Friday, November 30, 2007

Month of November - Most Traffic Ever

And most posts ever.

We want to thank the guest bloggers, and most of all, you the readers, for helping this happen.

As the community expands, we will keep bringing on frequent commenters and industry friends to guest blog.

So again, a Big Thanks and see y'all in December.

Blacks in Rock

It's a cold rainy day in LA, so what BETTER way to bid farewell to the month of November than with the video below.




A lot of people don't know it, but GNR guitarist Slash, is black (well, half-black, but most of us call that black).

I love it when blacks infiltrate the world of rock (from Jimi to Living Colour to TV on the Radio).

Would love for someone to do a documentary on that phenomenon (and has anyone here heard of the docu AFROPUNK? Care to comment on it?)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

America, I love you (But you're bringing me down)

America I love you
But you're bringing me down
The dollar feels weak
When compared to the Pound

In France they dress well
better than Europe, to a man
but they won't speak English to you
Even though they sure can

Amsterdam is the home
of the world's sexy wrongs
But if you're an immigrant and speak out
they'll deport your ass home

Damn it feels good to be back.

I missed my country.

Overseas, in Europe, there's a pervasive sense that America is down. Not going down, but down. They love that the dollar is weak and they feel strong. They are pissed off about Bush, and won't bring it up as long as you don't, and prefer that you don't.

They think we are in an enduring cumuppance. A powerful correction. And they're right. Most Americans still haven't felt the real pain of our current administration's policies but they will.

And it will hurt like hell.

I felt bad a few days over there. Like a lesser with crappy money and little to be proud about.

But...

In America, we label our streets. We are generally nice and helpful (even in New York...I've SEEN it.) We hope for the best. We are loud, but we are generous. Our nation still contributes privately more in charity than the rest of the world. We believe in the future. And while we have many problems...we all KNOW exactly what those problems are, and it's up to us to convince our rulers that those problems are important...or elect new rulers (though we have failed at this a few times.) Plus we have good food, cheap gas (believe me), great sports (though we REALLY need to jump on the soccer bandwagon...that really is the best sport in the world today.) and our health is terrible...but we know it and we're working on it.

And that's what I like about my country...we got problems...tons...but we're working on it.

But also...

All the music I heard, posters I saw, movies playing in theatres, songs in the clubs...American Made.

And most of the people I talked to, loved their country as I do mine...but they wouldn't mind being in New York.

Heh.

So be cool, Yanks. We'll be fine.

As long as we don't muck up the next election.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Barack's a Funny Guy

The Mainstream Media likes to ask, during an election, which candidate you'd like to "have a beer with." To us, there's no question.

The Message has always made it known that we are not "Fair and Balanced," like the wonderful folks at FOX News. We have an entrenched Pro-Barack (aka Pro-bama) agenda.

And bits from the campaign trail like the ones below, which reveal an alert and active sense of humor, make it clear why our braintrust, and the campaign of the Illinois Senator, go hand-in-hand. At least to this point in time...

ABC NEWS -

...Barack believes that Clinton is under more pressure to carry Iowa because of her front-runner status and her portrayal in the media as inevitable. "The overwhelming favorite who has been touted as inevitable over the last six months better win Iowa," Obama said. "Don't you think?"

Obama is also counting on some Republicans to help him carry Iowa. Which is why he has been spending time campaigning in the rural, more conservative, Western Iowa.

"We got Democrats and Independents and yes we even have some Republicans," Obama said to a crowd in Dunlap, Iowa. "I know this because when I'm shaking hands afterwards they whisper to me. They say 'Barack, I'm a Republican, but I support you.' And I say 'thank you, why are you whispering?'"

Kenya's Sex Trade

Bashir is back in town (great! I can go back to just commenting).

Some of you will remember that when he left for Europe, I warned him not to go over there and have lots of sex with white women (and the sisters on this board chimed in with their own unsolicited "warnings"/threats to that same effect).

Well, apparently, we had it backwards. As this article on Kenya's Sex Trade proves, you don't have to go in search of wild, white women... wild, white women are coming in search of you ...

...and they're 64-years-old. Priceless.

Sunday Inspiration: Volume 3

Nothing's inspiring more creativity in the Hip Hop community these days than Auto-Tune. It's the music program that's responsible for all that high-pitch singing we hear on almost every song out of the Dirty South.

