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"If You Look At My Life (How To Understand Autobiographical Rap)"

Starpower of the Dugout released a mash-up mixtape over the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds which shapes his mentality through speakers. From his lost loves to his carnal let downs, Starpower divulges his diary over mixed, blended California instrumentals. Of all the mixes mentioned heretofore, Starpower’s probably has the most range, infusing irreverence and contemplation naturally. Never one to rebuff overly personal description, it seems Starpower readied this work for the internet by making it an Attention Deficit-friendly 25 minutes of unleashed id and superego. Instead of the radio rundown (Batman vs. Superman) these autobiographical songs are making the web a desired place for in-depth listening sessions. -

"StarPower Feature"

Urban Mainstream online magazine (it has a really nice format) reviews my debut "The Problem Of The Day." It's short, but it's good. - Urban Mainstream Magazine

""Live From The Clubhouse Post Game Wrap-up""

Today we're getting post-game, post hip-hop-being-dead analysis from Dugout Power Hitter StarPower

When contacting StarPower for this post he included in his response, this explanation of the reason why he makes songs like "ClockWork.":

"I purposely sample white artists who I feel have gained great privilege on the backs of minority artists. I'll jack white artists of any era - I've jacked Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elton John, The Raconteurs, The Beatles, etc. Mad legends. I'll jack 'em for a freestyle or a whole song. For me, it's a new way of making conscious music. Instead of the consciousness being in the words, I'm always making a statement with the tracks I choose to sample, and usually they're very noticeable samples. So the consciousness is in the method of making the songs. It's my own little movement called "Taking It Back." Meaning taking it back to the past, and taking back what's ours. It's why I rarely sample soul records. I'm feelin' your posts b/c it's a way of just tellin' muthafuckas that you're someone who feels a certain way about hip-hop, and they can like it or not. I fux with that.

Excuse the length of this,

I just wanted to let you know that. Peace.

btw, I know the sample for Bachelor's Party is by a black act, but I did it for the sheer spectacle of it, lol."

and you should all watch This Video for ClockWork to get the full effect - Blind Boy Grunt

""ClockWork Video" on"

Awesome short music film starting members of The Dugout. -

""The Smoking Section Featuring StarPower""

The Smoking Section is one of the premier hip-hop blogs, so I'm blessed to have been featured, here's the link:

Words by Drew Ricketts

Today I saw a commercial for Busta Rhymes’ new album. In it, he donned furious chain action, of the ten or twelvefold. One onlooker described his neck as “lifting weights.” Usually, I’d find this kind of thing obscene, borderline superfluous — but this time I was gratified. I was reminded of the reason why hip-hop retains its relevance through time and through trend. The emcees that we remember have the nerve to do what they please and for whatever reason. This is not smart or contrived; it’s natural. Aside from the copycats, biters, wannabe, herbs, color-of rappers (’my seats is the color of’ et al. or ‘my watch is the color of’ et al.), there exists a core of driven individualists bent on proving themselves the best.

Cue StarPower: gritty uptown rapper whose rhymes bear the weight of casual intellect and arduous advancement. His power, I esteem, comes from his proposed sense of confidence.
“I demand attention. I don’t have the best voice or try to be the most lyrical but niggas listen when I spit because I force them to,” Starpower offers. “I feel like ’starpower’ is what I have. You know the it quality people talk about? I feel like that’s what I have.”

His declaration reads more like gravitas than it does arrogance. Instead of becoming the self-fellating, blindly shifting hustler searching for a record deal, StarPower’s songs represent the strong intentions of someone constantly earning cred. On his latest “Death Circus” mixtape, he displays an unguarded collage of rhymes like ‘power corrupts — the talented tenth/the Malcolm in us’ and then to ‘met a friend on myspace/turned out to be a fatty with a fine face’ sparing no candor on either song. When asked if this kind of unusual variety represented the contradiction so heralded in rap, Starpower scoffs “I think that shit is condescending…when people say hip hop is contradictory. I feel just as strongly talking that pro-black shit and if I wanna talk about a dumb ho, I’ll talk about a dumb ho.”

In this I find the healthy nuance of a true rap athlete. Whether he overpowers you with monstrous flow patterns or insinuates foul humor, StarPower comes across as a genuine aficionado. “I’m a writer’s writer so when people hear me I want them to think that.” He will bear the legacy of his idea of hip hop’s model citizen, B.I.G. The Bronx resident’s bouncy cadence channels some Wallace, some Daddy Kane and informs me of how much the music form has come to signify creative expression and ghetto tradition. Even when we are talking about our most heartfelt concerns (like the ‘Unforgivable Blackness’ tattoo decorating SP’s forearm) we can use rap to articulate it. Although “being lyrical is not [his] thing anymore,” claims the young braggart, his emphasis is to say more with less. Known to audiences as The Other One and Caligula, he has used a vaudevillian stage presence to identify with common fans and true-school heads alike.

