Graziella's on Vanderbilt is hands down the tastiest food we've experienced thus far. B's personal veggie pizza was "thin crusted and fired well done" from a "unique wood burning brick oven and topped with fresh basil." Amazing. The crust was bendy, yet crisp, while the cheese and sauce were the first thing I've experienced in Brooklyn that could touch Stony's. My lasagna was "layered with nutmeg-infused Bolognese sauce, béchamel, fresh mozzarella, and topped with parmesan" to my extreme pleasure. It was marvelous and we will return...with our own water, perhaps.
One couldn't ask for a more appropriate introductory to live BK hip hop than the Duck Down showcase last Wednesday at Southpaw. It was the album release party and the Brooklyn premiere swinging of Random Axe, the formidable trio of Brownsville barbarian Sean Price, Detroit underground native Guilty Simpson and fellow Motor City producer phenom and emcee Black Milk. The under bill was a rewarding treat for local heads and hip hop connoisseurs, as Skyzoo (one of Brooklyn's most underrated emcees) spit-vicious through a hype set of passionate rhymes to a charged hometown crowd in promotion of his new The Great Debater mixtape. The night then turned into a Duck Down-Boot Camp Clik-family affair, as Black Moon took the stage, and Buckshot, 5ft and DJ Evil Dee (who kept the crowd moving for the entire evening) performed cut after cut from the '93 classic album Enta Da Stage. They shared the spotlight with fellow Duck Down brethren Steele of Smif-n-Wessun fame, who was promoting the newly released SnW collabo with God-producer Pete Rock, entitled Monumental. Then it was Sean P's Heltah Skeltah cohort, Rock, who added to the 90's BK gathering, donning a snide, almost bitter grin, as he spit a verse or two a capella that was boasting of his own legacy on the m-i-c (the partner-in-rhyme would eventually join Price on stage for an HS reunion at the end of the evening). Label co-founder and Duck Down CEO 'Dru Ha' Friedman even accompanied the performance, rapping a verse from "U Da Man". The vibe in the building was nice, as the crowd and everyone involved on stage was feeling the music and the respect that blossomed along side the flashing cameras and videos. Before Random Axe in its entirety took the stage, Mr. Price, formerly 'Ruck', went on and wrecked his two and half minute banger (one of my favorite joints from all of last year) "Figure Four.'' The "PEEEEEEEs'' being echoed by the crowd (in homage to the baritone moniker "P!'' he so often spews) could have been mistaken for ''boos'' they were so thick! Guilty Simpson followed with his own solo gem, "Clap Your Hands'', a Dilla-produced track from 2006. Joined by Black Milk, the trio then ripped through a good portion of their self-titled debut. It was my first time to hear much of the record and I was thoroughly impressed. Download it on iTunes for your summer soundtrack (peep footage below). P's verses alone are worth the trip. You see, Sean Price has a certain disrespectful aura that innately surrounds his speech and mannerisms; it's almost as if he's talking down to you as he schools you, and in the braggadocio world that is hip hop and emceeing, that holds considerable weight and can be accredited to a man's authenticity. While I may have just lost some of you or perhaps you don't think you would admire such a voice - hear me out. Yes, P is arrogant. Yes Sean Peabody raps about selling and smoking cocaine. Yes I think Jesus Price has probably done some legitimate dirt. Yes he is a bully. Yes he heralds mad respect from his peers. No I wouldn't want to cross him or disrespect him. A veteran of the game, Price is the kind of emcee that I naturally revere because of that air, because of that confidence. And dude can flat out rap. He's beyond seasoned and been around longer than so many paid cats in the industry. I'm sure he can still walk through Brownsville whenever he wants. Last Wednesday was my first time seeing him spit live. He was the only emcee that evening that didn't seem overly excited or aroused about the occasion. It wasn't in an 'I'm too cool to get hype' kind of way either. He is just naturally somewhat private, unenthusiastic and/or extremely fucking cool. His hand mannerisms are sharp and deliberate. They firmly bring home every punch-line and joke. Yes, joke. He's not all about punking dummies and pistol claps. He's actually laugh-out-loud hilarious when he rhymes, but his stare is cold and penetrating. He's probably a real nice dude, but maybe not. I'm about through dick-riding,
|Kimbo Price @Southpaw|
I'm going to leave you with some disturbing, yet not so surprising facts about NYC. Hell, I guess I should've been ready for the shitty service as well, but needing to lock your bike seat to its frame?! My lady and I thought we were prepared for theft, as we scoped the neigborhood and the lock choices before peddling out. We found that U-locks weren't popular and that everyone used a chain, like that of a Kryptonite or something bigger. While we were in Austin two weeks ago, I went to Home Depot and purchased a chain large enough to wrap around both of our frames and front tires when we went out together. However, what we failed to notice was that most everyone has a smaller locking cable or chain that secures the actual bike seat to the frame AND that many people simply detach their seat, along with the
|Yo Crooks & Castles! You can borrow this design :0|
wheel mags to the wheel frame just in case someone goes to eye-balling my 20" beauty and
its clean black shoes. Three locks, one bike. #welcometoNYC