Eurax

eyes opened wide.

My Biz Card

Autor Jesse Abraham | 23.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

JA_Front

shouts to corey mintz

So.  This is my business card.  Say hi.  This card, designed by myself & Mr. Corey Mintz, has been my predominant accessory ever since I started taking the marketing side of music somewhat seriously this past summer.

Three things happened in July 09:::I joined Facebook & Twitter (aahhh!), I started hitting the open-mic circuit outside of Sin Sin, & I created this card.  All three of these progressions are obviously intertwined, but none of these elements are ultimately very useful without the others, to be honest.  I thought of doing this design for the card while sitting on stage at The Nuyorican, beside Homeboy Sandman, seconds before I was about to rock the stage.  I was actually considering how to open my set that night, in terms of what exactly would be the first words out of my mouth.  Flashes of visions & ideas flowed through my mind, and thesubway thesubway thesubway kept popping up.  My image?  My style my gimmick my niche?  It’s all NYC, all city, all metro.  I mean, I ride the train literally 6 times a day every day, & have lived in NYC my whole life, so it makes sense.  It popped in my head, it stuck with me, & boom, it happened.

Now I plaster the city with these little dudes on the regular.  One time I was on the 1 train coming back from Washington Heights, & I had put one up behind where I was sitting, resting in the corner of one of those ad spaces.  A jolly couple got on the train & sat down across from me, & I could see that they were looking at the card over my shoulder & talking about it.  The guy eventually took a few steps forward, leaned over my head & snagged the card, went back to his girl, giggled about it a little & then put it in his bag. As they continued to talk to each other, I took out another card from my pocket & put it right where the one that he had taken had been, without them noticing.  They spoke for a few more minutes, but then I saw the guy peep the new card over my shoulder, do a double take, check to see that he had actually put the initial card in his bag, & he started bugging out.  I tried not to start laughing but I cracked, took a handful of them out from my pocket, & we all grinned at one another. Then it got awkward & we went back to being NYC commuters who will avoid eye contact at all costs.

Last night I got on the L train, walked through the cars putting my little buddies up on all the ads as I usually do, & I sat down next to this girl.  She tapped me on the shoulder, reached in her purse & pulled out one of my cards.  Ha, I freaked out!  She told me she had picked it up in the L train tunnel at 6th Ave.  Nice.  I’ve been getting texts, tweets, e-mails & phone calls from heads appreciating the cards as they find them strewn about the city.  Someone even hit me up bugging out about how the card mysteriously ended up on her dining room table & she doesn’t know how it got there.  Fun times.

A few months ago I was at a Brown Bag All Stars event at the Voodoo Lounge, & I was smearing the counter tops with my cards.  Suddenly from on stage something got flung in my direction, and a card hits me in the hand.  I pick it up, and it was DJ Ready Cee’s card:::which to my surprise was exactly like mine.  I looked up to see Ready Cee standing on stage with a huge grin on his face.  He jumped down & was like, “You’re Jesse Abraham!?!?  My dude!”  I figured he had hooked his card up before I had done mine, & we agreed that there were probably dozens of heads running around with a similar joint, but it was a dope moment.  All love, word up.

A few nights ago I was at an event at Exchange, and my girl Felicia Cruz came up to me talking bout how Miz Metro had the same card too.  All love all smiles all good:::so phat ass shouts to everyone who’s got the same card idea, and to all those who love & respect the idea – gsh!t. Yep.

11/21/09:::Chill

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/21/09

Sleeping until my thirst for air interrupted me, I bolted out of bed this morning to open a window and turn off my heat. Allergic to my heating system? Yes, yes I am. Since then I have been doing human things such as eating, bathing, cleaning and eavesdropping on some music.  Putting a sock on a foot that has “pins and needles” is odd.  But open windows in November = socks.

I’m currently feeling absurdly pleasant to be a part of the world’s existence.  Spears of light & warmth piercing my windows, backdoor & windows ajar as the resonance of Brooklyn’s residents acts as my soundtrack.   Today is the third day of my triple hip-hop header this week, which has been proceeding in a naturally descending order in regards to my participation in each event. But each day is a new adventure, and each occasion has been a blessing unto itself.

I check my twitter account too frequently.  Chill.

