Monday, September 26, 2011


September 27, 2011 is the date I've been anticipating ever since it was announced that BOTH Phonte and 9th Wonder were releasing their respective albums on this special date in NC hip hop.  I can't forget that Mr. Nice Watch himself, J. Cole, is also unveiling his rookie opus to the world, Cole World.  To start things off properly, we have Little Brother and Justus League turntablist DJ Flash presenting this tribute mixtape to the one and only Phonte Coleman.  It is no secret that Phonte is one of my all-time favorites when it comes to the art of emceeing.  This mixtape collection compiled by DJ Flash will show those that are not in the know what I mean by this statement.  From his career start with Little Brother, to his creative partnership with another favorite Nicolay, you will see the transformation and growth in this 70-track mixtape that captures the essence of Phonte.  Once you peep this mixtape, go support true, heartfelt hip hop and purchase Charity Starts At Home (as well as The Wonder Years by 9th Wonder and Cole World by J. Cole).  Tomorrow will indeed be a great day for hip hop coming from my home away from home, North Carolina!

Friday, September 16, 2011


This video treat almost slipped through the cracks here in Wisdom Seeker land.  I've been so busy with interviews, mentally preparing for creating some timeless music, writing, and working with my sons blossoming hip hop endeavors, that I missed the boat for this gem.  Straight from Harm City you have P.O.E.T., an artist whose time will surely come in this 21st Century hip hop landscape.  From the mold of the J Coles, Wales, Drakes, and Big Seans, he is someone who is lyrical yet stylish in his overall approach.  Peep his second video from his album Heartless.  "The Introduction (Part I) is an inventive and refreshing video, showcasing P.O.E.T. and P.O.E.T. and P.O.E.T. alone!  Once you view the video, head on over to iTunes to cop the album!  Support true Harm City talent!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have been a huge proponent of Gods'illa for the past couple of years now, because they embody what I want AND need to hear from a hip hop perspective.  Their lyrical kinship has been evident from the beginning, and it all comes full circle with what I feel is one of the best releases in 2011 bar none, no matter the musical genre.  I say this because, after listening to CPR The Blend Tape, I get that sense of what true hip hop is all about.  This is the essence of the culture, without sounding dated or out of touch.  In fact, the lyricism and music on this collection is pure brilliance from beginning to end, with no songs that are fast-forward worthy.  With this release being a throwback and forward-thinking all in the same token, you get that notion that Gods'illa should be mentioned with their contemporaries.  Truth be told, these brothers (figuratively and literally) are in a class all to themselves, because their musical endeavors are substance filled, not filler material.  Once you get the opportunity to check out this twenty-one song release, then check out the rest of their catalog to be a believer. 

Go to in order to locate other music by Gods'illa.  You can also follow Gods'illa on Twitter at @GodsIlla.  On Tuesdays, you can find this musical trio hosting Up And Up Open Mic at LIV Nightclub, located in the jazz lounge for Bohemian Caverns at 2001 11th Street NW in D.C.  If you don't already know about the UAU Open Mic, you should really ask someone that has frequented the acclaimed gathering, that has attracted an eclectic crowd of poets, thugged-out emcees, artists, comedians, and anyone else that has a creative or artistic talent.  This weekly showcase gives everyone an opportunity to perform without boundaries or restrictions, and is a breathe of fresh air in today's stagnant musical atmosphere.  Acem, Truth, and Powerful should be commended for organizing a unique event and continuing to produce thought-provoking music.  With the illest hip hop moniker in the game, please support Gods'illa!

