Some priceless stories from Stretch’s days at Def Jam and at college radio station WKCR…

Video  —  Posted: 9 Dec 2018 in Interviews
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A mix of R&B/Soul classics on this brisk NY Saturday afternoon…

’tis the season

New video from one of my favorite emcees, from his ‘Attache Case’ album with Oh Jay. Of course, this also can be heard on my June Mixtape too…

Video  —  Posted: 3 Dec 2018 in Videos
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That new ‘Bread’ EP from Alchemist is out now

Video  —  Posted: 2 Dec 2018 in Videos
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This is not bad for a R&B’ish joint. And the Beatnuts sample certainly don’t hurt…

Video  —  Posted: 1 Dec 2018 in Videos
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In case it goes down the memory hole in the midst of all the tributes

I’m crazy late with this one, which came out sometime early last year. But better late than never, as they say…

Video  —  Posted: 25 Nov 2018 in Videos
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Chasing the Saudi-Sarasota connection

For many years, former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has been a lonely voice urging people to do something about Saudi Arabia.

Now that a group of Saudi security agents are accused in Turkey of killing a Washington Post journalist, Graham is hoping it will get a strong reaction from officials in the United States. So far, President Donald J. Trump and other officials in Washington have done nothing to punish the Saudi government for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in the wake of news from Turkey that he was lured to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and murdered last month.

Graham believes the Saudis are also responsible for the deaths of Americans killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Fifteen of the nineteen men who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Graham has spent a lot of years trying to help the families of Americans killed on that day and put a spotlight on the actions of high- ranking Saudi officials. It has not been easy.

An important family of Saudi citizens suddenly left their home and cars in a gated Sarasota subdivision just two weeks before September 11, 2001, the day nearly 3,000 Americans died in the worst terrorist attack ever launched in the United States.

Graham was chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee and co-chairman of a joint congressional committee that investigated the attacks. The Committee heard about the Saudis who were on airplanes, but was not told about the Sarasota family that had been visited repeatedly by some of the Saudi pilots who took over those airplanes filled with passengers and crashed them into buildings.

That information came to Graham and others from a report in the FloridaBulldog.org, a South Florida nonprofit news organization.

Graham was flabbergasted to learn from a reporter in September 2011 that the FBI had compiled a report on the Sarasota family. That report that was never given to members of the joint committee investigating the attack. The FBI initially denied the existence of reports on the Sarasota connection, but after Graham and reporters continued to press for access to records, the FBI turned over over 80,000 pages to a federal judge in South Florida. U.S. District Judge William J. “Bill” Zloch has spent the past six years reading the 80,000 pages, but has not responded to a request from Graham’s lawyers for a status report.

The 9/11 Commission’s official report said the hijackers acted on their own without help. But the Joint Committee’s earlier report included a 28-page segment dealing with the FBI’s investigation of Saudi involvement titled “Specific sources of foreign support for hijackers.’’ Those 28 pages were classified by the FBI and not made pubic until 2016.

Graham has long believed those working to block release of the report were trying to protect access to Saudi oil reserves and longtime friendships between the United States and Saudi Arabia. He has received almost no help from other public officials and some officials have repeatedly suggested he “forget it.’’

And the FBI went to some trouble to convince Graham to stop asking questions. Just before Thanksgiving in 2011, Graham, who had retired from the Senate six years earlier, and his wife, Adele, were heading to Washington to spend Thanksgiving with family. The FBI sent agents to meet him at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington. They were detained by high ranking FBI agents, who locked Mrs. Graham in a room by herself while they tried to convince the former senator that the FBI had done a thorough investigation and concluded there was no relationship between the Saudi family that fled Sarasota and the hijackers.

Graham was not convinced. He had seen some of the reports indicating that Mohammed Atta, the Saudi who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center, had been a visitor to the Saudi family’s house in Sarasota. The license plate of the car Atta was driving had been photographed at the subdivision gatehouse and guards had recorded his name in entry logs. When Graham tried to contact the agent who had written the reports, he was told the agent had been transferred from Tampa to Honolulu and was instructed not to return telephone calls.

There was a similar situation in San Diego, where a Saudi family had provided assistance to other hijackers in the United States to obtain flight training, but that incident was reported to members of the joint investigative committee.

“The United States has continued a policy of placating the Saudis that has lasted for three administrations,’’ Graham noted. “It has emboldened them to do even worse things.’’

