Diablo, Detroit ‘s medical examiner invites you into his world

Diablo offers another example of the Detroit scene s diversity of styles. Categorized as rap/ ghetto tech, Diablo’s music introduces you into his rhythmic ghetto world.
Detroit Northwest is representative of a hustler s harsh struggle. With his gritty voice and his rapid flow, Diablo pictures a world in which making fast money is a way of life. The heartbeat alike instrumentals suggest the strong image of a man on the run, trying to make a living by any means.
Brightmo Bounce is built on rapid hand claps, maracas sounds. The astute combination of two different type of rhythms will make Diablo s word juggling a much more difficult task to accomplish. The artist, however, reveals a mastered flow delivery.
The only critic I d formulate about the track is that the diction of his words is quite difficult to catch one’s ears. Besides that, the song is highly enjoyable for people who are sensitive to a good sense of rhythm.
Bye Bye is based on soft vocals. Don t let the softness of the prelude confuse you: you will soon be transported into a more hardcore dimension where homicide is law. Take a ride and discover Diablo s devilish world.
Nothing Bout Me is a beautiful combination of strong female vocals and Diablo s sick flow delivery. Keyboard sounds, violins, catchy drum beats reinforce the ghetto dimension of the song that is also Spanish sounding during a little while. I like the contrast between light and dark sounds that beautifully enhance Diablo s know how and his lyrical competence.
More about Detroit s Diablo is available here.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

An homage to Proof s prolific work on the Detroit scene

April the 11th, 2006 was a tragic day for Deshaun Holton s family, friends and fans. A talented artist ended up in a pool of blood over a stupid argument at the infamous CCC club, leaving a whole hip hop community in grief. It also marked the end of an era in Detroit hip hop history.
Some people only know Proof as Eminem s hype man or through his work inside of D12.
Proof s best known solo work is probably Searching For Jerry Garcia. Little did you know about Deshaun Holton if you actually think Searching For Jerry Garcia is his one and only solo CD during his whole career…
I d like to point out that Proof has marked hip hop history. I still miss his absence in the game.
NB: the list of tracks and songs mentioned in this article is non exhaustive…forgive me for the ones I might have omitted.
Deshaun Holton was deeply rooted with the Detroit scene. Eminem and D12 s overwhelming success, Proof always busy schedule never changed the man he was. Down to earth, heartfelt, true to his roots, Proof always kept his underground work with local artists active and worked hard towards getting Detroit hip hop on the map.

