Friday, January 30, 2009
Buy Me Some New Shoes, Ones That Look Like This:

Photography is dope too...Shoes By Irregular Choice

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Fadia Kader: Make Love Not War

Be sure to check out the latest Creative Loafing issue with Fadia Kader. She is one the most amazing and hard working people that I know. It's good to see someone doing their thing for a good cause and having the experience to think outside of our "scene". I respect that alot! Here's the article, read it and learn something!

"Two and a half weeks ago, Fadia Kader returned from a two-month trip to the Middle East with a renewed spirit and a suitcase full of swag: tiny jars filled with sand she'd collected from the foot of the Sphinx in Egypt, handmade daggers purchased in Syria, and a suitcase full of authentic keffiyehs.

No less tangible were the bloody, recurring images of the war that consumed Gaza during the last two weeks of her visit. Thanks to a steady diet of Al-Jazeera newscasts, horrific footage like the one of "a kid that had his brains and guts still spilling out" had been etched into her subconscious.
"Everywhere you turned, everybody had a TV on, be it in the little mom-and-pop store, be it the salon, at your cousin's house. It was everywhere," says Kader, who was born to Palestinian refugees in Kuwait and spent her early childhood in Jordan before moving to America. "The reality was constantly in your face. It was almost like a challenge, like, 'OK, you see what the hell is going on, now what are you gonna do about it?'"

So Kader decided to throw a party.

Her next monthly Broke & Boujee soiree at the Five Spot on Jan. 29 will flaunt a throwback theme – Make Love, Not War – and a portion of the door proceeds will benefit Gaza relief efforts overseen by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. She says it's her way to bring awareness to the "human crisis" in Gaza – where more civilians died than Hamas soldiers during Israel's three-week offensive – without getting too muddled in the politics surrounding the conflict.

Twenty-six-year-old Kader tends to get tangled in politics of a different nature. Last year, she waged her own resistance of sorts, against factions within Atlanta's up-and-coming hip-hop scene. Thus, her recent call to "make love, not war" could be intended for targets beyond the Middle East. It just might double as a resolution of peace aimed at her music scene peers, too.

If little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, Kader isn't the least bit interested in joining the club. One of her favorite quotes is from an interview Larry King conducted with Martha Stewart shortly after she was sentenced to serve five months in prison in 2004. "I wish I were just the nicest, nicest, nicest person on Earth. But I am a business person," Stewart was quoted saying. "If I were a man, no one would ever say that I was arrogant."

As the creator/promoter of the Broke & Boujee lifestyle parties that turned the city on its ear two years ago; manager of the Atlanta-based rap duo Proton; sometimes celebrity-stylist (who worked with Mariel Haenn on Q-Tip's recent album photo shoot); and all-around industry maven on the come up, Kader aspires to be that tough.

But she's also the same Fadia Kader who greets friends and associates with full-bodied hugs, prefers listening to the adult contemporary radio station B 98.5 over anything remotely hipster-related, and has filled one and a half journals with an ever-evolving list of things she wants in a man. So far, the list stretches to No. 450.

Girly has a soft side – a stamp-collecting, MTV's-"The Hills"-watching, snorts-uncontrollably-when-she-laughs-out-loud side. And sometimes, it really gets in the way of business. But mostly it just reminds her that she's still her mother's child.

Born the youngest of six brothers and sisters, Kader was only 6 years old when she saw her mother die. It happened one day as the two of them were walking home through the desert. Her mother had taken Kader to the doctor's office but forgotten to bring her wallet. On the trip back to retrieve it, she collapsed from what Kader believes was a combination of heat stroke and diabetes.

"It's interesting, 'cause I see myself in her," says Kader. "I look identical to her now. I saw pictures of her on this trip, and that's why this trip has been so good – because it's been such a closed case with my family. [They've always been] like, 'OK, it's enough that she saw her dead; we're not talking about her.' Nobody would tell me anything, and it's really important to know one's past."

