2011's Recap You Might Forget By Its End

The Quickest-Lived Social Music Network: Turntable.fm - Talk about cray (or is it Kray? Who cares!), the excitement behind Turntable.fm came and went quicker than Affion Crockett's show on FOX! Turntable.fm had tremendous potential to be one of the best and longest-lasting social music sites because it put users in a position of popularity through playing themed tunes everyone agreed on. It integrated commonality with competition, which ultimately became its downfall. Thanks a lot, you snarky ass click-happy music lovers. Not to mention the many "Whistle While You Indie" rooms killed the originality behind room creation. It was the summer fling before going off to college - that which is Spotify. Nothing like being social without saying a word or worrying about someone being queued up next to out-popularize your music taste!

The Year of The Indie Award: St. Vincent - This was tough. Plenty of indie artists came out with wonderful music this year, thanks to the GRAMMY's focus beyond album sales. The Weeknd, tUnE-yArDs, Washed Out, Toro Y Moi and The Roots (as usual, though) all had records that had everyone thinking outside the box, mainly to think they are indie music aficionados, but what really matters is how much the artist can shake these jokers up. St. Vincent has been doing that for years, and seems to only get better when looking at her album Strange Mercy. It was the best at showing what indie musicians are all about - being able to create some mainstream pop ish but excelling just as well in their own lane.

The Best 2011 Hiphop Beat: Lil' B "Motivation" (produced by Clams Casino) - This year had a colossal of dope beats, from 9th Wonder's entire Jamla crew to the Watch The Throne production. One producer that stuck out the most was Clams Casino, and it all started with this Lil' B jawn. The mixture of noise with the classic hiphop break and the extra tribal percussion snuffed a new punch to the hiphop scene, one that is highly untechnical and carefree, especially steering clear from in-your-face boom-bap rap.

Clams Casino - 01 Motivation [FLAC] by ClamsCasino

Nostalgia Done Right in 2011: Com Truise - Pick a record, any record, from this guy and you'll hear both originality and a Miami Vice soundtrack. Com Truise has the 80's new wave synthpop sound down to a nostalgic pat where the music sets people in a world stocked with postmodern industrial, futuristic-looking furniture and neon stop lights for the Jetsons flying saucer. Cyanide Sisters and Galactic Melt respectively embodied Com Truise's ability to own his own retro sound that matches what seemed to be dude's interpretation of what he grew up with.

Flightwave by JONEZ

The Sappiest Artist of 2011: Wiz Khalifa - Honestly, this award could've been given to him a long time ago. Don't let Kush and OJ and all his other slightly more machismo, smoker-crazed mixtapes fool you, Wiz is one sappy cat. Recalling "Say Yeah," let alone his extremely thin body, that dude is nowhere near capable of holding down a hardcore mantra. And that's ok - it's just when he wonders off into a "I Roll Up" stupor that pulls his chump card. Does Amber Rose really bring that out of guys?!

Best Flow of 2011: Dream Hampton "Denouement" - Although I speak a lot on music-type music, it doesn't hurt to highlight highlight-worthy spoken word. On one of the best albums of 2011, TiRon and Ayomari A Sucker For Pumps, journalist (and poet too, I guess) Dream drops the deepest piece any woman with a heart will understand. She opens up with:
Romantic love is always inconveniently self-announcing
Despite its unwilling participants. Wounded healers,
Unavailable men in need of constant companionship.
Women whose haunted havens are unsafe.
Love shit.

And throughout the poem, pieces of structured stream-of-consciousnesses that each illustrate a revelation of some love-and-relationship-sort, she places this toosie "though counter intuitive, when you hit a curve in love you should accelerate, not brake," reminding everyone that love is rough but fight through that shit.

The Best Tribute to an Icon in 2011: Bob Dylan at The GRAMMYs - Although all the award shows have become complete snoozefests, this performance/tribute set to "Maggie's Farm" was unforgettable. The two acts, Mumford & Sons and Avett Brothers, pave a folk-like river toward the sea that is Bob Dylan. They come together and perform in this magical fashion, especially hearing all those instruments (specifically Bob Dylan's raspy water-deprived vocals) play under the warm, intimate light - the way folk should always be enjoyed!

The Quickest and Tastiest Flavor of 2011: KING - How can you have the shortest EP that draws the biggest buzz only to never follow up? Though folks can stare at Jay Electronica for his once-a-year single releases, this L.A. trio falls guilty to that same strategy. KING released one of the best EPs this year titled The Story, and in three songs charmed their way into the R&B elite. Folks still talk about The Story, but shift the focus on what's next for KING. No one knows the answer though!

KING-The Story EP by weareKINGworldwide

Study Shows Music Makes Wine Tastes Better

This used to be a theory in my head, but I would think that just to curve my tolerance, but there was never proof for it... until now.

Reports have been showing that a new study shows that wine makes music taste better, like it does with pasta and seafood. According to the British Journal of Psychology, the characteristics of the wine's taste can match the style of music or even a certain artist.

So, Marvin Gaye DOES go with Chardonnay?!

The study showed connections between the pace of the beat and the zing in the wine. It also had a connection with the power of the music and the texture of the wine. The taste of the wine was directly affected by the stimulation of the music. There were 250 subjects used for this study, enough for a party, right?

It seems like since it's a study from the British Journal of Psychology, not from a chemistry entity, one could only think of this proving the point that music plays the biggest role in human interaction - and that includes drinking. Like Chuck Klosterman said in his book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, "without a soundtrack, human interaction is meaningless." Just to add to it, as Jamie Foxx said "blame it on the Goose, got you feeling loose," think of how loose inhibition becomes when alcohol is in the equation. Folks can get an idea of how Becky Sue will get fired up for Gaga as she sips her glass of Pinto Grigio.

While the study was unable to say the cultural connotations of the music used were a factor in the perceived taste, the taste does indeed encourage more drinking. Not to say that we're over here encouraging drinking, but to not encourage the right tunes to get rid of that wine no one drinks in the first place? Come on! Now, you can pair your alcohol - well, wine for now - with the kind of music you want to play for your next party.

Rooting for the Home Team/2011 Springfield Cypher

These guys have came a long way!

Usually, I don't post just YouTube videos trying to bulk up my blog with short posts, but what on Earth do I look like not putting my hometown on blast?!?!

