Monthly Archives: April 2010


World Premiere: “Not Myself Tonight” – Christina Aguilera

For those of us who assumed Xtina to be the one behind the brilliantly faceless ‘iamwhoiamwhoami’ viral campaign – we obviously had too much faith in the pop vet. I wasn’t impressed much by Ms. Aguilera’s first single choice off Bionic, but, I felt the same way about “Dirrty” before its video debuted… This clip, though; while looking (and sounding) like a “Dirrty Pt. 2” is much less groundbreaking, stylish, and dare I say, tasteful? (Never thought I’d see the day) I could have sworn Xtina was looking to reinvent her brand? Hm. I suppose the vid does certify her a singing hardcore porn star. Was her previous shtick softcore? I presume the PVC does hoist things up a notch. Especially as a new mother and all… but, come on Christina…if you were looking for the new you, surely a video with clones from your past isn’t it. Not tonight. Sorry.



Jackson‘s 100% handmade leather slip-ons
..a work in progress..
1 of 2

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Song of the Day: “I Can’t Wait” – Nu Shooz


Stylist Simone Camille‘s handmade ethnic hodgepodge carry-all,
available exclusively at Ron Herman.

photos courtesy of ron herman


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World Premiere: “Shake” – Game

Producers Cool & Dre and Clueless‘ Stacey Dash reemerge from the depths of hip-hop ephemera for the big band-inflected first video off Game’s eagerly-anticipated fourth album. Love that Game‘s yacht closet looks like a Foot Locker and is easily triple the square footage of my East Village apartment. The R.E.D. Album drops June 29th.

As I mentioned before, I saw The-Dream live last week (April 22) at the Highline Ballroom. He performed a slew of signatures aside from debuting new material (“Love Queen” and “Sex Intelligent” off the upcoming Love King) to an overflowing crowd. The rarely live Mr. Nash outdid himself when he brought Fabolous onstage for a “Throw It In The Bag (Remix)”/“Gangsta Luv” medley. Highlights: Jumpsuited backup dancers, Ne-Yo in the crowd, pink-wigged (Nicki Minaj-lookalike) DJ, and Gyptian’s purr.


Jonathan Cohen
‘s foiled bonded yarn and
twisted fox fur coat defines showstopper.


World Premiere, Pt. I: “Money Can’t Buy You Class”
– Countess Luann (of The Real Housewives of New York City)

I don’t know which is more devastating:
Countess Luann’s wonky talk-y first (and hope to God, only) single
or M.I.A.’s 9-minute redheaded bloodbath?

World Premiere, Pt. II: “Born Free” – M.I.A.
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I’ll be guest judging this charity event in my hometown this coming weekend (May 1st, 9pm) If you’re in town, stop by and catch your boy.

artist spotlite: the knocks

“Blackout” – The Knocks

Production duo, The Knocks (comprised of “B-Roc” and “Mr. JPatt”) have been making their name remixing hits for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Jay-Z for the past few years and have finally released their very own single, “Blackout” (no relation to Ms. Spears’). The result is a swashing, disco-laden crowdpleaser, complete with a chorus meant for dancefloor sing-a-longs. In the air of recent retro musings by Duck Sauce (“aNYway”) and Justice (“D.A.N.C.E.”), “Blackout” rescues what may have been a passing trend in dance music with a perfected pace, piano clinks, and modified Dracula vocals. This summer, The Knocks plan on releasing a new single each month available exclusively online. Also, under their HeavyRoc Music label, artist Alex Winston is readying her first EP. They’ve been busy polishing up production for other artist, Samuel, whose Columbia Records debut, “Trains to Wanderland” hits this fall.


JACKSON Oz. and Kg. bags now available ONLINE

photos courtesy of richard sandler / gothamist


Tonight I’m going to see The-Dream and Gyptian live for the first time ever =
Big things.
These are the tracks I’ll be pre-gaming to…

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World Premiere: “Holla @ Me” – Tyga & Chris Brown

C-Breezy teams with Young Money‘s Tyga for this Jahlil Beats-produced street romp.

World Premiere, Pt. II: “Shake (Remix)” –
Game (Feat. Travis Barker)

Game‘s first single off the upcoming [The] R.E.D. Album is re-tuned with percussion by Blink 182’s Travis. Love this track.


Black leather four finger ring band by Mode En Module
is like a mix between brass knuckles and Michael Jackson’s finger tape.


World Premiere: “Ride” – Ciara (Feat. Ludacris)

Sometimes a bare minimum performance video works better for an artist than anything too shiny. See here: If the “Work” video likened Ciara to a “You Want This”-era Miss Janet, then her video for “Ride” is cut from the pages of the overly basic, breakthrough “Pleasure Principle” clip. Outfitted for the majority of the video in a midriff-baring tank top, Braves fitted (a reference to her beginnings as the ATL’s crunk queen), knee pads, leggings, and a pair of Adidas, Ciara sticks to her idol’s sexually athletic, archetypal aesthetic through shadows, empty soundstages, and a freestyled floor-fucking routine. It’s without a doubt, Ci was cut from the same domineering, dance-driven DNA that Janet was, delivered to the aughts for the identical reason Janet became so triumphant two decades ago – as a reminder to popular music that black women can, in fact, hold their ground amongst the Madonna’s (or today, Gaga’s) with a handful of nasty moves honkies can’t do. And for that, I am thankful.

Alber Elbaz

Donatella Versace

Karl Lagerfeld

Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana

Marc Jacobs

photos courtesy of elle spain


There are no words. Margiela, anyone?

