Writing this is hard. I haven’t been meaning to ignore this project. Besides trying to report on the platform that I love, which has gained a TON of attention, (mostly thanks to the millions of views and plugs that iBattle and PBX have given this site.) I feel like I have to explain what’s going on.
I started this website three days before my son, who is now two, was born. Since then, I’ve had a second, my daughter McKenzie. I bought a house in 2009 – which means I’ve signed a contract with society that I will make X amount of dollars a month to sustain what I have. I need to be around my kids – I need to talk with them, to play with them, to take care of them. When I started CTHIPHOP.NET, I thought highly of the artists within it. I still do. But, I’m also really disappointed with CT Hip Hop.
This website gets about 250-1000 views a day. Even when there haven’t been any posts for awhile. When a new post comes out, or if something is going on, it easily doubles. This is where my disappointment comes in.
Everyone is curious – everyone wants to use this platform for their personal gain – but no one is actually interested in contributing. CT, it seems, is full of a bunch of people that think they are the next (INSERT FAMOUS RAPPER NAME HERE.) I get about 25 emails from artists a day. They go like this.
“yo, I’m ____ from (CT TOWN HERE) and I’m (THIS AGE HERE) and I want to be featured on your website.)
No link to music, no flyer, no anything except “This is my name and I rap.” Great. You don’t have any goals, and you want me to investigate your existence.
After about a year of hitting people back, who never answered me, I basically grew disheartened with the process. I decided to stick with those who stood out on their own. Duece Bug, Political Animals, Joey Batts… people who could legitimately stand on their own without having to send me anything. I have a music career myself and started building a new album around this time last year, as well as releasing a mixtape. I did not even post my own music here (well, maybe I did, but never featured it like it was important.), and I could’ve, because why the fuck couldn’t I? It would’ve hurt the rep of this website, which is why I never did. I kept my own art out of this.
I thought by this point, we’d have people contributing. I appreciate everyone who has contributed, don’t get me wrong, Doc Jones, Jack Nicklez… you’re good people and I know there isn’t anything in it for you. But I can’t be one of the only people giving a shit about the HUGE subject that CT HipHop is.
Another reason why I’m on edge, is because of the shit attitude a lot of rappers have. They open up for so and so, have a flyer and hit me up, and instead of looking at their approach as to why they didn’t get the attention of this website, they decide to say “fuck Brash, fuck CTHIPHOP.NET, they don’t listen to music.”
About a month ago, I had a miss-communication with a venue and had to move a show. A friend of a friend decided to reach out to another artist that had a spot. The artist immediately said some bullshit against the site, and then decided to act friendly towards me on the internet. I realized that this is the attitude of CT HIPHOP. Talk shit on your people. When you don’t get what you think you deserve, make a mental note of what a piece of shit that person is. I never even knew that this artist existed until that point. It was said to me that “you said his music wasn’t good,” and I looked through all the emails and everything… this is the closest thing I have ever said in that regard.
You show some talent here, but I think you need to polish up what you’re recording.
That’s it. It’s a problem. If you didn’t get what you want from this website, why are you mad at the website? Why wouldn’t you step your fucking game up? Even if we lambasted you for your creative efforts (which we didn’t.) then why wouldn’t you at least take a look at your work and see what you could do to IMPROVE!?
I know from battle rap – it takes a different pedigree of emcee to be able to do it. Emcees who refuse to do it are fragile to me. Even the worst battle rapper has more balls then a top song writing, non-battle tested performance/recording artist. Don’t get me wrong – I think if you are actually able to make money from writing and recording music, awesome. But if you’ve managed to kiss ass with some established, battle tested emcees, and get on… the ceiling for you is going to be really low. You’re always going to be known as “Famous rapper’s name here’s” friend, and the ceiling is going to be low for your career. You won’t be able to get past a certain point and your growth will stop abruptly. And this is why; your foundation isn’t as strong as you think it is. You met some famous people and appeased them – there isn’t as much sweat and blood in your craft as there should be. You were embraced and comforted instead of building your performances off of competition. Every battle I’ve ever won, or more importantly, lost, taught me extremely valuable lessons that taught me how to improve. I went at this with truth – I have been disappointed with myself. I learned how to work harder and win at things. I learned I’m not as awesome as I thought I was, and needed to work harder. Being an artist should mean that you are after truth. Refusing to challenge yourself is only hurting your potential.
