Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bavu So Real... But Scion Isn't...

(Credited to Matt Sonzala @ HOUSTON SO REAL)

Toyota Scion Uses Hip-Hop To Sell Their Cars… Then Censors Hip-Hop Artist.

TEXAS, August 24, 2005. Austin based rapper Bavu Blakes was pleasantly surprised yesterday (Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005) when he got the call from Jay Cortez of Inform Ventures, LLC (info below) announcing that he had been selected from a pool of over 2,000 submissions as a Top Ten Finalist in the Scion: Nextup contest.

According to, the “Scion: Nextup contest is holding it's second annual emcee contest which gives unsigned emcees the chance to win a $50,000 marketing deal from Scion. Judges, DJ Premier, Green Lantern and Sean Cane will filter through the applicants to find the ten best. The online contest will then feature the top 10 underground artists original songs on the Scion: Nextup site for visitors to vote on. The emcee(s) with the highest number of votes will win. Prizes include $5000 in cash, the opportunity to perform at Scion events and a fully-produced music video for their winning song.”

Bavu Blakes received an affidavit stating that he was in the Top Ten – chosen by DJ Premier, Green Lantern and Sean Cane, and that voting would commence, online, Monday August 29th on the website

Today, he received a call, again from Jay Cortez, stating that he had been removed from the contest because of the political lyrics in his song “Black Gold.

The lyrics in question are:

1. "Now Bush and bin Laden got so much they rotten"
2. "Texas home of the real death row"
3. "What'd we really go to Iraq fo?"

In reference to line #2, Bavu Blakes was asked if he was referring to the Los Angeles based company Death Row Records.

While we understand that any corporate entity has the right to include whoever it wants in their promotions and marketing strategies, we find it quite funny that a company so hell bent on using hip-hop to promote it’s products would have the audacity to censor an artist.

Inform Ventures, the company working with Scion on this promotion has an interesting mission statement on it’s website

“Our environment is in transition. Information outlets have increased, forming a new infrastructure for the next generation. We create messages compatible with this new infrastructure then disseminate that message through our media and promotions network.”

And they censor the words of the people who they are presumably trying to reach.

Scion as a company has garnered a lot of praise and has also taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years for their co-opting of hip-hop music and culture to sell their cars. Does this action prove the nay sayers right? Find out for yourself. We feel as though Scion and Inform Ventures need to be taken to task for their decision. If they are so down with the streets and hip-hop culture then why are they trying to censor one of it’s strongest voices?

Chuck D once said that hip-hop is the CNN of the streets. If Scion and Inform Ventures can’t handle that, maybe they should just leave it alone.

We’d love to talk with you about this situation. Please feel free to call or email myself, Matt Sonzala at any time. Contact information for Bavu Blakes also follows.

Matt Sonzala, Pushermania Promotions
Email: matt at

Bavu Blakes

Jay Cortez
Inform Ventures, LLC
3361 Glendale Blvd., Suite 1
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Direct: 323.906.0728
Fax: 323.906.0725
Email: jay at


EASY...Typical Bullshit.... I heard the "Black Gold" Track (I think at the SA Show) it is what it is in terms of political correctness, but then again... it just shows how the corporate mind frame thinks in regards to the Hip Hop Culture... The whole "express ya self" sentiment died out years ago in the eyes of corporations that lure you with $$ and sponsorship bullshit.. then turn around and say... oh but you cant say this and you made reference to this... Would they have kept the track had he plainly spoke on SOARING GAS PRICES for their signature Vehicles...

They should just label it an UNSIGNED MC Search for songs that have nothing political, cussing or require any real train of thought... Then Vu would still be in contention....

It's one thing to makes subtle music/artist sacrifices if your signed to a label and their trying to market you efficiently, it's another thing to sacrifice artistry for a non-music coporation who is making $$$$$$$$$$ off of our culture, but offering jack shit in return...

FURTHERMORE... IM SUPRISED AS FUCK THAT DJ "WALK THRU THE UNDERGROUND HOLDING OUR TORCH" PREMIER ..Would judge a contest that was so blatant with it's censoring practices... brings to mind the whole "Yall Are Violating, Straight Up and Down" Rant on The Moment of Truth Album.... Matt just said that he hasn't heard from Premier yet, but hopes that he speaks on it...

