Tres Mascaras

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Tres Mascaras featuring Deos-One
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Ronnie was a Race Car Driver

Ronnie's dad always enjoyed a good shrimp cocktail. He hadn't been around much, on a account of the two stints he served in prison, but when he was around, he'd take Ronnie to the Mexican part of town and they'd both have a beer (even though Ronnie was only 16) and a shrimp cocktail. It had been years since Ronnie'd seen his Dad, but he still went out to Little Mexico for a shrimp cocktail and a beer whenever he had a chance. While he contemplated this, two bullets whizzed past his ear, nearly grazing him.

As he sped down the home stretch of the I-5, he thought about his future and how he might like to open a shrimp cocktail restaraunt of his own once he made it to Mexico. He'd never made one, but he figured he'd had enough of them to figure it out. He figured he'd have plenty of time to get the recipe right, and although duffel bag full of money on the passenger seat wasn't that full, it'd be more than enough to live like a fat cat down in Mexico for years. There were now only two cop cars chasing him. There'd been four earlier, but some strategic driving had resulted in two of the pigs smashing into each other. He'd played it pretty smart up to this point, and if his timing was as good as he'd calculated, there shouldn't be much of a fuss at the border itself.

Another few shots were fired, removing the back windsheild altogether. They'd been shotgun blasts this time, but Ronnie never took his eyes off the road. He just concentrated on those sunny L.A. afternoons, and how his Dad would show him how to flirt with the spanish speaking waitresses after a second beer and an octapus tostada.

"This is your last chance, Ronnie. You pull that car over this instant or God help me we will shoot your call straight to hell!"

He was pretty sure there were diced cucumbers in there. Definitely tomato. There had to be onion, but he couldn't recall if it was white or red. He laughed to himself about how he must've eaten 1,000 god damned shrimp cocktails but never really paid attention to what was in it. He pondered Googling a recipe, but wasn't sure if Mexico had the internet yet. The border appeared on the horizon.
An explosion of gunfire erupted from the two police cars. Each cop, including both drivers, fired towards the escaping vehicle, destroying the car's rear. Multiple bullets tore right through the car's body, only narrowly missing Ronnie as he grinned towards the awaiting Mexican border with visions of spicy seafood and icy beer.

The cops in the lead cop car had emptied out several guns apeice and their firearm's sour smoke began to sting the driver's eyes. Pannicked, he took a hand off of the wheel to cover them when the car began to swerve. Trying to regain control, he overcompensated in the other direction, smashing into their partners beside them. Both cars flipped several times before exploding into the side of the freeway. White, Ronnie thought. He was almost positive that they had been white onions.

As the border neared, it was clear that no one had been warned of the high speed chase that had led up to this. Several of the gates were completely bare, allowing Ronnie to speed towards them with abandonment. 100 yards from the line, the car began to slow. At 60 yards, the car started to swerve a bit to the left. With only 10 yards to go, the car slowly careened into a lane divider as Ronnie's lifeless body smashed into the steering wheel, a single bullet having passed through back of the driver's seat and passing through his body into the dash. He hadn't seen a white light or pearly gates before he died. He instead saw his 16 year old self eating shrimp with his old man.


He's the DJ

I've started to do stencils as birthday gifts when I have the chance, largely due to the artsy/spraycan influence of my lovely girlfriend, Anna, who has been whipping up art as a gift for years now. Sure, it saves a few dollars, but the hours put into completing the birthday piece seems like a more thoughtful effort, and it's a good excuse to come up with an image that I might not normally think to put to canvas.

