According to VIBE: Dallas Penn is not an old man, but he’s certainly an old soul, and his website, DallasPenn.com is the exact same way..... In addition to DallasPenn.com, his “Internets Celebrities” (internetcelebrities.com) series – a collaboration with Rafi Kam of Ohword.com – has garnered a cult-like following with its satirical YouTube bits about everything from grocery shopping at Bodegas to the crazy creation of "Ghetto Big Macs". His commentary on DallasPenn.com focuses primarily on the East Coast boom bap he grew up on as a young kid in New York City, he also blesses his readers with streaming audio of the music hip hop samples, groups like the Ohio Players get as much shine as Wu-Tang Clan. In other words, Dallas Penn is old school and so is DallasPenn.com. Class is in session.
Dallas Penn was one of the earlier doods to put us on to people, and not on some "hipster," "indie" or whatever whatever, but just as rap. The respect is mutual. How would I not appreciate a dude (NH) who would make this:
or under the banner of Internets Celebrities and along with the homie Rafi Kam of Oh Word, this:
Local dude from Queens who uses humor to discuss rap, race, and food appreciates the work of other local dude from Queens who uses humor to discuss rap, race, and food. - Associated Press
Dallas was nice enough to answer some questions we had for him:
- Does a future in which all nations have dismantled their nuclear weapons seem likely?
Nuclear weapons are washed up. Biological agents and hyper-natural weaponry leaves less damages to property. Some LRAD shit can fry your brain in a split second while a fine particulate pollutant can choke our asses to death. Nukes are sloppy like old school rappers. There was that record back in the day called Nagasaki but no one wants to hear that shit anymore.
- Where were you and what were you doing on 9/11?
I was at a job site in downtown Brooklyn at the on ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge. I didn't see the first plane go into the towers but I did see the second one. People were in a panic, running out of the office and screaming. I stood still and watched the whole time. After the towers fell I went to get my car and I drove back to my parent's crib in Baldwin where I was occupying the basement. My dad thought that the world was going to end. I was sad like I had lost a family member. Twin brothers actually.
- Are you excited for Where The Wild Things Are? Why are so many people excited for Where the Wild Things Are? Why am I excited about Where the Wild Things Are? Are black people excited for Where the Wild Things are? Speak on behalf of all of that large group of people please. (Editors Note: Been done peepted the film and thoroughly enjoyed it.)
I am excited for Where The Wild Things Are. I think anyone that is familiar with Sendak's book and favors it will be excited. I would say that percentagewise Black people are more excited than the Eskimos, asian diaspora and probably non-English speaking Latinos. But Blacks also spend more money per capita on entertaining themselves. Black people would be be excited for a remake of DW Griffith's 'Birth of a Nation' if Tyler Perry directed it.
I would prefer to see Into The Night Kitchen because its trippy and I like to get high from eating baked goods
- Do you have the standard pseudo-space mac background on your computer? If not, what's back there? If you have a laptop, do you have any stickers or decorations on it? Do they cover up the apple logo? Do you think people do that because they want to pretend to be ashamed to own a mac?
I have one of those jazzy hard shells on my Blacbook which is silly considering that I move my laptop from my desk only twice a year. Apple makes their shit to appeal to people's base elitist aspirations. The same asshats that separate their garbage are the fuxwads that are proud of the tools they own. I know a Stanley hammer will install a nail just as well as a Craftsman but we still want the product that has the cache of making us better through the relationship. I like Apple for the iMovie software and so that I can look down on other Blacks who own Dells.
- You ever fuck with flavored vodka? Not a skippable question.
Hells Chea I fux with flavored vodkas. Stoli Vanil is mah sheet. I remember being so drunk one night that I saw a bottle of Stoli Bluberi and thought that the flavor was dingleberry. It was surprisingly refreshing with tonic. I preferred the Stoli Ovary tho'. I was saddened to later find out it was only orange flavoring. Think about it, Stoli Ovary would have to blend into the best tasting Bloody Mary evar. Natch.
- I saw your Unkut interview. Ima flip the script. What are five things you REALLY like and enjoy right now?
The five things I am currently going gaga (no hermaprodite) for are Nike SB Dunks, Penn Station's Au Bon Pain sells a self-serve peach iced tea that I mix with their homemade lemonade, Sean Price aka Ruck-'Lo, Curb Your Enthusiasm and just the internets in general.
- Are you into chocolate bars or candy candy? What do you think that says about you versus the other option?
I fux with chocolate bars [pause] and candy. I don't mixes them tho'. I had a box of choco-covered gummi-bears and I shit myself. Segregate your sugars. I'm'a sweetist. Stand up Swedish. My nig.
