Eardrum Lives Up To The Hype...

i finally got EARDRUM yesterday...
it's a nice record. a few joints ("Hostile Gospel [deliver us]", "Give 'Em Hell", "In The Mood", "Eat To Live", and "Country Cousins") stand out at the moment. in what his press release calls a "career defining album" with "hard hitting beats and inventive rhymes that serve to not only entertain, but also to educate" Kweli holds up his end of it, dropping a nice, classic record. critics will no doubt compare this record unfavorably to Reflection Eternal's Train Of Thought or the Blackstar album (that Kweli created with Hi-Tek and the mighty Mos Def, respectively), but i would say this record is a return to that kind of glory (not the height, but the type...). while Mos is conspicuously absent, Hi-Tek and a slew of other guests keep the balance, well BALANCED!

i like Kweli, and this record is what i've come to expect from him. like many of the artists i like, Kweli bashes christianity often. i don't get mad about it, because the church needs reform. i'm happy to elaborate if you wanna know how i feel about all that... on topic, i already have some of the songs on here (Talib gave away songs FREE on "LIBeration" w/MadLib and the "BlackSmith: The Movement" mixtape w/StongArmSteady, Jean Grae etc), and know many from mySpace promos...

with the bonus tracks, Eardrum weighs in at a slightly bloated 20 songs. if you cut 7 songs, it'd be a near-perfect outing... as is, a little long with little too much filler to be considered perfect. all said, a step in the right direction for an artist who constantly insists he is not a solo artist. instead, Kweli insists he is "a frontman for a group of artists, lovers, poets and regular everyday folk that make up my body of work." As a person who believes that most of today's solo hip hop artists belong in groups not on their own, i applaud Kweli's attitude... and as long as Kweli is unable to get together with co-conspirators like Mos and Tek, records like this one will do in a pinch.
holla!
samax.

www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

"Eazy access, baby..."

the Associated Press is reporting that laws banning saggy pants are gaining popularity all over the nation. that's right: it is actually a freaking CRIME to wear pants hung low in several cities right now!
before you laugh, check your local paper, homie! such laws are in the works in places like Trenton, NJ and Atlanta, GA... so get ready to get rousted by the cops (again) when you're not even doing anything (again!)... because that steelo you have become accusomed to is about to make you public enemy number 1 (again...)

watch your back.
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

Hip Hop Education: Scratch

Scratch (SKRACH) v. using the fader and rapid coordinated hand movements as part of a technique of hip hop dee jays (see also turntablist) that turns the turn tables into a true musical instrument. scratch, scratching. ex "What good's a deejay if he can't scratch?"

of the many tools of a good hipHop deejay, Scratching is definitely the most recognizable and, many say, the most difficult to master "You have lots of people who can mix and they think they are great DJs. However, ask them to scratch and they act like it is beneath them, but in actuality it is a lot harder than it looks..." comments a deejay on youTube...

but as this video shows, you CAN learn it:


holla!!!
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

classic Immortal Technique!


Bin Laden by Immortal Technique
have a nice day (LOL!)
-gM

Preorder "Spontaneous'!

the Urban Arts Festival was a big success! thanks again to the fam at ArtLoveMagic.com for makin' it blend, and props to each and every art afficianado in attendance!
of course, ghettoManga was in the house, promoting the debut issue of

Spontaneous-
which will be ready September 22nd... and just like those lucky fools at the Festival, you can save five bucks by pre-orderin' this FULL COLOR 64 page monster for $35 (it will go up to $40 after the 22nd, or if you cop it in stores...) , just click the link below

instead of showing the cover here, i'm showing the table of contents, so you can know just what to expect... but basicly, it's 90% of the sketches/illustrations/designs from my blogs/websites and many joints never seen anywhere, homie! so cop that!









holla!!!
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

that Boogey Man shit...

Cornel West and the Mighty Mos Def on Bill Maher.

Hip Hop Education: Battle

since many of my readers are not into hip hop (samax, i just don't get it?), i'll take on the task of teachin'... where to start? oh, i know!