Like The Legendary K-O Would Say.. FUCK'EM ALL

I know SCION didn't even listen to my submission... as I started it out with a Mr. Mr. Scarface Sample that said "I DONT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE CHATTER IN THE BACKGROUND"

That was ya boy simply making a point to them fools..


I aint got nothing against the vehicles...the hard-workers, sales folks, finance folks, etc.. that do their jobs on an everyday basis for their Scion employer.. BUT Simply the practices used for this contest in general... I can't even front...SCION has put together some memorable ass Hip-Hop shows with LEGENDS in the last year... Some that alot of my people have taken part of and showcased for, but the question remains at what PRICE ? and what is the Trade Off ? I guess it really aint different than the folks @ KOOL or MARLBORO that shove FREE PACKS of Cigarettes down ya throat at the clubs for filling out a survey... It basically boils down to a GIVE and TAKE... You Give folks your best and they find some way to TAKE it from you... One of lifes many cruel rules... Wack!


PS. for those that aint heard the "Black Gold" Joint.. Vu basically created a whole new song off the verse/topic he spit on my album cut from "The Lockdown Sessions" entitled "IMAGINE THAT".. Will post up the original joint soon cause some folks slept on that realness..... YUP!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Show, The Support and The Aftermath

"Damn right the Fire Marshall wanna shut us down"-Ludacris (Stand Up)

I aint gon' lie to you, if you wasn't @ The Rhythm Room this past Saturday (August 6, 2005) for the monthly BENCH (Brought to you by BBC and Comp 1) then you missed the absolute best show I have ever been blessed enough to rock and be a apart of. Usually, I get hit up w/ emails, phone calls, guest book entries from my supporters after one of my shows, One of them selfish perks an artist lives for to see what folks thought about it. I have neeeeeevvvvver evvvvveeeer sat and wrote my own review about a show, but just this once, I will break it down because daaaaaamn.. It was definitely a sight to see.

The Rhythm Room was stuuuupid packed..It had to be well over 85-90 degrees in that bitch come show time, if anyone has ever been to this spot in the City's Old 6th Ward section you will know that the venue is a local and regional live band setting, equipped w/ a decent bar, free water cooler, pool tables, decent sound and what felt like absolutely no A.C. at all. The line-up included Up and Coming local Hip Hop acts and DJ's still hustling right outside the commercial walls to make a new for themselves.

After some slight group delays and Comp 1' thoroughly spinning the B-Boys into a Frenzy w/ the Old Skool Classics, No Reccs(sp) took the stage first and got the crowd amped up with his One Man Show. The beat-box technician launched into his story telling/sound effect filled set and showed the crowd a taste of his talents, including renditions of Audio Two's "Top Billin'" and Jay-Z's "Brush ya Shoulders Off".. a nice jump-off for the night originality wise. With the crowd now gathering closer to the stage, The 3 Man Turntable exhibition consisting of Akshun Kid (Krackernuttz), DJ Remix and DJ Baby Jae (Krackernuttz) handled up on the wheels of steel and laced the crowd with Gem after Gem, mixing, cutting and slicing the soundscape with their variety of musick. It was tooo gangsta. The highlight was when the morphed into Biggie's "10 Crack Commandments".. Sick

With the venue reaching unbearable heat, folks mingled, hit the bar and gathered themselves back up to the front for the Video Premier of my new street joint "Head Banger Boogie Monster" Directed by Houston's Own FLY GUY PRODUCTIONS. The soon to be released DVD contained an intro from Latium/Universal Recording Artist Rob-G and featured a gang of cameos from local Hip Hop Luminaries such as The S.W.A.T. Click, S.I., Lower Life Form, Savvi, Que and Dark Sunz to name a few. The reaction from the crowd floored me, heads applauded, screamed...straight up victory cheered for ya boy...I was so amped up on the side of the stage I almost couldn't contain myself...

BBC introduces me... When I walked onto the stage.. maaan. shit was electric, nothing but fist pumpin.... My hype-man Chico was already screaming at folks, "Yall muthafuckas ready for Zilla"... The beat drops... GAME OVER!!!!!! ...I love the transformation that takes place when I step on that stage, there is nothing else like it... No high, No alcohol, No aphrodisiac, nada...I could see the look in peoples faces.. I can feel their vibe, their current running through me.. that shit is just.. crazy.. I will leave it up to the folks that attended the show to comment on my performance, I can't critique my own shit.. but I think I held it down.. naw, fuck that.. I know I held it down.

