Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Corner Boy Jazz! Thank You, Sponsors!

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It's been a great year for Corner Boy Jazz. We made some money off ads. We surpassed our goal of 10, 000 hits before the new year (I've been up and running since the summer time). We've touched on some good topics.

This year, Corner Boy's got five resolutions. Here they are:

1. 100, 000 hits by January 2011
2. Syndication on a media website
3. 100 subscribers
4. Adding two more publications to my list of places my byline has appeared
5. Having fun...

Fantastic but doable...

Now, most importantly, I'd like to thanks Corner Boy's wonderful sponsors (subscribers and visitors that I know of)....

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NubianMonarch, Tha King, Jason Brown, Latoya Tavernier, msladydeborah, Seree Fofana, Brook Stephenson, Jedi Nemesis, Kimberly Parris, Lynne Strachan, Lindsay Strachan, Andrew Belton, Noah Barnes, Ben Becker, Jude Somefun, Darius Mensah, Tremayne St. Kitts, Jasmine Wade, Florida Henderson, Mr. Jeff Dess, Maria Elena Montero, Michael Gonzales, Arjun Kaul, Danielle Flores, Nicole Cojuangco, Abed Bhuyan, David Hobgood, Alyssa Niccolini, Jami Strachan, Amari Johnson, Eric Jordan, Maya Pindyck, Marcus Reeves,  Abdul Fofana, Seree Fofana, Christine Maxon, Sabrina Thompson, Sarah Cooley, Joanna Chin, Ursula Goldson, Ally Hurder, Angelo Gulotta, Jessica Endlich, Stacey Chapman, The Students of FDA VII, Alexandra Hernandez, Brook Griffin, Jenn Martinez, Lethy Liriano, Keith Jackson, Victor LaValle, Michael Obel-Omia...

Whew! And I forgot mad people (not by design). If I forgot you, please send me a message, preferably a mean one lol and I'll shout you out. Happy New Years!

Spike Lee calls out Tyler Perry

In this clip, Spike Lee refers to the films of Tyler Perry as "coonery and bufoonery" and though I tend to agree (only sometimes because you gotta admit Tyler Perry's ish is entertaining), isn't this a classic case of Black professionals battling when they should be working together? Seriously, a wise man told me not to argue with fools because people from a distance won't know who's who? Spike Lee, Tyler Perry...who's who?

Free Nneka & J. Period Mixtape

Tis the season for free mixtapes fa la la la la la la la la....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lebron, Kobe Holiday Commercial

I caught samples of Blackstar's "Definition", Slick Rick's "La-Di-Da-Di", BDP's "The Bridge is Over", and some good ol' Texas screw. What samples did you catch?

Remembering Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield is one of my all time get through the day artists. Here's an inspirational piece from journalist Michael Gonzales comemorating his life... 

Remembering Curtis Mayfield on the 10th Anniversary of his Death

curtis mayfield 35.jpg 
By Michael Gonzales 

Unlike the deaths of musical icons like Elvis Presley, John Lennon or Michael Jackson, there was not much fanfare when soul brother Curtis Mayfield died—ten years ago on December 26, 1999 —at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Georgia. At the age of fifty-seven, after more than four decades of songwriting, production and performance, the man whose friends nicknamed “the gentle genius” was gone.

Outside of old soul radio stations, not many seemed to care that the Mayfield was gone. Where were the distraught fans clutching photos of the bespectacled brown-skinned man while candles blew in the winter wind? Where were the urban troubadours strumming songs like “People Get Ready” or “Choice of Colors” on acoustic guitar? Where were the VH1 specials featuring neo-soulsters Lenny Kravitz, D’Angelo, John Legend, Joss Stone, Jill Scott and Maxwell talking how Mayfield’s musical magic and angelic voice had inspired their own creative spirits?
While Mayfield’s death and subsequent cremation a few days later became nothing more than a footnote in the national consciousness, I sat on the couch in my mom’s Baltimore living room and shed a few tears for the fallen artist. As memories of Mayfield rushed to my head, I was transported back to the Harlem hood of my youth where I first bought the Super Fly soundtrack album at Mr. Freddy’s Soul Shack in 1972, when I was nine.
For the rest of this story, go to:

Air Scare

Man threatens to blow up plane in Detroit. Terrorist alert back to red for no reason. Unjust Islamophobia in full effect. In the words of anonymous tweeter, "pretty soon we'll be required to fly naked."

Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom

Alicia Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom on December 15th. Though it seems there hasn't been a much fanfare for this album as previous ones, it debuted at number two on the Billboard charts selling over 417, 000 copies in its first week. As the R&B chanteuse gets more and more mature, she leans more towards stripped down piano melodies instead of uptempo Hip-Hop production. She even renders her version of her duet Jay-Z "Empire State of Mind" solely on piano. Highlights of the include the radio hit, "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart" and celestial "Love is Blind".

