Hi, everyone.

My name is Kurt.

Let’s talk about food.

In the house I grew up in, we ate together as a family every night. It didn’t matter if I had basketball and soccer practice and my kid sister had dance and dad was late at the office. We could be saying grace at 5:30 or 8:30, but we always sat down as a family. My mother was, and still is, a great cook. I just assumed every family had it like we did. However, as I grew older and stayed the night with friends, I realized that not every family put value on eating dinner as a unit. Also, some of those mothers and fathers couldn’t cook for shit. I’ve maintained a close relationship with my siblings and with my folks, and I’m sure that having conversation daily at the table laid the groundwork for that. And a big part of that was my mother always putting something on that table that we loved, and would bring us together.

In essence, that’s what food does. It brings us closer with family. Family might mean blood, but it can also mean neighbors. It can mean the group of guys you’ve been running with since grade school. Simply put, your family is the people you value having around you throughout your life. And I can’t think of many things more special than sitting down with those people you love and sharing a delicious meal. The one thing I can think of, however, is sitting around with those people you love and sharing a delicious meal that YOU COOKED. For me, cooking for loved ones is the most soul-satisfying experience. When I became serious about cooking, my life improved exponentially.

I believe that having the ability to cook at least a few simple dishes for oneself is essential in being a well-rounded individual. I’ll be checking in with you guys from time to time to show you how to prepare simple food in a delicious manner. The degree of difficulty may vary, but they will all be dishes that can be prepared at home without fancy gadgets.

Today is a good example. We’re going to cook a steak. An eighteen ounce beef ribeye, to be specific. And we’ll serve it with braised cabbage. What you’ll need:

-3 quarts water -2 slices Applewood bacon -2 T apple cider vinegar -12 oz. – 18 oz. beef ribeye -kosher salt -freshly cracked pepper -3 T canola oil -2 oz. unsalted butter, cold -two garlic cloves -7 sprigs fresh thyme -cast-iron skillet -half head green cabbage, rough large chop

When most people think about cooking steak, they think grilling. But firing up the grill, moving all your ingredients outside, cooking them, then transporting them all back inside can be a bit of a production, especially if you’re cooking with live charcoal. Not to mention the cleanup process. You have to set aside a good amount of time, which can be stressful. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great grilled steak. However, cooking one indoors in one pan eliminates the time issue and cleanup is a snap. And I’ll just say it: I prefer a steak cooked in this manner.

Before we go any further, I must stress the importance of a QUALITY cast-iron skillet. I once bought a cheap one from Target simply for the fact that it was cheap, and it was a seriously poor decision. After less than a year and minimal use, I tried to make a frittata at two in the morning while intoxicated and damn near broke my foot. I pulled the fucking thing out of the oven and the handle broke off in my hand. I still need to replace that kitchen tile…

Anyway, Lodge makes great cast iron ware and has been doing so since the late eighteen hundreds. They WILL NOT BREAK. If you don’t own one, go buy one. You’ll have to season it, and everyone has their preferred method, so just find instructions on the internet and do what you like. Personally, I like to rub every inch of it in canola oil and put it in the oven on 350 F for five hours.

First, we’re going to get the braising liquid together for the cabbage. Combine the water, bacon, apple cider vinegar, ¼ c kosher salt and two sprigs of thyme in a handled pot and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes. The cabbage only takes three minutes to cook. That’ll be our last step.

As soon as the braising liquid starts to simmer, turn your oven to 350 F and pull the ribeye out of the refrigerator. Don’t season it yet, simply allow it to reach room temperature. The only way you’re going to get that great brown color you’re looking for on this beautiful cut of meat is by ensuring that the steak isn’t cold when it hits the pan. When the smoky, tangy liquid has simmered for 30 minutes, season both sides of the steak liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. It’s damn near impossible to overseason a steak. Don’t rub it down like a rack of ribs, but you get the idea. Red meat loves salt the same way fish loves lemon. Place the cast iron skillet on the front burner on high heat. Add the canola oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, lay the steak in the pan with it falling away from you, so as not to splash hot oil on yourself. Using a medium sized metal spoon, move the steak around to ensure that the oil spreads evenly over the pan. Continue to cook on high heat for two minutes, or until the bottom side of the steak is a deep brown. Using tongs or the spoon, flip the steak over and cook the other side in the same manner. Once the bottom side is browned, add the butter to the pan and lay the garlic cloves and 4 thyme sprigs on top of the steak. Reduce the heat to medium low and begin basting the steak with the butter by tilting the skillet toward you, then spooning the butter over the thyme and garlic on top of the ribeye. Continue to baste for two minutes, then place the pan in the oven.