It was Joey Lisp's birthday last weekend, and I decided I wanted to do a stencil record, due to the fact that Lisp is the area's most prolific turntablist. I casually asked him via text who his favorite DJ was a few weeks back and as I waited for his response, I suspected he was going to name DJ Premiere. Curious if anyone else had done a DJ Premiere stencil, I typed it into Google and found this friggin' masterpiece, which was so good, I almost sold my spray can collection and called it quits. But he instead named DJ Jazzy Jeff, who most will probably remember as being the Fresh Prince's better half. Anybody who takes turntablism somewhat seriously will instead recognize him as basically being the Zeus of record spinning. I once saw him take the stage after the likes of Q-Bert and Grand Wizard Theodore, who had both tore the house down. He casually built up the tension in the venue, casually playing record after record. He started playing some heavy west coast stuff, working the crowd into a frenzy, and then just drops Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirt out of nowhere. If you would have told me beforehand that DJ Jazzy Jeff would have made the laid back, bay area hip hop crowd mosh with everything they had, I'd have called you a god damned liar, but there I was, still trying to pay for a rum and coke at the bar, unable to collect my change because I was fucking jumping up and down like a orangatang on meth, half trying to rock out and half trying not to spill my delicious drink. That's why I know when Joey Lisp says Jazzy Jeff is the best DJ, he's right.

I call this a stencil, but it's more like 20 little stencils laid on top of each other, the gold layer being my favorite. Happy Born Date, Lisp.


Flier Showcase

Are fliers art? Advertisements? Is there a common ground? I don't know, but as long as my associates are willing to trade illicit contraband in exchange for some photoshop magic, you can call me the god-damned Human Flier Factory. Between 2005-2010, I must have pumped out about 75 of these little fuckers. I had my good days and my bad, but here are 5 of my favorites...

When Worlds Collide - For a night of 80's hits and classic hip-hop. This is sort of a tribute to this Rolling Stone album cover. I'm especially proud of the photoshoppery on display, with my homies John Eukland and Renato Espinoza acting as hand look-alikes for this imaginary meeting.

Hell Razah - A night that will forever live in infamy. This was my first double-sided, glossy joint, and this side's Grindhouse-poster stylings came out particularly nice.

Saturday Night's Main Event - Anybody that knows me knows I have an unhealty obsession with lucha libre. As soon as I got some flier momentum going, I wanted to do a flyer in the style of those busy lucha posters posted all over downtown Tijuana. I was saving it for a big event, and when Mr. Volcano booked a million acts for this night in December, I knew it was time. Through a connection with the Daily Democrat, this actually ran a quarter page, in color that Friday, and even though it was eventually broken up by cops, a spectacular time was had by most.

DEVESTATOR - This flier is awesome for two reasons: It's a Russian propaganda-style poster for a rap show at the Stag, and it was the first show Butterscotch ever rocked with the crew.

Devil's Night Out - I like the retro look of this one, featuring Kriminal and a buxom sex-cat in a full body suit and go-go boots.


Stolen Scripts

Hip hop nerds like myself may recall an incident in 2004 where Ghostface released a cryptic track entitled Get My Dough (this showed up on early versions of the Pretty Toney album, but has been omitted from later editions). A pretty classic Ghostface track with a sick sample and fun hook with Ghostface chastising some unknown offenders for not paying him money he was due.
A few months later, De La Soul released their Grind Date album, which was generally great and featured a collaboration with the Wallabee Kingpin himself, Ghostface Killa. What was strange was this collabo track, He Comes, used the same beat as Get My Dough, with Ghost spitting a similar hook and lyrics, but with his references to owed money being replaced with references to De La Soul.
And while nothing was official said on the matter, the obvious conclusion was Ghost had written the verse for the De La track, must not have recieved payment quickly enough, and flipped the beat as a vague diss track in response. My money is on all this being more of a misunderstanding than anything, and is surely water under the bridge by now.
On a slightly unrelated note, Ghostface did a completely separate song called Stolen Scripts on his More Fish album. It was a bizarre narrative about him meeting Ray Charles and writing the screenplay to Ray, only to have it stolen in a shady Hollywood meeting. Completely crazy and completely genius.
Mr. Volcano, who is essentially the Ghostface Killah of Sacramento, was involved in a very similar incident with a fairly talented hip hop outfit from Arizona. Due to the awesome power of Google, I'm not going to mention their name, but I'm fairly certain that 110% of you wouldn't recognize them if I did. This beat was epic and anyone who heard it knew it right away. Things fell apart though and once the dust settled, Volcano was owed money and only had their beat to show for it. Mostly diss free verses were recorded and somewhere along the way, it was dubbed Stolen Scripts as a tribute to Ghostface and the sometimes underhanded nature of rap collaborations.
This is one of those tracks by emcees, for emcees, with the focus purely on agressive lines and hardcore delivery. A From Parts Unknown classic, to be sure (enjoy some bonus tracks from the new Dark Avengers compilation tacked on the end) .

