Look what I’ve got…

June 27, 2009

Family Business is available for download from iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, and wherever else digital music is sold online.  For those who want physical copies, the limited edition CD is currently being offered for just $7.  That comes out to $0.50 per track — even in a recession, you can’t beat that price!  Get yours today.

Show Recap: Surprise show in Brooklyn

June 24, 2009

Show date: June 22, 2009
@ 507 Bar
Brooklyn, NY

Timid and I rolled up to this spot last night expecting only to scope it out for possible future events.  By the time the night was over, it had become the site of our most recent show.

Every Monday night, the homie Cee Rock “The Fury” co-hosts a Hip Hop night at the 507 Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  When we stepped into the building, he was freestyling on stage and quickly name dropped us in his rhyme.  After a few acts and even some comedians threw down (shout outs to These Guys and Tony Touch), he stopped the music to point us out and had the entire place paying us homage.  Then, he gave us a formal introduction and called us up.  Before we knew it, we were on stage with mics in hand.  We had not planned on performing, but in the heat of the moment figured we’d give them a quick acapella and be out.  Timid spit the third verse from “Bringing the Awe” with me backing him up (“I bring with a purpose, my pain to the surface…”).  Then, I heard “Do the back to the car joint!” from the crowd, which is a reference to my verse on the “Homegirls” remix off Family Business.  I’m sure everyone was expecting me to drop that acapella as well, but instead I reached into my pocket and pulled out a backup show CD that we’d made for the album release party in case the DVD didn’t work.  That was an “Ohhhhh!” moment because the affair had just turned from a quick appearance into an impromptu set.

The “Homegirls” on the CD had space for EJ’s verse, so I rapped that myself before doing my own, with Timid closing the song.  Amidst “Do more!” chants from the crowd, we asked them to pick a track number and whatever song came up, we’d do.  “Four” won out, with people asking what song that was.  Our response:  “We’re about to find out.”  The DJ dropped it, and it was Timid’s “3 AM” verse from the Underground Cypher 4 mixtape.  He said, “This isn’t a song.  This is just a verse,” and they replied, “Do it anyway!”  So he did.  Then, we closed with “Mother Said Son” — a song we didn’t even get to do at the album release party.  Cee Rock hit the stage, and we assumed our work was done.  He had other plans.  Timid asked, “What have you got us in a cage up here?”  He called up every MC in the house for a cypher.

Earlier in the night, he was beatboxing on stage while someone rhymed, but this time he supplied the DJ with instrumentals to use.  Those who know me know I never freestyle on stage, so I was just going to spit a random verse to the beat.  When it came on, I started with something along the lines of, “We don’t need no beatbox/ We rock over the beat dropped by Cee Rock” which I was going to use to lead into my verse, but I caught the Holy Ghost and kept coming off the top.  I freestyled for about a minute straight, before passing the mic.  Timid looked nervous, knowing he’d now have to spit his own freestyle.  When the mic came to him, he knocked it out the park too.  The other MCs actually kept passing the mics back to us, and we had to keep giving them more bars.

When it was all said and done, we got love from everyone and had several people wanting to talk business.  There’s even talk of doing something with One Night Stand, which is a Vodka drink.  Overall, the vibe was crazy and I can’t wait to go back.  We’ll definitely be doing more at this spot in the future.  And y’all, take notice — you never know where your boys might pop up.

