Beats 4 Boards
January 30th @ The Bug Jar

werd: james niche

I used to skate, back in the day before I broke my shoulder and dislocated it another twenty times the same way.

I used to skate with The Webster Heads, a steady and wild crew that also used to spend a lot of time with Aaron Costa of Krud Co.

I've watched skateboarding progress over the past few years and one thing I've noticed is that hip-hop has made an enormous impact on skateboarding, skateboarding videos and skateboard fashion.

Brands like DC and Zoo York are now found in almost every urban apparel store you can fund in every major city, the videos are host to more and more abstract hip-hop artists and even the mainstream rappers has found their way under the umbrellas of skate videos, too.

Rochester is no exception when it comes to the hybrid blending of hip-hop and the skateboarding culture, so, tomorrow night, local hip-hop icon Tim Tones is throwing a benefit party for the Rochester City Skate Park Fund thoughtfully titled, "Beats 4 Boards".

DJ Tim Tones

This is the second installment of however many it takes to raise the cash for the park.

The goal is to raise $500,000 to begin construction. The park's proposed site is underneath the east side of the Anthony/Douglass Memorial Bridge.
pictured below


The park would be a tremendous edition to downtown and would help greatly to give the youth a spot to skate, outdoors, with no risk of negative interactions with police or property owners.

If you want to know more about the park and the ideas of Krud Co. and the city planning board, go to, or check into the ACT:LIVE archives and read the interview with owner, Aaron Costa and partner Alan Presutti.

The event tomorrow will be a collaboration of many local hip-hop acts, but the focus seems to be on Emilio Rojas' new video for "585".

The video will be premiered after a year-long wait. The video was filmed last winter at Manhattan Square Park in the paradisaical, downtown Rochester. I suppose he waited because it's a winter themed video and it wouldn't make much sense to feature it during the summer, huh?

It all goes down tomorrow night at The Bug Jar. Bring your wallets.

- Games

Right Now, We're Watching

Destroy/Go Gettaz/New Creations
ACT:LIVE Interview

werd: james niche

“I make hood-soul music. I’ve come to the realization that I make hood-soul-block music.

I took the advice you gave me in my CD review and have tried to explore more of Destroy on the new songs.”

- Destroy

So, are you saying that these songs are little bit deeper, or that you are going more towards the female audience?

There are some ‘shorty’ songs, but they’re DESTROY ‘shorty’ songs. I can’t be anybody but me, so you’re going to get how I get down with the ladies.

You might get a smut song, but you also may get my version of romance.

I try to make broad music that can have that radio appeal, but it also has that street edge to it. I play the line. That’s just me as a person, too.

What are the beats like? Who’s producing them?

Coach is on there, Midnite, Jay Quest and Sight should be getting me some beats, too.

The vibe is like, that mid-nineties hip-hop feeling. It’s hood-soul music, it rides that line and has an edge to it.

I’m really into trying new sounds.

Is this music going to be released onto a CD format?

I’m actually working on three projects right now.

I’m working on a mix-tape, that’s more of a Go Gettaz Union thing. I’m also working on the second part to the ‘Soul of the City’ album and also my version of the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ with Jah Breeze.

I keep myself busy. I think I have A.D.D.

So, CD or no?

These projects will definitely be in CD form. But, in the long run, it will be a collaboration of internet and street promotion.

You have to have both, because not everybody out here has internet access and even if they do, they don’t know where to go to access music.

There’s nothing better than product going directly to the hands of the streets.

No matter how many people I reach on the internet, I can’t just walk by people on the street and miss out on that opportunity.

(Artists, take note: Destroy makes a great point that I often forget about…The streets are a GREAT place to get your product off to. When you give someone your music, you’re not only breaking bread, but even better; the hood won’t lie to you. If it sucks, they will let you know and if they like it, they will also let you know and quickly. I suggest getting some CDs out on the street. I know I’m taking Reece Q CDs out to the streets.)

In the hood and around the world now, everybody raps. It’s like saying you breathe air.

You have to be so much better than the next man for people to give you the time of day.

In some ways, it harder on the streets, but the pay off is greater.