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Dame Dash‘s America Nu magazine
launches this Friday


R.I.P. Guru
one of the best yet
a.k.a. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal

listen to the exclusive Hot 97 turntable tribute here.

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Song of the Day: “Royalty” – Gang Starr (Feat. KCi & JoJo)

..check the technique..


photos courtesy of khuong nguyen


World Premiere: “RIDE” – Ciara (Feat. Ludacris)

Recently appointed Givenchy go girl is back with a follow-up to last year’s flop, Fantasy Ride. With a thumping Tricky [Stewart] tune-up, she relinquishes her superhero shtick to re-up her signature ATL pride with help from writer, The-Dream. As the lead single off her upcoming Basic Instinct LP, “RIDE” more than readies her audience for a comeback with verses by long-time collaborator Ludacris and heavy trunk rattling chop’n’screw production. While it’s no Ci-Ci/Jazze Pha masterpiece (or even Lil’ Jon’s “Goodies“) and sounds like a demi-continuation of “Like A Surgeon” (also by The-Dream and Tricky), it’s a nice attempt at returning to her crunk’n roots. Saddle up because it also happens to be the perfect Summer track to practice your Ciara Matrix backspins to.


Don’t act as though I didn’t warn you… get your JACKSON bag now!


The wait is over… well sort of (Thank Me Later drops June 15). Drake’s Ken Kesey-inspired video accompaniment (directed by Anthony Mandler) for hit single “Over” is finally here! And the projected visuals are as astounding as they are astonishingly simple.


World Premiere: “Hold Yuh (Remix)” – Gyptian (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Everyone’s favorite song on the latest S&M mixtape seems to be Gyptian’s Summer-ready “Hold Yuh,” so it’s just right that the blog’s favorite femcee has graced it with her 16 bars. This track’s shaping up to be the official sound of Summer 2010 and there ain’t no problem with that.


Dominican designer, Jose Duran‘s S/S 2010 collection goes off

photos courtesy of

track anatomy: so.lo

Song of the Day, Part I: “Solo” – Iyaz

Continuing in the spirit of my newfound Caribbean obsession, I bring you the ridiculously Summer-appropriate “Solo” by Tortola native and J.R. Rotem-affiliate, Iyaz. (Yeah, so he’s Sean Kingston‘s boy, too – who cares?) The track gives you a reason to bask in radio’s current lack of creativity. If the tune sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Peep the classic Janet joint it sampled below.

Song of the Day, Part II: “Again” – Janet Jackson
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Now we know where Lindsay Lohan’s Brazilian waxes end up…
Lirfons faux fur/leather jackets.

photos courtesy of not just a label / lirfons


If you haven’t noticed by now – I’ve been on the craziest riddim trip as of late. From Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh” to the Serani and Jadakiss-assisted DJ Webstar “Tipsy” remix (featured on the latest S&M mixtape), I’ve fallen hard for the zagga zagga zow. It’s added some much-needed Spring to my step. The last time I had Caribbean fever was back when I couldn’t go a day without watching Cool Runnings, listened to Inner Circle, Snow, and UB40 non-stop, and was head-over-heels in love with Diana King. Oh, the good ol’ days.. if only they’d stop hating on homos already. Continue after the jump for my favorite rasta riddims…Remember where you heard ’em first MF.

Continue reading


‘Triple Black’ Rolls Royce x Hedi Slimane

If this isn’t Smoke & Mirrors… I don’t know what is.

photos courtesy of dazed digital


Dear Cindy,
Quit with the diet crap. Scrap the Raymour and Flanigan deal. And return to what you do best…sitting by the fire, making Pepsi commercials, and lathering us in the hottest trends.
Many thanks,


Rest in Peace Malcolm McLaren


Song of the Day: “Juice Box” – London (Feat. Young Dro)

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If there’s one thing that sparks the Spring in me, it’s sleazy R&B shanties. Like an amateur night R.Kelly or rube version of The-Dream, London’s minor metaphors are enough to snatch the straw from your toddler’s mouth. Absurdity lives! Gulp



photos courtesy of tfs

It’s been four months since posting my first mixtape (The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 1) on the blog. Since then, there’s been more than 400 downloads. I admit it’s nowhere near platinum or even gold (on a grand scale), but it did help the blog get some decent street cred and assisted in showcasing my musical musings.

Continuing the mixtape tradition, I’ve set out to top my last effort with newer artists, bigger sounds, and genre-defying ear candy. For the second installment of the heavy-hitting Blog Made Me Do It series, I’ve scoured my current favorites (not yet featured on the blog) and paired them with rehashed R&B crowd pleasers, hard-to-find DJ revamps, electro-mashups, and springtime dancehall. Like the first backyard barbecue of the season, the 26 track set provides for satisfying even the toughest of tastes. Too hip for Puff and the fam? Fine. I’ve got them mashed with The XX for your listening pleasure. Too white for Ghostface? No biggie. I’ve got him mixed atop Spoon, so, you won’t get too uncomfortable. The mixtape is meant for anyone and everyone under the sun. So stop being stupid, crack a 40, and SET IT OFF already! Consider it the soundtrack to your Spring. Remember where you heard it first & njoi. (click the link below to download the .zip file)

Smoke & Mirrors presents…
The Blog Made Me Do It, Vol. 2: Set It Off
An MH Mixtape

View the tracklist after the jump.
Continue reading


circa 1997

photos courtesy of resurrection (top & bottom) & yvette yang (middle)



Having gone to college in New York City, some of my best friends have been much like… Paulina Rubio (a.k.a. TCK or third culture kid). Not a bad thing at all, considering they have the sickest pads, the most unintentionally sexy accents, can drink you under a table, and are quick to offer up a cig when your carton’s empty.