Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DJ Paul of Three-6-Mafia Interview

A few weeks back DJ Paul was in town for a show and to film a music video with Young Buck. I went out there with Joerilla, Capo and Mike Vulcan to do an interview with DJ Paul for CONCRETEtv.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nashville Knights

This post is for JJ Trigg and my brother. The two were best friends at Glencliff High School in Nashville. JJ had an uncle that played hockey, so he and his brother Mike were into hockey (JJ still plays). He got my brother Kevin and me into hockey also. When I was 15, two wrestling promoters started the Nashville Knights minor league hockey team.

We loved to go the games. I have four programs from that first season alone. I know we went to many more games than that. (*side note - as a hip-hop fan I had an LA Kings Starter brand jacket, wish I still had it.) The games were at Municipal Auditorium. After every Knights' goal, two guys would get up and run with a banner the entire circle walkway that divided the upper and lower sections of seats. Kids would jump down and run behind them. The Knights would sell that place out on the regular during those first couple of years. There was a lot of excitement and energy in the crowds and fights on the ice.

Once the NHL awarded Nashville an expansion team (Predators) the Knights days were numbered. The Predators' assistant coach Peter Horachek was one the first Knights head coaches. The team relocated to Pensicola (1996) where they still play as the Ice Pilots.

The original owners were wrestling promoters – Ronald Welch aka Ron Fuller aka The Tennessee Stud and Knoxville native Bob Polk.

Nashville was still completing the Sportsplex when the program was printed. There was an old rink in the same parking lot, but the place was a dump. We skated in there a lot. The Sportsplex was a big step up, and we went there many a Friday/Saturday night when I was this age. Look at the bottom, Bill Boner was mayor!

Sunday I went and rocked a real quick piece in the alley at the homie Troy Duff's spot in East Nashville. I was nervous that if I made this post before I painted it, some kid may beat to the punch. Not with my source material you don't!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Don Trip - Type Treatment

Bummed that this didn't work with the design I did for CONCRETE Nashville. Maybe his camp will want to use it. If you don't know Don Trip ... you will soon. THIS VIDEO got him on.

If this was to be used, I would clean (vector shaping) a couple of spots up.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Charlie Hustle - Sports Illustrated

I was a huge baseball fan growing up. The 1994-95 MLB strike killed it for me. I never got back into baseball. When I was in middle school Pete Rose was one of my favorites, along with a new crop of players that would become the steroid era. I favored myself to be like him (not his bad lettuce and gambling ... his game play), always hustling out infield base hits. Anyways this is one of the Sports Illustrated copies I kept over the years from my dad's subscription.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mack-TITS, Jeka, Rex2-TM - Seattle 2000

In March 2000, Jeka and I took a trip out to Seattle to visit our crew mate Joel Trussell (N-Sack). Joel was just getting his animation career started. Before we arrived, I hooked up (via snail mail) with Mack, a local writer who said he'd help us paint in Seattle. While there he took us to Redmond, Washington (home of Microsoft & Nintendo America) to paint a wall next to the public skatepark. The Jeka piece is so burning! It was one of the last ones he did. I remember Mack and me saying something like, 'Thanks for going so big Jeka.' Haha! Mack was real cool, but over the years we lost touch.

Shortly after our visit, Mack sent a package to Show & Prove Magazine. In the letter he tells how he just got put down with Bay Area graffiti crew T.I.T.S. Fast forward to today and Mack is better known by his real name Marek Grubel and is the owner of international street wear brand T.I.T.S. (Two In The Shirt). He has really blown that shit up!

Some of the original TITS crew members feel slighted, but I give Marek his props for what he has accomplished in the business realm. Many a great idea doesn't go anywhere. He made that company big with planning and execution.

While in Seattle we mostly hung out with Joel and Kelly. We did karaoke, went snowboarding, went to the top of the space needle, rode the monorail, went to the fish market and more. That trip was blast. The tiny picture (stuck to half a Rex2 pic) is from some photo booth. Notice the graffiti background we chose (Sup!). I had this combo-thing stuck to my old computer monitor for years. Good Times.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Tribe Called Quest - Nashville 1996

Last night I went and checked out the new Michael Rapaport directed documentary about one of my all time favorite rap groups A Tribe Called Quest. The film Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of ATCQ broke out the good stuff, especially the first 30-40 minutes. The animation by James Blagden (check this video he did) made it a trippy travel. It shows how ATCQ got together and how their rise was so quick and important to hip-hop. It really took me back to UT – November 9, 1993, THIS was on the same day!