Stolen Scripts
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Sucker Punch: Hennessy for Energy

Grab your cups! A refill from the Sucker Punch. Hope you fuckers like Hennessey!

Hennessy for Energy

It had been a long night already. Drunk chicks, buying cheeba, and infiltrating radio stations. It was creeping up on two in the morning, and my outlook was still pretty positive. It had reached the point in the night when you still want to socialize, but everybody else is asleep. Aimlessly driving down dark streets, I kept changing CD’s, searching for the perfect song to play at 1:46am . One of my closest friends, Chris Martinez, was the driver. He was about two months late on payments for his used, white Chevy Blazer, and it stung him. He mostly just spent his days escaping reality through light beers, and potent strains of marijuana. I think that’s why I liked hanging out with him so much. I met him through his older brother, who I had spent a good part of my post-high school youth getting high with. As a matter of fact, the three of us had spent many a weekend rolling blunts and watching videos. With some other friends, we had even formed a clan, calling ourselves, The Decepticons. Of all of the Decepticons, I had recently been hanging out with Chris the most. We seldom discussed matters more serious than the cost of beer, but I’ve always felt that there was a nice, unspoken level of respect that we shared.

We had been hanging out since about 7:30 that night, and had been all over the place. Most establishments were closed, but we still itched for a last bit of mischief. Neither of us had said much since we got back in town from Davis , but I knew that we would both be disappointed if we decided to call it a night.

“So…what should we do?” I asked with a hint of hopelessness in my voice. What was there to do? It’s not as if Chris, who had been dubbed Chon (chone) by his older brother, knew of some secret place we could go to. I could see him ponder my question for a bit, with a glazed over look in his eyes.

“Should we steal a bottle?” he asked with a smile. Liquor runs weren’t that uncommon in our circle. And a night of drinking had removed any initial fear of repercussions. I knew that I wouldn’t be stealing a bottle from a store, and even more, I knew that I wouldn’t be expected to. I held my own in our social circle, but I wasn’t bold, or stupid enough to steal a bottle. Chris, on the other hand was a juggernaut of mayhem.

“What the fuck?” I responded, generally indifferent to the idea. It was something to do. My mind was moving pretty slowly, so any goal oriented activity would be easy to follow. And with that, I could hear him hit his blinker signal, turning towards the local Food-4-Less grocery store. They were the only grocery store in town that stayed open all night. It seemed like only seconds later that we were in front of the stores main entrance. My brain had still not grasped what we were about to do, as Chris informed me that I would need to drive in the case that he may be followed. I suppose that I almost didn’t believe that he was going to do it. Typically, something like this would be mapped out a bit more thoroughly. We would get pumped up, and make like we were criminals about to commit a heist. In my drunken state, I’m sure that I was making an attempt to call his bluff. Without saying anything, I got out of the passenger seat, and strutted to the driver’s side. By the time I could get there, he was already making his way into the store. I got behind the wheel, and began to wonder what would happen next. There was actually a few misfits in the parking lot, and paranoia got the best of me. I figured I should play it cool. Act like I was looking for a parking spot. I figured I would have at least a minute or two before Chris returned, so I began a lap around the lot. The Blazer was pretty big compared to my car, and it felt like driving a bus. I had driven it a few times before, and liked how it handled. I was caught up in the driving experience as I was rounding the furthest corner from the store. The otherwise serene parking lot was suddenly interrupted by a husky Chon sprinting out of the store. Not two feet behind him was a Hispanic bag boy. I began to speed up towards him, and even from far away, I could see Chris was disappointed that I had driven away from where he was expecting me.