Battle (BAT uhl) n. competitive contest between two hip hop artists (usually rappers, but dancers, deejays and graf writers also battle), where ultimate victory is decided by applause. despite deriving its name from a term which denotes physical combat, battles usually (but not always) remain peaceful. to prevent anymosity (as words can get harsh in a battle, see also "Beef"), it is customary for opponents to give each other a handshake (see also "Dap") afterwards. (ex. "You gone get in that BATTLE on monday night at the Carribean Grill, right?")

v. to compete in a battle (ex. "this cat act like he wanna BATTLE me?")
here, Wordsworth (Lyricist Lounge) is battling a random dude on the street outside a taping...

stay tuned for more hip hop education, from your friends at ghettoManga!
peace.
samax.

another video that doesn't suck...

"Struggles" Eternia feat. Wordsworth, Kenn Starr


holla!
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

carryin' the Cross


one of my favorite artists ever is ChrisCross. no, not the mack daddy and the daddy mack, i'm talkin' about the comic book artist probably best known for his jaw-dropping work on Captain Marvel (written by Peter David and colored beautifully by Chris Sotomayor) for Marvel, and Firestorm (with writer Dan Jolley and inker John Dell) for DC.
I was first exposed to his work on Heroes (not the teevee show!), the short-lived spinoff of Shadow Cabinet published by Milestone Comics in the nineties. it was clear that he had a love of anime/manga storytelling techniques, and his energetic pencilling has only evolved over the years. not long after that, he did one of the influential books of my life in the opus-worthy XERO with Priest in the late Nineties. the title character is Coletrane "Train" Walker- a professional basketball player of Lebron-like proportions who is as controversial as Michael Vick for his general badassness, and who also just so happens to put on a white faced prosthetic mask and kill people as a costumed bionic-powered government operative who can walk on water, phase through walls, and pull your medical records just by looking you in the eye!
XERO is one of the best comics i've ever read. it should be reprinted and collected into trade, because it would have the kind of effect (on a lesser scale of course) as a Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen (for MY money, the best comic ever created), in that i believe it would really cause people to become interested in comics who currently don't care... Black people are terribly limited in what they can see of themselves in comics. if this book (which has several black people in it) was collected, blacks would likely give it a look at say a bookstore or something like that.
anyways, ChrisCross, who Priest calls "one of the greatest comic book storytellers alive" has been up to a lot since then... there's a great interview with series ChrisCross on newserama.
read it, homie!
holla
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

HULK LIVES!!!!

HULK LIVES! by samax.


Yeah...here's another "warm up" sketch that went to that next level. i decided to print a few and sell 'em at the Urban Arts Festival/ArtLoveMagic Show on Friday... if you can't make it, and you want one, you can order it by clicking the link above... $25 gets you a fresh Hulk print signed by me.
holla!
samax.
www.ghettoManga.com
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

i got your Superwoman...

i don't review nearly as many comics i would like for a few reasons: for one thing, I really don't review anything i don't like. i mean, why draw attention to something WACK? wack stuff gets too much attention as it is... second, more often than not, people think a good idea excuses crappy art and worse writing! third, i don't like to write a review giving high praise to something if i think it's just okay...
every now and then, a book which started out as a good idea with not-so-great execution starts to catch up to its potential.
Southside Nefertiti (Type Illy Press) is JUST such a book homie!! in its defense, i've been reading the adventures of single mom/college student/superhero Nefertiti Jones for some time now... and series creator Mike Sales is one hell of a great writer... but he also drew the book, which was holding his writing back. like many indie cats, his art was passionate and distinct, but not up to the level it would take to do his skillfull writing justice...
Enter the poison pen of (my sketchBook All-Star brethren) Randolph "Pencilism" Williams... Pencilism has been on my Favorites list on every art message board and networking site i've ever been on, and if you give this book a look, you'll see why! Williams' characters actually act out the sharp, naturalistic script that Sales writes for them, and he shifts from action scenes to monologues and talking head sequences and back quick and effectively enough to snap that NECK, son!

A gifted illustrator, Williams had to flex different muscles drawing comics, where keeping the story straight for your reader is the primary job. he performs admirably here, finding special affinity for certain characters and expanding that confidence into other areas as he goes.

So anyways the point is i REALLY enoyed the most recent issue of Southside Nefertiti. if you are a purist, there are only two prior issues of the book out, but even if you can't/don't get them, check out the third issue (it has a preview that explains what you missed). if Sales and Williams can stick together for a while, they can really help each other (and miss Nefertiti...) gain some much-deserved noteriety.
holla!

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