The best hiphop artists from Springfield (Ohio, yall. No Simpsons slant around here) get together and kicks it heavy. The spectrum of emceeing is in full force in this video - from poetic flows to the drug rap to straight punchlines - and the cypher has old heads from around the way to the new cats that's on the rise in the scene.

RANDOM: I love how Young D (the last one) throws in that Camron reference, who shouts out Springfield every time he speaks on Ohio. (Does it in "Down and Out" too)

I remember going to high school with half those guys in the cypher, who rapped back then - and honestly, it was close to trash - but they've completely stepped their game up!

Here's the list of the cypher and where to find them:

Shawn Diggy (of the group A-9)
Sauce The Great (of the group A-9)
A Johns The Poet
Sneak Pree (of the group A-9)
Smiddy (of the group A-9)
D Walt (of the group A-9)
Young D (of the group A-9)


A Guinea Pig + Rhode Island + A Guitar = Ellis Ashbrook

Bands with a sense of musical maturity and ambiguous mystery create some of the most stimulating, unwinding tunes. There's nothing like having the right soundtrack when trying to chill, whether it's early Saturday morning or after 5 Monday evening.

Ellis Ashbrook has that kind of sound. This New York band of four is coming to Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta on the 7th bringing their prog-rock, jazz and funk with them. Come to the Midtown bar to unwind because we all know how the case of the Monday's can be!

Until then, check out this interview they did for the blog. They talk about their name - which could easily confuse folks who are equally confused with the GROUP Travis Porter - and their latest project Meridia.

How did you guys get together and form Ellis Ashbrook?

The guitarist John and drummer Alex started playing together as kids. Bassist Jonathan joined up around the beginning of college and Natalie, keys and vocalist, at the end of college. Several other members have come and gone over the years, but the 4 of us have been living and playing together in NYC the last 4 years.

Where did that name come from?

Ellis was a Guinea Pig, Ashbrook is a street in Rhode Island. Can you dig it?

I sense a maturity with this group, when it comes to your sound. Like, chill or folk rock of some sort. Am I at least on the right track? How would you describe your music?

We wear many hats. For instance, on our latest album Meridia you will hear down tempo jazz, progressive organ-driven funk, Tool-esque riff rock, saxophone, strings, 20 guitars at once and a lizard tongue bass.

Where do your musical influences come from? Do you guys all come from the same background musically?

Yes and no. Natalie grew up on classical music and basically sans contemporary pop-culture save Elton John, Xanadu, Sheena Easton and Whitney Houston. We also have a strong 60’s and 70’s classic rock, prog-rock, and funk foundation mixed with the rock music of the early 90’s. Lately, there’s been more of a jazz and electronic influence, but we are constantly exposing our ears to new sounds and vibrations so our musical palate can grow and expand in unforeseen directions.

If "sometimes it's unassuming, unalarming" then why not watch? I guess I'm asking what's really going on in "No Please Don't Watch."

“No Please, Don’t Watch” is about the beautiful, confident dualities that make people tick.

Does Meridia sound like this, lyrically? What else does this album's lyrical content contain?

The lyrical content of all our songs is based in sensation, observation, meditation and consecration. We encourage positivity, yet we embrace the dark depths of everyone’s life experience.

How long did it take to create this album? What was making this project like?

Jerry Garcia said recording an album is like building a ship in a glass bottle, playing live is like sailing the ocean. Long before we were anywhere near a microphone we perfected song structures, lyrics, melodies and grooves so we could layer parts freely for days. Our motto became lay it all down then start building it up piece by piece.

What has touring been like so far? What do you guys look forward to the most (other than performing) when you come to Atlanta?

Haha off the previous question, touring is like building the proverbial ark. You can’t be prepared, you create a flow and you go. We love local record stores and I am hoping Criminal Records is still around when we get there. Great food and vintage clothing are always a must too. Seeing the different worlds growing in each city is the best really, Brooklyn has its own flavor and we love it but there are so many wonderful meccas we have stumbled upon on tour. It’s refreshing.

PlanetRAWK, The One with The Sure Shot

Trying to find a median between genres such as hiphop and rock, soul and pop, electronic and jazz can be difficult - oh, don't be fooled by those rappers who throw in a guitar here and there just to call themselves genre-blending. You can't just be a great vocalist and merge yourself into pop culture either.

While there are a growing number of musicians attempting to truly melt the musical pot, PlanetRAWK is an example of those who get it right, at least as far as hiphop and rock is concerned. You check him out live with Tragedy Called Truth, another rock band, at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn November 9th!
How and why did you come up with the name PlanetRAWK? Was it influenced by Afrika Bambaataa?

Yes, it was influenced by the song Planet Rock, I thought their songwriting was very interesting and became a fan very quickly.

Who are your musical influences, aside from Bam of course?

In junior high I was a fan of Jay Z, Playa Fly, UGK, Master P and 3-6 Mafia. Currently, I am really into Dance Gavin Dance, Emarosa, Johnny Craig, 30 Seconds To Mars, Panic at The Disco.

So, do you listen to mainstream hiphop artists now?

Not really. Lupe Fiasco is a good one, I think he is amazing. But this so-called trap music played on radio and TV sounds like garbage and gives a negative site on black people. I mean, kids listen to this and grow up thinking this is cool or this is the way to make it, it's nonsense and has no creativity or originality whatsoever.

What got you into doing rock although you have strong hiphop influences, artistically?

I woke up and came downstairs, made a beat and wrote the lyrics to it, and said to myself "this is way too easy." Decided from then on to challenge myself musically, got a band and went on from there learning musical theory.

How would you describe your sound?

Well we involve different genres, but to keep it simple I say alternative hiphop with rock and electronic fusion.

On "Hush," your new single, you have some elements of scream rock in there. How much of that element will be on your projects to come?

A lot. I am a big fan of post hardcore music. Beautiful melodies with screams I think are awesome.

I see you have heavy rock influences, and I agree about the beauty behind hardcore melodies, but how did you get into rock music and ultimately do rock music?

I promise you at the age of 7 or 8 I was getting dress in the morning to Nirvana and Pearl Jam going to school. Rock has always been my first love, when I first saw Kurt Cobain on MTV Music Awards, I knew I wanted to be a rock star but as a black kid in an all-Black school I didn't want to get picked on or those weird stares because I was different, so I hid my passion. But now I embrace it.

How'd you hook up with Tragedy Called Truth? The energy they have is crazy!