He is hopeful that some administration will at some point say “To hell with this, we’re going to start treating Saudi Arabia for what it is: a narcissistic nation-state whose only apparent redeeming feature is that it sits on top of the world’s largest petroleum reserves while protecting the identity of Saudi malefactors,’’ Graham said.

The fight by Graham and others to gain access to all of the records is being waged in three different federal courts. The families of those killed on September 11 finally won the right to file suit against Saudi Arabia in an attempt to seek damages. It took an act of Congress and a vote to overturn a presidential veto to gain that right. Their lawsuit for damages is still pending.

Meanwhile, the Florida Bulldog is pursuing two Freedom of Information Act suits against the FBI. The first, before Judge Zloch, is attempting to obtain the bureau’s records of its Sarasota investigation. The second, now before a federal appeals court in Atlanta, seeks record of the FBI’s 9/11 Review Commission.

“I just turned 82 on Friday,’’ Graham says. “I hope I live long enough to see the truth.’’

Visuals for joints on my November Mix, which can be purchased here

Drake – Over(Cookin’ Soul RMX)

Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz – Cocaine Fingertips

Nas – Not For Radio

Video  —  Posted: 19 Nov 2018 in Videos
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“I’m talented, yes i’m gifted. Neva’ boosted, neva’ shoplifted”

I remember first listening to Special Ed in my cousin friend house in Park Slope back in 88-89(?). The days when biting was frowned on, so you would discover a new rapper with a unique flow and rhyme style…

On the morning of November 14th, 2004 90 miles of the coast of California near San Diego, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group was conducting routine training and aerial defense exercises. Unknown craft would appear that forever changed all of those that encountered them. After 13 years of cloaked secrecy the True UFO Story can finally be told.

Y’all want the breaks? Here they are.

These are some of my favourite samples from my personal stash. Everything from sweet soul to library nuggets and Brazilian soundtrack music. Hopefully there is something for everyone in here. Go forth and feed your samplers! -Mecca:83

New single/video off ‘A Breukelen Story’ album

My November drop which you can now have on a Pepsi flash drive

j live – the feeling(instrumental)
j live – the feeling(main)
kyo itachi ft. keith murray – enjoy
illa ghee – dead beat moms
awar ft. raekwon – well known investors
conway – puzo
da flyy hooligan – lynden david hall
apollo brown & joell ortiz – cocaine fingertips
drake – over
phyba – isotonic water
raheim supreme – memoirs
watson & holmes ft. goretex – crawl space
kyo itachi ft. illa ghee – elevated lyrics
agallah – white flag surrender
verb tec & vanderslice – cold front
lucky seven ft. conway – magic tricks
buddy leezle ft. da buze bruvaz – saddle soap(tcor remix)
nas – not for radio

A couple of classic albums that just recently celebrated their 25 year anniversaries gets the blends treatment by DJ Filthy Rich…

November 9, 1993 will forever go down as one of the greatest days in hip hop history. Two of the genre’s most revered albums dropped on the same day: Wu-Tang Clan’s debut ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’, & A Tribe Called Quest’s third LP ‘Midnight Marauders’. I remember riding my bike to the mall, with money I had earned from my after-school job. I had anticipated this day for awhile, and saved up in advance to pick up both CD’s (at that age $40 felt like $500). For the months that followed, both albums fought for playing time on my single-disc CD player. One moment, I was transported to the boulevard of Linden, and the next to the rugged streets of Shaolin. Those albums stayed in my rotation forever (literally).

To mark the 25th anniversary of both LP’s, I thought it might be a good idea to try and take the vocals from Wu-Tang’s album, and blend them over the instrumentals from Midnight Marauders. I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but as is usually the case, inspiration hit at midnight when I was trying to sleep (the coincidence of the timing is not lost on me). A couple of hours later, I managed to pair up every single Wu-Tang vocal with a suitable beat from MM.

The intent was not to improve on the originals in any way….that would be impossible, as I consider them both to be perfect bodies of work. Rather, it was about orchestrating a fun concept, and putting a totally new spin on these well-worn classics. The contrast of Wu’s gritty street raps over Tribe’s jazzy production works in a pleasantly unexpected way. Now, I present to you my personal tribute to these legendary groups: A Clan Called Wu “Enter The Marauders”. -DJ Filthy Rich

Rock out with the latest Tony Toca mixtape joint. Then tune in later on as I drop my own mix, which will be available to buy on a specially-designed ‘Pepsi’ flash drive.