Working hard and establishing positive relationships within the city will get you far. As long as you’re consistently sending out music and information to people to grab and you’re making a difference, there’s no reason local artists shouldn’t be performing at large city events like the Rochester Music Fest.

Yeah I work that game as best as I can. I’m always trying to hit up WDKX.

WDKX is a bitch to get a hold of. I don’t understand what’s going on with them. I have tried getting Tariq involved with a number of things and they just never respond.

I’m not naive, I know that they have their pockets filled with corporate cash cows, but they are missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand their listening base and base in Rochester, as well as diversify the hip-hop audience here.

But you know what, fuck ‘em. I’m going to put on this radio show and let them wonder.

The last thing I want to see is one of our local artists opening up for Lil Wayne’s High School Musical.

WDKX is a perfect example of this monster we are all involved with in the music industry. Once you get to a point where everybody is looking at you, then they will start paying attention.

It’s time for you to either play the game with them or say, “Fuck You.”

I don’t need to play their reindeer games, and won’t. So, what do you really want out of this crazy game of music?

Man, there are a million things I could do for that paper, but none of them will make me truly happy. I have mouths to feed including my own, I could be happy as hell just being a B-level artist, if it would just pay some bills. I would be ecstatic.
I just want to be able to provide and maintain.

Part 2: The Go Gettaz Union

What is the Go Gettaz Union?

That’s me, Ollie North, B-Easy, Chick Bacardi (CEO & partner) and Nasim, who is currently over in Iraq fighting this war. Music is not really a priority to him right now, survival is. Joe Franchise, he is also a member, but recently moved back to Seattle.

Jah Breeze and Coach are also at the core.

So, between all these cities you guys are linked up in (Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Rochester) you should be able to distribute your music pretty well, no?

Some of the guys are still new to the game, so they have to learn the process of locking themselves in the studio and putting out music regularly.

That’s what we’re working on as individuals and as a whole.

We’re young, we’re growing, we have the drive and we have the talent.

Part Three: Chick Bacardi & New Creations Barber Shop (Jefferson Ave. & Columbia St.)

What’s up Chick? How long have you been open at this spot?

Chick: This shop has been open for six years.

There seems to be a positive connection to the neighbor with your shop, as well as with the local city government…

Willie Lightfoot works here and owns the building, so there are a lot of city programs we get involved in, for the kids in the community especially.

Willie Lightfoot

(We are then interrupted by the ‘Gucci Man’. This man pops the trunk out front and the cash comes out the woodwork. Chick proceeds to buy a new pair of Gucci sneakers. I am also told stories of the ‘Cake Man’. The Cake Man stops by weekly with an assortment of delicious cakes with absurd flavors, leading the locals to believe he is quite the stoner. Why can’t we have more cash flowing on the east side like this? Why doesn’t Park Ave. have a cake man? I’m dead serious. Why not? If you were to walk down Park Ave. and do that, you would need a credit card machine. This leads me to the next point….don’t think for one second that the black community is any poorer than the college community of Park Ave. The difference is, the white community just overspends every dime they have on a credit card and spends beyond their means. Just because you see some kid with a new whip, doesn’t mean he can afford it. Odds are that kid can’t even put gas in his car and the proceeds to blow every cent he/she doesn’t have, on drinks at some wack club to pick up women/men. He then cries himself/herself to sleep at night because of debt. Now you’re definitely cool, Mr./Mrs. ‘I desperately need society’s approval so I buy pointless shit’. Cheers.)

Tell me something about the block party that goes on here. I’ve heard good things.

For the last four years, we’ve had the Jefferson Ave. Block Party. It used to happen every year for years, but there were a lot of problems. When Willie (Lightfoot) was elected as a County Legislature, he decided to step back in and make some changes.

Next year, it’s going to be even bigger, with two stages. One is at the corner of Frost and one at the corner of Bartlett.

Last year, there were no problems at all. Everybody had a ball. There were old folks jamming with the young folks and vice versa.

Is the party open to everyone in the city, or just neighborhood residents?

It’s open to everybody, just come in peace and have a good time.

