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April 18, 2014

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Damon Hodge

Story Archive

Lyrical longevity
Weekly hip-hop party celebrates two-year anniversary
Monday, June 28, 2010
"When I started the parties, I made sure that we focused on attracting real fans."
Lyrical longevity
Weekly hip-hop party celebrates two-year anniversary
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
"When I started the parties, I made sure that we focused on attracting real fans."
Soul-satisfying fare at Ella Em's
Despite some glitches, this North Las Vegas restaurant is packed with potential
Monday, April 26, 2010
Ella Em's fried chicken has caused a fuss, but this restaurant has more to offer.
Soul-satisfying fare at Ella Em's
Despite some glitches, this North Las Vegas restaurant is packed with potential
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ella Em's fried chicken has caused a fuss, but this restaurant has more to offer.
Making their Move
Hip-hop group powers its way to success
Monday, April 5, 2010
Meet the most successful local hip-hop group no one has ever heard of.
Making their Move
Hip-hop group powers its way to success
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Meet the most successful local hip-hop group no one has ever heard of.
Martin Lawrence is still sorta crazy
But he is a long way from where he once was
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Lawrence’s near-capacity show provided glimpses of the actor/comedian he used to be.
Martin Lawrence is still sorta crazy
But he is a long way from where he once was
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Lawrence’s near-capacity show provided glimpses of the actor/comedian he used to be.
The State of Race Relations: An uneasy peace
A look at West Las Vegas, ground zero for race relations
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010
West Las Vegas now sits in the city’s most racially diverse district. With diversity comes both promise and peril.
Angie's is good for the soul
Cleveland’s Angie’s is the latest to give this MLK space a go
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010
Meet Angie, an Ohio-by-way-of-South Carolina soul-food matriarch, whose two restaurants on Cleveland’s east side have provided that city’s residents a deep-fried fix for a quarter-century.
10 Vegas acts to watch in 2010
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010
From everyone's favorite Raiders to an 18-year-old yielding comparisons to Cat Powers, here's who to pay attention to this year.
Hustle and go: Vegas hip-hop’s Mr. Do Everything refuses to slow down
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009
After 17 years worth on the local hip-hop frontline, DJ Dantana has stories.
Vegas rapper Mr. Finley signs with iconic label Def Jam
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009
“I’m definitely carrying the city on my back.”
Ladies first: Female rappers, Las Vegas and breaking through
Ms. Undastood, Lady L.U.S.T. hope to empower female emcees
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009
Ms. Undastood and Lady L.U.S.T. hope to empower female emcees.
Skydro
Success Stories
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009
Daydream-inspiring, but in a generally good way, Success Stories is unlike anything you’ve ever heard from Vegas hip-hop. For starters, the 20-song CD is overwhelmingly positive.
Rideout
Ride Wit Me: The Prequel
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009
Cut from the North Las Vegas thug-hustle cloth, Rideout is, perhaps, one of Northtown’s more able lyricists.
Hack the Mack
The Middle East Project
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009
Hack the Mack starts strong, but as the CD proceeds, there’s less spitfire, and Hack’s retreat to tired and ultimately unadventurous topics (guns, girls and ganja) seems to sap his energy.
Getting bigger
Vegas’ B does music his way, and fans are eating it up
Thursday, July 30, 2009
At 6-foot-7, 330 pounds, Vegas-by-way-of-California artist Big B is unquestionably the biggest (and perhaps only) rapper/punker/white-trash guru/Carey Hart flunky in the music industry. And he’s hungry.
Jay-Z
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Watching Fabolous and Ciara lumber through uninspiring sets before Jay-Z took the stage Friday meant that the night’s success rested on Jay-Z’s capable shoulders.
A debate to remember (and forget)
Two takes on the first mano a mano between McCain and Obama
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
n hit the jackpot. Minutes into Friday evening’s presidential debate-viewing party at Sierra Gold at Jones and the I-215, someone won $20. Two center-bar televisions cut away from Barack Obama’s meandering economic prescription for the recession, and up popped glowing graphics and the word jackpot in red uppercase letter
Hey, everyone, important community issues being discussed here!
Um, everyone ... anyone ... ?
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
School over, dozens of students filed past the solitary sign-holder pointing visitors to the Greenspun Junior High auditorium for the first of several community forums on education sponsored by state Senate Democrats.
Muslims speak out
Local leaders want it known that ignorance is the greatest danger voters face
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008
For nearly 20 months, U.S. Muslims have watched Barack Obama fumble as he tries to debunk rumors that he’s a closet Muslim.