Check out this snippet of El & A.G. classics cut and scratched by DJ RBI off their new ‘Land Of The Free’ joint…

New music off the Poison album. Being honest, i’m not the biggest Swizz fan at all but this record is pretty dope. Plus Nas seems a bit more motivated on this…

A few visuals of cuts I played in last month’s mixtape

Seed & Nottz Ft. Tiye Phoenix – Pretty Lil’ Liar:

Roc Marc & DJ Muggs – Shit I’m On:

Von Pea & TOG Ft. Donwill – Get Well Soon:

Grime Lords – Violent Violins:

Time Machine – Ur So Dope:

Noveliss – 5am In Shibuya:

This new joint from Blacastan & Stu Bangas sounds about right on this Halloween night…

Journalist Greg Palast details how Brian Kemp, Georgia’s current Secretary of State who is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, allegedly pulled off this mass purge, including identifying voters who were thought to have moved out of state or moved out of their congressional district…

Image  —  Posted: 28 Oct 2018 in Politics
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More brutal music from Necro…

I usually don’t post instrumental projects up here but this one’s too dope to pass up. Check out the soulful boom bap joints on this

Jamal Khashoggi & Hatice Cengiz

VIA

In this insane historical era in which we currently live, events, their causes and consequences do not necessarily follow this particular logical sequence of reporting and analyzing; and we have to get used to much worse.

To this effect, a week ago, it was almost impossible to work out who “killed” Khashoggi and why even though the financial and political and consequences were fairly obvious. However, the events of the few days that followed are beginning to shed some light for speculation about the how and why Mr. Khashoggi was killed and who did it.

In asking “how”, the question is not in relation to the gory details of how the man was physically murdered, but in the events that have possibly led to this fateful event. Some conspiracy theorists abound about there being no death or murder. Were he alive, given that the Saudi’s are under such extreme attack worldwide, they would find any opportunity to drag this man before the world’s cameras to prove their innocence.

To analyze the events leading up to the entry of Mr. Khashoggi to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October 2018, we need to look at a myriad of facts and also possibilities; including cultural ones.

It is very hard to understand the Saudi mind for someone who has never lived in that country. One of the many peculiar aspects of this state is that people, even ordinary people, do not engage in the day-to-day official requirements that members of other nations would.

When I worked and lived in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I learnt was that the company I worked for had a fulltime employee with the job description of “Mu’aqeb”. The best translation of this title is “expeditor”. This man was in charge of every matter that had to do with dealing with government. He is the one who takes one’s passport and sees that a Saudi “Iquama” (temporary certificate of residence) is produced. He is the one who renews driving licenses. He is the one that does the necessary paperwork to grant employees exit and re-entry visas when they go away on holidays. He even applies on one’s behalf for visas to visit other countries. He even paid water and electricity bills. He did it all, and of course, on top of his salary, he expected a present from employees on their return to work from holidays, and some employees would risk big penalties smuggling in Playboy magazines to reward him with. But the company I worked for was not alone in this regard; all other companies had their own “Mu’aqeb”.

It is against the Saudi psyche, culture and “pride” to go to a government office, wait in line and make an application for anything. Not even uneducated poor Saudis are accustomed to go through the rigmarole of government red-tape and routine.

Mr. Khashoggi was from the upper crust, and it is highly doubtful that he would have been willing and prepared to physically enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking an official document.

Furthermore and more importantly, Mr. Khashoggi had a better reason not to enter any Saudi territory. Even though some recent reports portray him as a Wahhabi in disguise among other things, the man had nonetheless made some serious anti-MBS (Mohamed bin Salman) statements.

Jamal Khashoggi was no fool. He knew the modus operandi of the Saudi Government too well. He knew that what he had said was tantamount to a death sentence in the brutal Kingdom of Sand. So what incited him to walk into the Consulate? To receive a divorce certificate so he could remarry as the reports are trying to make us believe? Not a chance.

But this is not all. As a Muslim, Mr. Khashoggi could have gone to any country that upholds Muslim marriage rites and remarried without having to formally divorce his first wife, and then go to America and live with his “new wife” under the guise of a de-facto relationship. So why would he risk his life and walk into a potential death trap?

Logic stipulates that Khashoggi entered the Consulate after he was given vehement assurances that his safety was guaranteed by the Saudi Crown. He would have never entered the Consulate had he not been given this assurance.
But why would the Saudi Government give him this assurance even though he had been very critical of MBS? A good question.

Once again, a logical hypothetical answer to this question could be that Khashoggi had some important meeting with a high ranking Saudi official to discuss some issues of serious importance, and this normally means that he had some classified information to pass on to the Saudi Government; important enough that the Saudi Crown was prepared to set aside Khashoggi’s recent history in exchange of this information.

If we try to connect more dots in a speculative but rational manner, the story can easily become more interesting.
Hatice Cengiz (Turkish for Khadijeh Jengiz) it is claimed, raised the first alarm for Khashoggi’s disappearance, announcing at the same time that she is/was his fiancée. But that latter announcement of hers came as a surprise even to Khashoggi’s own family.

Not much is said and speculated about Hatice in the West, but she is definitely making some headlines in the Arab World, especially on media controlled and sponsored by Saudi Arabia. To this effect, and because the Saudi neck is on the chopping board, it is possible that for the first time ever perhaps, the Saudis are telling the truth.
But the Saudis are the boys who cried wolf, and no one will ever believe them. But, let us explore how they might have got themselves into this bind.

As we connect the dots, we speculate as follows:

Some reports allege that Hatice has had a colourful history, including Mossad training. The same YouTube alleges that she was a Gülenist and was arrested by Erdogan and released under the condition that she works for his security apparatus in order to guarantee her freedom. If such is the case, do we know if she has been also blackmailed in exchange for security of family members, loved ones, property etc? We don’t know.

It has also been reported that Jamal Khashoggi met her only as early as May 2018 and later introduced her as an expert on Omani history and politics. In reality, irrespective of what his family members are saying now, Khashoggi has never introduced her to the world as his fiancée; and this is fact.

So was she his fiancée?

It is at least possible that she wasn’t?

So, who was she to Khashoggi and what role did she possibly play?

The following speculation cannot be proved, but it makes sense:

To explain what a Gülenist is for the benefit of the reader who is unaware of this term, Erdogan blamed former friend and ally Fethullah Gülen for the failed coup attempt of July 2016 and persecuted his followers, putting tens of thousands of them in jail. Erdogan’s relationship with America was already deteriorating at that time because of America’s support to Syrian Kurds, and to add to Erdogan’s woes, America was and continues to give Gülen a safe haven despite many requests by Erdogan to have him extradited to Turkey to face trial. But Gülen is falling out of America’s favour as he seems to have outlived his use-by date, and the Gülenist movement would be in dire need of a new benefactor.

Cengiz, a former Gülenist, released on the above-mentioned conditions and possible threats, might have introduced herself to Khashoggi as an undercover Gülenist, and she had a history to support her claim. Being a former Gülenist, she might have indeed kept a foot in the Gülenist camp, and with the diminishing support of the American Government to the Gulenist movement, she might have been recruited to source finance. The Gülenists might have eyed Saudi Arabia to take this role, and as the rift between the Saudi royals and Erdogan intensified after their former joint effort to topple the legitimate secular government of Syria, the Gülenists would have found in Al-Saud what represents an enemy of an enemy, and they had to find a way to seek Saudi support against Erdogan. MBS himself would have inadvertently invited the Gülenists to approach him when he announced, back in March 2018 during a visit to the Coptic Pope Tawadros II in Egypt, that the triangle of evil in the Middle East is comprised of Iran, Islamist extremists groups and Turkey, and, in naming Turkey, he obviously meant Erdogan personally.

Khashoggi, with his expansive connections, looked like a good candidate to introduce the would-be new partners and broker a deal between them.

Back to what may have incited Khashoggi to enter the Saudi Consulate and to why the Saudi Government would have, in that case, given him a safe entry despite his history. Possibly, Khashoggi believed that he had a “big story” to relay to the Saudi Government; one that most likely exposed big time anti-Saudi dirt about Erdogan.

With the Saudi-led Wahhabi version of fundamentalist Islam competing with the Muslim Brotherhood side, politically and militarily headed by Erdogan, it is not far-fetched to believe that either party is conspiring to topple the other. If Khashoggi had a story to this effect, even if it was fake but credible enough for him to believe, it would have given him the impetus to seek an audience at the Saudi Consulate and hence an expectation for the Consulate to positively reciprocate. In reality, given the history and culture involved, it is hard to fathom that any scenario short of this one would have given either Khashoggi and/or the Saudi officials enough reasons to meet in the manner and place they did.

It is highly likely that Saudi officials had several contingency plans for Khashoggi’s visit; depending on its outcome and the information that he had to offer. Those plans might have included giving him a wide range of treatments, ranging from a red carpet reception in Saudi Arabia, to beheading and dismembering him within the Consulate’s grounds. What happened after Khashoggi entered the precinct of the Consulate is fairly muddy and hard to speculate on. If the above speculations thus far have been accurate, then these are the possible scenarios that followed the fateful CCTV coverage of Khashoggi’s entry to the Consulate:

1. It is possible that the Saudi officials in Turkey have had their own contacts with the Gülenists prior to the supposed ground-breaking visit of Khashoggi. In such a case, if the story Khashoggi may have offered did not fall in line with the story the Saudi’s already know, then Khashoggi would have automatically been branded as suspicious and his safe entry would have been revoked. In such a case, he would have walked into his own trap.

