Below is a photo of a piece of writing that describes this situation. Thinking is one of the most critical aspects of our existence. However, given the current situation, it would seem that most people continuously and willingly choose to not think. Instead folks amalgamate a collection of headlines and reactions, and make them their person. Knowledge is still key, and even though we are in the seasons of the bitch (weaklings controlling media outlets, and norms of society allowing for people to behave like weaklings and still ascend to success), mindlessness will not prevail for long. Persistence is never held by those who cannot distinguish themselves from the mindless cohorts they enthrall. Do not fuck with us, and do not resist when we steamroll your ass back into oblivion. Your days are numbered, and we are pulling cards at Rad Reef.
I’m annoyed. I’m like really. Fucking. ANNOYED. After seven years of worshipping, honoring, all around filling my entire being with marijuana I have gone cold turkey and right now I’m KILLING MYSELF. Not really. I’ve actually handled it way better than I previously thought I would. Despite having to relearn to eat and staying up all night like a raccoon; I’ve achieved a sort of clarity unbeknownst to me since I started smoking da herb.
I was a classic w e e d h e d. Wake up. Smoke. Shower. Smoke. Oh there’s a cloud in the sky shaped like a nug? Smoke. I see a bird. Smoke. You’re rolling a blunt? Let’s smoke some weed while we wait to smoke some weed. You get the general idea. I was addicted, as gay as that sounds. At first I’d do everything high because it makes really anything more fun but eventually it stopped being for fun and became necessary to get me through the day. I truly couldn’t envision myself not high.
Anyway back to being annoyed. I don’t know why I’m annoyed all I know is that normally I’d pack a fatty bowl and smoke that shit until I’d feel comfortably numb. This newfound sobriety has given me lots of time to look at my life and myself. Instead of lighting up and marinating in bed alone or on a couch with friends I’m forced to do other things. I’ve turned to meditation, yoga, immersing myself in making music and now -blog writing. I’m turning my frustrations and other general emotions into positive, constructive things! Hi mom, aren’t you proud?! With marijuana usage becoming more and more accepted in society I believe more people will eventually go cold turkey after smoking themselves into oblivion first because why not, it’s fun and something to do.
I mean I haven’t quit forever; I plan on resuming as soon as I’ve figured out my next major moves in life. But wow taking a break is amazing and necessary for me at least. I’m looking forward to the day where I can roll a king size j and get suuuper duuuper blazed420bruh but right now I look forward to waking up everyday with a clear mind and ready to get shit done without having a dependence on my old pal pot. I feel good. Despite being annoyed and frustrated sometimes, I feel really fucking good. I’m grateful that I can appreciate life with and now without weed. Chuch.
I was recently regaled with the story of how, one night while snorkeling, a close friend of mine concocted a scheme. With the determination of a mad scientist stoner, he sealed off the snorkel tube with tape, save for a small hole -- into which he placed a blunt. As any experienced weed physicist would suspect, the blunt immediately burned through, filling his mask with smoke. While assumedly coming up coughing and gasping for non-marijuanated air, my boy also came to find the transparent plastic, as well as his face, covered in the nastiest black resin and tar. Serendipitously, I believe this anecdote, in all its illadvised stonerisms, is the physical embodiment of NagChampa13's newest tape.
Coming off a name change from Lowa Letta, NagChampa seems to have experienced a spiritual rebirth. "Psychedelics over errything" might as well be Naggy's mantra coursing through, Lowavader2: Return to the Core. But Naggy's vivid description of South Florida wildlife mixed with sexcapades, enhanced by rampant drug use, glued together with the unlikely medium of hip-hop, saves the tape from being yet another ode to mind bending strips and shrooms. Each disparate element above has its own namesake track (those dedicated to women far outnumbering everything else), but Naggy is at his best when he is able to unite these concepts with the ever-bouncy and unique beats. This is seen to greatest effect on the final track, Enter the Core, fitting as the eponymous apotheosis for the tape. Like the venus flytrap referenced on track 2, Naggy is able to lure the listener into his zany, tripped out world by making it immediately accessible.
