Saturday, November 6, 2010

Virgin Feet AND Flows Pt. 2

Before I had ever written a rhyme and all I knew how to do was kick a garbage freestyle I was in Austin, TX (early to mid 2002) at the Mercury Lounge for Hip Hop Humpday, a weekly freestyle session running for over 3 years when the good homie Element7D (aka Deon Davis) invited me on stage to kick a verse. I kicked my little trash rap and was ready to exit the stage when Element7D grabbed me and said, 'you ain't done, we gotta go back and forth.' I was nervous but wasn't gonna say no. He went first and immediately referenced the fact we both had the same shoes on, navy blue GBX boots. All I had brought with me on the trip was a pair of Nikes, so my cousin let me borrow his kicks to get into the show, cuz they wouldn't allow sneakers in the club. The rest is history. - Gotham Green (

I can't remember what shoes I had on when I rocked my first show, but they where probably not that hot. I wasn't a sneaker pimp in high school. I was into CDs and reefer sacks. My first show was in high school at a high school talent show and the more I think about it, I was probably wearing standard and very basic timberland boots. I was in high school from 1996-2000 and wore boots most of the time, it's Colorado lol. I will say that right now in my life I'm way more into sneakers and I'm looking for every DOPE pair I can get my hands on. - Whygee (

I have always loved sneakers. Growing up a poor kid I never had a nice pair. When I got older and got a great job I became a sneakerhead. I bought a pair of $500 glow in the dark air force 1's at a store in DC called Kickballers (which is no more). While I was there people were skating and a rap battle was going on. It was the first time I ever took the mic. The next day I got the mic tattooed on my arm. Me and the mic have a deep love, just as much as I love my sneakers. - Nastasjia

My first show was in 2001 at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. I stared at the floor the whole time, smh. Can't remember the kicks but they weren't fresh. I was hurting. Came a long ways from there. Now it's cordless mics & Bo Jacksons on my feet. - Nesby Phips (

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tygah Woods, Hottest Group of the Year

Left to right: Wes B, Lyriqs da Lyraciss, Slangston Hughes

L to R: Lyriqs, J-Dubble, Slangston Hughes

J-Dubble & Slangston Hughes

DJ Mike Swift & J-Dubble

A couple of weeks ago on Tuesday, October 19th, Tygah Woods took home the Hottest Group of the Year Award at the NOLA Underground Hip-Hop Awards. It's always an honor to recognized by your peers and the general public for all of the hard work and dedication to the craft and the culture. An award like this is not the end but better yet a catalyst for many more great things to come including our first full fledged LP. Shoutout to all of my fellow Tygah Woods members, J-Dubble, Mr. J'ai, Blaze the Verbal Chemist, D. Francis, Wes B, Lyriqs, Rusty Lowdown & Coke. Many, many thanks to everyone who voted and all who scream our chant across New Orleans; FUCK YEAH!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Virgin Feet & Flows...

Many performers (emcees, dj's, spoken word artists, etc.) can distinctly remember their first time onstage like it was yesterday. Looking around my bedroom a couple of days ago, I catch a quick glimpse of the Nike Air Force One (Tuxedo Pack) that I wore on Thursday, November 18, 2006 at Tipitina's, my first show. Pretty big venue with at least 200 new faces for your premiere performance. Though I and my group members (Spellbinderz) only did two songs and were terribly offbeat and nervous, this moment paved the way for the next several years of learning and progress in the art of emceeing.

I can only speculate on my first performance but I was probably in some Converse Chuck Taylors or Adidas Shelltoes. However, one of my first performances in New Orleans was in 2002 at the House Of Blues. I was rocking some classic brand new black canvas chucks (simulated in this picture). The band took most of the equipment from Loyola via streetcar. Yes, streetcar, maybe named Desire. While making our way from Canal street, freshly wet from some rain, I stepped in a disgusting puddle. That was no way to perform, but luckily there was a Foot Locker across the street where I promptly picked up a pair and played a very memorable show. Unfortunately both pairs of shoes were lost to Hurricane Katrina. To end on a brighter not, the population of my Chuck Taylor city has recovered and they continue to rock shows today. - Jermaine Quiz of Jealous Monk (