2. On the other hand, if Khashoggi indeed gave Saudi authorities vital information, so vital that it clearly is vehemently pro-Gülen, and as Gülen is no longer an American favourite, then upon his return to America he may have become a Saudi liability that can potentially muddy the Saudi-American waters that the Saudis desperately try to keep clear. In such an instance, it would be opportune for the Saudis to finish him off before he could return to America.

3. A third possibility is that some Saudi officials already working covertly with Gülen saw in Khashoggi an already persona non grata, a dangerous Erdogan implant and decided to take action against him.

If any of the above scenarios are accurate, then the role of Erdogan in this story is not that of a scavenger who capitalized on the rift generated between the Saudis and America, but that he was instrumental in conjuring up and orchestrating the whole drama. Erdogan might have subjected the Saudi Government to the Gülen litmus test, and in such a case, the victim is Saudi Arabia and the scavenger is America seeking silence money in lieu of continued protection of Saudi interests.

In all of the above scenarios, Khashoggi would have been driven into the trap by his alleged fiancée and had his impunity revoked by the Saudi officials because he failed the test.

But what triggered him off personally to walk into this possible trap? What was in it for him? Definitely not divorce documents. Most likely, Khashoggi was after amnesty from the Saudi Crown, and this would be a safety concern not only for Khashoggi himself, but also for his family that continued to live in Saudi Arabia. He may well have thought that by providing vital and sensitive information to his government, his previous “sins” would be set aside and he would be treated as a hero, his family would feel safe, despite that fact that he has criticized the Crown Prince in the past.

Arabic media are inundated with posts and YouTube videos that are very damning of Hatice Cengiz. Most of them perhaps are Saudi propaganda and should not be taken for a grain of salt. In reality however, her sudden emergence as Khashoggi’s “fiancée”, the fact that she allegedly waited for nearly 24 hours before reporting his disappearance and her personal, professional and political history are all factors that cast much doubt about her innocence and instead, portray her as a possible key element in the series of events that led to the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Furthermore, why would a person in her position make rules and conditions about meeting the President of the United States of America, even if this President is Donald Trump? How many people in history have refused the invitation of American Presidents? Who does she think she is or who is she trying to portray herself as?
And if Trump is seizing the opportunity to grab MBS, and this time he will be grabbing by the wallet, if Erdogan smells a hint of preparedness of MBS to support Gülen, then Erdogan would want MBS’s wallet and head. Any whichever way, the silver lining of this story is that for once, Saudi Arabia is finally running for cover. Few around the world will give this brutal royal family any sympathy.

There are other rumours spreading in the Arab world now alluding to the removal of MBS from office and passing over the reins to his brother. MBS has committed heinous war crimes in Yemen and has made huge errors of judgment with regard to Syria and Qatar. He made many enemies, and it seems that Erdogan is out to get him.

It does seem possible that the Assad-must-go curse has reached the neck of the Saudi throne.

Shouts to anyone (along with family members) out there fighting diabetes or any physical or mental health issues…

My latest drop featuring a shitload of new dope rap joints…

bambu – blikka blam
flee lord ft. westside gunn – had enough
alchemist ft. conway & wsg – ’94 shit
god fahim – hashtag 47
kxng crooked – mace windu(frost gamble remix)
von pea & the other guys ft. donwill – get well soon
mista pigz & united cratez – talk about it
da buze bruvaz – shotgun killaz
recognize ali & estee nack – strike the shepherd
recognize ali – mug shots
big kahuna og – weaponized worldwide
bambu ft. mr topak – the jump in
roc marciano & dj mugs – shit i’m on
tragedy khadafi – ill type
royal flush – movin’ on your weak prod(cookin’ soul remix)
grime lords – violent violins
dj enyoutee ft. starvin’ b – flame thrower
seed & nottz ft. tiye phoenix – pretty lil’ liar
nine ft. conway – Belafonte
j live – hating
time machine – ur so dope
flee lord ft. Conway – gave my dog bands
joell ortiz & apollo brown ft. royce 5’9 – timbalan’d up
sadat x & el da sensei – building character
noveliss – 5am in shibuya

..Of course, donations always appreciated here