How To Make It In America~

If there is one series out there that you should watch it is HBO's How to make it in America. Now anyone that knows me knows that I rarely watch TV, but once I was hyped to this by my sweets FILTHE.NET a few weeks ago I was hooked. This series is basically about two friends from Brooklyn trying to get their piece of the American Pie by beginning their own premium denim clothing line; however they have so many struggles & setbacks along the way, (but that is eventually what will make it all worth it in the end). Nothing good comes easy!

This series will have you coming back for more, believe me or just check it for your self. It is only into the 3rd show so catch up quick. Did I mention the fresh music line up? This is just an example of the set list from the show:
  • Quantic - "Brand New Watusi"
  • War - "Me and Baby Brother"
  • Blackalicious - "My Pen and Pad"
  • Todd Gregory - "Get Em"
  • Eric B & Rakim - "Don't Sweat The Technique"
  • Rhymes With An L - "M.E.D"
  • A Tribe Called Quest - "Can I Kick It?"
  • Thievery Corporation - "The Numbers Game"
  • Louis Prima And Kelly Smith - "That Old Black Magic"
  • Toots & The Maytals - "Rastaman"
  • Richard Hell & The Voidoids - "Blank Generation"
Check this clip of the opening to the show. The theme song "I Need A Dollar" is by Aloe Blacc (P.s. DJ Lazy Eyez is already bumping this on his play-list). Make sure to listen to the words.


Up-Rock Sure Shot Never Stop The Body Rock!

Gimme a boom box and a beat let's take it to the street...get in the "Apache line" and move your feet! Don't forget your card board box and dirty sox (*sock) what we bout to do is better known as the "Up-Rock". Yes I just made that up...and what? PS for those that don't know it was for your hand, NYK (now ya know).

Get it Baby Love and Crazy Legs - Check the ill skip & kick-back jerks!
Oh and don't forget Mighty 4 Denver this Summer!

Awe yes can't forget the musical influence The Jimmy Castor Bunch "We just Begun".  "Up-rockin" aka "Rockin" dance form was also influenced by the dance craze "The Hustle". Enjoy!

Pioneers - Rock Steady Crew -

Funky Fresh Friday Cut~

This beat is so fly and the guitar riff is super sweet! Gotta keep the funk alive! No wonder so many artists sample these classic cuts, they were just so tough!


Thought Provoker Thursday~

DARE GREATLY~It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose fear is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, knows the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt


Wordsmith (A fluent or prolific writer) Wednesdays~

"Time to save the world, where in the world is all the time? So many things I still don't know, so many times I've changed my mind; I guess I was born to make mistakes but I ain't scared to take the weight, so when I stumble off the path I know my heart will guide me back"
~Artist -Erykah Badu
~Song - Didn't cha know
~Album - Mamas Gun
Click here for video Didn't Cha Know


Soul Train Tuesday ~

So each Tuesday beginning today Gritty Velvet will showcase some of Soul Trains finest musical acts. Soul Train was created by Chicago DJ Don Cornelius who also Co-Produced the show. Did you know that Soul Train was the "Longest-running, nationally syndicated program in television history," from 1971-2006? It was so different & funkier than anything that was on the airwaves at that time.

I absolutely love watching all the re-runs, especially when the "Soul-Train line" started; remember seeing MC Hammer, Rosie Perez, The Fresh Prince & Carmen Electra getting up there shaking their groove thing? So much fun, so stick around & join me back here next Tuesday to reminisce.

I chose the SOS band first simply because they rocked the party...they still do. If you are a newbie to SOS, I suggest starting with the self titled album SOS & then copping the1983 album "On The Rise", which has some instant classics (me and my oxymorons), like "Tell me if you still care" & "Just be good to me".


You don't know me yet...the day soon will come!

Anjulie has a totally different sound than other ladies we hear out these days. She exudes confidence, yet speaks of her insecurities in the same breath as if second nature. I can relate to her on so many different levels, she can be so sure of a song...yet go back the next day and totally re-word a verse. I find myself doing this on a daily with a lot of stuff. It's not that I am unsure it's just that I want to get it right, and if that takes going back and correcting or mixing it all up than I am going to do just that. I love this song right here.

