Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Wasn't I Informed About This

Flex Alexander is Michael Jackson in...

Man In The Mirror (2004)
(the good comedy stuff happens at 6:15)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Depressing Item Of The Day

The news is the typical mish mash of sadness and hyper-scary global catastrophic prediction. But every now and then a news item reaches up from the depths to take the crown as most depressing item of the day.

Swine Flu is coming and it's gonna be ugly, according to the New York times. But peep the last line of the article about it.

"The good news -- people infected with AIDS virus do not seem to be at special risk from H1N1, WHO said."

Fucking, nice.

Alright, kids, get back to work.

Flashback Friday

I have a confession to make.

I have a mancrush on Eric Roberson.

Ever since I heard "Change For Me" on a Ron Trent mix CD 8 years ago, I've snapped up everything he's put out that I can find.

Not to mention, the "Previouscats" track he wrote for Musiq was my anthem for a brief period of time. Man, did he nail that one.

Besides loving his DIY attitude (he released his 7th indie album this week), I admire how he picked himself up after the industry beat his ass down.

Back around 1994, he left Howard with a fat record deal and promises of stardom. Too bad that just about as soon as this week's Flashback was hitting video shows and store shelves on cassingle, he got dropped from his label. He moved back to D.C., finished school and started on his path.

I have a hard time thinking of a lot of folks whose major label life was so short-lived (with no real pre-label career to speak of) yet they were able to make their own way successfully performing (if you've ever been to one of his live shows, this is very apparent).

So hats off to Mr. Roberson for creating some great music. Here's the single that first got him out into the public. I'm a sucker for a high quality, sappy mid-90s love song...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Of The Worst Things I've Ever Read

this made me sad.

Keith Sweat's ex-wife, (via MTO), explains why she wants full custody of her sons.

“If Keith has a hang-up about our sons being on TV, I would be fine with that. But Real Housewives is supposed to be a reality series, and the reality is that all the fans watching believe I only have one child,” says Lisa, who appears on the series with her husband, Ed Hartwell, and their 2-year-old son, EJ. “Jordan and Justin understand what the show involves, and they'd love to do it. I adore all three of my sons - and I believe they all have a rightful place on the show.”

There's nothing WORSE than putting your kids on TV. Nothing. This is a terrible idea and will hurt the kids. I know it's not my business but for some reason I had a visceral reaction upon reading this. This woman is a terrible mother.

John Hughes left hollywood exactly due to the effect he saw it would have on his kids. He wanted well-adjusted kids who could decide later in life if they wanted to be in entertainment. Time and again we see that it doesn't work out, the kids end up rotten, spoiled and insufferable.

There are a few examples where the kids end up okay (like Ben Stiller or Gwyneth Paltrow)...but they are few and far between. The vast majority end up fucked.

Keep your kids off TV.

In Case You Missed It...

Looks like there's an impending Rush/Jay-Z war-of-words.



Gotta love how an Obamacare swipe is worked in.

What do you all think the next move will be? Who will make it? When will O'Reilly come and bring up the rear for Rush? Does anyone here listen to Rush regularly? Does/Should anyone really give a f--k?

Talk to me, y'all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Days of Vacay

In case you can't tell, me and B are on vacation again and won't be back in the office until this Monday.

Til then, what have you guys been watching and reading this summer?

We're always interested to know what we should be watching at home, reading on the train, or catching at theatres.

(And yes, that's how I spell theatre).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback Friday

Dayton, Ohio, might be the most funky city per capita in the U.S.

The Ohio Players, Slave, and Zapp are just a few of the groups that called the "Birthplace of Aviation" home.

Also included on this list is Aurra/Deja.

Pretty much every song Curt Jones and Starleana Young (and whoever else was in the band) did was heavy on bass playing and danceable. That goes a long way in my book. "You and Me Tonight" is no exception.

If anyone can explain to me how Dayton of all places put out such a disproportional number of quality acts, please do so.

Dayton = Funkytown.

Appointment Television

Is Usain Bolt the Tiger Woods of running. I mean, when he's on TV to people tune in to watch something they ordinarily wouldn't?



