Only In Kenya

Only In Kenya Lion

Those who know me know that I not only love great music of all kinds but also great toons such as power puff girls, shaolin showdown and mucha lucha. Here is a flash animation that combines both… The “Only in Kenya” flash animation with the really cool lion and equally cool tiger, who’s face incidentally resembles that of one of my two cats, hanging out somewhere in Kenya. I discovered this site called Weebl’s Stuff a couple of years ago and I still go back to it every so often. Why? Cause I can’t get enough of that clever animation and the catchy tune behind it. Maybe the Kenya Tourist Board should hook-up with these folks and license the animation for Kenyan promotional events…

I really like their “Intermission” animation too… great when you need to take a break

Kenya Dig It?

Kenya Dig It T-Shirt

I found a very interesting t-shirt design design on the Busted Tees website. This particular design is called ‘Kenya dig it?’ Interesting play on words from the 70s disco/funk era. What’s even funnier is the actual website description of the tee. It goes in part as follows…

“Busted Tees has teamed up with The Republic of Kenya’s National Tourism Coalition to bring you this exciting, wearable pro-Kenya message…”

Now this came as a suprise to me… Kenya has a National Tourism Coalition??? Who knew? I also didn’t know Kenya was twice the size of Nevada.

Now as far as I know, Kenya does not have a Tourism Coalition, unless that is Rainbow/NARC thing, however Kenya does have a national tourist board that promotes Kenyan tourism to the rest of the world. You can checkout their official website and great Kenyan pictures at the website.

Rap Music and the Decline of the Black Family

In the US, the African-American family is failing! This is especially evident when one walks around some of the lower income African-American communities in some of the major cities. Although there are a number of reasons for this decline, the two major factors that stand out for me as perpetuating this trend are the pervasiveness of irresponsible rap/hip-hop music and the lack of adequate leadership within the community to raise-up the youth into responsible young family oriented adults. Now I fear that the African family is also failing and this is in part for some of the exact same reasons that plague the African-American family. Now is the time for the leaders within the African communities to step up to the plate resume their responsibilities and for those within the hip-hop community, rap music is also one way that can help impart knowledge and wisdom.

More to come…

Virtual Earth vs. Google Maps. Bring it on!

The boys (and girls) at Google don’t waste much time do they? In response to Microsoft, Google too has now released their version of the Google Maps called Hybrid which also overlays labels with aerial satellite photos. Now if only they can add more detail to the maps then Ill be even more impressed. One thing that is really cool regardless is that these guys, including Yahoo, are all giving developers access map info via APIs that enables developers to create various cool applications such as bus stop locations in certain cities (in the US). Unfortunately the vast majority of these mapping applications are based upon US maps. Hopefully, we will begin to see more detailed, non US area maps so that developers around the world will also be able to create applications to take advantage of local mapping information.

Virtual Earth vs. Google Maps. Let the Games Begin!

Microsoft just came out with the beta version of their online mapping service, virtual Earth. Right off the bat I must say that I am really impressed, much, much more impressed than I was with Google Maps.

Now, though I haven’t had time to really mess around with it, there are two things that already stand out for me when exploring Virtual Earth.

1. The labels feature. I really like the labels feature that enables one to view the satellite photos with the street names, city names etc overlaid on the actual photos. So if you are looking at the satellite photo of Main Street, Anytown USA, Main Street is actually labeled on the photo.

2. The level of detailed information. I really like if the fact that if you pick a little third world country like… hmmm… I don’t know… lets say Kenya, Unlike Google Maps which would simply show you the country’s name, Virtual Earth not only pinpoints the three major cities, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, but actually includes a whole host of the small towns and villages all over Kenya. This, in my view, is the basic yet most important feature of any map. Maps need to have detailed information otherwise they are useless! Therefore, for those of you in countries outside the US and the UK, Virtual Earth is actually more useful than Google Maps

Now the downside to Virtual Earth is the fact that their aerial satellite maps are not as detailed in terms of the zoom level when looking at aerial photos outside the US/UK. For example, with Google Maps, I can get down to a level where I can view fuzzy pictures of Nairobi city where as with Virtual Earth, the zoom level stops a little over halfway cause they don’t have more detailed pictures. I wonder if they have plans to remedy that?

Now I don’t know if Google is planning to update the details of their maps but looks like Microsoft has thrown down the gauntlet. How will Google respond?

I will also explore these two services a little further and keep you updated real soon…

East, West, Tacos Guaymas is Best

Taco Guaymas

As far as good, authentic style Mexican food goes, Tacos Guaymas is rather underated however in my book it is numero uno and I must tell you why…

Taco Guaymas has two spots in Broadway Avenue in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood district. For you Nubian Underground (and other hip-hop) heads who are not familiar with Broadway Avenue, this is the street that Sir Mix-A-Lot raps about in his 2002 hit, “Posse on Broadway” of the album “Swass” I used to own this album when it first came out and I have very mixed feelings about it. A couple of the tracks are pretty cool but the rest are…  hmmm… but that is beside the point.

This weekend we went on a road trip to the eastern side of the state and decided to stop at this one particular Mexican restaurant we had been to before. I will not mention the name of the restaurant for obvious reasons. On this occasion however, there were not as many people eating there as one would have expectected kind of strange for a Saturday afternoon. The staff was friendly however, the service was rather slow. When the food arrived, it didn’t look very exciting. When I bit into the deep fried burrito, I realized my days of frequenting this one restaurant were numbered. The meat tasted funny and the cheese they used was either the fake cheese kind or was simply one of the worst cheeses I have ever tasted. The ground beef tacos were so-so, I could see the ground beef in the taco but I could not taste it so I’m not quite sure if that really was beef or tofu. The enchilada was not too bad but I think what helped was that they were chicken enchiladas. It takes a lot of effort to mess-up any sort of a chicken dish. Actually I couldn’t finish the meal and I had to spit out a mouthful of burrito. I really wanted to gag but I thought going out into the street and gagging right beside the restaurant would simply not leave a very good impression (just to let you know in all fairness, I did not get food poisoning or anything like that).

Now I must admit there is a positive side to this story too. The restaurant has a great bakery with very reasonable prices and they also serve a sans-alcoholic fizzy sangria drink called Señorial. No doubt this is the best soda I have ever drunk! For those of you who know Vimto, it kind of tastes like that. Also that evening when we got back to Seattle, the first thing we did was to stop by Tacos Guaymas for their tortilla soup, to wash out the taste of the awful lunch that I had earlier still lingering in my mouth!

So what is it about Taco Guaymas that makes it so good? Of all the Mexican restaurants I have been to, and with the exception of two including the one mentioned above, I have had pretty decent dining experiences at most. In the case of Tacos Guaymas, their meals seem to have a less commercialized, more authentic taste and feel to them. The food is absolutely top-notch. The prices are a little high but totally worth it and the staff are great. Unless you’re looking for an upscale pretentious type of restaurant, I highly recommend that you find you way to Tacos Guaymas and enjoy great Mexican cooking! Oh and I should mention, Tacos Guaymas also serves Señorial Sangria awesome!

Platinum Breakz Classics

Here are two of my ten all time favorite cds. They also just happen to be drum n bass releases, the frst one, a double cd set was released by ffrr in January 1997 . The second, also a double cd set was released the following year in June. Both I and II were all Metalheadz artists.

I was first first introdued to these cds in 97′ when I was loaned PBkz by a Russian friend and the second, PBkz II, which I eagerly anticipated, I bought in 98′ at Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol. Ever since, I have consistantly listened to them on a monthly basis and I would certainly recommend these to anyone interested in drum n’ bass.

This is how much I love these cds. I would not lend them to anyone! Period!

Platinum Breakz Platinum Breakz II

Based on the above two, I was a little disappointed when PBkz III came out. Its a pretty decent cd, however I don’t think its up to par with the first two and second off all, it is a single and not a double cd set. Hopefully PBkz IV (if it comes out) will follow the tradition of the first two.

Why I Stopped Listening to Hip-Hop Part 1

Before I start ranting, I need to point out one thing… I have loved hip-hop and have always been a head from day one… from the time when I first heard the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”, I was instantly hooked. I also remember very clearly that during the 80s, I was one of very few Kenyan’s who actively sought out and listened to mainly rap music… ahh… the good ole days! I laugh now when I think back how all my buddies thought I was really lame for listening to “break-dance” music as they called it and how they insisted that music was just a fad that would soon fade away and that since break-dancing was dead, I too also needed to bury the music and move on with the times. Well? Rap didn’t die, it is still here with us. I would argue though that rap today is simply a shadow of what it was in the early to mid 80s.

So, what happened? How did hip-hop come to be a shadow of its former past? Let me start by looking back at a couple of significant events that happened in the mid to late 80s. I still clearly remember the first rap music tapes that I bought that contained violent and extremely explicit lyrics. This was in 1987. Although folks like Ice-T was the original gangster, rapping about the violent life in LA as a gangster (and he had his fair share of controversial tracks), when NWA came out with their album titled “Straight Outta Compton” in 1988 this album in my opinion was the turning point in the whole gangsta rap genre.. I think in part, living in LA was a huge influence in the music of both Ice-T and N.W.A and understanding the history of LA, the gangs and the LAPD is key to understanding their lyrics… But I digress… A year later a group called 2 Live Crew came out with an album titled, “As Nasty As They Wanna Be.” This album has the most sexually explicit (c)rap I had ever heard. Talk about verbal porn diarrhea! Now l must be totally honest with you, at that time, when I first got these albums, I thought the music was totally awesome and the rappers were geniuses. Maybe it was the rebellious teenager in me. I had quite a collection of such music and in fact it so happened that I stopped buying music that did not have the parental advisory label in the front. I think for many people today, this sort of attitude is the norm. But as the years went by, as I grow-up and matured and also as I rediscovered my Christian faith, I slowly but surely came to the realization that this type of rap music was absolute and utter trash. Not only are many of the lifestyles promoted by many of these rappers degrading to women (and to men too) but a lot of the music encourages destructive lifestyles and has set back the African American community in many ways…

This is part of an article that I wrote for Nubian Underground. The complete article can be found by going to this link.

The Impetus

Nubian Underground Logo

Hey ya! After a little research, a couple of downloads and a day or so of tweaking and configuring I finally have my blog, Andaialogue up and running. The current design is rather generic (read, not in the Nubian Underground style) but that will change in the next couple of weeks or so.

So, what’s with this blog anyway? Is this another case of me simply jumping onto the blogger band wagon? Not quite. See besides African hip-hop, I have a number of interests including (not in any particular order of importance), drum n bass music, international news and politics, technology, content management systems, web development and the internet, traveling, martial arts, traditional Japanese movies, my Christian faith and many more… It just so happens that I cannot quite express my thoughts and musings about a number of these interests of mine quite adequately in on Nubian Underground, and even some of my Nubian Underground related thoughts may be a sentence or two, and therefore once again could not be adequately expressed on Nubian Underground. It struck me that maybe the best way to approach this was simply to set up a blog and incorporate it as a part of Nubian Underground. Then I can have an Africanized supposition of random thoughts and musings to my hearts desire.

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