James "Nocando" McCall

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  • 2 months ago | Hip-Hop

    I write this the day after playing a hip-hop show near Melrose and Vermont called Rhyme Fest L.A. The headliner was KRS-One and the bill included Haiku D’Etat, Planet Asia and many other hip-hop acts. I was the odd duck, young but not so young tha...

  • 3 months ago | Hip-Hop

    Leimert Park on Thursday nights was the most diverse place ethnically and socio-economically that I'd experienced in this city at that very young age of 18. My peers and I have been known to affectionately refer to it as the Dojo later on. We were...

  • 4 months ago | Hip-Hop

    The year was 2004 and the general consensus was that I was the best freestyle rapper in Los Angeles. That was popular opinion, but I knew in my heart of hearts that it wasn't totally true. There was another guy. My nemesis was damn near almost my ...

  • 4 months ago | Culture Wars

    Dear Morgan Freeman, I’d like to start off this letter by saying that I am a fan of your work and you are a master of your craft. The first time I can remember being emotionally affected by a movie that didn't have animated characters in it was Gl...

  • 5 months ago | Culture Wars

    I consider myself a connoisseur of public transportation. My mother worked for MTA when I was a kid, which kept my young neck draped those in those yearly bus pass lanyards. I took the Red Line on the first day it opened; I was proud that my city ...

  • 6 months ago | Battle Rap

    From the early ’00s until the early ’10s I built a reputation for being very good at battle rapping. Mostly I’m proud of what I did, but sometimes I’m ashamed of it. For those unfamiliar with battle rap, imagine slam poetry mixed with insult game ...