I met them through my bass player JT Thomas and we have been friends ever since. We tour together, they are my studio and live band, couldn't ask for better friends.

What has the Atlanta indie scene been like for you?

I love it, there are some amazing bands in Atlanta, some dicky venues but we will keep our mouths shut about them haha!

What's been the biggest obstacle as an indie artist? I ask because I spoke with quite a few other Atlanta musicians and they tend to lean towards generating a fanbase outside of other musicians. Is that a problem for you, or are there other things you have to focus on?

When I look at my fanbase on facebook, I have fans in Austria, Zambia and United Kingdom, so if your music reaches then people all over will love it. My biggest issue is funding because we want to tour, but that costs money. We want to be in a nice studio, but that costs money. We want to be packaged nice and pretty, but it costs money. Everything costs money and we don't have a label, so we fund everything ourselves - so we are taking applications for investors haha!

Complete this sentence: when you come to a PlanetRAWK show, look out for flying monkeys because they always happens to find themselves on stage.

How can people keep up with you, social media-wise?

Download a copy of my new single at http://planetrock.bandcamp.com/ and donate what you can to help us fund touring cost. Also, www.facebook.com/planetrockbandwww.planetrawkmusic.com and Twitter at @planetrawk

A Justin Bieber Movement We All Can Agree On!

Congress is at their anti-music freedom antics again. Does the corrupted ever sleep?! Plus, this is looking like it could sweep anyone off of YouTube cover fame, including Justin Bieber.

It's S. 978, the bill that can lock up folks for up to five years for using copyrighted material on the Web. OpenCongress summarizes it like this:
The Commercial Felony Streaming Act (S. 978) makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Illegal streaming of copyrighted content is defined in the bill as an offense that "consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works" and has a total economic value, either to the copyright holder or the infringer, of at least $2,500.
While I feel like Justin Bieber should not be as popular as he actually is - in fact I would give him Jeff Cohen's fame over Sean Astin's fame (or as much as I could relate his musical content to Sloth from The Goonies as possible) - he should not be locked up for covering his favorite songs. Neither should Karmin, Greyson Chance or Melanie Fiona.

Thanks to the open-ended language of this bill, three hots and a cot for five years can go to not only YouTubers but to Tweeters, Facebook(ers), MySpace(rs), Google+ers, Pandora(ers), AmazonCloud(ers), GrooveShark(ers), SoundCloud(ers), folks who own iPhones, Androids and email accounts because it's the sharing of streaming media that could be illegal.

Thinking about it, and maybe stretching it a little, bumping the stream of the Danny Brown and Black Milk album on speaker phones and then someone joins in on the tunes could come with a five-year sentence. How awesome is that?!

Here's another slightly-stretched scenario: those who want to make their own variation of The Wobble, The Wu-Tang, The Artichoke, or whatever the hot new dance craze can get the silver bracelets too. Oh, and that cute video of the eight-year-old singing Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass?" Illegal.

While the pressure to protect artists from other people making money off of streaming music without the artist's permission is understandable, the impulsive extremity of this act is foolish. If someone were to steal anything I've written off this blog and post it on their sites as their words, I would be pissed. However, to do it with an adoration for my voice (and attribution), or to do it on the grounds of some editing of some sort, I would understand.

Here's what's being done. Fight for the Future has launched a Free Bieber campaign and a petition people can sign to stop the bill from going forth. Once you visit FreeBieber.org, the petition will pop up asking for your email address. The petition is spread throughout the website as well.

The idea of penalizing folks like Karmin, Beiber, etc for the same reasons (and then some) is radical. Given most musicians feel like they are as good as - if not better - than the next man, most folks who cover other artists do not look to profit off of their adoration. More than likely, they want to place themselves in their favorite artist's shoes in their covers. Show me a band that wants to purely profit off of covering another artist, and I'll show you the Wiz Khalifa costume Billy Gardell (Mike from Mike & Molly) plans on wearing this Halloween weekend.

Balkans Set to Bomb Awesomeness at CMJ 2011

Atlanta is running things at CMJ this year!

From hiphop like Senor Kaos to the rock n' roll ATL has grown to love, like the Balkans, this city is heading to NY with a strong Southern force.

Yesterday, much buzz surrounded Balkans with their set last night at the Lefse showcase. Folks can check out their next set Friday at the Kanine Records showcase. From what I hear, this could get as wild as some Ohio exotic farm owners (ok, maybe the Zanesville sheriffs?) as these guys are as much sensibly punk as they are charmingly pop as they are amusingly fun.

Speaking of wild times, I remember covering the Balkans when they released one of my favorite ATL-made songs this year "Edita V." We talked about how they got together (*slash* the high school story) and where did their name come from (which means "absolutely nothing whatsoever"), though this band means everything to ATL!

Click the link below to read on!

Balkans celebrate long-awaited 7" single release at Star Bar - Atlanta Local Music | Examiner.com

Going Mobile...

Well this isn't weird at all, is it?

The internet has went out (bad router), so the blog is now in the hands of an Android-powered device and Blogger app. This is a test to see how the posts are laid out via mobile blogging.

By the way, that's a picture of my scooter. Ain't he purrty?!

The show has to go on, ya know?

2011 A3C Festival Photos and Recap

I had the pleasure of doing double duty for A3C this year - holding it down for A3C (of course) and Frank151 Atlanta Backwoods. From many trips to Subway for an Anytober footlong to wacky odes to Trail Mix, I was pretty exhausted by the 3rd day of A3C-ing. Maybe I should save these anecdotes for the actual recap...

From meeting the female emcee of 9th Wonder's Jamla crew to witnessing Big Daddy Kane and Skoob Lover do their trademark dance, the twinkles in my eye never really left throughout all of A3C. Just about every performance I saw at A3C reminded me to never sleep on a hiphop festival merely because it is indeed a hiphop festival.

Not everyone (at least in Atlanta) got that memo. Although the headlining acts get bigger and bigger (mind you, this year's included Freeway, Random Axe, Big KRIT, Dead Prez, Big Daddy Kane), the city's consumption of A3C seems to stay the same, if not grow weaker. It felt like there was less enthusiasm and appreciation of the hiphop fuel A3C had, not to mention the other events tending to the needs of Atlanta's socialites conflicting with A3C's impact. Yeah, the Atlanta City Council awarded A3C with a proclamation for their hard work and diverse cultural programming, but the city itself seemed to yawn it off. 7 years later, and a proclamation by the Atlanta City Council, and they still have to compete with other people in bringing the biggest hiphop names to Atlanta on the first weekend of October? Come on, son!

