Edgewood Mural Kicks off DC's Mural Program

Fittingly titled "From Edgewood to the Edge of the World"(click here for panaoramic view), the spirited block long artwork treats Red line commuters to a glimpse and invites locals and tourists to embrace a DC neighborhood that is usually overlooked.

The Edgewood mural stemmed from a parternship between The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the youth employment program and the New Jersey based nonprofit artist collective
Albus Cavus. Albus Cavus fosters community development through public art projects by reviving shunned common public spaces and providing young residents with a sense of belonging and duty.

Peter Krsko, director of Albus Cavus, elaborates on the mural's message:
Historically, this was the edge of the known world for Washingtonians, were not afraid to step beyond the border, beyond the edge, and discover something new and exciting and make the city large and more prosperous. Basically, as the title of the wall means, we would like people to step beyond their own personal boundaries.
The Edgewood mural is the first of seven murals that will go up around the city as part of MuralsDC. The program, created by DC council Jim Graham, aims to prevent graffiti vandalism by providing legal space. Graham explains,
It's an effort to control the spread of graffiti in the city and offer a different artistic expression. When there is a mural, we've found that people are less likely to deface it than when there is a blank wall.
The city's newfound approach to graffiti mirrors that of Philadelphia's stance. For more information on the Edgewood mural andMuralsDC refer to the following WP articles:

Let Us Spray

Project Brings Graffiti Art out of the Dark

Homes, Businesses May Qualify for Mural Project


Friday Night Lights: Tabi Bonney

I will be jet setting to Panama soon. No worries though, HiphoPolitico will not be sun setting. Catch Tabi Bonney tomorrow (Saturday Aug. 29th) at Brightest Young Things Summer Camp Week 13 held at Capitol Skyline Hotel.


Lazy Sunday Nooner: Vintage Hiero

Shot in Hawaii, this video is an exquisite sidekick to the Hieroglyphics runnin' circles around other MCs in the timeless "You Never Knew."


Sat Night Feel Good: DC Has Hip Hop

Celebrate DC hip hop at Flex Mathews' DC Has Hip Hop Block Party. The party will feature Djs, open mics, live graffiti and more.

Flex was born in Germany and is a native of South Dakota yet calls the nation's capital his "musical home." He is widely considered the area's dopest freestyle rapper (watch below). The hip hop vet gave DCist (full interview here) his take on state of DC's overlooked hip hop scene:
They don’t appreciate it cause they’ve had it their whole lives. It’s like a little kid with a toy, you lose interest, you don’t want to play with it anymore. A lot of people rip on D.C.’s music scene, and I think it’s wack. When you come from a place where there is no music scene, like South Dakota, and you get to a place where there is a music scene, you fall head over heels for it.
He was recently named best local rapper by DC's City Paper, beating out Wale and Rosetta Stoned. Flex has shared the stage with KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and Immortal Technique and performed for the likes of Obama and Hilary Clinton as part of the Take Back America campaign.


DC: Just Listen

HiphoPolitico digs this heartfelt tune.


Edgewood Mural Jam Recap

Over 100 local artists came together on Saturday August 15th to give life to a 500 foot long wall that rests along the Rhode Island Avenue red line metro stop (now the best stop for a metro train to break down). This marks the largest public art mural in the nation's capital. A block party featuring live music, DJS, food and children activities accompanied the day long mural jam. Click on the banner photo above to see the entire wall and check out the rest of the photos at CreatePublicArtDC.

TheFiveOne: Gold

Gold Groovin'

TheFiveOne: Green

An ode to DMV over a Vampire Weekend sample.

TheFiveOne: Blue

TheFiveOne's Lil Wayne remix "Stuntin like Mufasa" draws on Lion King's father-son relationship theme.

TheFiveOne: Red

Add Weezer's "Island in the Sun" and Kanye West's "Robocop" to the musical blender and one drinks down TheFiveOne's LA Girl. This four man crew reps DMV and has a knack for remixes. For every week in 2009 TheFiveOne is releasing a remix as part of their 5109 remix album. The concept is appealing.Their talent is unquestionable.The collection is imppresive: Death Cab for Cutie, Bob Marley, Outkast, T.I., The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend and Janet Jackson among others. As seen above, theFiveOne band members go by colors: red, blue, green and gold. Check them out at VCU this Friday (08/21) and/or at Asylum on 09/03.


Zion I: Coastin'


Infectious Samba Hip Hop

Just try to keep your dancing feet still to Marcelo D2's A Procura da Batida Perfeita. The song's title translates to "Looking for the Perfect Beat." The Rio de Janeiro MC, formerly a vocalist for Planet Hemp, has established his enticing samba hip hop sound beyond the borders of Brazil.

Marcelo D2 grew up on the edges of Rio's favelas, far from the picturesque ocean side neighborhoods. Prior to his music breakout, Marcelo worked as a paper boy, doorman, a cleaner and vendor. In his late teens, he served in the Brazilian military, ironically giving him a higher chance of survival than remaining in violent drug infested streets. Marcelo's early hardships have blessed him with bottomless lyrical substance and relentless drive to reinvent his music.

Marcelo D2- A Procura de Batida Perfeita

Marcelo D2- Qual é

Marcelo D2- Gueto

Marcelo D2- Loadeando ( performed with his son)

Planet Hemp- Queimando Tudo


Africa: Wake Up and Listen

This preview of Nas and D. Marley's Distant Relatives lifts anticipation. The album was originally scheduled to come out on June 23rd. The release date has been pushed back to the Fall. It looks like summer will persist as the leaves turn golden.

Jaydiohead Responds to Applause

HiphoPolitico is finally giving Jaydiohead's second go a listen. Better late than never. Max Tannone (originally Minty Fresh Beats) followed up his buzzworthy Jaydiohead mashup album with The Encore. Stream/DL the songs below.



Jay Electronica: Profound Outside the Box Flow

As an MC Jay Electronica stands on his own lyrical island. The NOLA native's raps and delivery are anamolies coming out of the south. Not a hint of a Southern accent or cash money ryhmes. With regards to his sound being atypical of the south:

Fuck where I’m from. I’m from the moon. I love New Orleans, it made me who I am, but, at the end of the day, it’s just a place. I rep man and human beings.
The hip hop journeyman has made stops in DC,Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver and Dallas over the past dozen years. He is married to Erykah Badu. Nas digs his sound, hence Jay produced the first song off Nas's Untitled. He credits his mom for his musical style.

A) Jay Electronica- The Pledge: Jay Electronica has garnered buzz through Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge). He raps over Jon Brion's soundtrack to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The critically acclaimed song opens with Just Blaze and Erykah Badu likening Jay to “a mythical creature who’d have a bow and arrow on his back and wings under that bow and arrow." The mood changes throughout the 9 minute plus percussionless classic. The flow is witty thought provoking and poised to tackle one topic after another. The use of sound bites is interesting- children arguing in Kurdish and Willy Wonka.

Jay explains his motives behind The Pledge:
“I’m very influenced by movies. There’s a scene [in Eternal Sunshine] when Jim Carrey’s character has just met Clementine, and she’s invited him up for drinks. It was the first time you saw him excited, and you could tell it was going to be a pivotal point in his life. But the music you heard—do-do-do-do-do-do-do—didn’t make you feel so good. It created such a good contrast. I just wanted to do something that felt like that.”

B) Jay gives a shout out

C) Jay and Just Blaze teaser

D) Rock the Bells 08 Freestyle

E) Jay's Exhibit A is my Exhibit E

Sublime Remix

Summertime and Sublime are synonymous. Here's a hip hop remix of Pawnshop, enjoy!

Chip- Pawnshop
Chip- Pawnshop.mp3
Hosted by eSnips


Back in the Mix

The HiphoPolitico hiatus has come to an end. I spent the majority of July touring Asia for the first time.While I was island hopping in Thailand, falling into a sidewalk hole in Kuala Lumpur, enjoying the karst mountain scenery in Yungshuo and getting down in Shanghai fellow HiphoPolitico contributors were prepping for a wedding and a move to South America. Tomorrow I'll reflect on my trip and Asian hip hop. In the meantime, enjoy some pics. It's good to be back, I missed writing on this.

Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Thailand

Li River, Yangshuo, China

Shanghai Skyline