Scrabble Challenge: Pizon vs. Rhymefest

June 14, 2009

Pizon 248 – Rhymefest 266

Word List

Pizon – TIN – 6 pts
Rhymefest – MUG – 18 pts
Pizon – HUN – 14 pts
Rhymefest – MILDER – 10 pts
Pizon – BROAD – 18 pts
Rhymefest – FAZE – 30 pts
Pizon – QUEST – 31 pts
Rhymefest – NOG – 13 pts
Pizon – WEAVE – 18 pts
Rhymefest – QUA – 12 pts
Pizon – BEET – 18 pts
Rhymefest – LION – 16 pts
Pizon – LAY – 12 pts
Rhymefest – BY – 16 pts
Pizon – SIDE – 7 pts
Rhymefest – YE – 19 pts
Pizon – FIRED – 10 pts
Rhymefest – CLONED – 27 pts
Pizon – JIN – 18 pts
Rhymefest – AXE – 12 pts
Pizon – VIA – 14 pts
Rhymefest – FANG – 15 pts
Pizon – COLA – 12 pts
Rhymefest – RIOT – 9 pts
Pizon – AQUA – 13 pts
Rhymefest – POW – 16 pts
Pizon – EERIE – 10 pts
Rhymefest – PED – 18 pts
Pizon – STATE – 13 pts
Rhymefest – RANKS – 18 pts
Pizon – MENDS – 16 pts
Rhymefest – TRIM – 8 pts
Pizon – TING – 11 pts
Rhymefest – RUT – 3 pts
Pizon – OPED – 8 pts
Rhymefest – HI – 5 pts

Cee Rock “The Fury” speaks on the album release party

June 10, 2009

Why I ripped up $75,000 on stage last night

June 10, 2009

Sitting backstage before what you’re anticipating to be a career-defining set can grow very frustrating.  Last night, the atmosphere was tense among The Fam in the green room at the Bowery.  Due to the storms on the east coast, EJ’s layover flight from Atlanta to Newark was delayed for hours, and I had to pick him up from the airport just minutes before we were supposed to be at the club.  That left no time for a group rehearsal, which we were counting on as this performance was unlike any other we’d attempted before.  We were running the whole show off DVD, with video supplementing the songs we were doing.  Timid and I spent weeks working on music videos, skits, graphics, slideshows, and more that we integrated into the performance.  It was an idea I had ever since I heard we had that particular venue booked for the album release party:  I always wanted to take advantage of the fact that they had a projection screen on the stage.  That was the extra touch that was going to upgrade the event from a show to a concert.  Of course, such an undertaking is no joke.  This past month saw many sleepless nights.  When you put that much effort into something, you want the results to be perfect.  With EJ never having seen the videos for the show (and being instructed not to turn and look at the screen while performing), it was going to be difficult to pull off.  As it turned out, that would be the least of our problems.

Though many Hip Hop shows take place during the week in New York City, any time you do an event on a Tuesday night, you run the risk of losing the crowd if you go too late.  We were working with a promoter (shout out to Ace of Spades) who took care of booking the opening acts.  Our understanding was that there would be 3-4 openers who would each do two songs, and then we’d close the night.  That seemed reasonable to us.  For some reason, it didn’t go down like that.  Although everyone did his or her thing, we were worrying that all the extra performers who were put on before us would leave us with an empty club.  With a set as incredible as the one we had prepared, and with this supposed to be “our” night and all, we felt we should have been performing to the packed house that was there from the beginning.  Then, they started playing videos.  It wasn’t anything like what we were doing — there was a random music video and what sounded like a mini-documentary — but we still felt using the screen before our set detracted from the novelty of our concept and shouldn’t have been allowed.  This was the kind of conversation that went on backstage as we were waiting impatiently for our big moment.  Some of our people were texting us saying they had to leave, including the singer Leah Delgado who was supposed to join me on stage for “Four Letters.”  We were already starting to plan another event for the set, and discussing whether it was still worth it to do last night.  Timid correctly asserted that as long as there was still one person out there, we had to give that one person a show.

Thankfully, there was more than one person out there.  That anticipatory stress was relieved after our video introduction from Willie Spade played, and we set it off with “Get Off My Ass” featuring a revamped version of the Vlad TV clip with each of us emerging from the back separately to drop his verse.  When the smoke cleared, the three of us were on stage and looking at a crowd of devoted heads who stayed to the end to see The Fam tear it down.  That’s the moment when you smile and say to yourself, “Somehow, this was all worth it.”

That brings me to the $75,000.