I was at a crowded Manhattan bar yesterday night, not a sports bar by any stretch, but the tv was playing highlights and when dude came like every head in the room watched. After some dude we didn't know came over to chat us up about Usain.

That's crazy. For running?

Usain deserves every penny Nike is paying the kid. I love the fact that he's young, he parties, he's arrogant and cool and when race day comes. He just kicks asses.

And don't front, you know the boy got a song too, right?



---

ps - My grandmothers fam is all from Jamaica. So I'm gonna go ahead and claim some green black and gold right about now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Dynamic Duo

I could watch Snoop and Regis talk all day long.



comedy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Equivalent?

Ever since I had to hear Neil Diamond sing this song three times in a row during Boston's 4th of July festivities, I haven't been able to get it out of my head...



Sure it's a cute lil' ditty and all but I just can't fully consume it.

And there's nothing against Neil Diamond.

My disdain stems from the people who feel compelled to sing along to it knowing they only know the chorus and blare out the distinctive three note horn arrangement that occurs during it.

It got me thinking, though: Do we (black people/folks of color/hip-hop fans/readers of this blog/however you define yo self) have an equivalent jam?

I know this is bad but here's my parallel track--



You know damn well you've been left scrambling for your program to look up those last two verses on more than one occasion during a Black History Month celebration. Either that or you faked your way through and limped across the finish line. You remember the shame you felt.

But I ask, what are the, dare I say, more "soulful" counterparts to "Caroline"?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Should I Go To The Islands?

This is the hottest shit I've heard in a long time.

Major Lazer

Major Lazer "Pon De Floor" from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.



Ummm...clearly I need to go to Jamaica...or is it the UK...or, damn, is it Brooklyn?

Something Nice To Take You To The Weekend

Bill Withers in the movie Soul Power.

Hope She'll Be Happier

Bill Withers from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.



Happy Weekend, kids.

Another Shameless Plug

Here's a web series created by people I knew back in LA.

THE NEW TWENTIES


enjoy.

He's Goin' To Philly

Mike Vick is going to the Eagles.



good times.

---

ps - one of the things i enjoy most in life is reading all the horrible stuff people put under youtube videos. It's pure comedy. You could have a picture of a little kid at his first karate practice and under the video someone would write..."ur a fag". so wrong.

At any rate, I was reading the comments under this old Michael Vick video we did and one caught my attention. It starts off as brutal as usual...then one person kind of psychoanalyzes the other...and there's almost a moment of genuine communication before things break down again.

check it:

sh3lt0n3 (6 months ago) Show Hide

VIDEO IS SO GAY MICK VICK IS THE BEST

drunkmansdaughter (6 months ago) Show Hide

Oh you know him? If he is so fucking great why was he not helping you free lunch wellfare punks. He is so great because he spent money on whores houses & killing dogs. You pepole make me hope this country fails &you have to eat dogs & then each other. That fucker wouldn't give you the time of day.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

everyone knows mike vick, he's great because he has records in the NFL and is one of the most exciting QB's in NFL history. Off the field he's a bad person but i'm not interested in other people's personal lives.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

Who gives a fuck about an NFL fag. Football is so old & boring. You fucking numb skulls like it because the TV told you to. No bad person deserves a dime. Why do you niggers allways take the side of a nigger that wouldn't give you a glass of water if you wre dieing of thirst. Get of wellfare & get a life. I wish someone would kill that stinking nigger

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

Who gives a fuck about an NFL fag? You sound frustrated, maybe you should go take a load from your dad so you can calm down and pretend you aren't living in your mom's basement and telling people to get a life on youtube because you have no life and would get the shit kicked out of you if you said anything like that in real world.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

Wrong a "prophet" your not. That drunk-ass father is dust now. My mother lives in a different state. I have a very busy life in this world. I'm damn sure not going to uphold that sorry nigger vick the dick. You want vicks dick little man bitch.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

Explains why you resort to racism on youtube, when your parents abuse you all you can do is use racist slurs on youtube and talk about your fantasies of sucking dick

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

Oh Chasefag I am not a racist I hate red yellow black & white not many are presious in my sight. The only fantasy I have about dick is cutting one off a pervert like you or Vick & shoving it down their throat. So you take up for your love Vick & I will take up for the innocent & the kind ones. SUCK A BIG BLACK DICK TILL YOU CHOKE MAN BITCH!!!