His current premiere single “Clockwork” explains his stance on being overwhelming but underappreciated and the video has circulated steadily since the spring release. If charisma is any indicator of star potential, StarPower has the mark of more than a catchy eponym.

Drew Ricketts aka DrewBreez

- Drew Ricketts - Smoking Section Blog

""Myspace Korner - StarPower aka Hip-Hop's Ghost""

- Flash Magazine

"Starpower of The Dugout!"

Starpower of The Dugout!
February 21st, 2008 | Category: ScumLife

“Never ever leave a hot track on my hard drive.” -Starpower , ‘Live on WBAR’ (download it)

“Against my better judgement I decided I should rap over every single sound I heard, every noun and verb…” - Starpower in ‘Clockwork’ (watch the video)

Both of these quotes could explain how my man ‘raped-over’ (and rapped over) UK producer Bullion’s The Beach Boys vs J Dilla , ‘Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee’. Bullion samples both Jay Dee and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds to make a free instrumental album.
The story goes Mauby Bitters downloaded it off the interweb and put Starpower on to Bullion’s instrumental doings like, “You need to get on this.” Well, he did, it’s dope and you can get it here for free.

Remember back in the day when there’d be rappers that would drop a new verse and the next day you’d find yourself at the lunch table with your boys like, “Yo, he said ____!” Well, Starpower is that rapper. I’m going to have to paraphrase, cause Starpower was unavailable for comment, but he said something like, ” I’m like dude from Baby Boy cause I come in your house, drink your juice and fuck your moms!” He’d be the bad guy that you root for in the movies. The WWF bully. He also got another album called the Problem of the Day, but you gotta go pay for that one, ya Kato Kailin sons of bitches…


"Starpower - The Petting Zoo"

Last year, as a tribute to J Dilla, this British producer Bullion made a beattape exclusively using samples from the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album which totally blew up on the interweb. NYC rapper Starpower recently got a hold of it and rapped over all 12 tracks, none of which are more than two and a half minutes long. Clocking in at just 22 minutes, this is the best mixtape of the year. Starpower is like Ghostface without the snarl, and the beats are just brilliant, transforming surf rock into dusty funk nuggets.
- Strictly Bangers -

"Adam's 15 most listened of 2008 (2008 edition) by heyadamo"

*note - gotta scroll faaar down to see me, which on a list like this is, of course, a good thing.'s_15_most_listened_of_2008_(2008_edition)

So, all in all, a pretty interesting year in music -- my 2008 includes a lot of old favorites, a couple new faces, and some really tight competition, both for the prestigious number 1 position and elsewhere (there was a **5** way tie for 15th place that had to be resolved!) So let's count down starting with the disc that won the unexpectedly tense battle for 15th....

15. The General Store -- Mountain Rescue

So what's so great about this disc that put it above efforts from Gnarls Barkley, Shelby Lynne, Randy Newman and even Coldplay (the four other artists who had the same number of plays)? Simply put, it's a very comfy record. There's nods to the rootsy charm of The Band, the harmonic beauty of those classic Beach Boys singles, all the while balancing singer-songwriter songcraft with studio experimentation a la Buffalo Springfield. In many ways, this should have been The Thrills' follow up to So Much for the City; as it stands, hopefully it's a good sign of more to come.

14. The Roots -- Rising Down

I always enjoy whenever The Roots release something new, but they don't always stay in heavy rotation much. This has been a pleasant exception, yet I can't figure out why this one seems to be sticking more. If anything, it's the most thematically scattershot album they've released in awhile; maybe the lack of a central point or theme and a more varied backing (from the straight up late 80s NYC style of Get Busy to a 311-ish Birthday Girl) keeps the interest level high. Considering their recent apperance on uber-hip kiddie show Yo Gabba Gabba, they may have a completely clientele by the time their next LP comes around.

13. Eric Matthews -- The Imagination Stage

Eric's been back making music since the mid-00s, but The Imagination Stage marks the closest he's come to replicating the singular styles of his two genius Sub Pop albums of the 90s. Not many modern musicians have the smarts and skills to interweave classical and baroque elements into modern indie rock; his smoky, full croon is the icing on the cake.

