Nas performs the first verse he ever recorded at Rock The Bells 2011 in New York City with The Main Source. One of many classic songs that were performed on that night by the legendary emcee.
Nas performs the first verse he ever recorded at Rock The Bells 2011 in New York City with The Main Source. One of many classic songs that were performed on that night by the legendary emcee.
People like myself with certain recreational habits are said to be part of the cannabis subculture. It is, by necessity, a somewhat tightlly knit group, bound together by the rejection of polite society. In every culture and subculture, there is an understood code of conduct, a decorum, which must be adhered to in order to maintain good standing within one’s circle…and smoking circles are no different. A smoking circle, also known as a “session”, a “rotation”, a “potluck”, a “cypher” and a “smokeout”, among countless regional variants, is the scene for a communal cannabis ingestion.
Ideally, it should involve a small group of friendly people gathering together with pooled materials and a common goal…blazing. Within this group, as long as the proper decorum is followed, there are good times to be had by all involved. However, it has become increasingly apparent to me that this ettiquette is either poorly understood, undefined, unheard of by many those it governs. Other than the titular rule, which even nonsmokers are familiar with, I see many cardinal rules of cypher conduct wontonly flouted on a daily basis. For that reason, I bring you “Puff, Puff, Give: a Field Guide to Smoker Decorum.”
I- Puff, Puff, Give
There’s a reason this one is first…it’s one of the most fundamental rules in all of smokerdom. It refers to the number of pulls permitted on a rolled smokable before one must pass the cannabis conduit to his right (or to his left on the other side of the equator). Failure to follow this rule is referred to as “Hoovering”, is regarded as an egregious faux pas, and can result in ejection from the circle or even permanent blackballing from all circles. An interesting note here is that the purchaser of the weed may take as many consecutive puffs as he desires if he also owns the medium used to ingest it, however, this clause is rarely invoked due to it being seen as anti-social and kind of a dick move.
II- Passing Motions
One of the most underfollowed rules of smokerdom involves the making of clear passing motions. You see, an inherent effect of heavy cannabis use like the kind common in smoking circles is temporarily decreased motor skills (or more likely, the temporarily decreased inclination to use them). This leads to, among other laziness, weak passing motions. These often go unnoticed by the recipient, and can leave a smokable in limbo between smokers for as long as 2 minutes, wasting valuable weed in the process. Therefore, all passing motions should be clear in intent to the point of being demonstrative if necessary, and also be accompanied by a verbal alert to minimize wasted smoke. Passes should go without incident, but in some areas, in the event one or the other drops the conduit, he forfeits one turn with it.
III- Smoke OR Talk
Never both. Narration and postulation while high are very involved processes which involve intense cerebration and mental resources as well as the use of one’s mouth. This, in most cases, leaves a smokable hanging in the balance, evaporating into thin air as the holder of it pontificates on something important, like the best flavor of Doritos. While it may be pertinent, someone else could be smoking while the speaker is speaking…so they should. Esteemed weed philosopher Smokey from Friday summed it up thusly: “Either be smoking, or be passing.”
IV- Ash before you Pass
Every smoker who has smoked over zero times has dropped ash on his or her clothing. We’ve all seen that long clump of what I imagine snow looks like in hell precariously dangling off the end of a lit item, waiting to fall on something. It somehow stains any color fabric, and can even contain embers that can burn cloth or skin. Ash is a natural byproduct of combustion, and smoking a blunt falls into that category…ash is there, and there’s nothing you can do about it…well, besides keep it in an ashtray. Ashtrays, properly used, minimize the risk of ash-related difficulties inherent to blazing…as such, they should be utilized at every available opportunity. A good way to remember this important step in the smoking process is to ash the smokable before you pass it to someone else.
V- Match Up
Whenever possible, one should bring a fair share of weed with them to any smokeout. This weed should be both of adequate amount and potency that no party involved should experience a decline in their quality of smoking based on the fact that they decided to invite someone else. It is understood in the smoker community that it may not always be attainable due to it’s murky legal status and wildly varying potency, however an effort should always be made to do so. If you absolutely cannot obtain any, but have the funds to do so if you could, a small donation to your friend is seen as classy.
VI- Bring Something
As said before, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t find anything to match up with. If it indeed becomes impossible to show up with your share of the good stuff, there are other materials required during the course of a session that you may be able to provide. Examples of these include dutches, papers, wraps (referred to collectively as “wrapping papers“), pipe screens for those who use bowls, bongs and the like, food for the munchies, cigarettes for those who use them to accentuate their high, or even just decent conversation. Showing up empty handed every time is a great way not to be invited to show up any more.