Jesse Boykins III Interview-----Ear Candy 3rd Anniversary

Mesmerizing. Engaging. Eclectic. These three words can be used when talking about Jesse Boykins III the person as well as his musical output. This next breed of world music artist infuses soul, jazz, funk, vintage R&B, reggae, and hip hop into a musical concoction of gumbo, ready for consumption by a hungry audience. One listen, better yet, one live experience will solidify the notion that the one christened Jesse Boykins III. Born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1985, he was an immediate byproduct of the hip hop generation, but that timing didn’t limit his musical development. Much of his musical flair can be attributed to multicultural exposure, being raised and prepped in areas as diverse as Jamaica and Miami. These notions, and a few more, were discussed in detail prior to his performance at the 3rd Anniversary Ear Candy celebration, hosted by Gypsy Soul. Gypsy Soul has managed to bring top-notch, eclectic, and avant-garde music to Baltimore for three years and running, so it should come as no surprise that Jesse Boykins III would be added to the list of such underground and underappreciated luminaries such as Deborah Bond, YahZarah, Gods’illa, Megan Livingston, and others.

On this Thursday evening in early September, the weather outside may have been damp and dreary, but the energy inside Select Lounge was polar opposite. A musical energy could be felt as sound check proceeded with The Beauty Created, the live band that provides the sound palette for Boykin’s live performance. The artist of the evening was ushered to a meeting space away from the energized sound check, in order to provide myself, as well as Abdu Ali from and Chasing Soul at What resulted was a close to twenty minute dissertation on “world soul”, how Spike Lee and The Beauty Created are linked, and his experimental fashion sense. Check out the audio interview conducted by the three of us in a round-robin format, something that Jesse Boykins III said was a unique opportunity that he has never encountered.

Jesse Boykins III Interview (20:14 in length)

Jesse Boykins III Interview by Wisdom40

Jesse Boykins III has released two full-length albums, "Dopamine:  My Life On My Back" and "The Beauty Created".  His first album was released to critical praise in 2008, and he followed that up later in the year with the second creative endeavor.  "Love Apparatus" is the third album that should bring even more fanfare to this outside-the-box artist, who doesn't use gimmicks as a crutch.  Jesse Boykins III is an artist in every sense of the word, and if you haven't entered into his unique world, be sure to go to his website at for further proof.

Congratulations, by the way, are in order for the Gypsy Soul family!  Not only did they bring another energized showcase to Baltimore, but they did it in grand style.  In addition to the show headliner, Baltimore's own Corey Mitchell and funk/soul artist Sophia Urista graced the Select Lounge stage, to the delight of everyone in attendance.  Gypsy Soul is a collective of like-minded individuals with very good musical tastes, headed by Ms. Gypsy herself, Kayenecha Daugherty.  I would like to take this time to thank the entire Gypsy Soul family for allowing me to document what this movement is all about.  It is a pleasure to be involved with such an organic and positive experience, and that is exactly what Gypsy Soul embodies.  Salute to you for three excellent years, and continued success as well as blessings.  Peace!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


September 11, 2001 will alway be imbedded in our collective psyches for obvious reasons that I won't go into detail here. I have been away from my Sample Sunday series for a good while now, and today, being a historic day, is as good a time as any to reacquaint myself with my Wisdom Seeker family.

From a musical and hip hop standpoint, the album that is connected to that moment in time is The Blueprint, released on that fateful day to an unsuspecting audience. The Blueprint has been noted as a classic in the stellar catalogue of Mr. Shawn Carter, because of the deep use of soul samples by relatively unknown beat miners Just Blaze and Kanye West. One of the standouts on this album is a slept-on cut, "Never Change". This Kanye West-produced track fits the mold perfectly for The Blueprint, because it gives space for Jay-Z to opine about his struggles and subsequent rise with Roc-A-Fella.

The source for this mid-tempo Kanye production is a 1973 song from the incomparable David Ruffin. From his self-titled album David Ruffin you have "Common Man", a song that could very well be identified with the average cat living in 2011. David Ruffin, from The Temptations fame, used his rich, rough, yet melodic voice to weave the fabric that is the common man, hence the song title. At forty seconds into the Ruffin composition, which was produced in conjuction with Bobby Miller, the portion that would provide the sonic bed for Jay-Z's "Never Change" was laid. "Common Man" was one of quite a few Ruffin tunes where you could hear the pain and angst that symbolized his artistry. This, and other songs of a similar ilk, are the types of songs that fit into the comfortable, soulful mold of 70's music. Take a listen to "Common Man" below.

