Street shots – Budapest, Hungary

Sunset on the streets in Budapest.
Sunset on the streets in Budapest.


Budapest was probably the most unique city I went to. Everywhere else I went reminded me of another city – except Budapest. Part of that comes from the language, I think, which is nothing like Italian, French or Spanish. It wasn’t just that, though. The food and spices were nothing like what I was used to (shout out Hungarian Paprika!), the people were so friendly, and the juxtaposition of pre and post occupation architecture really combined to make the city feel like something different. It helped too that everything there was much cheaper than in most of western Europe. I’d really like to go back.

Capri, Italy

Pulling away from Capri
Pulling away from Capri


Capri is literally what dreams are made of. The island is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to and looking back, even with all the pictures, it still doesn’t seem real. Really fortunate to get to see places like these. I have to go back.

Marseille, France

Marseille, France
Marseille, France

I was only in Marseille for three days, but out of all the places I’ve been on this trip, it was one of the few where I felt like I could stay. The city has an incredible atmosphere and there’s so much to do. You have the water, the Calanques and the city itself to keep you entertained. I’m hoping I get the chance to go back soon.

Concert Review – Peterpalooza 3 – Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q and more!

A little over a week ago I went to the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square for Peterpalooza 3. Peterpalooza is an annual concert/birthday party for Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg. This year’s line up featured Chris Rivers, Retch and Ab-Soul, with Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Schoolboy Q headlining. Joell Ortiz, Vic Mensa, and G-Eazy each came out and performed a song as well. My original plan was to write this review immediately after the show but between sacrificing my phone to Danny Brown, getting my camera confiscated and coming home drunk as hell I decided it would be better to let the show marinate a bit before writing it up.

Chris Rivers, son of the late legend Big Pun, was the first to perform. He had a solid stage presence and brought a lot of energy to his set. This was the first time I heard his music (I’m willing to assume the same for most of the crowd) but that didn’t slow him down. He got the crowd involved with big beats and catchy hooks. At one point he had us all singing along with “I got my weed, I got my bitches, I got my gun!” Rivers’ set was short – just three songs – but he brought good energy and got the crowd involved. I’ll definitely be checking out his stuff in the future.

Retch came on next. I didn’t know too much about this guy going into the show other than that he reps NJ (!!) and I still don’t know much afterward. He had some heavy beats and a cool flow, but that was about it. He mumbled a lot of his verses and he didn’t get the crowd into it – people were actually trying to talk over him. From what I heard he sounds like he might be able to make a hot track or two but until he improves on stage he’s probably better off as a feature rapper rather than a live one.

Pete Rosenberg came out and addressed the crowd for a bit, thanking everyone for coming, telling us all to have a good time, applause for the DJ, all that kind of stuff, before calling out Joell Ortiz. Ortiz, by far the best unscheduled guest, sang his verse from the Slaughterhouse song “Hammer Dance.” He got the crowd jumping and ready for Ab-Soul.

Ab-Soul was dope. The crowd was hype as hell for anything TDE so people were jumping around when it was only his hype man on the stage. When Soul got on they lost it. He had a pretty long set, playing cuts from Control System and These Days. He brought Danny Brown out for “Terrorist Threats” and understandably, everybody went nuts. Ab-Soul really had the crowd on his side and his set was a lot of fun. My only complaint is that instead of closing with “Illuminate,” which had everybody bouncing and rapping along with the lyrics, he finished with a song that not too many people knew and all the energy he built up with “Illuminate” just went right out of the crowd. The crowd wasn’t down for long – Danny Brown was on next. His set was the deepest (and longest) of the headliners. He played a bunch of tracks from Old but we also got to hear a bunch of earlier tracks too. He was one of my favorites for sure. At one point, (can’t remember which song it was in – it happened more than once) he got a bunch of people joshing together. During the fray I unfortunately sacrificed my phone to the Rap Gods by way of their prophet Danny Brown (yet another reason I don’t have any pictures to go along with this review – the other is that they took my camera from me at the door. No photography.) Despite that low moment, his set was incredible. Awesome energy and he left everybody on a high note.

When Danny stepped off the stage the crowd was roaring. Bronson, Bronson! chants started as soon as stopped rapping. Rosenberg came back out, did his thing for a bit, then brought out two more guests.

The first was Vic Mensa. I’m not too familiar with his music but I’ve heard good things about him from my friends. He looked genuinely excited to be on the stage, which was cool to see. He only played one song, but he was bouncing around on stage and the hook was catchy. By the end of the song the crowd was shouting, “I feel that!” right with him.