Anjulie | Day Will Soon Come from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

The Imagery of this video is dangerous! I love it.

Anjulie - Addicted2Me Official video from yoram Benz on Vimeo.
Get More info on this exotic looker @ Anjulie Music.Com


Feel Good Friday Song Of The Day!

Polyvore look of the day! - Jazzy

Just add a little Stan Getz Bossa Nova and you are good to go!

Thought of the day -

THE IDEAL LIFE is in our blood and never will be still. Sad will be the day for any when he becomes content with the thoughts he thinks and the deeds he is doing~where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do. ~ Phillips Brooks


No more Drama - Bobby Digital tells it like it is

Learn to keep my head up to the sky
and ask myself why, it has to be this way?
I'd like to live my life in peace
and have not to worry about
all the dramas of the day,
as we strive for luxury
and try to feed our families,
it always seems that someones in your way
I'd like to live my life in peace
and have not to worry about
all the dramas of the day. ---- As much as we all would like to be devoid of drama we will always run into a little some way or the other, it is inevitable; however recognizing is key, whether its yourself, or others, take note and make changes where need be. ~GV

Polyvore look of the day!

Dress it up with the yellow wedges, or keep it casual with the Chucks. Either way is cute to me!


Polyvore look of the day!

A little something I composed, thinkin' of rockin' it this Friday. Hmm? We'll see.

"I would rather be underestimated, than over-saturated."

Check out Bay Area's Princess Ms. Krish, aka Rocky Rivera, Eye A. Sage, Government name Krishtine DeLeon. She is a writer for Rolling Stone, an MC, and a fellow Blogger. Her newest album "Rocky Rivera" is sure to be a hot one. Rocky Rivera (one of her many namesakes) comes from Jessica Hagedorn's book "The Gangster of Love" Ms. Krish says "Thematically it just made sense, I based an entire album on the concept: love, war, the rules, the casualties, the high points and the person - one who embraced the contradiction in being a warrior of love, and as a woman, ready to defend the battlefield that is her body and her personal integrity." I love one of her mottos and find it to be true for me “I would rather be underestimated, than over-saturated.” Confident, yet humble make sure to also check out her blog @ Guerilla Busfare

This is the video trailer to Mrshmlo

This is the actual video (I personally like the trailer better, but wait till the end on this one for the beat to slow down and her voice to shift, I dig it)


I couldn't wait to get home after school and put it on Jukebox TV to watch them play this video. It got me so hyped up...still does. I used to try and do the rhyme as fast as Baby D, (I know you did too). JJ Fad is everlasting; did you know they still tour too? Check them out here @ JJ Fad Tour Info
  This is how my wardrobe looked back then...for those that know me, it still does - just a bit more up-dated.
Just Jammin' Def And Fresh! JJ Fad 

PS. This post is for my girl Michelle B.


Gritty Velvet has all the flavors!

-The Wu-
-Ice Cream-
Mmm...So many flavors

Beastie Boys - Hold it now, hit it!

1989 ish -

Ad-Rock - my fave
Mike D

The Xx - Crystalized

I can't get enough of this band. This is my lax song.

The xx - Crystalised from DJ Rigel on Vimeo.

Break The Silence ~

Silence can be heard for miles,
Silence is the key to everything and the doorway to nothing.
Silently you choose to be and silence is your eternity,
You cannot hold silence in your arms and nourish it,
But silence in your heart can take away with it every beat, and from your body, each breath and from your soul the ability to fly.
Beware of silence as it might creep up on you and take you by surprise.

A Small Leak Can Sink A Great Ship -

~Benjamin Franklin


Monday Frost -

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- - - -Robert Frost "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"


...With Love Gritty Velvet

Sharing some of my favorite Def Jam Poems with you all to enjoy by yourself or  with those closest to you. Valentine's Day is just another day, and it really doesn't matter how much you spend on someone or whether you celebrate it at all, I just want to encourage and uplift you all through the power of words. Love GV.