Touring the educational corridor
Charter schools and alternative approaches attempt to redefine education in West Las Vegas
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
New York-based Edison Schools, the nation’s largest and most controversial for-profit school-management company, roared into town in 2000, winning the right to manage seven campuses, including one of the state’s most troubled—West Middle School. Burrow into a surly patch of the city, off of Lake Mead just west of Martin Luther King, and there is West. North of the school is Buena Vista, a shuttered apartment complex politely described as a mini-Beirut; to the east, the FBI’s gleaming new headquarters occupies a patch of desert that was once a popular disposing ground for used condoms and spent shell casings.
Electile dysfunction
Clark County may have new voting machines, but it faces more scrutiny from poll-watchers than ever
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
Florida in 2000 gave us hanging chads and butterfly ballots. Ohio in 2004 set precedents for voter intimidation and massive disenfranchisement (350,000 missing or purged names).
Worldwide local tour
Undeterred by casino freeze-out, rapper creates traveling hip-hop showcase
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
Juiced by receptive crowds at First Friday performances in February, the West Las Vegas rapper set his sights on large bars and casino showrooms. Most venues declined before even hearing his pitch.
No flip-flops
And other things I learned tagging along with vote canvassers
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008
Sunday morning and the sun is on low boil. An inordinate number of flies annoyingly hover near the entrance of the Sunrise Library. Outside, a few Barack Obama supporters prepare clipboards and paperwork for the day’s mission: persuading people to support their man.
The best bet
McCain or Obama—who's better for our state's biggest industry?
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008
By now you’ve probably heard so much about how John McCain and Barack Obama will restore our faith in government and have seen enough hit pieces calling bullshit on the other guy’s promises that it’s hard to tell fact from spin.
Lowden Clear
The state GOP chair is confident Republicans will beat the odds and prevail in November
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008
Come November 4, we’ll know whether Nevada Republican Party chair Sue Lowden is Nero, sitting idly by as the empire burns, or the political version of Joe Namath.
What's the use?
With the city’s old courthouse building in mothballs for several years now, many mull its future role
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008
Real-estate agent Jack LeVine describes the shuttered Clark County Courthouse on Third Street as a “classic icon of mid-century modernism.” You may be thinking: This place, modernist? Even before it closed in 2004—its court functions moving to the stately, 17-story Regional Justice Center a few blocks away—probably few thought that this place, with its boxy shape and the aqua-colored siding on its towering column, was much to look at.
Beats, rhymes & life
Damon Hodge on the latest in local hip-hop
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008
Damon Hodge reviews 3 CDs from local hip hop artists.
Subprime = subcrime?
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008
At the corner of Fremont and 15th Street, a Las Vegas police camera, powerful enough to scan two dozen locations and pinpoint a license plate from six blocks away, watches the Saturday evening activity. It records the groups of young men patrolling Fremont—back and forth, forth and back—the scantily clad women staring down motorists and the touristy-looking folks who may have wandered a bit too far.
Solemn journey
Too late to save her son, a mother wants to warn others about prescription drug abuse
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008
Debbie Zarder takes a deep breath. Lips trembling, she stifles tears and begins walking down the narrow hallway in her modest Henderson home, past the game room where her son, Robert David Jojola, spent many evenings playing games on his PS2 system, toward the scrum of barking dogs, some of which he helped deliver, and to the door leading to his room. Everything looks much as it did on May 23, the day he died.
Movement or fan club?
Getting the vibe at this year’s National Hip-Hop Political Convention
Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008
A line forms behind a circle of people flanking a table where ex-Black Panther Dhoruba Bin Wahad waxes pseudo-philosophic on the inherent evil of the U.S. political system. “President Bush should’ve been stopped a long time ago, but no one’s been willing to incur the wrath of the empire,” Wahad says of this unseen, Bush-empowering cabal.
Paging Mr. D ... Mr. Chuck D
Hip-hop conventioneers wonder: Where have all the activists gone?
Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008
Nas is bumping on the public-address system as T.J. Crawford readies the remaining National Hip-Hop Political Convention attendees for a closing session on the fall elections. “Can I have everyone’s attention?” Crawford says to nearly 60 people in UNLV’s Classroom Building Complex auditorium on Sunday afternoon. Deep-voiced, stocky and built like an NFL fullback, Crawford is a commanding presence, which helps him rein everyone in. After three days of meeting, intellectual jousting—and, yes, some partying—people are antsy to go home.
Five Questions with Troy Nkrumah, local organizing head of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention
Thursday, July 31, 2008
[Vegas hosting the National Hip-Hop Political Convention] is major considering Las Vegas attempted a ban of hip-hop. That, along with the fact that, nationally, Vegas is not on the map for either hip-hop—except for the b-boys—or for progressive youth activism. The 2008 Convention is the perfect opportunity because all eyes will be on Vegas.
Trial run
Scot Savage hopes his website devoted to the O.J. Simpson case becomes a cash cow
Thursday, July 31, 2008
“How lucky for me that he made the stupidest mistake of his life in my city!” Scot Savage is talking about former NFL star, television pitchman and double-murder acquittee Orenthal James Simpson.