I like my steak medium rare, which means I only want to leave it in the oven for five minutes. If medium is more your thing, leave it in for 8-10 minutes. If you like your steak more cooked than that, I feel sorry for you and have no further advice. In fact, just stop reading this and go to Arby’s, because otherwise you’re just wasting a gorgeous cut of beef by turning it into boot leather and I can’t be associated with that kind of behavior, quite frankly. Remove the steak from the oven, then, using the spoon or tongs, transfer the steak to a cutting board, preferably wooden. This is the most important step. Resting. How many times have you cut into a steaming hot steak and watched all the juices seep right outta the thing all over the plate? It’s a goddamn tragedy. You want those juices to stay inside the steak. That’s how you get a truly exceptional bite of meat.

While your ribeye is resting, add the cabbage to the pot and increase the heat to medium. The cabbage will takes 2-3 minutes. Since we/re dealing with cabbage and not collards or mustard greens, we’re not going to cook it very long. We still want it to have some crunch. Simply keep tasting it. After 2 minutes, try a bite and if it’s to your liking, it’s done. If it’s not, give it another minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cabbage and bacon from the pot and serve. It’s time to slice the steak. Using a chef’s knife, slice the steak across the grain, meaning if the steak is resting longways on the cutting board, you will slice straight across it. Cut in ¼ inch slices, then fan out on a platter. Lightly season the slices with kosher salt and serve.

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Three 6 Mafia occupy a very interesting place in hip-hop history. It sounds weird to call any group who's sold 5.5 million albums, as well as winning an Academy Award, underrated. But in some ways, the Three 6 Mafia still kind of is. Prior to winning their Academy Award, they had a large underground following, but had yet to break through into the mainstream. This is despite having well-known tracks like "Tear Da Club Up", "Sippin' on some Syrup, and "Tongue Ring". After their Oscar win, the crossover was inevitable, which came with the album that followed, Most Known Unknown. But what isn't usually mentioned, outside of their Academy Award win and their number of units moved, is their incredibly far-reaching influence on hip-hop in general. Their largest influence is found in the subgenre of trap music, which they helped create and bring into the mainstream. Beyond that, their rise to become one of the largest bands in hip-hop (for a time) was done completely on their own, in the days before the internet could easily make your product available. Their original sound, dark and sinister, helped pave the way for acts like SpaceGhostPurrp, A$AP Mob, and Lil' Ugly Mane. And, currently, the "Migos flow" is essentially what the Three 6 Mafia members have been doing for 2 decades.

Regardless, Three 6 Mafia have carved their place in the annals of hip-hop history, despite maybe not getting the recognition they deserve in the present day. So basically, the Three 6 Mafia don't owe you shit. Which is why it was nice in 2013 when the members found new life, and delivered high-quality albums 20 years into their careers. Juicy found his new life on Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang Records, while the remaining members of Three 6 Mafia convened to become Da Mafia 6ix. The first Mafia 6ix mixtape was a throwback to their Mystic Stylez days, albeit with better production values. The beats were a return to their dark and sinister origins, and the subject matter flirted with the dark themes found on their earliest releases. It was a triumphant return to form from a band that had been suffering from diminishing returns on their previous release, Last 2 Walk. In the two years since 6ix Commandments dropped, they suffered multiple setbacks in the form of losing two core members. Lord Infamous, one of the most iconic members, sadly passed away just over a month after the mixtape's release. And Gangsta Boo departed, leaving just Koopsta, Crunchy and DJ Paul to carry the torch.

Despite these setbacks, Da Mafia 6ix have thankfully crafted yet another incredibly solid release in "Watch What U Wish". It feels like a departure from 6ix Commandments, in the same way Da End and World Domination were departures from Mystic Stylez. In fact, it almost sounds like a culmination of the sounds of those two particular albums. Lyrically, it's fairly standard late-era Three 6 Mafia stuff, which is fine. Despite not flirting with horror-films themes, it's not like most people listen to "Tear Da Club Up" for life-changing lyrics anyway. And they still have a way with clever turns-of-phrase, and unique deliveries. Everyone comes on strong, and the overall feeling is that they have a lot riding on this release. Koopsta has fully developed his vocals into sounding like he's a rapping snake, and I mean that as the highest compliment possible. And the few scattered Lord Infamous appearances seem to be culled from decades ago, the murky quality making him sound otherworldly, adding an odd poignancy to tracks with titles like "High Like an Eagle".

