that just cannot fail in concert. Except for the fact Matthew Santos was introduced to sing it, while I much rather had heard Sarah Green or Nikki Jean do the part.

10:35 pm: First, I look over at the soundbooth and spot Nikki Jean rocking out way in the back. Why ain't she on stage? And then, directly to her right is the homie Wale. Just chillin. No one noticed him, and he ducked out about halfway through Lu's set. (See Wale's appearance on Rhymefest's Man in the Mirror mixtape)

11:15 pm: Honestly, the set is very, very long. As he eases into some of The Cool tracks, Nikki Jean finally jumps on stage for "Hip Hop Saved My Life" and sticks around for "Little Weapon" with Bishop G. Nikki looked beyond ecstatic to be there, which was very cool. Honestly, Lupe put it all out there. The show was live, man. Packed from wall to wall, and everyone was feeling it. 

We ducked outta there around 12:15, and headed on over to Ben's Chili Bowl, which was ultimately a horrible choice come this morning. I feel like shit but once again, I'm happy that yesterday was sucha solid night.

Thanks to Amanda Diva, and to Nikki, I hope we get to speak soon! Look out for the AD interview Saturday morning right here on the blog, or tune into FF next week for the official broadcast.

1.29.08: FF 002.5

FF 002.5
Hosted by jben.ok
9:15 pm - 10:00 pm
January 29, 2008
WRGW Radio
LISTEN LIVE on gwradio.com

This was going to be FF 003, but the show is basically just music so it's not really worth a full show. 
Nikki Jean, who I'm very excited to see perform with Lupe Fiasco tomorrow night, was originally our scheduled guest. But I opened my mouth, folks. I said "barring extreme circumstances" she'll be here. 
Extreme circumstances, indeed.

Travel complications kept Nikki from her first visit to WRGW, but we understand these things happen!

Tune in tonight for jben.ok playing 45 minutes of funk.

1.28.08: The Big Week That Wasn't Supposed To Happen

Nikki Jean

Nikki Jean & Amanda Diva

Wait a minute.

I promised you a solid February, yeah. I regretfully reported there would be NO Funkadelic Freestyles this week.
Thanks to two beautiful women, things have changed within the last 24 hours.

Tomorrow night, Funkadelic Freestyles presents another SPECIAL EDITION from 9-10:30 pm.
Barring extreme circumstances, Nikki Jean from Nouveau Riche and Lupe Fiasco's  The Cool album will join us live in the WRGW studios.

And, be on the lookout for jben.ok's exclusive interview with Amanda Diva, former radio host of Breakfast @ Diva's on Sirius Satellite Radio and former host of MTV2's Sucker Free Countdown. She's left radio and TV for a career as a female emcee, and has a new EP out called Life Experience. The interview's scheduled for Wednesday, and it should be up on the blog by Saturday. We'll air it officially next Tuesday.

Two strong females in the hip hop community, two nights at WRGW.
Don't miss these!

Video: Erykah Badu - Honey

Erykah Badu - Honey

Dope video, with a little "Hey Ya" in between.
I'd support my local record store, if I HAD a local record store.

1.25.07: This is eMC

eMC: Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Punchline, Stricklin

Albums are leaking again!

I said about a week ago nothing new had reached my hard drive. Like, I was doing them Songs On A Sunday comp, (which I will continue, on Sunday), and I was just bored as fuck. If you listened to last week's FF, (and if you didn't, I totally understand), you might have noticed those three CONSECUTIVE Jay Electronica joints. THAT EVERYONE ALREADY FUCKING HAS. I was bored, how you want me to explain myself? No more lazy shit, I promise.

Anyway, this is what Thursday brought in. (Not the band, you emo fucks). 

Artist: eMC (Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Punchline, Stricklin)
Album: The Show
Release Date: 2008
Label: M3 Records

So far, a very solid album. The production, the vocals, the rhymes; all fresh. I feel sorta stupid posting this shit up here because I'm so uneducated on these dudes. Masta Ace is a legend, y'all, and I'm just starting to get into his stuff. Wordsworth I've actually been hype to for awhile, so ain't nothing new there. I'm just now learning about Punchline and Stricklin, (I know y'all, feel free to send me a package o' late passes). 

So enjoy my favorite track so far, "Winds of Change." And if you really want an album link, hit me on myspace.com/jbenok.

