Monday, 14 December 2009


A few songs and videos I'm loving at the moment. Some old, some new but all beauties x
The beautiful Good Shoes- Sorry about the lacking visuals but the song is just perfect

This song, another slice of perfection is the theme tune to my life at the moment. Needless to say, life is good right now


Monday, 28 September 2009


With the arrival of the United States' first black president there was bound to be hype and excitement. Something that I was quite surprised to see was white, middle class British boys wearing Obama t-shirts.
Shepard Fairey's iconic image of President Obama has spread like wildfire all over the world, reaching the smallest pockets of society. His image conjures up memories of Warhol's pop art portrait of Marylin Monroe but unlike Warhol, Fairey himself is relatively unknown.
Frank Shepard Fairey came up through the ranks of graphic design and illustration on the skateboarding scene, designing t-shirts and stickers for his associates. He eventually hit the big time and designed album sleeves and book covers for the likes of Johnny Cash, The Smashing Pumpkins and Led Zepplin.
In the midst of Barrack Obama's 2008 campaign, Fairey's Hope image began to spread. 300,000 stickers and 500,000 posters were sold of the image- testament to the poignancy of the image's connotation. After worldwide circulation, earning Fairey status on the art scene, Fairey was arrested on two warrants for graffiti. Obama's party were unable to use the image in their campaign or be seen to applaud it as the image had been "perpetuated illegally"( Regardless, Fairey achieved a great feat; making politics cool.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Recently on a shopping trip to Spitalfields, my sister and I stumbled upon this fantastic stall selling the most beautiful and unique jewelry. Wonderfully priced at an average of £14 for a necklace, high fashion and funky, signature pieces are affordable for all. All hail the very talented Galibardy!


In this age of materialism and vanity where everyone has to be dressed in a certain way, there is a big market for useless, over priced designer items.Whether it's a diamond studded collar for your Chihuahua or an I-Phone with a white back instead of a black back (umm... why?) we all seem to be buying into whatever the celebrity dictates.
Enter Paul Smith; prestigious and well regarded London designer making his debut in designing water bottles...

Take a minute

Take a few minutes out of your day and watch enviously...

Have rappers finally grown up?

Over the years, rap music has seen some of the most violent and famous feuds resulting in the premature deaths of countless talented musicians. The most documented war was that of West Coast rapper, Tupac Shakur and East Coast rival, Notorious B.I.G. This particular beef resulted in Tupac being killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in September 1996. Notorious denied any involvement but he too was targeted by an unknown in a similar attack shortly after the birth of his first son by singer, Faith Evans. He died of three bullet wounds to his chest in March 1997. It is widely believed that the killing of Notorious was backlash from the murder of Tupac with which Notorious was believed to have been involved.
Several other feuds have consumed headlines and have sparked rivalry between musicians and fans alike. Another famous beef was between New York rappers, Jay Z and Nas. The two had began as friends, making shout outs to one another on their respective albums and were seemingly rising above the hate wars of fellow rappers.
In Jay Z's sixth studio album, 2001's, The Blueprint I (produced by Kanye West) the duo composed a hate track targeted at Nas. The Takeover was the response to months of disrespectful behaviour from Nas and his crew towards Jay Z and Damon Dash (co-founder of Jay-Z's Roc-a-fella Records).
Issues between the two began shortly after the death of New York's most popular rapper, Notorious B.I.G. The void that was left after his death sparked competition between the two rappers and after Jay Z used a line from a Nas song without permission, the relationship began to deteriorate. Jay Z tried to patch things up by inviting Nas to re-record his lyrics as used in the sample but after several no-shows, the Jay Z clan were less than impressed.
The relationship soured further when Nas, who had agreed to put out his 1996 record, The Firm with Roc-a-fella, went behind the backs of Jay Z and Damon Dash and released the album with Aftermath records. Despite all this, Jay Z maintained respect for Nas and mentioned him in his 1997 track, Where I'm From. This was reciprocated by a 1999 track by Nas, We Will Survive which criticised several rappers, including Jay Z.
Jay Z's reatalliaton was an articulate but relentless display of dominance.
So yeah I sampled your voice, you was usin it wrong
You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song
And you ain't get a coin n***a you was gettin f**ked and
I know who I paid God, Serchlite Publishing
Use your - BRAAAAAAAIN! You said you been in this ten
I've been in it five - smarten up Nas
Four albums in ten years n***a? I can divide
That's one every let's say two, two of them sh**s was due
One was - NAHHH, the other was "Illmatic"
That's a one hot album every ten year average
And that's so - LAAAAAAAME! N***a switch up your flow
Your sh*t is garbage, but you try and kick knowledge?
Each verse on this track had 16 lines, the verse directed at Nas had 32. Handbags...!
It took a while for the dust to settle but the feud officially ended with an on stage collaboration in 2005 which saw the start of a beautiful relationship. The duo are now business partners and the sense of both parties meant that the beef never resorted to violence. A case of "keep your friends close, your enemies closer"? You decide.

