Category: "music"


What's poppin my people,

Happy belated Koninginnedag (Queensday) to all my Dutch readers, Its been a busy week so lets skip formalities and get right into the update.

Spring is here and people have “spring fever,” wearing less, drinking more, having BBQ's and going to festivals. For those who don’t know, the Netherlands is run by a monarchy so it has a Queen like the U.K. and her day "Queensday," was April 30th and I'm still feeling the hangover. Public transportation inside Amsterdam is halted and blockades are set-up outside the city center so no traffic could be driven through. Once in the Centrum, walking or biking are the only means of transportation and even that is difficult. The whole country turns into a party, with DJ's setting up turntables on corners and people taking to the streets. Most people wear something orange cuz its the Dutch national color, but if you didn’t have any orange apparel there were street vendors everywhere selling plastic inflatable crowns. Most of the DJ’s played Dance or House music but at the Duivel (small Hip-Hop bar) they had their annual “Queens Bridge” party. Scaffolding was set-up between two buildings to make a bridge, then various local acts performed for the crowd below. I met up with some friends, had a few drinks then we wandered around from place to place like nomads. Normally I go to the same spots and see the same people but this year I adventured into the unknown and the rewards were finding underground jam sessions by DJ’s I never knew existed. It was a chill day.

As I mentioned last entry my first art exhibition was last weekend. The art exhibition was held April 22nd - 25th in various locations, featuring painters, sculptors, photographers, designers and musicians. I exhibited 20 paintings and performed on the last two days of the event at the Swanenburg Yacht Club. Let me tell you that was one of the most unique shows I've ever done. On the Yacht club floor was the gallery which featured paintings from me, painter Lottie Buit, and a sculptor whose name I can't recall at the moment. It was a dope gallery, spacious with a allot of windows and reflective surfaces so all the paintings got nice lighting. The event attracted a diverse crowd of elderly, kids and curious visitors which made my performance look like scene from an Alfred Hitchcock film. I performed on a shipping wharf about 1 meter wide with no banister support, so if I stepped to far back I would’ve fell into the water. The audience was on the patio behind the Yacht club, some in chairs, others standing or sitting on the lawn. Since the event was an art expo and not a concert I chose songs that had little profanity and more positive subject matter.

Seriously, I gave a half hour performance running thru some songs off the new album and a few from previous albums with a cordless mic that kept cutting off. The patio was packed and although it was a strange blend of people they were very enthusiastic and responsive. While I was performing the song "Slither" a old Dutch guy (had to be in his late 60's) jumps out of his seat and starts dancing the funky chicken. I was so surprised that I forgot my lines and laughed a little while spittin. I had to ad-lib the rest of the song but nobody noticed cuz we were all to busy watching the old guy. My homie Thijs taped some of the show from April 25th with his digital camera (the quality isn’t so good) you can see it under my (myspace) videos. I also posted photos from the event (shot with the same camera) in a folder on my page if you're curious go take a take a peek, I'll wait... lets move on.

I did a show at the Live on the Low (a weekly Hip-Hop event in Amsterdam, featuring diverse themes and acts from underground and mainstream artists) for the release of the "Stiekem" mixtape from DJ Illskills. My track "Controllin tha Game" with Kool G. Rap was produced by DJ Illskills (Illy for short) and is featured on the mixtape. I've talked about Illy before, he's a really humble dude but talented DJ and producer. He don’t say much, he lets the music do his talking. The release party was held 30th March and featured performances from myself, Burgaman, Kalibwoy, Kiddo Cee, L.C.S. (Lelystad), Slick & Marvel, Man Called Shock (Shockman), Mella Mell, Stash-a-Lot, Vieira (R'dam) and Kable (R'dam). The show was COCONUTS! it was a mix of Hip-Hop, DanceHall, and a little R&B. All the artists did their thing, there were allot of catz in the line-up from other cities who came to Amsterdam and represented, the vibe was positive the whole night.