Ruffin did not reach his full potential, dying from an apparent drug overdose in 1991. His music will live on forever, and Kanye digging through the crates for "Never Change" allows the Ruffin brand to be recognized forever.

Today, Jay-Z and Kanye continue to mine the soul library, most recently on this huge Otis Redding celebratory joint "Otis", which is bringing a whole new audience to that chapter in time when Otis Redding could do no wrong. Hip hop is still able to entertain and bridge gaps, and for that I am grateful. Hopefully, with 9/11 upon us, we can all reflect, while all the while bridge gaps amongst the masses. God bless to all that have been affected, directly or otherwise, by the tragedy that was September 11, 2001. This is a day that will live in infamy, and serve as a true "blueprint" for living from that day into the future.

How Time Passes: A Decade After The 9/11 Tragedy

September 11th of the year 2001 started as an absolutely beautiful day in Baltimore, with just a few clouds dotting the blue late summer sky. Little did any of us know, except those responsible, what was on the horizon that fateful morning. That Tuesday, as I prepared to head off to work at Comcast, and after sending my stepson off to Deep Creek Elementary, my friend Will came over, no more than a few minutes from the first plane striking that initial tower. Within moments, before we could leave out the door, my household looked on in disbelief. Even though that first strike was horrifying, it didn't quite register at that moment that this was the work of terrorists. If memory serves me correct, that second plane struck the other building just before I left my Essex abode and headed for White Marsh. That is when the severity of the situation started to register with me. I made sure everything was fine at home with my then-fiancee Angelisa, and departed for Comcast, oblivious to the fact that as "essential personnel", we would not be able to leave the premises for a multitude of hours once there. On the highway, my friend Will and I listened to the local Baltimore and DC radio stations: 92Q, 93.9 WKYS, 95.5 WPGC. That was the point when "terror" started to slowly but surely seep into everyone's psyche. You could here the radio personalities try to make sense of it all. When it was announced that the Pentagon was a target, proverbial hell broke loose. WE WERE UNDER ATTACK! Make no bones about it, something that I never experienced was happening before our eyes and ears.

Once I arrived at Comcast, I headed right to our Call Center to view the many monitors that were located there. You could see news cameras panning left and right on the televisions, trying to make sense of what was happening, and pondering what was next. We felt that we were all targets at that point. Baltimore is only 39 miles away from Washington, so we could be deemed as vulnerable at that moment in time that seemed to move at a rapid pace and move in slow motion all at the same time. Schools and businesses were closing, so I contacted my ex-wife to find out about my two elementary school children, Adrienne and AJ, that were about 25 miles on the other side of town in Randallstown. At first, no answer. I called again, no answer. Eventually, I did get in contact with her, but the conversation incensed me more than anything, because she did not feel that the issue at hand was an important or pressing one. To this day, the one aspect that sticks with me like gum to the underside of a table is her not going to pick the children up at school, which was located about 500 feet across the road. The school wouldn't release the children to walk across the street alone, so they stayed at school during the entire ordeal. I've made peace with what occurred, but I still have that sordid episode burned into my own pysche, ready to take it to the grave with me when it is time for me to take my last breathe. I felt powerless, because I was in a precarious position. I wanted my fiancee to go pick them up at any cost possible after she picked up the youngest out of our collective. Needless to say, that did not occur either.

As this dark and sordid episode unfolded, rumors of more and more plane attacks were surfacing. With family in the DC and New York/New Jersey area, I also had concern about their well-being. Unfortunately, phone lines, both landline and cellular, were overwhelmed, as everyone was checking on family and friends, alerting others about possible attacks, whatever may have been in the hearts and on the minds at the time. Working was a very difficult task that day, because minds were not necessarily on inbound calls for troubleshooting cable or internet issues. Our collective minds in the Call Center were on what transpired, what was to transpire, and what to do. Of course prayer was the name of the game during this emotional rollercoaster. Prayer shouldn't be used as a tool ONLY when someone is going through a traumatic ordeal, but September 11th was the perfect opportunity to open up dialogue with God. One thing I can say about the unfolding saga was the comraderie we exhibited. We were not necessarily black or white, Hispanic or Asian. We were linked by a common cause, survival. If any one aspect can be taken from this horrific event, it was that Queen Latifah lament: U-N-I-T-Y.

