by Kyle Castillo [ a short piece of flash fiction ]
It has been four days and three nights since we parked the car at the entrance to the trailhead. At least by my calculations; though I have been stumbling in and out of consciousness for at least half that time.
It was the morning of the second day that I stumbled upon the rock that caused me this injury, rendering me unable to move on towards the summit. If not for the kerchief Heidi wears around her neck, blood loss would have killed me days ago.
She has been gone all day. Hopefully she has found whoever else it is that is camping on this mountain and conveyed to them that we need help. We know they are here because we hear their chanting as dusk falls every evening. Some foreign tongue, yelping to the rhythm of a primitive drum pattern. “We should not have come here” I keep telling myself. When they find me… If they find me- will they even help?
Heidi managed to stumble upon the coals of an extinguished fire and found some scraps of fish, which she brought me to eat last night. Surely, she cannot expect me to sustain my life on a few heads of trout, after having gone two days without a drop of water. I love her so much, and I cannot blame her if I die here, on this mountain. She has stood by me this long, and if she doesn’t return tonight I will not hold it against her. She is no hunter; and her survival depends just as much on getting back to the road as mine. Please God, when they find me, let them be a kind people.
Tonight the chanting is louder then ever. I just know they will pass this tree by morning. They must. It’s on the trail. They must hear my screams. Even through their wild drum beating and chanting. I am yelling at my soul’s capacity… why can’t they hear me?
I know now Heidi has given up and put her life before mine. I forgive her, for her animal instinct. Surely the coyotes have killed her by now if she was not picked up by a passing day hiker. Consciousness no longer befriends me. What few glimpses I have sneaked through my sinking eyelids showed me nothing. Though I hear their chanting and drumming as if they were standing right beside me, beating a hide at my ear, I see only black.
Been feeling a lot of pressure to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Although I seem to be doing fine where I’m at. It is a little discouraging when my youngest cousin buys a house, announces he’s having a child and will follow the birth with a marriage- all before he hits 30.
The Craptastic Voyage Presents: Top 10 Albums of 2010 (pt.3, #6)
Eternia & Moss - At Last
My number 6 record of 2010 comes from emcee/producer duo Eternia & Moss. In short, this album is a banger, start to finish. Unlike many instances where a female rappers gender takes precedence over her over-all skill, At Last is an example of quite the opposite. As a listener, and hip-hop fan, I often forget what a male-dominated / sexist industry hip-hop can be when listening to this. All Summer this was one of my go to records for a hot day when I just wanted to roll the windows down and cruise around at 30 mph lettin’ my shit bump.
Subject matter on this album ranges from the highly personal to good old fashioned punchline-oriented boom bap.
Beatwise, Moss provides some straight neck-breakers… always high energy, even when Eternia is touching on issues less-then upbeat. An unlikely, but highly compatible combo. I really hope to see a follow up to this record in 2011.
The Craptastic Voyage Presents: Top 10 Albums of 2010 (pt.2, #7)
2Mex “My Fanbase Will Destroy You”
Clocking in at number 7 on my year end countdown, is My Fanbase Will Destroy You by Los Angeles based emcee 2Mex.
This album is a great example of 2Mex's vast array of influence, which spans from LA style 90's era hip-hop to current day indie rock. Listening to this album, it's easy to see how 2Mex's fanbase spans a variety of fans- from hip-hop cats to the less boom-bap inclined.
The rhymes are personal; relating to life, growing up / older and other topics most of us can relate to. For me, that’s a big part of this artist appeal. Much like listening to an Atmosphere, or Sage Francis album, the subject matter allows the listener to place themselves in the emcees shoes, more so, then say, something about toting guns and stacking money (although I do enjoy that too).
Production-wise there are many organic sounds on this record (guitars, harps, etc) as well as electronic bleeps and blips.
Over all, like the album title suggest, it’s a record any 2Mex fan (old or new) will love.
Note: This album marks 2Mex's first release on Rhode Island based record label Strange Famous.
I have only ever tried this beer on tap at Trinity, so I am pretty stoked that I can now enjoy it in the comfort of my home for less then $2 bucks a pop. For more info, check out Narragansett Porter at the brewery website, here.
The Craptastic Voyage Presents: Top 10 Albums of 2010 (pt.1, 8 through 10)
Here it is folks, my picks for the top ten albums of 2010, with brief explanations of why I love(d) these records.
#10 - Bun B: No Mixtape The precursor to Buns official 2010 joint Trill OG may have very well out shined the full-length. With beats ranging from Buns typical southern bass anthems to the Rob Base & DJ EZ-rock borrowed “Trill OG” (the song), this anti-mixtape gave us a chance to hear Bun shine over a diverse array of music as well as hearing Bun as the primary emcee, unlike the guest-heavy Trill OG album.
#9 - Vinnie Paz: Season of the Assasin Paz, as an artist, has grown tremendously in terms of his subject-matter, and while it’s always a great thing to hear an artist evolve, sometimes you just wanna bust out those old joints. While there’s no shortage of Vinnie Paz braggadocio on recent Jedi Mind Tricks albums, or Army of the Pharoahs comps, Season… stands out for two reasons: A) We hear Vinnie on an array of tracks produced by multiple producers (not just Stoupe; not that just Stoupe is a bad thing) and B) While there are guests on the album, Vinnie is the feature presentation and it is very clear. These two reasons combined give us a full-length Paz album lying somewhere between familiar territory and something we’ve never heard.
#8 - Skyzoo & Illmind: Live from the Tape Deck The title of this album seems very fitting to me, because there is an energy present that I haven’t felt from a hip-hop record since I was actually buying tapes. Not that this is by any means boring 90’s throwback-rap. This is something new. And to open your album with a song that is composed of one long verse followed by one long (instrumental) chorus takes balls, as well as some serious skill to pull off. To keep that momentum going though is a feat few emcee/producer combos have pulled off in a while. The lead single, “Burn Notice”, which features Heltah Skeltah is a great example of what the Duck Down roster (old & new) sounds like today- a force to be reckoned with, no doubt.