The Return of BLX

Sum here. Now unless you've been up under a rock with a thumb in your mouth for the last two years, you've probably figured out that James and I rap. And we're pretty damn good at it, if I must say so myself. Might be a tough sell to some of you, but I say we're better rappers than DJs. I know we're geniuses with the mixing, and our library of popular and current music is staggering but I'll take no arguments on this one. We get busy on the mic.

What most of you don't know is the epic, Star Wars-like saga that put James and I in that DJ booth every week. It's the stuff of legend, and one day the tale will be told in all it's tragic filth and glory. For now, it'll suffice to do a quick Sum up and get to the point.

The Beginnings

For as long as I can remember, my favorite artists have always been cats I know. When people ask me who my favorite rappers are, they get a list of strange and obscure names like "Monn Jones", "Pudge", "Felix" or "Jak Progresso". This is because when you've been rapping as long as we have, eventually everybody you know is a rapper or carries weed for one. When you know this many rappers, some of them are bound to be really good. And out of those good ones, a few of them are giants. I know dozens of gargantuan giant colossal muthafuckas.

My boy James AKA "Malkovich" is one of them. I'll get back to "The Persian Perversion" in a second, but back in yonder-year, he co-founded a crew called BLX.

Hip-hop has always been a system of fraternities that we call "crews". My maiden crew is called The VJC, and we're a bunch of knucklehead nerds from different spots on the map. I'll tell the VJC story another time. We formed in L.A. in the mid-90s around the same our evil cousins were born, BLX.

The connection between BLX and The VJC lies in a strange young lad we call Felix. In the picture above, he's in the white jacket. One day the world will know him, as a mighty educator and MC. He will one day shake Barack Obama's hand. He will then accidentally trip on a feather and break his fall on the button that says "nuke". Felix was a founding member of BLX and later joined The VJC.

I often compare our comraderie to De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, but really, it goes back even further than that for us. Our crews grew up together, bumped into each other tagging the same walls, and cracked open stink bombs in the same detention halls. Eventually, The VJC founders graduated from high school and ventured out into the world to find new recruits for our army, while BLX stayed the course at home to plant a grizzled and gnarly flag deep into Los Angeles soil.

While The VJC were off in different states shrooming, fending off rabid cougars, recruiting cats like me, and being hunted by Southern drug cartels, we would hear endless tales on the wind about the havoc BLX was reaking on L.A. Strange word combinations like "hammers and shopping carts", or "fist fights in the session" and "he dipped his dick in a cup of tea" were the stuff of everyday updates about our Cali cousins.

But then we'd get these BLX albums that were nothing short of virtuoso. BLX was making the equivalent of punk music back when the indie-hop revolution began (Lyricist Lounge, Rawkus, etc) in the 90s. This is when alternative hip-hop actually made the mainstream airwaves and you might hear Juvenile and The Roots back to back. And looking back on it, they were kids. Hell, we all were. But for all their pirate antics and skullduggery, the BLX boys were pumping out albums that were grand in scope. The rhymes, the beats and the concepts were layered and multi-dimensional.....thoughtful, rugged, manic, aggressive, masterful and way beyond their years. And all executed with a sinister grin and ghoulish sense of humor.

(A young Molman, on the set of "Jacuzi Gustapo")

Crag Malkovich, Omni, Molman, Monkeyshine McBrain, Krok, Milx, ABCDEFG, Cee Brown and a host of other characters populated the BLX roster and did things that no other MCs in Cali were doing at the time. These days their legend speaks for itself. If you mention BLX to any self-respecting hip-hop head in Los Angeles, you'll get the most respectful of nods and goonish grunts.

And so the alliance between families has been forged in many years of blood, sweat, tears, beats and verses. We've been fans of each other and collaborating for over a decade.

And now here James and I are with you, putting up toasts in a den of fire-breathing alcoholics, playing the nastiest music on earth. Which brings me back to James...


You guys at the bar look at your reflections in James' hair and laugh at the drunken quips falling from his beard and take for granted that you're in the presence of one of the nastiest lyricists this generation has ever seen.

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If you don't own it already, do yourself a favor and make arrangements to purchase his debut album Skeletons next time you see him. If you really want a treat, go back and do your homework on BLX's entire back catalogue (VocabuDrab Sessions, Veganz Want Beef, Sunch Punch, all the Omni solos, Milx's solo Elevator Music, etc). That way you can really appreciate the growth and master craftsmanship of the comrade I fly this Palms Weekend flag with.

Which leads me to the point of this whole post.