Aside from all that, A3C continued to accomplished what most big events in Atlanta don't do - break wall(s). Usually people go to an event indirectly masked as certain people: press/media, up-and-coming artist, complete and total fan, socialite (can be V.I.P or groupie, but that's another blog post) and the performing act. Whereas most events, especially "Black Hollywood" events, keep things neatly organized to the point where everything seems fenced to machine-like actions and interactions, A3C doesn't do that at all. Instead, A3C will have you forget that you, the performing act, shouldn't act hysterical over another performing act. Or you, the press guy, shouldn't be so star-struck when a headliner is ready for pictures and questions in the media room. However, when hiphop is being hiphop - familial in all its cultural ways - wear as many masks as you can without being the festival creep.

The biggest highlights of A3C this year came from the most respected names in the entire hiphop community, as many of those cats were there. From Jarobi making a surprise appearance for Eternia's tribute to ATCQ's "Excursions" to a massive amount of white people obligingly yell "I'm down for running up on them crackers in they city hall" to MURS finally unleashing emotionally-deep material unto his fans to 9th Wonder and Dee-1 sit outside of downtown Atlanta's New Era store trade knowledge back and forth like the teachers they are, I don't know what else to actually say about A3C except the twinkle in my eye - you know, that twinkle that's similar to a life-opening experience, that twinkle - never left.

The twinkle didn't even leave when I did this ridiculous interview with the Ying Yang Twins!!! Check out Where My 40 Acres while you're at it too because those cats stayed on it.

I cannot escape without proper props to these blogs too! You must check out:

Write and Groove
Miss L's
Rhythmic Images
Natasha Williams Photography
Trill Talk Radio
iAm Classic Hip Hop

Artists you must check out because they killed it at A3C:

Jon Connor
Marz Lovejoy
Nikki Lynette (crazy how underrated she really is)
Boog Brown (read Nikki Lynette)
Phil Ade
The 5IVE
XV (again, read Nikki Lynette)
and really, go to A3C's website and look up all the other artist profiles because there're too many to name!

Check out my Frank151/A3C blog team coverage of A3C, including interviews with MURS, tabi Bonney, The ReMINDers, Eternia, Nikki Lynette, Ultrabeast, The 5IVE, Boog Brown, and more!

Also, my YouTube page has some great concert footage, including MURS' new joint "Remember to Forget" and Freeway's classic "What We Do"

And since you made it this far down the blog, and hopefully read all these words I've typed, check out this video I got of Ski Beatz with his band The Sensei's and Phil Ade getting it on the spot!


I often tussle with the belonging and the arrangement of different generations in hiphop. Where do I fit in? Is there even a post-hiphop generation? Did I really need to be alive to be part of the hiphop generation, or is there a nonchronological presence in hiphop that overrides the whole "we started it"/"we, the old heads" mantra? How much does age really matter?

After A3C, not even through the exploration of technological advances in the culture's preservation, I've found out that age is nothing but a number - as long as the community elders (the old heads) continue to build with the youngsters, and vice-versa. Face it, while vinyl will never die in hiphop, the younger generation will forever need to teach veteran DJs how to work the vinyl-to-USB transformation to the max. An old head will always have to teach young breakers proper and well-respected freezes.

A3C was a perfect example of all of that! From seeing breakers of all ages battle to hearing 9th Wonder and Dee-1 give advice to aspiring artists to watching a group like Dead Prez shout out a group like The ReMINDers as "family," the opportunity to dead my on-the-fence grappling of the Hiphop/Post-Hiphop generation(s) was there and ended it.

Big K.R.I.T is Performing at A3C 2011 (Retro Interview)

I am super excited for this year's A3C Festival in Atlanta! From Big Daddy Kane to Big K.R.I.T, it seems like all kinds of hiphop is coming down for the three-day festival.

In light of this year's coverage, here's an interview with Big K.R.I.T for AOL back in the "sometimes free doesn't mean you won't get paid" freelance days with their City's Best site. We went on and on about what he does when he's in town, but in this excerpt we talk about the day he got signed to Def Jam:
In such a short amount of time, we've heard your music go across the board. What's your ultimate goal as a musician?

Make music that people can relate to, something for all walks of life. I feel like as an artist, I'm supposed to paint all these pictures. So, I stay true to myself and do the right music and be original.

What was it like meeting Sha Money XL and the day you signed to Def Jam?

It was dope! Sha Money is a down-to-earth person. He has a respect for where I come from -- from nothing to a million-dollar signing -- it's like a homie kind of aspect. I ended up calling my father in the elevator like, "Pops, this is real!" It's Def Jam, the mecca of Hip-Hop, and to be from the Dirty South it was like we did it!
 Check out the rest of the interview on AOL City's Best.

Speaking of "best," best of luck to Big K.R.I.T on winning his first BET Hip Hop Award this year. Although not many people credit BET for serious award ceremonies, there's nothing like having a physical symbol of appreciation (because YouTube and Bandcamp hits can only mean so much). In other words, you can't really place Internet buzz on your mantle or trophy case. Good luck Big K.R.I.T!

This Examiner Interview with Lucy Dreams: Life for Young Musicians!

Music is indeed getting younger and younger, in age, not necessarily in style and technique. Communication between older and younger generations - and older and younger techniques - generally goes from old to young and hardly ever vice-versa. The cycle will continue for pop culture, and generally the same for hiphop and punk within mainstream realms.
Interviewing Lucy Dreams for Examiner reminds me that not all fresh meat musicians have complete sponges for minds because of how eloquently they speak and how hard they work on their music. Not that they don't need to listen to their elders - I'm sure they do - but they seem like they haven't arrived to the sea of music as dry sponges ready to soak up whatever they can. In this excerpt I talk to Lucy Dreams, who came together while they were still in high school, about their textured sound and how they form their music:
Does your sound come about organically? Do you try to form the right music and notes?

When we’re practicing we do play around until something comes out right, we rarely ever bring something prepared to practice. The songwriting process is very organic compared to our sound because of how we jam. What isn’t really organic is the actual sonic sound of our music. That’s a little more conscious on our part. We have this idea, not really exact, but a vague idea of what we want our sound to be. Being a band that’s so focused on the textures and wash of everything, it can be kind of tough for our shows too. Getting something like that to sound just right, especially with all the pedals, that’s a lot of work.