So when I try to create something that exists as a platform for CT Hip Hop artists to grow and learn from, it really angers me to encounter that shit attitude. You’re not being ignored intentionally, reader, but if you are not providing strong enough content, don’t be angry with us if that’s what I, or any other writer here, think. WORK HARDER. Try to be the person that you look up to, instead of being angry at the things that aren’t validating you. Do what you can to grow and improve. Take risks with your career, stop doing things that are safe and put yourself in a position that COULD make you a failure. Put yourself on the fringe anyway you can – that’s where good ideas come from. Not from “how can I sell records,” and don’t surround yourself with a bunch of people who will only agree with what you’ve done instead of chopping up what you’ve done and suggesting improvements. This applies to anything in life, not just making rap music.
There are SO many great artists that, I admit, I just haven’t had the time to cover here. Arsenal Hendrix is dope as fuck, and he hasn’t been covered to the extent that I’ve wanted. He’s nasty. Details – another one. Heddshotts – who have accomplished more than a lot of people have as a group, just haven’t had the shine I want to provide over their new mixtape. iBattle news is THICK, and the TO2 event was dope, and there is A LOT of work to do with that league… but I can’t keep up.
This is the future of CTHIPHOP.NET – A media company is interested in buying it. At this time, the money sounds really good, and I’ll be splitting it with my own pocket and PBX, so that we can actually move forward with our careers. I want to be able to keep up with it, but I can’t. I’m also doing a talk show at http://www.theartofhiphop.net – it’s a lot more fun and getting your point across come out in an hour instead of several. I’m also starting an online radio station through this platform. This website needs people to contribute, and isn’t really getting it.
Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.
If you want to step up to the plate for this website, then hit me up. Not at cthiphop.net – but at email@example.com… that’s the best way to get ahold of me.
I’m really fucking disappointed with CT Hip Hop. You cloned this website in the most embarrassing half assed attempt I’ve ever seen. That shit is embarrassing. You’ve turned your backs to each other over petty shit, or ideas you don’t like, instead of building with each other and trying to move forward. You’ve acted like fucking divas over the idea that you’re some sort of super talent, and not getting validated for it. You’ve hurt your own battle league because you were such a self serving, for yourself only asshole.
No apologies to you at all. Shape up your shit, or the best things that CT has going for their scene is going to evaporate.
I’m not sure what the future of this website is, but I’m also close to not caring.
Despite the battle rap bias that comes from human nature, you gotta be honest with yourself more than anything else. I went to battle Sicarii knowing that I was up against a monster. Traveled out of my safety zone in CT to Mass, all by my lonesome, to do what I do.
Some people take this battle shit WAAAYYYYYYYY too seriously… like losing means you’re wack. I mean, I don’t take this lightly… and I had a bunch of people telling me they thing that I won. There were people at the battle asking for overtime, which was really flattering to me. But staying honest… Sicarii got me.
It’s cool tho… losing a battle happens to the best of us. There are emcees that talk a battle game on record, but never step into that ring.
…and so you all know, I’m not trying to post a bunch of shit about myself. I feel Sic had a DOPE performance for this battle, and it needs some attention here.
The 413 Battle League is something else, for real… good people. Shout outs to our friends in Mass!
Aiight guys, I’ve been doing what I can…
Basically, I’m behind on a lot of shit. Greedy Grimes interview (from last fucking Nov.) and a couple of album reviews… they’re coming.
Also got some dope shit coming from some Massachusetts heads I’ve come across…
Editor’s Note: I posted this without mentioning it to Brash first, to surprise him. The original title of the article was, “404 – No Fucks Found,” because I was not giving a fuck about how odd it is to post the music of the person who owns the website. I hope y’all who saw that didn’t think you shouldn’t give a fuck about the song itself, because it’s actually incredibly awesome, and I’m not just saying that because he owns the site. This is real, authentic, CT hip-hop…it’s what the page is for, and ignoring it would be crazy. (-Doc)
I’m proud to announce the first of what will mark a new tradition for CTHIPHOP.NET… to help celebrate that we’ve hit 300 posts. Duece Bug and the FullBlast Collective have given us license to spread their most recent tape for the digital era. This is an AMAZING PROJECT (and yea, I have a track featured on this, so I’m biased… fuck it tho.) There is absolutely NO filler on this whatsoever. The most beautiful thing about this record? After selling decently to the fans, hand to hand, it’s free.
We’re going to be bringing you more music as it occurs. Please click the cover to download the tape directly to your computer/ipod/whatever plays music. I took the time to apply the cover to the files and tag all of the tracks so that they display right on that digital media device… you heard?