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sir Shadow

My roommate, Noah, has this art piece that he hung in the living room. It's kinda like a black & white contour of a band of a jazz band. It's really visually appealing, but I didn't think anything of it until Noah said the artist, Sir Shadow, drew the picture with just one line. Amazing! As you predicted, I had to google him and I found out some his collectors include Oprah Winfrey, Lauryn Hill, Diana Ross and many others. Here's a little sample of his work...

Black Unemployment

Here's the latest from AP National Writer Jesse Washington...

Black advocates want more help for the unemployed

The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 23, 2009; 12:28 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- In the battle against black unemployment, places like the Opportunities Industrialization Center are ground zero.

Savory aromas wafted from a king-size kitchen one recent day as the instructor demonstrated a fish recipe to a dozen aspiring cooks. Nearby, a mock hotel room was waiting to be cleaned. Downstairs, electrical fixtures hung from an exposed wall, ready to be wired.

Here, the goal is "helping people help themselves" through literacy programs and training for hotel, clerical, building, retail and other jobs.

"We have to give people transferable skills," said Robert C. Nelson, president and CEO of the Philadelphia OIC.

There is a growing outcry among black advocates for the Obama administration to target black joblessness with similar training programs and direct job creation.

Black unemployment has climbed from 8.9 percent to 15.6 percent since the recession began in December 2007. In comparison, the nation's overall rate has risen from 4.9 to 10.0 percent. The white rate climbed from 4.4 percent to 9.3 percent.

Although the gap between black and white unemployment has narrowed, there has been a 1.2 percent decline in the black labor force participation rate, more than any other group - which means that fewer blacks are even looking for work. That has held down the black unemployment rate, because such "discouraged workers" are not included in unemployment statistics.

The Congressional Black Caucus recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for $139 billion in unused bank bailout funds to be spent on a long list of training programs and job-creation efforts, including jobs directly created with federal dollars.

It would be unconstitutional to designate aid or jobs specifically for blacks, so the CBC is asking for at least 10 percent of various funds to be spent in areas where 20 percent of the population is below the poverty line.

That includes much of North Philadelphia, where the OIC headquarters is located. There are 41 other nonprofit OIC offices around the country, where the focus is on learning basic trades - plus intangible "soft skills" like a positive attitude, punctuality and conflict resolution.

Philadelphia is one of 11 OIC affiliates that are part of a $22 million proposal to the Labor Department, submitted by the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, to train as many as 12,000 people for jobs in health care, infrastructure improvement and renewable energy.

"Sometimes we think, 'Because I'm black I deserve a job,'" Nelson said. "No, we deserve a job if we're qualified. And who's going to qualify us? Us!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

FREE MIXTAPE: eLZhi The Leftovers Unmixedtape

a.k.a THAT DUDE from Slum Village
download it...inhale it...exhale it...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MF Doom's Unexpected Guests

It's been a long time....shouldn't have left you...without a hot review to step to...

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By now cyber cobwebs of Doom obscurities clutter the corners of backpack rap servers across the World Wide Web. Whether it’s by the blue-collar thump of a dizzy beat or the dungeon encapsulated vocals of a daft sixteen, MF’s musical DNA is widespread. Therefore, the ragtag assembly of booth sharers on Doom’s latest spoon of verbal nonsequitors, Unexpected Guests, is actually quite expected. After all, Doom has figuratively lent flour to everybody who’s anybody in organic Hip-Hop. So the Bronx bred emcee-lama’s shot-in-the-dark attempt to staple gun a theme to this record of miscellaneous collabos has been spotted and thwarted.

The product of an esoteric selection process, Unexpected Guests, plays more like a cipher than a concept album. Guests are scattered by region (Jake One from Seattle, Count Bass D from Tennessee), era (De La Soul from the Golden 80’s, Wu-Tang Clan from the Golden 90’s, and Vast Aire from the so-so 2000’s), and popularity (Kurious…who, Invizible Handz, sorta, and Talib Kweli, no doubt) adding further madness to the method. Gratefully, all of Doom’s visitors share the same bionic-bar approach. De La Soul show off some virtuosity as Pos and Trugoy make beat-riding look easy on “Rock Co. Kane Flow” even as the tempo of the song increases, and Talib basically performs lyrical jiu jitsu on “Fly That Knot”.

Of course, Doom’s bars, with their cryptic and poetic double entendres--still thrive as well. In “All Outta Ale,” Doom says he’s at home with his lady and tries “to duke her daily/ until she tried to flail me with her ukulele.” He waves his production wand on “Sorcerers” featuring Invizible Handz, in which he boosts his own instrumental “Licorice” from the Special Herbs project and converts it into a laid back crew cut.