After the last plane "mysteriously" crashed into that field in Pennsylvania, we still didn't know what was on the horizon. Truth be told, George W. Bush was slow to react, and the media, at least at first, made note of that, showing someone briefing him on the events, while Bush was in the middle of an elementary school classroom, reading to the impressionable youth. I don't know if he was as shocked as we were, or if it didn't quite register with him either. Eventually, he did leave that classroom. I don't want to appear as psuedo-political or conspiracy theorist, but my inner voice was telling me something was amiss with the whole picture, similar to when the same George W. Bush flew OVER New Orleans days after the tragedy that was Katrina. I will reserve that topic for a later time.

As the day lingered, and work dragged at a snail's pace, I had time to contemplate. I had time to reflect. I had the opportunity to ponder so many different things. Answering the inbound calls that were pouring in that day just didn't seem like the best way for me to be spending my time and life. I know that my responsibility was to assist our Comcast customers with whatever their needs were, but my personal needs needed attention. My personal needs were for my family and friends to be safe, protected, and reassured. I didn't necessarily feel that was the case at all, because, just like the rest of us, we were very unsure what would happen next. I spent the rest of my day and evening at work, which seems to be a recurring theme even to this day. I say this to say that we have to take stock in what is really, REALLY important, each and every one of us, on all levels. Eventually, I found that my aloof, yet terrified, children that were so near, yet so far away, were safe and sound at their mother's home. Dorian and Angelisa were also fine at home, watching hour after hour of the day's events on Comcast Digital, being inundated with images thatt could not be forgotten.

I know there are similar stories, different stories, tragic stories, all tied into 9/11 from each and every one of us. Surreal is the best word I can use to describe September 11, 2001. How could one of the most beautiful days turn into the ugliest of nights? I say this because once the sun set, the Hype Williams video that we experienced, where images were shot frame by frame, moving ever so slowly, making the scene that much more dramatic, could never be erased. We all had 9/11 stories as soon as that September 11th evening, when that vast majority of us were reunited with family members and friends. It made family become an even more important aspect of everyday living. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am blessed to not have anyone injured or killed in my immediate or secondary circle, even though there may be someone, by six degrees of separation, that I may have come into contact with in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, or New York City. My in-laws (I still consider the Adams' family even though I am no longer married to their daughter) worked for the DC and Federal Government, so of course there was concern there. My best friend Ed was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. There was concern from that vantage point as well because the fighter jets that converged on New York City immediately after the tragic events unfolded were deployed from Langley. My aunt Peggy worked directly across the East River from Manhattan in Newark, so she saw the burning towers of the World Trade Center, and noted to me that she saw the collapse and subsequent plume of dark smoke and debris blanket the region.

I could go on and on, but I won't at this moment, because right now, ten years later, we have to pay homage to the brave and unaware. The brave for risking life and limb to help those in need. The unaware that did not know that September 11th would be their last day on this very planet. We should take note, because there is no promise for any of us to see the very next day. Today is a commemoration of the nation's most heinous and tragic day, in my opinion, just because of the sheer scope and resulting effect it had on each and every one of us. A moment of solace is definitely warranted. We should reflect on what that day's events did to change your viewpoint on humanity. Did it bring you closer to your brother and sister, your mother and father, your children, your family, your church community, your co-workers? Conversely, did September 11, 2001 sour you on the whole concept of brotherhood, love, family, community, and other ties that bind? I hope that the images of those at Ground Zero, covered in ash, trying to find safety in numbers, still resonates. Those people, covered from head to toe, looked alike, no matter race, creed, color, or religious background. I hope that we as a people can move forward, and reflect properly, in your own manner, on the events that transpired, and use that as a catalyst to be a better person.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mixtape Review-----I DOOSE IT, VOLUME 1