The Highlights of the evening for me was to bring out The Legenday K-O. We performed the "Untitled" track from their forthcoming "48 Seasons" which then segued into their underground classic "WORLD REKNOWN". D was so hype on the delivery that I thought his vocals was gonna jump through folks chest in the front row NEO style... Mic back doored him with the same intensity and gave the crowd an unbelievable treat, as well as me a breather... I ended the show with the what I think the crowd was waiting for and that was "HEAD BANGER BOOGIE MONSTER"..I got so caught up in everyone screaming the chorus and leaning down talking to Druski from fly guy that I missed the opening lines of the 3rd verse... Thank god for the hype-man, hahaha.. I reeled it back and ended it the shit ZILLA STYLE...

The Encore.. WOW...I'd be lying if I said I wasn't prepared for it.. I learned that lesson in San Antonio a couple weeks ago when I wasn't prepared for an ENCORE and had to freestyle over the "LEAN BACK INSTRUMENTAL".. hahaha.. needless to say, San Antonio pulled up their pants and rocked away w/ ya boy.. haha, but this time I added a track just in case it happened.. and it did... I broke out "LEAVE YOU" from the archives and the crowd ate it up.. That was probably when it hit me just how much love these folks was throwing my way...I think I had my eyes closed for the first 2 verses cause I was getting a little overwhelmed.. When it was all said and down... I just had to let the mic hang on that one...Maaan.

At this point.. folks are exhausted.. hit the bar on the "last call blast" and sucked it up and sweated it out for THE NIYAT. The original intention was not for NIYAT to hit the stage this late, but there was a delay in their arrival which caused them to get pushed back. It was unfortunate because the crowd had moved to the back of the venue and outside to get some air, so it was not a reflection of any sorts involving their status. Regardless, a nice gathering of the Hip Hop faithful gathered in the front of the stage for'em and them boys launched into a fierce set, backed with Bangin Ass Beats and nothing but darts courtesy of SNAP, D-OLOGY, KHALIF(SP) and Tabu.. Kris aka Shadow held them boys down on the Video steez as folks was pumpin' their fist for the Subterrenean Clan, including the LATE NITE SNAX CREW. These cats are definitely onto something, they just need more oppurtunities to show these heads how it's done.

Overall, the show was an incredible success.. the funny thing is..I personally felt soooo incomplete... I gave my absolute best show on one of the worst nights of my life...I left my heart and soul on that stage for yall... slowly walked off into the corner and broke...cracked...thanked the man upstairs for giving me the strength to finish and pulled myself back together to greet my people. Some folks knew it though, knew what all I had on my plate prior to the show, they could see it in my face, movements... It's those curve balls that life sometimes tosses at you. Sooner or later you catch up to the pitch and knock it out of the park, but you got to maintain your stance, if you know what I mean. Life is a series of these scenarios, But dogg.. I LOVE THE MUSIC...let me repeat...I lovvvve the music... So just like the sample from my track says, "I don't wanna leave you, but you leave me no other choice"... My reply is simply the same..."I Ain't Going No Where... Naw.. I Ain't Going No Where"... U Feel Me? -ZILLA

All Photos Courtesy of HOUSTONHIPHOP.COM

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Bench Presents: THE ARRIVAL w/ ZILLA & CO.

This Saturday August 6, 2005 it's going down @ The Rhythm Room. I will be headlining a show also featuring The Niyat and a turntablist exhibition by DJ Baby Jae(K-Nuttz),Akshun Kid(K-Nuttz) and Remix. Get there early or you may not make it in the door, it's been a minute since i've rocked a show here in the "H".. so get ready for War.. The spots gonna be on fiyah.. S.W.A.T. Will be in the building, Northside will be in the building. The Official particulars are listed as follows:

The Bench Presents: THE ARRIVAL
August 6, 2005 @ The Rhythm Room
1815 Washington Ave.
w/ DJ's Comp 1,
Baby J, Akshun Kid and Remix
Performing a 3 Man Turntable Exhibition.
$7 admission
Ladies Free Before 11pm
Artist Showcase by AIR LUST 713

Yes Indeed..we will also be debuting the "HEAD BANGER BOOGIE MONSTER" Video as produced/shot by FLY GUY PRODUCTIONS...

Don't ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Support Ya Boy!!