But now that even Snoop has a new song (and video) where he too is using the once T-Pain-patented tool of Auto-Tune, it seemed only right to mention MESSAGE supporter/contributor Maria Jackson's latest find: the youngest singer yet to make use of the all-purpose Auto-Tune plug-in.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Music for Your Holiday

Music to kick off your holiday season...

Still having difficulty upoading mp3s directly to this Message site, so get them off the site below for now.

Also, I'm still searching for the mp3 for "Soul Boat" (sorry).
In the meantime, enjoy two of our greatest hits.

"Condilicious" and "Make It Burn"

Play them on your iPods and at parties.
And since we mastered these tracks, trust me, they bang...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunday Inspiration: Volume 2

What I really wanted to post today was a video by Jermaine Jackson.

While his brother Michael's song "Thriller" was breaking airplay and sales records everywhere you went in 1984, someone in Jermaine's camp decided that what Mike did with horror movies, Jermaine could do with Sci-Fi movies.

The result was (no lie) "Escape From the Planet of the Ant Men" off of his 1984 "Dynamite!" record. The amazing lyrics to this forgotten gem are here.

They're definitely worth a read (and any songwriter who can pen a line like "Outside my cage there's an army of ants" deserves a Grammy).

Sadly, no video for the song could be found on YouTube. Even more sadly, when I went looking for the song on iTunes, it was not one of (only) 13-or-so Jermaine Jackson songs available. Doesn't anybody realize both Tito and Randy are doing the background vocals on this track?!

MOST SADLY, I went to the Amazon.com MP3 download site, and the site told me "'Jermaine Jackson' does not match any artists.'" Damn! Really?!

Completely frustrated in my search, I now have to run with another Jackson entirely. Sam.

And what's my favorite Sam Jackson scene? He's got so many, but I have to say, ask anyone of a certain age who "Gator" is and you will only get one response.

Try watching the scene below. Damn, that sequence is still wrenching...!

Friday, November 16, 2007

As We Get Ready For Thanksgiving Break...

...let's take a trip back into time.

It was Thanksgiving Day 2001.

America had just invaded Afghanistan and both the President and the war had approval ratings hovering around 120% (for the record, no pollster has EVER called me).

And it was at this time that Aaron Magruder published, what I think, is one of the boldest, bravest, and true statements that have ever been found ANYWHERE in the media, let alone on the nation's comic strip pages.

Boondocks - Thanksgiving 2001

Regardless of what you think about the cartoon version, I think we all agree that the original comic strip was a breakthrough for our generation.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reason #324 of Why There Should Always be a Brother in the Room...

...when you're naming new dinosaurs.

Black Bar Mitzvahs

So by now, most of you guys have heard the Jay-Z song "Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)" off the American Gangster soundtrack.

If you have not been near a radio recently, you can find the video below.

As many people have noted, Jay-Z references many things Jewish on this track, including the coming-of-age ritual known as the Bar Mitzvah.

Which got me to thinking.

Should black people start having a ritualized birthday party (like a bar and bat mitzvah) for our boys and girls when they turn 13?

Would we need to incorporate coming-of-age rituals from Africa? Or slavery (ala "jumping the broom" in marriage ceremonies)? Or just throw a party where everyone celebrates and gives money to the child?




Let's discuss it in the comments section.

Until that time, like Jay says, "L'chaim!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dr. Donda West, RIP

We at The Message take a moment to mark the passing of Kanye's mom, Dr. Donda West, former Professor of English at Morris Brown College in Atlanta and former chair of the Chicago State University English Department.

Aside from the fact that me and B are generally Kanye fans, it's sad to see anyone lose a loved one needlessly due to mistakes made by medical "professionals."

The MTV article is here.

Also, people are leaving their respects on Kanye's blog under his last post before the tragedy, ironically a posting of the early 90s Souls of Mischief song '93 til Infinity. All that's here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Associated Press stealing from our Site?!

That might be a bit of a stretch, but the AP runs this story today about the "hero" status of Genarlow Wilson and the Jena 6.

As always, The Messsage community covered it first (h/t to Craig).

Click on the title/link below. Give a read and let us know what you think about the AP's take...

CAUSE CELEBRES CROSS LINE INTO HEROISM

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sunday Inspiration: Volume 1

As we at The Message get ready to edit some new material for y'all to witness, we'd like to introduce a new weekly segment called Sunday Inspiration.

This will be our opportunity to show you some of our favorite clips from movies, TV, or just some random pieces from the web that inspire the comedy and community that is The Message.

And what better way to start of this new series than the inspirational words of my man in the clip below.