Technically, Naggy affects a slacker, strung out flow, which at times sounds like he's barely trying. Regardless of his potential abilities, the emphasis is definitely not on complex, multisyllabic fast-raps. Hook repitition, honesty, and the keen aptitude for mood ('vibes') are Naggy's biggest strength's on the tape. The unassuming flow belies the headier concepts evident when the music is fully examined. Naggy strikes me as the kind of guy who could chop it up for hours on some sacred geometry shit, but still in the same laidback, almost monotone vibe. At the same time, he's a rapper with the ability to delve into new age spiritual propositions of sharing psychedelics with a lover, while also dipping back into the raw, nasty hook of "Imma fuck you all night" on the aptly named 11th track.
While there may be an undue amount of sex jam favoritism on the album, tracks like Naggy Cascade (featuring fellow Floridian up-and-comer Denzel Curry) show that when Naggy can pull it off, it's just so right. Here, both rappers channel a Aquemini-era Andre 3000 with funked out, jazzy background wails. Near the back end of the album, Naggy's metaphor game has ascended to equating yo girl's pussy with 'another dimension' to explore. Indeed, the blending of sexual and natural imagery kaleidoscoped through psychedelics shows Naggy is coming into the album with a fully developed internal mythology and unique style, rather than following a trend.
At the end of the day, Lowavader2: Return to the Core is perhaps best described as a medium for fantasy/wish fulfillment, achievement of a near dream state. Curry's bars, ironically, exemplify this attitude: "As I sit here in my voluptuous, white, cocaine Benz... as I look across a comet I see a smooth playa mack in my mirror... which is myself." Naggy is not one to put on a front, but the drug and sexual references seem less like anecdotes grasping for authenticity than painting a potential portrait of the South Florida landscapes, as yet only explored by Naggy's collaborators, such as Lofty305 of Metro Zu. It's an exercise in self-creation, as well as psychedelic self-reflection, best described by Naggy himself: he's an intergalactic mystical shaman, rap is his medium, but he's content to bring in Darth Vader, Space Jam, Pac-Man samples, and absurd lewdity, all in the attempts of carving out his own South Florida island. It's NagChampa13, this is his world of free-associative storytelling, and it's on you to imbibe your favorite substance and try to follow along.
Download the album on iTunes and other retailers, or stream from Rdio and other services.
Hey, this is Zach. I am very happy to have released my debut album. I spent 15 months working on this music from the time I started making beats until the time I quit mixing (my apologies for any inconsistencies in the mix, but my eardrum ruptured on a flight about halfway through the process, and the effects can certainly be heard). And it took 15 years from the time I started rapping. I'm a patient guy, and I like things to happen naturally, so I spent a long long time getting good at rapping, and then more time going very deep into the history of both music, and the act of listening (I taught myself traps, took lessons in tabla for 4 years, and got an MA studying the history of sampling for starters).
In my music I showcase a persona that is amplified from my quotidian self, but nonetheless real. Those who have seen me in trying and elated times know this, but for those who know me only casually much of my persona is unexpected. But if you listen past the surface of the sounds you will find all of the wisdom and knowledge and perspective I have accumulated thus far in my life. I truly believe that I have something to offer the world that goes beyond a trend, or something momentary. I hope that you will find in this music, and these words, an increased capacity to know and live your own life. It's not easy doing something impossible. And patience in its truest form is not something serene, but riddled with doubt and pain. But people hold on, it gets better I promise.
In the last 20 years rap music has changed the way that our society looks at the narcotics trade. It has become a realm akin to the Wild West, and organized crime. Today the mythic lore of the cocaine industry has become a staple of hip hop and pop culture. But through it all the results have been rather typical and predictable: sell drugs, be bad, get rich, and maybe lose it all. But for those who have experienced the drug trade, the wide variety of experiences that it yields goes well beyond tales of rags to riches. Zachg is the first artist to emerge with first hand tales of South Florida's cocaine industry, and a unique unheralded perspective. At the age of 10 he was placed under police protection from Griselda Blanco, the Queen of Cocaine. The "g" in Zachg stands for Granger, which is Zach's middle name. It came from a drug smuggler. Zachg's existence--inextricably bound to the cocaine industry---forces us to re-examine everything we think we know about wrong and right, and black and white.