FULL BLAST ARMY!!!
I am glad as hell to be back here! After a few weeks of preparing for a battle, getting through half the school year, and having the flu, I’ve managed to land myself in front of the laptop, full of new ideas for the site. Those are secret, but what I will tell you is that this is going to get serious.
First thing’s first, though…Full Blast just dropped a new mixtape, and it is bonkers.
Credit to our own Krys and Tainted Designs for the cover/flier above…y’all know we love a fresh looking girl in a respirator, especially when she’s representing dope CT music.
As far as the CD itself, when I opened it up, I was pleasantly surprised by the hand-written title on the disc itself. On the inside cover, a list of 20 songs, most of which I’d never heard before. The usual names were on it(Unikron, Soho, White Cheddar, Chuck Nickels, and, of course, Duece Bug), but those weren’t what stuck out to me. Another one of our own, Brash, graced this disc with his presence, along with Lighta(R.I.P.), Samwall Grimes, James Joyce, Rising Sun Quest, and a few other guests.
A few tracks really stuck out to me, the first of which being a beat jack of “Beware” from Jay-Z and Punjabi MC, featuring 5:AM and Duece Bug. I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear someone jack this beat and do it well, and I gotta say, I was pretty happy it was these two guys doing it. The song itself is titled, “And Ya Don’t Stop,” and is one of the more energetic tracks on the disc. It’s definitely classic Five, with his typically crass lyrics and quick rhythms, which are accented very well by Duece’s clever word-play and laid back cadence.
The one I found most notable was “2012,” from Soho(Track 9). I was almost stunned by the wordplay on this. I’ve been really just getting familiar with Soho recently, and the more I do, the more impressed I am with what he’s doing. He uses extremely intricate polysyllabic rhyme schemes, and has excellent cadence on all the tracks I’ve heard, but this one is easily the best I’ve found. I really can’t say enough about this one, except that you need to hear it.
That’s a little sample of what you’ll hear on this..hit up Duece Bug for a copy.
Winner? Debatable. That’s why iBattle does what it does. Honestly, who gives a fuck about wins and loses anyway? It’s fun to talk about for debating purposes, but the true spirit of this shit is supposed to be represented in THE FIGHT. A lot of people act like a win or a loss at this shit is some sort of detrimental blow to your music career… or that even a win is some supposed to be a license to rap or some shit. It’s not. Competition is fun, but art is objective.
I’m going to say it like this: the best emcees are all around emcees. They don’t do just one thing. I like to compare it to being a player on a basketball team. You can’t just shoot three pointers and expect to have a career in this sport.
Can write a dope song but can’t freestyle? GET YOUR ASS ON THE BENCH.
Can freestyle real well but you pen game is in the toilet? GET YOUR ASS ON THE BENCH.
Can battle but can’t do any of the aforementioned? GET YOUR ASS ON THE BENCH.
The thing that annoys me though, the number one type of artist that needs to GET THEIR ASS ON THE BENCH are the types who think they’re above it. They don’t battle because, quite honestly, they know that they would get their asses handed to them. If they have a little fame, they’ll act like that is the reason that they can’t battle, because their opponent has too much info on them. Whatever. GET YOUR ASS ON THE BENCH.
I’ve got a ton of respect for people who take this craft in its entirety, not just in little bits and pieces that make them feel comfortable.
Fuck you if you don’t co-sign.
I’m at a crossroads. For a long time, I’ve said that I was going to do my best to keep my own music out of cthiphop.net… but I don’t want to lose one dream for another, you know? I worked hard on this. I got verses from my Aeon Audio counterparts INF and Blak Philly, on this CRAZY beat produced by JNS from Norway. I also got this introspective joint about Occupy Wall St. with Tru Wordz and godAWFUL. There is a CRAZY verse from Duece Bug on here. Another sick verse from Com Plex of Crooked Mindz… and it’s all for free.
I produced two joints on here myself, mostly because I’m DONE jacking beats. The shit is played out, corny, and seems a lot like reaching for attention rather than earning it. I always jacked beats that inspired my flow, but now that I got my own producing game up, I’m growing out of it.
I used to look at making music like there had to be some sort of outcome at the end, but I’m getting older, and I just had a second kid with my wife. My baby girl Mackenzie is the truth!! I don’t know if I can even keep up with this website anymore. I started it right before RJ was born… and I really want to keep making music and progressing.
