Friday, February 29, 2008

Hillary and...Hip Hop?

All in all, I know where Hillary got her inspiration for the 3am ad. (I know, 3am...5am...mere semantics!)

And can you believe in this political mixtape-on-TV beef battle, Obama has his rebuttal on the air already.

While the impossible CAN happen (I mean, Nas and Jay-Z are boys these days), I'm not so sure these two will be swapping Christmas cards this year.

Before We Say Goodbye to Black History Month

Because it is Leap Year, we have one extra day to celebrate all that is Black and Historic.

So let's give it up to that legendary figure, Uncle Ben...

And that rarefied first black umpire (a real man, look him up...)

Damn, Emmett.

Why didn't anyone tell me former Dallas Cowboy great Emmett Smith was one helluva public speaker?

As a huge sports fan, I usually cringe with athletes speak. As much as I love Jordan, who can name me ONE memorable Jordan sound bite...?

But Emmett...


I keep thinking that so many liberals who take issue with Texas politics just DO NOT understand Texas. It might not hurt to give it a try. Maybe if more people on the left would find ways to connect to where Texans are coming from, they might be able to better share their own ideas.

I have family in Dallas, Houston, Katy and Prarie View. It's time I gave them a call.


ps - if there is ANY justice in the world someone would make a movie about the Dallas Cowboy teams of the 90's. Yes, I'd go see it a thousand times.

Exciting on the field. Unspeakable off the field.

Dallas 90: Watch The Ball

Pure Comedy From Hillary

We bust our ass trying to be funny.

But Hillary beats us with a single ad.

Admit it, at first you thought it was an SNL sketch right? Like maybe at the end Dracula or Abraham Lincoln would answer the phone? Or it would be the wrong number?

(who writes these ads?)

FRIDAY FUN - Los Angeles

This is one of my favorite videos on the web.

A BBC documentary on Los Angeles from 1972. With a focus on design.

It's My Ball And I'm Taking It Home

The Washington Post on SNL's defense of their new Obama.

To Wit:

[SNL boss Lorne] Michaels said that the show auditioned "four to five" actors for the Obama role, including Thompson. And the winner, he says, was based on merit.


(Where have I heard that word before? Reminds me of something...something we used to argue about alot in college. California passes Proposition 209 as a response to it...hmmm. Drawing a blank here.)

At any rate, it's Lorne's show and he can do whatever the hell he wants. But to bring up "merit" sounds to me like there just isn't a black person good enough to do the part.

I disagree.

Even excluding my writing partner (who does the best version on the planet), I know about four people who do really good versions, certainly more accurate than Armisen. Which sucks, because we LOVE Fred Armisen as one of the shows comedy heavyweights, he just didn't connect with his portrayal.

But all that is beside the point. All that is seeing trees and not forests...this is a simple matter:

It's Mr. Michael's show and we can do whatever the hell he wants.

It must be nice to be able to have your way despite logic and reason. For my part, the next time we have a show I've told Diallo we'll cast EVERY PART...

...With Turkish actors. Turkish Hillary, Turkish McCain, Turkish Bush, Turkish Lorne Michaels except for Turkish NBA player Hedo Turkoglu...he'll be played by a Korean woman.

"I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"


Because we can.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Really Bad Timing

So....every now and then you see something REALLY POSITIVE AND GOOD. But it doesn't make you happy.

Stanford University has joined with Princeton, Harvard and other schools in helping assure it's students leave the school without undergraduate debt.

See, they have about 17 billion in endowment funds, so they figured they could break the kids off a little change. If your parents have money they pay, and if they can't really afford it, you don't have to take out loans you'll be paying back 'til you die.

A few lawmakers had been leaning on them to stop collecting money like it's no tomorrow and maybe, you know, GIVE SOME to the students.

This is a good thing...

...but they can go to hell! What about us! I want my money back! I want back the loot I paid!

Harvard, hook me up. Stop being all stingy! You got about $35 Billion in endowment funding. Get back at me....(I won't tell anyone, promise).

These rich colleges WAIT TIL NOW to realize that some of us wanna start life without college debt. (GOD I hate rich people right now.)

Sorry for being selfiish.

Go Cardinal

(Dirty Bastards)

I'm not alone on this, right?

Bill O'Reilly RSVP's for a Lynching Party

Star Jones has a few choice words for Bill O'Reilly in the "lynching party...we'll track it down" debate.

Bravo to her (and Diallo's boy Eugene from the Washington Post...who breaks it down here on Keith Olbermann). Power to the people!