As older family members filled in the missing pieces of her mother's life, Kader gained more insight. "She was overly generous and had a bleeding heart, and I'm such a sap," she says, recalling how she witnessed her mother endure burdens in life so hurtful that Kader prefers to keep the details private out of respect for her family. "She was just really strong and she put up with a lotta shit."
When Broke & Boujee earned a substantial plug in Urb magazine's annual Next 100 issue in 2008, some within the local scene considered it overkill -- especially since Kader had merely served as the innovator of the genre-bending, scenester club aesthetic started by Sloppy Seconds.

"Fadia used to come to Sloppy Seconds and she would watch from the sidelines," recalls Ian Ford, who collaborated with Ree de la Vega and Caleb Gauge to create Sloppy in its halcyon days before the original F'n Socialites split. In the aftermath, de la Vega and Ford lent their cache to Kader to help her kick off B&B, which spawned an ironic mix of Atlanta's black Hollywood and underground hip-hop cliques. "It was good timing. And it was at a point where me and Ree were so much on some 'fuck you' shit to Caleb that all our people that we used to encourage to go to Sloppy, we started saying, 'No, go to Broke & Boujee.' That's our shit now."

By then, Kader was already managing Proton after being introduced to them by de la Vega at a party at Gauge's house. The monthly B&B parties seemed like the perfect outlet to promote Proton. And B&B became the breeding ground for Atlanta's cultured hip-hop movement.

Then Hollyweerd happened.

When "Have You Ever Made Love to a Weirdo" hit locally in December 2007, it caught everyone by surprise – including the four members of Hollyweerd, most of whom had been pursuing separate careers before members Tuki and Dreamer met at B&B and the underground super-group launched. With Young Jeezy's former manager, Coach K, at the helm, the song soon generated spins on commercial radio stations Hot 107.9 and V-103.

Still in its infancy, the scene seemingly had an overnight success story in the works – plus a bit of an unspoken beef brewing.

"Honestly, my first thoughts were, they hadn't paid any dues," says Larry Baker of Proton, recalling how he felt about the members of Hollyweerd presuming that they should "be put in the same light." Whereas Proton had been evolving for nearly a decade, Hollyweerd was just beginning to define itself. But everyone recognized their potential.

"They were growing in front of our eyes, but it's like they were growing while looking at what other people were doing and taking elements of everything," says Kader, whose refusal to let Hollyweerd and other eager acts perform at Broke & Boujee led to what she felt was a bastardization of the blueprint she'd honed. Similarly themed showcases with the same lineups began to spring up almost weekly in the absence of B&B. It was a platform she'd popularized, but she couldn't patent it. "So I just had to completely disconnect for a while. It's like that tough love. Gotta let them do their own thing first."

While many looked to Kader as the unofficial mommy of the scene, Proton was still her first priority, which meant she had to look out for their best interest at the cost of all those Come Up Kids she had inadvertently raised. "With [Hollyweerd], they saw me as their homegirl and [thought] I should be doing the things I do for Proton for them," she says. "Of course, I'm gonna go for my artist first. It's a given, so either you accept it or you don't. And people didn't accept it, and no one's signed a year later."

As a little girl in Jordan, Kader used to play Monopoly with her cousin incessantly. Sometimes one game would last longer than a week. "He was three years older than me and he would beat the shit out of me, and that's how I got strong," she recalls. "That's how I learned business -- from playing Monopoly. Seriously, I learned how to hustle and negotiate all because of Monopoly."

After Kader's mom died, she came to the U.S. under a humanitarian visa to stay in Atlanta with a brother and sister, both of whom were barely out of high school. Over the next decade, she shifted back and forth between family in Tennessee, Atlanta and Kuwait. "Every time somebody would get engaged to get married, I got shipped off," says Kader, who still refers to herself as a gypsy because of the constant uprooting she endured as a child. It made her an "anti-social, social person," she says. "I would just be a loner, because I always had the defense that I was gonna move soon. I couldn't let anybody in too close."