I noticed that throughout your performance you guys were going back and forth with the pedals and the knobs. You guys worked the hell out of tweaking your sound onstage!

Yeah, we kinda were. Whenever there’s nothing to do though, I’m like “eh, I bet this will sound better,” and start messing with the sound.

It was really interesting watching that, and watching your sound unfold. Can you guys describe what your sound or where it’s going?

It’s textured. It’s atmospheric. I think the idea of it is to not be simply chords and notes, but invoke something more than that. The noises that you’re hearing set different kinds of moods. It’s more than just the backing of our vocals. In fact, it’s the other way around – the vocals are the backing of our noises.

You speak so well about music. Are you guys still in school? You look so young!

No, well, we’re in Georgia State. Except Dani’s still in high school, she’s a junior.
 Continue reading on Examiner.com Get to know: Lucy Dreams - Atlanta Local Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/local-music-in-atlanta/get-to-know-lucy-dreams

Photos: 2011 Little Five Fest (taken by Dave Batterman)

Last year, when this was The Other Sound festival, I didn't know about the event until the middle of the day it began. I promised myself I would not miss this year's, and, fortunately, I am a person of my word!

I covered Little Five Fest for Examiner this year, despite some camera issues, but was taken care of by the Little Five Fest crew. The photos you'll see below are taken by Dave Batterman, a well-known concert photographer, a man who knows his stuff.

WTF? Funk Has Slyly Slipped Away

After reading New York Post's story on Sly Stone, and listening to Dam-Funk's newest EP InnaFocusedDaze, everyone should be convinced by now that funk is the most unsung genre in the history of music. Yes, even more than the different layers of folk.

By now, everyone has heard one of Sly& The Family Stone's uplifting records on a cheesy commercial or a self-help flick. From "Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself)" to "I Want to Take You Higher," people have not only felt Sly & The Family Stone created quality music but transgenerational messages of empowerment. The fact that the group's ring leader is broke - which some credit is due to his abusive drug habits - due to a bad case of mishandling his finances is ridiculous.

Aside from the management in the money and the messages in the music, the art of funk only remains a conversation piece among a small few - let alone expressing it within the music. After hearing "Don't You Know (This Funk Is Real)" by Dam-Funk, it's become apparent that the use of the bass slap is rarely heard in today's music, despite the oodles of enjoyment from listening to similar sounding records from the 60's and 70's. While we try to keep our music, fashion and pop culture vintage and original - even to the extent of overly sampling funk records - we've left some of the most innovative pieces of the genre behind. Same could be said for the use of hi-hat and synthesized snare - no one uses it anymore yet everyone loves to hear it. It's crazy how Dam is the only one that is out right now carrying on the tradition of funk music properly.
Scion A/V Presents: Dam Funk - InnaFocusedDaze by ScionAV
As innovative as funk was when it first came on the scene and as influential as it has become for genres like house, hiphop, jazz, pop, rock, R&B and reggae, why is it that the funk musicians - especially the greatest funk musicians like George Clinton and Sly Stone - currently sit in the worst financial situations as multiplatinum-selling artists? Why is it the hardest for them to fight back for their royalties and properly manage their funds? Why has it seemed like the following generations have raped these cats for all they're worth?!

This rant has come after tiring stories of Sly Stone: living out of his van while fighting in court for millions in royalties, George Clinton: check-to-check from retrospective tours and TV appearances, not to mention Zapp's family, the Sylver's family, and countless others in the mentally-straining struggle to get what they so rightfully earned. I'm just as tired of watching it as they are fighting it.

My Blogging Efforts for Troy Davis on Frank151

All posts associated with Troy Davis bear thoughts that build tears. The fact that a Black man was executed for something that he might've done should let everyone know that this justice system is flawed. This isn't the blog to speak directly on those matters, unless musically-related.
This has been my connection to the case professionally, and please believe I worked it to the bone! On Frank151, I helped spread the word about the real-time eblast and mixtape campaign for Troy Davis' clemency. Though clemency wasn't granted, the effort - and definitely Troy Davis - will not go unnoticed.

Listen below to the countless number of political and hiphop icons who tried to help Troy Davis. You can check out my scoop on the matter, which covers up until Wednesday evening, by clicking on the link below the bandcamp player.

Curio Museum In Exmainer Reveal Honesty and Emotions

Every week in Little Five Points are at least five shows that are worth going to, regardless of what type of music folks actually listen to - because it'll all be there one way or another. Whether it's rock or rap, in some way, shape or form there's something from all genres for someone from all walks of life.

That's what Curio Museum helped me realize when I a) saw them perform one Thursday night and b) interviewed them for Examiner.

In this excerpt, Nadia (the band's lead singer) talks about her crazy vocals and how expressing their emotions can make one feel dirty after:
With your performances, as innocent and laid back as you guys are, it gets really tense up there with all the yelling. Where does that come from and why do you do that?

I’m gonna be 100% honest, the band wanted me to just stand there and sing with my cute voice. One day, I got really upset while I was singing during a live performance, and I screamed one line. It stayed with me, so now I continue to do it every now and then. It was totally an accident, but I stuck with it because it sounds great. Plus, all the songs are really emotional, and I love to try and capture that. I put a lot of myself into these songs so that it’s very real and very a part of me. It overcomes me a lot because most of the time it’s the deepest darkest secrets I’m telling. Encoded, but still telling.

Wow, so how should I listen to it?

You should feel dirty afterwards.

Oh, like I should go wash after this show then, huh?

No, maybe, but it’s a very serious thing I do. I hope the emotion shines through even beyond the meaning, and I hope people feel it. People can take and mold their own meaning to our stuff, I just would really like it to mean something to someone else.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Get to know: Curio Museum - Atlanta Local Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/local-music-in-atlanta/get-to-know-curio-museum

He Couldn't Help Himself: An Interview with Jéan P

If you've seen the buzzing viral video about the stereotypes of the 50 states, then you know Ohio only matters during elections. With that said, because it's absolutely true, finding musical gems within the state can be tough. Being from Ohio, I know too many talented cats "sitting on a dream." Luckily, there are emcees like Jean P who let me know hope is not far-fetch for Ohioans, especially the musicians.

