Where Hip Hop Meets Punk Rock: Get Social with Stose

There’s something special about socially conscious rapper Stose. Beyond the tattoos, studs, and leather, lies a man who is thoughtful, kind, smart as hell, and all about bringing social injustices to light through his music. He’s also pretty damn funny.

PHOTO - Stose -Cowboys- by Jahn Hall

Stose just dropped a collection of songs that is so eclectic, compelling, and edgy, that regardless of whether or not you agree with his charged political messages, you’re definitely going to want more.

You can hear old school, new school, and every school of hip hop in between on Stose’s debut EP “Civil Disobedience”. And with a healthy helping of power chords, courtesy of his veteran status in the punk world, there’s something for you rock fans as well.

“Civil Disobedience” is definitely the first step in a long, successful journey for Stose. He’s already gotten props from MTV and Paper Magazine (no big deal), and “Civil Disobedience” will for sure push things to the next level.

Here’s your chance to get to know Stose. Civil Disobedience - Album Cover

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You’re fresh off a show at NYC’s famous club Westway. How did it feel to perform the new songs live?

It felt great! That was the first club I performed at after moving back to NYC in 2012, so that place will always have a special place in my heart. Frankie Sharp has always been very gracious to let me perform at his party “Westgay”, whenever I had a new release of some sort. It’s a shame that the gentrification of this city is responsible for this club being torn down in a few months, all so they can build more condos. But with that said, I am very glad I got to play there one more time before it closes its doors. It felt great to play the new songs live for the first time, especially in front of that crowd.

You’ve said you’re fully aware that the political content of “Civil Disobedience” might alienate you from people. What compelled you to take that risk?

I think the current state of mainstream music is mostly disheartening. Music is getting more and more whitewashed, ignorant and dumbed down. It’s losing its sense of creative awareness and turning into an easily-digestible package that can be served to consumers on a silver platter. The issue there is when you have producers and label executives telling you what to say, how to dress and what your image has to be, you lose authenticity. The things I say may alienate me, but to not say them would be to sacrifice my authenticity and that is something I never plan on doing.

Do you ever feel there’s a burden that goes along with being a socially conscious rapper?

I sometimes feel like there may be, but I try not to focus on it. From my perspective the burden lies more so within being a human and trying to do your part to make the world a better place. But personally, I experience more of an internal burden that comes with being an artist, always feeling the need to create something better than before.

You recently moved to the Bronx. Has living in what is debated to be the birthplace of hip hop had any effect on your music or the EP?

Well the EP was basically done by the time I moved to the Bronx, but I am sure it will have influence on whatever I do next. Since moving up here I have constantly been working on new songs and writing more frequently, there is definitely something magical and inspiring about this borough. PHOTO - Stose -2-Tone- by Jahn Hall Your influences include Dr. Dre and Black Flag, what do you think is the common ground between hip hop and punk rock?

It can actually be traced all the way back to the birth of the hip hop movement in the Bronx. In the late 70s early 80s, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash would perform at clubs in the Lower East Side and East Village, which were frequented by punk and new wave kids. The two disenfranchised cultures of Punk and Hip Hop were formed out of a need for music of substance, so naturally they bonded on that. From then on the two cultures clearly influenced each other yielding music such as Blondie’s “Rapture”, Afrika Bambaataa and Johnny Rotten’s group called Time Zone, and the Beastie Boys. The interesting part of my personal story is that growing up I gravitated towards both of these genres of music, before even knowing the history. I was drawn to the attitude and ideology of the two groups, and obviously I wasn’t the only one.

Fun fact… You play saxophone on the record… If you could jam with Bill Clinton, Lisa Simpson, or Kenny G, who would you pick and why?

Hahaha yeah, I did! Although Lisa Simpson is pretty socially conscious, I think I am going to have to go with Bill Clinton. He seems like a pretty real dude and I bet he’s got some crazy stories. I think I now have a new life goal, so thank you for that. Stose_Logo_Black_1000x355 Download “Civil Disobedience” here, and for more on Stose, hit up his Website, Twitter, or Insta.

Photo Credit: Jahn Hall

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Ed Sheeran on Green Day

Ed Sheeran talks about his first time at Wembley back in 2002. Who knew he was a closet Green Day fan?!

Taken from MTV’s “Nine Days and Nine Nights of Ed Sheeran”. Here’s another funny bit that came along with that special:

What to do in NYC this weekend

Wondering what to get into this weekend? Here’s some suggestions running the gamut from costly to free, and brainy to brain-numbing. The one thing they all have in common though is fun. Here’s to making the first weekend of Spring an awesome one! But first things first… Go see Garbage at Terminal 5 tonight. I’ll be there!

-Get your 90’s on at the New Museum

This exhibition that I’ll be visiting ASAP focuses on 1993 and the art that came from that oh so 90’s year.

-Eat at the new Num Pang

One of my fav spots now has a whole sit-down situation on 29th street. I recommend going with a ton of people so you can order as many types of their insanely delicious Vietnemese sammies as possible.

