Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Only Girl in the World

as if just thinking about no longer peering up into Slug's face as a strobe light tries to blind me isnt enough to send me into immediate withdrawal, what i will probably miss most about going to Atmosphere shows is the overabundance of hot chicks that they consistently draw out time and time again.

from the very first time i saw my former future baby daddy live in 2002, i recognized immediately that this wasnt going to be your typical rap show. typical, of course, meaning that i was the only girl in the audience. i didn't have to feel like the odd man out, like everyone was automatically gawking at me when walked in the room. because, let's face it: no matter if you're Sasha Grey or Whoopi Goldberg, if you're the only chick in a room full of guys, you're gonna catch some stares. and it's going to be awkward. at times, you might just feel like crawling into a corner to die. so at an Atmosphere show, as a girl, you can kinda just blend in and do what you really came there to do: listen to the music.

now being in New York, ive only seen their female fanbase continue to flourish, as well as diversify. here, the punk rock chicks, the emo art school girls and the Meat Packing District trolls in their five inch high heels are all thrown into one room together.

for us older folks, the last time we've had to endure such a varied vector of personalities being in such close proximity for an extended period of time was probably a classroom. think about it. you and all of your friends are like-minded individuals. (that's why you're friends.) and all of you probably frequent establishments that attract people just like you, too. and im sure that most people you probably work with are of the same ilk as you, as well. i'm not pointing fingers because i do it, too. i think i'm pretty fucking awesome, so i tend to keep pretty fucking awesome people around me. it's what we do.

but even think about other bands, rappers and artists that you like. think about their shows that you go to. more often than not, the other folks that are into these same people and go to these shows are going to be a spin-off of yourself. so, isn't it so crazy, isn't so amazing that this one group can spawn devotion in such an eclectic assembly of characters? when i actually stopped and took a look at the faces around me last night, it blew my mind how Atmosphere can bring together so many different niches of New York City lifestyle.

you hear a lot of musicians say that they want to influence as many people as possible, they really want to speak to the masses. unfortunately, few of these people actually achieve that. but just take a look around at any Atmosphere show and you can see that they have achieved this impossible. (and with girls, no less!!!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Farewell Letter to Atmosphere

Dear Slug,

I'm leaving you. It's taken me a long time to come to terms with this, but I think it's really for the best. After a decade plus of being together, I think we've just grown apart. Our journeys have taken us down different paths and I feel that the distance is only going to continue to grow. Or maybe I'm still in the same place and it's you who's moved on. No, hush, I won't say that. I don't want you think any of this is your fault. It's not you, it's me.

One spring night down in Gainesville, Fl, I fell in love with you. You know, the night that you were wasted and the notorious Florida humidity had my hair sticking to my forehead in clumps. You remember that night, don't you? Well, your music always knew how to say the right things to me. You changed me. But now I feel like you just don't get me anymore.

Since moving to NYC seven years ago, I've followed you around from venue to venue. But SOBs, Bowery Ballroom, Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Terminal 5... they just don't have the same feeling as little old Common Grounds did. Granted, I actually have room to walk around at these mega NYC venues and I'm not soaked in the sweat of everyone around me, but what's a little exchange of bodily fluids when you're having fun, right?

Do you remember Common Grounds? To say that they crammed us in there would be an understatement. It was really quite an art how we each transformed our bodies into the little pieces of a puzzle to create such a precise fit and such a perfect night. Those are the days that I long for. Those are the days that I've been trying to get back ever since leaving Florida. But we both know that times like that just can't be recreated. They hold a special moment in each of our histories.

And I think I just need to let go. Over the years, you've become quite an expensive habit. I've continuously spent money on you, trying to maintain my high, but I know now that it's never going to be as good as that first hit. And I've just got to quit you.