Deshaun Holton was the kind of person who would not let fame affect his behavior towards other people. He didn t feel too proud to talk to a former friend nor a fan who d cross his road in Detroit or anywhere else.
Within a decade and despite all his detractors might object against him, Big Proof has done more than many artists during their whole career.
Big Proof might not be as notorious as Tupac, his underground work resembles the hidden part of an iceberg: there is more to discover than you actually think. In fact, Proof s musical work goes back to 1996.
Working together with DJ Head (D12 s former DJ), the talented artist released a mixtape called the WEGO mixtape. 5ELA s Yester Years EP is also the fruit of a collaboration with Thyme and Mudd, who formed 5 ELA with Proof.
Deshaun Holton also had a special connection with the notorious Trick Trick and his Goon Sqwad group. The same year, another CD entitled From Death came out as the product of a common collaboration.
In 1996, Proof also released a Jay Dee produced song called Da Science.
Proof concentrated on working with his D12 fellows on the D12 Underground EP, a remarkable piece of work that is characterized by a combination of astute, crazy, filthy rhymes and the frequent use of dark instrumentals such as the bass.
Here is an example of Proof s verbal dexterity within the D12 Underground EP:
You lack phat tactics, your thoughts are Dexitrim/Whipping my dick out on nuns if they say sex is sin.” (Proof)
In 1998, Proof and his D12 fellows were actively working with Slim Shady on the Slim Shady EP.
On his already busy schedule, Deshaun Holton added some good quality work with hip hop dedicated artists of 5 ELA, Thyme and Mudd (Proof was also a member of the group named above). The trio gave birth to several underground jewels like The Album That Time Forgot and 5E Pt 3.
Proof and Bugz also united their lyrical efforts on deceased artist Bugz underground classic, These Streets EP. These Streets EP is, by the way, very popular in Detroit City.
1999 to 2000
The years that followed kept Proof very occupied. Eminem s overwhelming fame, the constant touring, kept Proof very active on the scene, as Eminem s hype man.
Regarding D12, one could barely think of 2001 without thinking of the Devil s Night album. Major success followed with the release of the album.
During the same period, Detroit s Dirty Dozen released the Detroit What! Mixtape. Glory, fame and acclaim didn’t change Proof, who never ever neglected his local hip hop scene.
In 2001, Proof also combined some intense musical efforts with his long term friend Kevin Bailey, also known as Dogmatic.
Promatic originated from the combination of both artist s names: Proof plus Dogmatic equals Promatic. Both artists released the Promatic LP the same year.
If you were already a Proof fan or listener in 2002, parts of his projects were available and downloadable on his former website, Big Proof Dot Com. One of those projects was the Electric Coolaid Acid EP.
Sometimes, it feels so lonely at the top. Fame can alter the taste of simple pleasure and force you to do things that you like less, but that are requested by the music industry.
Deshaun sometimes felt like his entry into the mainstream sphere had left a sour aftertaste in his mind. In I Miss The Hip Hop Shop, a brilliant mixtape that includes many local Detroit collaborations and productions, Big Proof expressed how much he regretted the golden age of hip hop he experienced at Maurice Malone s Hip Hop Shop.
Maturity comes with age and experience. From there you can look back at your mistakes and try to improve yourself. In Grown Man Shit Proof started squashing a bloody beef with his long term rival, acid rapper Esham. But Proof didn t limit his reconciliation attempt to words on a tape: his reconciliation with Esham actually happened at his last birtday party on October the 2nd, 2006.
In Grown Man Shit, Proof also puts some insignificant local haters in place and astutely ridicules them in a well written song, with loads of humor.
In 2006, Proof released his Searching For Jerry Garcia LP, a CD that he had been working on for at least three years before its release. In Searching For Jerry Garcia, Proof reveals his incessant quest for real artistry, showing how much it is difficult to be a real artist, in all senses of the term.
The same year, Proof s Hand 2 Hand mixtape, a beautiful compilation of numerous Detroit talents also came out.
Before his tragic death, in March 2006, Proof did a last album, within 24 hours that is entitled Time A Tell. The album, that includes some collaborations with underground emcee Intrinzik hasn t been released yet.
During his whole career, Proof has been collaborating with numerous local Detroit talents. Among them, the notorious Trick Trick and his Goon Sqwad, Jay Dilla, Hash, Purple Gang, Woof Pac, 5 ELA, Dogmatic, Royce Da 5.9, Slum Village, Malaki The Most Hi, Twiztid of Psychopatic Records and many more.
On a national scale, Proof has also worked with numerous influent mainstream artists such as B Real of Cypress Hill, 50 Cent, Nate Dogg and Method Man.
Deshaun Holton s short life is the testimony of his true love for hip hop. A love nobody can erase from the face of the earth.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Anniversary of Proof s death

April the 11 th, 2007 will mark the anniversary of Deshaun Holton s tragic death at the CCC club.
It s been one year and it sounds like it was yesterday.
Many people think that Proof has just one CD at his active. Little did you know about the amazing D12 artist if you really think so. Not even his mixtapes are representative of Proof’s solo work as a whole. Having been into Proof s solo work for years, some of his tracks are yet to explore for me and maybe also for many other true fans…
In order to honor the incredible artist Proof actually was, I am preparing an article that will reveal you more about his discography.
Proof was extraordinary as an artist, not because he was Eminem s friend. He was extraordinary, because he was a genuine artist with a style of his own (that is very different from his style within D12). He was also remarkable because, over the years and despite fame and touring, he always kept that true spirit of Detroit s hip hop shop inside of him and always worked towards reuniting local Detroit talents.
More strikingly Proof was a man of heart and a down to earth dude.
A whole hip hop community misses you. You were so special, Deshaun Holton and thats why I will dedicate you an upcoming article revealing more about your excellent underground work and dedication to the Detroit scene.
RIP Big Proof. Now that you ve gone, we will keep your memory alive.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Catch C-Ron in the hood