That’s awesome. A diverse crowd is always a plus.

- Games

Right now, we're watching:

The Mustache Party!!
The Birth Celebration of EWUN

click to enlarge

REST IN PEACE ROCHESTER, LUCKY STRIKE, & ACT:LIVE present an indie dance party featuring LIVE BANDs, DJs, MCs, ARTISTS, & MUSTACHES.

Join us @ Bug Jar, as we fill up 219 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009!

GROW, WEAR, or DRAW a Mustache on your mouf!
See the instructions on the flyers for further details...

We proudly present...

The Communist Party

It is with great pride that we will also feature Rochester DJing icon...

Kill The Noise - (Rochester)
Slow Roast, RIPROC, Lucky Strike, AM Only - Electro


Alongside local and regional talent...

Nickel Bag Of Funk - (585)
Lucky Strike - Electro

Handlebar & Flipsicle - (585)
WRUR, Lucky Strike - Electro

Teen Heat - (585)

Tim Tones - (585)

Ewun - (585)
RIPROC - Hip-Hop

Nikal Fieldz - (585)
Eyeconz Entertainment - Hip-Hop

Paul's Grandfather - (716)

Pearwood James - (585)

Lauren O'Connell - (585)

And featuring a 6:00 PM art showing by...

Joe Patane - (585)
Prism Rails

Hosted by...

Chris Grizzlehoff - (585)

HRVI Who - (585)

With the photography of...

Hanlon Photographic - (585)

djb - (585)

$2 over / $5 under

CLICK HERE TO RSVP and be entered to win one of many Kill The Noise, Ludachrist, and RIPROC T-Shirts, among other giveaways for those that RSVP on both MySpace & Facebook.

Drink Specials:
all nite - $2.00 Drafts

This is going down on:
Wednesday, January 28th 2009
Doors open @ 6:00 PM

This event will be open to:
Anyone over the age of 18+ with proper identification...

This will take place inside the luxurious venue of:
Bug Jar
219 Monroe Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

The same crew that threw The Ugly Sweater Party:

vid, yo: mike dispenza @ blue monk films

You Gonna Eat That?
The Rochester Subway

werd: james niche
photo credits not available

If you read this site and have anything to do with the underground in Rochester, you most likely know of the REAL underground spot, the old subway.

I discovered the subway for myself about nine years ago while hanging out with some friends who thought it would be a good idea to consume hallucinogens and walk the two mile, dark stretch between Dinosaur BBQ and West Broad Street. Not so much fun when we actually came to.

However, over the years as I have walked through downtown, on summer days I would always be sure to make my way down by the walkway below the Dinosaur BBQ. (which we will be referring to as 'Dino' throughout the rest of this passage)

I have seen graffiti art come and go. Some of which, I have had the honor to be able to witness going up, some pieces taking many days to complete. The sad thing is, because of grimey kids who want to 'get-up' in the graffiti world, they have trashed some of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. That's the game though.

This space has been deserted for years, except for random walk-throughs done by RG&E, the constant presence of artists and of course, the homeless.

In my travels through the subway, I learned that Dino was kind enough to leave a few open outlets below their building, left over from when they renovated in 2003. These outlets have been providing heat and power to many homeless people over the years, and by way of how the supports are designed underneath the building, they have also provided make-shift 'apartments'. Siiick!

God bless those ingenious homeless men and women, they are true survivors.

There has been debate over the past few years as to what to do with all this space, the topic is raised in the video you are about to watch, below.

The questions you need to ask yourself are...

1. Should it be filled in with dirt?

Ask that guy. Do you want to just fill in his home with dirt? He looks so happy!

2. Should the subway space be renovated into a shopping plaza?

Yeah, if you want this guy shopping there!

The point is, I do think that a downtown shopping destination is needed in Rochester, but there has to be an incentive to drive people down there.

NO!,We can't just slap in a Peebles and expect the suburbs to flock down here.
There must be business incentives, tax incentives and products that stand out form the malls. It's no different than with any other city. Get people out of the malls!

Another proposed idea is to convert the space into an art gallery of sorts to showcase local art and graffiti, which has made it's home in the subway.