I’m the type of person who hates to put himself in a box, and I feel like I have a lot to offer the world.  Once I saw how much I was able to inspire people with my songs, I began thinking of other ways I could contribute.  I started getting involved with charity work and political functions.  I scored in the top 15% of everyone who took the LSAT, and ended up with a $75,000 scholarship for law school.  Obviously, that was something I had to give serious consideration to.  If I accepted it, it would keep me locked down in New York for a while and would interfere with my music career.  It would prevent me from getting a new place out of state, and I wouldn’t be able to travel as freely as I do now.  I’m living my dream.  This is what I always wanted to do.  So despite the fact that I teased last night could be my last show, I ripped the scholarship up on stage and declared that my dreams were not for sale, which we used as a lead in for “Inferno.”

My man is pushing thirty-three, on his third degree
He’s staying home, repaying loans eternally
No stash is kept — he cash his check, then he go burn some weed

For those wondering why I did that, understand that I’m an entertainer — which in itself was the statement I was making.  I do have respect for the legal profession, and do not categorically oppose the idea of furthering one’s education.  I still might do it in the future, but the circumstances have to be right.  In all honesty, the school that offered me the scholarship deserved to have their shit ripped up.  They have been nothing but deceptive and underhanded in their dealings with me, and I even had to file a complaint with my credit card company to get money back from them that they tried to take from me.  I also just released what I genuinely feel will be regarded as the best Hip Hop album of 2009, and pending an absolutely undeniable offer, feel like pushing Family Business should be my focus right now.  Besides, I’m a competitive person and believe I should be scoring in the top 5% anyway.

To all of you who stayed up late on a Tuesday night to see an unforgettable performance that rappers will indubitably try to copy now, you’re the reason I do what I do.  It was an honor to perform with the legendary Mikey D in the building.  Big up to Timid, EJ, my man Scrappz, Cee Rock “The Fury,” Conscious, Homeboy Sandman (who’s also had a brush with law school), Music Mystro, the whole crew at the Bowery, and everyone else who was a part of the festivities.  We shook hands with everyone who stayed and personally hooked them up with copies of the album.  Then I had to take EJ immediately back to the airport to catch an early morning flight, and begin the winding down process.  These things never go exactly as planned, and sometimes the deck seems especially stacked against you:  our photographer even cancelled on us an hour before the show.  But you can’t sweat the small stuff.  The video set worked out great, and everyone there had a fun time.  Looking back, I’m grateful to be in the position to headline a concert for a crowd of people interested enough to make sure they were part of the experience.  And I’m always proud to call myself an MC.

If you don’t have Family Business yet, get it.

Family Business meets pop culture

June 4, 2009

D12 scuffle with Bruno at the MTV Movie Awards

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” character landing on Eminem’s face last Sunday at the MTV Movie Awards.  Though all parties have since admitted to it being a staged stunt (and honestly, it wasn’t that hard to tell to begin with), it still made for entertaining television.  If you didn’t know, Kon Artis from D12 was part of the entourage involved in the scuffle.  Just minutes prior, he was on stage in his new role as Eminem’s hype man.  The song “Get Off My Ass” from Family Business features Kon Artis, who also produced the track under his Mr. Porter production alias.

Listen to “Get Off My Ass” on Vlad TV

Last week, the NBA-themed parody video “Caucasian” by Kno of CunninLynguists went viral when Kanye posted it on his blog, with some people mistakenly believing it was made by Mr. West himself.  It currently has over 160,000 views on YouTube.  It’s also been featured on Real Clear Sports, Sporting News, and Yahoo Sports, and the song has found its way onto mainstream radio.  Around these parts, Kno is known for producing “Four Letters” and more recently, “Interlude” on Family Business.

Family Business is The Fam’s debut group album, and can currently be downloaded from iTunes and wherever music is sold online.  The album release party will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

The Fam releases debut album Family Business

June 2, 2009

Family Business has officially been released and is now available digitally from iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, LastFM, and wherever else music is sold online!  Physical copies will also be available, starting with a pre-retail limited edition CD that will debut exclusively at the album release party next Tuesday, June 9 in NYC.

Don’t forget to join us LIVE on FamTV tonight at 9 EST to hear the entire album for free and chat with The Fam.  Just click “FamTV” from the menu above, or enter www.livestream.com/famtv into your browser for a more user-friendly experience.