The mind is grossly underestimated with how it can physically push our abilities to perform at a top level. There are the majority that subconsciously set their own boundaries in what we can achieve and then there are the chosen few that know they can reach much more beyond that unreachable point where they find themselves almost completely alone. These people are known as the best of the best, the Michael Jordan of their craft and future legends that will be surely be written in our history books to come.
This man right here is none other than DJ Q-Bert. He is not only named after that intolerable 80′s video game character but quite frankly he is the best turntablist to grace our planet. To say Q-Bert is important to DJing is a total understatement. Quite frankly modern day scratching (I am not talking ass play) wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for this Filipino-American man. He helped pioneer and cultivate something so simple as moving a record back and forth that it’s finally being recognized as a musical instrument among the naysayers and predecessors.
It has been a long 13 years since the release of his last album Wave Twister (the first turntablism based musical) and through the powers of Kickstarter, Q was able to reach his goal in helping create his newest album Extraterrestria/Galaxxxian featuring the likes of Kool Keith, Del The Funkyhomosapien, El-P and Bambu just to name a few.
I prided myself at one point in knowing hip-hop music but there is always that growth period where music stays at steady age and rustic minds get stubborn in not recognizing that cool sound. But sometimes good music is just too good to ignore and regardless of the age brackets, you can’t help but bounce to that beat of everlasting bass and good lyrics. After a 20 minute set with mellow chants of “I ain’t got no money. Say it”, I insistently became a fan of Bambu which was undoubtedly the highlight of my night.
There is a part where Bambu had that Twista moment. That “diggita-diggita-diggita-diggita-diggita-diggita” rapid word flow just blasting people in the face with lyrical content. It’s a healthy reminder that the soul of hip-hop still lives strong and there are people that still choose to fight that good fight in keeping the culture intact. Remember, hip-hop is four elements…and two of them were beautifully showcased that night.
Giants weapon of choice has always been an interesting one. People say the pen is mightier than the sword but if you used a Sharpie as your sole line of defense, you’ll realize how much of a difficult thing that can be. We’ve all used a Sharpie before. Set the tip down for an ample amount time and watch the ink bleed profusely. Quickly strike it in the direction you want and you get tack sharp lining as if it came out of a computer printer. With Mike you will never see a bleeding line…ever.
I actually didn’t even get to talk to Mike in regards to his latest works. It seems Bobby had more of an in depth discussion with him than I did. “Hey man” and “Thanks for the photo” hardly holds as conversations these days, but I’ll take a half ass stab in why I think he drew what he drew.
I believe this was all a reminder to his audience that he can literally draw anything in the god damn friggin’ world. Corporate logos…got it! Iron Maiden zombie axe killer…easy! Popeye The Sailor Man…what am I? An asshole?! Or it could be a conglomeration of all the cultural influences that he’s experienced in his lifetime. Or it could be a little bit of both.
Rumor has it that Mike has already set his sights on Colorado after only living in LA for a couple of months. As he continues his journey in seeking his own self virtue, it’s always nice that he blesses us with his work at his second home in San Francisco. To see it all in the flesh, make sure to hit up FFDG. Be sure and tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya.
Being original has always been more of a falsified mantra for me rather than a true testament of my lifestyle. After all, I am the Chinese guy that got a dragon tattoo on my arm cause I thought I didn’t look like that Chinese guy that would have a dragon tattoo on my arm (when I actually do). So when it came for me to choose my first international trip to any part of the world, I chose Iceland to be, well…original. Ironically I found myself smack dab in a bustling destination hub visited by Europeans, Asians and this one ugly American. Suffice to say, Iceland has been on everyone’s radar for some time and I just didn’t know about it. Rookie traveler status yo.
Welcome to the city of Reykjavik (make sure to roll that “R”….Rrrrreykjavik). The largest and busiest city in all of Iceland with a population of only about 120,000 people. Even as a whole, Iceland adds up to only about 320,000 people which is comparable to the amount of people living in Riverside (LA).
From naked eye, Reykjavik seems all too familiar. Turn to look down the street and the view is almost comparable to something you can find in Lake Tahoe. Turn your head the other direction you’d swear you were in Minnesota. At times it almost felt like I never left the US.
One of the bigger surprises of this city is the onslaught of graffiti that seems to be almost everywhere. I tried to put two and two together but the influences of hip-hop culture was almost non existent here, whether it be the music or even the fashion. So where did this all come from? I think in its purity, this is all just true vandalism. Getting up for the sake up getting up and strangely it didn’t even tarnish the city at all. Tags and pieces seem to fit in its proper spots where the rest of the town still seemed almost unscathed. It also helps that there literally is never any cops around at all.
But what Iceland is known for as far as tourism goes is its monumental sights and landscapes. From the waterfalls to the glaciers to the natural hot springs, there is really only two ways in seeing it all. It’s either rent a car with GPS and a map in hand or saddle up in one of these huge buses on a daily basis and let the bus driver be your guide.
Psychologist say the mind projects what you see with what you feel on the inside. So is this a four man band or are two men jerkin’ it while some guys takes a huge dick to the face?
Beer seemed almost as important as the coffee here. The vast amount of cafes sprawled around the city were all equipped with your native stouts and IPAs. I wasn’t too keen on their late night eats as most closed precisely at 10pm but on weekdays, you can find most bars open all the way till 4am.
I know they say when in Rome but I my stomach just couldn’t handle whale meat. A few bites in and it just didn’t sit well like the processed chicken and slaughtered bullshit fed beef we have at home in the states. I kept telling myself that it was just steak by buttonhole said otherwise later on that night.
As a recommendation of sorts for Iceland, this is a country you can definitely experience and conquer in only 5 days. It’s quite gratifying to know that as much as I’ve loved this trip from beginning to end that I practically will never have to come back ever again. You really can’t say that about a lot of places. I think the bug is in me though as I now set my sights on somewhere hotter. Maybe it’s time to finally step into the jungles of Africa or pea in Mediterranean waters. We’ll see where we go later in the year.