The WOMi feature is reserved for the people who influence my work and carry a certain admirable joie de vivre. Nick Schonberger fits that description. In fact, I consider him to be a White version of myself, were I more coy and deadpan funny, and if I had bits of knowledge and experience with nearly everything under the sun. We’re both sober, yet smoke like freight trains, we’re fairly reserved and share a love of firearms, sneakers and music. Nick bears more weight in the latter.
His daily meanderings can be found on Selectism, as a features editor for Highsnobiety, and as a freelance contributor all across the Net and print. Running down his list of accomplishments is nearly impossible, but luckily he has nickschonberger.com for those who are interested. The only missing items are his recently authored book, Homeward Bound, on the life and times of famed tattooist Sailor Jerry and another essay in the history of museum exhibitions related to tattoos.
And while I’ll be involved in the upcoming “Hip-Hop 2.0″ at Princeton, Nick will be holding fort at Yale for “The Urban Catwalk”, discussing style, influence and whatever else the Ivy League school unknowingly just got itself into.
Chester P – “Inside Out (Gimme That)”
Chester P is my favorite rapper. “Inside Out” comes from his solo debut, From the Ashes. On one level, it’s an exercise in rhyme for rhyme sake, but the track is also indicative of Chester’s version of urban realism.
Jay-Z – “Where I’m From”
My single favorite Jigga track. I think the album as a whole is undervalued, perhaps due to a few radio-ready cuts that are, at this point, pretty dated. “Where I’m From” is the standout classic though. The beat is impossible to deny.
Brother Ali – “A Room With A View”
There is a theme, you’ll have noticed, of songs on my iPod that relate directly to space and place. Brother Ali, for my money, writes descriptive raps better than almost anyone. This track introduces the album, Shadows On The Sun, and it also is a perfect introduction to Ali’s style.
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – “Dedicated to You”
This song comes from my grandfather’s favorite record. It’s my favorite as well. Coltrane and Hartman are beautifully balanced; ‘Trane’s playing delicate and full of emotion, and Hartman has a tremendous voice.
Gerald Levert – “Mr. Too Damn Good”
Yeah, I sometimes listen to shit like this. What of it? This is a song, as Luther Vandross said, “for the fireplace.”
AC/DC – “You Shook Me All Night Long”
Phil Collins – “Sussudio”
Fun fact: I have been to three Phil Collins shows. I also own two live show DVDs.
Pantera – “Fucking Hostile”
Sometimes I am super angry and feel exactly like this. Exactly like this. Fun to listen to on the train.
Lemon D – “This Is Los Angeles”
For no specific reason, Lemon D’s “This Is Los Angeles” is one of my favorite ever tracks from the Metalheadz label. I often listen to D’n'B tracks from this era while walking through a city. A quick look at the number of plays proves this one to have been the most frequent spin.
Haystak – “Broads n Alcohol”
This joint used to be my theme song. Then I stopped drinking. Once, ‘Stack kicked the lyrics over the phone for me. Honestly, it remains a highlight of my life in Hip-Hop. Shout out to #Nashville.