Crate Diggers: DJ Scratch


Yesterday marked 11 years to the day since the passing of Jam Master Jay.

It’s wild that it’s been that long.


How fitting, then, that Crate Diggers was able to catch up with DJ Scratch (@DJScratch), he who was introduced to the world via the legendary JMJ.

In fact, fuse (@fusetv) released a teaser video with an exclusive outtake that highlights the friendship and respect between the two DJs.


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I was privileged to see Scratch perform with a freshly reunited EPMD in NYC at the 2007 Rock the Bells festival.

Peep my shitty video which predates the superior smartphone camera technology of today:

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Each episode of Crate Diggers is special in its own right but every once in a while, they manage to link with an artist who is sitting on an extremely impressive collection.

When you see the amount of red and blue vinyl he has from the 70s and 80s, it really is mindblowing.

I didn’t even realize they were pressing coloured records like that back then!

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Dude has LL Cool J (@llcoolj) test presses, possibly the most ridiculous Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) I’ve ever seen, as well as acetate discs (or dubplates or lacquers or whatever else you nerds wanna refer to them by) so rare that there can’t be any more than a handful of people in the world lucky enough to be holding these pieces within their collection.

Of course, he also has 45s for days and gives viewers a friendly reminder to step their 12″ single game up!

I don’t wanna spoil too many of the surprises as this episode was a real treat and Scratch comes across as a very informed and humble dude.

And extended props to Crate Diggers itself – programs like these will be vital in maintaining and extending the lives of the vinyl and digging cultures.

Pearls of wisdom at the end of the episode as we become privy to a choice conversation with Grandmaster Flash (@DJFlash4eva).

Learn somethin’.

Take a look at episode no. 34 below:

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To check out the entirety of the Crate Diggers playlist, go here.
And follow series creator, Jason Newman on Twitter – @Jasonrnewman


Fantasy Premier League: Week 9 Recap


Now that’s what I’m talmbout!

After back-to-back weekends of fantasy mediocrity, I made a goddamn STATEMENT in week 9.

I apologize for not getting my picks up prior to the fixtures being played out.


Anyhow, Arsenal (@Arsenal) picked up their second clean sheet of the season with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace (@Official_CPFC).

This despite a 7th minute injury to Mathieu Flamini and the harsh sending off of captain Mikel Arteta (@m8arteta).

Saying that, we were playing Palace and didn’t look great at times.

Luckily, Flamini‘s injury is unrelated to his recent concussion but given that this recent knock is a groin issue, it appears he will be out for a minimum of two weeks.

Extremely poor timing with the Capital One (@CapitalOne_Cup) match against Chelsea (@chelseafc) tomorrow, as well as upcoming clashes facing Liverpool (@LFC), Dortmund (@BVB), and United (@ManUtd).

The Frenchman’s addition to the squad has revitalized the Arsenal midfield and the importance of his arrival has been equal to that of the Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) acquisition.

Perhaps, even more so, as it has been some time since the Gunners have had a true holding mid.

Nevertheless, we still sit two points clear at the top of the table, we lead the league on goal difference, and we still aren’t getting enough credit.

Let’s move onto the picks.



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Overall Points: 524

Global: 90,736 (Last week: 102,073)
Fans of Arsenal: 5,012 (Last week: 6,334)
Canada: 779 (Last week: 884)

Private League I: 2 / 17 (20 points out of 1st)
Private League II: 1 / 11 (22 points clear)

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Total Points: 1061

Global: 2,036 (Last week: 7,887)
Fans of Arsenal: 466 (Last week: 1,834)

Private League I: 1 / 8 (147 points clear)
Private League II: 2 / 6 (2 pts out of 1st)

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Nice to buck the downward trend and have a bit of a turnaround.

I put up my best weekly totals so far this season in the Yahoo! game and had my highest total in the official format since the opening weekend.

There were actually many positives for me.

Every one of my strikers scored in both formats, both keepers picked up clean sheets, and the defenders who were unable to shut out their opponents managed to get themselves on the score sheet.

Nice when that happens.

Suárez (@luis16suarez) was in beastmode and picked up a highlight-reel hat trick.

I actually woke up from a restless sleep at 4am on Saturday in order to give him the armband from Rooney (@WayneRooney).

Lucky me.

Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) finally scored again in the PL which is always pleasing to see.

Still expecting a minimum of 20 league goals from him assuming he stays healthy.

I have snuck back into the top 100,000 in the official game and with some funds freed up for next week’s transfer, I have to maintain the pace.

And getting back to where I am sitting just outside of the top 2,000 in the Yahoo! format was satisfying.

I am also close to leading all four of my private leagues and I’m feeling confident moving ahead.

Confident, not cocky.

Stick with me, folks!

How did you make out in Gameweek 9???

Fantasy Premier League: Week 8 Recap

Not feeling the best today so I am going to make this a brief entry.

It was another average weekend for me in fantasy.

I fell to 2nd spot in my private league in the official game but have joined another league in that format where I am holding onto first spot. However, I am now out of the top 100,000. That stings.