Rockin out at my alma mater, Dillard University in the 2002 retro Jordan 9s, OG one-third of my group Euphonetiks. We were booked to headline a talent compeititon in Henson Hall. This was when I copped from Trill Will (now manager for Mannie Fresh's artist, The Show) at Foot Action in Gentilly Woods Mall. I remember a girl motioning for us to get off the stage and I immediately went into freestyle mode, directing the rest of my bars at her. She was definitely embarrassed. I saw her at a campus house party a couple days later. As soon as I came through the door, she looked at me and asked "Why did you do that?" - Lyrikill (

Man, my first show was at Grassroots June, 6 2009. My sneakers were Radii, all red with black zebra stripes. I was extremely nervous but when "Amazin Dae" came on... I was ready! - Lyriqs da Lyraciss (

At my first show as 7even: Thirty, I wore the Nike Vandals. They're significant because I wore them at my debut album release party in August '07, Jackson, MS. They're appropriately named, because that night I vandalized the stage. - 7even Thirty (

Actually, I don't remember the sneakers I wore for my first rap show at Mic Check 2001 (Spanish Moon, New Orleans). It was so long ago that I do remember wearing a FUBU baseball jersey, my hair was long and twisted up like Ginuwine. But many of the classic shoes I've ever had were debuted at my concerts. The most memorable pair were the Number 6 Gold edition Jordans. They were black suede leather with the gold accents at the bottom (I called them my Saints Jordans with the gold Jumpman). The runner-up would probably be the black Adidas high tops with the yellow stripes that Jon Jackson filmed for the Rock Box Movie. It's awesome when the stage lights shine on bright sneakers. - Mr. J'ai, The Mic Check King (

I honestly don't remember my first show, but one of the earliest I can remember was 2006 at a secret show in the warehouse district. About 300 heads came out and I remember feeling more eager to prove myself than I was nervous. Was wearing all black Air Jordan 15 (at the time 6 years old) and I had heads asking yo "how'd keep them so fresh?" I felt like a superstar. - Mic Skills (

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

September Stockade

After an evening that included opening for Hipnott Records & NJ's own Cy Marshall Law, I'm here to inform y'all of the remainder of September's happenings...

We haven't done two Uniquity events in one month since December '09 but that long streak comes to an end as the first month of fall brings forth the Concoctions event. Brought to you by myself and GO DJ RQ Away, Concoctions is a fusion of music genres (soul, R&B, Hip-Hop), mixed drink specials (make sure you try the Slangtini or Tipping Point) and live music entertainment (RQ Away's turntablism and live band, Fo On the Flo) as Uniquity and the Tipping Point merge for one night with performances by Lyriqs da Lyraciss, Phat Word, Q.P., Suave & Robin Barnes. RSVP HERE:

The Swap Meet returns with a smorgasborg of the city's most talented R&B singers and songwriters hosted by yours truly with DJ Kidgo on the 1's & 2's. Check out the flyer above for further info and the full list of performers.

And what better way for you to close out September than by embracing that sheeeiiittt! Uniquity continues on for the remainder of the year with a lineup of R&B/Soul singer/songwriters that is sure to impress. Jareen Austin, Evelyn Champagne and featured artist, Raion Ramsey all join live band, Fo On the Flo. Once again hosted by yours truly.

In addition, peep the latest & last track I'm releasing off of my upcoming mixtape release, Nu-Growth called "JMSH (Kid Dynamite)." It's an ode to my "full" rap name, James Mercer Slangston Hughes & one of my many aliases.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Kind of Rapper Are You???

Every rapper these days has there own style (so to speak). With that being said, the following might help those who haven't exactly narrowed down their creative niche or perplex them even more than they were before. I decided to take two of my favorite things; Hip-Hop & coffee and combine them into a little "taste" test called: What Kind of Rapper Are You??? So, without further adieu where do y'all measure up?

- Mocca Java: Earthy and very full bodied, with hints of spice and gentle sweetness.

- Peruvian Organic: Certified organic... light, with floral acidity and subtle fruitiness
(Sissy bounce rappers maybe???)

- Raspberry Hibiscus: A symphony of color, aroma and rich character sure to leave an impression (THAT'S ME!)

- Espresso Roast: Full-bodied and well-balanced, with the characteristic flavor of fine espresso.

- French Roast: Our darker roast, intensely bold and full-bodied with a pleasant, smoky flavor.

- Colombia: A rich, balanced coffee, with a medium-to-full body and a clean winey flavor.

