Hip Hop Quotable’s: Noreaga aka NORE


I’m, I’m actually waitin on the bus now
He said we have some kind of special assignment or something
He’s supposed to be callin’ me, like any minute now, any minute
Hold on, hold on, lemme get the phone
Hello? Jackson here
Ya, what? you found Manuel Noreaga?
In the Phillipines?
He has a mansion?
Ok, we on it, on it, right now… right

(Noreaga and Neptunes)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)(superstar)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)
What, what, what, what, what, what, what,(what, what, what)(superstar)

[Verse 1]
Aiyyo, we light a candle
Run laps around the english channel
Neptunes, I got a cockerspaniel
We on the run now, yo, it ain’t no fun now
And where I go, you niggas can’t even come now
You hate the law, nigga break it, I don’t care
And when ya get caught, remember that I don’t care
N.O.R.E., blow you off the atmosphere
Yo for now we on the run, yo if that ain’t clear
Weak niggas wanna stick, you but that ain’t fair
You we down in vegas, money, skies too courageous
And yo, I’m on the run, but still rip stages
And call me animal thug, when I’m in cages
I used to proof phrases, rolled dice with no aces
Now I’m just included in the oasis
Gotta take faces, no time for car races
Check my sky, tell I got five pages


[Verse 2]
Yo hit Lousiana, then Atlanta, Indiana
Forget a city slicker got country grammar
Aiyyo we goin places, where my sound scan ain’t tough
So when I say I ain’t Nore, yo it ain’t that rough
I leave the jake in my fake, askin all this stuff
I gotta keep my mouth shut and don’t say what, what
But yo its hard to, Netherlands got the heart to
Yo from New Orleans, L.A., V.A. to Queens
The I-95, now we hit the Phillipines
But now its different, we gotta stay sober
Yo, communicate, startech, motorola
Keep it on the hush hush, don’t talk to much
Thugged out entertainment, you know we touch
All our whips got navigation
While you whips is just garbation
Is you knowin what you facin?


This is the life yo, of a superstar
Fly ass mansions, and a million cars
Gotta get the cash yo
And its live or die
The Neptunes and Noreaga
The limit is the sky …hit em’

[Verse 3]
Yo, lemme, do it again, do it to win
Last album was a eight, this one is a ten
And when Capone come home, we gon’ triple the cent
Yo I love my family, treat my folks of kin
Rockin air and better, like a Mexican
Shottin’ at my pops, cause yo next to him
He told me every thug nigga is a gentlemen
So I took heed, take my time sitll won’t speed
Yo a nigga got kids, so my family need
A little more than they used to get
Real, not the duplicate
Takin no fours, makin y’all just recoupin’ it
Doin’ it up, tell me whatcha wanna do wit’ it
Capone’s plan, passport to foreign lands
Overseas in Japan, politickin with Chan
Yo, N-E-P-T-U-N-E-S
The way they lace a beat like on of the best, what?


Repeat [Neptunes]

yo, N.O.R.E., Nore, sep’ fo’ now we on the run eatin
yo, N.O.R.E., Nore, sep’ fo’ now we on the run eatin
yo, N.O.R.E., Nore, sep’ fo’ now we on the run eatin.


DJ Skizz: Beast Behind The Boards (Interview)


Peep this, I approached Skizz last year in regards to an interview. He agreed and we got to work but like most things life gets in the way. Skizz is a busy dude, he’s always working on some new shit, he stays working, I respect that. Skizz is a beast on the beats. So travel back with me to last September. Enjoy.


It’s september in the Steel City aka Sheffield and the weather is warmer than usual. It should be getting cooler and more autumn like. Usually at this point I begin to get the North Face & Timberlands out the closet, preparation is key when the seasons come around. This also applies to the music I have in heavy rotation. My ears crave that rugged NYC East Coast vibe, the weather is colder, the nights are darker and my mind set changes so the sounds have to match. Thats where DJ Skizz’s BQE album comes in. I knew dude is a dope DJj from his work on the Halftime Show with Eclipse and Petey Cologne but I wasn’t up on his production work. After letting BQE marinate since it’s release I have to say its a classic. The man is a talented individual. He brings that authentic sound and has connections like no other producer (apart from Marco Polo) and that shows in the guest MC’s. They are varied but each one brings they ‘A’ game lyrically. Its makes for a killer combo that has mad replay and the much needed head nod factor. I connected with Skizz and he agreed to this interview.