I have footage from my show and a few of the other acts edited into a mini compilation called the Vinumous Chronicles: Amsterdam. You can watch it <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> or at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. I taped with the same Dvcam I've done the other V.C. with cuz I still don't have the loot for a new camera. The shows broke it into two parts cuz there was to much footage to edit down into one 10minute clip on youtube. Part 1 consists of my show and a little behind the scenes footage. Part 2 is me backstage interviewing some of the acts before they perform. If you're a fan of Hip-Hop (if you're reading my gotta be) its definitely worth watching and if you like it, pass the link on to a friend.

My family is going thru its ups and downs like any other. My mom and sisters are good but another cousin died, while my cousin Ray (who I've mentioned before) is going away for awhile and it hurts me cuz he's a good man and good father. Its strange to be so far away from family that my world gets compartmentalized into the people I see and interact with on the daily. Once tragedy strikes through images witnessed or news conveyed it opens the eyes to what’s going on outside your world. While I sympathize with my family I’m also going through my own difficulties cuz I'm job searching right now. I stopped at my other part-time gig after being there for a year due to a change of management. They gave me great references but its difficult to job search while having to attend school twice a week at night and keeping the business running.

I've been working on new material while doing features for everyone under the sun. Jus'kiddin ...not everyone cuz some catz are wack. Really though, I've done collabos with my homie the Brigga reppin London, Cool Art MC reppin Senegal, a few catz from Surinam, Poland, Germany and the U.S. so expect to hear some new material soon. Outside of collabo projects I'm working on my new project "Verbal Sorcery," writing songs, looking for beats just getting back into production mode...its going to be a busy summer.

Until next we speak, be well

Tha One an Only


Greetings and Happy New Year blog readers and literary affectionado’s. It's been a few months and I’m back with a story to tell.

As much as I would like to entertain you with tales of massive alcohol and pharmaceutical consumption in the spirit of New Years, I have none to share. My New Years was fairly mundane. I worked from noon till late chasing that paper cuz "Grindin Muzik" is HERE! It arrived in Europe yesterday morning so digital and physical outlets will be adding to there inventory list and it will be available for purchase in a few weeks. If you need immediate musical gratification, you can order it from my website <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and the CD will be in your hands in 5 working days or less (if you’re in Europe) and 10 – 12 working days if you’re in the U.S..

The album features collaborations with Sean Price, Ruste Juxx, Kool G. Rap, and a few others. It has production from Oakland (D.Labrie) to Amsterdam (Sliscobarss, DJ Nemo, Burgs, and DJ Illskillz) so the album is packed with diverse mix of beats. The reason I titled this project "Grindin Muzik" is cuz this is muzik that you listen to when you’re willing to suffer to acquire the things you desire. Whether you’re hustling on the block, sweating it out in the gym, or working that nine to five getting minimum wage. No matter what your occupation, we’re all part of the same situation. The term “grindin” is common street slang meaning “to sell something” either product (narcotics, CD’s, books, burgers, etc.) or labor (bodyguard, prostitute, limo driver, freelance designer, etc.). Most people only associate the term grinding with selling pharmaceuticals, but its really for anyone chasing paper.

The release party was held November 4th, 2009 in the Sugar Factory in Amsterdam. It was called "Triple Threat" and featured performances from myself, Gekke C and Urban, two other MC’s who also released projects. You can see the flyer on my page, go take a peek if you haven’t already. The party was dope. We had a nice-sized crowd and each artist in my humble opinion gave a damn good show. All our styles are different so we attracted an eclectic group of listeners. Urban’s album is titled “Out the magician’s hat,” cuz magician’s pull anything from rabbits to fish bowls out of their hats to amaze and astonish. Urban did that with his music. Gekke C titled his album “Stories from the Village Nut.” He brought humorous tales acted out with his theater group of 7 or 8 people. Me, I did it old skool, Eric B. and Rakim style, Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo style, Run DMC and Jam Master Jay style, you feel me! Just a MC, a hype man and a DJ. I was the MC, Funky Fresh was the hype man, and Illskillz was the DJ. It was 1am when we hit the stage and I was the final act so we got BUSY! I spit six tracks off the album flawlessly and even though I didn’t get off stage until after 2am the crowd was hyped. The night wasn't a complete success cuz a fight broke out in the smoking room. Some drunk couldn’t handle his liquor and kept getting up in everybody's face. It annoyed me cuz that situation is the Hip-Hop stereotype that the media is always using as fuel to ban our music. It's a false perception. Numerous tours like the "Hard Knock Life", "Up In Smoke" and "Chronic" proved that international tours comprised of only Hip-Hop acts could occur without incident. Aside from that, the party was a success and the next one will me even better.

I leave for Midem January 22nd. Now that the album is here all my energy is focused on proper promotion and marketing. In the past the Midem conference used to generate opportunities for independent catz to network with a lot of industry people they wouldn’t normally have access to. The last two Midems have shown a gradual decline supporting independent and some established Hip-Hop acts. Most of the seminars and workshops became Rock and Dance music oriented. I’m hoping this year will be a return to the former days or there will at least be more indie labels attending.

Aside from the music I’ve been trying to stay ahead of the game. Life has been difficult so I’ve had to make adjustments to deal with the degree of difficulty. There’s a question that I’ve been getting almost on the daily now that annoys the hell out of me cuz it shows the limitations of other peoples perception. When I meet people on the street who have checked out the website or seen some of my videos they say “you have such good music, videos, merchandise, why aren’t you famous yet?” My answer's always the same, “cuz I’m not chasing that dream.” And some don’t get it even after I explain the reason why. Let me break it down for you. Most people equate being famous with being rich, because when you hear fame in the media it's usually said in connection with wealth, “Rich and Famous,” but they’re not the same thing. There are allot of famous people who aren't rich and allot of very rich people who live in total obscurity. There’s two types of artists, those who want to be rich and those who want to be famous. You can tell the one's who want to be famous cuz they’ll be on TV saying comments like “I‘ve dreamed of being on TV since I was 2 years old.” These are the same people who become depressed or commit suicide when their star falls.

Fame is a double-edged sword, on the one side everywhere you go people recognize you and want to give you things, complimentary stays at the finest restaurants and hotels, sex, drugs, access to new cars and other exclusive toys that aren't available for the common person. Then on the other side, everywhere you go people recognize you and are willing to stalk you or sneak into your home with whatever intentions. Attracting devious people who want to leech off you, others who want to pull you down to catapult their own carriers. Your every move is scrutinized by the media and false rumors and accusations are common. Think of Michael Jackson R.I.P. trying to walk into Walmart to buy some glitter socks. The people would go BANANA’S! Millions of dollars in merchandise destroyed, people trampled to death from other people trying to touch MJ or get his autograph. They would have to call the national guard and shutdown the next sixteen blocks.

Then there’s my type of artist, the one’s that want to be rich. Yes I can become rich and have a certain degree of fame for whatever ingenious scheme that made me rich, but my face isn’t on the TV all the time and I’m not in all the major newspapers. Maybe you find me in an independent magazine or some local newsletter, but it would never be to the degree of a Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Dr. Dre or 50 Cent. Being rich is different. You have enough money to afford the same luxuries as the famous, but can still go to Walmart for your own glitter socks. You can travel the world, live comfortably, provide for family and close friends without attracting the majority of the problems that come from star-chasers and gold diggers. I say some cuz wealth also attracts the greedy...but I’m ready for that.

On a different note I recently got back into snowboarding and I’m getting good at riding rails and jumping boxes. I made a clip of my homie "El Jorre" and I riding at this local indoor spot called Snow Planet. The clip's 10 minutes long and features "El Jorre" and I doing ollies, grinds, and other tricks, plus the soundtrack is 3 songs off the new album. The title is “Shredding Powder” and its the first in the series of 10 you can watch it by pasting this link in your browser <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or going to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Check it out cuz I’m halfway thru “Shredding Powder 2” and we already got new tricks that make part one look like amateurs. While most people were doing last minute shopping on Christmas Eve, I was on the slopes snowboarding and practicing new tricks for the next clip. It's a serious adrenaline addiction and it's keeping me active during the winter. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.