We talked to Jean about his slightly gloomy documentary - with his extreme emphasis on why he, well, couldn't help himself.

You have an extremely old-school style, even down to the rhyme. Who are your influences? Is old school hiphop your direct influence?

I listen to new artists, watching hiphop films and digging in the crates to listen to samples – even early hiphop songs – the culture is forever my influence. I got a few emcees I’m influenced by: Gangstarr, Jeru the Damaja, Rakim and A Tribe Called Quest. Forreal-forreal, it’s the culture as a whole because I’m just amazed with it, and it’s something that’s part of me. It makes me happy to do what I’m doing because I feel that I’m contributing to it.

So have you seen the Tribe documentary?

Yeah, I seen it. I loved it. That blew my mind! I felt like a little kid at the candy store, but then at one point I was so shocked. It was perfect though because they showed you the whole story and answered all the questions that you wanted to know. I always wanted to know about the samples – I always wanted to know about the music-making process.

I never really try to emulate people, but if I had to, I would wanna be like Q-Tip. The documentary got me to buy a record player. I got my music equipment down in the basement, and I started to buy records for the player just because Q-Tip’s interest in vinyl. With his knowledge of records, especially in the mp3 age, he stands out, so I wanna accumulate that same type of knowledge so I stand out too.

How have you developed as a musician, beyond emceeing?

I had the same set-up at OU as I do now in Canton, but I now own my own set. There were times I couldn’t record with iShine because I been out of school due to my grades, but I’ll be returning back to OU in January hopefully.

I got all that stuff because I wasn’t sure that I would be able to come back, but I looked into my papers and realized I had a chance to go back since it was only a suspension. It helped me a lot though because it made me do it on my own, and it gave me the feel to do everything on my own. I’ve got my website on my own, got my logo on my own and everything I got it was just me. It’s been like experimenting the same way a kid would do with toys. Like, I’ll play on my Akai for a really long time and find myself making a beat. My free time isn’t partying and all that, it’s being on my equipment.

Is it because you’re in Canton now? How have you been adapting to the Canton scene as opposed to OU/Athens?

The music scene here is buzzing. There’s a few artists here, but not like “oh my God! Canton’s the place for hiphop.” Being here has made me realize the importance of being in school. It was a real wake-up call. While all my friends were in class I was going to work at Goodwill, or just sitting at home in my room. I really sat and thought about it, and I love my city to death, but I don’t wanna be here sitting on a dream. I know I can rhyme. I know I can be a musician. But I know I worked hard to get to OU, so I need to work hard to get a degree. Being at home helped me realize that if you gotta sit in a classroom and study, I’d rather do that than be working a 9-5. When I was slacking off at OU, it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. It was just that I got so caught up in being Jean P, the rapper, that I wasn’t focused on being Jean P, the student. When I go back in January, I’ll be way more focused. I’ll still be performing, don’t get me wrong, but I’m gonna form a balance. I think I’ve built enough of a buzz for the past two years, so I can buckle down and focus on getting my degree.

Being here in Canton has caused me to wake up because there’s not a lot of success stories here – just negative things going on like crime, poverty and it’s just a small place. I don’t wanna be a product of my environment.

Seeing the video Can’t Help Myself, I see a lot of emptiness and abandoned buildings and whatnot in Canton. Same deal for your album cover. Is there an underlying theme behind this video that is parallel to what I’m seeing in this documentary?

That was exactly what I was trying to say through all of these projects. If you’ve noticed my music before, you’ll think Will Rap 4 Food is very depressing! It was honest, it was one of my most successful projects I’ve done and got me a lot of buzz, but it’s really depressing. I had to let it all off my chest – the birth of my son, not being out with my friends, my life – I was being real on Will Rap 4 Food. I put a lot into and pulled a lot out because I felt like I was done since I wasn’t in school anymore, plus the birth of my son. I really wanted to give up, I’m not gonna lie. But when I got the attention from the album, I wanted to keep going. I’m glad I didn’t give up because you wouldn’t have seen me on KevinNottingham, ThisIs50 and DJBooth.

You said it took a lot outta you to do Will Rap 4 Food, and the content has changed since the last time you were on this blog. Tell me about how the writing and lyrical content has developed since then.

I’ve matured. I listened to my other projects and saw what I wasn’t doing to step it up for Will Rap 4 Food. Like, I can’t even listen to Thought Process anymore because I sounded so juvenile, so different. I love doing more projects because I know it’ll be nothing but growth.

Tell me about your upcoming project with Lakim Opposites Attract.

Lakim is a producer out of Virginia. He’s a hybrid of all the great producers I’ve wanted – like 9th Wonder and J Dilla – rolled up into one person. When he sent me those beats, I was like “damn, man. You make all these beats for free?!” The title comes from, one, I’m from Ohio and he’s from Virginia. Two, I’m an emcee and he’s a producer. We attract together because we want to bring some real hiphop and give yall a dope album. He was originally gonna be on Will Rap 4 Food, but when he sent me those beats I wanted to do a whole album with him. I’ve always wanted to do an album like that too – like Pete Rock & CL Smooth or Guru and DJ Premier. While I’ve sort-of done it with iShine, Lakim has that boom bap-style I need. iShine is his own man because he has that DC sound that’s kind of R&B and pop, so when he was making hiphop beats for me it wasn’t a style he was used to. At the end of the day though, we’re still family and part of one team.

Covering One Music Festival 2011

It brings about a whole unique feeling when you can sit through a daylong concert with three generations sliding through the lineup, especially when the genres are as diverse as displayed within One Music Festival.

I had the privilege of covering One MusicFest with Carolyn Grady for BlackVibes, assisting her with the writing as she let her Nikon express her vocabulary. 'twas a beautiful site, all these people together under one cause - loving music - and seeing everyone let the music please them. What an orgasmic experience as a concert goer, let alone the vibes from the artists, up close and personal, in the press room via the interviews.

Though I was limited on word count for the website I wrote for, I posted as much as I had on the site via Twitter and Tumblr, including an interview with Phife Dawg of ATCQ on Tumblr. Here's a twitpic of me interviewing The Cool Kids from @willedmond:

You can check out the twitpics I sent to Twitter right here!