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

Drunkmanfag, It's okay that you're a little internet racist and get rejected by everyone including other gays and whitetrash like yourself. Go cry because your life sucks and you have to tell people to do what you do best and scream it in caps like a little desperate whiny bitch.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

Just to clarify when you say ''nigger'' you mean stupid. Racist slurs aren't synonyms for stupid or a lack of intellect. I'm pretty sure it's to downgrade black people like marcus who are upset with their construction jobs and want Vick to join him.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

Some of those jocks do good things to help others & animals with their money. VICK THE DICK spent his on drugs whores & dogs to abuse. I should have called him an EVIL PERVERTED BASTARD that I will be happy to see in HELL!!! I know alot of black & white guys that miss their craftsman jobs.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

why are you so angry and act like he did no time? you should be worried about real perverts who shoot and rape children and never get caught. Everyone smokes pot and gets whores if they want to spend the money, it's their choice and if he admited to it like he did i think he deserves atleast a 2nd chance. They were PIT bulls, nothing more, nothing less. I love my dog but dogs die everyday by lethal injection or whatever because people refuse to adopt them. As sad as it is there are worse things.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

This is not a video about child abuse. I think child molesters should be casterated 1st time they are caught. The 2nd time death. I was born angry I shall remain so. Yes I was abused . That is why I feel so deeply for animals. the animals have allways been my best friends. They have never done to me what people have. I'm not influnced by christian values I see animals as scared as man. I am low middle class I give to homeless shelters & animals. Not everone smokes or whores I'd have 0 friends.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

I love animals too but I think after 2 years of prison if someone is truly sorry which i'm sure he is they might as well let him resume his career as a football player, leave the stupidity for jail time if he does it again though, he can be banned permanently. I just think someone with his talent should atleast have a chance to play in the NFL, after all nobody can say he killed the dogs himself, his friends probably did the majority of the killing by far.

Chaseglad (1 month ago) Show Hide

Well then there must be a lot of dumb asses or people that just want to see people get a 2nd chance and not rot in jail, only a sad emo bitch who hates his life would want to see someone go to jail forever because of some stupid dogfighting, a true dumbass bitches about something so un-important like it's a nuke launched on the U.S.., get a life.

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

Football is the most popular sport in america you just have no friends and take dog dick up your ass so you have to say nigger on youtube to try and make yourself feel better. You really want a black dick in your ass but have to resort to black dog dick in your ass because nobody wants to see your whitetrash ugly face.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

I'll say nigger when I'm talk ing about or to a nigger. I have dated african american men or black men. You sound like a white nigger. Maybe football is ia a bore to me because I like getting off my ass & doing something wort while some choose to sit in front of a TV watching some gay shit. Thats why so many american men need bras. I will never feel better I live in a fucked up world

Chaseglad (2 months ago) Show Hide

maybe football is a bore to you because you're an ugly fat slut that can't do shit except say nigger on youtube and cook , stupid bitch cunt.

drunkmansdaughter (2 months ago) Show Hide

Like I said when I't acts like a nigger it's a nigger. I am 99lbs I have never been fat I'ts hard to get fat when you are a vegan, gardener & take care of rotties that has been abused . White trash me all you want I thrive on the hate from numb skulls lazy asses such as you I love to be hated by scum suckers I know I'm doing something right. You defend a flithy nigger that abused & killed the slaved animals. FUCK YOU MAN BITCH!!! That fucker living like a king & those dogs living in filth.

(for a second there, they had a chance, no?)

Flashback Friday

During a YouTube search, I stumbled on some clips of this week's Flashback group doing a free show in Harlem.

It was a Full Force reunion.
You know who I'm talking about. Those '80s producers with their oh-so-wet jheris.

Anyway, Force M.D.'s was one of the featured acts and I started thinking about one of their videos that has stuck in my mind since the first time I saw it--



I didn't pay attention to the music in this video. I just had a visceral monologue that went like this:

"What the f*ck? He's missing teeth! That ni@@a is missing teeth and singing and dancing in the video. They even had him in London with no teeth! What the f*ck, man!?"