The winter has been serious in Holland. It's snowing outside right now and it's been snowing on and off for the last two weeks. This year was the first white Christmas since 1981. The weather on the average night is ten degrees below zero. The snow makes it impossible for me to drive my brommer and public transportation is unreliable cuz the roads are icy. I spent my Christmas indoors with my girlfriend chillin watching movies. The cold has most people staying indoors and drinking liquor to keep warm. This seems to be Dutch tradition, and until you’ve lived in this weather don’t judge it. I’ve decided to take a break from drinking and smoking for a while. I had already stopped smoking for months before I smoked "Trinity" in my last blog. Now, I’m quitting drinking too, and focusing that energy into music and snowboarding. That’s it for now avid reader, go buy a copy of "Grindin Muzik", check out the "Shredding Powder" clip and if you like it, leave a comment or tell a friend. I hope you had a happy holiday season and have a successful 2010 in whatever endeavors you undertake. We'll talk again after Midem. Until then be well.

Tha One an Only


What’s Poppin blog hungry cyber-surfers,

I’m busier than an airport during Spring Break so I’ll keep things brief.

I recently attended the New Skool Rules conference from April 9th – 11th in Maashaven, Rotterdam. It was promoted as the biggest Hip-Hop and R &amp; B conference in the world and it lived up to the claim. There were numerous workshops, performances and peer panels that talked about the music business. I didn’t attend any workshops because I was there to network, so the majority of my time was spent talking to various industry professionals. The highlight of my visit was meeting the iconic MC Shan and picking his brain on how he stays relevant in the ever changing music landscape. He gave me a few pointers and even did a small drop which has been condensed into the Vinumous Chronicles: New Skool Rule edition.

In a past entry I talked about the “Grindin Muzik,” video clip and let me tell you the footage is DOPE! The problem is, half of it is in HD and the other half in DV format. The DV is no problem cuz I’ve shot all my prior vids in DV format. The HD is the f*ckin headache. When I shot the clip I didn’t know that you needed a special program “Cyberlink PowerDirector 7” at least 1GB of RAM and allot of memory to edit HD footage. So I have all the pieces and the motivation but not the technology to finish the clip. To put it bluntly…I need a new computer.

Never one to rest when I can hustle, I did a clip for my homie Gekke C featuring Rio (another Dutch rapper/producer) to keep the creative juices flowing. The clip is named “O Twee” which means O2 (as in oxygen) in English. The concept behind the clip was being lighter than air and watching people stand still while they were in motion. We shot all the footage in a few hours in various locations around Amsterdam and the end result is posted on myspace/poizonouspenproductions, youtube, hyves, and various other locations. If you’re a fan of Dutch hip-hop or just curious about my editing skills I recommend you go take a look.

The music has been moving at a slow and steady pace, I’m still chasing success like a Lion after a Gazelle. I recently did a track with NLZ called “Fearless” that is straight FIYA! He’s on the “Young and Hungry” track posted on my page, off the Sinister Ambitionz album. The beat was produced by my homie DJ Nemo the same cat who made the beat to “Grindin Muzik. I got a few more collabo’s in the works so the label thought it best to push the album release back until the end of June, so we could promote it right.

Speaking of promotion, the new issue of Underground Railroad magazine is released and on sale across the west coast and online so get your copy while they’re in stock. I have a full interview talking about music and life in Holland goto <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to take a peek. Also the editor from Exclusive magazine “Joe Rugby,” is coming back to Holland at the end of the month to show me the spread for issue #23. Joe was here a few months ago and did a video interview with me at Pitu studios while I was working on some new tracks. He’s a cool brotha from VA (Virginia for those unfamiliar with the abbreviation) who’s working on making his magazine a competitor for The Source and XXL. You can check out past issues at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>or just wait for issue #23 featuring me.

On a personal note, I’ve begun a new job to supplement my income, which I won’t elaborate on. What I can tell you is that it’s not illegal and it has me working like a sled dog in the Artic. Other than work and music I’ve been painting a little more and socializing a little less. Spring is here so the tourists are coming in droves and the natives are enjoying the weather. If you ever want to visit Holland this is the season. Summer only lasts for about two and a half months before it returns to rainy windy weather, which most locals spend indoors at bars, pubs and clubs. For these precious few months there’s an endless amount of outdoor activities to keep the active mind amused. I’m talking about everything from museums, basketball, soccer, miniature golf to sunbathing and horse-drawn carriage rides. It’s a great time to be here and I’m look forward to doing some indoor snowboarding and hitting the beach when I have breaks from work. That’s it for now folks, until next we speak be well.

