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HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT III

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
X-Raided
For this third installment in the ongoing Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account Amoeblog series by longtime incarcerated Sacramento rap artist Anerae “X-Raided” Brown, the artist writes about his early days in hip-hip, joining the Crips, what got him sent to prison, the meaning behind the recurring "Unforgiven" theme, his new label and recent signees and his recent releases, which are available at Amoeba Music.

There is also a breakdown of his career timeline that includes the songs he wrote for C-Bo and his own extensive discography, which is all the more impressive considering that he has done most of it somehow from behind bars. 



Brief History, Timeline & Discogaphy 
by Anerae “X-Raided” Brown

I was born in Sacramento, California, on the Southside. When I'd get in trouble my mom would send me to Prichard, Alabama, with my father, out near Mobile. I've been all up in Happy Hill. Other times I'd be out in East Waco, TX, from Trendwood to the Sherman Mannors. I lived in the Village for a while too. I got back from one of those trips down south around the time I was 15. I joined the 24th Street Garden Blocc Crips X-Raidedthat summer. The homies Big J-Dogg and Slim put me on. In hindsight, I coulda done something better with my life, but at the time I wasn't tryina hear that. All I cared about was the Blocc.

I started writing rhymes seriously when I was 15 or 16. I'd go to juvenile hall for getting caught with a sack of dope, or riding in a stolen car with a gun. It was always something. My mom would come pick me up. We never had to do more than a few months; sometimes we'd go home the next day. During those times in juvy I'd write rhymes to pass the time. I learned how to format my rhymes by listening to other rappers and feeling it out. My cousin Nicole knew Sicx, Sicx introduced me to (Brotha) Lynch and we got to work. I ended up signing with Black Market Records and the rest is history.

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HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT II

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Pleasant Vallley State Prison

The Creative Process in Prison
by Aneraé "X-Raided" Brow
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I am entering my fourteenth year of imprisonment in the California Department of Corrections and (so-called) Rehabilitation. The entire time, I have written songs for myself and others, as well as short stories and essays, and even a column for Murder Dog magazine and a blog on my MySpace X-Raided behind barspage. The thing that stands out in my mind, in terms of what it's like trying to be creative in this environment, is that the opportunity to do so just may be more available than in other settings. There can be a lot of solitude and isolation in prison, and for someone who knows how to utilize the lack of distractions it can be fertile ground for creativity.
 
I once joked to a friend that when Moses needed to think, he went up Mount Sinai and came back down with the Ten Commandments. Jesus went out to the desert and was tempted, then returned stronger. When Muhammad was stressed from the things he was seeing in his environment, he went into a cave where the Qur'an was revealed to him. All of them received their messages or strength at a time of trial and difficulty in their lives and the common denominator is that they had solitude with which to better hear the voice when it spoke to them. I joked to my friend, maybe we can utilize our solitude in order to better hear the voice as well. The voice of creativity, that is. It's all the same. All ideas come from somewhere. How do we explain that an idea just pops into our heads out of the blue?

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LOOKING GOOD FOR THE PRICE OF A BAG OF SKITTLES

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2007 07:02am | Post a Comment
Ever eat  M&Ms or Skittles and notice how they leave their coloring on your lips? Kinda like lipstick. Well, female inmates at prisons such as the Charlotte County Jail, where it's against the rules to bring in or to wear makeup, remembered this little fact and have been effectively putting it to use -- improvising with candy or food items (allowed inside prison walls) like Skittles, instant coffee, and Crystal Light to make make-up (including lipstick and eye-shadow) to look purdee. Inmates in-the-know call it "fake-up" and even at the jacked up, over-inflated prison prices for a bag of Skittles, it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than a visit to the M-A-C counter at your local MACYS

In addition to Skittles, which mixed with hair grease makes great, long lasting lip-stick or eye-shadow, inmates also use ink pens or instant coffee to improvise as eye-liner and Crystal Light as blush. Glitter, carefully shaken off cards from inmates' families, with a little grease to hold it on makes for some festive eye-liner. "Vaseline for my lips and a little bit of coffee and Crystal Light mixed, so it's neutral," one unidentified inmate told a Florida newspaper who reported the story a couple of days ago.

This uncommon use of a common item, under-the-general-radar but common knowledge among the female prison population, has been recently uncovered by the media in light of Paris Hilton's current jail stint. Over the weekend Nicole Oliverio at the Charlotte News Herald reported the story. CNN also picked it up and ran this piece that you've gotta check out. Just click here to the link and it will pop up in a full screen video player on your computer screen.

AMOEBLOG READER FEEDBACK REQUESTED:
    
If you personally know of any innovative and clever MacGyver-type transformations/uses of everyday products that you would like to share, please add them to the COMMENTS box below. Meantime, check out these Skittles facts and the classic 80's Skittles TV commercial.

SKITTLES FACTS:

S = The letter emblazoned on each individual colored Skittle
UK = Country of origin of Skittles                                                         
Czech Republic = Country manufactured by division of Mars
1974  = Year first introduced to the USA                                    
1981 = Year production in US began
Data-Sorting Teaching Tool = Use of Skittles by the University of North Carolina.
Illicit Drug Smuggling = another non-intended use of bags of Skittles
Taste the rainbow of fruit flavors = Theme of the 1980's US TV advertising campaign. Hit PLAY below to view.

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