We know how to handle the neat and tidy tales of people getting rich from selling drugs. But how about the lawyer who represents all the real drug dealers and drug smugglers? What's that story like, and what can it tell us about our society? And further, what is it like for the children of that lawyer? What happens to young people who grow up subjected to the circumstances of the drug trade, and call criminals friend? Do they lose themselves and conform to society's singular prescription of wrong and right, or do they fracture reality and change society to accommodate their robust perspective? This record asks those questions and gives the audience a space to find the answers.
Zachg is not white, and Zachg is not black. He is somewhere in between collapsing the assumptions that support such divisive summaries of people. He has an MA from NYU studying the history of sampling and avant garde music, but he was first arrested at the age of 9. He grew up in a gated community, but he has been homeless, and sold weed to be able to afford to eat. On South.Florida.Mountains. you will find what one man driven by the force of the narcotics trade is capable of. Zachg did the raps, he did the beats, he recorded the sessions, and he mixed the whole album. He also founded the label, did the art, and did all the PR. This is the story of one man doing things that other people said would be impossible, and succeeding without making a fuss about it. This record is the culmination of 15 years of careful artistic practice, and thoughtful meditation on a life filled with amazing experiences. Our society often uses the phrase "move a mountain," to describe a seemingly impossible feat. This album is about the even more impossible feat of revealing mountains where the rest of the world sees none, and then moving them.
South.Florida.Mountains. is available on iTunes and all other digital music vendors and streaming platforms now, with special limited handmade-physical-disc-packages coming late May.
Zachg is a rapper/producer/engineer; journalist and A&R for Mishka; journalist and A&R for Wax Poetics; community developer for Nomic. He is Jewish, from Broward County, born in 1981. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, and also reps for Orlando, New York, Oakland, Humboldt, and San Francisco.
Every piece of art is an opportunity. It's an opportunity to re-imagine things and change the world. It's an opportunity to either make a complaint or do something else. Many people would attempt to argue that using that opportunity to tell someone to go fuck themselves is somehow innately wrong, or otherwise undesirable. I am here to make a brief case in the opposite. As a way of life telling people to fuck off is no good, but being able to tell people to fuck off is a necessary tool for the survival of all contemporary humans. Having grown up the eldest son of a criminal defense attorney, I often had a rarified notion of wrong and right. Without doubt that informs my capacity to be an intelligent, positive, and productive person who is amply prepared to tell someone to go fuck themselves when need be. Without any further adieu though, allow me to elaborate on a few key points of my recent song "Can't Hate Right", and why what I'm doing is not wrong, and further why it is necessary.
1.) This is rap music. Much like baseball, a sport where one cannot cry, rap music is not for those whose emotions are easily swayed. Rap music was founded, in part, as a nonviolent form of conflict resolution. From those roots it inherited a time-tested and honored code by which disputes are settled. If I feel that you have wronged me, or I don't like you, I can do something about it with music. Considering that any human worth their merit has at one point or another found themselves in the midst of a conflict this shouldn't be too hard to understand. If someone does something that you don't like, we all have ways of resolving that. Some people resolve it by beating the offender, some beat someone or something else, some inflict or invite pain upon themselves, some people lift weights, some people play sports, some people bake, some people fuck, some people drink, some people do drugs, some people drive recklessly, and on and on. Within our society there are myriad means by which humans resolve conflict, and there are no humans who escape conflict. So then, why is making a diss song a poor means for me to resolve conflicts that I've had? No one gets hurt or intimidated, and people get some great art based on them.