C-Ron is a young emcee from Pennsylvania who puts a lot of energy into his passion. C-Ron introduces his listener into a dark, sinister, creepy atmosphere with his Catch Me In The Hood track. Be ready to get the chills while walking with him through the icy streets that are surrounded with dangers of all kind. The Catch Me In The Hood chorus is enhanced with some light keyboard sounds that will create a discrepance with the dark orientated vocal. Pistol whipping, animosities, upcoming beefs, that s the realness of the song s background: be ready for war!
His world is make of insecurities and truly paints the environment of the ghetto. I d advice the listener to lend the track an attentive ear.
Bad Guy is full of lyrical gritiness. An offensive spirit will allow you to step up into C-Ron s world. The song is rhythmic, instrumentally well worked on. However, I do think that C-Ron should work on his voice and make it sound a little bit stronger, in Bad Guy in particular. His voice seems to be the main weakness in Bad Guy, since it doesn t seem to fit with the somber context of the song.
Every Time We Touch is based on soft piano notes and harmonic violin sounds…it describes the emotions that go through lovers heart and brain who feel true love. Anybody who has loved a dear person will feel the artist’s words. Sit back, relax and let your universe be fulfilled with falling hearts…let your thoughts walk to your loved one in an infinite embrace of true feelings. Poetic, intense and well done.
Check out C-Ron here.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Meet Biggie s spirit

Rating of the product: 4.5 stars
The March 9 CD offers a compilation of Biggie remixes that will certainly catch a connoisseur s ear.
It is introduced by the well known Renegade theme. Built on nostalgic violin sounds and heartbeats/ machine sounds that suggest a dying man into an operation room, the song will open on Biggie s philosophical reflections on life and death. A bad guy analyzes his life and leaves earth with no regrets, and he consciously steps towards hell- by choice.
No angels, no paradise: a villain is ready to get his reward as the bad man he actually was. This track is a beautiful classic.
Organ sounds, keyboard sounds, drum beats introduce the listener into a dark, psychotic, nightmarish atmosphere during which Biggie reveals his non hidden intentions to use his weapon. He has reached a point of no return: kill or get killed. The villain is ready to die.
Niggaz Bleed has some beautiful, rhythmic sonorities. Bass and violins work together with piano notes in order to suggest a routine and trying times.
The CD has two versions of Dead Wrong to offer, the Stop Schemin and the well known Eminem remix. Both versions are highly enjoyable, as far as I am concerned.
Real Niggaz Do Real Things allies bass and xylophone sounds. Again Biggie introduces us into a creepy gangsta world made of numerous dangers and police car. A ruthless sounding background totally enlightens the track.
What s Beef features skilled artist Mos Def. Let Biggie define the word beef in all its dimensions.
In 10 Crack Commandments based on the Cake theme , Biggie will teach you about the rules a crack dealer usually abides.
Deadly Combination unites Big L, former friends and rivals Tupac and Biggie. Scratches sounds, mandolin and keyboard sounds totally match together and will create an overheated speech ambiance.
From a Young G s perspective is a cool ballad through the hood. The instrumentals strongly suggest an adventurous life in the hood jungle.
Globally the Biggie Smalls is a beautiful tribute that manages to catch the listeners ears. The hopeless, dark, sinister and hardcore dimension that is so typical to Christopher Wallace is totally enhanced by the combination of good artistic features and a good production.
The Who Shot Biggie Smalls track is definitely worth your attention. The artists tornado of words will catch you into its rapid, spiral;
When I look at the way people talk about deceased artists, constantly idolizing them while they didn t really care as long as they were alive, I think that Christopher Wallace is probably right: you’re nobody until somebody kills you.
RIP Christopher Wallace.
Enjoy March 9 that will remind you of Biggie s artistic brilliance.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Tell me why all the fuss about Faye Turner…

As a fair warning, I would like to tell my readers that this subject is most likely to bring up some controversy. Feel free to debate…you don t have to agree with me, but please respect my point of view. Thank you.
A few days ago, a 25 year old British woman was making the headlines of nearly all British media: Faye Turner captured by the Iranian folks, forced to wear a hijab and to write a letter for her government to apologize for entering illegally the Iranian waters.
She was mostly presented as a victim, a young mother torn apart from her little daughter, not feeling well in presence of all those evil Iranians.
Stop…you nearly made me cry with your fabricated sob story…this was sarcasm, of course.
I wish the British government stopped being such hypocrites in their presentation of the facts. More strikingly, Tony Blair appears to be the biggest liar on earth, since it was found out that he even went that far to fabricate a fake map, just to prove that the Iranians were lying about the borders of their waters.
Non content to bring things as far as a big diplomatic incident, Bush also got involved, commenting the hostages capture as unacceptable.
Wow. How much stupid are the people who are supposed to lead our world?
First of all, I do think that the Iranian folks have all reasons to be angry, because of the illegal intrusion of British soldiers on their national waters. This is a breach of national sovereignty.
Secondly, even if it is never an enviable position for anybody to be someone else s hostage, I do consider that Faye and her fellows seemed to be treated in a fair way and respectfully. They had plenty of food to eat and despite the pressure anybody would feel in such an insecure situation, they all seemed to do rather well, given the circumstances.
Nobody seems to care when Iraqi prisoners get raped, mistreated, or murdered. Nobody gives a shit when American soldiers drop a Holy Quran in the toilets in order to humiliate the prisoners. Nobody feels concerned by the many Iraqi civilians loosing their lives.
Third, Faye has chosen to be a soldier. She is far away from her kid by her own choice. No need to waste tears about the consequences of her professional choice!
Now let s talk a little bit about the veil: why all the fuss about Faye wearing that veil?
If I went to a country such as Iran as a European woman, knowing that the practice and approach of the official religion is more fundamentalist here, I would wear one too, in order not to offend people s customs. People usually give you what they get from you. If you show respect, you get respect in return.
I don t really see where the big deal is. An attentive observer would take note that the young woman had half of her hair visible anyway.
The British government s arrogance against Iranian people is quite obvious. I keep asking myself why Blair is so hard in apologizing when he perfectly knows his country is in the wrong.
A sincere apology would have helped to get the prisoners released rapidly. Now they risk to get judged and to land up in jail. No need to complain about a diplomatic incident you created, Mr Blair.
At least, the 15 hostages apology for entering the Iranian water might allow a change in their dramatic situation and set them free, according to the latest news from Tehran.
I sincerely wished Bush and Blair realized that Iranians and Iraqis are free to auto determine their folks destiny.
I wish some people of good will stopped the Iraqi war too and sent all the foreign troops where they belong: home.
Maybe then we could have a better peace of mind and fear terrorist attacks less.
Copyright © 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Exclusive Jason Porter interview

1.) Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a 15 year vet of the rap game. I grew up in Detroit where I started out dropping tapes in 92′. I’ve been all over the map since then, and currently rep and reside in Phoenix, AZ.
2.) What or who motivated you to become a rapper?
I wouldn’t be able to point out one person or one reason. I could go down a list of reasons I still do this, but at the end of the day it’s for the love of it.
3.) Making it in the music business is a lot of hard work. What’s the biggest challenge you had to face?
The Temptations. And the Four Tops. Wait a minute, what the fuck am I talking about? I meant temptations as in the drugs, women, and partying that fucks shit up. I don’t mind the work and grind that goes into it, but I’ve ended too many relationships on a sour note because of drug or other problems. I’d be a lot further ahead, had I stayed sober.
4.) Which artist, were you most pleased to work with and why?
Shit, I love having tracks with them all. Proof, Cappadonna, Wolfpac, Okwerdz, Big B, Intrinzik, McNastee, and the list goes on. Every cut with these cats is ill.
5.) What motivated you to collaborate with each other?
The tides.
6.) Which artist haven’t you collaborated with yet, that you envision to work with in a close future and why?
Not sure I could pick just one. I’d go with some old school cats that I grew up listening to, like Willie D or MC Eiht.
7.) Which accomplishment are you the most proud of?
My upcoming solo album “Welcome to Porterville”.
8.) As a rapper, is there one rapper you pattern yourself after or do you have your own style?
My style is completely my own. I have my own voice, own style of lyrics, own flow.
9.) What is your thoughts on the underground Hip Hop scene?
Theres a lot of ill emcees out there right now, it’s just being overshadowed by too many wack motherfuckers trying to rap. Back in the day you weren’t battling so many cats for the same spot like you are now.
10.) What is your thoughts on today’s mainstream Hip Hop artists and where do you see them taking Hip Hop, in the near future?
There is no Hip Hop in the mainstream now, its all poppy bullshit. Everyone knows it, everyone says it, but no one does anything about it. That’s why I still spit the brutal shit, it’ll never change for me.
11.) If you could thank one person, for helping get you where you are
today…Who would it be and why?
Myself. Period. Did I end that with a period?
12.) I found you have creative and powerful lyrical skills, your flow is remarkable and clearly undeniable to anyone who listens. Would you agree with that statement and why?
Yea, because I don’t sound like anyone else.
13.) I discovered “Put It Down”, on my space. In my opinion, “Put It Down” allows the listener to walk through the streets of Detroit. Where women are part of the game, and pleasure and pain go hand in hand. In your own words, what does the song represent to you?
It represents the seedy side of life. It’s a song for the lower class and our reality.
14.) Are you always so quick to generate idea’s or do you ever
I’m always pretty quick. It’s usually about an aspect of real life for me so it’s just there.
15.) Currently, do you have any projects in the works for 2007?
Yea, I have 4-5 projects coming this year. I have my new solo album titled “Welcome to Porterville” featuring Proof of D12, Cappadonna of Wu-Tang Clan, Wolfpac, Okwerdz, Intrinzik, and more to be announced soon coming in mid ’07.
I have the Intrinzik and Jason Porter group album “Lifestyles of the Rich and Homeless” featuring Big B, Lo Key, McNastee, Big Slack, KGP, and Bloodshot coming around May ’07. All pre-orders for that will receive another project I have coming titled “The Jason Porter Mixtape Vol. 1” free.
I also have a currently untitled compilation album in the works that will feature a ton of ill and well known underground emcees coming in late ’07.
16.) Where do you see yourself in five years?
At a summer camp killing teenagers.
17.) If I had to describe myself, I would say… I’m a leader not a
follower. How would you best describe yourself?
I’m an oddity more than I am a rapper.
18.) How much time daily, do you spend in the studio and what does an
average day consist of ?
I usually spend most of my day working on production, either for my own projects, or work I’ve been hired to do. I also spend time working on vocals for upcoming projects or guest spots.
19.) In the beginning, as a journalist it was hard to have my talents
recognized. Have you ever experienced that and how?
Yea of course. Anyone in a business like journalism or music will come across that. People are assholes and will doubt you before they support you.
20.) If you could invite anyone to dinner tonight–dead or alive–who
would it be and why?
OJ Simpson and GG Allin. What could be better than having dinner with a guy that got away with murder, while an insane half naked old man yells and throws feces all over the room?
Copyright © 2007 by Donna Kshir and Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Harvey/ movie review