I Doose It, Volume 1 is the first mixtape offering from Baltimore-area emcee A-Dub, a member of the hip hop collective known (or soon to be known) as Flight Squad Pilot Gang. I take pride in this release that can be found on and because not only is A-Dub a very good emcee, but he is also my son. Being a journalist, I have to bring a level of objectivity to the table, so no nepotism is in place when reviewing this mixtape. I am shrewd enough to realize a talented lyricist and artist when I see or hear one. A-Dub is one such entity.
The first thing that catches the eye with I Doose It, Volume 1 is the off-the-wall title. “I doose it” is a catchphrase that A-Dub, born Adam White, Jr., has coined to showcase his enthusiasm for accomplishing goals, both minute and mammoth. The second noticeable aspect of this semi-polished mixtape offering is the multicolored photo montage of the artist, reminiscent of the youthful Nas album picture on the seminal classic Illmatic, splashed with a dash of Andy Warhol for good measure.

This first mixtape offering is a collection of fifteen songs, mostly freestyles over current hot joints. A-Dub starts with the ambient joint "9AM In Baltimore", his dissertation on his come-up through trials and tribulations in Harm City. "Choppa Choppa Down" gives A-Dub the opportunity to shout out his Flight Squad Pilot Gang crew and associates before he goes in rhyme-wise. His verse was cool, but leaves the listener wanting more. Clocking in at 4:08, this track deserves another verse to complete the experience. "Dead Presidents", over the famed Jigga joint from Reasonable Doubt, allows A-Dub the space he needs to lyrically flourish. This is the type of track that a true emcee should murk, just because it is an emotionally-charged track that producer Ski concocted. Cool lyrics, even though I peeped that lyrics at the end of the joint were recycled from a previous track on I Doose It, Volume 1. You can hear fellow FSPG rhyme slinger G-Rich shouting that A-Dub "got off" on the track. Next on the I Doose It agenda is "Money Can Buy", another ambient-type track that allows you to focus on the lyrics being spit. This is another track that focuses on a young person's aspirations of gaining that capital needed to exist in this day and time. "All In Ya Wife", over the Kanye track "All Of The Lights", gives Mr. FSPG himself the chance to flow over a mid-tempo joint. Another cool joint, but this time G-Rich gets the chance to get some shine on the Yeezy instrumental. "Ransom" is another Dirty South-flavored track featuring Flight Squad emcee G-Rich, and this gives the two the opportunity to tag team like WWE wrestlers. Even though I'm not the biggest proponent of that new-age, Dirty South, bounce-type music, I can appreciate that this is what 21st Century emcees are into. G-Rich definitely ripped the mic on this song. Next on the I Doose It menu is "Ballin'", featuring comically Wayne, and is a bouncy track that A-Dub can spit metaphors about getting more and more money. This is definitely a common theme throughout I Doose It, Volume 1, so you can see where his mentality is housed at the moment. Of course the funny part about this track is the "feature" by Mr. Dwayne Carter. Throughout the mixtape, you can see the humor and potential by A-Dub as an artist.

To break up the monotony of the mixtape, you have "How To Love", over the instrumental of the Weezy hit. A-Dub is no Luther Vandross, or even Drake, when it comes to being a melodic cat on the mic, but I don't think he is trying to be. On this mixtape cut, A-Dub is showing the vulnerable side that he sometimes conceals behind his signature Aviator shades. After I snickered a few times while listening to this joint, I was cool with him going outside his hip hop comfort zone for "How To Love". The second half of the album includes mixtape staple "Hustle Hard", where the lyricist gives the listener an introduction to FSPG, and he is able to ride the track like a seasoned vet. The next offering is an unorthodox cut that happens to be the title joint "I Doose It". A-Dub flexs a double-time flow throughout this song. Listening to Homer Simpson yell his signature "Doooooh" on this track will bring a smile to the face of an attentive listener. Over the "I'm Not A Star" instrumental, Mr. FSPG spits line after line that new breed emcees will appreciate. This is one of the songs that I definitely felt because he went in from beginning to end lyrically. The obligatory "Otis" freestyle is in effect here, where A-Dub shouts out his sister (and my daughter) Adrienne for convincing him to include this on I Doose It, Volume 1. This is another cool song where A-Dub spits line after line about obtaining that American Dream that the average hip hop heads are reaching for, if they want to admit or not. "Pilot Gang" is the song that gives shine to Young Coppa, G-Rich, and the rest of the Flight Squad Pilot Gang. Here, the young spitter again showcases a double-time flow that he is developing, adding more flair to his emerging style. The next track, "Premediated Murder", is a metaphorical song where A-Dub gets more personal as an artist. This is where his potential really shines, because you here his struggles, frustrations, and pain from a lyrical aspect. The murder he is speaking about is killing the ills that he experiences and feels on a daily basis. "I'm dark-skinned so the field niggas feel me" is probably the most honest lyric on the entire mixtape, because the youthful Mr. White is embracing his blackness, both as a skin tone and ethnicity. The last track is "Say What's Real", showing the influence that Drake has on his lyrical swagger. This song was a little short in nature, like many of the songs on this artistic collection, but you can feel where he is headed as an emcee.