In the process, she became a social chameleon of sorts, the kind that could hobnob with Buckhead Bettys during the day and hit up a 'hood-ass strip club with homies after dark. "I'm, like, stuck in two different worlds," she says. "I'm Middle Eastern Fadia, but I'm in a very segregated community that accepts me for how I look. Like, when I wear my hair straight, best believe Atlanta Peach [magazine] people think I'm a white girl with a good tan."
Desperate to reconnect with her own culture, Kader – a non-practicing Muslim – looked forward to taking the trip back home last November. But after arriving in Jordan, she noticed it wasn't quite like she remembered it from her previous trip seven years ago. "It was disappointing because it was so Westernized," she says. "Every single little teenage girl looks like Avril Lavigne. I mean the hair, black nail polish, extensions. I'm like, 'You have beautiful hair and you're putting in extensions?" With her naturally curly hair, Kader stuck out like a tourist. "They would all be like, 'Welcome, welcome. Come buy!'" And she'd respond in her native tongue, "'Shame on you, I speak Arabic,' or 'I'm a woman of the country,' and they'd be shocked. I don't know how Middle Eastern women carry themselves, but hell, I guess I don't carry it the same way they do."

If her family had its way, Kader would've gone to law school, and possibly be married with kids by now, living a more traditional lifestyle. Instead she graduated from Bauder College with a degree in fashion merchandising, and got bit by the music-industry bug while working her way through school as a waitress at Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles downtown.
Last year, after putting B&B on hiatus and temporarily moving to New York, she flirted with the possibility of starting her own boutique record label. The more she increased Proton's profile, the more her name became synonymous with the next wave of rap stirring in Atlanta. At times, it became hard to distinguish who had the most star potential. "Motherfuckers don't even mention us without saying her name, and she hasn't rapped one goddamned lyric," Baker says jokingly. "That speaks volumes."

Still, navigating her way through the male-dominated industry proved challenging. Kader's driven, decisive style rubbed some the wrong way, and she began to earn a reputation for being a real B-word.

"Cats kinda look down on businesswomen behind the scenes," admits Ford, who still works closely with Kader as co-promoter and host of the revamped, 18-and-over Broke & Boujee parties that take place monthly at the Five Spot. "You could even say the same thing about Hannah Kang, [who] runs [T.I.'s label] Grand Hustle. Everybody calls her a bitch, but when I see her out and about I don't think she's being a bitch. I think she's getting the job done."

During her trip home, Kader hoped to reconcile the two extremes: her business side vs. her nurturing side. She met a woman on the bus ride back from Syria to Jordan who helped her re-evaluate her self-worth. "She was talking about just taking care of myself before I take care of anybody else," says Kader. "You can find happiness in so many other things, it doesn't just have to be in our accomplishments. And that's what I've been basing a lot of my happiness on in life."
Since Kader transformed B&B to an 18-and-up party last September, it lost a bit of its gravitational pull within the scene. But she hopes to address that with a monthly party planned for the Clermont Lounge called Friends with Benefits, featuring visuals by Dosa and DJ Apple Juice. Meanwhile, she hosts her first Broke & Boujee outside Atlanta, in Chicago on Feb. 5.

Since returning home to Atlanta, Kader seems at peace with herself and the scene she turned her back on last year. Both she and Proton – who ended a five-city tour last month – have a newfound appreciation for Hollyweerd after watching them develop over the past year. "I've had conversations with Proton and Fadia, and everyone realizes that the music scene is kinda bigger than us [individually]," says Dreamer. "In order for it to be what it is, we gotta coincide, 'cause us feuding against each other ain't gonna make the overall situation a success."

Kader's hopeful, too. "They loved me in '07, hated me in '08," she says. "I think we're coming together. I think 2009's going to be an amazing year for the scene."

But even her peace treaty comes with stipulations. She still believes that her approach to exploiting talent by focusing on one act at a time and allowing the love to trickle down as interest peaks is the best model for success. She makes a good point, too. The same approach worked last year in Chicago, and resulted in acts such as A-Trak, the Cool Kids and Kid Sister broadening their fan base beyond the city limits by coordinating their efforts.

No matter what happens, she might be wise to take the advice of promoter and friend Ian Ford, who has encouraged her to woman-up in '09.