Thursday was THE day – the monster show at Joe’s Pub featuring myself, Savilian, the JUS Evolution & Panjabi MC. I was fortunate enough to bring Homeboy Sandman into the mix as well, as he agreed to bless the event with his hosting prowess for the night.  I had never been to Joe’s Pub before, so the night before the show I went to check out the spot, and I was pretty impressed.  It seats almost 200, but the space is constructed in a really intimate, comfortable manner.  The room itself was drenched with more than a splash of class, and I was immediately looking forward to drowning the room in hip-hip the next night.

And when the flood gates opened and the moisture started leaking, the liquid was ubiquitous.  Smiling as I think back on the evening.  The room was packed to capacity (we were actually in the schizophrenically fortunate/unfortunate position of having to turn 50+ people away) and the energy was super solid.  It was a successful evening of musical sharing & camaraderie on, off, in front and behind the stage. I even got someone in the audience to respond to my Hebrew incantations, & I managed to get a potent response from the crowd when I was freestyling about the Knicks getting their second win of the season.  Personal moments of pleasure aside, the energies colliding throughout the night were magnificent. Backstage building with Homeboy Sands, Avion, PMC, the homies from JUS Evolution, and the rest of the cast of characters of the evening was a delightful occurrence unto itself.

Thursday spilled cleanly into Friday, when I was a part of an all-star NYC underground hip-hop event hosted by my peoples Warren S. Britt & Alicia Bell.  It was a 6 hour long experience at Exchange in lower Manhattan, where the downstairs area was packed with some of the city’s dopest emcees.  Less than ideal sound quality put the show in a potentially painful state, but the acts rocked it solid and had some fun.  I ended up basically just freestyling my whole set a capella in attempts to avoid having to battle the painful sound system – and sometimes that’s how the most gratifying & whimsical sets end up being molded.

Today’s a day of exploration for me.  I’m working on a new PMC track that my man Marlon Asher will hopefully be a part of as well, and I’m trying to approach this song with a different type of feel than records I’ve written in the past.  This song calls for some international, universal flavor.  After that I’m headed into Manhattan to take part in an event at Gallery 151 to raise awareness in attempts to help fight human trafficking, and to cap off the day I’ll be headed to Platform in the Bronx for this month’s Show & Tell installation.  Carrying my mic with me everywhere I go:::rhymes written in the bberry during transport. Yep.

11/15/09:::Yep.

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/15/09

So I’m in the middle of writing a song right about now, and I thought, “I do want to write about now.”  So yeah so for the last few hours I’ve been working on this song with some dudes I really respect, and I’m going through my writing regiment for when I’m inking a song to a predesignated beat, in contrast to when I write a verse over a random beat or no beat at all.  I just loop all the different sections of the beat separately like a bunch of times and just freestyle over them time after time after time, experimenting with different flows and tones and imagery and such:::obviously recording every second of it.  Ha.  Mad specific.

I just got sidetracked and went to HipHopDX.com and gave 5 stars to my dudes in Brown Bag All Stars for their track Workhorse.  :check Brown Bag and remember the name.

Last night I was blessed enough to witness Loki the Trixta do his thing, followed by a powerful performance at Sputnik from the talents of sir Homeboy Sands.  My man had lightning bolts adorning his sternum.  He was on it something super focused & jubilant every second of the show.  He enjoys his performance as much as the audience does. Dope features, Sosa killed it, crazy new material.  Damn near perfect set.  The dude is nothing less than a star.  And he spits something viscous::like painfully inspiring, outlandishly outlandish. & it’s clear from his content that the kid’s contemplative.  Super shout outs to that cat.  Recently he actually threw me on stage with him and 8thW1 to do a freestyle segment at Public Assembly. http://tiny.cc/QKNW3

Still kind of/very-much-so-getting used to having/keeping/writing a blog.  But it’s just like a journal, so it feels comfortable and familiar.  /

While at Sand’s show I came to the conclusion that Lenny Dykstra would be a dope emcee name.  As would Predicate.  I just came up with that one this very moment. And now I don’t like it anymore.  Yeah so tomorrow I’m hoping to finalize some details about my set at Joe’s Pub on 11/19.  More meetings with JUS to come, and more sewing to do to make sure everything’s tight all around.  Looking forward to taking that stage.  Random shout out to Donovan Kasp.  And then there’s conversations to be had, paper and ink to be used, and energy & sounds to create.

::Know what’s gonna be dope?  When Eddy Curry comes back and we get even worse.  #1-81.  Aright back to the track I go.  Yep.