Black Genius Camp

I think we should start one for all the kids, especially after reading this piece by Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post.

On 'Black Geniuses'

Once again, Eugene comes through, using Washington insider knowledge and a sharp sense of humor.

RIP to Buddy Miles

Buddy Miles died on Tuesday at the age of 60. I got hip to him after listening to Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys project (a really fantastic album, BTW). He was a great drummer and vocalist, as demonstrated in this clip:

But '80s babies might remember him more for singing lead here:

Thanks, Buddy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If Oden Was A Superdelegate...

I grew up in a state and went to an institution where everything associated with Ohio and "The" Ohio State University was universally hated.

One of the greatest sports photos ever. I was at this game.

But for all my allegiance to both my state and my school, I have to say, I've always liked Greg Oden.

What a 7-foot nerd might look like.

While in high school, he was hounded by recruiters constantly and was talked about as a lottery pick out of the prep ranks until the NBA stipulated an age limit. His mom called the NBA's ruling unfair, but Greg said something to the effect that he wasn't overly concerned with going pro right away and kept his head in a calc book.

Although he was hurt during his one year at OSU, he still tore up the Big Ten and became the number one pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, he became injured before his rookie year could start with Portland. He joked that if his pro career didn't work out, maybe he'd become the world's tallest professional breakdancer. More recently, he added a new member to his family:

Introducing... Charles Barkley McLovin. How cute.

Greg Oden doesn't seem to be your stereotypical NBA baller (excluding this scene from college). That in mind, it makes sense that Sen. Barack Obama would make a call to the man and it would produce this. Of course it's yet to be seen how much sway the 20 year-old can have over his former state of residence. And honestly, I don't think it will do much. But still, it's cool seeing a young athlete make a statement of some sort.

I just wonder what present-day athletes would be stumping for the rest of the field.

Any suggestions?

The New Kanye v. 50 Cent: Cosby v. Dyson

The feud has been on for a few years now since Bill Cosby made his now famous "Pound Cake" remarks and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson responded.

Coming on the heals of Cosby's announcement that he's going to be getting into the rap game, Dyson has thrown his hat in the ring.

"Hip-Hop rhymes with Puddin' Pop"

"I've been using the same
Talib Kweli quote for seven years"

I have to say, I'm not the biggest Dyson fan in the world. He completely lost me after describing Tray Dee's tears for the umpteenth time in that Tupac book. Don't get me started on his institution hopping. And the comment he made to All Hip-Hop about when comedians talk serious kinda shook me. Ever heard of Dick Gregory?

But he is an intellectual (and from Detroit), as demonstrated in an exclusive The Message interview (but why couldn't he get Camp Lo using "Adventures in the Land of Music"? C'mon, now):

This said, I'm interested to see how this shapes up. I can't wait to check the cover of The Jounral of Blacks in Higher Education the day their albums drop.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Bitch is the new Black"...Really?

Will this be Hillary's headline for today's debate? Is it the rallying cry the HRC campaign has been struggling to find? Will it provide the ever elusive call to action that "shame on you", "plagiarism" and "inexperience" couldn't muster?

I know the t-shirt and bumper sticker makers are having a field day with this one.

Unfortunately I am not.

Monday, February 25, 2008

All Our Videos Are Here

Someone asked where to see all our content.

Ask...and you shall receive.

Okay...they aren't all here. Some are missing (about 12) and some we never posted (but will someday soon).

Dig in. Let us know what still cracks you up.

(man does a damn good impression)

(one of the MOST underrated things we did. Saddam meets "rim shot" style with Thomas' awesome cutaway look.)

Jimmy Kimmel's Revenge

When Sampling Electronica Goes Wrong...

Because we have been talking a lot about sampling electronic music lately, I wanted to point out there are hazards involved in the practice.

Wiz Khalifa sampled Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone," a song which most of us will tell you was NEVER cool.

In defense of Wiz Khalifa, some of his other songs are more interesting. Maybe lyrically lacking, this beat is hot.

I also noticed that Pitbull sampled Benni Benassi's "Satisfaction" for a 2 Live Crew/Miami appeal:

In Pitbull's case, I grant him a waiver. "Satisfaction" was a big hit in clubs and, in the end, Pitbull makes big, Miami-friendly songs for the club.

In general, I think its safe to say, be careful following trends, y'all.

This Is Our Fault

The Clinton camp is circulating this photo taken of Barry two years ago. In it he's dressed as a Somali elder. But, let us put the bullshit aside.