I think last night's performance was a flawless finale to our affair. I knew that this was going to be our last time seeing one another and I soaked in as much as possible. This was probably the best show you've put on in New York in the last three years. It was an adept blend of classic material with newer joints. But when songs like "Sunshine" are getting a greater response than "God's Bathroom Floor" and "Modern Man's Hustle," I really start to question the company that you now keep. I guess you moved on a long time ago, huh? No no, it's cool, it's cool. You could have told me, but I get it. I guess.

I hope you understand. This is probably the toughest trivial decision I've ever made in my life. Well, this and trying to decide between Twizzlers and Goobers every time I go to the movies. Because it's not that I don't love you. I DO love you. You were there for me at a time when no one else understood. And I love you for that. I love you for giving me music to cry to. I love you for bringing me and Teddy closer. I love you for all the friendships I've created because of you. I love you for putting on rap shows that girls aren't afraid to come to. I love you for putting up with my girl's questions about weather in Minneapolis that one night at Max Fish. Fuck, I even love you for making out with me on the God Loves Ugly tour and not even remembering it. (Actually, I love FOR not remembering it. YIKES.) The list of reasons why I love you is infinite. You see... I love you, I'm just not IN love with you. Please don't hold it against me.

Take care and remember: we'll always have Gainesville...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Me and Mobb Deep

as a freshman, i can remember sitting in the "seniors only" section of the school cafeteria, shooting the shit with the boys about this rap group that was driving us all crazy. they were the hardest thing out at the time and all of us being young and stupid and from a small florida town, they glorified a lifestyle unlike anything we saw in panama city. and truth be told, a lifestyle that im sure most of these idiots friends of mine would have loved to emulate.

this rap group, my friends, is Mobb Deep. the album we were speaking of at the time was The Infamous.

and i have to be honest. when i first saw the Shook Ones video, i thought these cats were the corniest thing ever. "yeah, nice hennessy shirt. get a fucking life. dick." but after a few more listens, i was hooked on their trife life. that was 16 years ago and ive purchased ever album since. wait, let me reiterate that: ive PURCHASED every album since. i think the only physical disk that i dont currently have in my possession is Murda Muzik and thats only because some asshole stole it out of my car.

fast forward to present day. Prodigy has been released from jail after doing a three year bid and sends the rap world and all of the internet ablaze with his return. i, of course, am not mad at all about this. after being out just one month, he is releasing an autobiography, My Infamous Life. if you can appreciate nothing else about the times we live in, you must at least be grateful of the efficiency in which things are now accomplished. one month and book theres already a book release? *head spins*

and tonight, i was at Prodigy's book signing.

at the Powerhouse Arena bookstore in DUMBO, about 100 of us gathered to hear "the Quiet Storm n*gga who fight rhymes" touch on some of the topics he covered in his book. from beef with Jay-Z to hook-ups with Lil Kim to his partner Havoc shooting a Def Jam A&R on accident, this dude laid it all out. ill post a link below that goes more in depth about these subjects.

but as Prodigy walked in, all 5'6 of him dressed in an extra smedium button up and jail house muscles noticeably protruding from the sleeves, the 14 year old me was mentally losing it inside my head. this was just one of those times that i had to take a step back and question, "ME? IM here right now? how did this happen???" all of these memories of skipping class, late night rides to the beach, drinking quarts pretending they were 40s (they didnt sell 40s in panama city), smoking blunts and just generally being a teenage asshole came flooding back to me, a nostalgia whose vividness can only be assigned to those reflections of adolescence. because, really, are there any better times to remember than those of when youre young and carefree? but this deluge all happened because all of these things that i/we did were set to the soundtrack of Mobb Deep.

sixteen years ago, as a young and angsty high schooler, i would have never thought something like tonight would happen. sixteen years ago, i truly fell in love with rap music. sixteen years ago, i made the decision that i was moving to new york.

and i hope wherever they are, Antoine, Daryl, LaDerrick, Wyman, Jermaine, Christian, Chance, Jeremiah and the rest of the boys felt the pang of a fantasy realized. because even though i went alone, i still brought them there with me in spirit.

if youd like to read more about Prodigy's book, you can check out