Back in 1996 Tribe came thru Nashville (at now defunct Starwood Amphitheater) on the Smokin' Grooves Tour (with Ziggy Marley, The Fugees, Busta Rhymes). I got a press pass through Southern Fried Funk Magazine and got right up front to get some not-so-good pictures.

Here's a few of the better ones from that night. Sorry my camera kind of sucked, but the vibe and energy of the Tribe show still comes across (I think).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

EGON2 (DJ Egon) - Graffiti

Another incredible person I've had the honor to know and call a friend is DJ Egon (longtime VP of Stones Throw Records). I first met him in the fall '95/spring '96 while he was a senior in high school. He had come to Nashville to visit Vanderbilt University. He was thinking of attending. Back then he used to do a lot of graffiti writing too. He was out walking around Nashville and stumbled upon Southern Fried Funk. He was really excited to know that Nashville had a graffiti scene, and he now had a connect.

Egon did decide to attend Vanderbilt (1996-2000). Besides the fact that a Vanderbilt education is top notch, I think two deciding factors were Vandy's radio station WRVU and the graffiti scene. While living Nashville, Egon did a lot. He had two weekly radio shows, a weekly club night, organized the annual WRVU fundraiser (all those posts are coming) and held down a full time class lode. The guy's work ethic is inspiring!

When he first got to Nashville, he was still real hyped on graffiti. I was his painting partner in Nashville. We hit freights together a couple of times. He even pushed TM before he quit painting. I remember when he decided to stop writing and focus solely on DJing. He told me something like, 'I don't think I can ever be as good as a Ces2 at painting, but I do think I could be as good as a Roc Raider at DJing. So I'm just going to be a DJ.' I always respected that.

Here's a few photos Egon traded me back then, and one of the freights he and I hit.

1996 - Connecticut, Trackside: MetroNorth Train Line
1996 - painted in Rhode Island
1996 - Nashville, Live Action!
Rex2-tm, 1996 Nashville

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Show & Prove Magazine

I guess now is a good time to talk about Show & Prove Magazine (I'll be referencing it and the period). It was a graffiti/b-boy magazine I published from 1999-2002. I printed and distributed (world-wide) 4 issues. There is also a lost issue that I hope to bring to this site in digital form. The magazine was well received in the graffiti community. As far as traveling and trading flicks (what's that?), Show & Prove opened a lot of doors and helped me meet and build relationships with some of the world's best writers. Mike Davis of Burlesque Design art directed Issue #3. Jeff Stamper did issues #1-2. I did issues #4 (lost issue) and #5. A lot of content on this blog will come from this period.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mines & Dark - Reconnecting

Dark and Mines came down from Louisville and were the featured artists at Cypher Sunday (Aug 14). It was cool to see them again after all these years. I met them each under way different circumstances. How and when I met Dark is another story, for now I'm going to focus on Mines.

I first met Mines in 2002 in St. Louis. I had traveled there with Elk (El Kamino) in plans of painting at Paint Louis. Unfortunately the city had cancelled the event. We didn't know until we got there. We still wanted to paint, so someone (probably Mike 2600 aka Pharoe) guided us to a chill spot under a bridge.

While Elk and I were painting a group of guys came up to paint also. One of the guys was Mines. He was still living in St. Paul, Minnesota at the time. We all introduced ourselves and chatted throughout the time we painted. I was real excited also, because Stun, a legendary St. Louis writer who had been severely beaten and suffered permanent brain damage, was also there painting. It was his first time painting since the viscous attack (probably 12 months earlier). I exchanged info with Mines to trade flicks and shortly after a package came to the Show & Prove Magazine PO Box. Below is a few of the photos and the letter he sent.

He also dropped this little gem in the package.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Krazy George - 1998

This is Krazy George Henderson, professional cheerleader since 1975. He invented the stadium wave. He was the Houston/Tennessee Oilers official cheerleader for 8 seasons. I interviewed him and took these photos in 1998. Check out his fresh Tennessee Oilers #0 Throwback (it was current then).

