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Live by the FunK

I first met DāM-FunK at Cinespace in LA some time in 2007. He was something I never saw before, a funked out space alien with turntables, shouting out the names of $200 records as he played for a crowd of hipsters. Well, the man, a former Inglewood hip-hop keyboardists, now key-tarist, has made some big strides in his career and is the modern day incarnation of a funk artists. And instead of playing for other people at Cinespace,  he has his own long running L.A. residency called Funkmosphere.

I caught up with DāM-FunK before he stopped in Houston (for those taking notes, si…I’m in Houston now, but more on that later.)  Here’s what we talked about. Full interview at Houston Press.

Rocks Off: So what happened after you saw that tweet about modern funk, and why was it incorrect in your opinion?
DāM-FunK: One of the guys on Twitter was like “Nah, you can’t forget about Dam-Funk.” So, it’s like it caused a little lightening storm a couple of days ago and I watched it. I would hope that people, the historians, writers and critics can keep the facts straight because now they’re going to try to use “modern funk” as the term now, because they know they can’t say neo-soul any more.

And I just hope that people don’t forget about some of the funk that really is happening with synthesizers, drum machines, and beautiful chords. It’s not the chicken scratch type style of funk or soul that was considered modern funk. So the guy from Jimmy Fallon’s show, he incorrectly is trying to change history — innocently if you will — because I think right now people are just do excited that D’Angelo dropped this record.

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In Japan you might be safe sleeping in the streets

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The homie Masaaki continues to send me photo dispatches from Japan.

Here is a shot taken some time after party hours at the Ueno St station.

Masaa tells me in Spanish (because he’s still learning English and my Japanese isn’t so good): “Aqui en japon nunca pasa robar su pertenencia aun que persona durmiendo en la calle somos seguro.”

Basically, he says that Japan is so safe at night that you can become slouched somewhere in public and chances are slim to none that someone will run your pockets.

Nice.

Why can’t we be down with big robots, too?

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It’s almost an injustice that our society doesn’t respect giant robots as much as the Japanese. I mean, would you see  a display like this in front of the local mall in New Jersey? Probably not. Ever. Like in a million years. This photo was shot recent in Shinjuku.

We just don’t like big ass robots, and I don’t know why. It killed “Pacific Rim” at the box office this summer and it made a really dope movie like “Iron Giant” a flop at the box office when it dropped some 13 years ago.

Long live big ass robots, yo. The Japanese can’t be wrong.

Photo by: Masaaki S.

Officer Big Mac

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It’s the little things you remember when you were growing up. For instance, there was a time when there was no McDonald’s on the Garden State Parkway. I remember when this quasi-rest stop was new.

It had a vibrant Mickey D’s display with a bunch of characters. I thought it was ironic that the law enforcement character was behind bars, but I know it was probably for his own protection.

 

Even though I go here almost never, the McDonald’s near exit 142 on the GSP will always hold a special place in my heart.

I just hope they keep the caged Officer Big Mac forever.

For Chris

 

When I heard the song that plays in this clip recently, I cried on some “I hope nobody notices” type shit.

One of my youngest cousins died last month. You probably didn’t know him, but  I swear he was a special kid.

Barely into his 20s.

A bad turn on a foggy highway near dawn was all it took to end his life.

Chris was the kind of young dude who kept you in his world. What’s that mean? It means he was engaging without forcing it and made you laugh without even trying. He was a genuine spirit and I’ll always miss him.

 

 

El Chicanito Passes

 

This is becoming a memorial blog of sorts. But I guess it’s that time that notables are moving on to paradise. Today we lost South Central Los Angeles boxing legend Genaro “El Chicanito” Hernández, a super star who only lost two fights in his career.

 

May his power inspire forever.

 

h/t Ajiiiplatinum

Free ¨Lucha Libre NYC¨ Presentation

See the rest of the site at http://www.luchalibrenyc.com

It´s going down Ralph McDaniels style at Columbia University this Tuesday evening, May 17. Come out and show support for the best new website that reports on the Lucha Libre scene, an underground wrestling spectacle, right here in Nueva York.

Go to 1:22 in this video to see one of the first examples of a superstar luchadore in NYC:

Drop a comment below, if you want to know exact place and time.