That was a bit off track… just don’t take this website as some sort of way for me to stick my music out there as though that was the purpose. The goal with this is still to have a one stop for everything going on in CT’s hip-hop culture… I just need more people working on it. Doc and Krys have been holding it down.
Oh yea back to the mixtape… download it, burn it to a CD, share it with a friend… let people know!! If you got my back on that, I got your back on this.
I’ll be poasting again soon… with 3 hours sleep this week and a new gig starting Monday, I just don’t know how much time I’m going to need.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, since there isn’t much to it. We had a lot of people listen to EPCR when I was involved with it. I’m not going to break down the numbers, but, a lot. I am no longer involved for a number of reasons… but it mostly has to do with my personal decisions.
It’s unclear what the future is of the EPCR podcast right now, maybe Mike will want to continue doing it, maybe he won’t. Since I pulled out of the project, he hasn’t talked to me about anything, so I don’t know what the future is. It’s irrelevant to me anyway.
The episodes that are currently available will only be online until Friday. Anything that is new after that point is a reboot of the brand by someone other than me.
On a positive note, I’m doing a new podcast called The Grind Radio. While EPCR was cool for a minute, this is the new project that I”m involved with. I’ll eventually have a co-host for the podcast, but as of right now, 100 percent under my creative/professional control.
Please send music to GRNDRadio@gmail.com – I’ll be able to build the audience that I had before pretty quickly, and your music will be heard by a lot of people.
And I don’t hate anyone.
http://www.cthiphop.net/EPCRRadio/Epicenter%20Radio%20-%20SE1%20EP2.mp3- Direct Download (Right Click, Save, or single click for stream.)
1st Hour – Talk
Dina Brass in studio with Brash and Professa’ Dibbs for the first hour of talk. Dina wears wigs on WPLR. Bar tending at The Gold Club. Dina talks her album and the time she’s taken making it. Live performances vs. Recording. Joey Batts is old and famous. Hartford talent. Pretentious parents/Dina’s kids. Graffiti… Left HandZ… Pagent moms in training. Photo shoot in Bristol with Lindsay Vigue. CTHipHop.net talk, Facebook, and other CT bloggers. You should burp into the mic. More Dina album talk. HRCM1! Promoting yourself vs. creativity. Dina has Jeff Buckley syndrome. Live performances vs. music recording. Dina talks about her creative process. “I can’t explain it!” “Well you did, and it’s strange…” Dina decides to sing for Brash and Dibbs. Shout out to Pajama Jeans. Left HandZ is an amazing dad. How Lefty and Dina met. Jackie the nanny. When Brash met Dina, battle raps, and femcees. Douche bags on Facebook. Where is Dina trying to go? Red Apple cigarettes and shit yo… shows in CT have fallen off. Graffiti Rap – TOP SECRET – Left HandZ is a genius/atomic bomb. Answering the phone. The Sonny and Cher of hiphop. Dina parts with a freestyle. “WHAT A GOOD SHOE YOU GUYS!”
