Categories Archives: Youngest In Charge

MCMI REPORT: JAY LONZO – Last Drop (Official Music Video)

MCMI Report: JAY LONZO – Last Drop (Official Music Video)

A little behind the scenes Hip Hop trivia – yours truly recorded Jay Lonzo’s first joint Double Zero at MCMI 500 Studios in Brooklyn 2 years ago. Since then he has been heating up, following his guest appearance at BARCLAY CENTER. You might recall his first video “Live from Brooklyn” we posted awhile back (find it here) or his freestyle for Team Backpack that got heavy spins.

MCMI REPORT: JAY LONZO - Last Drop (Official Music Video)

This latest video “Last Drop” from Brooklyn’s youngest in charge, was shot by EZRU, all over the streets of Brooklyn, with a moment or two at Stonebrown Studios, where he has been recording tracks for his future release It Takes a Village.

The video is tight. Jay rides the head-nodding beat perfectly, showing you how easily he can stretch a freestyle into a catchy video, “no ad libs, no hook” and keep you listening. Lonzo is just giving you a little glimpse into his life right now, but he does slip in some knowledge on Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick in there, plus his dreams for the future.

It’s illogical to think that soon wouldn’t be me, everybody coppin’ tickets just to come and see me (and that’s the dream”

He also drops that his album is done (no Khaled), so expect that soon.

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | @JayLonzo    #Brooklyn #JayLonzo

MCMI Report: JAY LONZO – Last Drop (Official Music Video)

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN 2016!

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

Enter the JUGGERNAUT! Founded by frontman Qaasim Middleton (American Idol, Naked Brothers Band and HBO’s Music In Me), Juggernaut War Party is quite a collective, consisting of Qaasim, (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Khalil (vocals, MPC), lead guitarists Jonah Hudson, Emmet Sher and Joseph Deadwiley, drummer Andres Valbuena, keyboardists Jack Gruber and Francisco Haye, with Ethan Cohn and Paul Johnson on bass.

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

You may remember Qaasim from his awesome run on American Idol Season 14, when he performed with Chris Brown and Pitbull and was lavished with praise from J-Lo, Harry Connick Jr. & Keith Urban. Since his amazing run on Idol, where he finished in the Top 8,  Qaasim has been quietly developing his material, working on his debut album with his Hip Hop/Funk/Rock fusion band Qaasim & the Juggernaut War Party: Children of The Plague (“Juggernaut War Party” or “JWP” for short).

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

The Juggernaut War Party concept was birthed at AFROPUNK BATTLE OF THE BANDS BROOKLYN, on June 22nd, 2015, when Qaasim and his bandmates entered the contest to showcase their skills and original Rock/Rap/Funk fusion material. They did extremely well for a brand new group, making it to the very end, eliminated only in the Finals. It was debatable, but all of the groups rocked out that year, so the band chalked it up to an awesome debut experience.

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

Right after that, Qaasim did his last show on the American Idol Tour at the Beacon Theater August 5th, 2015, then become a free agent. Since then he has been in the studio with the band, recording and polishing their sound for their debut release. Juggernaut did their second show, October 10th, 2015, opening for Rakim and Corey Glover at the RESTORATION ROCKS MUSIC FESTIVAL.

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

This year, Qaasim & The Juggernaut War Party are back with a vengeance! They entered the AFROPUNK BROOKLYN BATTLE once again and performed such a striking, memorable set, that even though another band was eventually voted the winner, the judges gave JWP 2nd Place and decided that this year the top TWO bands were going to go through, to perform at Afropunk Brooklyn 2016! They couldn’t front on the War Party and wanted to bring their amazing sound (and fanbase) to the Afropunk festival. Juggernaut truly is the unstoppable force!

MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN

Come out to watch Qaasim & The Juggernaut War Party tear down the stage August 27th on the Green Stage, from 1:45 – 2:15pm at the AFROPUNK BROOKLYN FESTIVAL 2016, sharing the stage with artists such as Jonelle Monae, Cee-lo Green, TV on the Radio, George Clinton, Ice Cube, Flying Lotus, Saul Williams, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, plus members of Bad Brains, Fishbone, and Living Colour, just to name a few! It is going to be lit!

JOIN THE PARTY! Link up with Qaasim & JWP on all social media.

TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

 MCMI REPORT: JUGGERNAUT WAR PARTY comes to AFROPUNK BROOKLYN
@GMS_MCMI

PH Memorial Tribute Concert – AUG 5th @ SANTOS (NYC)

PH CONCERT FLYER 2

It has been a difficult month and a half for the staff at MCMI, members of The PLAGUE, TeamHOMI, Brooklyn Academy, RedArmy, Decepts, Lo Life’s and friends and fam within and outside of the music industry, feeling the blow of PH aka Pumpkinhead’s untimely passing and the weight of responsibility we have all felt, to both keep his musical legacy strong and create a support system for those left behind. But none of that compares to what Robert Diaz‘ actual family has gone through – wife, mother, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, in-laws and especially his two sons, Royce age 8 and Raiden age 11. And for those who don’t know, their mother Shawntay is also pregnant with PH’s first daughter, due in the fall.

When it first happened, I wrote an article, but so much has transpired in the past 6 or 7 weeks, so many events, so much love and support from friends, fans and even strangers, that I wanted to fill you in on what has been going on, before we talk about the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday, August 5th.

News of PH’s unexpected, sudden passing that Tuesday morning, June 9th, 2015, was widely reported in the online media and even newspapers like The NY Daily NewsFoxNews Latino and Pix11 covered it. CNN, TIME, USmagazine reported it. Gossip blogs such as Hollywoodlife, HollywoodTake, GossipIconDailyMail, thecelebritycafe and E! Online all wrote about the tragedy. Even notorious blogger Perez Hilton had something nice to say. Of course all the music blogs, like Billboard, RollingStone, MTV, BET, XXL, HipHopDX, VLADtv and battle rap sites, such as RapGridBattleRap, KOTDtv, HHC, GrindTimeNow, URLtv, released statements, videos, tweets and instagram dedications to #ripPH.

Talib Instagram about PH

June 9th – 10th, the Instaworld and Twitterverse was lit. Sean Price, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Marco Polo, Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Aesop Rock, Mac Miller, Peter Rosenberg, Atmosphere, Evidence, Statik Selectah, Stretch Armstrong, Pharoahe Monch, Alchemist, Poison Pen, Swave Sevah, DNA, RA the Rugged Man, DJ Rhettmatic, Soul Khan … just to name a FEW tweeted laments about their brother PH passing until #ripPH became the trending topic on Twitter and Facebook for the next day.

Goodbye Pumpkinhead Halftime Radio Show

Radio stations from SHADE 45 (Evil Dee/TonyTouch), to Hip Hop Nation on Sirius XM, to Halftime / Squeeze Radio with DJ Eclipse, Sucio Smash & Big Zoo, the Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth on WBAI, numerous online shows, Power 105.1Hot97, all played PH’s music in tribute and memory. Podcasts on AngryFanRadio got reactions from DNA, Math Hoffa, Swave Sevah, Lush One, Amzilla & P Stacks and Poison Pen. GID Radio  and other online shows hosted interviews of PH’s wife, children and friends.  That Sunday, the EOW MC Challenge of Champions was dedicated to PH. The Legendary Cypher event at Union Square was dedicated to PH, with his wife and kids in attendance. PH’s eldest son Raiden did an off the top verse for his dad. It was heavy.

Then at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Anniversary show at Summer Stage in Central Park, Raiden came out again, during a special PH Tribute performance orchestrated by DJ Eclipse, this time doing a verse from his dad’s song “Here” off of Orange Moon Over Brooklyn. Other artists who performed at the tribute include Immortal Technique, Jean Grae, Bad Seed, Tonedeff, Diabolic, Hydra, PackFM, Poison Pen, DP One and Metaphor from Brooklyn Ac.

RAIDEN ROCKS RSC38

Photo: Photo Rob

All of this chronicled the pain of losing someone who was down to earth,  helpful, and supportive, someone who did so much for battle rap and had so much passion for Hip Hop music and culture.

PH CONCERT FLYERThis coming Wednesday, August 5th, Hip Hop artists in New York are coming together to honor and pay tribute to the man, Robert Diaz, and the MC PH, also known as Pumpkinhead, at SANTOS PARTY HOUSE. The flyer lists IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, PHAROAHE MONCH, JEAN GRAE, SEAN PRICE, ROCKNESS MONSTAH, SMIF-N-WESSUN, SADAT X, KID CAPRI & EVIL DEE on the wheels, but there are numerous other artists added to the event – all of whom are friends of PH and all of whom represent NY Hip Hop. If you go to the Facebook Event Page, you can rsvp, post messages and see the full line up for the show. You can see it is going to be one of those monumental NY moments in Hip Hop history.

Besides being an artist himself, PH was an events promoter, organizing numerous Hip Hop events, from GrindTime battles, to our own MCMI Warzone battle last year, to Hip Hop concerts such as “The Classic“, “The Platform“, “Masters of the Underground” and his art series called “The Blackbook” dedicated to Graff.

The day PH transitioned, a bunch of us got together on the rooftop of Rodney “LR Blitzkreig” Willie’s building in Park Slope, Brookyln. The appearance of an “Orange Moon Over Brooklyn” that night is well documented, here and here, on Facebook and Youtube. Shortly after, an alliance was formed between a group of PH’s friends who are also event producers, promoters, graphic designers and marketing professionals. We formed a “core committe” (i.e. MCMI, Lyricist Lounge, RealTalkNYC, WritterzBlock, PoisonPen, Metaphor, The Plague, LyricsToGo, EOW, TeamHOMI and others) and a larger committee of friends and supporters who began working on a series of memorial events. It was not exclusionary, but comprised of those of us who were in touch with each ther at the time. As others have been reaching out, reconnecting with old friends, they have been added to the group.

This has turned into the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE COMMITTEE, which was responsible for the Memorial White Party at LittleField, among other things, leading up to this major tribute concert.

PH reading to his two sons, Royce & Raiden

Everyone brings what they do to the table. Some book venues, some contact artists, some paint murals and paintings, some do graphics for flyers, posters and tee shirts. Some promote online or in the streets. This is a team effort – a community of like-minded individuals brought together by Pumpkinhead. We are all working towards one cause. No one is profiting. 100% of the money raised goes to the Fund for PH. We don’t even put our name on anything unless it will help the cause. It is not about us.

Anyone who wants to join us in these endeavors is welcome to contact us and become a member of the committee. If you have something you would like to contribute, reach out to anyone you know who has been mentioned above, or email us at mcmireport[at]gmail.com. Or you can just speak to any of us in person at the PH MEMORIAL TRIBUTE CONCERT, this Wednesday.

I am going to end this on a personal note. When asked in interviews to come up with the best times I have had with Robert, I realize that the times I spent with PH, were some of the best of times, in my life, period. Having been friends for about 25 years, it is hard to pick just one.

PH At GMS wedding with The Plague

Here he is, in happier days, celebrating at my wedding, with our Plague fam all around us. Thank you for the good times, PH, you will be sorely missed and remembered forever.

@GMS_MCMI | @MCMIreport | bit.ly/phshowtix | bit.ly/phconcert | bit.ly/fundforph

ASTRO “Lose Yourself” on X Factor (Video)

Astro Lose Yourself The X Factor

I wasn’t sure when I was going to put up the next article that pushes the “R.I.P Heavy D” post down the blog. My heart was heavy and I didn’t feel like posting new music for awhile, as I recovered from the loss of one of my childhood Hip Hop idols. But tonight, the Astronomical Kid returned to X Factor and put up a performance that would make the Heav-ster feel he was leaving Hip Hop in the good hands of the next generation.

For those that don’t know, Astronomical KidAstro for short – has been writing rhymes and producing music since the age of 10 and has been featured twice on MCMIreport.com’s Youngest In Charge category. He has a few videos out and you can find more of his music on his website theastronomicalkid.com. His stand out performances in my opinion are his debut single/video Stop Lookin’ At My Moms, his mixtape style remix of Hustle HardDifferent Hustle, where he preaches the benefits of working hard and hitting the books in school, not taking the “easy” way out by other popular, but illegal or immoral hustles. He has a different hustle. He also goes in on an episode of “Spittin In Da Whip“, with mad bars and at the time he was about 12 years old!

I like to feel I always knew this young man was destined to make it. I was just waiting for the news he is signed to one of the major camps in the game right now. When I heard he was a contestant on X Factor, I knew it was on! On his first appearance, he went with his best foot forward and gave them a tried and proven joint – part of his song “Stop Lookin’ At My Moms”. He cleverly worked it in as a skit where he starts off gettin’ at Simon, telling him he caught him and to cut it out. At first it looked like he was buggin’ out – how are you screaming on one of the judges and the producer of the show and you haven’t even spit a bar yet? Then the beat came on and we’d been had. It was the intro to his song. And America caught the fever.

Well, the honeymoon is over. Astro can’t just go through his catalogue and kick his known material. He has to cover songs in the categories they use on X Factor each week. On top of that, he can’t simply spit the original lyrics of someone else’s song, because that’s not what MC’s do (and thank god for X Factors producers realizing that or all the Hip Hop artists would have been real corny, just saying other people’s rhymes). So, every week, Astro has to write his own verse (like he did with “Different Hustle”) to songs selected within the show’s theme.

Last week he did Kris Kross’s classic party anthem “Jump“. Lyrically, he killed it and even took shots at the newer artists of today.

The new generation of rap, is kinda wack, so right now I’m takin’ it-takin’ it-takin’ it-takin’ it back!

Check out how he bodied it tonight, with Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” off of the 8 Mile soundtrack. Like the original song, Astro gets personal and talks about several personal struggles, from being homeless to having Diabetes. The song is dope. For those who are late, you can see Astronomical Kid’s audition performance in front of Rihanna and L.A. Ried, to see if he can make it on the show (he does “The Message“), after the jump. I also threw in his performance from last week’s show.

 

(more…)

Astronomical Kid ROCKS “X Factor”


You know Astronomical Kid from our previous story about this rising young superstar. Appearing on this show, along with the accolades lavished on him by all the judges, especially L.A. Ried’s comments, are bound to help him on his journey. When asked why he hasn’t gotten a record deal so far, Astro – real name Brian Bradley – answered perfectly, “Politics, you have to know somebody.”

Well, after this performance on the show, millions of viewers on TV, multiplied by the millions of views his article in the Daily News and countless other papers, as well as numerous blog posts like this one, everybody is going to want to know this young man. Shouts to WorldStar for the video. Peace and respect to his mom! (I wasn’t looking, I swear!)

Astro definitely has our attention over here at MCMIreport.com & MCMI Records. I’m sure his phone is ringing off the hook non-stop since the show aired. Let the bidding wars begin!

– GMS