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The bag boy was right behind. If he extended his arms forward, he surely could have grabbed him. As the both of them neared the Blazer, I wondered what would happen when they finally arrived. Chris would need at least a second or two to open the car door. The bag boy was athletic, but he was a pile of twigs compared to Chon. And Chris was the kind of guy that would knock a guy out cold if it came down to it.

“Drive Robert, Drive! Fucking Go!” Chris shouted. I was getting pretty antsy, slowly slipping the gear into Drive, waiting for the exact second that speed off. In a flash, he was in the Blazer, and instantly, I heard the passenger door slam shut. He continued to bark instructions at me as I was getting my head straight.

“Go man, fuck-ing DRIVE.” He pleaded, with a slight hint of victory in his voice. As I darted diagonally through the parking lot, concentrating on road ahead, I could sense Chris peering behind us. I glanced over at him, seeing our prize proudly held in his grubby hands. A beautiful bottle of Hennessy. Despite it’s reputation in rap videos, I used to hate it’s taste. It wasn’t until recently that began to thoroughly enjoy the dreamy type of buzz it gave.

“Oh fuck.” Chris proclaimed.

“He’s right behind us in his car.” Apparently, the driver had stopped following Chris at the last second. Seeing that he had a getaway driver waiting for him, the bag boy had decided hop into his own car and follow us. It was a good thing, too, as in retrospect, his hand would have probably been crushed in the car door. At the time, I’m sure it would have been the funniest thing in the world. As I reached the exit of the parking lot, a traffic light’s red light bulb instinctually caused me to slow down. I took a second to scan the rear view, and noticed a small car in pursuit.

“GO Robert. Just fucking GO!” screamed Chris, getting a bit nervous.

“Hurry. He’s trying to get the license plate number.” Up to that point, I had pretty much been driving on instinct. With the revelation that he was trying get the plate number, a sense of duty came over me. It was my driving skill, up against his. If I could ditch him, there was a cool bottle of Hennessy in it for us. If not, there was humiliation, and possibly even a car accident waiting. I pressed against the gas pedal with all of my weight. Earlier in the night, Chris and I had been playing a game of How-many-red-lights-can-we-run-in-a-row, so I had no problem breezing through them. The small car continued to pursue us, often time getting dangerously close to us. As I hit the first turn in our path, Chris started to worry about my driving ability.

“Don’t fucking flip. Dude. Don’t flip.” As ridiculous as it sounds, hours of playing Grand Theft Auto on the Playstation 2 had taught me the correct speed to hit a sudden turn. Before I could even begin concentrating on the turn, we had made it and were picking up speed as we raced down Gibson Road . The bag boy made the turn a bit more cautiously, giving us a bit of a lead. Chris gave out a maniacal laugh, easing the tension. The streets were empty, making it easy to pick up his headlights in the rear view. He followed us onto the freeway, which just disgusted me. Here was some highschool student, who garnered enough respect at his job to warrant the 2am on Sunday shift, playing cowboy over a bottle of liquor. By this time, I was feeling God-like as I watched the speedometer inch past 110 miles. His car was no match for the power of the Blazer, and before long, I could see the faint light of his turn signal as he pulled off on the next exit.

It was about two o’ clock, and traces of adrenaline were still coursing through my veins. We gave another nod to series of Grand Theft Auto games as we decided to switch cars. Surely the bag boy would report a white Chevy Blazer, making us safe in my gold Camry that I parked in front of Chris’ house some 5 hours earlier. We ended up waking up an old friend that we had visited earlier that night, and recalled the recent events with some details exaggerated for effect.

Even with all of the trouble we went through to get it, I didn’t feel much like drinking any Hennessy. And, as subconsciously documented in the unwritten code of the Decepticons, Chris ignored my decline and poured me a glass. I took a quick sip, and then another. It tasted like victory.


Not My Ritchie

If you have speakers, please do me a personal favor and hit play on this video right before you begin reading the rest.