Tha One an only


Hello my blog reading cyber-junkies. I'm too busy for a long entry so let’s jump right into it. I returned from the 2009 Midem a few weeks ago and have been busy non-stop since I landed. Midem was somewhat a disappointment this year because I was expecting more from the experience. There were only two companies (aside from mine) that dealt exclusively with urban music. This is a dramatic change from previous years where at least 30% of the companies attending Midem dealt with urban music as a primary or secondary genre.

Although there was little Hip-Hop representation Midem still did a great job with the concerts. I saw Henk ShockLee the producer from Public Enemy give a live show with a crew called the "Bomb Squad" that was off the meat rack! He was doing a mash-up (crossing two different genres of music) mix of hip hop, dubb, reggae and dance tracks. Before he gave the show he talked for about ten minutes about how happy the U.S. was to have Obama in office. The audience was hanging on his every word and when he finished his dissertation the crowd was ecstatic. The shift from urban to dance music is no surprise considering the resent global events. Regardless, it wasn't what I was expecting and I don't think I'll attend next year.

I recently uploaded the Vinumous Records 2009 E.P.K on and few other locations. This is the electronic press kit I distributed during Midem featuring new music from myself with Rusty Juxx, Misstrezz, Burgs and Sir Lioth, along with the VR discography and videography. It had to be compressed for streaming so lost some quality, but it’s still viewable.

Since returning I've been making moves in the company of shadows under the veil of darkness plotting schemes for success. I'm a nocturnal creature that finds solace in the shadows, so even though I'm back in Amsterdam allot of people haven't seen me. I've been busy with test shots for the "Grindin Muzik" video clip I'm shooting next week. Like with "AhhYoo and SmeerSpit" I will be directing and editing the clip. The concept is a horror movie theme which is best described as "Candy Man" crossed with "The Mummy."

In a previous entry I talked about editing a new clip for Misstrezz to the song called “Hot.” After the shooting and editing was done, we noticed it needed more beach shots, since it was a summer song. By this time it was already August and although I would’ve liked to do a re-shoot at the Zandvoort (a beach town 15 minutes outside of Haarlem) conflicting schedules between Misstrezz, Rukshun and myself didn’t allow it. So it was decided not to release the clip (since summer was almost over) and to do another project fitting the season. Who knows maybe we’ll release it on the Misstrezz DVD as a bonus clip. She just released a new clip for the track “Loved Ones,” on the VR site, youtube, and other online locations which came out dope and worth checking out.

The Hip-Hop concerts haven’t stopped since my plane dropped. I recently saw a show at the Paradiso featuring Kool Moe D, Busy B, Grand wizard Theodore, K- Swift and a few others. It’s was a tribute to vintage hip-hop and although these cats were performing these songs back in 1982 they still gave it there all. Jedi Mind Tricks and Capone and Noriaga (CNN) both gave shows a few days ago (I was busy so didn’t attend) and the reviews went both ways. I heard the Jedi Mind Trick show was dope. They had a few guys from Army of the Pharaohs with them and they gave a show that was over an hour. The CNN scenario was the opposite. They came on stage late, only performed for about forty minutes to their own CD. It was almost the description I heard about the Fat Joe show verbatim, minus the taking off shoes part. It’s too bad about the show cuz I used to be a fan of CNN back in the day, the album “War Report,” was off the chain.

The new album is almost done, I’m adding a few more tracks so I can be selective and I’m waiting on one collabo. While waiting I’m going to shoot the video cuz in an image driven society, having a video slip is almost as important as a hit song. It’s the equivalent to pressing up 1000 T-shirts, posters and stickers and running a fully staffed marketing campaign for three months. Aside from touring doing live shows, a videoclip is the best way to get a new song exposed to a wide demographic in a short amount of time. Don’t get it twisted, if the song is wack with a dope clip it still may not sell… BUT it will give you exposure. I have a hit record, creative mind, HD camera, and great location, please believe you’re about to see the magic happen. I would rather show you than tell you so its time to get back to work.

