For me an essential album is one that never ages, no matter how many times I re-listen to it. It's also one I feel compelled to listen to all the way through every time - no temptation to ever skip ahead. Hence, without a second thought, I file this classic hip-hop album, which is brimming with jazzy funky grooves and irresistible rhymes, under that essential records category. A five-star release from the latter end of the genre's much-heralded golden era, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop by Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics scores on all levels: production-wise and lyrically, in addition to introducing most fans to hip-hop's long since beloved D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) crew. Formerly a member of the rap group Ultimate Force, Diamond (aka Diamond D) proved with this debut album that he not just a gifted producer but also an adept emcee. Released in 1992 on Chemistry/Mercury/PolyGram, Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop is a truly solid, all-killer, no-filler hip-hop full-length release, sporting such timeless head-bobbing tracks as the popular lead single "Best-Kept Secret," "Feel The Vibe," "Check One Two," "Fuck What You Heard," "Sally Got a One-Track Mind," and the title track.
Likelihood of a Billy Joel and Alicia Keys duet at the 12-12-12 Sandy Benefit, NY Beard and Mustache Competition open to both men and women, 32nd anniversary of John Lennon's murder expected to draw large crowds to Strawberry Fields, DJ legend Danny Krivit does a special holiday styled dance party for his long running 718 Sessions, Bay Area artists The Coup and DJ Shadow visit NYC this week, copping last minute tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, a review of last weekend's 8-Ball Zine Fair, Cannibal Ox reunion, and an NYC-themed rap music video by Ja Rule are among the items covered in this installment in New York State of Mind - the weekly Amoeblog series in which I report, from a New York City perspective, on music and other entertainment and happenings in the Big Apple.
Open to both men and women, The 3rd Annual NYC Beard and Mustache Competition is happening this weekend in Williamsburg. Not to be confused with the equally popular 5th Annual Coney Island Beard and Mustache Competition that took place a few miles further out in the borough of Brooklyn (home to many a mustachioed fellow), this Saturday evening's event is being presented by the Gotham City Beard Alliance whose mission statement is "To promote tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair. The GCBA desires to help our local community, through donations from events planned by GCBA or volunteering at non-facial hair related events." At this weekend's GBCA event there will be a series of facial hair competitions that anyone can sign up for on the night. Just get to the venue by 6:30pm for the 7pm start time of the the three hour event. And note that the male leaning competition is not for men exclusively. Women are also encouraged to enter by making their own beard and mustache creations that will be judged in such categories as Most Realistic and Most Fantastic. Saturday, Dec 8th, 7pm at Warsaw: 261 Driggs Ave. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Phone: 718-387-0505 Tickets and more info here. Club directions + general info here.