Harvey/ movie review
When I first started watching the Harvey movie, I was about to switch programs, because I found it a little bit too old fashioned. In fact, I am glad I didn’t.
Through its actor James Steward in the role of Elwood P. Dowd, the movie raises the theme of madness. There is often a fine line between a so called normal individual and his crazy, original fellow. The definition of the state of madness varies from individual to individual and from psychiatrist to psychiatrist.
Elwood P is an individual who seems to be normal in appearance: he is nice, well behaved, willing to help and is rich of an altruist spirit.
Although he is never shown drinking in the movie, he is supposed to be a compulsive drinker.
In fact, Elwood lives in an imaginary world: his best friend is a pooka, a mythological creature, a 6 feet tall rabbit called Harvey. Does that make a dangerous individual of him? Probably not, but what bothers Elwood P s sister, Veta Louise Simmons (Josephine Hull) is the fact that Elwood P wants to introduce his buddy to her intimate circle of friends.
One day, she decides to take some concrete action and to get her brother looked up into a psychiatric hospital. The irony of the situation is that the doctor strongly believes she is the one who is hiding some big mental problems and decides to have her in his institution as his patient.
After a few misunderstandings and getting to meet Elwood P Dowd, the doctor realizes his mistake. As Veta Louise Simmons walks free from the hospital, everybody from doctor in chief to nurse is chasing Elwood P in order to get him captured.
The doctor is convinced that his case is a real strong mental case that needs to be treated.
Elwood P. is even willing to receive his treatment, an injection that will help preventing him from seeing his imaginary white rabbit. The treatment gets stopped by miracle in the last minute thanks to a taxi driver who makes Veta Louise realize that after the medical treatment his brother will resemble an average, normal individual, probably in all his indifference and coldness towards the outside world.
Elwood P might be a weirdo, he is also a man of heart with an exceptional kindness. His sister doesn t want to see those qualities disappear. She stops the treatment at the last minute and takes her brother home.
She is willing to live her daily life with Harvey, as long as there are no disturbances in the family s happiness. Harvey s invisible presence is now part of the family s history and you can see it in a loving rocking chair at the end of the movie while Elwood P and his sister are playing at the piano.
Elwood P is a touching character, that mostly raises a lot of sympathy among the viewers.
The movie leaves us all with an essential interrogation: is it better to be a cold, rational and ordinary individual that calculates each move in his life rather than a heartfelt, warm person with a widespread imagination and some living fantasies in his mind?
Should Elwood P. be judged as a fool, I d prefer his madness and warmth to the coldness and hypocrisy of many so called normal people to society s standards.
Maybe the morality of the movie is that having heart shouldn t be counted as nothing.
Harvey is an excellent movie, that goes back to 1950. Don t let its old fashioned ways prevent you from watching it, it is really worth it! I recommend it to all of you.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved