Wifey: The Back Story

I was never just a rap guy. In this stage of my life, I listen to quite a bit of instrumental Hip Hop [google “Odd Summer EP 2009”]. But I’m pretty sure Eric Morgan, who handled the post-production and editing on the Wifey video, would rather I not go into detail about that. So here’s the backstory.

back. story.
Wifey x Back x Story

Continue reading “Wifey: The Back Story”

Better 2 Be Lyrics

featuring B.L.A.X.Smith on the hook and second verse… BETTER 2 BE is Track 4 on the upcoming SANCT EP

Written by L. Smith & B. Blakes, haaanh

A seed originally planted in 2009 grew into this hook delivered by B.L.A.X.Smith. I’m pretty sure my wife was out of town when Sade dropped her first single in a decade or so, Soldier of Love.

When Soldier of Love dropped, I immediately started dreaming of lyrics and rushing to where I knew someone could record them. I wanted to remix that song Wes Sanders style by morning. [ And Tif had to have been out of town, because in my verse I blatantly mentioned the life-changing late night West Texas blizzard we’d recently driven through in a Celica. ]

When I got to the Treehouse, aka Burro Magic’s crib, he and Smith didn’t look at me crazy. They were up, and they asked if they could record on it too. I said yes. But I finished mine that night, and had a good enough version to show for it by morning. Burro went to town on the arrangement. On short notice, no less (dap).

I didn’t do much with it besides put it on a podcast I did at Matt’s house shortly after that, and randomly email it to FWMJ and V-Zilla. Because.

Smith never let go of that one line from the Soldier of Love Fleaux — that one bar, those four counts, 11 words “and if you know you’re blessed / then what’s better to be”.

So eventually I sent him a beat and challenged him to make a hook out of it. This challenge came about a year after that late night session, by the time I was settling into Long Beach life, running 10K’s for breakfast and putting together what would become the 2012 SANCT EP produced entirely by Reggie Coby. Which, by the way, is coming out in ohhh… 10 weeks! Continue reading “Better 2 Be Lyrics”

Twas So Hot Today

Twas so hot today…


[free Summer’s End mix by NiroWho; just click the Download arrow on the right]

TWAS SO HOT TODAY…that I had to rush home from Hollywood, scoop up the family [yes, even El B] and roll all the way to PCH and Diamond down in Laguna Beach.

[If you’ve been reading this site, you already know .]

About 10 minutes from the house, some guy who lost custody of his kid went to his ex-wife’s job and shot up the whole salon. Eight people died, which was the biggest homicide in Orange County history. This all reminds me of Do The Right Thing, and you might understand what I mean.

We saw all the media trucks and cop cars on the way home this evening, but more importantly El B had stopped screaming at the top of his lungs and gone to sleep again. Anytime I slowed down enough to lower the engine hum, he threatened to do it all over again. But thankfully, he’s a really nice guy, especially for a three-week-old. The only reason we’d initially left home was to avoid him overheating. The heat was obviously ruining his cool.
Continue reading “Twas So Hot Today”

Wifey Video Shoot

Track 5 on the Sanct EP is called Wifey.

Produced by Reggie Coby (LOEGz/Dred Skott), the Wifey joint features…
D-Madness (bass), Carter Arrington (guitar) and Jon Keyzz (keys, duh).

We wrapped a three-camera video shoot for it Saturday, July 3rd.

The Wifey raw screen test footage video trailer is way down below…

We found some under-utilized spots in the Laguna Beach area, specifically Wood Cove and Table Rock. Once the energy and waves started flowing, it all went by in a flash.
[ First, I had to bribe my super model student teacher wife, mother-to-be with a snow ball. ] Continue reading “Wifey Video Shoot”

Aloe’s Shadow

In this entry I illustrate my recent trip to Hollywood on a low key video shoot as a guest of Los Angeles native singer, emcee, producer, musician and party promoter Aloe Blacc.

This was my first time meeting him, but I was pleased to discover that we have plenty in common. We share our stories with you and we want your money!

Last Saturday afternoon I went to visit an old friend from back in Texas for the first time since I relocated to Long Beach. A-Op lives in Koreatown, right around Elmwood and Western. It was a good time to catch up in person and get reacquainted, plus I had an appointment in nearby Hollywood in a few.

It just so happened that my next stop was only two miles away. Left on Western, Right on Sunset… I hadn’t eaten since my breakfast – a mere bowl of Raisin Bran – so I drove a few blocks past the location to Subway for a flatbread tuna and a couple of cookies. From there I set out for the first episode of… Aloe’s Shadow!

Stryke's Building
[Stryke’s Building]

A few days earlier I learned L.A. Lesson #1 which goes, “Never let your gas tank go below half-full.” But here off of Sunset, I learned Lesson #2 which says, “Never give the authorities half a reason to write you a ticket, because they will do it!”

I thought I had a plair parking spot right out front, but that last three feet of my car that bled into the red part of the curb has now cost me $80. Red Carpet > Red Curb

Stryke's Living Room
[Stryke’s Living Room]

Once Aloe met me at the front door, we walked straight back to Stryke’s apartment. First, I noticed the spot was New York stuffy, I mean stuff everywhere. Second, I noticed an old blaxploitation movie, “Black Dynamite”, on the television.

Then I noticed that there were at least 10,000 records along the walls, and most of the stuff was gear. I thought to myself, “Somebody in this room is a DJ!”

The whole setup reminded me of DJ’s like Good Grief in Houston or Baby G in Austin. In fact, when I mentioned Baby G to Stryke that evening, he got quite excited.

Cornbread Amidst Vinyl
[Cornbread Amidst Vinyl]

Cornbread from Kali Wild, a group whose original members include producer/mc Oh No, is the man of the hour.

[I’m sure some of you have never heard of Oh No, but just know that he, his brother Madlib and Aloe Blacc are producers/artists on the indie powerhouse Stones Throw label. For some reason, the name Stones Throw has come up 10 or so times since I moved to the West.]

We all got together at Stryke’s house to work on the video for Cornbread’s “Relaxin’” feat. Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter, produced by elevatedSOUL from nearby West Covina, CA.

Well, frankly, that’s the reason THEY all got together. I was there because Aloe thought it would be a good place to formally meet, and was kind enough to let me tag along. Shortly after my arrival, while BZ was setting up to shoot something in Stryke’s doorway, Aloe made a great point. We needed to get upstairs and do the rooftop shots while the sun was still out.

Continue reading “Aloe’s Shadow”