Of course, the big difference-maker here is DJ Paul's production, which is on-point for the entirety of the album. From mosh-worthy opener "Dat Ain't Inya" to closer "You Can't", the production remains mainly high-energy and immediate, with lots of subtle nods to the past in the form of samples from old tracks scattered throughout. Tracks like "Gimmi Back My Dope" hearken back to tracks like "Walk Up to Your House", both in lyrics and the mood they create. "Residence Evil" is the closest thing here to the first mixtape, and their original sound. The horror-film synths stab and pulsate, and the rally cry of "Mafia" makes it feel like a nod to the past, while still keeping an eye on the present.

The only real complaint I have is that at 17 tracks (19, counting the intro and outro) it could have had 2-3 songs shaved off of the playlist, and yet at the same time I have trouble picking a song (or 3) that should have been removed. Even the weakest track, the slightly meandering weed-anthem "Do Dabs", is followed by one of the strongest, the incredibly hyped-up "Come Get Sum", so it isn't even a pacing issue. None of the tracks are bad, it just becomes a bit much. However, this is a small nitpick (I mean my biggest complaint is simply that they gave us too much music), and in the end what we have is another triumph from a band who could easily rest on its laurels and tour reunion shows playing their hits and not worrying about creating albums. However, instead of just putting out half-hearted and lazy releases, you can feel the love put into each track. That alone is good enough, especially from a band who, again, doesn't owe anyone anything. That it also turned out to be good is the reason that they're one of the most important hip-hop bands of the last 2 decades, whether they get the recognition they fully deserve or not.

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This Might seem out of place for those who are unfamiliar with a hip-hop website, but the reality is simple. Cigars are a part of hip-hop culture. Even more so, so is the idea of them. Cigars can mean you have made it, you have arrived. For me, I am a fan of cigars and cigar culture. I get asked a lot about Cuban cigars and I would like to give you hip-hop fans that are looking for a reason to smoke, an understanding out why Cuban Cigars are so coveted.

Lets go back to August 10, 2009 in Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana and my first encounter with a Cuban Cigar. Actually, it was my first cigar ever. From drinking wine, enjoying dark chocolate and high quality black coffee I believed I had a slight understanding to the tasting notes of cigars. I knew absolutely nothing about cigars, except that I should smoke one in victory of climbing Pico Duerte, the one I chose was a Romeo y’ Juliette Short Robusto. I had no idea that you could get that high off of a cigar.

There are many ways I recommend beginning your journey into cigars, the way I came into the cigar world was not appropriate or fair to myself. A lot of people come in smoking Acid’s, Tabak’s, Macanudo’s, Rocky Patels, you know, something normal and reasonable. To be honest, It’s more or less normal for me to come into any circle this way. I still would not recommend it, because you have to back track into bargain cigars, then come back to the realization that you only want to smoke $13.00+ cigars almost exclusively.

So lets begin the conversations about Cuban Cigars. Over the past almost 5 years I’ve smoked 10 different brands of cubans and countless sizes, styles and shapes. I’d say, i’ve smoked somewhere in the range of 370+ Cubans, once again, not enough to be an expert, but enough to get whats going on with the blends and the ethereal high you get from them. Cubans make up 2 to 3 of my top 5 cigars of all time, it really depends on how I am feeling and how great my memory is functioning.

My top 5 benchmark cigars are as follows: 1. Padron Lil’ Hammer No 45 Maduro 2. H. Upmann 2008 Jr Corona en Tubo (cuban) 3. Arturo Fuente Don Carlos 2006 4. Partagas D No 4 en Tubo (cuban) 5. Avo L.E. 07/No 5 Tubo 2007 All of these cigars have something very special to offer and set standards and precedents among their class and style of cigars. Granted, you might not be able to obtain any of these, but relax I can still recommend some great smokes that come close enough.