I have some video I'll post soon of the concert footage on my YouTube page. Seeing Kyron Leslie, Anoop Desai, Tortured Soul, Anthony David, The Foreign Exchange, The Cool Kids, Pharcyde and Chrisette Michelle all hit the stage was the most refreshing moment I had in music in a long time! You can check out the photos and my official recap of One MusicFest on BlackVibes.com!

Gun Party Interview for Examiner

Before you get all "is this blue-collar, shoot-em-up rockabilly music" on me, check out Gun Party's Bandcamp player below.

Now that you know what's going on, here's the interview I did with this group. Although it's just an excerpt, get to know the deets behind their debut album.
Our drummer loves, loves, loves Radiohead. I am more of a fan of female punk singers and bands. Our guitarist really, really loves loud garage rock. Our bassist is more of a Harry Nilsson fan. It all just kinda merged into this clusterfuck of rock music that kinda turned out awesome!
How has merging all those different styles been like when it comes to creating the first album?
It could be a really interesting process. Some of our songs came way more organically than others, and some time we didn’t really notice we have different tastes in music because we seem to have one when we’re able to go into the studio. A lot of the songs, like the “Kite Flights,” we’ll work on for months and the original form was all over the place. It was very much rock and roll, but it was all kinds of things – punk, then it was blues rock, and then it had loud, garage-y guitar tones – and it wasn’t making a lot of sense. It took many, many weeks and us sitting down tweaking a lot of things. What really did it was when we went into the studio to record it and having somebody else listen to it. They were able to tell us how it was running into each other. The main thing of us having so much of a difference is that it takes us a really long time to figure out which is appropriate and which is perfect for the song we’re doing. Ultimately, it worked out, and now “Kite Flights” is my favorite song.
Whenever I’m listening to the album, what should folks look out for within the content and lyrics?
There’s a theme to each song, but not easy to pick up on. We try to not be completely random with our lyrics – it’s usually about something, sometimes they’re about someone, but they all have themes. If you keep listening, you’ll pick up on them. Like “Runaway” is a break-up song, so I’m sappy and crying. “Kite Flights” is a self-destruction song, and it doesn’t make sense at first but it’s within the way that song builds as well as lends itself to the lyrics which lets you know how feisty it is. In “DBV,” which stands for Dead Bitch Vagina, is simply about a stalker in a hotel room. They’re all over the place, but each song has a consistency with the lyrics...
 Read more, like how they formed out of being a joke band and exactly how did they come up with the name, by clicking here!

Something Old, Nothing New: Black Folk Music as "Innovative"

I ranted a little bit on my Tumblr about this topic before, but this issue hasn't been toppled enough.

Black folks and Americana music seen as "game changers" - as the Huffington Post's Black Voices calls The Carolina Chocolate Drops - just because they tote a fiddle or a banjo discredits the word innovation.

Not that this band lacks creativity or talent, but the article came off as "oh look, Black people with banjos. That must be alternative," which gives Black culture yet another pounding against our foundation. The definition of innovation, change, remix, etc does not necessarily root in the right now, but if you let Black media (and really all folks of the press) tell it change comes as a matter of what's present. While that may be true for some things, that cannot hold true for music because of how far back the existence of music dates.

Now, if HuffPo placed emphasis on CCD's abilities to merge beatboxing with their Americana sound, this would be a different article. Additionally, if the rest of the selections weren't based on what simply looks different, this blog post probably wouldn't exist. However, this mindset has run rampant far too long.

Black culture right now, at least according to the media, is centered around the rap and corporate game. This short-changes everyone else and everything else Black folks are capable of doing: playing guitar, singing opera, harp and other ambient music, and so much more.

I get it. Singing and rapping is hot in the community. I get it. Blogs revolve around popular keywords, Google trends and social media topics. However, when will Black media expand to other audiences and cultures, not expose what's already here and what we already know?

Overall, Black media in general have cornered the term innovation to what is alternative and downright gimmicky. Looking at Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and CCD, one would think no Black people spit Atheist rhymes or can play a mean fiddle. That's far from the case because, if we wanna be real, we were among the first people ever to do those things.

While I don't wanna start a complete history lesson (because it's way too easy to look up the history of my points from this blog), I still worry about the cycle of our culture. I already know the world and cultures we live in acts in a chronological circle, but the circle seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

To read the story I'm talking about, click here!

Interviews on the spot: Richelle Brown for Examiner

One thing I've began to enjoy is catching an artist fresh off the stage. They're guard is slightly up because they know all eyes (and investigative ears) are on them, they have prepared answers for the press - before their self-proclaimed wicked performance and they're still on cloud 9 after said-wicked performance.

This got the same result.

After her performance for one of SMKA's Through The Rabbit Hole concert series, I interviewed Richelle Brown AKA Cornbread for my Get To Know Q&A series for Examiner.com. We talked about how she got her name, her influences and her upcoming projects. Here is an excerpt from our discussion where we talked about her nickname, which became her pen name - Cornbread.

... I call my music electro-funk because it’s electronically done and we summon up the funk gods. It’s funky, it’s gonna make you stank, it’s gonna make you dance, it’s gonna make you sing, it’s gonna make you wanna love somebody, and ain’t nothing better than love! And funk. Love and funk!
Let me ask you this, if it’s along those lines. You’re nickname is Cornbread. Where did that come from?
Oh gosh, that name. When I was in high school, there was this new guy that came to school and he was so cute. All the girls liked him because he was super thugged-out. As I was walking down the hallway, and all the girls were looking at him, he looked up at me and was like “What’s up Cornbread?” I was like “First of all, my name is Richelle, it is not Cornbread, and don’t you ever call me that again.” I had to let him know but then every time he sees me in the hallway, he’d yell “Cornbread!” and I yell back “That’s not my name!” I started asking people why does he keep calling me that, and come to find out he was calling me Cornbread because I was thick and was not a skinny girl. They said that people who eat a lot of bread get thick or whatever. Fast-forward to college, I was in my first class and the teacher was asking an icebreaker question like “What’s the weirdest pick-up line you ever had?” I was 17, and I couldn’t think of any weird pick-up lines except for that because I wasn’t able to date. I told the story, and when I told them that they started calling me Cornbread because they liked that name. When I got my first job, or any time somebody from my school would see me somewhere, they call me Cornbread. Then other people hear it, and they wanna call me that too because it’s easy for people to remember. With my brand, Space Age Hippie, it fit.
That’s really cool how it stuck with you and grew on you...
 Read more by clicking here!