What otherwise was just a simple R&B pop song got completely overshadowed.

Luckily, a year later they were blessed by better shot selection and a tune by the Midas' Touch production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.



Can Jimmy and Terry do any wrong?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

F*ck Whole Foods...

...and I say it with authority.

That might be a little hyperbole. But the CEO of the Trader Joe's-wanna be chain penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal attacking Obama's Health Care reform, saying basically that if people buy his food, they will be healthier and won't need a doctor as often.

"[M]any of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese....scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age."

A couple of things.

1. Who knew Whole Foods was based in Austin, Texas? Not me.

2. I agree with a lot of what he (John Mackey) says in this article. I too think a lot of what kills people at 60 and 70 (50, if you're black and male) is preventable. Don't doubt it for a second.

3. But how dare this guy suggest, essentially, that Whole Foods is the answer to America's problem. Who can honestly afford to shop at Whole Foods on a regular basis?! I can't and I make a good salary. "Shop at Whole Foods" would eventually "Starve To Death" at their prices.

4. According to another source, Mackey has gone as far to say "The union is like having herpes" and has done everything to prevent his employees from unionizing. I get it, thats a typical opinion among business owners and political libertarians and Mackey is self-identified as both. Still, when you make your millions on the back of lefties, greenies and the Left in general, its very eye-opening. Also, your choice of editorial venue (the Wall Street Journal) is very telling.



Ultimately, I think Mackey has picked on the wrong side of the political fence on this Health Care issue.

The Left disproportionately wants Health Care reform passed. If there is ANY company that could be hurt by the Left boycotting, it would be Whole Foods.

It's almost like the head of NASCAR hanging out with Hugo Chavez, or the CEO of American Apparel being caught hanging out with his Ed. Hardy buddies in Miami. This is a fight and a boycott he does NOT want.

I have long suspected that Whole Foods was over-priced and not as good as Trader Joe's.

In light of learning that the CEO of Whole Foods feels this way about Health Care Reform, and that his self-serving alternative is for everyone to pay $4 for guava juice and $10 for organic chicken breast, well...let's just say I have little sympathy if others choose to exercise their right to go to TRADER JOE'S.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This is Interesting

Ran across this on accident.

Young Black Preachers



Thoughts?

---

ps - just found out these kids is from The Chi...may have to blindly support them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Creeping Anger

All the anger in the videos we've seen this week might be causing shorter tempers at work, on the sub, all over.



And who can blame us. All this yelling is idiotic.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Marion Barry Documentary


How much do we know about Marion Barry? Apparently not much.

HBO Documentaries just "gets it"...they always report on things I am truly interested in learning more about.

This time they try to give the WHOLE story on Marion (it's more than just the infamous 1990 tape).

I will definitely TiVo. Trailer below.

Friday, August 7, 2009

For Your Weekend - A Touch of Jazz...

I have to play a jazz, reggae, and funk set out in the Hamptons this weekend.

Whenever I play a set that's heavy on jazz, I tend to marvel how so much of the jazz made today is trying to sound like the be bop of 60 years ago. Fail, fellas.

One artist for which this does not hold true is Robert Glasper.

His jazz is informed by the music he grew up with...he has even done a tribute to Dilla.

Check out my favorite Glasper cut below - a hot new-jazz track called "F.T.B."



And enjoy your weekend.

When the Cops Clown...


Watch the whole thing to get the context, but at the 1:38 mark comedy springs forth from the most unsuspecting place...The Police!

h/t Anthony Demby

Friday Flashback

I'll make this clear-- I like Tracie Spencer. She has a great voice and her songs have always been well-performed.

For all of my admoration, though, I've had a love/hate relationship with this song for years. I'm all for treating people fairly 'n stuff, but this video reminds me of that kid on the Quad passing out leaflets about some tragedy going on somewhere. They're sincere as all hell but passionate to the point they piss you off and you start to seriously think every single tree in that forest they want to protect should be clear-cut.

Oh, to be young and not so cynical...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Save Stephon

I think Stephon Marbury is suffering from mental illness.

