He built with rappers in Palestine, then dropped a single with MC Serch and Jewish rapper Sneakas. He went to war over the keffiyeh trend on the internet leaks Lesson A and B (with Q-Tip). He started JumpOff TV’s weekly Walking Blog, where he breaks down the week in NY hip-hop in song form. Now NJ emcee Mazzi presents The Inspection.

“Love Is Love” video (f. Maya Azucena)
Mazzi on Twitter


Likwit Crew/Gold Chain Military
secret weapon Montage One steps out the shadows this year with his debut solo album 10.6.2.OGX on Stimulus One/RBC. Features production from Madlib, E-Swift, Alchemist, Evidence, OhNo, DJ Babu, Jake One, DJ Revolution, and cameos from Little Brother, Strong Arm Steady, Foreign Exchange, WildChild, Dilated Peoples and Defari. ‘Nuff said. EPK above, and first single “Blood Lust” featuring TriState and Planet Asia available for stream here and download here.

As bassist for James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic and a constant stream of solo output, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins is the man behind some of the most famous basslines in history, widely credited with establishing bass as the driving element of modern music. So it follows that one of the most influential figures in bass has built the world’s first Funk University, officially entering its first semester as of July 1. Funk disciples worldwide are enrolling at TheFunkUniversity.com, a ‘virtual campus’ where exclusive new content will be added daily, geared towards intermediate to advanced bass players as well as anyone interested in a deeper understanding of funk.

Bootsy’s Funk U, a virtual campus featuring exclusive lectures, discussions and exercises, is as unorthodox and intriguing as the artist himself. The pioneering class accesses new content each day consisting of lectures and discussions by Professor Bootsy relating to his own knowledge of the bass and funk theory culled through his more than 40 years of work. Students are also accessing highly intimate lectures and conversations with one of the most impressive assemblies of musical visionaries in one online location. Highly affordable, F.U. offers monthly access to the most comprehensive bass community and learning environment the world has seen, for the average cost of one in-person bass lesson.

In year 1, scheduled appearances include special guest professors like Les Claypool, Meshell Ndegeocello, Victor Wooten, John B. Williams, Divinity Roxx, Dennis Chambers, Thee Ram Jam, Frankie “Kash” Waddy, Bakithi Kumalo, P-Nut, Catfish Collins, Blackbyrd McKnight, and Billy Bass. Independently, each guest will synthesize their decades of invaluable experience into a series of discussions, lessons and exercises on bass and rhythm all within the classrooms section of the site. In Bootsy’s Lecture Hall, Bootsy will provide extensive lectures on funk, the bass, and his library of genre-defining work. The library at Funk U houses a wealth of multimedia learning content, from video and audio to gear tutorials. Staff reviews of students’ performance will be conducted periodically, and professors will also hold office hours to answer students’ questions. Bootsy’s Funk University is produced by SceneFour, the notorious L.A. creativity house responsible for projects with Al Gore’s Current TV, MTV-U, Nine Inch Nails, the RZA, Marilyn Manson, The Pixies, and Beck.

Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested players are encouraged to sign up for exclusive information at thefunkuniversity.com.

“Bootsy Collins Launching Funk University” [ABC]
The Funk University site
Bootsy Collins on Twitter



On midnight January 1, Victory Or Death, the highly limited fine art piece conceptualized and starring the RZA of multi-platinum hiphop group Wu-Tang Clan, was made available to the public. The piece is a Wu-styled interpretation of Emanuel Leutze’s iconic painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware, with RZA replacing Washington, and the GZA and the late Old Dirty Bastard as his right-hand men. Each painting contains a number of hidden elements that new owners are already scrambling to discover.

Victory Or Death comes in two collections. Prints in the Legacy Series measure 40” x 30”, and all carry RZA’s signature and handprints, applied in acrylic paint. All are numbered and signed in order of generation, and each come with a RZA image disc and authenticity placard. 300 prints exist in the Legacy Series. The 60 pieces in the Monument Series come with all the features of the Legacy, but the pieces contain a total of 50 hidden elements to the Legacy’s 36. Moreover, the Monument clocks in at two times the size – a whopping 80 x 60.

Village Voice (New York) proclaimed Victory Or Death “the greatest painting of 2010”. Of Victory, Pitchfork Media asked, “Is there anything RZA can’t do? (Rhetorical.)” The signup page features a snapshot of RZA posing alongside the piece, as well as a new promotional flash video. Victory Or Death is the flagship release from When Art Imitates Life (WAIL), the brainchild of Sway of MTV, Tech of the World Famous Wake Up Show, and Los Angeles creativity house Scene Four. Upcoming fine art projects from WAIL are said to include Bay Area gatekeepers Hieroglyphics, legendary DJ QBert and Shavo of System Of A Down.

“The Greatest Painting Of 2010” [Village Voice]
Victory Or Death/WAIL site
RZA on Twitter