Whew! I made it to 2010. Last year was great but this year is going to be bigger, better, faster, stronger. With a little time to rest on my laurels, I’ve taken a moment to recap the top 10 treats that made 2009 sweet. Happy New Year! Start the countdown after the jump.
#10 A CHEEKY ADVENTURE
The phenom of Brazil known as Mulher Melancia was a buried treasure until I discovered the country’s finest export. Need I say more?
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY.
#9 HIRED GUN
Transitioning from Complex magazine’s staff writer to freelance gigs got started with a story on the Alchemist. StreetLevel.com commissioned the online piece. It was my job to have a conversation with Al about his run as a pro-skater. This being actually our second time talking about skateboarding, and possibly my fourth interview altogether with the super-producer, it should have been a slam dunk. The only downside—at least to my editor—was the lack of secondary photos to accompany the names of people, places, and things he mentioned. It also didn’t help that I missed the deadline trying to sew together an intro for the story while walking a tightrope at another writing job at Suite903.com. But that’s not the story you want to hear.
CLICK HERE TO READ “THE ALCHEMIST’S SKATE HISTORY.”
#8 BAD BRAINS
Bad means good when I think of my fascination with synesthesia. Thinking too hard about the association between visual imagery and sound left me with a headache after writing my take on this science. Note to self: don’t read dissertations by brain surgeons in .pdf form. Save time by watching their keynote address, then call it a day.
CLICK HERE TO READ “HIP-HOP’S VISUAL SWAGGER—SYNESTHESIA.”
#7 KNOWLEDGE REIGNS SUPREEME
It amazes me how a rap group like Supreeme would be considered underground. That little thing called the Internet hasn’t really helped cross them over. Supreeme was signed to Warner Bros., but their album was shelved, relegating Negashi Armada, Tom Cruz, and King Sam to local fanfare in Atlanta; not the international bachelors they portrayed themselves to be on their independent debut, Church & State. Working with the group this summer yielded a comprehensive mixtape which showcased their body of work. Sadly the drama of label politics, and the ultimate disbanding of the group helped the mixtape to fall on deaf ears.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE PRESS RELEASE FOR SUPREEME’S MIXTAPE, “UNTITLED.”
The saying goes, “if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” The part someone happened to leave out is getting to that place beyond NY where dreams can also come true. I finally had that chance last summer with my first taste of Japan, deejaying for Mickey Factz.
CLICK HERE FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REEL FROM TOKYO.
#5 SERVICE WITH A SMILE
It sounds counterintuitive to live by the credo “no requests” then take a job as a waiter in a restaurant. Truth be told, when I learned the importance of pandering to every demand by the clientele of Sweet Melissa’s Patisserie, I was subconsciously drawing a parallel to deejaying. Tending to multiple tables for instance is just like spinning for an audience. The service I provide using music has to please the audience’s palette. People rely on that service, and in some cases need it to enjoy their experience.
CLICK HERE TO READ TREAT OF THE WEEK: SWEET MELISSA’S PATISSERIE.
#4 STREET CRED
Being featured in Ozone, one of the most prominent rap magazines in the southern hemisphere of the United States earned me some street cred. Since repping New York in the nationwide round-up of DJ’s, I’ve been on the radar of the rising talent of rappers looking to get their records played in NY.
CLICK HERE TO READ A CLIP FROM OZONE’S 4TH ANNUAL DJ FEATURE.
#3 AWARD TOUR
At the end of July I set course on a five-city world tour. My journey started in New York, to Switzerland, back to NYC for the Diesel:U:Music concert with Theophilus London, then to Amsterdam (with Theo), leading me to Mickey’s dates in Japan, and the Rock the Bells tour Los Angeles.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE TOUR RECAP.
#2 ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
Some dog owners like myself like to think of their dog as the best, ever. It’s really the owners falling in love with that je ne sai quois that sets them apart from other canines. Gizmo my French bulldog’s got it.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH A DAY AT THE PARK WITH GIZMO.
#1 FIRST BORN
Of all my accomplishments as a writer, and DJ, they will finally be eclipsed by the legacy of my first child this year. As me and my lady say goodbye to one stinker—(cough) recession—as proud parents we’ll say hello to a new little stinker that may look like that guy on the far left. Bring it on, 2010.