Q) Where did you grow up?

A) I grew up in Brookline, MA, which is a bordering suburb of the city of Boston.

Q) Do you come from a musical family?

A) Yes… My mother has always played various instruments and played piano growing up. My dad is a huge blues fan.. At home or wherever we would go somewhere growing up, music would be playing and it was often the blues…

Q) What was your first experience of Hip Hop and the surrounding culture?

A) As far as the music, it may have been when I was hanging out in my buddy Joey’s apartment and he played the cassette of Parent’s just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. At that time (I guess around ’88), this song really spoke to me (haha) and I was always looking for new tapes from then on…

Q) What (or who) inspired you to get in to the DJ aspect of the music?

A) I was always into music, but not just hip-hop. I was a big fan of a lot of 80s groups and R&B etc… And I played some instruments like guitar, piano, for a bit, but nothing spoke to me like when I saw my good friend Joe (different Joe) cutting up vinyl on his turntable. I was like, ‘”I NEED to do that.” Eventually, I got my turntables and the rest is history, as they say… I guess I was also inspired by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That’s a disease I’ve had since I was 8 years old. When I was growing up, I played every sport and was a sports fanatic. Once my leg (pain) really forced me to stop playing sports, I had to occupy my mind and time in other ways… DJing was that “other way”


Q) Did you enter any battles etc or were you aiming for more club/radio work?

A) I thought about battling in the early 2000s, but never really got the any routines together. I have been doing radio since 1998, so that has always been something I’ve enjoyed. My goal all along though, has been to be a well -rounded DJ, someone who can rock a party, cut it up, and have a strong knowledge of the music.


Q) How and when did you connect with DJ Eclipse and the Halftime Show?

A) I connected with him in 2000. I had been DJing in New Orleans for a couple years prior, and in 1999 I started to go to school at NYU for music technology. I had met Eclipse a couple of times at Fat Beats and one day I reached out to him about coming through the Halftime Show… Eventually the originator of that show, Lynn Gonzalez left and they needed another student to be down with show. There was another student in the running, but they chose me and eventually, after paying my dues, E and Riz let me DJ. Soon thereafter Riz left the show and it has been Eclipse and I manning the tables ever since.

Q) When was your first time live on Halftime like? Did the nerves kick in?

A) Yes! I was very nervous and to this day I still have a bit of an adrenaline rush every time the mics are turned on… That buzz is part of what has kept me doing the show for 14 years. When those nerves stop, it’s time for me to retire!

Q) Any highlights that stick with you? I bet you got stories! Any you wish to share?

A) Too many and I need a coffee. … But… One that does jump in to my mind was on a recent tour to Italy with Large Professor and Cormega… We performed in a warehouse with dogs running around and lots of people doing drugs… Never really performed in front of dogs so that was interesting for all of us…


Q) When did you decided to move from strictly DJ to beat making/producing? Was it a considered decision or something you fell in to?

A) Started getting really serious about the beats in like 2002. It was a natural progression. Wanted to be creative and make my own music instead of just playing others.

Q) What equipment do you use?

A) MPC 2000XL/Native Instruments Complete/Pro Tools/Akai MPK keyboard/Shit load of records.

Q) How would you describe your sound to the casual listener who’s looking out for new shit?

A) Hard/Dramatic/Grimy/Melodic/Hip-Hop.


Q) What inspired you to create this BQE album?

A) Just my love for making music and wanting to put my own ideas together to create an collection of work that I’m proud of and can listen to years down the line and still nod my head. I have done production on other artists’ records, so just wanted to put something together in my own way 100%..

Q) You have an incredible guest list on the album. How did you connect with so many legends?

A) I have been blessed with bring able to work with these legends, because of my connection to the radio and also through artist relationships that I’ve developed over the years. I also have some great friends in the industry that helped a lot in reaching out to some of the artists (like Marco Polo and Eclipse).

Q) Who was the first MC you got down with?

A) Big Noyd of Mobb Deep.. Dooooooo Doooooo!

Q) Is it difficult to record with so many individuals and their schedules? How do you get round it?

A) Don’t get me started…

Q) I saw awhile back that you have toured with a variety of artists from Large Professor to Lil Dap. What was that like? How different is the scene/audience outside the states?