12. Stereolab -- Chemical Chords

Another band, like The Roots, whose discography I follow without having one main album I keep going back to. Chemical Chords just seems to be the most carefree, buoyant LP they've made in a while, and more tailored towards crafting great songs instead of great sounds. Granted, Stereolab are always gonna be Stereolab, but here they seem to be reaching beyond their base just a tad, and that sounds quite good to these ears.

11. Vampire Weekend -- Vampire Weekend

It never hurts to have a healthy amount of skepticism every time the blogosphere dredges up the latest greatest band of all time, but with Vampire Weekend the hype seems valid -- for now. Maybe I'll be a bit more jaded when the inevitable slew of imitators come around claiming to be listened to Fela Kuti and Johnny Clegg and Savuka records since they were kids...

10. The Walkmen -- You & Me

I belong to a group here at that is a lot like a book club for your ears -- people pick out albums to listen to each week or so and we give em a few listens and comment/critique them member by member. If not for that group, I wouldn'tve had the pleasure of hearing this gem. The Walkmen's catalogue has been off my radar, but after an album so poised, direct and suave, I look forward to backtracking and seeing what else lurks in their recorded past.

9. Ray LaMontagne -- Gossip in the Grain

I've been down with ol' Ray since his debut Trouble and while this is certainly his most commercial effort, Ray doesn't abandon his strengths (his slightly haunted vibe, raspy voice, slow and smooth instrumentation, etc.) Let's hope getting namedropped in the tabloids (OMG John Mayer saw him in concert with Rachel from "Friends"!) won't give him a swelled head; of course, I'd probably have a swelled head if I wrote something as good as You Are The Best Thing. Wouldn't rock the Charlie Manson look like Ray does, though.

8. American Music Club -- The Golden Age

While it's not the track-by-track jaw-dropper that 2004's Love Songs for Patriots is, The Golden Age is another reminder of Mark Eitzel's sturdy grasp of chronicling the long travels of the heart.

7. Sun Kil Moon -- April

I always expect great stuff from Mark Kozelek but in my opinion, this is one of the best albums he has issued in any of his guises. He finds a perfect balance between the methodical guitar fuzz of songs like Tonight The Sky and delicate acoustic heartbreakers like the amazing Lucky Man, and as always his lyrics and vocals pack an emotional wallop.

6. Sloan -- Parallel Play

I played this one pretty hardcore for a few weeks and then other stuff pricked my ears a bit more, a bit surprising as their stuff tends to have a longer shelf life. But if the bad news is that Parallel Play was a bit of the Canadian foursome being on autopilot, then I guess that the good news is that them on autopilot is still an enjoyable ride.

5. R.E.M. -- Accelerate

I don't think I'll ever completely write off R.E.M. like a lot of their 80s/90s fanbase seemed to, but a trio of understated, ballad-oriented albums certainly diminished their aura a tad here. So a concious return to guitar-oriented, uptempo music was a good idea, and the resultant execution was even better. All the stuff you love about the R.E.M. of old (Michael Stipe's charismatic delivery, Peter Buck's blue-collar guitar heroics, and Mike Mill's sadly MIA counter harmonies) is here in full force. Another quality release from an act who really have nothing left to prove, but can still bring the goods.

4. Starpower -- The Petting Zoo

While Danger Mouse's The Grey Album was a good concept executed masterfully, not every classic album can necessarily exist comfortably in a hip-hop context. I was perfectly willing to consider Pet Sounds in that way... until I heard this. Apparently a producer named Boullion made a group of songs using parts of the Pet Sounds session, and rapper StarPower of the Dugout throwing his rhymes over the top. I'm sure a few people would scoff at the mere concept of Brian Wilson's holy grail being used in such a manner. But the proof's in the execution and there is a LOT of creativity flowing through (I never thought I would bob my head to I Just Wasn't Made for These Times until I heard Big Smoke No Fire)But the raps hold up their end too: StarPower isn't a name rapper now, but a few more albums at this lyrical level and he should be. He can be both biting (the aforementioned "Big Smoke No Fire" spotlights media manipulation and Here Today (Feels So...) attacks myopia and a me-too groupthink mentality) and hilarious ( I Gave You Love looks at a love interest whose love isn't all that interesting to the narrator.) Heck, Think Outside the Pinebox alone strings together more deliciously off-kilter and creative lyrics than the last four or five albums Kool Keith and his aliases created. Plus, it's not like it's expensive to give it a test drive...