In the photo he looks like what Americans have been shown a terrorist looks like.

Clinton's people have apparently heeded Bill Kristol's advice and are turning to the politics of fear in a last ditch effort to secure more votes in the upcoming contests.

I've become so disillusioned by this stage of the campaign that I wasn't even offended by what Hillary is doing. I was more curious as to why she chose to do it.

And I now believe her recent behavior is our fault.

(If you're one of the MANY Conservative/Republicans who read this site the below is not about you, though you too share a little bit of blame.)

We promised her she'd be President, then ditched her when a new guy showed up.

We promised to take her to the winter ball, then stood her up. We ditched her at Six Flags. We copied her math homework but wouldn't sit next to her at lunch. And articles like Alter's recent call for her to accept reality, have only fueled the anger she sees when she looks in the mirror and thinks how awesome it would have been to show up with us at the Downtown Hyatt in the green and blue taffeta dress she borrowed from her cousin for the night.

Scorned, she is resorting to near madness. She really is in what Dick Cheney calls the "last throes".

Except these last throes are real.

So, Hillary, I can't speak for everyone. But I too kind of thought you'd be President and was ready and willing to throw you my support and inconsistent writing. But, I'm from Chicago and I have to ride for the homey. Still and all...

My bad.

(Now can you please cut this shit out so the party can be unified in the fall?)

New Poll


So New York won the poll about which city produced the best Hip Hop yet Dr. Dre won the poll for best producer.

And he's a New Yorker right?


At any rate, Diallo and I will at some point be doing a tour (with a show) so the new poll is geared to help us figure out what city to start in. know...what city to party in, kick it in, "build" in (as my New York friends say) or, maybe, retire to once we've seen enough of Hollywood.

New Orleans





Los Angeles

Pretty Much What He Said

Good Point, sir.

...and yet.

I'm sure this will somehow be used as a negative.

It's so sad our politics has gotten to the point where even truth can be twisted and become fuel for political opportunism.

McCain "relies heavily on lobbyists to make his decisions"...

...magically transforms into "the NY Times unfairly attacks McCain".

For the record, so you know, both can be true.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Music: Stealing From Diallo Edition

Diallo put me on to this dude Jneiro Jarel.

Been rocking it in the Bentley Coupe* for a few days now as I drive through LaLeezy.


...and not to be sacrilegious...

...but he sure does sound a lot like one James Dewit "J Dilla" Yancey.

To Wit:

In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you like Dilla, you should cop Jarel's album Three Piece Puzzle on iTunes.

Tell 'em Bashir sent you.

"Jarel's beats is kinda nice."

*HAH! Yeah right. I WISH I drove a Bentley. It felt good to write that though.

Early Predictions: Secretary of State

Obama will be the next President of the United States. (You saw the debate yesterday. It’s a wrap.)

So on to the pressing matters at hand…choosing an able and qualified administration.

My guess is that Pres Obama will choose Ms. Rice for Secretary of State (or at a minimum, National Security Advisor).

That's right, I said it.
Ms. Rice.

Hell naw, I'm not Condilicious!

Susan E. Rice is the Obama campaign’s Foreign Policy Advisor, and his most able and ardent surrogate working the MSNBC/CNN pundit trail.

I’m not going to recite her resume. (OK, I’ll do it briefly because, damn it, I’m impressed: Stanford grad, Rhodes Scholar, McKinsey consultant, Brookings Institute Fellow, Asst. Secretary of State for African Affairs.)

The long and short of it is this lady is FIERCE.

Check her out here. Arguably she’s even made Tucker Carlson an Obama convert.

Last Chance For ATHF



we've had some great entries from people...keep 'em coming.

Winner announced next week.


ps - this was surprisingly fun. What should our next contest be? Our readers seem to be super-knowledgeable on music so maybe we can give away a free piece of Classic vinyl...i could just steal it from Diallo's house.

Eugene Robinson on Hillary

Always been a fan of Eugene Robinson, one of the few high profile black faces in DC punditry.

I think he hits on a number of truths in his post today.


Friday Music

Sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet sounds of William.

This beat is funky.

Wonder who wrote/produced it?

Democratic Leaders Are Pissing Me Off


Wanna hear something REALLY FU*KED UP?

Listen to this audio at the bottom of a post by our friend blogger Jasmyne Cannick.

In it you will hear California Rep. Diane Watson (who "represents" ME) say clearly and bluntly that if it's left up to the superdelegates, they will go into a back room and pick the Democratic Nominee despite the will of the majority.