The Tennessee Oiler's first season in Nashville was 1998. At that time I was Editor of a Nashville magazine titled Blast. Then Tennessee Oilers played home games at Vanderbilt Stadium. The games then were lacking in atmosphere except for Krazy George. I had seen him on TV before, but just quick cuts in and out of commercials. But after seeing him perform live and getting the crowds chanting, cheering and doing the wave, I had to get an interview for Blast! Magazine. The Titans hired him for a couple of games in 1999 (Super Bowl Year), but that was the last they used him. His stay was short but sweet. OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Count Bass D - Rex2 - Richmond, VA 2001

Count Bass D is the homie. One of the many I first met at SFF. We don't stay in close touch, but we will run into each other randomly from time to time and catch up. I've interviewed him for CONCRETE Magazine once also. He is an artist, producer, DJ, husband, father and all around amazing spirit. This won't be the only post that will include Count Bass D. COUNT BASS D TWITTER

That said, this was at a hip-hop jam in Richmond , Virginia in 2001. It was my first time there. (side note: This trip is also when I linked up with D.O.S. crew in person. They were having an "art party" at a crew member's apt. I also met Reup and some other cool Virgina writers.) I (and Scar1.0) had been invited to paint 8'x8' plywood panels. Instead of just doing a piece inside a square, I brought along a jigsaw and drill. I put my sketch up, then I cut the piece out. The "X" was a little taller than what the panel would allow, so I attached some of the cut-away, scrap wood and made it tall enough to complete the letter. It didn't take that long, and I finished with time to spare.

So I got some Jack Daniel's and kicked it. Some point during kicking it, I ran into Count. I was stoked to see him. He was booked to perform at the jam. We hung out for a while. He even drank some Jack from the bottle with me. While hanging out I took a picture of him in front of my piece.

I'll probably run into him again soon at THIS.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cypher Sunday Video: 07-17-2011

I've (under CONCRETE Magazine) been organizing monthly, graffiti mini-jams in Nashville this spring/summer called Cypher Sundays. We've (Joerilla for CONCRETEtv) been doing recap videos each time.
This one features the infamous Tennessee 42s with music by Mike Vulcan/Strange Customs.

8 Ball & MJG - CONCRETE Magazine Interview - 2006

In September 2004 a friend from college and I started a digest sized magazine called "CONCRETE Magazine." That friend is Kevin Anderson. Kevin took all of the photographs in the beginning. Two years into CONCRETE, he got a great job offer in Washington DC. He had to take it and has been doing really well up there since. I am still Publisher of CONCRETE Magazine.

We used to hit the road all the time to go do interviews, distribution, networking, sales, everything. It was a lot of fun those first two years with Kevin. A couple of interviews/photo sessions really stand out though, and 8-Ball and MJG is one of them.

We met up with Ball and G at a club in downtown Memphis (I think Club Plush on Beale St). At the time, these guys had major (national) billboard hits like "Pimp Hard". On top of that, they are Memphis legends. They were really cool. Ball rolled a blunt of some stinky and Kevin started taking pics. Those are probably my favorite photos Kevin took while with CONCRETE Magazine. Here are a few of the photos and the entire interview.

8 Ball and MJG, CONCRETE Magazine - January 2006 Interview

CONCRETE: What are you guys currently working on?
8 Ball: Right now we are working on the next album with Bad Boy. The name of it is Pure American Pimpin’. We’ve got Big Boi from Outkast, T.I., Juvenile, Jazze Phae, Lil John, Avant, Floetry... and just a lot of gritty 8 Ball and MJG. We call this album Pure American Pimpin’ because it’s like back to basics for us

CONCRETE: What’s the difference, if any, now that you are with Bad Boy compared to when you guys were coming up?
MJG: It’s really the same. There is a lot the same. It’s different machine that we are working with now, but our formula and work habits and ethics are the same. We still use the same formula and patterns but we are always trying to sharpen it up a little more each year.
8 Ball: And being with Bad Boy also adds a a bigger appeal to us for some people. It definitely boosted our black star power being associated with a business man and an entertainer like Diddy. That’s the difference right there. We are on a “major” right now.