Friday, 25 September 2009


Mumia Abu Jamal was the president of the Black Journalists Society in Philidelphia at the time of his arrest in 1981. His articles provided a social commentry on the injustice he experienced daily toward black Americans.
Working part time as a taxi driver to supplement his income as a journalist, Mumia made a drop off in the red light district of Philidelphia that changed his life forever.
After taking his customer to his destination, Mumia was about to leave the area when gunshots were heard and Mumia saw his brother staggering on the street nearby. Mumia ran to the scene where he was shot by a uniformed policeman and collapsed, slipping in and out of consciousness. When police arrived, they found a police officer by the name of Faulkner and Mumia with gun shot wounds. Faulkner later died of his injuries. Mumia was immediately arrested and beaten before being taken to a hospital where he recovered fully from his injuries.
When Mumia went to trial, the odds were already stacked against him. Judge Sabo had sent the most defendants to Death Row to date and had subsequently earned the nickname "prosecutor in robes". Mumia's wish to self represent was denied and an unwanted attorney was appointed for him. Mumia was accused of disrupting court proceedings and therefore was disallowed from attending most of his own trial.
Valuable evidence was kept from the courtroom, ensuring that Mumia was painted every inch the villain for the jury. Mumia had a licensed 38 calibre gun but the jury were not told that the bullet that was extracted from Officer Faulkner's brain was from a 44 calibre. The jury were also kept in the dark about an official police document filled out by Officer Gary Wakshul that detailed on the night of Mumia's arrest whilst in hospital "the Negro male made no comments". Officer Wakshul later stated that Mumia had fully confessed to the shooting whilst in hospital, although this came two months after the death of Officer Faulkner and immediately after Mumia filed a complaint for police brutality. Dr. Coletta, the attending physician who did not leave Mumia throughout the duration of his night in hospital said that Mumia never spoke.
Mumia Abu Jamal was sentenced to death and has been fighting for his right for retrail for 28 years. Despite a confession for the shooting in 1999 by Arnold Beverly, Mumia still remains on Death Row.
This man should be free.

The talented youth

My 15 year old brother, Elliot keeps me in the loop these days. He tells me all about musicians to listen to, comedy series to watch and generally keeps me informed about everything I don't have time to keep up with myself.
A few weeks ago, Elliot got me to type in a name to youtube as one of his friends has been filming himself creating spray art. This particular friend of Elliot's is one I used to babysit when he was younger and I was amazed at how accomplished his artwork is.
Tap in sprayart94 to youtube and see 15 year old Joe Vinten do his thing or follow this link.

Beauty lies in the ear of the beholder

Music is tetchy territory for most people. There is so much snobbery involved leading many to hide their true tastes and opinions. We have all been there; you meet someone you want to impress, you gauge as well as you can, based on what their wearing, what kind of music they like and you tell a few white lies in the hope that you "get in there".
I ask myself, after lying through my teeth about my true musical heroes, what's so bad about being honest, sticking to your guns and admitting you like Paramore to someone who clearly thinks they're crap? Seriously?
With my new found desire to be honest in my opinions of what I think to be brilliant music, I am going to shamelessly plug a few of my favourite musicians.