If you don't wanna wait, just go to the 3:55 mark on the audio stream.

She lauds Barack...

...THEN summarily dismisses the notion of following the choices of her constituents. Like me. And Jasmyne. In her tone, she implies that Hillary has been in the party longer, she's made more friends and, to hell with what the people want, Hillary will get the nod even if she has less delegates. She gotta ride for her girl.

She even eerily lowers her voice to talk of a brokered convention. Somehow, she's aware that it's a topic about which to speak in hushed tones.

The Democratic Party is about to make the dumbest move in electoral history.

"It's cute Barry got you kids excited, but your choices don't matter to me."

The WORST part of it is the manner in which Rep. Watson fields questions. She's the ultimate insider with no real threats to her seat and power. We've said it before, but maybe Barack just didn't kiss the right asses in the Congressional Black Caucus.

The WORSER part is that this interview gives credence to the old fashioned notion that both parties have little REAL differences. Both want power. And, sadly, both feel no responsibility to those who've sent them to office. Only an allegiance to their friends.

I was never so cynical as to believe they were that power hungry, but I'm starting to crack...

...especially if you read this damning article by Matt Taibbi in which he illustrates how Democrats took their electoral mandate from 2006 to end the war...and turned it into a way to build a more permanent Democratic majority, war be damned.

To Wit:

Rather than use the vast power they had to end the war, Democrats devoted their energy to making sure that "anti-war activism" became synonymous with "electing Democrats." Capitalizing on America's desire to end the war, they hijacked the anti-war movement itself, filling the ranks of peace groups with loyal party hacks.

Maybe I should start voting Republican. At least they're honest about what they want:

1. Power
2. Sweet perks for their rich friends
3. No taxes

I actually feel sick to my stomach.

QUICK! Somebody say something to give me hope!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Help This Damn Baby Already

You've seen this poor child EVERYWHERE.

In Chicago, the kid's image, larger than life, appears on billboards that line the city's busiest expressway...both the northbound and southbound lane.

You can't escape this picture.

It haunts your dreams and shows up when you least expect it.

Ummm...damn. Not to sound callous, but...

...can we at least get a "BEFORE AND AFTER" thing going? I mean I love the idea of showing people the reality of an illness, but this is beyond the pale at this point.

This kid must have had the surgery already right? Can we see the child now? Fu*king please?

You don't think they just refuse to operate on this kid becuase clearly, this ad campaign in effective and they need to keep it going. Needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few or some such. They wouldn't do that, right?

I can't imagine how much revenue the grim, suffering visage of this toddler brings Operation Smile, but now...we are all suffering.

Seriously, OS, we need some before and after pics. So we can feel good as we head off to our jobs, or read Yahoo News or turn the pages of Newsweek. Stop battering the ivory towers in which we exist.


ps - Seriously, take a look at that link. Their site has before and after pics. So give them a visit and toss them some coin, you know you can afford it so don't front.

And kudos to OS, Doctors Without Borders and every other organization that risks life and limb and governmental interference to make better the lives of the less fortunate.

Make This Damn Movie Already

YES...most of the art direction (and a certain Sergeant charater) of HALO is a ripoff of Aliens.

YES...Microsoft's demands were so stringent that movie studios passed on making it for the time being.

But dammit...after seeing what Microsoft did with its own money:

You guys owe us a flick.

In the meantime, enjoy the best of one Mr. Bill Paxton, James Cameron's go to guy in his career defining role as Private Hicks.

Aliens (1986)


What I Learned In McCain Country

In light of the recent revelation that John McCain might have kissed a blonde who looks like his wife and then did her company some small favors, I thought it apt to bring up my own recent experience in Arizona.

For some reason, a large swath of my family live in/near Phoenix and traveling through the place recently I was reminded just how remarkably isolating it is to live on the coasts.

Sometimes, we in LA, NY and other big metropolises have NO IDEA how people get down in the rest of a sense, that makes it all the more astonishing to see Obama winning in "the heartland".

Some AZ observations:

Observation One: (At the car rental place at Sky Harbor Airport) The AVIS dude noticed my name and asked me about it. Now, since my last name is long and Arabic I have developed several coping mechanisms (one stolen from Diallo) in order to (a) lessen the time I have to spend explaining and answering questions since I DESPISE small talk and (b) since I ABHOR small talk, lessen the time I have to spend explaining and answering questions. AVIS dude then remarked:

"Arabic huh, I guess if we can have a man name Hussein running for President, anything's possible. I put his chances of winning at 50/50."