Unexpected Guests, however, is still defining itself thematically. The disconnectedness of the album’s track listing makes for a janky play-through. Also, the cartoonish interjections of “Doom’s as evil as ever” jacked straight from the Fantastic Four mid-seventies radio show are almost as annoying (but maybe slightly catchy) as those mid-90’s mixtape yelps of “Clue!” Unexpected Guests has the lyrical yolk of an album, but the loose ends of a mixtape. Plus, the most stoic of Doom fans have already excavated these gems a long time ago.

-Sidik Fofana

The Imagination

Here's a dandy from Hip-Hop/Electronica Producer Theimagination (A fellow teacher) out of Brooklyn. The song is called "Movements" from the album of the same name and I must say I'm really digging the alternative culture portrayed in the video. Enjoy...

Movements from CultureDigitaL on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

100 Greatest Wire Quotes Part 2

...don't front, you've been waiting for the sequel...

The Latin Version of the Roots

I'm feeling this group... I'm feeling this video... The band is called Art Official and they're from Miami, FL and they really do have that The Roots meets Carlos Santana vibe. Their album peaked at #4 on the Japan charts. This one's called "Big City, Bright Lights".

Emek, The Thinking Man's Poster Artist

Emek, the Israeli visual artist, responsible for rad artwork for the Grateful Dead, Ben Harper, Good Charlotte and so on has signed on to give Badu another commissioned album cover. If you can recall he did a brand spanking wonderful job with the first New Amerykah CD. Let's take a quick cyber gallery walk through his collection, shall we?

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The last Badu cover...

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Pretty deep shit, eh?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bergen Street Comics

Was on my way to coach a little league basketball game when I saw that Bergen Street Comics moved into town between Flatbush and 5th Ave in Brooklyn. They got all the goodies in this spot. Graphic novels, superhero comics, everything. I settled with Larry Gonick's The Cartoon History of the Modern World and a graphic biography of J. Edgar Hoover. Best believe I'm going to be a regular patron...

The Ultimate Thelonious

Robin D.G. Kelley, my old professor from college has a new book out on Thelonious Monk! Man, D.G. was a cool professor. I remember I was taking his Jazz class and he invited us to his lovely NY apartment for dinner (he prepared the meal himself). That night, I told him that I acknowledged him in a poetry chapbook that I had self-published. "To Professor Kelley, who finally gave me a role model who doesn't wear a dangling chain," it said. To which D.G. replied, "Thanks! But I guess you don't know about the platinum chains I got in my room..." And he bought my rag-tag poetry book. Cool guy...

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Buy it on Amazon.

Take My Name Off Your Phone

Alas, it has come to this...the Tiger Woods R&B song...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ms. Badu...Now I Can Die In Peace!

You guessed it...I met Erykah Badu in person tonight and she called me, "Sidik"! She's coming out with a new album and yours truly gets to do the bio again. The new joint is called New Amerykah: Return of the Ankh and judging from what I heard at the listening party (where I saw Corinne Bailey Rae, Dame Dash, and others and yes I'm namedropping, unabashedly)...shit is a gem. My favorite quote of the night from her: "Please don't record any of this music on your cell phone or laptop...let a bitch make some money!"


SNL is wrong for this one (lol but so right)....

Top 50 Current NBA Players according to Sporting News

I pretty much agree with Sporting News on this. Lists like these are always great conversation starters...

NBA's Top 50 Players: All-Star Panel Picks Kobe Bryant No. 1 Over LeBron James

Kobe Bryant
Kobe or LeBron? LeBron or Kobe? Trying to settle on the best player in the NBA -- Lakers guard Kobe Bryant or Cavaliers forward LeBron James -- is no easy choice.
But, according to Sporting News' panel of experts, Bryant is the clear-cut No. 1. Bryant tops SN’s list of the 50 greatest players in the NBA today, as selected by a panel of 107 Hall of Famers, major award winners, executives, current players and coaches and other basketball experts.
Bryant received almost twice as many first-place votes as James, 62 to 34.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade was third on the list and received 11 first-place votes. Magic center Dwight Howard was fourth, and Spurs power forward Tim Duncan fifth.

