Monday, April 26, 2010

Bouncing Cats

A couple years ago, the Rock Steady Crew (Crazy Legs, Ynot & myself) along with director Nabil Elderkin traveled to Africa to shoot a documentary titled, "Bouncing Cats." This film is about Abrahmz Tekya and the Breakdance Project Uganda's effort to better the lives of misplaced children affected by war. The week I spent in Africa with Abrahmz inspired me more than words can express.

"Bouncing Cats" is set to debut at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Tuesday April 27th; Lido Regency Theatre 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach Ca 92663. For tickets & more info;

*Photo by Ervin Arana (2007)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R.I.P. Guru

Legendary MC Guru of Gang Starr passed away on the morning of April 19th after losing a battle with cancer. Guru was one of the first MC's I paid attention to. He provoked me to think and his lyrical content helped me understand life a little better. Thank you for your contribution to Hip Hop, Music & Life. Rest In Peace Guru

Friday, April 16, 2010

Record Store Day

Record store day was founded in 2007 to celebrate the unique culture of independent record stores throughout the world. I've spent a lot time at record stores and have fallen in love with this culture. So I thought I'd share my experiences with some of my favorite record stores. Here are a few words along with a record store pictorial...

The first record store I ever stepped into was Bagatelle Records. Every payday, I used to rush over to Bagatelle and dig through as many boxes of records as I possibly could. The store has it's designated sections for different genres of music, but my favorite place to dig, is in the random boxes of records Steve (the owner) has laying around the store. Steve always has more records stashed away somewhere, and you never know when he'll pull them out for you to look through. I'd say 80 percent of my record collection comes from Bagatelle. (260 Atlantic Avenue Long Beach, CA 90802)

Fingerprints has a nice selection of records, that I can't find anywhere else. I've taking a lot of chances on records there and found out about a lot of artist that I'm now a huge fan of. Don't sleep on Fingerprints. (4612-B E 2nd St Long Beach, CA 90803)

Fatbeats on Melrose is my first stop for Hip Hop. Whether I'm looking for something that just dropped or a classic 12" I may have missed, Fatbeats usually has it and has it cheap. (7600 Melrose Ave Suite J 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90046)

Then there's Amoeba Music. What can I say, the store feels like you're in music heaven. You can dig through the clearance section and find some serious heat for as low as $0.50. Any genre of music, Electronica, House, Hip Hop, Cumbia, and even country. Amoeba has something for EVERYONE! (6400 West Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028)

*Photography by Ervin Arana (2010)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fire Away

This Tuesday April 20th at 6pm, Ozomatli will be performing at Amoeba Music (6400 Sunset Blvd Hollywood CA 90028) to celebrate the release of their new album Fire Away. I admit, I've been a little out of touch with Ozomatli's latest work and I haven't seen them perform for a couple years now, so I look forward to reconnecting with one of my favorite bands! For more info;

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank You Afro Funké

This past Thursday night, I got to share the decks with some very inspirational DJ's. Jeremy Sole & Glenn Red have been digging deep to bring you feel good music from all around the globe. So for the Root Down & Afro Funké to come together was just outrageous! I enjoyed the music so much, I didn't get to shoot as much as I wanted to, but I did manage to take a few shots...

*Photography by Ervin Arana (2010)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Need A Dollar

Aloe Blacc's new single, also happens to be the theme song for HBO's new show "How To Make It In America." Check out Aloe perform the track live at The Do Over (Winter Music Conference 2010) with Jeremy Sole.

*Taken from

Monday, April 5, 2010

Soul Sessions

My first time spinning at Soul Sessions. Friday April 9th, you don't want to miss this night, I have the honor of opening up for what is sure to be a BANGIN' Percussion/DJ performance by Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill & DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies. On top of that, the Soul Sessions Crew will be holding it down as usual! All happening at the Grand Star in downtown LA; 943 N Broadway; 21+ $5 before 10:30pm $10 after. For more info;

*Download Bobo Meets Rhettmatic Mixtape;

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Frosty Freeze (R.I.P.)

On April 3rd 2008, we lost a true legend and pioneer of Hip Hop culture. Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, member of the Rock Steady Crew was known for his inventive acrobatics and comedic style. His character inspired so many bboys & bgirls. It is without question, the dance world would not be where it is today without Frosty Freeze and his contributions!

Peep; Frosty Freeze Tribute arranged by Popmaster Fabel. You can also see Frosty in some of Hip Hop's classic's documentaries/flims; Flashdance, Wild Style, Style Wars & The Freshest Kids!

*Rock Steady Crew performance at The Common Ground; photographed by Martha Cooper (1981)

My first love, my introduction to Hip Hop was through bboy culture. I started breakin' in 1993, paid a lot of dues and eventually I was recruited into the Rock Steady Crew. Frosty Freeze was there the day I got down and he welcomed me with open arms. He made me feel like I was part of the family and he reinforced that feeling when I ran into him again in San Jose about a year later. Frosty never forgot a face and always treated you like a real person. For that I will never forget him!

*Photographed at Easy Rock's house with Frosty Freeze & Ice Man the day I got down with Rock Steady (2002)