Develop your own description with some of the phrases below:
* traditional blend, smooth and aromatic, a confection..., preferred blend, velvety.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Artistry of Uniquity

I've been blessed to work with a very talented artist by the name of Que Duong ( Whether it's a camera, paintbrush, pencil or computer mouse, Que gets it in. He's been doing graphics for me specifically regarding Uniquity since last summer. Look for some of these to possibly be in print later on this year. Hope you enjoy as we'll have more flyers being created by monthly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The Grassroots! Campaign" on!!!

Host of the longest running NOLA Hip-Hop monthly showcase, Grassroots! (since 2001) & New Orleans Hip-Hop pioneer, Truth Universal's video for "The Grassroots Campaign" lands on & the Spike Channel! Check out the Another great look for the Mardi Grass Mecca and the "17 year overnight success" Please check out this video, shot by Larry Legaux of Onpoint Media Solutions leave a comment and spread the word!

"The Grassroots! Campaign" can be found on Truth Universal's recent EP release Guerrilla Business here:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Culture & Community Series: Interview with DJ E.F. Cuttin

SH: Aight, so for those who may not know, please let the internets know who you are...

EF: I go by the name of E. F. Cuttin, NOLA DJ, Producer, and Damn Near Big Deal.

SH: Indeed. Give us some detail about your origins in DJing. How and where did you begin your turntablin' journey?

EF: I always had record players and a collection from the time I was 3 years old. As I got older (around 7), Moms used to let me change the records at her parties and the people dubbed me "The DJ."

SH: What would you say propelled you to the next step in making DJing your life's work/passion?

: Watching Wild Style as an 11-year old kid. Grandmaster Flash had just dropped Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel and I was scratching my head trying to figure out how he was doing that. The movie gave me the visual I needed. Then when I hit middle school and started going to the dances, I watched the DJs and went home and emulated them.

: Flash continues to be a prominent fixture in our culture. With that being said, what do you consider your job or mission as a DJ?

EF: It depends on the assignment. If its a party, my job is to keep asses on the dance floor or at the bar dying of thirst from working it out on the floor. If its a show, the job is to keep the audience entertained until the show starts. If its a corporate gig/mall gig, my job is to provide the soundtrack to the activities...

: Scratching for every fashion, so to speak. That response brings about another question: how do you get your DJing style to mesh with everyone--from the backpackers to the upstart entrepreneurs at said corporate gig to the gangster rappers and beyond?

EF: Basically I have to read the crowd... The common denominator will always be solid music, even the Jeezy fan can relate to a Kweli cut and vice versa if presented in a palatable manner.

: Word, can definitely agree with that. Being an artist of any form--painter, dancer, emcee, DJ, etc--isn't always the easiest road. What keeps you motivated?

EF: Good music always inspires me, and seeing the youth embrace the purest form of hip hop and master the language of being fresh, fly, wild, and boldword to Grandmaster Caz.

: Bet. Being established in the N.O. scene for almost two decades now, how would you describe the pre-Katrina scene versus the post-Katrina scene?

: The Pre-K scene was there, albeit more scattered and loose-knit. We acknowledged each other but rarely collab'ed...Whereas now the movement is thriving due to the unity within and universal hunger to succeed without compromise.

: It's always good to have that bridge, in my opinion, between the cats (like yourself) who have been doing it and the cadre of talented and hungry up-and-comers. What's your advice for new DJs and emcees trying to rise among the elite in this industry and make a name for themselves?

: You gotta pay dues. Ask questions, study those who came before you, and really be doing it for the right reasons. This initially was not a venture you went into for financial gain, it is about expressing yourself in the best way you can, so you gotta love the crafteven when it's not paying you.

: Real talk. Continuing on with a look back, give us your perspective on the longest running Hip-Hop showcase in the city, Truth Universal’s Grassroots.

: It has truly been a blessing to be a part of Grassroots, although my Hookah gig keeps me from attending [both on Saturdays]. I was there from Day 1 at the Neighborhood Gallery when we would actually be happy if 20 people came. So for it to be almost 10 years and still going strong is truly a blessing...

SH: Word, it's a pleasure to be a part of that continued history. 20 people is hard to believe in this day and age, but it just goes to show you the continued perseverance of Mr. Self-Determination & the Damn Near Big Deal.

: know how I do it...its a marathon, not a sprint.

: One of the quotes I continue to live by daily! I think some people confuse or merge the "Twitter" E.F. with the actual man. Would you separate the two? And if so, what would be the key differences?