I'm was so happy that AVIS dude found it important to break down the race for me. But when you live on the coasts, and steep yourself in so much information about the harm done our country by Bush's policies you'd think it impossible for ANY Republican to get within 20 percentage points of ANY democrat running.

So the fact he felt Obama was at no advantage given the state of our nation...irksome.

Observation Two: (Based on an exchange between my cousins who live in Arizona, both black and in their 30's):

Cousin 1: Did you vote in the primary?

Cousin 2: Yup, Obama all the way!

(me, watching the Dunk contest on TNT and smiling proudly)

Cousin 1: Ugh, really?

Cousin 2: Yeah. Why is that bad.

Cousin 1: But he's a Muslim!

(me, turning from Dwight Howard about to Superman-Dunk, in front of a stunned room)

Me: You're represent everything that's wrong with America.

NOW...this was a pretty bad idea on my part.

But the fact that someone in my own family was content with such misinformation made me sick. Further, the disdain Cousin had was shocking.

I probably should have found a nicer way to inform Cousin but, instead, I took those words as an affront and we had a nasty little front of my 80 year old grandmother.

Not. Cool.

I guess, at the end of the day, I need to travel more and get away from these damn isolating coasts. Get with the REST of America, see how they get down. Mix it up with the people. And learn why they believe what they do and hopefully add my understanding to theirs.


...who wants to meet me in Ohio?

Oh, and in case you missed it, I proudly present Superman: The Dwight Howard Dunk.

I missed this the first time due to arguing in front of the fam.


ps - the only thing that passed through my mind after seeing that dunk was:

"Superman is a DC comic, DC is owned by Warner Bros. Time Warner...also owns TNT! Okay, so that dunk is okay from a copyright standpoint."

I been in Hollywood too long.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ATHF Contest Reminder

Don't forget to compete in our contest!

Give it a try. You might win a DVD.

First Black President, Pt. 1

Over the next few weeks, we are going to tackle what it could mean for this nation to have a Black President. And based on our preliminary research, the results are NOT pretty.

Whether its life under constant terrorist threat (the TV Show 24), the decline of all Civilization (Idiocracy) or mass annihilation equalling the end of life on Earth as we know it (DEEP IMPACT), the election of a Black President tends to mean nothing but bad things to come.

We start with one of the lesser evils that would come from the election of Barack Obama...marital strife! As seen here in THE MAN, from 1972.

(clips h/t to Gawker)

Sample This

The best song no rapper has ever sampled.

It's screaming for it.

Help A Brotha Blogger Out

Coming off of the great hip-hop producer polls and in conjunction with the regional contributions poll now going on (West Coast is getting slaughtered...), I'd like to ask you all for some help.

When I'm not working my undisclosed 9 to 5 or posting here, I'm getting my writin' hustle on here.

Last week I was asked to cover a J Dilla tribute show that will air on XM Radio's The Rhyme at 8 PM EST this Thursday (2/21). This is really cool considering only 60 people can attend and there's a nice line-up of performers (and free liquor!!!).

Even cooler is that I was offered the opportunity to interview Pete Rock, Talib Kweli, and "Ma Dukes" Yancey about Dilla.

I had to pre-submit some questions (yeah, PR people are a trip), but I wanted to see if the The Message Nation has anything they'd like to ask those three about Jay.

Let me know if you have anything you'd like asked and I might work it in.


Boring Barack

I'll keep this short and sweet.

Pundits and rivals have been slamming Barack for being too general. So...last night he gave a victory speech FULL of specifics.

It. Was. Wack.

You can't win for losing, but I heard a political analyst on NPR say that you can't get specific at big speeches. He was right.

I hope Barack got that out of his system. I hope he gets back to the language of hope. I hope he keeps doing the thing that got him this far.

I hope he remembers that large speeches are for lofty language and "specifics" are for debates.

I have the audacity to hope he won't give any more wack speeches

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Aqua Teen Hunger Trivia

Okay...this is COOL.

The good folks at Aqua Teen Hunger Force wanted to know if we'd host a little trivia contest on our site.

The prize: Season 5 on DVD.

They said make it easy...but to hell with that.

So watch the video, and answer the question below. One answer per person/alias.

QUESTION: The first time the number "14" appears on the many times does it flash (in blue)?

Post your answer here in the comment section AND send us an email with the same answer to

"Good luck. You'll need it."