Now, back to the whole cuban cigar and what makes them so special. One thing I would attribute to it is the long withstanding tradition of making cigars, but really, it comes down to the soil. Like wine grapes, soil plays a major part as to why the cigars taste so different. It only makes sense considering that is where the plant gets its nutrients from. So what’s in the Cuban soil? Good question, who knows, some say it’s trace amounts of lithium and thats why you get so high others say, actually who cares what others say unless they have one in hand when speaking on it.

I have a love hate relationship with Cuban cigars, Davidoff’s have the same issue to me as previously discussed. The biggest problem with cubans is counterfeits. The only way I can guarantee you are getting a legitimate product is to purchase it in a tubo. Also another way is handle thousands of real and hundreds of fakes. A Fake is a great way to understand what makes a real cuban a real cuban. I’ve even seen fake Davidoffs. I’ve sold high end designer goods, so after a while, you can spot fake Gucci from 2 blocks away.

Unless you are out the country purchasing Cubans you can’t guarantee authenticity, even then, you need to make sure that you are shopping with a licensed dealer. The amount of fakes on the market is amazing. Even then, I’ve seen people smoking Partagas P No 2 fakes at really nice lounges. I felt bad having to break news to dude that he was smoking a counterfeit. Why was it fake you ask? The shape of a cuban Pyramide is not the shape of a torpedo that most are accustom too, the subtlety in the tapering of the Pyramide is distinct. The other problem was the Font, Font spacing and the fact that their was a “.” after the “P.”. Like a Davidoff, their are super specifics that make them real.

That last reason is more than enough for me to just not seek them out. I had a cuban source and could get them when ever I wanted, but he also got a lot of counterfeits. At least 2-3 boxes out of 12 were fake cubans. They were real cigars, but they were not real cubans. The other problem with it is simple, A good amount of people who peddle cubans try to double the price at which they purchase them from their source. I witnessed a cigar shop in Chicago do that, not only is it illegal, but it’s just dumb for business. Also, if you’ve never had a cuban, you aren’t missing that much.

I’ve smoked somewhere in the 5,000 range of cigars over the past almost 5 years. Out of 5,000 cigars am I fiending for a Cuban? No. Are they worth smoking, yes. Are they worth the headache of seeing if they are real, wondering if you over paid, wondering if they have been properly kept, No. I’ve smoked so many cigars that I can tell a difference between Cuban, Nicaraguan, Dominican, Honduran and Peruvian Tobaccos and at the end of the day, smoking a cigar is all about a relaxing experience.

The channels of obtaining cubans is more akin to scoring weed. In fact it’s easier to score weed than high quality cuban cigars to the average cigar smoker. Also, the only thing you really get from cubans is a super strong nicotine high that can be sickening at times. The flavor is often super muted, flat, uncomplex, slight sweetness, faint hints of citrus and white pepper. Also, if you need to get super high, just score some weed. It’s easier, more available and in some states way more legal than purchasing cubans.

More often than not, its the allure of the illegal and unobtainable that drives people to the product, not the quality of the product. Realistically, if the embargo ever ends, their will be a rush on Cuban Cigars for 2 years. Then people will go right back to their regular brands. Realistically you will be paying $35.00+ for cigars that are not that interesting all they will do is get you blown and help you pretend that you are boss. Also, once the stock piles of leaves are full depleted and they keep pushing under aged leaf onto the public for $35.00+ You will realize how much of a bargain those $24.00 Padron, Davidoff, Arturo Fuente, La Palina, Greycliff, and La Aurora cigars really are.

Stay Smokey, Icy

While an album can never be described as "perfect", due to the elusive and, ever changing definition of musical perfection, ‘Backpack Trap’ attempts to make the case that it should be in the running due to its ingenuity and originality. The evocative production supplied by DJ Victoriouz, and dynamic lyricism manages to be inventive, consistently thematic, and at times beautifully haunting.

Bruza The General’s tale opens with ‘Cold Souls’ a gritty emotive head banger that expertly introduces the listener to Bruza’s magic on the mic that will definitely cast a musical spell on you. It's not often you hear rappers asking ‘What’s Going on’ featuring YP(BackWood Jones), but if Bruza’s stirring track was playing you'd definitely be wondering as well. ‘Feel Like I Made It’ a somewhat unexpected Chill EDM like feel provides an ethereal otherworldly backdrop to Bruza’s boasts.