Oh, and I'll make a post about this on Monday, but no Funkadelic Freestyles this week. I'd be mad if it was the men's basketball team playing, but  it's just our NATIONALLY-RANKED  women. 

But February equals fresh and fire. Brand new guests. 2006 guests. Album release parties. 

Book them plane tickets, fam.
 You're gonna wanna be IN the studio next month.

MP3: FF Muhsinah Interview 1.15.07

It's early Friday morning and I'm back on the blog.
 Just here real quick to drop off last week's Muhsinah interview. 
This post would have pictures, but with this semester's common theme of technical difficulties, it ain't happening.

Check the link for the interview with a few exclusive cuts, including a little something off day.break 2.0!

Please buy Muhsinah's day.break on iTunes.

SOAS Vol. 2

As we continue on...

1. "A Letter To Sick L (1980-2001)" - K-Hill
2. "Love Rain (feat. Mos Def)" - Jill Scott
3. "Part IV Psalm" - John Coltrane
4. "Lush Life" - John Coltrane
5. "Be Alright" - Foreign Exchange
6. "Over Our Heads" - Jon Brion

7. "The Love Song" - K-OS
8. "Above The Clouds (feat. Inspectah Deck)" - Gang Starr
9. "Reminding Me (Of Sef) (The Roots Remix)" - Common
10. "Nag Champa (Afrodisiac For The World)" - Common
11. "Hapiness" - Foreign Exchange (oops)
12. "Coming Home" - John Legend
13. "Here We Go" - Jon Brion
14. "Last Donut of the Night" J Dilla
15. "This Shit Is For The..." J Dilla

1.20.07: SOAS Vol. 1

My apologies for the lack of updates. The first week of school always brings new challenges, therefore the crew has been less focused on the blog. 
Our first show went fairly well; a few technical issues were semi-distracting at the beginning of the episode but the interview was very, very fun. Muhsinah, who I dubbed "our smartest guest yet," let loose as we discussed her background, day.break, and this blog post from Ms. Jack Davey. (Pictures and full-interview coming soon.)

We'll be back again this Tuesday, as we get back into some new music and Nyadenya does his first interview (ever) with Canadian rapper Michael Ikeda. In case you missed it, we now have four members of the FF crew posting on the blog: Eric, Nyadenya, Donavan (Hi-Fi), and myself. Good things coming from all of us throughout the semester.

I haven't really had anything to post about for awhile. For some reason, it seems like the writer's strike has dipped  its nasty hands into the pool of hip hop, thus nothing new (or notable) has showed up recently. 

About an hour ago, I was given a pretty fair source of inspiration. Most people I know have a difficult time dealing with loss, whether it be a death, a relocation, or a simple defeat. In hip hop, it's generally rare to show immense emotion. 

A few of my best friends lost one of their friends this weekend in a very tragic accident. All I can think about is the emotions I felt when I lost the people closest to me, or even those who I only knew for a short time. In this particular case, it was the latter. My prayers are with my friends and the young man's family. 

I spent a few hours this evening to set up a playlist of songs that I've listened to during tough times. An important note here, though. The majority of these songs don't even directly deal with loss. In most cases, it's the overall sound of the song that is "comforting." You can make your jokes, but this is a serious post. Enjoy the music and remember it when and if you'll need it.

I'm gonna put up several volumes. Here's #1:

1. "Africa" - D'Angelo
2. "Hey Young World Pt. II (feat. Phonte & Mystic)" - Dave Ghetto
3. "Virginia Moon (feat. Norah Jones)" - Foo Fighters
4. "Ain't No Sunshine" - Bill Withers
5. "Fast As You Can" - Fiona Apple
6. "Spanish Joint" - D'Angelo
7. "Better Off Dead" - Bill Withers
8. "Hapiness" - Foreign Exchange
9. "Thieves In The Night" - Blackstar
10. "10 Years" - Braiile
11. "Come On (feat. Dave Ghetto) - DJ Jazzy Jeff
12. "A.N.G.E.L. (feat. Slum Village) - Dwele
13. "All That Glitters" - Death In Vegas
14. "Right There (Remix feat. Donwill)" - Dwele

1.22.08: Canadian Rapper Michael Ikeda

Be sure to listen to the show on Tuesday January 22nd. My debut interview with Canadian Rapper Michael Ikeda will be at 9pm.