I slipped a little bit in the global standings for both Yahoo! and the official game for the second week in a row.

The situation isn’t quite dire as of yet but the pattern is troublesome.

Wasn’t so long ago that I was staying right in the mix of the top players.

The captain picks are what have really been the cause of my undoing.

Nevertheless, I think there were positives to take moving forward.

As far as Arsenal (@Arsenal) goes, their match versus the Canaries (@NorwichCityFC) on Saturday was a spectacle to behold.

Clinical, clinical, clinical.

Wilshere (@JackWilshere) scored for the second consecutive week and what a goal it was.

Lovely bit of tiki-taka with Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_).

Definitely the best goal of the Premier League (@premierleague) so far this season and easily the best bit of play we have seen from the Gunners in YEARS.

Also have to once again acknowledge Ramsey (@aaronramsey) who is turning into a fantastic player and is arguably the most in-form midfielder in the game for the moment.

Can you believe this shit?

Absolute magic.

Let’s hope we see more of this degree of understanding within the squad today in a tough Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) match facing German side, Borussia Dortmund (@BVB).




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Here’s how ya boy שּׂreckedΔngle™ did in gameweek 8:



Overall Points: 455

Global: 102,073 (Last week: 74,884)
Fans of Arsenal: 6,334 (Last week: 3,828)
Canada: 884 (Last week: 603)

Private League I: 2 / 17 (11 points out of 1st)
Private League II: 1 / 11 (14 points clear)

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(click to enlarge)

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Total Points: 880

Global: 7,887 (Last week: 3,135)
Fans of Arsenal: 1,834 (Last week: 646)

Private League I: 1 / 8 (133 points clear)
Private League II: 2 / 6 (48 pts out of 1st)

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You can see, I am slipping HARD.


I need to take these next few days to really think on how to regain my place in the standings.

It’s been fun so far, though, and I appreciate everyone who has been following my picks this season.

How did you make out in Gameweek 8???

Fantasy Premier League: Week 8 Player Picks



How is it possible that Arsenal (@Arsenal) isn’t being televised today?

Sort of ruined my entire plan for this morning as I had intended upon watching the full slate at the local pub.

First day back from international break and the best team in the league can’t get a proper broadcast in the Great White North.

Canada is BITCH-MADE.

Anyway, after a lackluster fantasy performance last week, I am thirsty to regain some form this weekend.

Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) stays in my lineup. I expect his Premier League (@premierleague) touch to return after catching the brace for France last week.

Özil (@MesutOzil1088) scored a lovely goal for Germany but caught a knock at the end of the match and is listed as a slight doubt for today.

Due to that, I retained Ross Barkley‘s (@RBarkley20) place on the bench in the Yahoo! game in case of an auto substitution.

Would be a real shame not to see him feature though as Cazorla (@19SCazorla) is expected to return to the squad and Gooners have been salivating over the possibilities of what he and Özil can accomplish together.

I have captained Lukaku (@RomeluLukaku9) in both games because you have to figure his scoring prowess will overwhelm the visiting Tigers (@hullfcofficial).

No United (@ManUtd) players for me this week. Not only can their strikers not be trusted at the moment but I think Southampton (@SouthamptonFC) could actually win this one, despite them having to play at Old Trafford.

Having said that, Shrek (@WayneRooney) and van Pursestrings (@Persie_Official) both scored internationally, with RVP putting up a hat trick, so both could be due for a big match today.

My picks aren’t the most imaginative this time around as the fixtures look fairly straightforward.

Of course, football is always full of surprises.

Let’s move onto the picks.



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Selecting Vorm may have been my only real “left-field” choice this weekend as there were likely surer bets to go with.

You’d expect Swansea (@SwansOfficial) to dominate but Sunderland (@SAFCofficial) are due for a win sometime soon, wouldn’t you think? Especially with the arrival of Poyet.

Cabaye just scored a wicked strike from about 30 yards out to put Newcastle (@NUFCOfficial) up 1-nil over Liverpool (@LFC) at the 23rd minute.

He has been making a habit of scoring from outside the box since his return to the squad.

The Magpies have been improving with each week and it has been a cracker of a match so far.

I’m off to watch it myself!

What Do Your XIs Look Like for Gameweek 8???

Crate Diggers: Rjd2


I have mixed feelings about Rjd2 (@rjd2).

Like most fans of underground hip-hop at the time, I was blown away by Deadringer when it dropped back in 2002.

Looking back, the early-to-mid-aughts could be regarded as something of a “golden age” for indie rap and Rj‘s debut album is arguably one of the most influential records to ever emerge out of the genre of instrumental hip-hop.

At the time of release, Definitive Jux were leading the scene, having garnered universal acclaim for introducing the likes of Mr. Lif (@therealMrLif), Cannibal Ox (@CannibalOx), Aesop Rock (@AesopRockWins), and for launching the solo career of label founder, El-P (@therealelp).

So the success of Deadringer really can’t be overstated as it allowed for other producers to get their own solo deals and release their own instrumental albums rather than the standard beat tape.