Ultimately no journey is without its missteps and concerns. There are a few tracks that don't quite hit, and as exceptional as this release is I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them. ‘Don Dada’; ‘Working With A Monsta’; ‘Bad Bitches Only’ The inclusion of these tracks is baffling. The straight dumbing down of Bruza’s lyrics and flow stands in stark contrast to the musical and lyrical gems that populate this album. Even as out of place as I find these tracks to be, they aren’t enough to dissuade me from my conclusion that ‘BackPack Trap’ is quite simply a great album.

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Welcome to the first edition of "The Overlooked", a column dedicated to bringing attention to forgotten classics or albums that may have slipped through the cracks. It only feels right that I kick this off with what I consider to be one of the most slept-on hip-hop albums of the 90s, if not of all time, and one that belongs in the same conversation as the mid-90s NYC classics, but doesn't get its proper due.

Onyx exploded onto the hip-hop scene with Bacdafucup, based on the strength of its massive hit single, "Slam". The song was completely inescapable in 1993, and because of it Bacdafucup went platinum within six months. The album itself was solid enough, and--most importantly--its mosh-worthy rap helped pave the way for artists like DMX to bring hard-rock aggression into mainstream hip-hop. To give an idea of how huge the album was, it helped pave the way for group members Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz to have acting careers in a time where a hip-hop album contract didn't come with an SAG card. So I can only imagine what Def Jam thought when they were given All We Got Iz Us as a follow-up.

All We Got Iz Us is a dark, morbid album. The main theme running throughout is suicide, and they show their hand right off the bat on the intro, in which Sticky Fingaz has an internal monologue about killing himself (and the intro ends with him actually doing so). Second, the aggression here is backed with production that doesn't intensify it, but rather flips it into something beautiful, while still managing to cast a pall over the entire album. If you're only familiar with Onyx because of the song "Slam", one word you'd never expect to hear associated with an Onyx album is "pretty". But the production on this album is absolutely gorgeous. Opening track "Last Days" is a perfect example of this, with Onyx rapping over a mournful beat underscored by a sample of Aretha Franklin's "A Song For You". This all works because Onyx didn't try to change their rapping-style. The loud, gravel-throated vocals are still intact, but they're given new life by going in a different direction with the mood they're trying to create. The same goes with "Purse Snatchaz", in which a song about growing up robbing people is rapped over a beat drenched in warped strings.

Even on songs where they're seemingly attempting to recreate the mood of their debut, the production betrays them in the best way possible. Two examples of this are the title track and "Ghetto Mentalitee", which could have had different beats and easily fit on Bacdafucup, yet (especially on the latter) instead are given beats that sound like something from a horror-film, adding the necessary weight to make them something above-and-beyond their previous work. The only song that sounds out of place (because it's actually a positive track) is "Live Niguz", which works because it's perfectly sequenced square in the middle of the album, almost to give a breather from the darkness surrounding. Most of all, this album gives a vivid picture of mid-90s NYC, and the album closer "Walk in New York" paints this picture better than any other track, perfectly summarizing everything that came before.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the album failed to yield any major hits. It still managed to go gold, which is impressive since only "Last Dayz" charted on the Billboard Hot 100 (and at 89). In response to this, Onyx returned to the well of their debut on future albums, with highly diminishing returns. They even went so far as to make an album called Bacdafucup pt. II with a song called "Slam Harder". Yet aside from select songs, none of their albums after this one live up to the potential shown here. However, in doing some research before writing this, I've learned that I'm not alone in having strong feelings for this album. In 2008 Vibe named it the best-produced album of 1995 and later put it on a list of "20 Albums Every Hip-Hop Fan Must Own (But May Have Missed)". So, if you're reading this chances are you're a fan of hip-hop. If you won't take my advice, take Vibe's. Check this album out, and stop sleeping.

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Sean Falyon is one of the harder hitting rappers I have written about on here. He raps out of Atlanta by way of Philadelphia. That's like a mixture of everything that is hot in the game right now! and Sean is taking full advantage of that fact with his cant miss lyrics and his brash delivery. His music is hard to label, you hear some trap sound in it, some radio type beats, the hard hitting lyrical content, and social consciousness as well. I know what your thinking. "So he's everything rolled up into one?" I mean basically yeah that is exactly what I am saying!