Felina
Lady Like
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Vegas has been barren on the R&B front, but Felina, the first R&B act on Heat City Recordz, aims to change this with the debut of Lady Like.
The celebrity watchdog
Chatting with top Las Vegas entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In the final months of her reign as Miss Nevada, Alicia Jacobs figured life after pageantry would be filled with legal tomes, a clerkship or two and, eventually, a law career. When legendary entertainment manager Bernie Yuman (Siegfried & Roy, Muhammad Ali) marched the Las Vegas native into Channel 13’s offices in 1994, those plans took a turn.
Nas
(Untitled)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Nas is cursed. Ever since the release of 1994’s seminal Illmatic, the Queensbridge representer has faced impossibly high expectations.
Taxing argument
Desperate times call for … open wallets?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Here’s the deal, folks: We need higher taxes. There, I said it. And (gulp) I mean it. We need them because we can’t budget-cut ($1 billion and counting) our way to fiscal health. Nor can we rely on Casino Inc. to part with much more—gaming revenues already provide half of Nevada’s general-fund budget.
Neither pucks nor Picassos
Why now’s not the time to pursue a pro-sports stadium or a world-class museum
Thursday, July 10, 2008
What should come first, the sports stadium or the fan base, the world-class museum or the appreciative culture? To those counting the days until we can pay to see flying pucks (or basketballs) or hanging Picassos—in a museum not attached to a casino, that is—my answer may sound like heresy: The latter is more important, particularly if we’re serious about either endeavor.
Sin City sex trade
A former call girl comes clean on servicing the Rat Pack
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tell-all books have a hold on the public psyche for much the same reason that high-level gossip does: Americans are a nosy bunch, as addicted to TMZ.com and Page Six as older generations were to the McNeil-Lehrer Report.
Rhyme N Rhythm
Disaster Survival Kit
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Press materials for Rhyme N Rhythm describe the group as a hip-hop soul funk experience, but its seven-song demo could more aptly be described as Pharcyde-ish bonhomie mixed with Roots-ish musicality.
Back from Iraq
What’s being done, or left undone, when soldiers come home with problems?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
On July 31, 2005, in an alley near Sahara and the Strip, 20-year-old Iraq war vet Matthew Sepi machine-gunned 47-year-old Sharon Jackson and 26-year-old Kevin Ratliff, killing Jackson. Published reports note that Sepi said he feared for his life—he told police he thought he was being ambushed and merely reacted the way he’d been trained.
Hogg Corps
Street Concepts
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Bay Area expatriates Hogg Corps don’t swing for the fences as much as they could on Street Concepts, and the result is an uneven CD that’s about as satisfying as a handful of fries on an empty stomach.
Basketball vs. Barack
How each one’s victory could impact dipolomatic relations
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The latest misnomered iteration of the U.S. basketball Dream Team begins practice this weekend in Las Vegas, in preparation for (hopefully) winning gold at the upcoming Beijing Olympics and restoring American hoops supremacy. In case you’re keeping score, NBA-ers haven’t won a gold medal since 2000 and haven’t inspired global dunk-on-your-head, shoot-a-three-in-your-eye fear since 1992’s Bird-Magic-Jordan squad.
See No Evil
To tell or not to tell? Why the stop-snitching phenomenon is more complicated than you might think.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A bulky man stands sentry at the southwest entryway to Sierra Pointe Apartments, two pinkish buildings that bookend the aptly named Crack Alley. His head is on a constant, owl-like swivel, back and forth, forth and back, his wary eyes locked on anyone who approaches. He communicates with passersby with unblinking looks, knowing head nods and the occasional “What’s up?”
Pool Position
A look at the big business of Strip pools, by the numbers
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Of all Vegas’ pool parties—Wet Republic at MGM Grand (billed as Vegas’ first ultra pool), the Palms’ Ditch Fridays, Tao Beach’s Sunset Sundays, Venus at Caesars, Bare at the Mirage … if I missed your favorite, no disrespect—I’ve only been to one: the spring break-ish peo-pool-alooza that is Rehab at Hard Rock.
Crusading for your community
Whether they’re helping kids, refugees or disenfranchised minority groups, these locals are working hard for Vegas underdogs
Thursday, June 19, 2008
By now, it’s a story we’re used to: Vegas sits atop every bad list and brings up the rear on every good list. Everything from our schools to our rickety social service infrastructure to the way we treat our homeless needs dramatic improvement. Meanwhile, our rapid growth, relative affordability (thanks foreclosure crisis), job stability (despite the economic downturn) and hotness factor (kudos to George Maloof, among others) are the envy of the country.
Who ya’ gonna call?
Whether you want to help the homeless, save the environment or to sidewalk and shove, you can depend on these proven activists to deliver
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Whether you want to help the homeless, save the environment or to sidewalk and shove, you can depend on these proven activists to deliver

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