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September 09, 2005

ANGELES...THAT'S WHAT IT IS (I Only Use Knives to Cut Food)

"So you really live out here now, huh?" "What's up, Brooklyn!" "Oh, you're too good to come home to L.A.? You're too industry now?" On some 'hood shit, that's what the homies were saying to me while I was living in Brooklyn, working at The Source. And when I was living in Brooklyn, unemployed, hustling hard. But now I'm back.

"The Lost Angels made me do it." I thought some of the homies from Oakland, and some of the homies from Oxnard/Ventura, would hold me down; but things fall apart. At the end of the day, it's my fam from Los Angeles who's showing and proving when it comes to the business end of keeping me here in my place of birth. So enough about me and my shit.

As you can see, this thing of ours, Angeles Records, is setting it off on some real, true-school Hip Hop shit on October 25. As a long-time fan of The Genius, and then GZA, I can say that he comes correct on all lyrics on this full-length album. I was blessed to hear some of it being mixed, and this is truly huge for Hip Hop - GZA on the rhymes, Muggs on the beats. Savage, to say the least.

Ever since I met Chace Infinite at Urban Network, so rudely introduced to me by none other than Ras Kass and "Sir Jinx", I've been on some Self Scientific shit. I was blessed to interview DJ Khalil, Chace Infinite, and Krondon over home-cooked Middle Eastern food - chicken kebabs, grilled eggplant, hummus, tabouleh, pita bread...and some pineapple-upside-down cake for dessert - many years ago at the L.A. crib when they released the 12" single for LOVE ALLAH. We became close as members of the Hip Hop community, and as friends, and eventually fam - I met the rest of the S.O.L.A.R. Panel (Sons of Light, Allah's Reflection) in L.A., Atlanta, the Bay Area, and Boston; and I became a member of this dozens-deep Hip Hop collective.

Flash forward to September 8, 2005 and I'm working once again with Self Scientific. DJ Khalil, one of my favorite producers whom I years-ago dubbed "baby Primo" has grown by leaps and bounds from his already HELLA-dope production style and has shown/proven his skills to not only make astoundingly-deep music but to pay the bills...with his recent work with Aftermath, Genesis, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, Mitchy Slick, and others on the production tip - but he always saves the best for Self...Self Scientific. Chace Infinite (Nommo 7), besides being the homeboy Chace, and my brother Chace, is the most compelling lyricist I know. I always hearken back to this rhyme from the song "Love Allah" and I'm going to reprint it again here...

Now do the knowledge
Holly tree
From which wood was carved
To weave wizardry...

I can't find the song, except on www.headcrack.com and I can't get it to load up... and I don't want to misquote the rest of the Brother's lyrics...but U see where he goin with it.

So I'm going off again, and haters say I name-drop too much. But for the haters, let me drop a HUGE name on ya'll, one time, for your mind.


September 08, 2005


In a perfect world, Paul Wall would do a song with my fam C-Rayz Walz; everyone would slap in their fronts, ice grill the world half-to-death, and leave the studio paid in full.

I love this fucken guy, Paul Wall, but I'm a might-bit irate 'cause I've supposed to have been-had interviewed him for this feature I'm working on...time is running out Paul! Where Pretty Todd at (damn, that name suits him) and why he forcing me to go through some hifey label publicist to get to Paul?

I could go through the Houston-to-L.A. connect, but do I really wanna pull one of the few Houston favors to get a few words from the Grillmeister on his work with the Transplants or the Replacements, or The Crammmps, or Siouxsie and the Banshees, or whoever/whatever the fruck rock shit fuck shit this guy done chopped/screwed?

FUCK ME. I swear.

I just love his gangsta grizz-ill tho...despite my better judgement. Maybe when I get my weight up I can join the ranks of the chosen few who've copped their pull-outs (and I guess, their leave-ins) from DJ Paul Wall.

PRETTY TODD. Hook it up. We servin home-cooked food out here in L.A., CA...All Day. Holla if U hear me fam. I just need to talk to this character for like, 10 minutes, then I'll let ya'll get back to sizzurup-sippin' or sideshow dippin' or candy-paint drippin' or platinum-and-diamond teeth bill collectin' or whatevs. Cool? Cool. Hollerate @ the gal...POR FAVOR!




I just walked home from Wilshire & Vermont (well I guess home, none of this is really home to me, where I've been resting my head of late). While I was walking, after riding the MTA's lovely Metro train from Universal City, I was debating which I like more better - Los Angeles, city of Angels, my birthplace - OR - New York shitty, the rotten apple, where I lived in a storage room with no windows on the banks of the East River for bleeeems...

This is not the L.A. I grew up in. Fake gangstas spin yarns and attempt to wax poetic in mic booths in this new L.A., and everyone has a whole hell of a lot of security. The ones who've put the mic down are in front of the camera, but ya'll know the drill...every other city we go...every other video...and on the movie screen...it was all a dream. My cuzs' graf crew, KGB (the O.G. one, not that bullshit some kids came up with on the westside like a decade later) had a wall living down the street from 1985...just my dumb luck I wait til THIS trip to go flick it up...they've knocked the shit down along with Perino's once famous (and infamous) restaurant/Hollywood enclave. Yup, building Perino's apartments, another complex...so more rich folk with complexes can rest their hardly-weary coiffed heads after another day ordering one of my peers around at the office.