Sean just released #IDSBIC in December of last year and you can buy this Perfectly composed album now from bandcamp or on ITunes.  Sean is also one of the SXSW featured performing artists. If you are in Austin this Saturday March 21st go and peep his high energy show at The Madison.

Now lets talk about this Album for a little bit. This album has something for everyone. The album starts out with the hypnotic beat of Motivation Music. "Say your hungry, now you are starving for attention. over dedicated I am a soldier on a mission. Never hesitating, the composure of a great. when its time to spark debate I'm the nigga you should mention."

The very next song makes you envision Scarface mixed with Young Jeezy but discussions about current events that have been hitting our streets hard lately. Saying "I just wish Mike Brown could walk again" while discussing the hard ships our youth face everyday.

This album will make you love Sean and make you go out and download all of his other music he put out before this as well. And trust me there is a ton of it! My one complaint about the Album is it isn't long enough! I need more of it! This will spend more time in the rotation then anything else from the past 5 years I will bet you. This is classic, timeless hip hop that you can listen to over and over again and will want to at the same time. Don't take my word for it though.  Go download the Album, listen to it, listen to it again, then comment below how you feel.

And as always follow me on twitter so you can talk shit to me!

When you think of Philly rappers you think of some of the greats like Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and the legendary Roots Crew. One of the next great artists to come from Philly who is about to Explode into your ears is Truck North from the Roots and the Money Makin Jam Boys. With his direct approach and hard hitting Lyrics he is soon to be a fan favorite with people from everywhere and not just north Philly. Now you have heard Truck in Multiple The Roots songs as well as him dominating the Money Makin Jam Boys mix tape but you haven't gotten a full taste of his lyricism till he put out his latest album Murder by Mourning.

The Album is a little over a year old but still has as much punch and staying power now as it did then! This album has the hard hitting tracks you will love to listen to over and over again as well as the content that makes you think "wait did he just say that?!?".  The Album starts off with the Hard hitting Murderer's Row that is just a small bite to wet your appetite. By track number 2 you will be completely hooked! track number 2 is "the Man" which is one of those tracks that you can listen to 1000 times and still find something new to geek out about as well as bob you head every time you listen to it. Truck goes off with the lyrics like "Lord of the underground, opposite of Wacka, the surgeon is emerging, make way for the doctor, when I'm on I bring the storm like the mother fucking Doppler".  Here is the track for you to sink your teeth into.

Although the Project lacks tons of Radio play I assume you will be able to hear "Cry For you" on the radio Soon and if you did you would be calling every radio DJ in your home town asking to hear it again and again. With Dante Lewis sampling Erykah Badu for one of the greatest tracks of the album blending Erykah's sultry lyrics with Trucks hard hitting lines blends together beautifully and make you wish for more of it.

This amazingly put together album is available now for purchase.  Go buy the album, listen to it, share it, and let me know your thoughts below in the comments.

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Think back to when you were a kid, I know for some of us it was a while ago. Think back to during spring break when there wasn't much to do but potentially get into some mischief because that is what your friends were doing. Now think of a time when you wanted to do something constructive and fun but your parent(s) didn't have money for you to go join your friends at the arcade, bowling ally or roller skating rink, well here is your opportunity to pay it forward to a child you don't even know.

A few years ago Pha'tal wanted to give back to Englewood and help children avoid some of the missteps and traps that can be presented to young kids and give families an opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving. Pha'tal teamed up with a few allies and formed "We 'R' Englewood" as an organisation to actively institute more positive and direct ways of positively affecting the Englewood community.

You can click on any of the highlighted areas in which it will take you to a paypal account to aid in sponsoring a child for the We R Englewood 2nd Annual Spring Break Bash. It only costs $12 to sponsor one child. We R Englewood and Pha'tal are looking to sponsor at minimum 200 children. Spring Break Bash is on April 6th and it is rapidly approaching and we need your help in funding this event!

Here at Starpulse 360 and myself Icy Mike it has always and will be bigger than Hip-Hop. Paying it forward is how we all achieve community greatness along with doing goodness toward other for no other reason than doing goodness. Do Good. Sponsor a child :D
Stay Icy

Most of you are saying who the hell is Jon Bellion?? Or you actually know him and already love his music! Either way let me break this all down for you. To me Jon Bellion is Pink Polo and a back pack Kanye X Jason Mraz. Or as I have described him before "the music Wayne Brady rides to..." Jon describes his new album as "what you get when you mix Disney with Dilla" but to be honest with you he doesn't really fit into one category and is hard to label.