: I'm more reserved in person than I am on twitter. Unless I'm herbally enhanced, then I'm that twitter guy

: HAHA... many don't know about your production credits and that you most certainly have bangers on deck. Let the people know a little more on the man behind the boards.

: I actually started producing at 19 when my friend had copped an SP1200. I always had records, so when I learned to take an old record and make something new, I was hooked. I really took off when I moved here and linked with my PsychoWard fam. With the arsenal of MCs, DJs, and producers on deck, it made for fun times always. I produced half of our album,, but I think I grew frustrated of the lack of people who used my tracks, until I started working with Bionic Brown (rest in peace).

: Right on, defnitely planned on touching on those two topics. Let's start off with PsychoWard, still known as one of New Orleans' top Hip-Hop collectives that I know you take a lot of pride in. How would you explain PsychoWard and your time with the group to someone who’s not familiar?

: When we were really grinding it out it was some of the greatest times of my life. We mobbed up, partied, smoked, drank, joked, and made bangers daily. Cats like Raj Smoove, Mac, and One-Eye stayed in some public event and we had such presence due to the numbers, we were the most intimidating squad around...

SH: Speaking on that, Mac & Bionik are two of the most enigmatic and highly revered emcees in New Orleans. Give us your insight on both. Similarities, differences?

EF: The similarities were the work ethic. Both had that knack to just kill a track with little to no effort. The key difference was Mac had an outlandish sense of humor, whereas Bionic was reserved, always in observation mode...

: Woulda never expected that from the lyrical assassin. Back to the DJing for a minute, what "formula" catches your ear when it comes to your breaking a new record?

: For clubs, I look for the perfect mix of beat, hook, and rhyme/song...then I try to let the people know that I like this record whether they do or not, and they're gonna be hearing a lot of it so get ready to deal with it. Underground is 100x easierwe like good shit, and are receptive to good shit from the 1st listen.

SH: True indeed. Another thing many not know (me included)--your introduction into the GO DJs. Speak on that if you'd be so kind.

: The homie DJ Black And Mild was rocking real tough with DJ Hi C (CEO) out of HTX, and they felt it was time to have a LA he hollered at me, and me knowing HiC and seeing his grind, I was with it off top.

SH: Would you mind letting us know what's on the horizon for Team Cuttin?

: We're on a mission to rebrand how we do music, business, and networking...Bringing back the HIP HOP way as opposed to the BS marketing you see right now.... Fresh Tees are on deck, mixtape projects, all kinds of stuff...

: Bet. Any shoutouts before we depart?

: Big shouts to my Psychoward/PCO fam, my GO DJs, the GrassRoots and Soundclash families, all the people out here gettin it the right way...

: Fo sho. Thanks for this.

: Thank you famo!!!!! Be easy!!!

Catch up with E.F. Cuttin on the daily at and every Friday for A-List Fridays and Hookah Hip-Hop, Saturdays at the Hookah on 309 Decatur.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Orleans Emcee Lyrikill Delivers Ode to the Gulf

Check out the recently released track by Soundclash host and New Orleans emcee, Lyrikill titled "Black Pelicans." Kill touches base on the recent tragedy caused by the BP oil spill that has greatly affected the Gulf of Mexico, low-lying Louisiana parishes' way of life, ecosystems and many peoples' occupations for years to come...

New Orleans, LA. – June 10, 2010 – New Orleans based artist/community activist Lyrikill delivers a heartfelt song discussing the Deepwater Horizon BP gulf oil spill.

"So many people were overlooking what I felt was such a major issue, I wanted to do my part to continue raising awareness," said Lyrikill who has been actively involved in community development in New Orleans. "I am blessed to have a base of people that listen to me and my music. I felt like those people need to be informed and making moves concerning this issue."The track, produced by Washington D.C. native 3M (who attended Dillard University in New Orleans with Lyrikill), emits a feeling of "home,"as Lyrikill speaks on the present effects of job loss and economic failure as well as the premise that his area may be affected for decades. "Its tricky with the internet and information access we have now versus during Exxon Valdez. If we were to use Exxon as a control point, history shows us that this will impact our area at least two

Lyrikill has been working with Southern Poverty Law Center on a youth music program for a couple months, creating "Song for Change" with children ages 12-17. In the wake of the Haiti disaster, he helped raise money for Konbit Pou Edikasyon, a program that pays for Haitian
girls' schooling. He assembled a crew to help Volunteers of America revitalize a playground turned FEMA trailer park in the St. Roch neighborhood. He worked with Operation HOPE to assist residents in outlying parishes affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. He and mentor Truth Universal, have been a symbol for positivity in the New Orleans hip-hop scene.