One time we were e-mailing and you said "Middle class Blacks in the 90's were having their children kidnapped by the ideaology of lower class Blacks. We thought we needed to do dumb shit to affirm our Blackness. Not realizing that being in the skin we were in was enough for the rest of the world to hate us." - THAT HAPPENS WITH INDIANS TOO!!!! - Do you think there's less of that going on in the '00s? Do you think there's more white people being kidnapped by the ideology of lower class blacks in the '00s than the '90s? Do you think there's more white people being kidnapped by the ideology of lower class blacks than middle class blacks?
- You quoted me as saying lower class Blacks. Did I say lower class or working class? Semantics aside we do have a collective Bart Simpsonizing of young people here in our country. Mostly boys, natch. When I was coming up the smart-dumb mindset is what I aimed for. You know the difference between right and wrong and if you opt for the wrong side you accept the consequences of your choice.
Indian youth may confront similar pressures to buck conforming but the longterm repercussions remain vastly different from other people of color. The legacy of African Americans within Western culture is set up as a perpetually antagonistic position. Brown and beigish peoples will admit their non-whiteness while explicitly declaring their non-Blackness. NO ONE wants to be Black. That shit is fucked the fuck up.
At the end of the day everybody has a cross to bear when they are a youth. Kids can only break things if they aren't taught how to build things. Life is sweet architecture that you build towards the sun. Why can't I rub some sun on my face too?
What do you think Bahamadia is doing right this minute?
Breathing I'm sure. Shouts to Bahamadia, Yejide, Mz.Badu, my boo Jill Scott.
Do you know any women that listen to Black Moon?
Who doesn't like Black Moon? Who hasn't owned an Eastpak, A Jansport, a North Face, Manhattan Portage messenger bag? Any female that has grown up in NYC in 1992 loves Black Moon. For that reason alone there will be enough female fans of Black Moon.
If Hennessy did an event with Black Moon I guar-ran-tee that women will be up in that piece clapping they ass off. Literally and figuratively. (Editors Note: Really though?)
Sometimes I jokingly say "Read a blog dude". Do you think the expression will catch on as people continue to read less books and more of the internet?
I am talking to those people right now who were told to read a blog. I'm very appreciative they did that and found my voice. I would still be having discussions with myself anyhoo so I don't mind the company and the community on the internets. No matter how retarded I feel sometimes its cool to talk to someone else equally/similarly retarded. I hope more people find the good use of the internets.
Who would win in a fight: you or Dallas Austin? I say you.
Dallas Austin went through that wild arabic prison stint. I've only got a few short stays in the bookings. I've never showered in jail so he has that over me. Pause [ll] to having him over me.
Who's the most talented actor out of these five: Greg Kinnear, Wood Harris (who I always think is called Ace Woods for some reason), Mekhi Phifer, Gary Sinise, or B.D. Wong?
Gary Sinise does great character actor work as does Wood Harris. Mekhi Phifer was sublime in 'Clockers'. I knew cats who were just like his character. Greg Kinnear and BD Wong are serviceable. Pause [ll] to servicing people.
What do you order in Subway if you order in Subway?
I prefer Quizzno's bread over Subway's but Subway gives me greater beverage choices. When in Subway I always go with the turkey swiss bacon club, tomatos, baby spinach and red onions. Oh and yeah, mayo > mustard.
Do you think Hov really knows how much Swizzy's new Basquiat cost? Basquiat was a solid dood. Do you agree? Why?
I do imagine that Jay-Z knows how much Swizz Beats Basquiat costs. I think they talk about contemporary pop artists whose shit the fux with. These dudes are wild rich. What else do wild rich people have to kick it about other than the fabulous (no 'Loso) shit they acquire?
I fux with Basquiat for a piece he did called the 'Trickster'. In African mythology(where in Africa I'm not sure but the Mormons would know since they keep good records like that) the Trickster character is a guide to the future. He speaks in riddles sometimes and uses language cleverly to lead people to their fate. Fate not hardly being a bad thing natch.
I like to imagine myself as a Trickster as well. I use my weblog to post Tricksterisms. Most people run from me because they are scared to see me expose their lack of humanity. We are all so selfish and self-absorbed. I think Basquiat was genius and generous to a fault. The drugs and the company he kept was his downfall.
What are 5 dope things about Queens?
Queens is the center of New York City. I know this because I have been looking at subway maps for as long as I can read. Queens has the best food in the city from Colombian to Indian to Dominican to east Asian. Everthing. You can prA'li find anything you want from an ethnic perspective by riding on the #7 train. I love shopping in Queens. The Queens Center Mall was NYC's first foray in suburban megaplex consumerism. The Hall of Science, the Lemon Ice King, the White Castles on Northerrn Blvd in Jackson Heights, Los Metropolitanos. My great grandmas house on 112th Street. I was raised in Queens. We da' bast!