The Future

We've all grown up now (kinda). The hammers have been put down, the shopping carts have been parked, and the Dick Tea Soup has been poured down the drain. The chi has been focused and steeped in oaken scotch barrels. Our allies have been chosen, our enemies have been sized up, and the walls of the music industry are crumbling to the tune of Armageddon. The timing is perfect. Our mission has been set before us, we've seasoned our blades to perfection and set our stunners to "revenge". The branches, cabinets, infantries and special forces have been informed and placed.

The legend of BLX is beginning a new chapter, and the next page reads "Palms Weekend". James and I have teamed up to bring you Tales of the Bars by the Block. And the first gem from that project is our song "Order Another Round" (produced by founder of The VJC, X-ro, and mixed by VJC alumnus Belief).

And that song comes with a brand spankin' new and spiffy video...

The video premieres this Friday at Saints & Sinners. Midnight.

See you there.



During the last 200 or so weekends we have all spent together (mostly) unsuccessfully trying to induce alcohol poisoning, a sizable portion of you freaks have been to my apartment building. (Speaking of, someone on Yelp referred to the crowd at Saints & Sinners as a 'freakshow'. What a swordswallower. Yelp is ruining fun, one geek at a time. If you've written more than three Yelp reviews containing the words 'lackluster' or 'tasteless', do yourself a favor and ask the person nearest to you to smack the shit out of you, preferably until a light strand of drool is dangling about three inches off your lower lip. Then tell them I said thanks. And maybe even post a review of the experience while you're at it.)

Anyway, for those of you whose lives haven't officially started yet, my presidential compound is a cross between a frathouse, INS detainment center, rapper hostel and The Carter from New Jack City with medical marijuana and Captain Morgan spiced rum replacing crack rock. It's a place of sights; children playing tag to the sounds of the neighbor's porn videotapes turned way up. It's a place of smells; Cafe Brasil garlic funk wafting through my shower window and getting stuck in my hair. And it is a place of sounds, the most puzzling undoubtedly being a phenomenon that has come to be known as The Building Sneeze. And I am going to hack my head off and fry it lightly in olive oil if I don't find out who is responsible for it, and soon.

The Building Sneeze echoes through our courtyard-cum-driveway a few times a day, and never without remark. Visitors' eyebrows raise. Dogs halt mid-bark. I imitate it immediately and loudly, hoping my mimicry will eventually shame its perpetrator out of sickness. Whoever it is has to have been ill for about three years now, and sometimes I think they're deliberately staying ill just to annoy the neighbors. It sounds like someone is trying to cough a small animal out of his or her throat, which they may possibly have inhaled during the inevitable previous sneeze. It must be a scary thing to see a beloved family member, host of so many life-affirming moments, morph momentarily into an altered beast at the dinner table and then go back to talking about how their day was. What does that do to a child?


It's neither of my sisters. I refuse to believe that anyone with my DNA could make that sound. Except my Uncle Dariush.
It ain't Janet, because you would hear a "DAGNABBIT" or something immediately afterward.
All other tenants are too new for consideration, which leaves:

JESSE THE PARKING LOT BUM KING. Jesse is to the Cafe Brasil parking lot what I am to the neighborhood: its unquestioned overlord and mascot, regardless of what the irritating Arab guy who owns the lot seems to think. At night a sound not unlike sneezing can commonly be heard from the lot, but his is less acute, more phlegmatic, like he's trying to hock up some bad memories. Besides, the Building Sneeze is clearly louder from within the building courtyard.
MRS BROWN. I love her more than lentils at 4am, but she can barely get across her living room, never mind muster the energy to make a sound with that kind of force.
THE PAKISTANI FAMILY DOWNSTAIRS. As time passes, my suspicions weigh ever harder in their direction. But I just can't imagine that kind of sound coming from the husband or the wife, which means, of course, that it could be either of them. They have a teenage son, who is urged to confirm or deny this claim in the comments section.
THE LANDLORD OF THE OTHER BUILDING. A wide, bearded Pakistani man perpetually clad in a Muslim prayer cap and grubby off-white tunic who looks like a wizard attempted to turn Abraham Lincoln into some kind of forest creature but only got it half right. Hitler would probably have had people shot for making less disgusting noises than I've seen this man come up with, but he's just not around the building enough for him to be the sole perpetrator. So I'm stumped.

By definition, a sneeze is a hard thing to track. It's not like I have the time to sit around my courtyard until I catch the culprit in the act. Well, I guess I could do an hour or two a day. Maybe a system of surveillance cameras? I have to do something. If humans backfired like cars, it would sound like the building sneeze. It sounds like one of Jabba The Hut's minions belching at a Mos Eisley concubine for more wine.

It sounds like something's trying to die.

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