Vic Mensa leaves the stage. Bronson chants recommence. Rosenberg comes out again; this time he calls out G-Eazy. I’d never heard of him and judging from the crowd’s reaction, most of them hadn’t either. Part of me feels bad for this guy, but a lot of me doesn’t. He was dressed like some kind of bad rap villain. He played one song and it didn’t go over well with the crowd. It wasn’t entirely his fault – it was getting late and people wanted to see Bronson and Schoolboy, not some kid they’d never heard of before. A couple Bronson chants broke out while he was still rapping. Like I said, I feel bad for the guy because it sounded like he could actually spit. He just didn’t bring the right kind of energy.

Action Bronson finally hit the stage. The crowd went wild. The TDE acts have a larger national presence but inside that theatre you wouldn’t know it. Bronson was the man that night. He fed off the crowd’s energy like Goku charging up a Spirit Bomb, except it happened in minutes instead of 24 episodes. By the end of the first song Bronson was covered in sweat and his shirt was ruined. By the third or fourth he was wilding in the crowd, climbing over railings to get into VIP and rapping from there. Bronson had his own guests, too. He had the Alchemist spinning, PartySupplies playing guitar, and he brought out another rapper whose name for the life of me I cannot remember. About halfway through his set he cut off the beat and started freestyling. He told all the rappers in the back to come out and have a cipher with him. We knew who was in the back so naturally we were excited. Unfortunately, nobody came out to answer his call. Action Bronson brought it. He finished his set to chants of “he’s a hero in his hometown, baby.”

Rosenberg came out one more time, then, finally, Schoolboy Q hit the stage. Q handles the stage well. He was cracking jokes at Rosenberg, talking shit to Ab-Soul, just having a good time. He jumped right into his set.. His second song was “Hands on the Wheel” and the crowd exploded. Bouncing, rapping every word – the energy was great. He moved into Oxymoron cuts. “Gangster, Gangster,” “Studio,” and “Break the Bank.” When he got to “Collard Greens” the crowd rapped Kendrick’s entire verse. People lost their shit to “Man of the Year.”

I won’t say I was disappointed with Schoolboy’s set – it was short and he played mostly just Oxymoron singles (I would’ve loved some tracks from Habits & Contradictions. “Sacrilegious” and “There He Go” would’ve been very cool). Despite that his set was easily the most fun. Everybody in the crowd, myself included, lost their minds during his performance. Nobody was too cool to jump around and rap along to the songs. The crowd was full of fans – it was awesome.

Peter Rosenberg knows how to put a show together. The line up was great, they fit well together and each of them brought tons of energy to the stage. This was the third annual Peterpalooza and if this year was any indicator, next year’s show is going to be sick. I’m definitely going to try and make it if I’m in town.

My Summer Reading List

Some of you know this already, some of you might not: I love to read. I read all the time. In the mornings, before work. At work. After the gym, before dinner, and after. Just before bed, and anywhere in between. Where ever I’m at, chances are I’ll have a book with me too. If you can’t see it, it’s probably in my backpack.

The summer months are some of my favorite times of the year to read. Sure, winter is nice – you get to sit next a fireplace or a heater and get cozy – but it gets dark by six. That’s wack. There’s something special about sitting on the beach and falling asleep with a book in your lap. Nothing beats it.

I also like reading in the summer because it’s when I have the most freedom to read what I want. Fall, winter, and spring are all dominated by whatever I’m assigned for school. I get to sneak a few of my own picks in here and there, but it’s rarely enough. My list is much more flexible in the summer.

I’ve made it through about half of my list so far. Here it is, with a little about each book:

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The first book of Marquez’ (who, unfortunately, recently passed away) that I’ve read. The story follows the Buendia family’s lives as they turn Macondo from a small village to thriving town. They live through disease, war, industrialization, and natural disaster. Marquez writes beautifully and brilliantly – after about fifteen pages it was clear why he won the Nobel Prize. This book was incredible, although a little dense at times. There were moments where I felt like I’d been reading for a half hour, only to find out I’d just barely covered six pages – even though a whole new generation was born, lived their entire lives, and died.

Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson

This one was recommended to me by my friend, Lucas. A collection of short stories set in the midwest. They follow the lives of several heroin addicts (they’re all told from the perspective of the same narrator – known only as “Fuckhead”) as they commit crimes, take drugs and try to get their lives in order. My favorite parts of these stories were the perspective and Johnson’s writing style. The narration was chaotic and all over the place, mirroring the characters lives. “Car Crash while Hitchhiking” (the opening story) and “Work” are my two favorite stories in the collection. Definitely one of the more interesting books I’ve read this summer.

The Autobiography of Red – Anna Carlson

A novel in verse. Carlson’s modern retelling of the Hercules and Geryon myth. In the myth Hercules has to kill Geryon for one his labors and take his red cows. In Autobiography of Red, that isn’t quite how things go down. We get a much more human view of things, told from Geryon’s perspective. It’s kind of weird, but really unique and interesting. This is the most stylistically innovative and ambitious book I’ve read this summer. Also a book recommended to me by Lucas.

Too Much Happiness – Alice Munro

I snagged this one off my father’s bookshelf. I’m about halfway through it as I’m writing this post. Alice Munro’s stories are always brilliant – this collection is no exception. Her writing is incredible. It’s so subtle, precise and nuanced. She does more in thirty pages than many writers can do in three hundred. Her work is always a pleasure to read. “Free Radicals” and “Wenlock Edge” are the standouts of the collection so far. If you have the time, I suggest reading everything of hers that you can get your hands on. That’s my plan.

The River Swimmer – Jim Harrison

Another book I took from my father’s shelf. I don’t actually know too much about this one. My dad has been telling me good things about Harrison’s writing for years now so I finally got my hands on one of his books. I’m looking forward to getting into it. I’ll let you know what I think of it once I finish.

Said the Shotgun to the Head – Saul Williams

The only book of poetry on my list (I’m slacking, I know). I’ve never read Saul Williams before. I was walking through Barnes & Noble one day and this caught my eye. I’ve only just glanced at a few of the pages but from what I’ve seen it looks pretty experimental in terms of narrative and form, so I’m excited to check it out.

The Sound of the Waves – Yukio Mishima

Mishima is widely considered tone one of Japan’s greatest writers. He was a finalist for the Nobel Prize in 1963 and organized a coup to restore the Emperor to power in 1970 (he was unsuccessful, but it’s still sort of bad ass). I read a collection of his stories called Death In Midsummer and really enjoyed them – they were dark, funny, and immensely powerful – I’m interested in seeing how he handles the longer form.

What do you think of my list? What are you reading? Send me an email at or hit me up on twitter at @incitethemag or @calbino18! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


It’s been a long time since I put pen to paper for something like this. I have to say – it feels good to be back. I didn’t do this properly the first time. I wasn’t focused and I didn’t give Incite the amount of attention it needed to thrive. It sat there on the mantle collecting dust. Not anymore. Things are looking right this time. The energy is back behind the project – there are some big things in the works. These next few weeks and months will be pretty exciting, to say the least.

Just a preview of everything to come:

Transatlantic adventures – I’ll be spending several months living in Rome, Italy, and traveling to the surrounding countries. It’s always been a dream of mine to travel and see the world – but I’ve never been out of the country before – so this journey is still surreal to me. I can’t believe it’s actually about to happen. But it’s been a long time in the making so I’m taking full advantage of this opportunity. Hell, if I didn’t have to finish school, I might not even come back.

(Re)Launch Party – We’ve got to celebrate the return of Incite and utilize this great summer weather while it lasts (I still shudder when I think of last winter) so why not do both at the same time? Barbecues are still the undisputed heavyweight champion of summer waves. How else could we do it? Great food, great drinks and great people. We’ll set this up some time early next month (August ninth is the tentative date), with more details to come as it gets closer to the date.

Collaborations with a couple great artists and musicians – these, though, will be kept under wraps until it’s time for them to drop. Like Jay Z and Bleek told us, “you let your shit bubble quietly – THEN YOU BLOW”

All in all it’s going to be an interesting and exciting summer. I’m looking forward to watching it all play out. I’m hoping you’ll rock with us at Incite to see it all go down.

Simic Sundays

In honor of Charles Simic’s upcoming visit to Rollins College for the Winter With the Writers Literary Festival, I’m posting two of my favorite poems he’s written. The first, “Lingering Ghosts” is from New And Selected Poems (2012) and the second “My guardian angel is afraid of the dark” is from The World Doesn’t End (1989).

Lingering Ghosts

Give me a long dark night and no sleep,

And I’ll visit every place I have ever lived,

Starting with the house where I was born.

I’ll sit in my parents’ dimmed bedroom

Straining to hear the tick of their clock.


I’ll roam the old neighborhood hunting for friends,

Enter junk-filled backyards where trees

Look like war cripples on crutches,

Stop by a tree stump where Grandma

Made roosters and hens walk around headless.


A black cat will slip out of the shadows

And rub herself against my leg

To let me know she’ll be my guide tonight

On this street with its missing buildings,

Missing faces and few lingering ghosts.


My guardian angel is afraid of the dark. He pretends he’s not, sends me ahead, tells me he’ll be along in a moment. Pretty soon I can’t see a thing. “This must be the darkest corner of heaven,” someone whispers behind my back. It turns out her guardian angel is missing too. “It’s an outrage,” I tell her. “The dirty little cowards leaving us all alone,” she whispers. And of course, for all we know, I might be a hundred years old already, and she just a sleepy little girl with glasses.

You can read more of Simic’s work here.

Want to discuss the poems? Leave a comment, send an email to or take it to Twitter @incitethemag