11/13/09:::Moosick

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/13/09

First off, RIP to the Ol’ Dirty Bastard.  The talent, courage, innovation and fertility (he had mad kids) that man brought to the world is remarkable.  And look out for his son, Boy Jones – this kid can really spit.  I saw him on stage at the Rock the Bells Festival this past summer:::truly impressive.

Aright so in about 20 minutes I’m going to bounce out to Jamaica, Queens (Linden Blvd. to be exact) to meet up with my DJ/engineer Sosa to work on some tracks.  We’re working on a drum-and-bass type song today with my sister singing on the hook.  I think we’re also gonna knock out some last minute details for the show next week at Joe’s Pub.  And by last minute I mean first minute, seeing as how this is the first time we’re actually going to be discussing the set.  After working with Sosa I’ll be coming back to Brooklyn to link up with the homie JUS to work on some tracks.  I’m really looking forward to seeing him and his band throw down at the show next Thursday. Hopefully we’ll get all our collab details worked out too…

Wow it’s like winter now.  I just put on some socks fresh out the dryer.  This is like crack for your feet.

Last night was a pretty dope scene.  Another successful Brown Bag Thursdays show at the Voodoo Lounge, as my boy YC the Cynic tore it down.  If I could buy stock in this kid I would…he’s a serious name to look out for.  I also bumped into my man K-Salaam outside of the Sutra Lounge where ?uest Love, Tony Touch and Just Blaze were all rocking.  This is another common issue I’m presented with in the hip-hop scene.  I frequently have to decide whether to see some big names that I’m a fan of, or support my friends & peers. 90% of the time I’ll choose my homies over my heroes.  And I don’t know why, but Rakim seems to always be scheduled to rock in NYC the same night I have a show.

Yesterday a student of mine told me that I’m an “adolescent adult”, and a close friend dubbed me a “walking contradiction”.  True indeed my peoples.  Yep.

11/12/09:::A Night

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/12/09

Multi-tasking isn’t always a great idea…so if you’re going to eat waffles while taking a shower, I suggest chewing with your mouth closed. Anyways, I’m here in Brooklyn putting together the details for my set next Thursday, 11/19 at Joe’s Pub.  Without a band, or a group, or even a hype-man, I’m relying on my own ideas of how to make a hip-hop show more than just a dude on stage spitting rhymes over beats.  I really dig how the creative responsibilities of a musician don’t end when the songs are completed.  Shows, branding, flyer design, etc…all intriguing parts of the game.

Last night I was at S.O.B.’s checking out my boy NSR’s set.  It was part of a special Palestine Meets Israel musical event.  Interesting stuff going on up on stage:::poets, beatboxers, emcees, singers.  Good times all around.

I often erroneously think I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket…even when it’s in my hand. This is disconcerting and needs to stop.

So I was supposed to be joined on stage next week by my man Kalil Kash, but it turns out he was asked to perform at Brooklyn College that same night.  Off I go to my hip-hop Rolodex, tryin to find some heads to bring up with me who aren’t busy shining in their own light that night.  That’s the gift and the curse of being associated with such talented artists – I love how they’re all doing their thing, but we’re often too busy with our own stuff to share with one another.  We all put in work.  Ahhhh well…my peoples are grinders and heroes.  Off I go to look for a sub.

Tonight’s a packed night in NYC hip-hop.  Like a billion things going on.  My man Ill SpokinN’s band is rocking in Brooklyn, Brown Bag Thursdays has a crazy lineup tonight at Voodoo Lounge (shouts to YC The Cynic), Dujeus is playing at the Canal Room (the mom of the MC in that band taught me how to play the balaphone…random), and more.  But first I will be sitting in my apartment after a long day of teaching, waiting for Fresh Direct to come and bring me groceries.  That’s how I get down. Yep.

11/6/09:::A Day

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/6/09

The day has yet to mature.  I like untimely hours.  Currently preparing some material for today’s session with my man Sosa out in Jamaica, Queens.  I’m eating an egg sandwich with PB&J and juice.  Splendid.  I’m happy to be going out to Sosa’s on our normal tracking day, which is Friday – last week my session got pushed to Saturday because it was his wife’s birthday, and oh man did the MTA’s weekend hi-jinx send me on an adventure.  Literally, I took the G train to the G train (yes that’s possible), to the L, to the C, to the F, to the E, to the Q4 bus, to Sosa’s studio.  But, that’s not only 3.5 hours of travel; it’s also 3.5 hours of fresh rhymes being generated.  I’ve transitioned from writing rhymes in my old college notebooks to typing them on my blackberry while in transit.  Odd, but useful.