2.) Shit is fucked completely, and no one is going to fix it. That's right, music is fucked up right now, but more importantly our entire society is fucked. That's because all structures are dissolving, and while that in and of itself is productive because it means the dissolution of ill-suited and ill-intentioned institutions, it is not productive on the whole. Society needs structure to function, so that means that as structure is disappearing from our society, society is also disappearing. Unless we very explicitly, and intentionally create new structures society will either disappear, or worse be re-cast in a more resolute and refined version of its previous oppressive incarnation. New structures don't get created by keeping your mouth shut, and abiding things that you think are wrong. New structures emerge when people persist that there is a more favorable reality than the current one, and they become ingrained in our cultures and societies when those people do not cease to persist. I am one of those people. I don't think that the world has to continue to be how it was, and the part of the world that I have the most affect on is music. In music I get to choose who I am, and I get to choose how I behave within this perverse melodrama. In this case I am choosing to call bullshit on some bullshit. Part of being able to make something new is knowing who's here to build, and who's here to try and scrap the place in real time. I build every day, but some days I devote some time to calling bullshit on scrappers at the same time. At the same damn time.
3.) Who else could say this shit? I don't have to worry about someone abandoning me or fucking my career up. I do everything it takes to release music on my own. I have no fears. That is a very uncommon position in the music industry. No matter how it may seem, many people in the music industry are in somebody's pocket, especially the ones that try and act cool. Piss off the wrong people, turn down a request from the wrong person, refuse to work with the wrong person, or anything else that foils the plans of someone who has power over you, and you're fucked. There are a lot of precarious revenue streams in the music industry. And with so many of today's artists setting out with designs to control those revenue streams, there is an emerging trend to shy away from all conflict. People are scared of what might happen if they call someone an asshole, or draw a dick on someone's picture. So, they advocate a world wherein conflicts are not settled with music. I'm not sure how conflict is resolved in that world, but I also don't want to know. I think it's total bullshit to even breathe in the direction of such a proposition. I fart in its general direction. Thankfully I was not raised in the season of the bitch, and I got my start rapping in battles listening to people say the worst things they could think of to try and sway my emotions. From that I learned that there is nothing anyone can say that will sway your emotions unless you let them. I also learned how to be ruthless about deconstructing people's egos. I have a unique background for this, and I am the proud owner of a unique set of circumstances in the music world.
4.) Why should bloggers be the only ones who get to critique? This diss song is just a form of critique, but it's rendered in rap words instead of article words. And why shouldn't I be able to respond to the world of music bloggers? Potchfork can trash a record, Complex can diss an entire era or region, but how are artists supposed to respond? Further how are artists supposed to respond to this entire regime of grotesque media? How does an artist respond to the fact that it takes a $5,000 PR agent to make it onto "the right websites"? Don't try and tell me that if the art is good enough then it will rise to the top, because we all know that isn't true in the age of the deluge. So what recourse falls to the ambitious artist then who does not agree with the given system, and wishes to exercise influence to change the system? In the immediate and social realm of music what recourse comes to those who make the music, how might they improve the conditions of the industry they toil in? Well, artists can make art, and so that's what I did. When the impetus for art is the resolution of institutional fallacies, and the format for art is rap music, and the artist at work is from a place that thrives on conflict (even amongst friends), then the result is likely to be the song here. Sure I could write an article about the things that I don't like about the current music industry, but I'm not a journalist, I'm an artist who happens to write well. It's true, you can catch more flies with honey, but you can burn down all the bridges to neanderthal towns with a blow torch. Fuck these bridges, fuck these fucking neanderthals. This is my fuckin blow torch.
5.) Punk's not dead. The first music I really got into was punk rock. I can't really say I ever lived a punk lifestyle, but there are certainly major elements that resonate with my disdain for authority, and my desire to disrupt convention through calculated irreverence. What's more punk than telling the gatekeepers to kiss my dick? Plenty of stuff, but not much in rap music. I don't give a shit if no one thinks I'm cool, and I don't give a shit if I get blacklisted out of every major music website there is. Because I won't get blacklisted from all of them, just some or a lot of them. And the ones who don't blacklist me, those are people who respect me. Fuck this whole game of snake and grass, and worms. You know if I like you, and I'm gonna know if you like me. Whatever happens from there doesn't matter, but I'm not part of this bullshit party where everyone blows smoke up the next person's butthole and prays for a fucking handjob from an assistant editor. Blow me, your site sucks, you're not balling off of music writing money, and you don't stand for shit except hiding your insecurity under lies. I have a picture of me holding Afrika Bambaata's personal copy of Trans-Europe Express.