2nd Hour-ish – Music – Track List
1. Brash ft. Blak Philly – Kick a Mic Down
2. Blak Philly – A Session with the Underpaid Shrink (Bartender)
3. Blak Philly – Back to Rap
4. dUECe Bug – Time Travel Agency
5. Nyce – Nyce Is Around
6. Joey Batts … and them – Best Friend
7. Joey Batts – Wordplay
8. MC Johnny Wae – Close Your Eyes
9. MC Johnny Wae – The Matrix
10. MC Johnny Wae ft. BC Connect (Produced by Goodkind) – DC/BC
11. 5:AM – So Inapropriate
12. Dia – Hell Freezes Over (Remix)
13. Dia – Respect I Deserve
14. Tableek – Razor Blade Factions
15. Tableek – Simpler Times
16. Brash – On That (Produced by Daneja)
17. Brash ft. INF – For Love or Bad Blood
18. Dia ft. Kollision – 911
19. Professa’ Dibbs – Stand Up LIke a Man
**This Podcast will be available via Stitcher and iTunes soon.
1st Hour – Talk
Brash and Dibbs introduce themselves. Talk about local favorite battle rappers, Quotables included. AIDS. Brash talks about growth from all this shit. Dibbs doesn’t care. Fist fights in backyards. “He bit my finger!” Past shows mentioned and album #2. Shout outs to the temple! Dibbs has a VCR and his Dad still tapes shows for him and Brash makes fun of that, but Dibbs explains himself into Physics. Brief discussion of theoretical physics and Quantum Computing. “Now everybody knows what kind of car I drive.” Brash tries to sound smart but Dibbs shows he’s smarter. Brash suddenly jokes about hitting Nikki Minaj but quickly backs down. WHen will Dibbs battle? Shout outs to Maroney’s M.I.C. league up in Mass. J-Dubbz vs. Brash. 5 Second Timer – good or bad? Jus DJ made J-Klz a sad rapper. Sling Blade for no reason. Working at McDonald’s in Mystic, Connecticut. Annoying people in Boston. I’m not your buddy guy. Dibbs fails at telling a joke but it’s still funny. “Look at the fuckin’ clouds.” Future and wanted guests mentioned. Dirty apartment and remembering old technology. Talking feels like work. War stripes. Record label woes. Creative people and the creative process. Kick Rrawks beat. Dibbs talks about his “fierce lyrical style,” and explains. Brash asks him why he doesn’t battle. Dibbs is a recluse that wants to be immortal. “Facebook will still be stealing data from me after I’m dead,” says Dibbs. How facebook works. Stephen Hawking makes public appearances because why? I’M OVER HERE NOW! Books? The War of Art. More creative talk. Brash is an English major. Brash wants to change what he does to entertain people. Dibbs plays guitar and understands music theory. Brash unloads. “Dude! Hopsin!” Fine, then talk about Hopsin then. No, nevermind. Brash is dissconnected and calls Hopsin’s youtube numbers out. How success works. Tupac holograms and “beefing.” White talk. Space Lizards killed TuPac. The story of Vanilla Ice and a bear. Yuck. Wiggers and the new Vanilla Ice. Partying back in Ledyard, Connecticut. Getting lost in the woods. Adirondak mountains and giant Dicks. “If I were listening to this podcast I’d hate both of us right now.” Prop comics in battle rap. Derico vs. Cityy Towers analyzed. “Gotta see it again!” Ill vs. S. Grams analyzed. You can put a hamberger on another hamberger. Martha Stewart shoves a turkey up her ass and glitter up her vagina on South Park. Elapsed time. Music time.
Send your MP3s to EPCRRadio@gmail.com
2nd Hour – Music
1. dUECe Bug – My Notebook (Produced by Blacastan)
2. MC Johnny Wae – Returning to Life
3. Dibbs – Power Switch
4. dUECe Bug ft. Mr. Lif
5. Brash – Gears
6. DJ Cubed ft. White Cheddar & James Joyce – Too Many Ways
7 White Cheddar – The Show Must Go On
8. Brash ft. Tru Wordz & godAWFUL – Up In Flames
9. Cityy Towers – GodZilla
10. Zitro The Great ft. Muzikk – Peace to all the Crooks
11. Com Plex of Crooked Mindz ft. INF – Mic Like What
12. James Joyce ft. Cy Matics & Rucka – Deliverence
13. Crooked Mindz – Hip-Hop
14. Brash ft. Blacastan – Spillin’
15. Greedy Grimes – STFU
16. White Cheddar, Frex & Krpytik – Number 4
17. S. Grams – Politics
18. Brash – I Want it to End
The “Joey Batts’ RIDICULOUS 30th Birthday Celebration!” features original bands (in tentative order of appearance) Brash, Joey Batts and them, Mandrake Mechanism and Conehead Buddha. Join us at Sully’s Pub (2071 Park Street, Hartford, CT, 860-231-8881) Friday, May 11, at 8 p.m. for a party that includes a raffle drawing, prizes and other treats! The theme of the event is “sunglasses & mustaches,” so guests are encouraged to dress accordingly. The show is 21+; $10 cover charge.band links:http://facebook.com/
joeybatts860(Hartford)http://facebook.com/ brashhiphop(Ledyard)http://facebook.com/ MandrakeMechanism(Collinsville)http://facebook.com/ ConeheadBuddha(Upstate New York)
More information and r.s.v.p.: http://facebook.com/events/
— It’s been awhile since I’ve performed. I’ve been working heavy on getting a mixtape done, establishing this blog’s presence, running a label, and being a Dad. (In opposite order.) Actually I think it’s only been a couple of weeks since I’ve performed… I don’t know anymore. My life is kind of scary because it looks like I’m going to have less and less time to do anything creative. It was kind of a last minute thing, my involvement, which is why my name isn’t on the flyer. I’m going to be there though. Chea.
So this is going to be a different
shoe show. I’m performing a quick set, but I’m also going to be giving a speech real quick. Something I don’t ever do. Joey’s presence jump started my career and I’m going to talk about who he is and where I came from and all that stuff.
So come through.