VII- Repay all Free Smokeouts
Commonly, smokers encounter situations when they do not have weed and a friend does. This may even go on for an extended period. In close company, this is usually seen as immaterial, but is always met with the expectation that the favor will be returned if the roles are reversed. It is seen as grave disrespect to smoke up a friend’s stash, yet be nowhere to be found when you get yours. It is the responsiblity of the repayer to notify the repayee of his ability to repay as his earliest convenience. Failure to follow this guideline will result in you burning bridges instead of bud. Seriously, don’t be that guy.
Well, that’s about all I got…hopefully, after reading this guide, the people that have use for this information will not only put it to good use, but spread it for the benefit of the cannabis subculture as a whole. Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’ve gotta go do some more research…for umf, I’m AJ. Thank you and good flight…
As far as we’re concern, it doesn’t get much sweeter than the Girls of Tennis.
As they hit the courts to battle it out at the 2011 US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, we figured we’d bring to your attention some of the talent you should be checking out over the next couple weeks. Enjoy Epic Sun Readers!
In Honor of Jack Layton- Top Ten Greatest Mustaches
For those of you South of the Border (and I mean America not Mexico, because if your in Canada, which I am- America is South of the border…trippy I know) August 22, was probably just another day-and the news was filled with reports on Libya or more likely coverage of the 2012 presidential race (because. really whats another revolution in an Arab nation compared to the G.O.P’s inability to find a suitable candidate?) However, that is the day that Jack Layton, head of the NDP, lost his battle with cancer. I have spent the last 3 days trying to think of a suitable way to honor this man, and still maintain the humor of this blog. Thankfully George Strombolopolous, despite his impossible to spell name, and twitter saved me with the “Trustache” campaign.
For More information on George’s Trustache campaign click on George’s Picture!
And now in honor of Jack Layton- My List of Top Ten Greatest Mustaches!
Jack Layton, a true “man of the people”, lead the NDP for 8 years with unprecedented success! He was known for his integrity and optimism, and in his last few days of life, Canada and its citizens were still a top priority. He wrote a beautiful letter to Canadians as his final goodbye. He will be missed, but he and his glorious mustache will be immortalized! Thank you Jack.
Tom Selleck’s mustache first shot to fame in Magnum P.I. and the world was never the same. The Magnum made way for all other mustaches, no longer were they just for dandies, hippies, and angry army generals, now they were SEXY! Thank you Tom, for a world without The Magnum is one I simply don’t wish to imagine.
Aptly named for it’s originator, Pubert Adams, this is a favorite of hipsters everywhere. But Pubert Adams rocked it from the womb-before it was cool. The thin clean line of this stache, embodies the eternal struggle of the hipster male: How do you combine, prepubescent clothing, a false sense of being “the new man”, and utter arrogance with your facial hair? Pubert Adams has given us the answer-and for that we thank him (with a toast of our luke-warm PBR of course).
Speaking of Hipsters, another one of their icons, Salvador Dali, also had an epic stache. *NOTE* It came down between Salvador Dali and Che Guevara, but seeing has how you are probably wearing Che’s face on a t-shirt, I thought I’d go with Dali. Nothing says “I’m going to push the boundaries of accepted art, sexual practices, and celebrity” more than THE FRANCO HATER. He proved to be literally too cool for spain (I’m pretty sure that is the exact wording Franco used) and he rose to meteoric fame as one of the leaders of The Surrealist Art movement. Though he is best known as that guy who made the painting of clocks that you hung up in your dorm room to help you seduce art majors. Whenever I throw cats up in the air, I think of THE FRANCO HATER.
The Mario Bros that is! Mario and Luigi have been rocking their epic testament to sibling stachery since 1983. Anyone who rocks the Brostache gets an immediate 1-up. With this stache and a like-stached wingman you’ll be batting away women like they are koopas. On a serious note though folks, this stache has become a symbol of the Italian-Bros-Against-Jersey-Shore (IBAJS) movement. So rock your stache with pride…just don’t fist bump while wearing one.
Holy Moustache Batman! This moustache has the power to fight evil, and if you hold up a flashlight to it, it sends out the bat signal!
He had a dream and a glorious moustache to boot!
Freak Out! The moustache, the square soul patch-do I love this look? I yappa zappa do!
I think this stache speaks for itself, and frankly if American politicians today had the cojones to rock this everyday, I’m pretty sure health care, our economy, and our multiple international “scuffles” would all be solved!
It appears that the Jay-Z/Lil’ Wayne beef has finally come to a head. Here’s a brief background for those who are not up on the subtleties of this rap war.