The long and the short is, I can do everything these fuckwads can do, and do it better, and I can do the rest of it too. I write just as well as any of these bloggers, and better in most cases. But none of them make rap music. I rap better than all these tampon goon fake rap stars, plus I make my own beats, and record my own sessions, and mix my own songs. And then I run the label that releases and promotes my music. So you tell me how the fuck any of these one lane lames is even in a realm to be able to talk to me. There are levels to this shit, and beyond the levels are people like me. Folks really can't touch this because they are all just fractions of a whole, and I'm the whole thing overflowing. I am Zachg. I am from Broward County, Florida and I live in Las Vegas. I founded and run the label Rad Reef. I started rapping in 1999, and my first album is coming out 04.20.2014. It's called South.Florida.Mountains.
NatGeo Reissues is the purposeful redistribution of resources. Some folks call stuff like this GREEN, or sustainable, we call it "just another part of what we do." There are few things better than getting great mail, especially when it doesn't come in a standard size envelope. And when it comes to magazines there are few things greater than old National Geographics. Whether you're making collages, reading the articles, or both, NatGeo Reissues has you covered.
Just think about it: all around this country there is a bevy of brilliant content, and amazing source material going unused. We see this as a simple, casual, yet incredibly meaningful way to reconsider how we might find value, and inspiration in less obvious places. What's more contemporary than getting vintage magazines delivered to your door every month? And of course the proceeds go to funding Rad Reef. We aren't a valorous charity, but we are a valorous organization of people working hard to make the world a much better place.
Yes Yes Yall! We are very happy to announce our first lineup of events here in Las Vegas. We've partnered with some great folks, like Ableton, Downtown Project, Mishka, Nomic, and Wax Poetics to bring you some world class events with no cover charges. We've got a beatmaking workshop on Monday at 5:00 PM at Downtown Project's Learning Village. Certified Ableton Trainer Brett Davis will be on hand as well as Keyboard Kid, and Zachg. They will be sharing valuable insight on how to make music using computers.
After the beatmaking workshop just walk a few blocks West on Fremont to Beauty Bar to catch the party. We'll have a freestyle open mic to kick it off, and everyone is welcome to come rap. After that we'll get under way with performances from BK Beats, Keyboard Kid, Phil A, Western Tink, and Zachg. And then DJs Dielekt, and Edoc will keep the tunes moving and the party rolling for the rest of the evening. There will be giveaways from Ableton, and Mishka, and perhaps some more surprise goodies? You'll have to come to find out, but whatever you do expect to have a good time, and please check any ill vibes at the door because we still kill for peace.
And if you live in town, or happen to be visiting on Saturday the 15th be sure and swing by Insidestyle's loading dock for Wyle Style from 5:00-8:00 PM. Local artist Anna Duerden will perform along with Keyboard Kid, Zachg, and some more friends.
Music that came out in 2012 wins Grammys in 2014. Stone age, or internet age? As far as I can tell, winning a grammy is akin to getting a handjob from an ex-girlfriend, who you dumped, who has gone blind since yall broke up, and has no internet or television. She only has a radio. And the only people that come to visit her are old guys who own record labels, and don't pay attention to the nation's music except where it overlaps with their business' music.
The "people" who vote on the Grammys aren't out there researching music and getting to the core of what happened last year in our nation's music. The "people" who vote on Grammys choose candidates from a very short list, that has nothing to do with what's going on in our nation, and everything to do with what's going on in their pitifully reductive social circles.
And I truly do pity these folks. In an age where everything is flourishing around us, they're living like it's 1955, and they still know the same people and are truly clueless about the world at large.
We are proud to present the second single from Zachg's forthcoming album South.Florida.Mountains. "Hologramz" is a contemporary homage to a bygone era, when a hologram only stood for ultimate authenticity, and not some absurd simulacra. Thankfully all that heady bullshit is delivered aboard a tumbling behemoth of bass, drums, and some kind of instrument that is not from the USA. Prepare for Zach's album late this March, because it requires prepration?
Go peep our old shit while we get this thang proper.