Friends, Fans, Artists must meet; which one are you, which one is me?

Be careful of your "Motives and Thoughts"

P.O.W. Prisoner of Words...unsaid.


Normal? Who wants to be that?

Not Just A Pretty Face -Friday Femme-

Liya Kebede is not just a pretty face; she is a Mother, Model, Designer and Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Ethiopia and now Globally. Liya is helping to raise global awareness of maternal and child health issues, and improve the health of mothers and children (find out more info @ The Liya Kebede Foundation. She is amazing! Oh did I forget to mention, she has a childrens line called Lemlem (to flourish or bloom in Amharic), it is featured at J.Crew. Amesegënallô Liya, you go girl!

This beautiful picture is from the January issue of Vogue Italia.

Photographer - Alexei Hay

You Are Beautiful

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Air Jordan 3 - Spike Lee needs no introduction

So a lot of my boys are talking a lot of hoopla these days about Jordans this Jordans that, so here is a little clip for you all to reminisce on. Enjoy and wait til the end...hahah "I was born in Brooklyn"! Love it!

Jordan Vs. Spike
Fire Red Air Jordan Spizikes debut a few years ago; still look fly though. The bag is super fresh!

Alexander McQueen - Rest In Peace

British fashion powerhouse Mr. Alexander McQueen was found dead this morning in his home. This tragic news comes just days after his Mother passed away. Mr. McQueen was just recently awarded the British Avant Garde Designer of the Year. We never know the hardships that people battle on a daily, so let's try and be a little more kind and patient this year.

One of my favorite singers JJ, with a super gorgeous Avant Garde gown designed by Alexander McQueen. AMAZING!


Hoodie of the day!

This cat scratch hoodie is definitely one of a kind ( I would add some teal leggings and call it a wrap). Check out more goods at Dime Piece - Singer Cassie is one of the many beautiful featured models.


Sheila E...The OG Triple Threat

I remember the first time I heard Sheila E., it was 1985 @ The Quigg Newton Community Center, North Side of Denver, I was like 6 or so. It was my sister's baby shower, and I was going to be an auntie, so I was super excited! Plus my brother (16 at the time) and his breaking crew The Vandals were performing, with me as the side act. I wasn't too good at the time, but I just loved that feeling of my family cheering me on. Anyway, after a couple of break sets, my sisters friend Georgette threw on Sheila E., "Love Bizarre", which was featured on one of the freshest movies Krush Groove. I was blown away, I mean her voice and the beats were super fly. I would rewind her videos over and over, although very young at the time I knew a power house when I seen one. Aside from her amazing style, Sheila E. was a triple threat, she played the drums, sung and acted, plus a female ooohweee. Many years later, Sheila E. is still doing big things, most recently performing at the White House during Fiesta Latina, an annual event hosted by Barack Obama. For more info on Sheila E. check here Sheila E. Website

Check out how young Rev Run and Russell looked in this video, plus cameos by The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow & Jam Master Jay.

Hahah I still find myself doing dance moves like this on a daily.

Video of the day - Got Till It's Gone

Produced by J Dilla, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad aka The Ummah 
I love the whole feel good vibe of this video, director Mark Romanek is a genius.

Poem of the day - Alone


Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone. ~ Maya Angelou

This poem was made special for Janet Jackson to recite in John Singletons 1993 Oscar nominated film Poetic Justice. Although just a movie, this poem held a lot of weight with me, it made me feel like we are all in this world together, and no amount of money can make you happy.


Weeds - W.O.E.

*W.O.E. - Words of Encouragement

Weeds come of themselves; Flowers require cultivation. There is depravity in the soil, a tendency to thorns and thistles. It is under the curse. Good things are brought out of the soil, like good things out of the human heart, only as the result of much labor. It takes no pains to produce a harvest of weeds, nor to produce the harvest that the thief or the drunkard reaps - no more effort than is required to float down the stream. This is depravity.


