Sunday, April 27, 2008

French Hip-Hop

As many of you may or may not have heard, French Hip-Hop is doing incredibly big things for our culture and its music keeping the purest form of it alive, bringing a flavor of the utmost authenticity. This video is a living testament to how amazingly talented the individuals of that nation really are.

I hope you enjoy this vid and perhaps some of you may even learn a thing or two. I can't wait till I go to France, because I'd rather be a somebody over there, than a nobody over here with big aspirations. I dedicate this to all the true heads out there keeping the culture alive and well just as the man in this video.


Scarlem D

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Canadian Hip Hop

Here's a song by a Canadian Hip-Hop artist whom most of you have never heard of. His name is Mathematik and he hails from Scarborough, ON just like I do. The song is entitled UPRISE and was a single off of his first album entitled ECOLOGY. Mathematik, or Math was and I think always will be Canada's best kept secret, the other one being a songstress from Toronto, Canada called Esthero.

Check the video out and leave your comments. It was done at a time when hip-hop was very conscious and is in my opinion one of the illest hip-hop tracks of all time. If you really listen to how Math breaks it down on the mic you will agree with me that he is definately one of the illest MCs of all time. If you haven't heard his music before then I definately recommend that you get your hands on a copy of his first LP ECOLOGY as well as the 2004 follow-up entitled NO DIVISION. Ecology is better in my opinion however, and I hope you enjoy getting a real taste of what Canadians have to offer.

I'll be posting some of my own material at a later time.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Skate Videos Used To Have Good Music

Throughout my many years of skateboarding I've discovered a lot of different artists that I still love to listen to today while watching skate videos. I think it's evident to point out that there is no visible spectrum between the likes and the dislikes of music by various cultures.

It seems to me that we're reliving the 1980's all over again as absolutely everyone is guilty of listening to shitty music nowadays. That is not to say that skateboarding has been tarnished by poor skateboarding skills however, the kids are getting better and better by the day. They do however lack that extra oomph, that extra soul factor that a lot of the really big greats always had since the beginning (i.e. Tom Penny, Danny Way, Gino Iannucci, Guy Mariano, Keenan Milton, Eric Koston, Chad Muska, Rodney Mullen, etc, etc, etc). They're good, really good even, but not quite the same as the O.G.s were.

The same could be said about the music nowadays, it's not that it's bad, it's just an even more worse version of the shit that was mediocre and came out 20 some years ago.

Here is an example of a video where the dude is a living legend. His name's Guy Mariano and he's filmed about 3 video parts in the past two decades. He's had a video part in Powell/Peralta's "BAN THIS", which was released in 1989 and featured a way ahead of its time part of Frankie Hill, a Chad Muska of his generation. He's had a full length video part in Girl Skateboard Company's film entitled "MOUSE", which features an all funk/jazz/retro soundtrack and is so good I decided to post the video of it in my blog.

He also has a full length part in the recently released full length feature from Lakai Footwear entitled "Fully Flared". The Fully Flared part is just as good, if not even better than his part in MOUSE, however, for the sake of the argument about the quality music and quality of skate videos, I would have to say that Guy Mariano's Par in MOUSE can dust anyone's video parts that have been comin' out in the new millenium (Rodney Mullen's and Daewon Song's not withstanding).

I hope you enjoy the video and I hope you enjoy the song. The flick came out in 1997 and is outstanding if you haven't seen it before, and the song is "Watermelon Man" as performed by Herbie Hancock.

Ah, the good ol' days...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Lesson About Banking...

I was writing a new song about corruption today and I thought that it would be a great idea to educate you on how banks REALLY operate and what their sole purpose is.

I had this theory for quite some time now, yet I hadn't really had any proof. As an educated man, I logically couldn't conclude without a shadow of a doubt that this theory was correct without having any valid proof. Last month however, I finally stumbled upon such proof by sheer accident.

You see, I signed up for a gym membership through someone I know who works at the place. It was a great deal, contract for a year but no start up fee, and no cancelation fee. Sounds too good to be true, but I trusted the person who works there (incidentally, that person was not responsible for my misfortune, the institution was). Everything seemed fine on the surface but only just.

I ended up canceling the membership about a month and a half later because I found I got more results doing my own regimen all in the comfort of my own home (all it takes is light exercise and not eating after certain hours of the day). They gave me shit for trying to cancel so early and wanted me to pay a cancelation fee. I was having none of it because the person I set the account up with was telling me there is no cancelation fee.

I got ahold of her and told her I wanted out, she said she'll do it, it's all good, no problem.
That's just when I noticed that there was a problem after all. I went to the bank to check my account at one of the ATMs they have there. I check my account and I notice that I have minus ninety-one dollars in my account. I had just quit my job recently and was dumbfounded as to how that could have occured, especially since I do not have overdraft on my account and an action like that by the bank would be for the lack of a better term STEALING money that I don't even have out of MY account because all I had before I found out I have minus ninety-one dollars on there was fifteen dollars and eighty-seven cents. Unheard of right? You're goddamn wrong!

I checked the transaction record and it turns out that the gym charged that money out of my account (I had to give them my banking info because the shit is direct deposited out of your account into theirs, no bills and all that to deal with). Anyway, I thought about it for a minute and I went up to the bank teller. A pretty little blonde girl who looked like she hadn't the slightest clue as to how to spell her own name correctly, nevermind fixing this heinous error by the branch. I asked her to check and see if I have overdraft on my account.

Luckily for me, she was able to do that without delay (I'm amazed to this day), and she quickly retorted that I do not have overdraft on my account, in fact I can't even take out more than five hundred dollars a day (what a pity, I hardly ever had that kind of money to begin with anyway).

I told her my predicament and she began to look a little out of place, confused even. She asked me a few more times to repeat it for her just so she could fully understand it. It's funny, I'm Russian, but I do not even have an accent when I speak English, and neither did she, yet she still could not understand me. Perhaps the reason for that was all that peroxide she had in her hair had secretly seeped into her brain somehow (that poor blonde).

She agreed with me finally that there was an error and it was the bank's fault. You see since I did not, and do not have overdraft, any money that is taken out of my account that exceeds what is in there at that particular time (i.e. fifteen dollars and eighty seven cents to be exact) is a criminal activity being committed by the bank for allowing money exceeding the account balance to be transfered out because what it essentially did was give that money out of the bank vault (money that belongs to someone else, not the bank, the bank has no money to begin with, watch the video) making it look like it came out of my account (remember, no overdraft) and in turn make me a person who now owes them money (with interest at that). This money could not and cannot exist because I've had no arrangement of such kind with the bank.

What should have transpired legally was the gym trying to take out money out of my account to pay for the first month, not being able to do so, and then the gym sending me a letter or contacting me stating that I owe them money and must pay soon. That's all, they could not legally take dough out of my account especially if it exceeds the amount I have in there to begin with, and the bank in turn can't just say "ok Dmitri has fuck all, but we'll loan this money to you because you're such a nice company from someone else's account, and make Dmitri cover this expense payable to us with interest". That shit is serious theft right there.

It's not the money by the way, it's the principle. You're supposed to be able to trust these people and here they go pulling something like this (I take it wouldn't be the first time for some of you). I spoke to a bank manager and she told me that they were gonna look into it. Well it's been two weeks and I haven't heard from them. The worst thing is that if it is indeed theft by the bank and their fuck up, I can't do much about it because to sue them would cost even more money (which I don't have at the moment). If they don't willingly put it back I'm kinda screwed here.
Ideas anyone?

I found this interesting video however and I'd like you to take the time to watch it carefully and educate yourself on how these cock suckers operate. Feel free to tell everyone you know, and please leave your comments, I'd love to read them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dusty Fingers, Crispy Samples, Sidewalk Cracks, and Swollen Ankles

As I was contemplating late yesterday evening on what to call my blog and what it is I would be discussing and sharing with y'all on here with my main man Mr. Blue on the horn (, I came up with this brilliant idea of being THE center of useless information that I deem absolutely necessary.

I want people to come here and gain knowledge that they couldn't find anywhere else. If you happen to be an up-and-coming producer/beat-maker, a singer, a writer, a b-boy, b-girl, graffiti artist, skateboarder, snowboarder, chemist, conspiracy theorist, philosopher, etcetera, I will break down anything that I find that is very useful to all of you out there, and most importantly to me, and post it on here in plain sight, plain text, so that y'all can feed your mind instead of wasting your time.

Music has always been big in my life, let's face it, everyone out there would say that music has always been a big thing in his/her life just the same. I was raised on heavy metal, and I grew up listening to everything that I can get my hands on. That does not mean I condone downloading illegal albums and the like. The music that I download is almost exclusively the music that I sample when I make beats of various genres (if you'd like to hear examples of my work, please visit

As an MC/beat-maker who appreciates actual music, and not the garbage that you hear on the radio and see on television nowadays, I've heard about the compilation Dusty Fingers a few years ago. What I heard was that some dude compiled a very rare collection of exclusive original records from vinyl onto cd (and later to wave & mp3) to make it available for true school hip-hop heads all over the globe to chop, screw, sample, and create something new and beautiful.

Sampling has always been a fundamental aspect of making hip-hop beats since day one, so I thought it would be proper to get my hands on this collection. However, the so-called music heads that work at various music stores here in Toronto would have no friggin' idea about what I was talking about. The most intelligent answer I would always get would be along the lines of "What? Duuuuuuude, you should get the new Chingy album, it's soooooo sick. Duuuuuuuuude, you should check out the new Fort Minor man, that Mike Shinoda is killeeeeeeeer".

This is how you know you're getting old by the way, when you start hating on the new music that comes out, but come on y'all, all you gotta do is listen to The Roots - Illadelph Halflife ONCE front to back, or Common Sense - Resurrection and the shit that's out there right now will not even come close. Anyhow, the stores didn't have it, no one I knew had it, and the collection is like 15 volumes son! I knew that I would need that to understand the history of what I'm doing. I can make beats all day everyday, but if I don't learn the history, learn the techniques, school myself on the artists back in those days, then I would never make great beats.

In a desperate bid to find the thing I looked to the one source I knew had it all, torrents. Simply put, you go to, you type in Dusty Fingers torrent, and you will find various links leading to the promised land, if you will. I found one that worked for me and downloaded the entire 15 volume collection within the span of about an hour (which incidentally is pretty slow for a torrent). This collection is an absolute must have for anyone that wants to know how to make REAL beats. There is also another collection out there called Breakonomics which is supposedly material even more rare than that of Dusty Fingers, but I'll save that material for a future blog and will show you the way.

For now you will have to be content with this knowledge, and this link to one of the greatest collections that any up-and-coming or even already a veteran beat-maker/producer can have to make hip-hop, trip-hop, drum and bass, jungle.... You name it, and you can use this material to make it. I hereby present you with this:
Try it out, and let me know what you think of it, let me hear some beats you make with it and I'll let you hear mine.

Moving on, this is only the beginning my friends. In later posts I will break down a lot of things for you kids n' old farts out there such as:

How to use FL Studio 8 XxL Producer Edition properly

How to use almost no musical equipment and come up with pro sounding tunes

How to skateboard

How to quit your job, maintain your dignity, and get to where you REALLY wanna go

So, come one, come all!
After all, Scarblogistan isn't just a blog, it's a country, and the immigration gates are open baby!