Part of The Message's goal was to take over the world, and with this guy's advice, we may just do that.



UPDATE: Wow! How did YouTube take this video away all of sudden? It's been up on their site for ages. Guess Mr. Vu is really intent on keeping those three words a secret.

Or maybe the "old white man" found out Mr. Vu was holding seminars on the "three little words."

Crazy. At least some of you saw it before they took it down. Keep an eye out next week for another Sunday Inspiration.

Good Night & Good Luck

I'm off for a few weeks.

I'll miss you guys.

Play nice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Well allow me to re-introduce myself...

...my name is Craig aka "Bizzle" aka "K.Rellz" aka "The Crispus Attucks of R&B". I worked with Diallo and Bashir on the latter months of "The Message Show". I'm not sure what I did exactly, but I did get paid. Which, ultimately, is all that counts...

Now onto the business of my "guest" blogging. I am black. Highly educated. Very opinionated. Most importantly, not afraid of a "little" controversy. So let's dive right in!

Robert Bailey, Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw, and Jesse Ray Beard. Heard these names before? Yep, they are the 6 fine upstanding individuals that make-up the "Jena 6".

I'm not here to provide back-story, you can get that right here. However, I would like to provide my personal critique of what has transpired since. The only "real" issue regarding the Jena 6, is whether the punishment fits the crime. They clearly assaulted another classmate and for that they should be punished. However, most would agree that the punishments handed down in this matter did not fit the crime.

THAT BEING SAID. Can we all just agree that the members of the Jena 6 are NOT heroes? Can we all agree that they are not civil rights leaders? Can we agree that they should not be lionized for their "courage and bravery in the face of oppression"? PLEASE? And since we're (hopefully) in agreement. Can we ALSO agree that that:

#1. They should not walk the red carpet at the "illustrious" BET Hip-Hop Awards:




#2. They should not give a "poorly" thought-out speech at said "illustrious" BET Hip-Hop Awards.

#3. They should not make YouTube videos with hundreds of dollars of cash AT THE SAME TIME as money is being raised for their legal defense:



Still with me? Good. The reality is, this blog entry isn't really about Robert Bailey, Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw, and Jesse Ray Beard. It's about us. Yes, the good old African-American "community".

Everyone was so quick to give speeches, marches, opinions. Jesse and Sharpton were there (Of course. Note to group: Can we please get more relevant black leaders or have they cornered the entire market?). Black radio hosts were there. Mission accomplished! The whole world got to look at Jena, Louisiana and it wasn't pretty.

But that's my point. Why aren't they looking now? Sure the sentences will be reduced, but what about some HUMILITY from these 6 young men? PLEASE? If Sharpton goes after Nas for the word "nigger", can you please go after these young men with equal zeal? This is why we're consistently not taken seriously by the public at large. We're hyper-critical of "others" but never ourselves which is the CLASSIC definition of hypocrisy...Remember Rodney King?

And on that note, I say we recollect all of the legal defense money and just "Make It Burn". That way, Jena's legal system will work it's "magic" and quite possible the young men of Jena 6 will learn the true definition of "humility" sitting in jail.

Just when I try to hate on Hip Hop

Jay kills it.



(got this off Yeezy's blog)

Plus, according to Craig the album is dope.

Maybe, he'll blog about it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

American Gangster

(we posted this once, but Youtube destroyed the link)

This was a fun one to shoot.

It was one of the times that Diallo and I were in the studio and we just let the camera's roll. It was rare that we got to do that since we were always inundated with production details and shots.

But some of the best stuff we did was when the pressure was off, there was no rush and we just let the actors work. (see Fantasia).

The cool thing is we got a chance to make up jokes on the spot and then justify them in post production.

The other reason we did this is that Diallo is absolutely obsessed with this T.V. show. Yes, he's Ivy League educated and erudite. But get between him and this series and you have a problem. Maybe it's cuz he was a history major...and this is Black History.

(right?)

Soooo...in honor of Denzel.

Enjoy!



Also, Diallo has an excellent post about the Denzel movie a few days ago.

Read it again.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The family grows

Diallo and I have invited some friends to guest blog.

Show them some love...

and, by the by,

we ain't responsible for what they say.

seriously

don't blame us

cuz they're gonna bring the heat

(and the funny)

Why the internet sucks: part 15

The internet sucks because you can have amazingly funny content up...

...and no one would ever know it.

Just found out about this:



And these:





Damn you internet!