Everyone who sends us the correct answer will have their names put in a drawing to receive the DVD. And we'll announce the winner next week.

"Women" in Politics

I've blogged about this before, but an article in today's Boston Globe typifies for me the "subtle" lack of perspective that the feminist viewpoint has displayed in analyzing the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Some choice quotes (and my immediate response to each one):

Quote #1. "As Hillary Clinton struggles to regain her momentum in the presidential race, frustrated feminists are looking at what they see as the ultimate glass ceiling: A female candidate with a hyper-substantive career is now threatened with losing the nomination to a man whose charismatic style and powerful rhetoric are trumping her decades of experience."

Two things stand-out about this quote:

1. "hyper-substantive career" - Wow. This comes up a lot. The press has pretty much assumed this as fact. Clinton served the Children's Defense Fund for less than a year. Then started working for a corporate law firm (No shame in that, Obama did too, but I question how much substantive POLITICAL experience was gained in this setting). Then was the governor's WIFE and eventually the President's WIFE (who bungled health-care reform). Then successfully ran for Senate (against no real Republican opposition) and is in the middle of her second term. Meanwhile, Obama did the corporate law thing, then community organizing, then state legislation and then the United States Senate (first term). Call me crazy but my [black] male eyes just don't see that much of a SUBSTANTIVE difference between the candidate's experience? Personally, I also feel that she failed the two biggest tests of her political career - health-care and Iraq war authorization - further diluting her "substantive experience" argument.

2. "now threatened with losing the nomination to a MAN"

I think African-American women's decision to overwhelmingly support Obama's candidacy should be sobering to these "frustrated [white] feminists" because it clearly shows that many women (women of color in particular) have been reluctant to say that femininity TRUMPS all of the forms of identity politics in their lives. Shouldn't these feminist's be a little curious as to why this group of women believe that (all things being equal) "this" [black] MAN in the white house is more preferable than "this" [white] WOMAN?

Quote #2. "This whole thing, that women have to be smarter than men, more articulate than men, better on foreign policy, less emotional, all those crazy things. Finally you have a candidate who's basically done that," Fenn said, and yet Obama's sizzle is competing mightily with her steak. "It has to be depressing" for her, said Fenn.

Is Hillary smarter than Obama? Let's respectfully call that a draw. More articulate? He gives better speeches, she's a better debater - draw #2. Better on foreign policy? There's that Iraq vote again (and Iran posturing), but experience is on her side here - sorry, it's draw #3. Less emotional? uh-oh, the crying - I could care less, but I know many men (and women) that do. You do the math. BUT Obama's all "sizzle" and Hillary is all "steak"?

This brings me to my final point that seems lost on many female pundits. Is Hillary Clinton the right WOMAN to be President?

Although African-American's showed up in force for Jesse Jackson's run at the presidency, few believed he was an actual contender. Several decades later, Obama has the majority of African-American's believing he's an actual CONTENDER (the evolution).

I have never denied that Hillary Clinton is a tough, intelligent and compassionate human being. But for ME, her presumed "rightness" for this job has always been TOO CLOSELY linked to her husband. This has prevented my "inner-feminist" from declaring her the ideal female candidate. More bluntly, I truly believe that she may be the right woman from the wrong marriage. Rightfully or wrongfully, there's a whole lot of baggage that she's asking people to "overlook".

If she had been a state legislator, going on to holding office in the Senate with an anonymous husband who was a corporate lawyer and all around good guy, I TRULY believe there would be a lot less anti-Clinton people out there. But that's just fantasy and NOT the reality of Hillary Clinton's story and THAT IS why she's NOT my choice to the be the next President of the United States.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Roots of Soulja Boy et al.

It always seems like I'm following Bashir, but I swear I thought this one out for today...

Dance shows from the '70s to mid '90s are a guilty pleasure of mine. I can't describe my excitement when Soul Train dumped their airing of "current" programming for their classic '70s and '80s shows.

Brilliant move, Don Cornelius.

But even better than your Solid Golds or Club MTVs are local dance shows. Looking at them now, you can see how they were great vehicles for regional music, fashion, and celebrities.

One of my favorites is Detroit's The New Dance Show.

I didn't grow up watching TNDS but my friends who did recall running home from elementary school with great anticipation to watch it when it aired around 4PM. The air time and age of the target audience are important because you wouldn't expect these commericals to be running during what's essentially a kids' program:

Ain't nothin' like a good ole fashion bootie battle @ Watts.

