Silver Lake, Los Angeles. A small house sits on a hill nestled between the 101 freeway and a street you’d think twice about parking your car on. It’s a section of the world where kids grow up quickly and relationships are subject to change, often cut short by the elements. That’s how it used to be at least. These streets hold within them the remnants of a subculture that once flourished as certainly as it now dwindles. At large, guns have been replaced by iPhones, drugs by tweets and selfies, and some people consider it an improvement. Still, driving through this storie
A few weeks ago, I met up with several of my friends at Stay Illuminated headquarters in the Valley to do the Crappy Awesome Podcast. It turned into a BBQ, which turned into a drunken, impromptu photo shoot. I only hang out with creative people who motivate and inspire me, people who choose to do cool things with the time they have. Find dope people and make them your friends.
It’s generally believed that a good journalist is one who exercises objectivity. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a good journalist or even a journalist at all. But I was asked to review this album with an outsider’s ear, the ear of someone with an unbiased perspective, someone who hasn’t seen these songs performed on stages across a few states or had the better part of 2 years to digest them. Someone who doesn’t personally know Tha Ynoe. I’m up to the task, but if I’m to pretend that Ynoe and I aren’t friends, then my first questio
Last week I had the opportunity to shoot two of my favorite rappers of all time at The Observatory in Santa Ana. I’m not above being starstruck and I’m happy about that. These guys are some of the last ones left. Method Man is a living Hip Hop almanac and if there were a Bible for rap music (and there should be one), it wouldn’t be complete without the book of Method Man. Then there’s Redman. Redman is the quintessential emcee. For someone on his level, someone who’s made records with everyone from Biggie and 2pac to Eminem, KRS
If, back in 2009, while I waited in a Best Buy checkout line, Abstract Rude’s newly released “Rejuvenation” album in one hand and my wallet in the other, you told me a day would come when I’d actually call Abstract Rude on his personal cell, I would’ve said: Of course that will happen; I’m going to be fucking famous. Well, it’s 2017 now, and I’m still not famous. The good news for you, however, is that, had that actually happened, you’d be a fortune teller, and everyone knows fortune tellers get wicked laid.
For those in the know, it’s a name we couldn’t escape if we tried to. In fact, some of us have tried to. The name has been unfriended and unfollowed, even blocked. It’s been the butt of jokes and the reason for rolling eyes and shaking heads. The name is also listed in the production credits for songs by Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, E-40, and a slew of others. It’s been billed at major festivals and on a nationwide 50-something city tour with Murs. Most recently, it found a nice little place for itself on the iTunes charts, grabbing the #
Nocando is the God of Hellfyre and an impossible person to squeeze into seven questions. I don’t remember the first time I heard his name, I just know that I haven’t stopped hearing it since, and if this is your first time hearing it, you have a lot of interneting to do. Nocan is both hip hop and Los Angeles personified, the epitome of a rapper. During his performances, my favorite thing to do is scan the audience for other rappers, which is easy since they all have the same facial expression that says, “Fuck it, I quit.” There
I went to sleep just under 3 hours ago and now I’m sitting at my desk with a view of the city, watching it come more and more alive as the sun announces the start of a new day. My eyes are heavy and my body is sore but I’m not tired. It could be the pot of coffee in my stomach or last night’s poor decisions still working the tail end of their magic through my system. It might be pure adrenaline or simply my refusal to fall over. It could be a combination of those things, but more than anything, I know what’s keeping me awake is the knowl
Traveling with On A High Note isn’t much different from traveling with the circus. I’ve never traveled with the circus, but making baseless claims is kind of my forte, so the comparison totally works. Frankly, if drugs, nudity, incessant weed smoke, and screaming women doesn’t sound like the circus, then I’m glad I’ve never bothered to travel with the circus. I wager it wouldn’t take much effort to gather a small army of people anxiously jumping at the opportunity to hit the road with this gang of talented, mic-hungry freaks
From the first time I walked through its doors on Santa Monica Blvd, past Bear the bouncer who resembles Ving Rhames circa Pulp Fiction, past the small ticket window and through the black curtain that hangs beside it, my camera in hand, The Dragonfly has been my nemesis. It’s one of my favorite venues when playing performer or concert-goer, but as a photographer it’s always been a nightmare. It’s pretty universally agreed upon that concert photography is one of the most difficult forms of picture taking any poor, wide-eyed bastard with pipe d