1.15.07: Muhsinah

Funkadelic Freestyles 001 (Special Edition)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
6:00-8:00 pm
LISTENLIVE here: www.gwradio.com
WRGW Radio

Special Guest: Muhsinah

And after...Nike Boots! (It's a secret, y'all!)

1.14.07: Update

Lemme be honest: 
I have no idea what exactly is going down tomorrow night.

Funkadelic Freestyles was not even supposed to be on this week. But we pulled some strings with our station managers and so we were set for our regular time slot, "a week early."

And then sumpin' came up.
Can't say what, just yet. So we have to move the show to 6 pm. But I dunno if Muhsinah can make it. 

Regardless, please tune in. We'll be playing alotta new music and we'll have a few announcements for the future. 
It's jben,ok and Nyadenya, live at 6 pm on gwradio.com.

Guest or no guest.

1.9.07: Estelle (feat. Kanye West)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's been a minute since I've heard anything from West London native Estelle, who recently signed to John Legend's Homeschool Records via Atlantic. Of course, I first heard about her thanks to JL, and used to get her name mixed up with Esthero. 

(Yeah, I know. Esthero and Estelle are two VERY different people.)

So needless to say I was very pleased to hear Estelle's new single "American Boy" featuring Mr. West. 
The beat, oddly enough, is from will.i.am's recent Songs About Girls album. Don't really understand that one. 
Here's "American Boy", and the song that first introduced me to Estelle.

Estelle - Freedom (feat. John Legend & Talib Kweli) (mp3) <--- mp3 will be uploaded later tonight

Oh, and Elliot Wilson left XXL. I kinda admired dude. Bummer.

1.8.07: A Week Away

In approximately seven days, 
Funkadelic Freestyles is BACK.

Am I nervous?

Am I excited?
More than ever.

As I promised, next week's guest:

The beautiful, wonderfully talented Muhsinah.

Okay, let's get down to it. Who is she?

Well, here: 
Singer, producer, vigilante, lover, dreamer.

She's from D.C. Did a little work on Little Brother's Getback. Was featured on Hezekiah's I Predict A Riot. Was also featured on a release I have yet to peep, DJ Roddy Rod's Cuba After Market

From what I know, she can do a lot of things. After speaking to Phonte and Zo!, I'm positive this woman is everything she's cracked up to be AND more. Did I mention she's only 24 years old? And slowly becoming a hipster favorite? 

To find out more about Muhsinah,
tune into the semester premiere of Funkadelic Freestyles 
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
8-10 pm
WRGW Radio
LISTEN LIVE at gwradio.com

And please, go cop Muhsinah's day.break on iTunes!

1.5.07: Twista, Wale, & Che Grand

The Funkadelic Freestyles Sports Blog Special: Celtics-Pistons Rematch 7:30 pm


Funkadelic Freestyles is back ON in just over a week. (a.k.a. I gotta get my shit together) On the real though, the fam is all ready to go. I'll reveal our January 15th guest on Tuesday, a week in advance.

Funkadelic Freestyles w/ Nyadenya and jben,ok
8-10 pm
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
LIVE on WRGW Radio
Listen: gwradio.com

In the meantime, I've got a few tracks I'm willing to throw your way. All you gotta do is start posting comments, start emailing us (jbenok2@gmail.com), or hit up the MySpace (myspace.com/funkadelicfreestyles, currently under construction). 

The first track is from Chicago's fastball emcee Twista, produced by the musical genius The Alchemist. I have no idea how I got this song. Or if it was on Twista's Adrenaline Rush 2007 album. Bottom line: the beat's heavenly and the hook is DOPE.

Number two: He told us about this one back in September, but for some reason I let it escape me. Not a huge fan of Maroon 5, or Mary J Blige. But DC's own Wale KILLED this remix. (And I'm still geeking: I hear dude on Sirius everyday now, including a non-Wayne Nike Boots remix I've never heard before. No worries, I'll find out about this soon.)

And three: Here's Che Grand outta Brooklyn. A member of The Lessondary (which includes Tanya Morgan, Spec Boogie, A Brother Named George, and Elucid), and a real raw emcee. This track will be played on the radio next week, so get it now while it's hot.

I'll post a few more updates before the 15th. Until then, let 'em know you listening to FF!