In addition to major media outlets in New Orleans covering this song, national and international blogs are helping publicize the call to action. Plans for a rally on the capitol steps in Baton Rouge are in place as well as performances of the song during various events in Lousiana including Reflection Eternal show at House of Blues 6/15, NOLA Summer Jam 6/19, Junteenth Splash in Thibodaux, LA 6/19 and Sadies Nightclub in Lafayette, LA 6/30 among others.

Please contact Ariel Goode at or Orriel Richardshon at for more info on Lyrikill's "Black Pelicans."

Other links featuring Lyrikill as well as "Black Pelicans:"
(Lyrikill, Prospek & DJ Jay Skillz present A Time To Kill FREE DOWNLOAD)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Impigaleaux Interview Part Two

Slangston Hughes (SH): When it comes to mc'ing what do you feel is your crowning achievement? What has given you the most pride?

Impulss (I): I think having the Head 2 Head MC Battle at One Eyed Jacks was great for the rebuilding effort because when they offered me a monthly there, I wanted people to be able to say, "hey, there's something back home cooking and I want to be a part of it." As many cyphers as I've been in, battles I've participated, shows I've hosted, giving the ability to host something that was about bringing a community together was the most important in my estimation.

SH: How do you feel the birth of your children & the building of your family have affected your music/writing?

I: I know it has made me who I am today. There's nothing like the total envelopment you feel when you create family. There was a time when I had no one else. I'm an only child. My parents divorced when I was 13. My father went to Oregon when I was 16 and I didn't hear from him but a few times until I was 26. When Rita and the boys came into my life it gave me the sense of foundation that made me want to live more than ever. It's the feeling of stability and being loved and loving in return that transfers a sense of value into everything I do. It's the greatest feeling in the world and I believe you can hear how lucky I feel when you listen to my music now.

SH: Who or what would you say has provided the most inspiration for your musically?

I: I'm not really sure where it comes from. I suppose the wisest thing I would imagine is that it's a little bit of all the events that came to pass and all the music I've heard; everything I've experienced alone or with others. I think one can have a picture in their head of what they want to project and look at those they admire and hope to display something like that and call that an influence. I think I've come across enough different influences, absorbed so much random external stimuli...

SH: You have a nice cadre of well-known and diverse emcees, producers and dj's that you have been blessed to build with over the years. What tips would you provide aspiring up and coming rappers when it comes to building that type of rapport with those who can assist in getting their name out and to the right people?

I: I guess when you're on the same path as other like minded people you will intersect. It's a big world but we tend to narrow ourselves down into small genres that gather into even smaller venues. I guess I could say go to places that those people congregate. When I was 18, I paid a grip for a pass to the BRE Convention (Black Radio Exclusive Magazine Convention) because I wanted to make connections. Don't be scared to spend money. I would fly to ATL for Jack The Rapper, stay up in the hotel and the same important people at BRE were at Jack and they'd see me there too. So to them I must have had some level of importance or I couldn't have been there at all the functions they go to. Go to shows, holla at the DJ. I was fearless and would be in anyone's face. When you are respectful about your approach and you actually have something, you make contacts. And as a conversation tip, don't just talk music, music, music. When you're talking about other things, you could make a friend. When the conversation is just about music, they know you're just trying to get put on. Talk basketball, history, electronics, whatever. Become a pal.

SH: Name one thing about Impulss that you wish people/listeners knew, but don't.

I: I'm not sure what people don't know about me. My wife says I have a weirdness about me that I don't carry outside when I'm among, say, a Uniquity crowd. I was walking like a dinosaur today with my son and a song came on TV so I started doing a goofy/sexy dance but still standing like a T-Rex. My wife was like, "Oh Lord, if those who go to your shows could see you now. They have no idea." I'm not sure if I want people to know that or not, or care not. Yay weird.

SH: How do you describe your "sound" and since you produce, record, mix and master the majority of your own music, how would you describe that process?

I: Whatever works.

SH: What are your thoughts on working with live band Fo On the Flo for Uniquity?