Rounding out the top 10: Hornets point guard Chris Paul, Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett, Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki, Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony, and Celtics small forward Paul Pierce.
"I think what we've seen from Kobe in the last two, three years is that he has become an incredible leader," former Lakers great Magic Johnson said about Bryant. "That was the only thing he had to do that was left on his resume. Before, there was no question that he was the best basketball player in the world, like he is now. He was dominant every night, but he didn’t take on that leadership role. ... Now, he is the total package."
SN's Top 50 breakdown
By team
5: Lakers
4: Celtics, Spurs
3: Hawks, Nuggets, Rockets
2: Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Jazz, Magic, Mavericks, Pistons, Raptors, 76ers, Suns
1: Bulls, Bucks, Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Nets, Pacers, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Wizards
0: Bobcats, Kings, Knicks, Timberwolves, Warriors
By position
Point guard: 11
Shooting guard: 12
Small forward: 11
Power forward: 10
Center: 6


1. Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
2. LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers
3. Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
4. Dwight Howard, C, Magic
5. Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs
6. Chris Paul, PG, Hornets
7. Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics
8. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
9. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets
10. Paul Pierce, SF, Celtics
11. Steve Nash, PG, Suns
12. Deron Williams, PG, Jazz
13. Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
14. Brandon Roy, SG, Trail Blazers
15. Yao Ming, C, Rockets
16. Shaquille O'Neal, C, Cavaliers
17. Pau Gasol, PF, Lakers
18. Chris Bosh, PF, Raptors
19. Amare Stoudemire, PF, Suns
20. Chauncey Billups, PG, Nuggets
21. Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder
22. Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs
23. Jason Kidd, PG, Mavericks
24. Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets
25. Joe Johnson, SG, Hawks
26. Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
27. Ray Allen, SG, Celtics
28. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards
29. Ron Artest, SF, Lakers
30. Vince Carter, SG, Magic
31. Danny Granger, SF, Pacers
32. Baron Davis, PG, Clippers
33. Devin Harris, PG, Nets
34. Ben Gordon, SG, Pistons
35. Al Horford, C, Hawks
36. Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz
37. Nene, C, Nuggets
38. Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
39. Andre Iguodala, SG, 76ers
40. Josh Smith, PF, Hawks
41. Rudy Gay, SF, Grizzlies
42. Hedo Turkoglu, SF, Raptors
43. Lamar Odom, SF, Lakers
44. Shane Battier, SF, Rockets
45. Elton Brand, PF, 76ers
46. Richard Jefferson, SF, Spurs
47. O.J. Mayo, SG, Grizzlies
48. Charlie Villanueva, PF, Pistons
49. Michael Redd, SG, Bucks
50. Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers

Sunday, December 6, 2009

That's What I Call an NBA Week

Kobe hits the game winning shot against the Miami Heat. Sometimes you can play perfect defense and the great ones still torch you...

Now didn't I tell you Iverson would be back?

What a great player. My man cried during the press conference after Philly resigned him. This joint brought me to tears....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Almost chewed out a kid today because he came into the teacher’s lounge with some “You heard Tiger Woods been cheating on his wife?” which made me snap and defend, “His wife was using the golf club to pry him out…you and the media are trying to make something out of nothing. Now get the hell out of the teacher’s lounge!” Almost gave him demerits. Almost gave him detention. Almost recommended for superintendent suspension.

Then I read this…
“Jaimee Grubbs has also stated that she had sex with Tiger Woods twenty times and that the two engaged in the practice of sexting.”



She counted?

Sorry, I got off topic for a second. Squeaky clean Tiger? Well, as we learned with Chris Brown beware of the squeaky clean guy. BECAUSE NOBODY IS SQUEAKY CLEAN! Plus Tiger has a billion dollars. Panties get tossed at him like horseshoes in a barn. You expect a man not to succumb to that? Just like my history teacher told me in eleventh grade, “Great men are great fuckers.” It was my favorite quote back then because it had the word “fuck” in it.

But now it makes perfect sense.

Afghan News

U.S. troops patrol Wednesday in Kabul. President Obama's plan will send 30,000 U.S. reinforcements.

The latest from Afghanistan courtesy of USA Today...with my edits in bold of course :)

"The main thing is when you make a concerted effort to attack into fortified (helpless) areas … you are going to take more casualties," said Fred Kagan, who helped produce an assessment of Afghanistan for Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the plan gives him enough time to achieve results (stall). "I believe that by next summer the uplift of new forces will (not) make a difference on the ground significantly," McChrystal said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he expects to see "measurable progress (decline)" over the next 18 to 24 months.

The military hopes to seize the initiative from insurgents (innocent civilians), reduce increase violence and build adequate (unnecessary) security forces so they can begin a transition to Afghan security forces by mid-2011.

Many of the 30,000 reinforcements will be headed to the contentious (neutral) south.

U.S. forces are (not) likely to encounter resistance as they enter areas that have not had a strong NATO presence. For example, Marines have secured much of the Helmand River Valley, but don't have enough forces to clear Marjah, a rural district that has become an insurgent (uninhabited) stronghold.

...any questions :) ?

Facebooking at the Altar

Thanks for the forward, Ben! Now this is what I call updating your status...