3. Beck -- Modern Guilt

Putting Beck and Danger Mouse together is one of those head-slappingly obvious chocolate-in-your-peanut-butter combinations, and together they crafted a gleefully absurd soundtrack of existential fear and doubt. Imagine someone splicing together An Inconvenient Truth and the best parts of the Austin Powers movies and this could be its mythical soundtrack. Nice rebound for Beck from the uninspired The Information, and yet another winner from Danger Mouse...

2. The Twilight Sad -- Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did EP

EPs, or extended plays, is one of those bizarre rituals of the recording industry that people accept without never quite understanding the concept. From a financial standpoint, it's basically a way to keep a band's name on people's lips and get money without having a whole album to promote. How such a premise gets to the shelves from the artists' standpoint varies widely in both technique and quality: remixes, live versions, acoustic versions, covers or a bunch of b-sides from other countries. In the case of The Twilight Sad, it's the band returning to four tracks from last year's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters and adding a new song as well as a Daniel Johnston cover. It's a fascinating look of how a band can downshift their collective tempo without sacrificing their musical or lyrical power. These softer (yet not necessarily quieter!) takes allow different elements of the songs to take center stage, particularly James Graham's cutting lyrics and raw, passionate delivery.

1. Supergrass -- Diamond Hoo Ha

I pity the boys in Supergrass, I really do. They make great glammy pop singles that would sound great on top 40 radio... top 40 radio, that is, that hasn't turned into a parade of dumbed-down, lowest common denominator nonsense. But even attempting to cater to such shallow pop stardom causes your garden variety music pundit to dismiss them without a second thought. Well, I've alway got lots of room for Supergrass's fun-loving blend of guitar pop, and Diamond Hoo-Ha is another eleven winners. There's at least three or four killer singles, and that's not including my personal fave Whisky & Green Tea which houses one of the deliriously discordant sax solos you'll hear.


2009. "StarF*cker/I Think I Love My Life" single. Free download @

2008. "The Petting Zoo." Free download @

2007. "Problem Of The Day." Available on iTunes.

2006. "ClockWork Music Video/Short Film." StarPower (Directed by Shaka King; Edited by Kristan Sprague and Kyear Braxton). Watch it in this epk or @



By day, I'm a married, teacher/graduate school student who has somehow become an unlikely success as a man (considering my severly "at-risk" childhood environment).

By night and weekend, I'm a hip-hop champion (the gold medal I often wear symbolizes victory and competition), shocking audiences with humor and heart, the horns, the halo, and all that's in between.

With me, they feel like it's alright to let go, to think, dance, laugh, and interact b/c I give them the uncut, unrated version of life as I know it.

I am influenced by a wide range of music, from Notorious B.I.G., Elton John, and Stevie Wonder to Kanye West, Sammy Davis, Jr. and 1980s sitcom theme songs.

However, I am mostly influenced by the way situations often happen in real-life in a way that no person would ever dream of making up. These are the things that inform most of my songwriting.

My newest project, "I Think I Love My Life," is inspired by and inspires my blog( and is led by two outrageous songs I've been shaking up the underground with - "He's Just Not That Into You" (funked-up self-help for those women who might not know realize they need it - until now) and "StarF*cker" - (an energetic, soulful whirlwind of lyrics uniquely describing who I am, where I come from, what I do, and why and how I do it ).

I also have a full length mixtape album available for free download. "The Petting Zoo" is a 22 minute soundtrack to someone's very intimate autobiography - mine. Twelve deeply personal, hilarious, inappropriate, emotional, unforgiving quirky narratives. Ridiculous stories, true stories, scathing social commentary, fantasies, braggadocio, reflections, apologies - it's all there with no filter or discretion.

All of this music is available for FREE download

I'm sure you will also enjoy my award-winning video "ClockWork" (featured at No Exit Music Video Festival, Voted "Fan Favorite," and Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival, Tied for "Best Video" with Pharoah Monche), which, b/c of how the production samples Coldplay's "Clocks" and discusses the merits and perils of instant gratification, is a sonic anomaly among the hip-hop landscape. You can watch it on @

I also maintain two blogs:

"I Think I Love My Life" -

"The Electrifying Conclusion" -

Brief List of Venues I've Performed At:

Mercury Lounge
The Cutting Room
Public Assembly
Bowery Poetry Club
The Tank
Bruckner Bar & Grill
Williamsburg Music Center
Izzy Bar
PussyCat Lounge
Lion's Den
The Five Spot
La Pregunta

Out of state:
The Atrium (Atlanta)
Cousin Larry's (Connecticut)
Shadow Lounge (Pittsburgh)
Bowdoin College (Maine)
Colby College (Maine)

Bard College
Colby College
Vassar College
Sarah Lawrence
Bowdoin University
Barnard College