"She's making stuff happen, I got a lotta respect for her because of that," he says. "She's a chick in the game making it happen, but she can't play that double-standard card ... 'cause people talk shit about me all day and I don't give a fuck. I just keep it moving. If you were a dude in this, you would just keep it moving. But because you're a girl, you're playing the girl card and you're like, 'But they talkin' bad,' and I'm like, 'Naw, naw, you gotta stand up, and you gotta boss up, and you gotta be that boss bitch.'"

Surely, Martha Stewart is somewhere nodding in agreement."

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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Crack Polos!
"Long before heroin was in chic and anyone even heard of meth, crack was the drug of choice for the inner city. White suburban kids might have been happy with their powdered cocaine, but in the 1980s jumbos were all the rage from NYC to LA. In an effort to recapture a piece of that narcotic nostalgia, independent apparel company Double Down NYC is releasing their 'eightyfourseries' line that includes this classic polo shirt with a crack vial logo and gold satin trim. All shirts come with a thought provoking hang tag questionnaire for consumers to recollect how bad rock fucked up or enhanced their lives."


No More Triangles Please

There is an ongoing trend with designers in which they incorporate triangles and its symbolism of power and hiearchy in their designs. Personally I like the way it looks but it's kinda getting over done. Here are just a few examples of what im talking about.


New Conart Tees!
One of my favorite tshirt brands growing up is re-releasing some of their original designs. Started in 1989, Conart was one of the first clothing brands to incorporate graffiti and hiphop into their line. Its good to see brands like this giving new life to the industry. Remember there was "streetwear" before The Hundreds, Alife, Crooks and all those other brands. Just bring back DLo NYC, Nappy Wear & that OG PNB (before Nick Cannon made a mockery of it) then i'll be a happy man.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Alife Skateboard Deck

Im not sure if you can buy this, but it looks pretty sweet!


Powell Peralta OG Skateboard Stickers


Monday, January 26, 2009
Daily Design Inspiration


This Is HipHop !?!

Wow! Im speechless!


Vans Syndicate ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ Collection

Finally a tribute to one of my favorite harcore punk groups. This collection looks clean, black and can't go wrong! Here is my favorite Suicidal Tendencies joint!

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Head Phone Home...

Parra Headphones


Friday, January 23, 2009
I'm Busy For A Reason

For all of those who ask why you don't see me around anymore.

This will answer your question.


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Orisue Spring 2009 “Beat Punk” Collection

Im diggin the new Spring Collection from Orisue. Not really a fan of their other stuff, too colorful in my opinion, but these are right up my alley.



Why So Curious? From Wasted Efforts

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Binkis Recs (RIP Jax) Interview At A3C


Kanye West's Mullet

Please! Don't follow this trend like you did the Shutter shades, super hi-top sneakers, dookie gold chains and 808 beats! I will clown you...KhanOne


Monday, January 19, 2009
Daily Design Inspiration


Table Top Art Project

Photography By: Marita Weil


Air Max Current Hurache/Nike Air Blazer ACG Mid “Mowabb”

Nike is finally putting out some great shoes. I haven't bought a pair of Nikes since the end of the Dunk hype. I will definitely try to get these those. These two shoes bring back memories of highschool rockin Huraches with my polo sport down vest lol! I wanna bring that look back son!



Friday, January 16, 2009
Quasimoto Rough Draft By Kid Robot

Here is teh rough draft of the upcoming Lord Quas figure by Kid Robot. This will be the 2nd Kidrobot figure to be released with Stones Throw Records, the first being Madvillian.


Exile: Radio

Get It Here

01. Frequency Modulation
02. Population Control
03. We’re All In Power
04. Watch Out! False Prophet
05. The Machine
06. It’s Coming Down
07. So We Can Move
08. The Sound Is God
09. Your Summer Song
10. Mega Mix
11. In Tune Static
12. San Pedro Cactus
13. Love Line
14. Stay Tuned (here)
15. In Love

New album from Exile (producer of Emanon). After his success with Blu's "Below The Heavens", Exile returns with his solo instrumental album...don't sleep!


Daily Design Inspiration


Thursday, January 15, 2009
Al's Video Of The Day

Redman - Tonights The Night


Barack Obama Meets Spiderman!

This is crazy! Marvel comics just released a special Inauguration Issue of The Amazing Spiderman #583 featuring Barack Obama. Apparently this issue is sold out everywhere, except on  ebay (if you're willing to pay 50 bucks!). If anybody knows where I can cop one let me know!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Battle for J Dilla's Legacy


There's nothing Maureen Yancey wouldn't do for her children. But as she sits in the basement studio of her only surviving son's Los Angeles home, she struggles with the one thing she hasn't done since her firstborn, James Dewitt Yancey known in hip hop circles as Jay Dee or J Dilla - three years ago of complications from lupus. She just can't. She didn't do it when the ambulance arrived at the nearby house Dilla shared with. Common, and she didn't when they failed to revive him from cardiac arrest. She couldn't even bring herself to do it when she picked out which baseball cap she'd place by his coffin. 

"When he left, I had an awful void," she says calmly. "I didn't grieve like you always think you'd grieve. I always had a joy and the strength to help others to get through it. But..." her voice trails off, hands smoothing down her jeans. "I haven't cried yet." 

Still, the memories came flooding back when she flew from Detroit to visit the city where her son was buried at age 32. "I rejoiced in the fact that he wasn't sick anymore," she says, "and that he'd done what he came here to do. I do believe that. His purpose on earth was to come here and give us the music that he had in his heart and soul." 

The equipment that surrounds her is Dilla's, the same gear he used to create the deceptively simple, unspeakably beautiful music that solidified his reputation as one of hip hop's greatest. As Busta Rhymes put it in 2007, "He wasn't just a producer, he was the best producer." 

Many of her son's friends - Common, Busta, Erykah Badu - still call regularly, and keep her son's music in rotation. Q-Tip's latest single, "Move" (Universal Motown, 2008), was built around a Dilla beat, and her other son John Yancey, a rapper known as Illa J has released the powerful new album, Yancey Boys (Delicious Vinyl, 2008), which was produced by his big brother. 

Meanwhile the 60-year-old woman everybody calls Ma Dukes faces health problems of her own, and financial challenges as well. Although numerous memorials and "benefits" were held in his name, the proceeds didn't change his family's life. Dilla left two daughters - Ja'Mya, 7, and Paige, 9 - to provide for, a sizeable IRS bill, and unresolved legal issues surrounding the use of his beats. Ma Dukes says she has never received money from her son's estate and that her plans to establish a foundation in his name were quashed by the executor of his estate. Somehow, she was not reduced to tears even after Dilla's attorney informed her that she had no legal right to use her own son's name or likeness for commercial purposes. Not even to support his family. 

IN HIS NATIVE DETROIT, DILLA WAS THE MAN. The soft-spoken beatmaker was a pioneer of the Motor City hip hop landscape that struggled to gain national recognition before Slim Shady put the D on the map in 1999. Though he remains anonymous to the masses, Dilla is considered a demigod by his hardcore fans. His distinctive drum sounds and grimy, organic sound palette revolutionized hip hop production, and echoes of his innovative use of samples can be heard in the work of Just Blaze and Kanye West. "He can do a Primo beat better than Premier. He can do a Dre beat better than Dre, and he can out-rock Pete Rock," says fellow Detroit producer House Shoes. "But none of them could duplicate a Dilla beat. Much respect to those three. They were pioneers. But that's the fucking truth." 

Dilla grew up in the Conant Gardens section of Detroit's Eastside surrounded by music. His dad, Beverly Yancey, played piano and upright bass. "My mom and dad had a jazz a cappella group, and they'd sing in the living room for hours and hours," says Illa J, 22. "It was really laid-back and nonchalant. While that was happening, my brother would be downstairs in the basement doing his thing." 

By the mid-1990s, Dilla was getting calls from some of the hottest stars of the day. He produced tracks for The Pharcyde, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, and Q-Tip, with whom he founded the production collective The Ummah. Yet despite these high-profile projects, Dilla shunned the limelight. His love of music eclipsed any concern for dealing with industry politics. "He wasn't antisocial," says Illa J. "He was just quiet. That comes from our dad. A lot of his personality rubbed off on my brother. It was all about the craft for him. He didn't care about all that other stuff." 

When Tribe's Beats, Rhymes, and Life (Jive, 1996) was nominated for a Grammy, Tip invited Dilla to the award ceremony. "I was like, 'Yo, this is a good opportunity for you, you should just go.' He was like, 'Hell no, I ain't going. Fuck that!"' recalls Q-Tip, laughing at the memory. "I said, 'You got nominated for a fucking Grammy. You are going to go.' He said, 'I ain't got nothing to wear!' But he went. He was so mad and disgruntled and angry about that. He was much happier doing it his way. That's who he was. He didn't really want to fuck with none of that. And I don't blame him." 

DILLA REALIZED SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH HIS HEALTH IN JANUARY OF 2002. He'd just returned from Europe and thought he had a bad flu. Sick to his stomach and complaining of chills, Ma Dukes took him to the emergency room at Bon Secours hospital in suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. His blood platelet count should have been above 150, but it was below 10. Doctors told his mother they were surprised he was still walking around. 

He tested positive for lupus, an autoimmune disease that can be fatal. To make matters worse, Detroit doctors diagnosed him with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, aka TTP, a rare disorder that causes blood clots to form in the body's blood vessels. 

Despite his degenerating health, Dilla packed up his stuff and moved out to Los Angeles, where he lived with his friend and frequent collaborator Common. He set up a studio and got to work. But very few knew how bad life was for the soft-spoken prodigy. He poured himself into his work, doing his best to forget his health problems. Ma Dukes says there were several close calls. When she left him alone once, Dilla fell down and bumped his head. Because she refused to leave Dilla's side during his last days, she and her husband lost their house. She tried to file for bankruptcy to save the family home but didn't get back to Detroit in time to sign the necessary paperwork. "I wasn't leaving my son," she says."We lost the house. But I wasn't concerned. It didn't bother me at all." 

At summer's end, 2005, Dilla found himself in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, the same hospital where The Notorious B.I.G. and Eazy-E died. He'd lost the ability to walk and could barely talk. His own body was killing him, and there was little to be done about it. 

Sensing that death was coming, he told his mother he needed his equipment in the hospital with him. Ma Dukes asked his friends from the L.A.-based label Stones Throw Records to lug his turntables, mixer, crates of records, MPC, and computer into his room. When his hands were too swollen, Ma Dukes would massage his stiffened fingers so Dilla could work on the tracks, letting his doctors listen to the beats through his headphones. 

Sometimes he'd wake Ma Dukes up in the middle of the night, asking her to help move him from his bed to a reclining chair so he could work a bit more comfortably. His only focus was finishing the album. Donuts was released on Stones Throw on February 7, 2006, his 32nd birthday. Dilla died three days later. 

"It was crazy to hear all that soul," Illa J says of one haunting track called "Don't Cry." "I got to be in the right mode to listen to it. It's emotional for me. I can feel my brother talking to me through the music." 

THREE DAYS AFTER DILLA DIED, HIS ELDEST DAUGHTER, PAIGE, TURNED 6. "That was a low blow," says her mother, Monica Whitlow. "To have to tell my baby that before her birthday was the worst. We didn't get to say goodbye." The 29-year-old, who knew Dilla before his career took off, still lives in Detroit. She emphasizes that their relationship was never about money. "To have him back here, breathing and living, that's worth more than money any day," she says. "But it pisses me off, everything that's going on with this estate. It's ridiculous 'cause it's been three years, and my baby has not seen anything from this estate. Nobody has granted James his final wish." 

Although Dilla's will stipulates that all assets be divided among his mother, his two daughters, and his brother, the executor of the estate is his accountant Arty Erk, and as back-up, there's his attorney, Micheline Levine and then his mother. Ma Dukes says she grew so frustrated that communications broke down between her and the executor. Erk explains that payments from the estate were delayed because Dilla has an outstanding tax debt in the "healthy six figures." He says he is negotiating a payment plan with the IRS and that a petition has been filed with the probate court in order to get family allowances paid to Dilla's children. 

The other major issue facing the estate is that so many people are using Dilla's beats without permission. Dilla would often create beat CDs and hand them out to friends. 

"It's been difficult to police," Erk admits, adding that he's at the tail end of litigation with Busta Rhymes. "An album was released by Busta on the Internet called Dillagence without authorization," Levine explains. "And, of course, we're now unable to use those tracks and exploit those downloads. Everybody downloaded it for free." Attempts to reach out to Busta were not returned. 

Ma Dukes counters that Busta paid Dilla for those tracks years ago. "He got a raw deal," she says. "Busta didn't take anything from anybody." Ma Dukes says she feels bad that her son's friend had to go through such rough treatment by his estate. 

The same scenario has played out several times since Dilla's death. The estate has settled "four or five" similar cases, negotiating what they believe is fair market value for the beats. "A lot of people are coming out of the woodwork with things that he did for them," says Erk, who took out an ad in Billboard magazine in April 2008, notifying people to stop using Dilla's material. The estate also sent out cease-and-desist letters to various entertainers as well as people throwing events in Dilla's name-including his own mother, she says. "Her dream was to open a camp where kids with lupus could have normal lives," says Joy Yoon, an L.A. journalist who interviewed Ma Dukes shortly after her son's death and later offered to help her raise funds for what was to be called the J Dilla Foundation. "But then she said she was put on hold by the lawyers." 

Ma Dukes insists she will go on with her plans for the foundation, establishing it in her own name. "It's been over two years, and they're talking the same crap," she says. "I don't have a Ph.D., but I know how to use a phone and talk to somebody and make arrangements. It's just not an excuse. They have no respect for the fact that I had anything to do with bringing him into this world." 

Meanwhile, she has voiced concerns about Dilla's will itself, which he signed on September 8, 2005, nearly six months before his death. "I don't even know if he really knew what he was signing," she says. "I don't think he would have signed anything if he'd known it would be like this now." She has hired an attorney who is also representing her son and Paige's mother, Monica Whitlow, who says that legal action is "in the works." 

"His estate is fucked up," Q-Tip says. "I know the lawyers are saying that he had certain tax issues and all that stuff. But you were getting paid to represent him when he was alive, so it shouldn't be any of that. Ma Dukes ain't getting nothing, and the kids ain't getting nothing. It's a horrible thing." 

During the last year of her son's life, Maureen Yancey tested positive for lupus. She says she's not worried about dying and has accepted the fact that she and her husband must now live in a rental property in a neighborhood she describes as "a war-torn zone." What keeps her up at night is her grand children. "I just want the girls to be taken care of," she says. "That's all." 

In response to a petition filed by her mother, Joyleete Hunter, Dilla's youngest daughter, Ja'Mya, has begun receiving money from the estate, and Erk says Paige should start receiving payouts sometime in early 2009. "Oh really?" says Whitlow. "That's new information for me." She has had few conversations with Erk and says that when she informed him she was working with Ma Dukes' lawyer, he warned her, "This is going to get ugly." But she remains undeterred. "I gotta speak up for my baby 'cause I been quiet too long," she says."He hasn't seen ugly. I can show him ugly." 

In the meantime, Ma Dukes says please don't cry for her. "It's really rough for everybody out there. But prayers help," she says with a sigh."Pray for my strength." 

- Vibe Magazine


Yung-Ass Rappers...They Don't Make Em Like This Anymore

Shyheim - On & On

A+ feat. Q-Tip = Me Myself & My Microphone

Illegal - We Getz Busy

Jamal - Fades Em All

Da Youngstas - Crewz Pop


Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Bisc1 - The Strange Love Project

Get It Here

01. Nightfall rmx (prod. by Le Parasite)
02. Turbulence rmx blend (prod. by Scott Thorough / Cassettes Won’t Listen)
03. remixtape interlude 1
04. Pandemonium rmx (feat / prod. by Broke Mc)
05. remixtape interlude 2
06. Unconditional rmx (prod. by Core Rhythm)
07. Sidelines rmx (prod. by Coole High)
08. Great Escape (rmx blend (prod. by Esen / Omega One)
09. remixtape interlude 3
10. Another Day rmx (prod. by Kils)
11. remixtape interlude 4
12. Strange Love rmx (prod. by Snafu)