And for the young ladies (mostly):

Watch out for Joy Ride and Chucky.


And then there are commercials like this confirming Tha D's fashion sense:

Shouts out to Mr. Jackson and RJ Rice.

But the main focus of the show was the kids and their moves.

Complete with Detroit jit footwork and the occasional Errol Flynn sign, the show was the expression of youth culture in the city. It's because I enjoy watching TNDS I can tolerate this. Albeit barely.

At least we know now who the parents of the Soulja Boys of the world are.

Bootylicious Bobaraba

Hey Kids!

There's a new dance craze sweeping The Ivory Coast.

It's called "Bobaraba". And it's so popular in country that people are trying to find ways to make their butt's bigger.

Gotta say...

...looks kinda familiar.

Stop biting Beyonce, Cote d'Ivoire!

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Fun With Detroit Politics

This city just keeps on giving.

The venerable Congressman John Conyer's WIFE may have threatened to shoot an aide to Mayor Kilpatrick.

To Wit:

"She ran at him," Clark told The Detroit News. "She told him she would get a gun if she had to and that she has four brothers and they would whup his a-- if she asked them."

"I bomb first, daddy."

I have long wanted to create a series based around the goings on of a charismatic black mayor. After today, I'm pretty sure it will be set in Detroit.


ps - Jacarl, wanna jump into the fray on this one?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dr. Dre


Dr. Dre is WINNING our poll.

COME ON! One of our guys is clearly splitting the vote.

But who?

I mean, not to hate, but Dre has a TON of good stuff over several rap generations...

...but he's also done a TON of really mediocre stuff too, no? Am I wrong?

"I know where you live in LA. Keep Playin' with fire."

J Dilla or Premier need to have a banner day today.

Obligatory Anti-Valentine's Day Post

It's here and will luckily be gone in a few hours. Whether you have someone special in your life or not, please don't take this day for anything more than it is--an excuse created by the Big Card lobby to generate more revenue outside of the Thanksgiving to New Year's period.

What's Big Card, you might ask. Well, you've likely heard of its cousins, Big Oil and Big Tobacco. Big Card consists of the Hallmarks and American Greetings of the world whose sole purpose is to sell pieces of paper that are supposed to demonstrate your love of someone. "Holidays" like this one just go further to improve their bottom line.

Big Card's drive to make more money has even led to collaborations with Big Candy.

$36 for this? Hell to da naw.

If you're from or live in the Midwest, you've probably come across Sweetest Day, the most ingenious plan hatched by these two. Although Big Candy started it, Big Card's involvement has helped make this completely b.s. Valentine's Day Junior legitimate in the eyes of many (of my ex-girlfriends).

As I walked through D.C.'s Union Station today, Godiva had to have security making sure no one took cuts in line.

Really. Is it that serious?

Big Card's insatiable hunger for a dollar has caused numerous folks to temporarily lose their minds over things that will either be thrown away or crapped out in a few days.

That's why I'm glad the Anti-Valentine's Day movement is on the rise. Finally people see the day for what it really is, nothing more than another way to line the pockets of people in the greeting card industry. But then I read articles like this.


These folks are good. Talk about covering all the bases. I guess Big Card did learn something from one of its cousins...

Our "Allies"

Our ally Saudi Arabia is going to execute a woman for witchcraft.

"Ridiculous Execution Day has my heart atwitter."

I know as a liberal I'm supposed to be tolerant of other cultures, but I believe in right and, I believe there is a such thing as RIGHT and WRONG.

I don't care if it's female genital mutilation, women having to ride the back of special orthodox buses, or sit in the back seat of the car, or walk ten paces behind, or wear a burqa/chadoor on pain of death, or being "honor killed", or being forced into prostitution, or being denied education on pain of death, or having her word count less than a man's in court...

The shit is wrong.

It's not 1608, it's 2008.

And don't try and bait me into a religious argument. This is pretty simple. Throughout the history of most societies men have felt the need to keep women in a lower standing. Frequently, religion has been the easiest tool to achieve this.

What's worse, I have super liberal friends who tell me "America is just as bad". America is bad on many things. America is NOT THIS BAD.

(Bill Maher points this out Brilliantly in his one man show "Victory Begins At Home".)

Further, we have laws (poorly enforced) that address just about everything in our society we know is bad. On the page, in the books, and by the rules, we know it's wrong. People come in and disregard the rules. Or break them. Or disproportionately enforce them on certain unnamed dark coloured inhabitants of unnamed geographies (South Side of Chicago, Watts, Roxbury, Detroit, everywhere from 1492 - 1968).