A)Yes, I have DJed for Large Pro and Cormega on tour as well as Lil Dap and Big Noyd.. All of which have been amazing experiences…

Your Top 3 MC’s are:

Your Top 3 DJ’s are:
Q Bert

Q) What’s on the cards for you now? Where does DJ Skizz go now and 2014 onwards?

A) To get a cup of coffee… I also have a new album dropping summer 2014 with an MC by the name of Problemz from Brooklyn). He used to be in the group Missin Linx. Also finishing up an EP with Jakk Frost (BeardGang General) from Philly, and an EP/LP with Milano Constantine. Also doing production for many artists’ new albums dropping in 2014, including M.O.P, AOTP, Shabaam Shadeeq, to name a few…

Q) Finally, anything you liked to add?

A) Many thanks for the opportunity my man…


Fresh Off The Boat With Eddie Huang: Season Two Leftovers

Eddie serves up some tasty leftovers. Enjoy.

That’s a WRAP for Season 2 of Fresh Off The Boat. This year, we saw some really great moments traveling from Mongolia to Russia to Chengdu to NYC. So much so that we couldn’t possibly fit it all into our previous episodes. But worry not, because we’re coming at you with a blooper reel containing some of the most outrageous leftovers from the Human Panda and the FOB crew. Watch your boy, Eddie Huang, in the moments where the cameras shouldn’t have been rolling. Can’t wait to see you next season!

Miss out on Season 1? Watch it here! http://bit.ly/Fresh-Off-The-Boat-S1

Buy Eddie’s book here! http://www.FreshOffTheBoatBook.com

Check out Eddie’s blog: http://thepopchef.blogspot.com

Follow Eddie on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/MrEddieHuang

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Live From the Writer’s Bench Episode 33: The Best of The Rest of Those Albums From ’94

This week, the team chops it up the best of the rest of those albums from 1994 celebrating their 20th anniversaries.

Live From the Writer’s Bench is a hip hop roundtable pollying session on the culture of hip hop. This show ain’t about what your son or nephew and their crew is listening to…but it’s about what YOU grew up listening to! Every Monday, Ev, Kil, Beezo and Vic will be your hip hop CNN chopping it up about everything from why hip hop doesn’t speak to the violence that’s plaguing our communities across the nation to who rounds out our top 20 MC’s EVER list and everything in between. If you love hip hop and are tired of cats who know nothing about the culture reporting on it, then every Monday you need to be tuned in faithfully to Live From the Writer’s Bench. Trust, you won’t be disappointed.





Shabaam Sahdeeq: Keepers Of The Lost Art Album Review


Some people still claim that rap music is dead. Well everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it’s one I disagree with. I’ll use the new album from Shabaam Sahdeeq as my example. Mr Sahdeeq has been on the NY scene for many years, he’s worked with legends since the mid 90’s, put out releases on the indie tip when it was the new move.


He’s hustled hard, seen ups & downs on the biz and personal tip but always dropped quality music. Keepers Of The Lost Art is another fine example of that. I’d personally go as far to say that this is his most complete project to date. His lyrically ability has never been in doubt and he flexes this across the 23 tracks. Yeah I said 23, I didn’t stutter. Some will complain that its to many, it’s not in keeping with the current trend of short albums. Well I disagree (again) When I started buying albums they came in a variety of lengths but the majority were long and they gave you real value for money.


This release is a prime example of that. Since copping it I’ve listened from start to finish 5 times. Yeah suckers it’s that good. Shabaam’s choice of beats is stellar, he’s covered all bases of sound with the producers he’s linked up with. The list goes like this: Lewis Parker, DJ Ready Cee, DJ Skizz, Harry Fraud, Ran Reed, Tekie, DJ Spinna, DJ Wonder, DJ Dister and more yet the album has a cohesive feel. That’s a credit to the man himself. The track list also boasts a top notch list of guest mc’s along for the ride: Skyzoo, F.T., Sha Stimuli, Reks, Spit Gemz, Tragedy Khadafi, Eric Rico, Mic Handz, Lewis Parker, General D.V., Hakim Green, El Gant, and Wais P etc. Again some will complain that it’s too many features. Well you’re wrong. They all work on all levels and bring something special to the album. It’s like a call to arms from the underground to rise up and keep this culture alive. I applaud it. Now don’t get it twisted Shabaam more than does his thing on the solo joints. He’s a beast, a proven champ in his field.


The album is testimony to that. So in conclusion if you love that real shit this is the album for you. Get out and support a true talent, do the right thing. The music is alive and well.