Overall, I see and hear the potential as a lyricist and emcee throughout I Doose It, Volume 1. Even though the mixtape had some flaws, such as the vocal mix and lack of lyrical diversity, this doesn't mean that I do not like this joint. On the contrary, I celebrate the young man for being honest and showing signs of brilliance on I Doose It, Volume 1. Here, you get an artist that is ready to grow, lyrically and topically. I applaude A-Dub, and the rest of Flight Squad Pilot Gang, for taking initiative and pursuing their dreams. This world would probably be a better place if we all took that honest, yet simple, approach. For his first true mixtape release, I give A-Dub the Fonz thumbs up! My words of encouragement for him and his crew is to find your own lane, don't follow but lead, and continue to grow. Be honest with what you present, musically and lyrically, and the listening world will be ready and attentive. As Phonte so bluntly puts it, "honestly, I like what them young boys is doing", basically giving credence to me NOT hating on this new breed of emcees.

You can download this first offering from A-Dub on and You can also follow A-Dub on Twitter at @Adub_IDooseIt. Below you will find the mixtape in its entirety. Enjoy, critique constructively, and support this young man living out his passion for all to witness!

I Doose it vol.1 by Adam Rozaay White

Friday, September 9, 2011


I had the pleasure of interviewing former NFL player and independent filmmaker Matthew Cherry, who is preparing to hit the indie film festival route with the buzz-worthy The Last Fall. Here is the trailer for independent movie, which will have the score and soundtrack provided by my guilty pleasure known as The Foreign Exchange. The interview will be found soon at On The Rise Magazine ( When this movie is released for public consumption, make sure to support it! With a diverse cast such as Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and many others, I am confident that The Last Fall will spark thought and emotion.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Executive produced by hip hop pioneer Christopher "Play" Martin, from the renowned group Kid 'N Play, this documentary, entitled appropriately and succinctly Holy Hip Hop takes a look into the lifestyle and music that encompasses this sub-genre of hip hop. Released in 2006, this insightful documentary sheds light on many artists that are an integral part of this familial hip hop community. Artists as diverse as Da T.R.U.T.H., Cross Movement, Light, Lecrae, and countless others bring a holy sensibility to the sometimes dark underworld that exists within a music wrought with so much potential. You may not be a fan of hip hop with a holy attachment, but make no mistake about it, it is not going anywhere. With unimagined earthquakes and other fatalistic aspects permeating our very existence, holy hip hop, Christian hip hop, spiritual spitting, whatever you want to label it, will remain, just for the certain fact that it can uplift a downtrodden people. With this documentary clocking in at more than 90 minutes, your attention should be grabbed by the musicality and message being presented. Holy hip hop has definitely elevated its game to compete with and reach the masses. Just a few years ago, this sub-genre existed with only a few chosen heads showcasing true wit and lyrical ability. Those days are now a thing of the past, as Holy Hip Hop takes a turn for the more lyrical, while still keeping the very integral message of hope, love, and Godly responsibility. After watching the documentary, let me know what you think at my e-mail: