What We Talking ‘Bout?

Some of ya’ll might be familar with me, most of ya’ll, not so much. I go by the pen name of Combat Jack. Picked up the tag a few years back, from the chapter in that Generation Kill book, mainly cause of how I like to bust shots in the heat of battle. ’70′s-’80′s baby, Brooklyn born, Ivy league lawyer that jumped into the music industry way back when it was a viable industry. Worked with the best, Jay, Dame, Puff, rubbed shoulders with most, 50, ‘Ye and whomever else was around in the ’90′s and the earlier part of this decade. Seen a lotta movements come and go. I put in a good 10 years plus before I got burned out, tired of the music, fed up with the shenanigans, bored with the game back in 2003. That’s when I left, specifically at the top of 2004.

Getting my head together as to what my next step after the industry would be, I wrote a book (a perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season. Heh). That’s around the time I met the dude that writes down the other end of the hall, Byron Crawford. Being new to the blog game, bol put me down with his site and let me guest a coupla posts. Them shits was fires. Put me as a blogger on the map and helped Byron expand his audience. Being how dude tends to piss a whole lot of people off, my association with him hasn’t always worked out in my favor. In 2005 I worked briefly in television as an exec at MTV. That didn’t last long. Was the worst professional experience in my life. Ever. Decided I would take some more time off, see what else life had to offer beyond punching a clock. Not that I could afford to, especially with me being married, having four kids, a mortgage and what not, but there comes a time in a man’s life when one says “eff it”,  throws caution aside and follows their dreams.

In 2006 I linked up with the homey Dallas Penn who used to blog here under the name Billy X. Sunday. That dude is one of the realest, illest out, and is a true friend. I’m saying that because it’s true, and also for when he blows up big time, which he will, I want him to remember that I said this here. Back then, still not ready to go the blogger route full time, I guested and brought the fires to his site as well. Had some well publicized beefs too. Like the time I took out former XXL blogger Sickamore for running his mouth real flagrant like. Ran his lil ass off this site even. I do that sometimes. Blog beef. Does the body and mind good. Great for ratings. Blogging, like rap, is a full contact sport. And I love the sport of rap. I blame that on my Hip Hop pedigree though, you know, it being one of the most combative forms of popular art known today. For fun though. And of course, never personal.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a battle blogger, even though I’m nice with mines and welcome all challengers. Eventually realizing it was way past time for me to stand on my own two with this blog thing, I finally launched my own site, the Daily Mathematics earlier this year. In the short time that I set it off, it seems a lotta people have appreciated the work that I put in. Stories about deals and execs and other music biz experiences, album reviews, geek ish, movies, video games, all that. I also managed to get into a long winded, still existing feud with New York’s Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg. Plain and simple, dude gets on my nerves. Maybe cause of how wack he is. And how nobody else in New York is standing up to say it, careful to co-sign how much New York rap radio has fallen off, scared to go at cats hiding behind major corporations for fear of backlash. And me not being so good at being able to hold my tongue. I guess.

But I digress.

Seems the noise I’ve been making over the years and during the ’09 has finally caught the attention of the fine people over here at XXL. I got the call a coupla weeks ago to join on as a regular blogger. I jumped at the chance. Wider audience. Plus, I respect XXL for the brand that it is, the legacy it’s created. I’m truly humbled at this shot and I aim to please. I hear that you XXL readers are a tough crowd though. They got ya’ll labeled as haters, disgruntled rap fans and what not. I don’t see that. What I see is a group of people that probably feel like they’re not well represented in this Hip Hop media thing for what they’re really about. A group of people not too thrilled about the music that gets selected by corporations to be played endlessly on the radio, on the videos. A group of people that’s too smart to keep letting suits tell them what they’re supposed to be listening to, what they’re supposed to be wearing, reading, watching, playing, all that.  A group of people who don’t get the encouragement they need to help them in veering off the tired employee road and onto the journey to achieving their own personal dreams. Support to help them turn the impossible into reality. If I’m wrong, pardon me for my silly little assumptions. And if I’m on point, then whaddup fam?

So here I am, an old school cat with brand new pen game. I ain’t here to make no types of promises, but trust that I’ma bring my most honest, realest, most unadulterated thoughts to the screen as carved through fine blogsmanship. Hip Hop and all things related is what I’ll be writing about. I live this like I hope you do. Day in and day out. And for years. Trust.  We can evolve and get sophisticated, building on things like economic empowerment, the only effin route left for each and everyone of us to walk down in this day and age of financial effery, or we can break down and get ig’nant, goonish and all types of nonsensical thuggish shit that the game tends to bring. I prefer the former. I can do both.

But really B, who gives a shit if I’ve done a whole lot, more than some cats will do in their entire lifetime? So effin what? That’s all in the past. I’m here now. Today. Writing on XXL. On the regular. Welcome to Today’s Mathematics with me, Combat Jack as your host. I’m ready to burn a hole through this bitch. So… what we talking ’bout?

By the way, and with all due respect to the late great Mr. Rios, the Notorious B.I.G. was better.

Also, an XXL salutes to my man Dara Taherpour over at Subcon Threads for blessing me with the artwork that graces my banner. Good looking D!

Let’s go!

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  • Blackboy

    welcome, sir.

    one piece of advice; keep them short. Niggas ’round here don’t like reading so much.


    • Combat Jack

      Advice well taken. Thnx B.

      • Enlightened

        Not with the industry stories. That’s your unique shit, you gotta keep coming with them and you can’t make them short.

        Niggas will appreciate them no matter how long.

        I guess you can always part 1/ part 2 that shit like the Lyor drop.

      • JihaD

        Fuck that. If these niggas don’t like (or know how) to read, they need to blame No Child Left Behind. Do you Frat, thats what got you to the dance in the first place.


  • Thejoker

    Let me be the first one to tell you nobody gives a fuck about your life what a waste of time that was

    • masta

      Now that’s what I call HATE. Anyways WELCOME!

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    I’m with u B…CJ do ur thing,step ur sh*t up!

  • Rob

    Idk about all that CJ. some of ur best posts have been long as hell. Always entertaining tho

  • http://www.twitter.com/ctrlaltmalik CtrlAltMalik

    Congrats, Welcome

    Look forward to good posts.

  • Axeo

    Good to have you here. Bring DP back with you and Bol we will have some real critics of hip-hop who won’t be a bunch of dickriders

  • http://K1ngEljay.com King Eljay

    Haha, finally…this should be fun to read. I’m tuned in homie.

  • http://www.shabooty.com shabooty


  • http://crimcitywimp.blogspot.com Ross

    That read like an action graphic.
    I could see the video and hear the audio of you reading it aloud inside my head as I was reading it.
    That is a neutral value statement.

    Literary fucking journalism.
    That’s all I ask.

  • Cool

    how does dallas feel about you takin his job?

  • http://danjlovesthe90s.wordpress.com DANJ!

    Whoa, wait…

    Late pass for me- Dallas Penn was Billy X. Sunday?

    Get the *gasp* atta here! (c) Marlon Wayans

    Props C-Jack


  • http://federalranga.blogspot.com Federal Ranga

    What’s crackin!!! On behalf of the Commission!!! (I’m sure you fux wit them before I got down with) I’d like to say welcome home, here and back. Y’KNOW!!! I know you gonna ruffle some feathers in this bitch. My advice… don’t get Bol’d, homey. I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

    I just started bloggin my damn self… I think I’m aight.
    On Yo Ass!!! E12 up!!!

    Welcome to Culmer Metrorail Station


  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands


    Welcome to the ‘hood, fam. Good luck, & don’t hold back ([||]?).

    Holler @ ya boy.

  • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

    finally. real nigga shit. bout time. i mean, i know Bol is your man and all, but he can be a bit gossipy. not like the barber shop, but like the beauty shop. the thing is, he can really write. he just write a lot of Bol-shit. (that was also an attempt to give him credit) but i think i just might be fuckin wit u hard. (please tell me ur not the type i have to ‘no homo’ behind every gotdamn line…) (||).

    i checked your site a few times and my favorite shit was the beat u threw on the baw who was tryin to sidewind at ur missus. it was funny and i respected the way u handled that. thoro bred shit. and i’m a supporter of thorobreds everywhere. that has nothin to do with title OR position. i respect men. srait up.

    and you gotta watch that dude Tony Grands. he run wit these dudes, Chilly Willy, $ykotic, Pierzy, and Matt Herbz. they gonna fuck around and say insightful shit most of the time. the thing is, they just may be a real danger to your analysis of the bullpen around here.

    now air it out… respectfully…

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands


      CJ is fam, he knows I’m good peoples…

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        Allow me the opportunity to also welcome Combat Jack. His site always has gems and when dude says, “Step your pen game up,” you should listen.

        What up y’all?!

        • Curtis75Black

          What’s up Combat Jack. I had the opportunity to check your style out over the weekend due to the shout out from Tony Grand$. I hope you keep it real as you did on your own personal site. no need to kiss ass now ! Do your Thing.

        • $ykotic/Don McCaine

          What’s good homies?

          The Commission benefits from a coup I see…Bol, Mexx, Mike, now CJ.

          Some Legion of Super-Bloggers ensemble sh*t going on here…brilliant!

          CJ welcome.

          Commenter’s step your type game up….

    • Chilly Willy

      What’s good, my people !

      ‘preciate it, Cult !

      “What I see is a group of people that probably feel like they’re not well represented in this Hip Hop media thing for what they’re really about. A group of people not too thrilled about the music that gets selected by corporations to be played endlessly on the radio, on the videos. A group of people that’s too smart to keep letting suits tell them what they’re supposed to be listening to, what they’re supposed to be wearing, reading, watching, playing, all that. A group of people who don’t get the encouragement they need to help them in veering off the tired employee road and onto the journey to achieving their own personal dreams. Support to help them turn the impossible into reality. ”

      if you could just finish that with a little “TONITE WE DINE IN HELL !!!”, ’cause this is real talk , CJ !

      Welcome !

      • Chilly Willy

        Btw, that drop about 9-11 was bad for the dreads was some deep shit (no [feel free to add scatological references]).

        Let your pen flow, this is gon be good.

        Peace !

  • geekbird

    the saga continues..

    good look CJ

  • sealsaa

    Arnold Jackson? SHEEEEEIT!

    Get me a picture of the Gooch, then i’ll be impressed.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    CJ! Great seeing you around these parts, man! You gotta excuse anyone hating on your first XXL blog…they just don’t know.

    All of you cats hating just to hate, please do your research over at Daily-Math. Go waaaay back. It’s a good read. You can/will learn a LOT from Combat Jack.

    • http://Daily-math.com Combat Jack

      ^ Thanx man. Like I said, I heard these cats was more e-goonish ’round here.

      • http://federalranga.blogspot.com Federal Ranga

        Don’t worry… those assholes are closer than you think. Just hit em with their mating calls…

        Wayne, Drake, OJ Da Juiceman, Gucci Mane, Lil Ru, Rick Rawse, Jay or 50.

        They’ll pop up on this bitch faster than you can say worldstarhiphop.com TRUST


  • Worley

    “but there comes a time in a man’s life when one says ‘eff it’, throws caution aside and follows their dreams.”

    Success usually follows shortly thereafter. Welcome and good luck.

  • General

    Damn, CJ on XXL…

    Thats a good look. For those that haven’t checked his site, go do so, a little research ain’t never hurt nobody…

    Look forward to readin your posts in the future and don’t let your foot off that fuckboy Peter Rosenberg’s throat either

  • Moving Sideways

    What up CJ,

    A word of warning, even Bol gets some of his posts boosted off this site like multi-colored ‘Lo gear. Nevertheless, the reason this is one of the only sites I check is because XXL is like hip-hop graduate studies. The writing is usually beyond reproach, and the comments are generally insightful. So with that welcome.

  • capcobra

    congratulations…thank you..you welcome…and what up.

  • othello


  • damestatus

    us squares read here, we just comment less. Best of luck here.

  • doggert

    Fresh stuff Jacker.

    Comparing Rios to Big is like saying batman is fatter than superman, niether can fly cause there dead or make believe. Even if i agree with you.

    If BIG where alive i reckon cats would be saying its between him and lil wayne who’d eat who in this rap shit.

  • http://xxlamg.com Blakout615

    Good introduction……I check out ur site when I can……u def got some classic stories. Do ya thang tho

  • Doggert

    What up jack, good look.

    I agree biggie is better than pun rios.

    I must say I’ve never heard Wayne bite biggies lyrics which is rare.

    Think Wayne could’ve been the rapper to eat both pun and big if he’d had the chance.

  • caino

    Yo, welcome to tha site! we hate on what usually needs to be hated on (asher Roth) , ignore the dude that said keep the blogs short. if its some good shit we will read it & appreciate it. (shout out to Mike Bigga)

  • cheezey

    i honestly checked out from the xxl website, used to read it everyday in college. you just brought me back. looking forward to more tales.

  • Area

    yeah man, keep em coming CJ, good look to expand the blog ish a bit!!!

  • sealsaa

    All seriousness Jack, i’ve been a reader since your drops on Bol’s site (loved your synopsis of Tupac’s music, BTW) Welcome.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    CJ…..heard a lot about u. The pleasure is all mine. Most of my respones are somewhat scathing, esp. if the post is about wack mc’s. Excuse me, cookie cutter rappers. I dish when I feel the truth needs to be told, at least from my point of view. A Wu head, but I fucks with “good” music. I respect the Lyricists Consortium. All of that other bullshit gets the “Bozack” Jack. Let me get this off my chest real quick. I don’t fuck with Soulja Boy, Gucci Mane, OJ da Juiceman, or any of the other shit I feel is garbage. PPL say I hate on the south, but I rocks with Ludacris. Go figure.

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Bienvenido. I welcome a change in the roster, things have been a little dry around here recently. We’re not all salty, but we will light into that ass if necessary.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

    • http://daily-math.com/weblog/ Combat Jack

      ^ “we will light into that ass if necessary.”

      I know u will B, I know u will.

  • dhunt512

    Welcome CJ been checking out the DailyMath everyday damn near since its inception and even when I check and check for a week or two and nothing to see that new post was is Christmas! My point is you have a god given talent with that pen brother! So please dont shorten the post just to shorten them to please a few short-attention spanned idiots! And in conclusion your stories about the inner workings of the industry is like viral crack I mean some blue top shit!


    was hannen, Jack. i heard about you around here, too. welcome back. this was a damn good start if i might say so myself. & i’d like to hear some of those inner industry tales (not like Fredro Starr over on wshh), true shit w/ some comedy to it. thats all i ask.

  • macdatruest

    What up CJ I heard a lot about you from bloggers on here, so you must be good. Me? Im the lone-gunner my opinions are often abstract and XXL frequently deletes my post. Im probably the most deleted blogger on here. The post that do survive, they speak for themselves. I love a good battle blog on an intelligent issue. Welcome to my home court XXL.

  • Jay stone

    This site use to be great until niggas in the comment section resort to dickriding and putting niggas dick in their mouth.

  • epinz

    Do ur thing ngga. Dnt know who told u about this section be’in e thuggin cuz we get some good fuckin comments off of these sections here at xxl. This aint nuthin like worldstar homie and guarantee if u drop some inteligent shit worth discussin, u’ll get better and more articulate responses than u do on ur own sight…..p.s…..u know u gotta drop some of that industry insider shit u b on!!!!!

  • Ayre

    What up Jack! Not much of a commenter but I’ve been following you, Bol, and The Dallas for years. Welcome here and good luck!

  • http://www.scritchandscratch.com/blog VEe!


  • El Tico Loco

    I kept hearing about CJ never checked for dude, but good start.

  • http://www.incilin.wordpress.com Incilin

    Man, I was JUST about to give up on this site since Dallas was gone and he was pretty much the only reason I still showed up over here. But now that your here, I guess I’ll keep coming.

  • Apollo Moses

    Big fan CJ…look forward to the post on the way…your five gulliest moments on DP’s site was a hoot.

  • mistermyte

    Congrats CJ on this and the Food Channel benefit, big fan. I don’t comment but I’m readin’ all your posts.from Daily and now Today’s. Great writing, keep climbing!


    Congratz CJ,
    .To all youze pro-haterz out there– think before you press send cuz ZEEZUZ got CJ back!

    Youze XXL fanz will witness the 2econd coming of ZEEZUZ here.

    • Combat Jack

      Good looking Zeezuz!

  • HNIC

    Congrats, Combat Jack! I’ve been reading your blogs on Bol’s site, as well as your own (when I can find it) for quite some time, now. I look forward to enjoying your blogs, during your time here. Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/michaelbjordan THE UNDERWRITER

    Good to see that XXL made sure they had a respected cat that could come in. Dallas definitely held it down; it’s only right that you take the reigns while he goes for the grand championship.

    Also good to see that all you dudes actually get along and promote each other through the bs/politics/fraudery.

  • Brooklyn

    welcome to the jungle my dude. i have to say, 90% of the people on here are intelligent, but it’s that 10% that come with the stupid shit. co-sign my dude above that said if you come with the intelligent posts you’ll get the intelligent responses. see, them dumb niggas can’t grasp that articulate shit. and them hating ass niggas, do like jigga and brush them off the shoulder.

  • latino heat

    Combat Jack on XXL.com. that’s big.

    only suggestion is please be easy with all the links. it took me a minute to get through this whole blog.

    i got a couple questions though. who is “they” that has the XXL commenter’s labeled as haters and disgruntled? Sykotic has been saying for a while that industry folks read our comments. is he right? and also i remember Dallas’s last blog here he said he called you to get him out of jail that night but you didn’t answer. why didn’t you get back to the big homey and get him out?

  • http://www.redearthentertainment.com Red Earth

    Congrats Combat Jack! We need you here as someone who also came through the music industry through the 80′s & 90′s!

  • parksmcfly

    Good looking CJ,

    Reckon you’ve given another reason to log on than just shake my head at another bol post ha

    I like rap as a combat sport as well but the last mainstream exposure i saw of the sort was jin winning every battle on 106 n park.

    thats was cool but like isnt that demographic made up of 16 year olds who actually buy wack cds cause A they dont have a better CD collection and B beacuse they are too young to spend there money on beer ?

    Most of these rapsters use beef to generate a buzz and its usually below the belt shots that they dont actually make that much buck out of. Plus half of them would never even have a go at each other for fun and just talk shit. Now im not suggesting that dudes start slugging blue red paintballs cause most cant free real time but come on b.

    WWF is mad $, the ministrel show is a JOKE and beefs are REAL SHIT. thanks hiphop.

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    Damn I’m late with mine…I’m just now catching up on the blogs from yesterday and today since I took the day off yesterday. Anyway, pardon my late COMMISSION entrance, but welcome CJ, looking forward to reading your posts. Heard you cook up some good blogs so I’m looking forward to them!

  • Thomas

    Following over here as well CJ. Let’s get it!

  • chillin mayne

    WOW…who is this character that posted the first comment??..that was amazingly idiotic being that what you typically do in a blog is read, so if niggas dont like to read why in the DICKENS would they check a blogsite??..im stunned, shocked, disoriented, cumfuzzled(heterocity) duped….
    regardless, good looks Combat Jack…xxlmag. is the allstar lineup of bloggers now…when DP gets back yall will have the starting FIVE!!…
    PUN over biggie..although both were ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG…killin it