I: They are quick and will be kidnapped and forced to play at gunpoint behind my wife as she sings in public. Honestly, they are talented beyond what would be expected for their ages. I'd love to work with them again.

For more info on Uniquity's featured artist for the month of May including his most recent release, Marie Laveaux's Hustle, check out the following links:

* Photos courtesy of Larry Legaux of Onpoint Solutions (

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Impigaleaux Interview Part One (May Uniquity's featured artist, Impulss)

Slangston Hughes (SH): So, for those that may not be familiar with the Impigaleaux, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, what you represent, all that good stuff...

Impulss: My name is Impulss. Born and raised in Michoud. Been MCing for a very long time and chances are your favorite MC has given me dap for how I do my thing at least once.

SH: Indeed, one of the things I've always appreciated about you is the fact that you often infuse various New Orleans references within your lyrics. In essence, what does New Orleans mean to you?

I: New Orleans is the epicenter of everything that has made America cool and interesting. It is the original U.S. bohemia. Beyond music, just the ambiance of the city is what led writers to come here and get creative. Painters, musicians. New Orleans has always been the place creative people come to get their chops up. Not for competition's sake, but rather for the sake of expression which only leads to greater creativity and soul fulfillment. So many people that live here don't understand the freedom of self that one can let loose here without judgment. A place like New York, with all respect, you can let yourself loose because no one is going to see you due to overcrowding - no one has time to look at you. But in N.O.LA. you will get seen and judgment will not come to pass. That's why this is the only place you can have a celebrated gay rapper scene with straight fans. Try doing that anywhere else. Won't happen.

SH: Very true and a helluva point. Mos Def said something to a similar extent about our city when he said, "what would America even be without Louisiana?”

I: They'd be still whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy out their asses. Think about it. Rock ‘n’ Roll. That was the soundtrack to how many revolutions of thought across the world? How many times did it morph? They weren't doing anti-Vietnam demonstrations to Bluegrass. Feminism didn't have a voice in classical music. That all came as Rock and Roll, a New Orleans musical form…took hold of the nation and everyone else took it and ran with it.

SH: In a recent interview I did with artist, Lyrikill (, he stated similar sentiments about the South. Most importantly, New Orleans not getting credit for our various influences on present pop culture & the music heard today. What are your thoughts on this "shake and bake" tactic?

Impulss: I think we get lumped into the whole South. When I first got to Atlanta, I met Lil' Jon and he was a DJ at this club called The Phoenix. We got along with each other and he always played DJ Jimi and T Tucker in his sets. The South has a lot of hot artists right now and at the forefront of that is Atlanta, but anyone with any attention out there knows they were heavily influenced by Bounce. Jon did with Bounce what The Rolling Stones did with Rock and Roll. But we get lumped in, even though I can show a million differences between our culture and the South. I think Jay Electronica said out loud what everyone with an open eye down here said amongst ourselves about jacking our slang and the rest. I think it's all coming to light. People have been taking from New Orleans since the Louisiana Purchase. It's nothing new. But I don't think it's necessarily a terrible thing.

Understand that New Orleans culture has permeated every segment of society for over 200 years. Not only our bohemia, but our business, what comes through our port, department stores, the first movie theater, we have a lot that started here and moved on

SH: As they say, the light will find its way to the surface all in good time. I think light is slowly but surely being shown more prominently on the city we all know and love.

I: Light's been on us. Go to Japan and ask them to name 3 U.S. cities. They'll say New York, Los Angeles (maybe) and New Orleans.

SH: Let's switch gears and focus that microscope on what many are seeing as a Hip-Hop renaissance in New Orleans. Your thoughts?

I: I got a lot to say about that. I don't think Hip Hop ever left New Orleans. Think back to before there was Bounce. You had Tim Smooth, Bustdown, Gregory D...there were lyricists. Battles. Cyphers everywhere you went. People beatboxin' in The Plaza bathroom because the acoustics were crazy and all the cold rappers knew each other. People used Bounce when it came out as a springboard to get out there but as soon as they had the opportunity to rhyme they did it. At some point I think the focus got lost. But when you would talk to those cats one wouldn't necessarily consider within their pre-set tunnel vision of what Hip Hop is supposed to be, that cat would start naming names like Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, etc, as their influences. Then you had a whole new generation that's around K. Gates' age that grew up on a new wave of lyricists like Biggie that had them trying to spit because a new bar was set. They got radio play down here. No one that was lyrical could get on the radio and influence minds here. Plus there was no internet for them to get new music like recently!! What happened to us is the same reason why in Japan, with all their wonderful culture, they try to do things like Americans. I also think Katrina changed our patterns. People were displaced, a lot of young dudes were 16-17 in '05 and now are 21, 22. While they were in ATL, Chicago, wherever, they got influenced. And when they got back home they started to look for the Scene. Then they saw a Soundclash flyer. Done.