Back in 2004 when Jay-Z announced his first retirement, he released his “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” single off of “The Black Album” where the song ends with a repetition of the Jigga-man claiming that he’s “the best rapper alive.” June of that same year Lil’ Wayne released the first installment of his Carter series, “Tha Carter“. On his first single from the album, “Bring It Back” he ended the song with a similar proclamation to Hov’s. Lil’ Wayne claimed that he was “the best rapper alive…since the best rapper retired.”
Within the next two years, Lil’ Wayne shot to super-stardom and received critical acclaim from the hip-hop community, once again bringing Cash Money to the forefront and sowed the seeds of what would become his own Young Money imprint. Jay-Z on the other hand was planning his return to rap with “Kingdom Come“, a sub-par album by his standards. Around this time he had squashed his long-standing beef with Nas and had become President of Def Jam. While the single “Show Me What You Got” had the clubs buzzing, it was the b-side, “Dig A Hole” that had the streets buzzing. A slick diss track in which Jay-Z addressed his fallout with Roc-a-Fella co-founder, Dame Dash and his beef with Dip-Set leaders, Jim Jones & Cam’ron. The song was easily deciphered but it was the third verse on “Trouble” that left people speculating whether or not Jay was going at Wayne due to his excess use of the word little.
Last Verse on “Trouble”
You lil niggas aint deep, you dumb
You niggas aint gangsta, you gum
I chew lil niggas
Hock-tphew spew lil niggas
I can only view lil niggas like lil niggas
But in lieu of lil niggas
Tryin’ to play that boy,
I ptoo-ptoo lil niggas with the latest toy
Unlike you lil nigga, Im a grown ass man
Big shoes to fill, nigga, grown ass pants
Prolly hustled with ya pops, go ask ya parents
Its apparent yall staring at a legend
Who put a few lil niggas in they place before
Trying to eat without saying they Grace before
Blasphemous bastard, get your faith restored
Yall viewin yall version of the Lord
God MC lil nigga, applaud or
Forever burn in the fire that I spit at yall
I rebuke you, little nigga!
The meek shall inherit, I ROOF you little nigga
Im a project terrorist
CUTE you little niggas think you in my class
Substitute lil niggas who feel my wrath
I mute you little nigga
You a lil nigga- I child abuse you lil nigga
Im a ill nigga
Now shoo! You lil niggas go somewhere and play
Cause the day I lose to you lil niggas? No day!
Wayne never responded (most likely out of respect) and the song was easily forgotten once Jay and Wayne began collaborating on songs together.
Kanye West & Jay-Z – H.A.M
Most recently the Kanye West and Jay-Z collaboration album, “Watch The Throne” has been welcomed with open arms, receiving mostly positive reviews and breaking iTunes sales records. On the song, “H.A.M” Jay-Z spits:
Niggas fantasize about the shit that I do daily like
These rappers rap about all the shit that I do really
I’m like really half a billi nigga
Really you got baby money
Keep it real with n-ggas
Niggas ain’t got my lady money
Watch the Throne don’t step on our road
Bad enough we let you step on our globe
The bold lines is the most important line and is viewed as a swipe to Lil’ Wayne. Claiming that Lil’ Wayne’s money isn’t his own but in fact Baby’s (CEO of Cash Money Records). With his fourth installment of his Carter series, “Tha Carter IV” the song “It’s Good” (featuring Jadakiss & Drake) contains Lil’ Waynes retaliation:
Talkin ’bout baby money? I got your baby money
Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money
I know you fake nigga, press your brakes nigga
I’ll take you out, that’s a date nigga
Im a grown ass blood, stop playin with me
Play asshole and get an ass whippin’
I think you pussy cat ha, hello kitty
Lil’ Wayne – It’s Good feat. Jadakiss & Drake
Now we just await Mr. Carter’s next move. Um, S. Carter to be clear.
I love twitter because news travels quick. Whether it be sports related, news related or in this case music related; it’s a nice tool to keep you up-to-date. (Especially when you’re extra busy.) So when something like this happens, it brings a smile to the hip-hop purist inside of me.
AZ tweeted today: @quiestAZmoney: Weed, studio, and two of the illest prolific poets @Nas need I say more!
I just hope we get another classic collaboration from these two legendary lyricists.
In anticipation for the new upcoming Wu-Tang and D-Block/L.O.X collaboration album, a leak of what appears to be the lead off single, Wu-Block featuring Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Jadakiss, Styles P & Sheek Louch has hit the web. Production is currently being credited to The Rza.