And I think the guy needs medical help.

Here's his latest online opus.



This is not about judging or name-calling like those evil bastards at Bossip and Media Take out do*. And this is not the same as Dennis Rodman wearinga dress. Everything Dennis did had an air of minute calculation. It was a fucking act; an act made more transparent whenever he got too far out of line during a game...and Jordan had to talk to him. Not sure what Jordan said to him...but that dude would BEHAVE after the talk. It was fun and funny. (remeber Dennis and Karl Malone tripping up the court?)

This is not funny. Stephon is not acting.

Considering where he's been, what he's overcome and how he's done things in the past I've been very impressed with. (Low-cost sneakers for inner city youth, etc.) it's hard to watch this. And, as someone who's unfortunately had lots of experience with people going through mental illness, I feel like I've seen this movie before.

Anytime a player of his level of media attention is melting down this publicly, it means he's disconnected from reality. And given how this will impact his career, it means he's disconnected from himself.

This will probably end badly.


Someone should step in.

---

ps - I read Bossip and MTO obsessively. I don't like their opinions but I won't knock the hustle...they're great websites and are EXACTLY what works on the internet.

MLK Had a Sense of Humor

It rarely gets documented...

The Productivity Killer

This free online game has spread through our office like a virus.

Don't Play It...if you wanna get anything done.

RED REMOVER



Don't do it. Link

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Mad Men" The Television Show vs. "Mad Men" The Marketing

"White privilege never looked so good!"

I've watched Mad Men from the first episode. Like many other lover's of fine television, I can't get enough of the show. That being said, as an African-American I watch some of the episodes with a little bit of sadness as most of the black people on the show are maids, janitors, porters, side-pieces, etc.

There aren't any African-American "peers" that exist in Don Draper's world of advertising. I get that. I've accepted it. And I applaud that show's creators for showing some honesty instead of sugar-coating and/or completely avoiding our country's past.

So, it is with great dismay that I came across the show's newest marketing creation, "Mad Men Yourself!"

This idea of creating your own avatar based upon a film/television franchise has been done before. It's not original, but still cool. However, what makes me particularly upset about this implementation is that you can create "stylish" avatars of ALL skin colors. Woah!

What happened to keeping it real Mad Men? There are NO stylish African-Americans or Latinos on your show, fair enough. But why allow that to occur for your marketing efforts? I damn near wanted to see a "Whites Only" sign when I went there.

Why? In the hope that it would remind all of the show's rabid viewers that speak so glowingly of this glamorous and stylish era of its darker under-belly. Sure the show "hints" at it, but "Whites Only" would have driven the point home.

I'm not naive. There is NO WAY AMC would have done that. I get why. Discussions about race in this country have all the nuance of toddler in Chuck E. Cheese. But it sure would have be interesting if they did. No?

I won't be making a Mad Men avatar. Sorry AMC. Out of respect to my brothers and sisters that actually lived through that era. Some of those brothers and sisters even wore clothes just as fancy as the white characters on the show. It's just that people of Don Draper's ilk never associated with them in the first place to notice...

Good, Keith...But

Olbermann's latest opus is worth watching in full.



But there's an elephant in the room.

In order for ANYONE to get elected to national office in America they need a ton of cash. A TON. And they have to get it from somewhere.

At the heart of this all isn't even good vs. evil. Or corporate vs. private. This issue has but one entity worthy of blame.

You and Me.

Until we radically change our election system such that no elected person can take money from a large company...then all Olbermann's words will just be hot air.

Very important hot air.

But hot air nonetheless.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Go See This

I was raised a little too militant. Not my parents fault, they didn't know any better, God bless 'em...it was the 70's and they were reading things like 'How To Eat To Live' and naming their kids Bashir.


"Yo...is that Bashir over there eating proscuitto? Let's get his ass."

Still, a small part of me cringes whenever I think about the fact that most black women straighten their hair. I know, 3rd rail topic, but I don't care. It's the truth.

I've had this conversation ad naseum with friends from middle school to college and frankly, it's not important to re-hash it here.

The only reason I bring it up is that, as in the '70's when the discussion led to afros everywhere...so too is Chris Rock now asking it again. It's piqued my interest.