Without laying that groundwork, there wouldn’t have been a lane available today for guys like Diplo (@diplo) to build an empire with the stature of Mad Decent.

(I certainly could not have pictured dude hawking BlackBerrys back when I purchased Florida in ’04).

Nevertheless, Rjd2 would go on to become one of the most in-demand underground producers for the rest of the decade.

At some point, he must have gotten bored and it began to show through his own work almost immediately.

Since We Last Spoke showed a steep decline in quality compared to its predecessor and Rj began making disparaging remarks about his own back catalogue as well as rap music as a whole, referring to it as “moron music”.

At the time, the lines between indie rock and indie rap were beginning to blur and it appeared as if he was no longer satisfied with being a mere producer. Rj now saw himself as a singer / songwriter.

That’s cool and all but that epiphany resulted in one of the shittiest albums I have ever heard in the Third Hand.

Artistic expression is something I will always support, even when I’m not personally into it, but to piss all over everything (and everyone) that brought you to that point was a real turn-off from a fan standpoint.

I even got into a Twitter conversation about it with DJ Mekalek (@djmekalek) of Time Machine who concurred:

*** Ed’s note: if you aren’t familiar with Time Machine, please believe that Slow Your Roll is one of the best rap records of the past decade. Also, check out last year’s Vicious Experiments (free download). These dudes are way too slept on.

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Back we are to the present day and Rjd2 is attempting to reclaim some of his past fanbase by creeping back onto the hip-hop scene with his latest release, More Is than Isn’t.

I’m not convinced. A lot of this shit sounds like a re-tread. Like a Diet Coke® version of his former self (with extra SPLENDA®).

Personally, the only track I’m really feeling is the collaboration with Phonte (@phontigallo).

The rest pretty much sucks.

Despite all of this, a beat nerd is a beat nerd and this is still a great episode.

Rj shows off a lot of unusual pieces within the crates but reveals a different side from most producers with his atypical organizational methods and general disinterest in collecting.

He even makes reference to a musical crisis he experienced in the late 2000s which may actually explain his brief flirtation with cardigans and white snobbery.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit even though I lost the majority of my interest in this clown many moons ago.

He’s still got stories, at least!

Take a look at episode no. 33 below:

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To check out the entirety of the Crate Diggers playlist, go here.
And follow series creator, Jason Newman on Twitter – @Jasonrnewman

Bowjia Officially Drops BALLOONIVERSE


The wait is over.

Bowjia (@Bowjia) have officially released their debut album, Ballooniverse.

As predicted, it doesn’t disappoint.

The production duo have been kind enough to make this a free / PWYC release, though I encourage you to push a few dollars their way if you’re able.

The record is available for download through their Bandcamp page which gives you the option to grab the files in the format of your choice.

You can also stream Ballooniverse below in its entirety:

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Long-time supporters of the group may remember that Bowjia put out a “soft launch” of the album in early 2013.

This early rendition of the record featured a different tracklisting from the new official release.

Let’s compare:





As you can see, the tracklist has been refined and we have been blessed with three brand new tracks in the form of “Hold Me Close (feat. Mallory)”, “New Tropics” (which we premiered exclusively back in June), and “In Your Nature”.

You already know we love Bowjia here at the PRISM and have big expectations for them in the very near future.

Grab the album, pass the links around, spread the word, and share this post if you’re feeling the beats!

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Being that the guys in Bowjia are quite technologically savvy, they made the wise decision to sell their record on a customized 2GB USB drive during their early 2013 soft launch rather than pressing up a bunch of worthless compact discs.

Smart. Current. Why aren’t more musicians doing this?

I was lucky enough to cop one at the time and it’s very slick.


The good news is that more of these flash drives have been made available for the official release.

Contact the group directly to purchase one of these exclusive items while they’re hot.

They won’t last!

Arsenal 2014/15 Kit Leaked?

(L-R) Bacary Sagna, Linford Christie, Thierry Henry, Olivier Giroud

(L-R) Bacary Sagna, Linford Christie, Thierry Henry, Olivier Giroud

It looks like champion British sprinter, Linford Christie (@ChristieLinford), may be in some hot water today after tweeting out a picture that appears to have given us our first look at the new Arsenal (@Arsenal) shirts designed by Puma (@PUMA).

Christie quickly deleted the tweet soon after it went live but it stayed up just long enough for the internet to grab hold and turn it viral.

First impressions?

Fans should be pleased with the traditional red-and-white strip which harkens back to the days of the Invincibles.

However, it appears as if Puma weren’t really attempting to stretch their imaginations too far with this design.

It is almost a little too safe for my tastes given that they were willing to agree to the most expensive kit deal in British football.

But it may be that I am still just a bit upset to see the run with Nike (@Nike) coming to an end.

The majority of their designs across the past two decades have been class.

I will say that I am feeling the pullover that Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) is rocking. Looks sharp.

But I just can’t figure out why Thierry Henry would want to be seen in an Arsenal Ladies (@ArsenalLadies) shirt?

I mean, that is one hell of a tight top.