I cry at the end of La Bamba. If I catch it in time and start thinking about dirtbikes and ice cream sundaes, I might get by with slightly glassy eyes, but usually, by the time Ritchie's mom throws her laundry down and pleads to Bob and God "Not my Ritchie," I start to lose it (real talk: I was just thinking about the exact moment of the movie gets me and stared to actually choke up a little in front of the computer). It's the one sappy thing in the world that gets me emotional, and I love the hell out of that movie.

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With the exception of Danny Trejo and a hand full of luchadores, there isn't a better example of a bad ass Mexican than Bob Morales. That kilo smuggling, snake eating, cartoon artist is like a Mexican Han Solo. Paying a stencil tribute to him was the obvious move, and since I didn't have any leather jackets lying around, the back of a guitar seemed like the proper canvas.

This is a good example of the fly screen filter being applied to the shadows and lighter highlights, as it really helps give depth to the simple image. I used the Montana color Sand for the skin, which has since prompted me to dub the color the official shade of Mexican peoples. And while this is one of slicker looking stencils, it's important to note that: It's not my first... or my last.


House Party Hoppin'

House Party Hoppin' is the most west coast song I've ever been on, and as a result, typically gets the best reaction when we play shows in Woodland. DJ Joey Lisps's ear-breaking bass was a little intimidating the first time I heard it, but when he explained it was going to be about a night of house party mayhem, everything fell into place.
And while "your friendly bartendener" Joey Lisp and me come correct, this is the song that established Jason Equis as a main eventer. With the authority of a drunken step-father, the Human Wrecking Ball's tale of stumbling among women at a house party is ridiculously vivid.
We made this during the Sparks era of my rap career, back before they took the caffiene out. Lines tended to be a little more random and hyperactive, but we were able to crank out tracks like this every week or so. Rest in Piece, Sparks when it was good. We didn't know what we had... til it was gone.

House Party Hoppin'
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Road Trip: Paid Dues Festival / Venice Beach

2012 tailgate terrors

I was worried whether the day would be fun, but the fifty cent Otter Pops put my mind at ease.

Joey Lisp shares his opinion on Mac Lethal's whiny set.

The lineup.

Main stage indoors this year. I'll spare you several dozen blurry photos, but highlights included...

People Under the Stairs went on early, but the consensus was they had the livest set. To give you an idea of how fresh it was, they opened with Super Mario Bros. 2 being projected on a dude wearing a big white tee on stage. Not only did they play the first level, but Babu mixed a record with the level 1 music. Here they drop the stoner anthem, Acid Raidrops

Paid Dues was a bit of a sausage fest, but Freeway and Mikey manage to have a good time.

I asked Jake One who his favorite producer was.

The Dogg Pound didn't dissapoint, dropping most of their classics and even finding time to bring out the Lady of Rage (who dropped Afro Puffs!) and Snoop Dogg's Uncle June Bug.

Mikey and 9th Wonder discuss their upcoming mixtape project.

3 the Hard Way: Joey Lisp, Alchemist and Evidence

MURS' killed it, rocking his 3:16 tracks exclusively. Midway through his set, he unveiled the new joint, Asian Girls, featuring the rhyme debut of 9thmatic aka 9th Wonder!

By the end of the night, the atmosphere of the main building was actually 20% oxygen and 80% smoke. This bothered some more than others.


Thick chicks look at Rip like a piece of pan dulce.

Hulk Hogan's old stomping grounds, Venice Beach, California.

If you've never been there, here's what to expect: Palm trees, families, dudes trying to get you to listen to their CDs, and sad clowns.

2012 tailgate terrors...

...part two!

Joey "Gangsta Cyclops" Lisp and Mikey "Where all the leggings at?" Torres


Dirk the Daring

A stencil of an obscure cartoon/video game character on an old lucha poster. Pretty much a snapshot of what I see when I close my eyes.

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Blood Orange and Mango in full effect. Really like how they look together. I've been experimenting with fly screens over stencils with varying levels of success. Applying too much paint over them can turn a stencil pug-fugly with a quickness. Not applying enough makes it hard to notice, as seen in the silver applied to the helmet and legs here. But dig those Mexicans in the background! A fun lil' piece.