SH: I guess a better word to use would be “reinvigorated” more than a “renaissance,” so to speak. For those still looking to pursue a career as Hip-Hop emcee or just starting out, what advice would you give them?

I: As a career, I would advise them to read some books on guerilla marketing. And don't ever think someone is going to put you on. You are not going to make it in the music industry without a healthy appetite for rugged individualism. And don't be scared to spend a few dollars. Never follow what is the perceived path to success. When you see one guy successful with what he does, he did it. He has all the money that style will allow being earned. Why would they listen to you when they can listen to Jay-Z? They will listen if you have something else to offer. Prosperity equals drive + talent. You can have all the talent in the world, but without the drive you will only get so far. Conversely, you can have all the drive in the universe but without talent you'll hit a ceiling. Now when you have both, you get a megastar. You have people with extra drive that makes up for a lack of some talent, and that will carry them, but eventually they will hit a wall and can't go further. Be aware of who your market is. Know your audience. Don't try to be everything to everybody. Narrow your focus. What does your customer like? What do they talk like? What do they drive? DO they drive? What is their worldview? You can do all of these things well and remain true to yourself as an artist. Then work 20 hours a day.

SH: All very pertinent parts of the game. As always, being an artist/emcee/rapper/performer is about putting out a quality product. Take us through your discography over the past couple of years and how each was crafted.

Impulss: I started releasing material in '04 with The Lagniappe Mixtape. Just stuff that fell on the cutting room floor while recording Impulss' Beats and Lagniappe Social and Pleasure Club, my first LP, which came out in '06. They were both the accumulation of material done between '02 and '06, in N.Y. and N.O. I had features like Bionik Brown, Mr Khaliyl from the Bush Babies, Akon, N.O.R.E. I was really into how De La, Black Sheep and the like would have really funny, inventive skits in their music so that influenced me. And I like the idea Kevin Smith, the director, had about having recurring characters in his films that all told a story. They all were interwoven with each other. So I had Pookie Ray, Charmaine Juicy Juice, Charles St. Charles, etc. After that I had some time for reflection and decided I would grow up a bit. A lot of subject matter changed. Category Shybe came out in '09 and was fun, but not as wild as the former records. Then The Lagniappe Pt 2 - The Pressure Principle mixtape came out 4 months later. And I put out an instrumental CD called Music Inspired By Timecode:NOLA, which is a TV show I did the music for on Cox 4 which is dedicated to the independent film industry down here. Now Marie Laveaux's Hustle is arriving and I have two more in the chamber, like this LP with Bazooka Joe, Bronx, New Orleans: Respect Where It Started...

SH: The proof is in the pudding. The listeners will definitely find a wealth of N.O. knowledge, some comedy, plenty of creativity when it comes to subject matter and variety. That answer brings up two things I wanna touch base on...the first being Pookie Ray (as one of my more popular aliases is Pookey Malibu). How did this specific character come about?

I: Pookie Ray is a real dude. The name, at least. When I was in ATL, there was this dude from New Orleans, Demaris, who did funny exaggerated NOLA accents. I started to do them with him, too. I'd pull it out of my pocket from time to time. When I was doing The Lagniappe Mixtape, I started clowning on the mic alone in the lab one day and I brought Pookie's name up and that voice together in a skit that clowned on that which people did, but was unacceptable to young Pookie. It went over really well so I made him a recurring character. Now I do Pookie on every record I do. I ran into the real Pookie in Slidell one day in McDonald's. I was like wow...he has no idea I used his name and gave it a very small cult following. I'm waiting for him to hear it one day on his own and be like bruh...

SH: Right, Pookie usually steals the show (at least the skits) on your projects. The second person I would like to touch on is someone who I'm sure will be spoken about for many, many years to come when any of us converse about New Orleans Hip-Hop: Bionik Brown.What has his friendship and presence in the underground scene of the Mardi Gras Mecca meant to you personally?