Walking home, I encountered a handful of characters. Two elderly white couples walking down Wilshire stopped and froze at the sight of an L.A. cockroach. I kept hot-steppin and gave 'em the "cucaracha pequena...tiny compared to New York roach!". They laughed. At least walking home broke and exhausted, I still kill 'em. Took the bus for like, 5 blocks, just 'cause one came by; and a young white boy named "Courtney" had the nerve, gall and audacity to come over to me while I was on the phone talkin bout "hey, I just wanted to let you know, you're cute...so ah, what's your name there?" COURTNEY, Courtney, Courtney. First of all, I'm not cute. I'm 100% bonafide pur-dee fine-ass beeeee-you-tiful. Thank U very much. And my name is in HUGE graffiti letters on my bamboo door-knocker earrings AND the matching nameplate. Style too wild for you to read there, son?

Stepped off the bus toward 7-11 parking lot, gave a beggar-man a $5 bill. My cousin used to stomp around that parking lot when he was basing and shooting up shit, I hope to Allah someone gave him money for food or smokes or dope or life or whatever; while I pass someone I don't know from Adam the money I could've used to eat tomorrow, or get the train/bus/train/bus to work. Copped a pack of cloves in homage to a good friend of mine who always smokes them, Djarums. Lit one up, inhaled, exhaled...trooped the rest of the way to my auntie's house.

See, in New York, in a comparable 'hood to this one, I might walk with the razor blade in my mouth between my cheek and my teeth. Just in case. I had a knife in my purse, but I was using it to customize/deconstruct a Soul Assassins t-shirt; hadn't planned on needing to pull it on anyone on the walk home.

Don't get it twist'd...I respect any true gangsta's gangster. But real bad boys move in silence. Yeah, some people don't like the way Sally walk...I know. However, game recognize game; and if U stay ready, U ain't got to get ready. Overstand and understand how my friends and family might peep this site every day or on the once-in-a-while, and it's the only way they know what's going on with me, where I am, how I'm living. How U see me, those who don't know me, is inconsequential. I'm more concerned with how that homeless man sees me, when he looks me in my eyes, Brown like his; and sees that I'm poor too. That I struggle too. When he notices the bag on my shoulder is heavy, and that I can't hurry up, 'cause I've got too much stuff. He can see it in my pride, and the raven in my eyes.

And that goes the same in NY or LA, or any city in between. There's a divide, and I'm just riding it, til the wheels fall off, the rims bend & bust, and the axel splits down the middle. And when that happens, I'll just do like my Baby G old-man used to do in high school - get up under the car, take off my white t-shirt, and tie that m'fucka back together hard enough to ride home on it. True story.

Okay so I move around a lot. So sue me. I take respect over money, hands down. People mistake paying for this flow, leasing my mind out, hiring me temporarily as their culture consultant makes me somehow answerable to them, their phone calls, their emails, their egos. I'll tell U like my mother told me - DON'T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE. And furthermore, I'll tell U like Parish Smith - PMD - told someone once in front of me... FIX YOUR FACE.

U know who you are, and U know what the fuck I'm talking about. Not to be cryptic, just switching up the audience for a second. And this is my shit, I can do whatever the fuck I want up in here. I've got people - major people - who tell me that shit e'day now...MIRANDA, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.

And U know what I have to say to that, right?



September 04, 2005

FAME CITY...random thoughts from the dome

It's Sunday morning, mad early, I'm watching videos and surfing the internets. This is another one of these posts where I'm just talkin some shit that's on my mind. So bear with me.

These past couple months I've been going back to my junior high days, in a lot of ways. Lacing the trains with mixtapes, posters, flyers...Angeles has given me something to ride for, in a real way.

I visited with my moms and her husband yesterday in Santa Monica, they're hella cool and there's no wack juice residue left from the day she kicked me out of the house when I was just a teen. After all, what didn't kill me made me stronger.

I've been struggling with going back to younger days without reverting to bad habits. There are a couple of boys on speed dial on my cell phone(s) and I'm trying to hold them to a higher standard at 31 than I did at 13. One is an old flame from more than a decade ago; I'm just trying to hold him off until we both get our shit together, then come what may. The other is a new jack I met driving to work, but he definitely rocks the style of an old-school O.G. ex-old-man of mine. I have to force myself not to call him anymore until he pours a tall glass of act-right juice for himself.

Thinking about what I want versus what I need, a lot. I need a car, but I want a Lamborghini. The cold part is I'm riding ex amount of buses, trains, and other peoples vehicles. I need a husband, 'cause I want children, but the reality of the situation is I spent yet another weekend for dolo, spent one night at my auntie's house and last night came home to San Gabriel. No clubs, no parties, no dates, no dancing, no chillin, no drinkin, no smoking...just me living right and holding out for something more. Maybe Sexy-Ass will give me a holla...but same shit with him, is he what I need, or just a fine m'fucken example of what I want?

I ain't 'Hov, I just know what I know. I'm not taking shorts this time around. I'm not jumping on the first thing smoking. I have mad criteria for what has to happen for every situation to be good; and I'm making sure the needs are met. I've been up and I've been down. I've been rich and I've been poor. I've loved and lost. I've more than paid the cost. I've carried Hip Hop on my back, and the world on my shoulders. I've faced the hardest times you could imagine...and many times my eyes fought back the tears. I've waited, patiently, for years and years. But every winter was a war, and it still is, so I've got to get what's mine. When I make love, it's got to be like the Mardi Gras. And when the love thing is sorted out, it has to be a certain kind of way, 'cause I feel a certain kind of way about it.

When it goes down, it has to go like this - every day...Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Ramadan, and every night...New Years Eve.


Live from Love Allah... Miz Miranda Jane