Cool It Now ~ One of the best videos ever!

Awe yes, New Edition always came correct...still does. I had to change the song from Candy Girl to Cool it now due to technical difficulties! Enjoy -

Painting of the day ~

Subtle and beautiful ---
Watercolor/Acrylic Painting, buy prints @ Vincenzo Rizzo

Marching Together

~In the Roman army of old the soldier carried a large oblong shield on his left arm. When a city was besieged the men in close rank locked their shields together over their heads and then marched in safety to the gate. So is it, in an organization where brotherhood prevails. We lock our shields over our heads as we march against the vicissitudes, the trials and temptation of life, and not over our own heads alone, but others are sheltered beneath them. A comrade falls, but our locked shields ward off hardship and penury from his widow and her little ones. A companion is prostrated with sickness, but he is cared for and the wants of both him and his are supplied.~
~Loyalty is key~ GV


Illustration Of The Day ~ Willard The Popsicle Peddler

Meet Willard the Polar Bear! This rosy fellow is the Chairman of the Board for a successful popsicle corporation. His ingenuity in the frozen novelty field is unsurpassed and he's currently working on a flavor that is so secret, he has to carry the recipe in a briefcase handcuffed to his arm. --- This is a digital archival print created from original pen and ink drawing, done by Ryan Berkley. Get more information on the artist & buy prints here @ Berkley Illustration

Throwback Thursday Song- "Nightmare" by Artie Shaw Circa 1938

Taking it way back with this one! It is such a spooky yet sultry song.

Thought Provoking Thursday Quote - Earn Your Stripes

~ "No man has earned the right to intellectual ambition until he has learned to lay his course by a star which he has never seen, to dig by the divining rod for springs which he may never reach...To think great thoughts you must be heroes as well as idealists. Only when you have worked alone, when you have felt around you a black gulf of solitude more isolating than that which surrounds the dying man, and in hope and in despair have trusted to your own unshaken will ~ then only will you have achieved. Thus only you can gain the secret isolated joy of the thinker, who knows that, a hundred years after he is dead and forgotten, men who never heard of him will be moving to the measure of his thought ~ the subtle rapture of a postponed power, which the world knows not because it has no external trappings, but which to his prophetic vision is more real than that which commands an army." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


Nneka - Her Voice Is The Truth

One listen and you will see why this Nigerian Queen is the voice of truth! Nneka speaks of injustice, love, war, peace and does it in the most harmonic way. Her first Lp Concrete Jungle just dropped yesterday, so hurry up & cop that.


Who is Nneka? What is her message for the World? Listen here...


Pic of the day ~

Painted by Tom Blackford "InkFetish"
Taken in East London underground

Poem of the day ~

Express yourself
Life is a little more than hectic
not mythical,
no, not at all
and not worth recounting
but in the moment it is
unsurpassed by any
iambic tale
no matter how rich
the prose
no matter how
escapist and romantic
a diversion of delusion it is
it is quickly fleeting
from one moment to the next
one minute
it is stagnant
the other
it's, mercurial
it is, confusing
some things, we have
all figured out
ten years
in advance
weeks ahead
our eyes
betrayed our vision
showed us things
that were not there
or were
but like passersby
we chose to turn an eye, blind
to make mute our tongues,
to our indiscretions
to not voice our complaints,
but like scabs, pick at them
til they bleed
Nadia Cy - NY, NY

So Funky...and I love it!

I think these are super stylish! Check these two amazing artists hailing out of a small studio in Bklyn doing extraordinary work, which supports fair trade workers who run family co-ops in Guatemala. Their inspiration “Every day life”. They come in quite a few different amazing colors and funky prints such as, Kente, Classic Buffalo plaid, & Jazzies. Made from recycled Fabrics with leather soles hand crafted by Guatemalan artisans. Get a pair or two if you dare to @ Osborn Design  


Begin your week with this song...Happy Monday!

This song puts me in such a calm state...I can't even explain it! Just listen and enjoy.