Jon is probably most known for his production on Eminem's "The Monster" featuring Rhianna but the singer/songwriter/producer from Long Island, New York has put out 3 mixtapes now and sold out some large shows on his tour with Visionary Music Group which is part of Logic and the RattPack crew.

Now lets talk about his newest mixtape "The Definition" which starts out with the piano laden harmonic gem of Munny Right that speaks of his struggles with deciding to jump into music full time. If you can listen to this track and not be hooked enough to listen to the rest of the album I would be shocked, but you will be hooked I promise! The rest of this Album is a melodic gem of singing mixed with rapping, great production and some gospel undertones. The production for a mixtape is phenomenal and you will find at least one track that you cant get out of your head for weeks.

You can download the Mixtape for free at Jon Bellion's website

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments section and look for me to review much more music soon!

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What do you consider the Golden Era of Rap/Hip Hop?? You have to have one! Everyone has one! for me the '90s is the golden era of all hip hop music. The music that came out had a way of making you bob your head even when the subject matter wasn't the nicest. The music was fun and the people who made it were not so serious that they couldn't have fun with it. Also that was my youth (yeah I'm old but you will be also someday!) and the music from the '90s brings me back to those days.

The Urban $treets Americana album from PrezSport, the collaboration of El Prez and Jansport J instantly takes you back to the golden era of the '90s when hip hop was fun even if they were telling you they were going to shoot you! listening to this project takes me back! not only because of the classic tracks that Jansport J sampled but the whole feel of the project has that sunny day summertime rollin with the top down feel to it! As seen here in the track droptops.

Now lets talk more about El Prez and Jansport J in case you don't already know who they are. El Prez is from Inglewood and Jansport J is from Covina CA. West coast music's epicenter! El Prez is the Lyricist with Jansport J laying the production for the project. With lyrics like these from Hard Boiled "Colors, Colors, Cover up the coast with bandanas spanning across the whole fucking globe. Every hood is similar to a castle with a moat, waving flags and looking for kingdoms to overthrow." you will be easily impressed.

The whole Album is available now and can be purchased here

Let me know your thoughts, Comment on the article and as always follow me on Twitter.


I know this is a Hip Hop Blog and most of you are thinking why the heck is Sean writing about some hardcore EDM stuff on here?!?! well here is why ladies and Gents! ANGELZ has been crushing the Hip Hop EDM remix game for a long long time and people are just now starting to take notice to it. Today he dropped the long awaited remix to Lupe Fiasco's Daydreamin. Listen to it now! you can also download it for free right here.

 If you dig this project you need to check out his last mix of Mac Miller X Pharrell - Onaroll remix! reached number 1 on Hypem in under 2 days and is an amazing mix!
As always leave some comments below on how you feel about the music and follow me on twitter

Well Ladies and Gents Action Bronson is back with a new track produced by legendary Mark Ronson and featuring chance the rapper!  The laid back summer time beat lends to Action Bronson's style as well as his nasally sung chorus that gives the song the good feeling back handed tone.  This is one of those top down, wind in your hair, music blasting summer tracks that we all love to ride around to.  Action Bronson gives us a great amount of lyrical content with backhanded love lyrics like "so many women wanna call me baby, and you wonder why I haven't called you lately. Some would say I'm the symbol for sex and other would hate but I dont give em no breath."

Action Bronson is a Classically trained chef, which you can tell from a lot of his lyrics about food.  One of the first rules taught to chefs is "if it doesn't add to the dish in either taste, texture, or color then it isn't needed". That being said my main question about the song is Chance's verse.  To me it adds nothing to the song except for a name. Chance is the best rapper to "Bark" on a track since DMX but this one confuses me because he doesn't even rap. Maybe Action Bronson was afraid to let Chance go off and pull an Eminem on his track. Chance starts out with pure gold saying "I hope you get a paper cut from a razor blade in a paper cup." But then it turns into more of a method man vs raekwon back and forth. To me it doesn't add to the song and could have easily been taken out.  Here is the track for you to listen to. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and as always follow me on Twitter.

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