Ed’s Remix of the Week

October 29, 2010

I know I know it’s late, but it’s been a hectic week for the kid. That said I cannot let the week go by without giving you guys your remix of the week. Yes once again I’m keeping the flow in Queens. I recently had some friends straight from Japan exploring New York for the first time. These guys are serious 90s hip hop fans and mostly fans of Queens hip hop. They would love the entry this week. What can I say as an ill emcee once said “It’s A Queens Thing.”

Tragedy – Grand Groove (Bonus Mix)

I thought I would become a member of the blood gang before I would join the food coop. When I started dating my girlfriend she was already a member. She was a great cook and would always talk about this place she gets her food from. Telling me that the produce was organic and at a very reasonable price. Me being the man that I am thought “yeah yeah now check the method”. As long as the food kept on coming I was happy. Hell to me organic/non-organic food was food and as long as it was delicious I was to the good.

Time moved on, we moved in together and she started making a push for me to join said coop. I had gone to this place on Union St. in Brooklyn as her guest a few times, so I saw the inside of the coop. I saw some of the members and I’d learned about some of their rules. And I knew for myself I wanted NO PARTS OF IT! Good price or not some of those folks were plain old WEIRD. Plus in order to be a member I would have to work a few hours a month? And pay a membership fee (even if it’s one time)!?! Nah I was good on all that jazz. I would think about joining but then see how packed the coop would be at times and pass. Plus going there as a guest always made me feel like I wasn’t wanted and was an outsider. None of this helped to push me towards joining. It wasn’t until we watched Food Inc. one night on Netflix that I changed my tune.

After Food Inc. I looked into joining this crazy thing called the coop. Although after seeing some of the horrors that encompass the food industry of this country, I still decided to drag my feet a little bit. However the whole time my lady kept at me, sometimes causing arguments by doing so. Then finally after much languishing last month I joined the Park Slope Food Coop. I went though orientation, picked a job (from what was available) and started shopping. I can’t even front people, I really like it a lot. I don’t feel guilty when I shop anymore. I don’t use plastic bags anymore when I go grocery shopping. I’ve become a huge fan of arugula and kale. Who would have thought Dashaun from Brownsville would become a member of the coop my father passed often during his childhood growing up in Park Slope. For those who thought about joining but said to yourself “nah I’m good”, I say give it a shot. It’s not as bad as it seems. It’s actually kinda of fresh. (pun intended)

It was the days of summer when my sisters and I were not in camp. My days were fairly mundane with out much outside influence. I would wake up, eat cereal, watch cartoons and then head outside to play skelly and lemonade with my boys until noon rolled around. Noon was the time that our local public schools would start serving free lunch to the community. Many thanks to the Black Panthers for helping this program become a reality. Free lunch was much like a family affair. The whole block would leave in droves to go and get on line for the free lunch. You could tell the time of day by how the block would empty.

At the beginning of the summer a calendar would circulate with the menu for the two months we would be without school books or formal homework. There was one item on the list which was my weakness. The “French bread pizza” was the stuff of legend. The toasty crust with a single layer of cheese laying flat in a shallow puddle of tomato sauce would haunt me until the day it showed up on my tray. And while the idea of a free hot meal which depending on the day could be quite enticing, it was also pretty dangerous. I grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn in the 80s. The lines for free lunch as I remember would stretch long and would practically beg for trouble. You had families who would often attempt to skip the line by sheer virtue of their numbers. As in most dire situations, might equals right and you might have to swallow your pride to still get your food while avoiding an unnecessary scrap session.

It just so happens that on the day of my banishment from Free Lunch at my old school P.S. 284 pizza was the entree. I walked into that lunchroom filled with glee ready to grab my tray with the hope that chocolate milk would be available to wash down my delicious pizza. I sat down with my friends, devoured my lunch and made my exit from the school. Upon walking out the door a sinister scheme was hatched. I would walk back around to the front and get back on line. The pizza was too good to have to wait until the next time it showed up on the menu. I just had to have that pizza again, immediately. So I did just that. I walked around the school, got back on line, and walked past the security guard like it was all to the good. Before I could get a full swallow down of my delectable delight the security guard walked over and said I don’t want to see you in hear again this summer. My heart dropped down to my stomach. You see the policy of the lunch program was that you ate once for the day. The had a ton of people to feed so seconds were out. I was so sick I couldn’t finish enjoying the bounty of my scheme. My mother depended on the free lunch program to stretch her money for other family necessities. If I couldn’t go to free lunch I couldn’t tell her. She would kill me. My friend Trevor from the 5th floor of my building came through with the words I needed to get back on track. “Don’t worry Dashaun, they banned me before too. Just wait until late on the next day and they will forget.” Of course, they would forget! I mean the whole damn neighborhood walked through those doors looking for sustenance every day Monday through Friday. We even had a song we would sing about it. “The free lunch bunch…eat free lunch everydayyy. The free lunch bunch…except for Saturdayyyy.”

The next day I didn’t go with my sisters or the rest of the block to free lunch. I stayed on the block practicing my skelly skills working on perfectly plucking my top into the 13 box. After a few folks returned from the school I put Trevor’s plan to work. I got on line flanked by strangers and my own nerves focused on the goal at hand, FOOD. When I got to the security guard I did not look him in the eye and tried to hide my guilt. I walked by him with no problem and ate whatever was the designated meal for the day. I’ll never know if he honestly didn’t notice me or felt sorry for what he knew must have been a very important thing in my life at the time, free lunch.

Ed’s Remix of the Week

October 20, 2010

Queens seems to have me stuck at the moment. When I first heard the “All We Got Iz Us” album from Onyx I was immediately drawn in. The album had a feeling of growth and the production was definitely a move in the right direction. There were a few super fresh remixes which came out of this second album. Today’s selection comes from the great Pete Rock. Pete could do no wrong in the 90s, and it seemed as if he had the Midas touch. However for some reason this particular remix went under the radar for the most part. Well here it is for you listening pleasure.

Onyx – Shout (Pete Rock Remix)

Slept on Gem #1

October 19, 2010

I’ve been a fan of Snoop and the Dogg Pound Gangsta Click (DPGC) since day one. I feel that they are a bit underrated when it comes to hip hop crews. This gem is from Snoops compilation album on his short lived Doggystyle records label under the now defunct MCA records. On this joint one of my favorite cats from Snoops crew Soopafly steals the show in my opinion. His flow is effortless and if you don’t feel like riding out in a coup de ville after this joint, you’ll at LEAST want to go and put a girl out on the track to get some money.