I: Nate was/is an exceptional lyricist and person. His charm and aura filled any spot he was at. When you went to PoZazz or any other place you, for some reason, always knew if Nate was there or not. And he was an in-and-out kind of guy. He'd get on stage, do his thing and you'd turn around and he'd be gone like freakin' Batman. His friendship personally meant a lot because a lot of people weren't his friend. He'd do music with people, go to poetry spots, roommate, whatever and still keep a distance. So when he expressed what we were really friends I think I allowed myself to be influenced by how he did his thing more and there was mutual respect. He always came to me for beats and would lift my confidence as an artist. Most people don't know I made at least half of the beats for Platinum Thoughts Aluminum Budget. I knew him for a long time. Even my mother liked him, and my mom doesn't like hardly any of my friends. So that says a lot. Bionik Brown laid a lot of the foundation of what Hip Hop scene all of you enjoy today. I'm waiting for a wall-sized mural to be erected in his honor. Or just take that statue down in Lee Circle and throw up a Bionik Brown Statue. Through everything he did with music or otherwise, Nate wanted to help you be the better you that you could become. He wanted to better the city by being a better example. He wanted us all to be better examples for society and he'd do what he could to help you with that. His overall movement was for the advancement of society.

Look for part two of my interview with Impulss, where we touch further upon his music, family and more later on this week. Impulss will be performing along with Black Sheep's residential dj, Bazooka Joe and live band, Fo On The Flo this Saturday at the May edition of Uniquity at Dragon’s Den. 10pm. $5.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hip-Hop Down In New Orleans...

Another not to be missed event by Traffic Boutique & the Supreme Street Team with performances by rising indie Hip-Hoppers, Mickey Factz and Chip Tha Ripper as well as awesome local talent, Aquaforce, A. Levy, the I.C.U. and TheSeKondElement(T2E). T2E will also be releasing her LP, The Kommencement today! Pre-sale tix are available and going fast. Contact @OnPoint_El or @KAMMSTheACE to get yours today.

That same night pre-sale tix will be available for the following...

Uniquity returns for its anniversary show with a stacked line-up of New Orleans Hip-Hop performers. God's Gift, b.k.a. Lil' Dee & the Parish President, MC Jay join featured artist and respected New Orleans Hip-Hop cultivator, Impulss to complete this diverse bunch of emcees who will rock live band, Fo On The Flo. In addition, DJ Bazooka Joe, best known as the dj for the legendary duo, Black Sheep will accompany Impulss during his set fusing his the musicality of Fo On The Flo with the scratching of a tenured turntablist.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Slangston Hughes Filled Weekend

This upcoming weekend is a busy one for THE Connoisseur of Fine Rhyme. For all those in or around Mississippi, catch me and members of the Tygah Woods collective at the Back 2 Basics monthly event.

It's been a minute since I've rocked appropriately at Soundclash. Add in performances from Brasco, A. Levy and Codac with some of the city's best producers, this looks to be another great moment in Soundclash history.

Last but certainly not least, finish up your weekend with a funk filled Sabbath at the Hi-Ho Lounge with performances by Gov't Majik, Flow Tribe and my band, Fo On The Flo w/special guest dj's throughout the afternoon as we celebrate the bdays of Prospek and Cali Obzerver.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Glimpses of Uniquity: 3-27-10

It was quite the night this past Saturday as the lights went out on Frenchman for almost an hour & then returned with performances by the Twen Bumbs, S-PYnage & featured artist, Lyrikill at Uniquity.

Blackout cypher by J-Dubble & Soul Nick et al

Hip-Hop Soul revivalist, Suave & Darkplay Graphix' own Krystle Ophelia

Drummer & leader of Fo On The Flo, Soul Nick

Great shirt courtesy of Grant of SC Apparel (

Shoutout to Kory (@Twaites) of for making my arm look good. Lol.

Mr. Straight To The Point, S-PYnage

The flyest Caucasian I know, lead guitarist of Fo On The Flo, Mark Weliky

Twen Bumbs lft: Juskwam & rt: Dubla

Dubla of the Twen Bumbs playing hypeman at Uniquity

Juskwam rocking the mic backed by Fo On The Flo

Featured artist for March's Uniquity, Lyrikill

Suave joining Lyrikill for a jawn off of the new project, More Heart, More Sole

The show intro seen round the world, from one pair of Jordans to the next.
New Orleans' No. 1 kick- copper

*Photos courtesy of