Thurzday of U-N-I Interview with Frank151

While covering the Atlanta Indie Festival, I got to see one of my favorite now former group U-N-I member Thurzday perform. Of course, after his set he sat down with me to talk about his favorite Atlanta artists, his new album - which is out today, go cop L.A. Riot - and then I got to let out some lame yet witty U-N-I/you and I jokes. He was cool about it, as well as cool about talking about leaving the group.

Here is an excerpt of the interview. Check out Frank151 for the full article!

So where are you at? Let's talk about this new project.

It definitely pulls inspiration from the '92 riots, and also basically I'm at a burn-and-rebuild stage right now. Left the group, and I had to almost re-brand myself so that people know I'm a force. I burnt down the old image, and it's me re-establishing myself. I'm also putting out quality over quantity, so this thing I put out really represents where my mind is at and all the people that are pushing me right now. It's not a historical project, it just touches on a lot of life situations and, well, real shit.

Ok, so you said you left the group. So does that mean no more U-N-I?

We'll see.

I mean, you and I - as far as I'm concerned - seem ok, as long as you keep doing dope stuff, but U-N-I is ka-put?

Ha! As of right now, we're not doing the group thing anymore. I'm just really attached to doing my solo work. The sounds that I am making are really big, and I'm really digging the music I've created and the producers created lately. I definitely appreciate where U-N-I got me and all the accolades we've received, but right now it's time for me to do me.

Well, I'm glad you appreciate where I've gotten you. Ok, I'm done with the lame U-N-I jokes! With performing, how were you digging the Atlanta atmosphere?

My boy DJ Z reached out to me wanting me to come and rock. He's been supporting all the records I've released so far, so I really wanted to help support that movement. I brought my DJ Ro Blvd. to join me, and I'm glad to be out here.

A Photo Recap of Atlanta Indie Festival

I had the privilege of covering Greedmont Park's annual Atlanta Indie Festival for Frank151, and I took hella photos. I am so proud of the results - like the ones when I covered the Soul Train Awards - that I want to share all of them!

Check out the full recap of the event on Frank151 Atlanta Backwoods League.

Featured in this slideshow is:

Project Pat
CyHi da PrynceGrip Plyaz
Karima Harrison from Noot d' Noot
Tuki and Go Dreamer from Hollyweerd
Thurzday from U-N-I
and much, much more!

Sidenote, plus a bonus photo, I went to the Arts Beats & Lyrics show the night before as the purveyor of awesome that I am, and got recruited to take a photo in front of a person's work because of my KeepItClassic.com "I Grew Up On Hiphop" shirt. Lo and behold, it was for a friend of mine! Check out all of her Rhythmic Images pictures by clicking on her picture of me!

A Tribe Called Quest Documentary Masterfully Crafted, Disastrously Tragic Tale

Last week, the documentary Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest released to select theaters in ATL, so - like clockwork - here's a look at how the film unfolded.

You get more than just a bland VH1's Behind The Music, Google-able content-having look at the hiphop group A Tribe Called Quest. This wasn't a "Where Are They Now?!" flick either. Nor is it a fluffy "I love this group, please, please come back" news-lacking joint either. The documentary is for everyone - from ATCQ lovers to those who are looking at the aforementioned acronym confused - that tells the tragic tale of what the hell happened to the legendary Low End Theory creators.

Finally, a music doc with complementary visuals! Normally, most music documentary makers will give you an interview, old photo montages and concert scenes and a scene from what the artist is doing now with no additional visuals and an aspiration that the audience will be glad to see their artist is relevant again. Beats Rhymes & Life adds so many other visuals that seamlessly travel us through each scene. The way they breathe life into the already animated album covers makes each point visual, and it gives the albums more than just an aural-pleasing factor.

Along with the visuals of the album covers and the seamless transition from interviews to concerts to in-studio action, the score was equally expressive. It didn't just come with the hits from Tribe, and then other traditional hiphop music, but an atypical bebop-sounding score. It was very Ovation Network-like, innovative music that guides the scenes along the rollercoaster of the group's life.

You don't only get to see small peeps of Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi, and this doesn't become the story of the ever-present emergence of Q-Tip. Beat Rhymes & Life shines a light on each member and their exact need in ATCQ. The emergence of Phife Dawg was the biggest part of the movie. I was a bigger fan of Phife over Q-Tip because of his liveliness and honesty. While Tip was smooth and educational, Phife brought a realness and grittiness to the group. The documentary shows how powerful his punchlines were, how he gave the group their edge and how his and Q-Tip's differences ultimately kicks the group's ass. Through Phife's lines, as well as each interview throughout the doc's timeline, you see his perspective on how he felt his work went unappreciated as a member of ATCQ. Then there was how he perceived Q-Tip as being bigger than the group.

When speaking on the part of the breakup, the most eye-opening part of the film was Phife's reference to The Supremes. "I guess Ali is Mary Wilson and I'm Florence Ballard? Yo, get the fuck outta here!" Phife says. Although, as the documentary shows (and I won't go into with much detail), those feelings weren't as present between group members, but throughout their entire heyday there was bad communication between the group. Exhibit A: Phife not being upfront with his diabetes seemed to be the snowball that formed just before it rolled downhill. B: Q-Tip's lack of understanding of the other members' needs seemed like dude was cold. Again, not going into too much detail!

Inadvertently, this documentary shows a high and painful price to make as perfect music as A Tribe Called Quest set out to do. Everyone who claims to know a thing or two about hiphop owns at least two albums by these guys. Anybody who aren't big fans of hiphop respect Tribe for not being misogynistic and violent, and for being themselves yet relative to the average man. Anyone who is originally part of the hiphop generation saw the era that is in the ATCQ documentary, the era (and documentary) they helped build.

I hope this provides a charge to the currently stagnant hiphop culture and capital-controlled rap industry. Yes, the documentary shows there was trouble within the group, but it also showed just how much love, peace and unity there was among everyone who loved ATCQ. Seeing the whole Native Tongues collective form and their journey throughout hiphop's golden era in this documentary brought me to near-tears. You know how when you go to the best restaurant and eat the best dish in the world, just to go back home to your freezer full of Stoffer's? That's how I felt after the movie. Had a great fine-dining experience for brunch with Beats Rhymes & Life, then headed home to my Stouffer's frozen dinner.

Star's Grade: A+