I have recently come to the conclusion that we should all be very concerned for a safety. Very concerned. Machines they are getting smarter, they are getting ready to take over, and they are laughing the entire way.
Now I don’t want to be like that crazy guy who is constantly predicting the end of the world. But I have long believed that an apocalypse would be the end of the human race, and that it would be of either the machine or zombie variety. I had been holding out hope that it would be the later. If for no other reason imagine being able to decapitate your worst enemy, and it be viewed as an act of bravery. Over the last few weeks I had been holding on to my resolve that the zombie apocalypse was coming, because I was deeply deeply in denial about the irrefutable fact that the take over of the machines had already begun.
It all began with our cell phones. They are cute little innocent-looking devices, but within them lies all the makings of pure evil. PURE UNADULTERATED EVIL! See most cell phones are equipped with the “Auto Correct” function. I always thought that this was cell phone companies trying to make our lives easier, the same way that our word processors have it. But then “Auto Correct” turned to the predict function and now…okay I’m getting ahead of myself.
Auto-correct used to just correct what you meant, but I have recently noticed that my phone was actively judging me when it corrected me. I sometimes misspell things for comedic effect. For example if I ever accidentally misspell something really stupid I’ll make a self-deprecating quip like “I be edamacated.” And my self-righteous phone changed it to educated. And then I changed it back. And then IT changed it back. All of a sudden I’m in this epic battle of wills with MY CELL PHONE.
Then it got worse. It started mocking me. I went to text someone “muah” the other day and my phone responded by changing it to “mush.” My initial response was something along the lines of “Well excuse you, my bitter cynical cell phone, I don’t care if it’s mushy I meant MUAH!” The minute the thought hit me though I realized how true it was (the thought about my phone, not me being mushy). I wasn’t personifying my cell phone as a way to be witty, my phone was beginning to think for itself.
Then it became aggressive. In response to a very sweet text I attempted to type “awwww!” My phone was having none of it. I had barely finished pressing the “w” before it changed the word to “Assess!” It even capitalized my insult, which is mighty presumptuous. Again me and my phone were entwined in an epic battle- I finally trumped it by adding a 5th “w.” My victory would be short lived I knew. My phone was planning something, and I was a little worried I may have just made it angry.
Then today, this very morning my phone decided to offer its first clue to what the machines were planning. When typing the caption “I’m a Pirate, arrrr!!!!” to a pic of me by a wall of skulls. My phone changed “arrrr” to “TATER.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Was it an insult? Does my phone think I looked like a potato in my dress, or maybe I looked particularly Irish? Or maybe, just maybe it’s an acronym!
TATER= Totally Annihilate The Entire Race?
= Total Annihilation of Trendy Readers?
I don’t know what TATER means, maybe the machines that package frozen tater-tots are secretly poisoning us, I just know that we need to be prepared. Stay on the look-out. I don’t know what form the machine take-over is going to take, but keep your eyes out for any cylons, terminators, transformers, or any other such indication that the end is near.
The captain of the soccer team at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, became a rapper with his remix of Asher Roth’s “I Love College” (renamed “I Hate College”) posted on YouTube. His first EP, Boston’s Boy, was released in March 2010, followed by a mix tape five months later. I personally just learned of him at Osheaga in Montreal this past week and think is flow is not too bad. His tracks have a unique freshness that makes most of his songs fun.
Check out some of his tracks on his myspace page here.
Hype is usually a bad thing. It creates expectations so high that we, the audience end up disappointed. Most recently, LeBron James or as the media dubbed him, “King James” has had a disappointing career based on the hype he entered the league with. We figured he’d have at least one championship ring especially after teaming up with Dwyane Wade.
This is where “Watch The Throne” differs. Jay-Z and Kanye West have at least four classic solo albums under their belts combined. Therefore, they have no pressure to succeed but they do have the pressure to live up to their own standards while reminding everyone that they still have that amazing chemistry that began back on “The Dynasty.” (I personally believe that Jay-Z would like everyone to forget the catastrophe that was “The Best of Both Worlds” albums with R. Kelly.)
Both Kanye and Jay have also become icons beyond the world of hip-hop. This is the main reason why the hype machine continues to grow. Songs appear to be leaking by the day, a tour has been announced and with only about two weeks and counting before the album officially drops, the musical world is watching.
Fans can already pre-order the deluxe edition of the album at the iTunes store and receive “Otis,” the lead song on the album. For fans that want to experience more, you’ll be happy to know that on July 28th you can visit http://promo.livenation.com/watchthethrone/ to get both tickets to the tour and a copy of the album.
Will the album live up to the hype? Stay tuned and keep your eyes glued to the throne.