QN5. This is a record label bursting at the seams with musical and artistic ability. Founded by rapper and producer, Tonedeff who currently holds the record for fastest rapper in the world, this label will change the way you listen to and perceive rap and hip-hop music. It's great to see so much heart in rap. For the first time, in my experience, rap becomes more than abuse and with musical samples taken from classical tracks and layered, soulful vocals, QN5 make rap something other than just being about the bling and the bitches. CunninLynguists, PackFM, Substantial, Mr. SOS and Kokayi complete the crew and you'll need to prepare yourself for the musical treasures you'll uncover by hitting their site.

Blood Red Shoes. The Brighton duo deliver punchy, pop-punk for all to delight in. Laura-Mary effortlessly conveys real emotion and from her shrill screams of "I! CAN'T! CONCENTRATE! ON! ANYTHING! AT! ALL!" in "ADHD" to her forgiving and supportive vocals in "Hope You're Holding Up", she embodies all of the emotions gone through by every woman. As for the irritatingly talented Steven, his drumming on this album is first class not to mention his impassioned lyrics. The song "Say Something, Say Anything" is beautifully written and one of several gems on their debut, "Box Of Secrets".

Laura Marling. For those of you that haven't heard of this girl, get down to your local music store and get acquainted with the dulcet tones of Laura Marling. Lay down and lose yourself listening to her voice and you'll find her lyrics are as if she's singing just for you, beautifully articulating the words you'd wish you'd found first. Produced by Charlie Fink (frontman of Noah and the Whale), it's only a matter of time before this girl gets propelled into the limelight.

Not quite Romeo & Juliet

How much is right to share with someone you don't know all that well? It's a tricky one because I like to think I'm a very open person, willing to share anything with anyone (don't get excited, bank details and pin numbers I prefer to keep to myself). The reason for my query is because after getting rather drunk on my second night in my new home of the Winchester University campus, I have had flashbacks of very personal conversations with people I'd met earlier that day.
The sweethearted girl who politely invited me over to her halls for a few drinks before the obligatory attendance to the clubnight "BOP" I'm sure did not anticipate that our attempts of getting to know one another would get so graphic. Whilst getting ready for my first night on the tiles in Winchester, I had a couple of drinks to steady my nerves, so was warmed up by my arrival at her place at nine. The first problem was getting into her building. Locked out and swaying slightly, I saw no alternative but to shout from below in the hope that she'd hear and rescue me. After a few calls in a, in my view, polite but assertive manner, I was swiftly told to "Fuck off" by a neighbour who looked as if they might be trying to conduct romantic intimacies in the room directly next to the front door. A little flushed from such a direct and unforgiving encounter, I regained enough sense to think to use my mobile telephone device to contact my new friend to notify her of my arrival. Oh isn't technology a marvellous thing?
I would love to be able to say that things improved, but I would then be lying. I was greeted with a scene of carnage in the communal kitchen. Two guys and three girls screaming "CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!" at a fourth girl who was pinching her nose and gulping a curdled concoction of what I later discovered was red wine, vodka and a cheap, knock-off of Baileys liqueur. Well, if you can't beat them...!
Many more drinks later and I find myself on a small balcony with my new friend. The topic of music comes up, is discussed and is then replaced by the topic of film. This is safe ground.
The discussion then takes a slightly dark turn as we pass comment on the prescence of a nurse at our enrolment earlier that day. I said that I was intimidated by the fact she was armed with thousands of pee-pots and from that point in the conversation, it all becomes one big blur of personal, distasteful conversation, the only area of which I remember is discussing the fine details of sexual health screenings and the instruments, condiments and sensations it's affiliated with.
I'm no expert, but I think the "keep-some-stuff-to-yourself" etiquette was blown well and truly out of the water.