Hunker down in front of the tube for MTV’s Retro Real World Marathon.

Starting tonight, they’ll be playing the first season ever of the show, followed by the Vegas season on Saturday, and the legendary run in San Francisco on Sunday.

-Eat some Korean comfort food at Food Gallery 32

All options are good, but my fav is the Soon Dooboo tofu from the stall in the back left corner. And snack on a $2.50 kimchi bun from the front while you choose what to get.

soon tofu

-Check out Brandi Carlisle at Beacon Theatre

Pricey, but worth it.

-Take a dance fitness class at M Dance & Fitness

Pretend you’re in Slumdog Millionaire, Save the Last Dance, and the salsa scene of Center Stage all under one roof!

-Check out the Studio Museum of Harlem and it’s amazing flag

Bonus: There’s a GAP Outlet next door!

harlem flag

-Learn about condoms

Head on over to the Museum of Sex for what’s sure to be an eyeful… Of information… Don’t be gross.

-THEN head to Birch Coffee

Some of the most delicious brew you’ll ever drink plus your choice of boardgames are sure to bring things back down to PG.

-Get a cocktail at Murray Hill speakeasy, Middle Branch.

The drinks are spendy, but worth it! Feeling risky? Go with the Bartender’s Choice!

HAPPY WEEKEND-ING!

Stuff I’ve Made

photo (1)

The moral of this post is that dreams come true. Growing up all I ever wanted was to work for MTV. Twenty-eight years later, that is exactly what I’m doing. Check out my first efforts as a producer in the clip below. I got to cover country singer Hunter Hayes and rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Fun fact: I go to the thrift stores featured in Mack and Ryan’s video every time I visit my parents in Seattle. Enjoy!

10 on Top- Episode 406

VMA Week wrap up

One of the LC mission statements is to only focus on the positive. There is enough smack talking on the internet and I don’t want to add to that. I’ll make a joke here and there (see below) but it’s all in good fun. That said, I’m faced with an interesting challenge when trying to review the 2012 Video Music Awards. The headlines say it all…

A Hopeless Place: The 2012 MTV VMAs’ Few Highs & Many Lows

MTV to Music: We Are Never Ever Ever Ever Getting Back Together

MTV Awards: Slick if Not Shiny

I’ll leave the panning to the pros and highlight the shows highlights. Clearly a lot of work went into producing the 120 minutes of music mayhem. There were some really cool pre-tapes and live-action elements that were expertly executed without a hitch. It was cool watching Alicia Keys belt out her new single, Taylor Swift’s ode to boyfriends past was irresistible, and I rocked hard to the beginning of Green Day’s set before they got mobbed… But aside from an appreciation of what went into making the show possible and those specific performances, that’s really it. If I had to do it all over again, I’d only tune in to the last half-hour and then pretend that the rest of the show was equally as good.

So while I was excited to write an intense, way too excited gush of last week’s show, I’m going to plead the fifth and focus on the the places my mind wandered while I watched instead. I urge you to do the same.

Rihanna cemented that red is the new black

Louis from One Direction changed it up by looking more like Don Draper than the dude from Spring Awakening

Chris Brown made me google the closest state fair

VMA Week “Get Your Weave On!”

It’s a little known secret that the “M” in VMA doesn’t stand for music. It stands for “Maybe a good time to try out that weave you’ve been hanging on to…” Here are some of my favorite follicle moments from VMA past.

Faux hair = Faux pas? You decide.

Enjoy!

Ri Ri should have stopped when seeing that red wig, but I say go ahead girl!

Nicki’s hair made me google the closest Mexican bakery.

Who wore it better?

In 2009 Lady Gaga donned David Crosby’s moustache.

Axl looks far too smug for a guy in cornrows.

Maybe that night he should have just copied his guitarist…

And bringing it home, we have the women of Lady Marmalade.

Stay tuned for more VMA week fun here at Little Conqueror and make sure to check out the big show TOMORROW night on MTV!

 

 

 

What I do in real life

Despite what you may think, I don’t spend all my non-blogging time travelling to outer-boroughs to eat at restaurants with C-grade health inspections. I work in television and my latest project is posted below for your viewing enjoyment.

I was lucky enough to work with a team of awesome people to help put together  this special about people’s debut performances at the VMAs, hosted by a little band named One Direction. The show features Rihanna, Alicia Keys, P!nk, mothereffing Green Day, and more!!

It’s the best way to spend 20 minutes since the invention of anything else that takes 20 minutes. Check it out!!

One Direction: My First Time

VMA Week at Little Conqueror

Hey, loyal readers and people who found this site through google image search. It’s an exciting week in the land of conquering. Dunkin Donuts has a new “apple orchard” flavored treat, the RNC is over, AND it’s almost time for the VMAs!!

To celebrate the TWENTY-NINTH installment of MTV’s Video Music Awards on Thursday, I’ll be tailoring my posts to lead up to the big night. So stay tuned!

Fun fact: The VMAs and I were born the same year. Big ups to 1984!