Chris is a VERY conscientious person. I'm eager to watch this discussion.

And, in the end, whatever a woman chooses to do with her hair is none of my damn business anyway.

---

ps - Chris was making this movie adjacent to the office where Diallo, Craig, Scott, Crescent and I were working on The Message. We ran into him and had the following conversation:

Chris - What do you guys wanna do?

Us - Sketch mostly.

Chris - Don't do sketch comedy. there's no money in it. they never re-run and you won't make a penny in residuals. Do a sitcom.

Us - ummm. but...

Chris - don't do sketch. When I wanna have a beach party I have to borrow [David] Spades' beach house. He did Just Shoot Me. Get it?

Uh, Chris, YOUR FRIENDS OWN BEACH HOUSES!!

sorry.

Is This The Greatest Rap Song Ever Created?

Don't Sweat The Technique
by Eric B. and Rakim



I know it's a bizarre question. But one I think worth considering. I was listening to it over the weekend and found myself asking it. It felt almost prescient in the way that Eric B saw which way the winds were blowing and made a "pre-emptive strike" on everything that was about to happen in the world of hip hop. Consider it was 1992, the early era of Jazz-based hip hop and the first inklings of both west coast g-funk and the native tongues were on the horizon while the A-B-A-B style rap was losing it's hold as the main.

Further, rap was changing from storytelling to rhyming over a theme. It wasn't about telling a story of something that happened...more and more, it was about saying "I'm Bad" over and over in different incarnations. Hip hop got less explicative; more existential.

Perhaps Eric B was like Shakespeare writing "The Tempest" or Larry Bird after Jordan put 63 on his head. He saw his time was coming up and he went out swinging.

The song wasn't a crossover hit. It wasn't even a dance hit but you could dance to it.

It was one guy with his DJ and a microphone and it was almost like Eric B was saying..."i know things are changing, but ya'll ain't never gonna be able to touch what I'm doing"

I mean, I adore the hip hop of today. It's loud and fun and funny and the production is stellar. But no one is arguing that lil' wayne or Kid Cudi or even The Cool Kids are writing songs that will, lyrically, stand for a generation (for that see; Brother, Little).

Don't Sweat The Technique is a flawless song without a wasted lyric.

And, maybe, it's the greatest hip hop song every recorded.


Don't tell anyone, but I think these guys can see into the future.

---

ps - I know the video is retarded.

Dear Nick Cannon:

At some point you and your wife are going to have to come to the sobering realization that you will NOT beat Eminem in a war of words. That's impossible. But here's the thing. Everyone is on YOUR side. Not so much concerning what Mariah actually did or did not do. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Em's latest "Warning" has you second-guessing your wife's commitment to honest recollections of her past. But she is your wife and NO MAN can let stand having another man call his wife a whore and a slut (let alone calling you a faggot multiple times) in such a public manner. There is only one solution. I've met you Nick. You're more than up to the task. BEAT HIS ASS. Do what Moby, Triumph the Insult Dog, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and COUNTLESS of other defenseless people have not had the courage to do. Every man will respect you. Nobody can blame you. Most of the world will thank-you. So come on Nick, be a man...

Sincerely,

Craig

Saturday, August 1, 2009

RIP - Baatin


Slum Village (left to right): Jay Dee/J-Dilla, T3, and Baatin.

Right now I'm on the slow bus to NYC (Thank God for the onboard wi-fi. Good look, BoltBus).

So in a fit of boredom I start reading my Tweet feed.

WTF? Baatin is dead?

What a way to get bad news about an artist from one of your favorite groups.

Details of the cause of death aren't released yet but 'Tin's bouts with mental illness were documented in interviews he did and, most notably, in Elzhi's verse on the Slum Village track, "Reunion".

It seemed like things were starting to come together for him lately, though, as he'd gotten back with T3 and Elzhi to record a new joint. And please someone correct me if I'm wrong, I think he performed with SV during the "Rock The Bells" tour this summer (I could've sworn I saw him there. I missed SV's performance for a variety of reasons).

So with that said, RIP Baatin. I'll never forget seeing you clowning, doing yoga on stage and genuinely loving your job.