Until next we speak, Be well

Tha One an Only


Hello and happy holidays cyber-surfers,

It seems like the global attack on Hip-Hop has finally reached Europe’s shores. Over the last three months most of the radio stations have stopped playing Hip-Hop music and they taken the 24hour Hip-Hop station FunX off the air. The reasoning behind this blatant attack on the culture is, some girl got attacked and the attackers said they listened to Hip-Hop music. Apparently that was all the justification necessary to stop broadcasting Hip-hop on radio and television. To balance out this cultural whitewash and keep the masses at bay. The “powers that be” have provided a non-stop barrage of big-named performances from hardcore to pop. In the last month alone there have been concerts by Tha Game, Estelle, Public Enemy, Royce 5’9, D12, and many others. Out of all the concerts I’ve seen the best hands down was Public Enemy.

Chuck D and Flava Flav are true Hip-Hop legends, like the Rolling Stone is to rock music. They were performing some of those songs twenty years ago (in 1988) and still got BUSY!!! They ran thru an incredible two hour set backed-up by a six piece band, Jeru tha Damaja and DJ Lord displaying crazy turntable skills in between numbers. It was my first time seeing PE live and their showmanship was amazing. They performed every track live, Chuck D rhymed every line on time, and Flava was hyping up the stage with flying kicks and other acrobatics like he was eighteen. Chuck D pointed out during the show that without Flava there would be no “hypeman.” He was the first cat in a rap group to amp-up the crowd not with rhymes, but with pure hyper-active energy.

After the show I went in the Duivel for a quick drink on my way to a afterparty and sitting at the bar talking to this dark-haired cutie was Jeru tha Damaja. I had been drinking tequila shots with beer chasers the whole night with my homie and was SMASHED! (say it with me people and with feeling...Sum-Mash-eD!) so tried to keep the conversation short. He told me the audience was banana’s and Amsterdam was the best stop on the whole P.E. tour. By the time he started telling me about his mixtape dropping next year my drinks were ready and I had to bounce.

Another dope concert was Estelle from the U.K. and it was totally unexpected. My homie Luz said she was a fan so I decided to go with her out of curiosity. I gotta say, Estelle gave a good show. She gave a ninety minute performance running thru her older songs and new hits like “American Boy,” with a live band and back-up singers. The crowd was amped the whole show and afterwards they clapped and hollered for so long, she came back out and did one last song. (no rhyme intended)

The thing about having so many artists come to Amsterdam is you really get to see which artists have true showmanship and which ones come for vacationing. The new trend is for big-named artist to come to Amsterdam and charge 35 to 45 euros a show and only give a forty-five or fifty minute performance. Most of which consists of the drunk and high artist stumbling around on stage forgetting his own lyrics. Flava Flav was saying that as consumers we shouldn’t except artists coming here getting on stage acting whack, performing to a back-up track, and leaving. (I agree)

My man Biggs told me he saw the Fat Joe show a few weeks ago. (no rhyme intended) Here’s the breakdown of he show. First Fat Joe takes off his shoes and starts walking around the stage (why?... no one knows), then he spends ten minutes telling the crowd how great the weed is in Amsterdam. (When you’re paying to see a show you don’t want to hear the performer talking about the city’s tourist attractions, he can do that after. We live in Amsterdam, so we know how good the weed is, plus its available all the time.) Finally he performs for no more than fifty minutes rhyming to his own tracks. Not instrumentals, the actual track that you would hear on the radio. There were allot of angry people who left that show and that’s just one example of the unsavory behavior that artists try and pull here. To be honest, compared to a few I’ve seen and even more I’ve heard about, Fat Joe wasn’t that bad.

On the business side of things, I’ll be featured in the March issue of Underground Railroad Magazine ( along with my homie Misstrezz. I’ll have a full four to six page interview talking about music and life in Amsterdam, and Strezz was chosen for the “In the Spotlight” section. The magazine is in stores on the west coast and digital so grab a copy and tell a friend to tell a friend. The music is still moving but at a snails pace due to bouts of insomnia and writers block. Normally I would paint through it, but I ran out of canvas a few days ago and haven’t had a chance to buy any. Lately I’ve been to busy making EPK’s (Electronic Press Kits) and other preparations for Midem. Its been a busy month for business and the momentum doesn’t look like its going to everyone have a Happy New Year and party a little for me.

Until next we speak, Be well

Tha One an Only