We are an arts based city in every sense of the word. Let's expand on that. Let's get creative.

I by no means am mocking the homeless or belittling them. I have a very personal appreciation and understanding for the people living in the streets and struggling on this earth. From LA to NY, I've heard a lot of stories and spent time with people you would just never imagined and have always carried those people and events with me. Mama didn't raise no fool.

It's not easy out there for anyone and especially the mentally challenged. The mentally ill make up at least 70% of homeless in the U.S..

ACT:LIVE will be making more of a presence in the community over the next coming year by working more on a volunteer level in the streets and behind the scenes. I urge you all to do you humanitarian duty and help the homeless and less fortunate with every opportunity you get. But, that doesn't mean hand out change, that means get involved and get off your lazy ass, shut off your god damn X-Box and lend a hand. You won't ever regret it and it makes you feel so much better inside knowing you impacted someone's life. Trust me.

- Games

Right Now, We're Watching

Western New York State Of Mind Tour
w/ Chae Hawk, DJ A-Ko, Secret Secret Dino Club

werd: james niche

Tomorrow night, at The Bug Jar, the Western New York State of Mind Tour is rolling through, courtesy of our man DJ A-Ko and crew.

I wanted to make sure I mentioned this show and get a few words with the headliner, Chae Hawk.

Chae is a Buffalo, NY native, but has been working in Brooklyn on his craft for the past few years.

Chae, most certainly, has a commercial appeal to his music, but can't be compared to any of the commercial bullshit that pains our ears daily.

You can tell the dude is all about having fun, keeping it real and makes it clear that he is the dude at the party you want to hang out with. If LL Cool J's swagger married Del Tha Funky Homosapiens' lyrical sense, you would have something very close to what Chae sounds like.

The tour is coming to The Bug Jar, Thursday the 22nd and should be another great night for networking (all you hip-hoppers) and a really good show.

Here's a few words a I shared with Chae this past evening...

ACT:LIVE: I saw on your MySpace page that you have some involvement with MTV, can you elaborate?

The contract we have with them gets a lot of my music onto their shows. We're hoping to get as many votes as we can through them, because as you know, you have to do everything you can nowadays. The rules have changed.

ACT:LIVE: What's the CD you are pushing now, and is that the reason you are doing this tour?

This tour just needed to happen. My career is starting to blossom and this tour is a way to christen what I have been doing and get it out to some more people before we head to bigger things.

The CD I am pushing is the 'Nickel City Varsity' EP, you can get it on iTunes now.

Chae Hawk

ACT:LIVE: Who is the master of production on that disc?

That's my partner L-ION. He's my partner in crime with this new genre of electro-swag.

ACT:LIVE: It's a new sound and I really like it. It incorporates a lot of dance elements that I dig, plus it's got that party rock swag that everyone can get down to.

That's exactly what it is, man.

I've been doing hip-hop for over ten years so I have to keep up with who I am. I have changed over the years and have become a different person, so the music will follow.

ACT:LIVE: So, what's the state of hip-hop out in Buffalo? I figure you might have some insight on that.

It can be real down and out sometimes. There seems to be a lack of unity or brotherly love. Everybody got the picture that they need to just do it on their own and develop their own following.

I felt like I was becoming a bigger fish in that pond, that's why I moved to New York. I needed to work harder to get more results in a market where I am essentially, a stranger.

ACT:LIVE: How did you hook up with our man A-Ko?

He actually reached out to me, and I have just been impressed with his eagerness and energy.

We've been trading shows back and forth.


ACT:LIVE: Can you tell us about the 'Secret Secret Dino Club'?

He's a young man who's management reached out to me and thought that we would be a good mix together.

Secret Secret Dino Club

ACT:LIVE: So what's your history in Rochester? Any?

I actually went to Brighton High School until my sophomore year.

Chae Hawk will be performing with:

Secret Secret Dino Club (Syracuse, songwriter)
DJ-Ako (Rochester, electro-swag)

Check them out tomorrow at The Bug Jar, son!

- Games

Right Now, We're Watching