Category Archives: A Day in the Life

It’s been a while

It’s been a decent little amount of time since you last heard from me here, but that’ll soon change.

What have I been doing? Well, it’s a long story, but I’ve been in NYC diving head first into the audio engineering biz, among other things. I’m available for hire if you need me ;).

For now, stick to Twitter (or @BlackHoodieRap), and Black Hoodie Rap if you want to stay current with me.

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Twitter Beat Everyone to the Fire (Literally)

A few hours ago, there was a fire in the Fens, (that’s right near Fenway Park for the non-Bostonian readers). Plumes of black smoke were flying in the air and were visible to anyone in the area. As you can see above, my apartment window had a good view, only a few blocks away.

The only indication of what was actually on fire came from Twitter and Twitpics. The marsh area in the middle of the park appeared to have caught fire, creating a West Coast brushfire-esqe scene.

This happened over three hours ago, and there isn’t a hint on Boston.com. I didn’t know what was going on until I did a simple hash-tag search for #fenway. Sure, I don’t know if it was arson, or what the cause even was, but at least I know what the source of the fire was.

Just thought I’d throw this out there.

UPDATE: The Boston Phoenix has an ongoing blog/section of their site devoted to the fire. Check out some of their videos and photos.

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Bodega

One of Boston’s best kept secrets, although it is not much of a secret anymore, is Bodega. I’m moving away in a few weeks, and the memories I have of this place and the people I’ve met there will be among my best times in Boston. If you know what Bodega is all about and you’re anything like me, you’ll know why I feel the way I do. However, for those looking for more of a synopsis of what the place is all about, well, I’ll do my best without giving too much away.

“Giving too much away? What are you talkin’ about, Mark?”

Well, all I’ll say is that at face value, Bodega is among the best sneaker and clothing botiques in the world. But there’s a lot more to it, of which, you’ll have to discover yourself. (I’m serious, we’re asked not to talk about it)

When you stumble on the store front pictured above, you wouldn’t expect that somewhere within those confines is this:

Here’s where the fun is (for all you out of towners or new comers): I can’t tell you how to get “into” the store. It’ll ruin the fun. You’re going to have to go to Massachusetts Avenue and Clearway Street and take a peek in the building pictured at the top of the post. You won’t be disappointed. There’s a reason this is a Boston “must see.”

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A Visual History of Boston’s Record Stores

I’m not a record collector, but I probably own somewhere around 100 vinyl records, which probably makes me… something. Whatever the case, I’ve always been oddly fascinated with record stores, and how their continued existence seems so ancient to us. I used to go into these stores weekly and came out with a new CD. Now, someone as loyal and music-loving as me almost sees record stores as a piece of history, rather than the future. I still love them though.

So check out some Flipcam recording and chime in if you’d like.

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Even Though It May Have Rained Enough in Boston to Warrant Construction of a New Ark…

…at least I got a good Blackberry photo out of it.

Just figured I’d check in to show you I’ve got a pulse here. I always have a pulse though, I ain’t dead. I was in New York last week working out the final portions of a video deal for Black Hoodie Rap‘s first directing/editing project for another artist. Filming starts this week, and we’re very amped about it, so a lot of prep has gone into that. You’ll be the first to know when I have more details to release.

On top of that, there’s a lot in the pipeline for the next month or so. SXSW being one of the many things. I’ll be there again. Last year, going for 2ManyMCs was really a great time.

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Reminiscing: My Interview with Immortal Technique

I received an email yesterday morning from one of the first contacts and acquaintances I made in hip-hop, Dennis “Semp Rok” Paredes. Semp is a publicist out of Miami that is a veteran of hip-hop and music marketing.

Anyway, It wasn’t an email personally addressed to me, but it was a mass email about someone he represents: Immortal Technique.

Semp said he literally has over one hundred interview requests piling up for the guy, and that he has recently halted all interviews until he finishes his long awaited new LP, The Middle Passage.

This got me thinking about an interview I did with Immortal Technique when I worked with UGHH back in the summer of 2008. I was 7 months deep into an internship writing news for the website, and when my boss told me I could interview him, it felt like the coolest thing anyone could have asked me to do (ie: I was a giddy little girl).

Tech was even talking about this Middle Passage album back then. See, I interviewed him back when he was just releasing a mixtape with DJ Green Lantern. Even then, people wanted to know what’s next.

The reason I’m even taking the time to write about all this is because I’m blown away by how relevant and in demand Immortal Technique is after all these years. He’s largely been out of hip-hop’s spotlight since 2006, other than the mixtape I mentioned. It’s a true testament that someone who created something so artistically and culturally powerful can keep up in our internet/Twitter/shorter term memory age (his albums were independent hip-hop classics). It’s also a good commentary on all the work he does outside of hip-hop for his own causes.

Click here to read my throwback interview with Immortal Technique from the UGHH days.

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How The Snow Taught Me What Death Metal Was All About

If you aren’t someone who has ever had the experience of listening to odd foreign metal bands, you may not understand this story:

When I was a freshmen in high school in the dark ages of 2002, I took a Spanish class. Through some odd glitch in the fine Pennsylvania Public School system (that’s not sarcasm either, they were pretty good schools), there were too many students who wanted to take Spanish, and not enough teachers to teach it. The high school I attended shared a campus with the local middle school. At this middle school, there was a group of “gifted” students who were apparently taking a high school level Spanish course. The administrators decided that it would be appropriate for the overflow to walk over to the middle school on a daily basis to attend this Spanish course.

Did I mention this was Pittsburgh? Well it was, and in Pittsburgh, the winters aren’t fun. There’s snow up to your knees at least once a week in the heart of the school year, and as you can imagine, most of my classmates weren’t too fond of walking outside daily to get to the school.

I was not a fan, either. How could you be? I ruined sneakers, clothes, and probably developed cases of hypothermia from the knees down on more than one occasion.

Then one day, everything changed. It was almost fun.

You see, I didn’t mind because it was around this time I stumbled upon a genre of music that most people would have a hard time listening to. Hell, I had a hard time understanding what possessed people to make music like this until I listened to it in the context of being snowed on, while standing in 15 inches of snow. (There was a lot of snow, Jesus)

Leonidas is not Nordic, but you get the picture.

I’m talking about Swedish Death Metal. This stuff is practically written to be the score of the winter. If there was a movie about winter, you’d probably contract Opeth to do the score.

I suddenly felt like I was really taking some type of anthropology course in Nordic life, because only guys from that region could make music about this stuff.  After all… this is what they gotta put up with. The Swedes are to Death Metal as the Canadians are to hockey, by the way. Funny how everyone has their claim to fame.

It was then that I understood the point of death metal and where it was coming from. In fact, as much as I loved hip-hop throughout those years, l went to even more odd metal shows. Punk too. I wish I had pictures on me to show you all too. That’d be something.

I had a lot of time as a kid, is the moral of the story.

(click the images for all photo credits)

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