Words by Khalid StricklandPics by Sundiata Acree
I don’t know much about fantasy sports, but the goddess of the blogsphere, Hot-97’s Miss Info, has long been an All-Star on my Fantasy Wife team. When I heard she’d be hosting a mixtape release party for New Jersey-based producer Illmind, I quickly enlisted. Illmind makes some hard-ass beats and his new mixtape, Blaps, Rhymes and Life Vol.2 is full of heavyweights; 50 Cent, Kool G. Rap, Prodigy, LL Cool J, Skyzoo, Jean Grae, Heltah Skeltah and Brooklyn Academy are just some of the artists featured. That fact alone piqued my interest, but the lovely Info sweetened the deal.
The event was held at a cool spot called Grand Banks in Jersey City. I don’t want to sound like a hateful anti-Jersite but I’ve never been a big fan of the state, even though NYC is right next door. Jersey City ninjas can get wild (y’all saw how Ransom and Buddens were acting up), so I summoned two trusted goons for this trip. Thankfully, no one caught or delivered a buck-fifty to the mug because the crowd was amicable and there only to celebrate with Illmind. Who said Hip-Hop heads can’t gather in peace and have fun?
When the homies and I got inside of Grand Banks, DJ Mpos of The Elite Camp was spinning and the party was beginning to percolate. Also manning the wheels of steel was Bay Area production team Keelay and Zaire, who have an album, Ridin’ High, slated to drop on February 24th. For now their EP, Prelude To Drive, is making the internet rounds and features underworld notables like Torae, Supastition and Nightclubber Lang. We arrived at the function too late to get complimentary gift bags, which disappointed me because free shit is what makes me tick. But, we could only blame ourselves for taking extra time to load up on Ciroc and Sour Diesel before leaving NYC.
Since there were a lot of industry folk in the house, the action was a little tepid at first. Don’t get me wrong, the place was packed with dope chicks of all flavors. The Filipina mamis were rollin’ deep and I couldn’t have been happier. Plus, the deejays were playing some real Hip-Hop shit, including Illmind’s joints. But industry folk can be narcissistic sometimes; everybody’s staring down at their Blackberry like they’re mega-busy when all they’re doing is topping their high-score at BrickBreaker (that game is addictive). Networking is always good, but it’s a celebration… let’s whoop it up for Illmind. I told my man Big Coney, “Give the alcohol a chance to marinate and they’ll loosen up.” My sage-like wisdom proved correct; soon the ice melted, Filipina buns were gyrating to the music, and fellas held beer bottles skyward as they danced with the honies. That’s whassup.
Finally, the moment that I longed for had come… the arrival of *sigh* Miss Info. “You Light Up My Life” echoed through my mind as I gazed at her through bloodshot eyes. Man, her gold tooth turns me on. Info took her place behind the turntables, grabbed the mic and congratulated Illmind for Blaps, Rhymes and Life Vol. 2. Then she asked the producer-of-the-night to say a few words. So Illmind took a page from Russell Simmons with a quick, “Thank you all and good night,” drawing chuckles from the crowd. Then the music resumed and the event powered on until the wee hours.
All in all, it was a fun event and I tip my fitted to Illmind on his latest mixtape masterpiece. No doubt, it’ll open up even more opportunities for him in ’09. As for my crush, Miss Info? We shook hands and had a brief, friendly conversation, but I didn’t score this time. Oh well, the place was full of sexy consolation prizes. In most likelihood, I’ll never wife-up Info. But now that my President is Black, I can’t rule anything out.
Previously Posted — Dub MD & Illmind Presents Blaps, Rhymes & Life Vol. 2