Aright so now I’m at Sosa’s.  We’re mixing down a bunch of songs I recorded over the last few weeks.  Sounding solid.  It’s dope having Sosa take the beats I cook up with my novice approach to producing (Garageband) and turn them into some robust, hard-hitting hardiness.  His spirit combines nicely with his vast understanding of the sonic booms.  Plus, he’s wise enough to express his respect for my collection of instrumentals.  Word.

OK it’s late.  Wrapped up the session with Sosa, bounced to Manhattan as fast as I could and arrived to a rare Friday tutoring session miraculously on time.  Did some 5th grade test prep and headed home to Brooklyn to meet up with my man Premonition to work on some tracks.  LeBron humiliating my Knicks did not make for a pleasant beginning to the evening.  The Knicks haven’t resembled a professional sports team in so many years…it’s crazy.  Yeah so we worked on a cut called “Hey You.”  Prem’s the man – real prolific and unique.  Pumps out a 16 with the quickness too.  We tried to lay down a dummy track but my M-Audio box insisted on adding distortion to our vocals for some reason…

The morrow will bring a day of more tunes, explorations and teamwork.  Yep.

11/4/09:::Plans

Autor Jesse Abraham | 21.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/4/09

Just had a productive meeting with the team.  I really wish I knew how to make this chair go up higher…too many levers & knobs to deal with.  We worked out the set list & details of the Joe’s Pub show, established who will be blessing the stage when & for how long.  I’m pretty amped about this event – I need to go check out the venue sometime soon though.  If given the opportunity, I prefer to at least see the room I’m gonna be performing in prior to the day of the show.  And considering all the respect that this venue gets from people I’ve spoken to about it, I’m looking forward to seeing what the space looks like.

We also have been talking at greater length about the Don Cannon/Panjabi MC project that’s coming up.  This sounds like it’s gonna be a wild piece of work, & I feel quite privileged to be a part of it.  It looks like the song I cut with PMC, “Ridiculous”, will be a part of that mixtape, which is dope.   I’m hoping to get some collaborations going with a few other artists to hit the mixtape with some diversity.  I also always enjoy being matched up with people whose skill-set is different & potentially more advanced than mine – makes me come with sharper darts every time.

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah.  I bet I could still recite some of that Hebrew chanting stuff.  Maybe at my next show.  Ha.  Yep.

11/2/09:::Hip-Hop Game Shows

Autor admin | 18.11.2009 | Category Uncategorized

11/2/09

Monday is now over.  Wow.  A day smashed tight with tutoring transitioned into a night erupting with hip-hop.  The SATs are this weekend & college applications are due soon, so everything’s been leading up to those illustrious moments in my daytime existence.  Nocturnally, tonight had me featured in two separate “hip-hop gameshow” events.  The early show was at Bowery Poetry Club, hosted by my boys in 3rd Party.  It’s called the Freestyle Pyramid – it’s a competition in which a word is thrown up on a projector screen, & the MCs have to freestyle a few bars in attempts to get their partner, who cannot see the prompt, to say the word.  I pulled a rotund Zero in my first go-round.  How am I supposed to get someone to say the word “concise?”  & what the hell’s a “Shappy”?  I got her to say Shaggy, but the judges ruled against my favor.

I bounced from that over to the monthly Off-The-Head-Gameshow at my synagogue away from home, Sin Sin, with Ill Spokinn & Mariella. What started out as a barren list with only five MCs turned into one of the more entertaining battles of the year, as 12 dope acts got involved.  I got taken out early in a highly questionable crowd-provoked decision, but my boy Premonition made it to the finals where he met the royal leader of this event, Chaz Kangas.  But Chaz didn’t get to the finals easily.  First he had to take out Maria Isla – the dopest female MC any of us had ever seen in that venue.  She was a fiend with endless energy, but Chaz held her off & found himself facing Premonition in the finals.  It was a solid back & forth, but eventually Prem ran out of gas & the well-conditioned Chaz took home his 17th victory in this event, which is straight up bonkers. Personal victories or losses aside, the night was a triumph & rest is my prize. Yep.