CONCRETE: Who are y’all working with on the production for this next project?
8 Ball: We’re really all over the place. We’ve got Sean Dre again. We did a song called “They Fightin” with Jazze Phae. MJG did one with me him and Twista. Plus Drum Majors did the one with Big Boi on it. Lil John did one. DJ Toomp did the one with T.I.P. on it. DJ Paul and Juicy J are on the album. They did a song that they’re on with us. We’re just all over the place with he album. Montana tracks also did some work on the album. We’ve got features with out artists Devius and Ammo. Devius is on 8 Ways Entertainment and Ammo is on MJG Music. Mac E is also on MJG Music and Montana produces for both of us. Currently, we’ve probably got five or six more songs that we want to do so it isn’t all the way finished yet.

CONCRETE: Now that you are both stepping into roles as label heads, what are some of the plans in 2006 for each of the labels?
8 Ball: We definitely have Montana. He’s got a sound of his own. It’s Lil’ John and Dre. He’s still got soul but he has a sound of his own. A lot of the albums coming out will be [produced by him]. Like sixty seven percent will be his. That includes Devius on 8 Ways Entertainment. His album will be out next year. Ammo is on MJG Music and his album will be out next year. Mac E is coming soon too. I’ve got an 8 Ball Presents... album coming out in December or January. It’s 8 Ball Presents The M Game. “M” like Memphis. It’s just all of us. That’s in the near future.

See my hand holding the light reflector?!

CONCRETE: The whole M Town “get crunk” and “get buck” style and sound is really exploding around the world these days. Do you fear that overexposure will play it out?
8 Ball: This is a two part answer because [MJG] has something to say and I have something.
MJG: It might kill the era, but that’s really just an era created by hype anyway. We were doing this type of music before they were calling it the “get crunk era.” We really don’t rely on what they call the era. We are just trying to make good music and basically, stick to the format. When we look at material, we don’t sit down and try to make it fit with the “get crunk era.” It’s not really something that we worry about. If cats are really crafting their stuff for that, they are the ones that will be worse off...
8 Ball: ... They’re the ones that are going to be worried. It’s those cats that are bragging because they’ve been rapping for two years and their career might not last more than two years. That’s why some of the cats that are gimmick rappers from the South need to be worried. But 8 Ball and MJG [don’t have to be worried]. Our first album came out in 1993. Three-6 Mafia’s first album came out in 1995. In 2005 we have the number two single in the nation. Right now, this is ten, almost fifteen years later, so we’re not worried. We are going to do us. We’ve got a fan base of a million people that love what we do and as long as we keep it true to them, they’re going to keep it true to us.

CONCRETE: There are a lot of people that have been rapping for two years that think that it’s easy to jump on. Being two of the pioneers of the Southern rap foundation, what do you say to that mentality?
MJG: It ain’t easy because you really have to last ten years to be able to think from the ten year mentality. You have to last ten first, and that’s a struggle within itself. It’s like when you get over the five year hump. It really puts you in a different state of mind. After another five year you’re in a whole other state of mind. You learn something that you can only learn from experience to help you go another five years. It takes being in over ten years to survive to fifteen years. For most artists, whether it’s in country or rock and roll, they don’t last that long.
8 Ball: It’s only a handful that last that long in the game, period. We are in the age where everything is in a hurry. We’re in the fast food, drive thru, ipod, credit card age. That’s what our kids are into. Our generation and the generation before us, we grew up on a lot of different kinds music like soul, R&B and blues. Things other than rap. There’s a generation now that grew up on straight hip-hop. Young mammas that were our age were having kids that are between fourteen and eighteen years old that grew up listening to nothing but 8 Ball and MJG, The Geto Boys and N.W.A. You know what I’m sayin’?

CONCRETE: Bad Boy has always dealt with mostly East Coast artists. In the beginning, was there any problem for them understanding how to relate to you or market a Southern group?
8 Ball: The relationship is better now. I still don’t think that we completely see eye to eye on a lot of things because we are from different cultures. It’s definitely better though.

CONCRETE: Now that Southern rap music has gotten so large, do you think that people in other regions understand the difference in the cultures?
MJG: It’s been helping a lot. I guess it takes number one hits out of different regions for people to understand the other regions better. The DJs and the stations have to help by breaking records from other regions. Everybody has got to work together but it’s all still a pecking order.
8 Ball: We still have room to grow . After all of these years, the best place for us is still the South. We did the Cali and the New York and the overseas thing, but to this day the Southern region is the heart [of our fan base]. We could never go to New York or go to Cali and be cool.

CONCRETE: You moved to Houston early on in your career. How did that play into your development as a group?
MJG: That’s what helped boost our career. We knew that if we could get down there and fit in with those cats we would be good. They’re kind of in their own little world down there. We didn’t have anything to lose at the time so we just got down on that scene. We were able to get in there and fit in and gain that local love.
8 Ball: There is a very big independent scene there.
MJG: We came out on the chart number 99 in the top 100. It was there for a minute before it finally started lifting up. we wound up being in the top ten.
8 Ball: I think that just living down there, we reached such a bigger and a different audience. We had done all that we could do in Memphis and all of the surrounding areas of Memphis. At the time when we moved to Houston it was like new territory. We still went from Florida to Alabama. Chicago and Atlanta have always been two of our best cities. No matter where we were based out of, we have always flourished. It ain’t always been lovely but it ain’t always been bad either.

CONCRETE: Do you have anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
8 Ball: Pure American Pimpin’ in stores March 15. Devius, 8 Ways Entertainment, Ammo and Mac E, MJG Music, 8 Ball Presents... The M Game in 2006.
Cover Photo
CONCRETE Magazine #9 Cover

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Start of Knoxville's "C Yard"

My first of two stints at UT Knoxville was from January 1993 - February 1995. During that time I helped spark the Knoxville scene, along with Shadow, Jeka, Zoom, NutSak and a couple of others. I had been writing longer than any of those cats, so for a while I set the pace there and passed along techniques I had been shown in Nashville and styles I had seen in magazines. Knoxville didn't have a Tower Records, so the writers there didn't get graffiti magazines of the time like Can Control, City Slicker, etc. (again, I miss Tower Records). Magazines were so important for small, evolving cities. Knoxville's writers mainly came from the punk scene. I was very hip-hop oriented, but we got along real well.

Besides meeting my crew, the thing in Knoxville that I'm most proud of was naming the "C Yard". It really was Knoxville's first yard, where people would do pieces, and others would catch flicks or at least come see it. I lived in the Fort Sanders neighborhood near campus and downtown. I didn't have a car, so I hit spots that I could walk or bike to. Knoxville has a lot of bridges going over train tracks, creeks and roads downtown around Broadway. I explored that whole area. It had (still has) lots of little spots to paint.

But the C-Yard stood out. It was at one time an unloading/loading area for some pretty big warehouses right next to the tracks, and they had all been vacant for decades. The buildings connected around the concrete courtyard. It formed the shape of a square C from above. Rest (before switching to Jeka) and maybe Shadow had something in there when I did the corner spot. It's the most visible spot from Broadway that crosses over the train tracks next to the yard. I rolled the spot, and rocked the best piece I could at the time. Next to it I gave props to the other writers of the time, and named it the "C Yard." It was a hub for the just-starting scene.

Today some of the buildings have partially burned down, and the lot is fenced off and walls buffed, but people still call it the "C Yard."
The Corner Spot, Rex2-TDK 1993 or 94
Rest (Jeka) - 1993 or 94 (before TMC)
Aerial View of C-Yard (google earth).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

AM SEVEN by Beno & Revok - 1994

This is on 4th or 5th Avenue South. The cranes in the background are building the Bridgestone Arena. Nashville has grown up a lot since this picture was taken. RIP Beno.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trailers in the Back of Hillsboro High - 1994

Did these joints summer of 1994 on some trailers that faced a side street. Obviously they got hit a lot.
Rex (before I added the 2) - CHP (Joke crew)
TDK by Rex
TDK was a crew I started along with Sever and Take. Notice the Take and Sevar tags at top. I think they were looking out that night. Jeka also pushed TDK for a minute. We all dropped it and got in other crews when we realized there was a TDK in Oakland. That's when I crewed up with TMC. (Large TDK post coming soon.)