Photobucket should be able to vote here. But good luck with that.

Stilll, on the page, the laws are basically fair. In fact, the majority of our laws seem to have a single purpose...increase the wealth of our government and their friends.

And since life is about compromise, that's a tradeoff I'm comfortable with.

I am not comfortable with women being treated, legally, like animals. I am not comfortable with you defending their "cultural" practice. I am not comfortable with being down with these people for oil gains. I am not comfortable with a world where we call allies a society that would kill a woman for witchcraft.

I am not comfortable with this.

Happy Valentines Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


To Wit:

"the most ridunkulous video ever"
- Craig.

Cosby Show Reunion

The only clip I could find is here, but Oprah had all the old Cosby Kids on her show the other day.

Not sure how it was in your family, but everyone in my family made time to watch the Cosby Show together (at least until, maybe, the last two seasons).


We should do a poll on which kid grew up to be the most hot.

Not that we don't know who grew up to make the most scrilla (that Raven Simone is a cake-a-holic like Dame Dash and Ultimate Hustler).

Why I Am Inspired By Barack (And I Haven't Even Seen Him Speak in Person)

I work in Hollywood. And when I say I “work” in Hollywood, I don’t mean “I do lunch” in Hollywood. Or “take meetings” in Hollywood. I actually work.

As a marketer my job is to make sure that every Tom, Dick and Jamal goes out to check our films in the theater…or cop the DVD (not the bootleg!) This requires all sorts of sundry tasks, like cutting trailers, building websites, scheduling press interviews and shipping film prints. Sexy it is not. Necessary it is.

So having seen the thousands of small decisions and “little things” that go into making a blockbuster movie an actual blockbuster (rather than a Golden Compass), I am infinitely impressed with, and inspired by, Barack Obama. Through his presidential campaign Mr. Obama has illustrated clear vision, strong, sturdy leadership, an ability to inspire his troops, and most importantly, a willingness to choose well-qualified lieutenants to carry out the mission.

(Note to Bush Jr.: Re-read that last line.)

We don’t need someone who has all of the answers. (That’s what the Cabinet is for, Hillary.) We need someone who can help the people of this country work together to come up with solutions that will work.

Novel concept, I know. But while Mrs. Clinton’s campaign staff (and finances) implodes, and Mr. McCain carries on as a lone “foot soldier in the Reagan revolution”, Barack Obama’s ORGANIZATION thrives. He and his team are not complacently expecting people to just show up and support (“because I was a quasi VP during my husband’s term” or “because I am a storied veteran”). Mr. Obama’s team is on the phone, on the internet, in the streets working it. Not “doing lunch”. Not “taking meetings”.

A government organization that works…now that is change we can believe in.

P.S. Here’s a fascinating ATLANTIC MONTHLY article that gives a little flavor about the Clinton campaign melt-down A pre-cursor to how her administration might be run?

P.P.S. Bashir told me that I have to introduce myself. So this me. A "suit" in sheeps clothing. As a novice blogger my thoughts will be random. Like my life.

The NAACP: "We HATE Black People!"

Ah yes! Barack wins three more states, old black people ramp up the HATE!

That's right folks! The NAACP in its infinite wisdom believes that NOT seating delegates from Michigan and Florida would, "disenfranchise both states’ minority communities".

Oh word?

Quick three thoughts:

1. It should be obvious to anyone reading this blog that seating the delegates overwhelmingly benefit Hillary Clinton. She was the only Democrat listed by name on the ballot in Michigan, and she was the de-facto winner in Florida where Barack did not campaign, run ads (although Hillary managed to have a "fundraiser" there the night she won.

2. Isn't Florida the SAME state that handed the presidency to George W. Bush by the disenfranchisement of the SAME minority community?

3. Black people hate themselves.

You see folks, I have blogged about this "phenomenon" before.

The NAACP (along with MANY other legacy organizations of the civil rights era) have been STRUGGLING to convince younger African-Americans that they are relevant. Well, never let it be said these organizations didn't like a good struggle???

Memo to Julian Bond: Shut-up and sit-down. Change is happening without you and your organization...

Say It Again, Missy

I've said it once and I'll say it again. Lyrically, hip hop is in a nadir...but the beats...

...Still oh so fresh.

To Wit: Ching-a-Ling

(beats by the Arkitekts aka "some dudes who ripped off Swizz Beatz sound"...also, LOVE the ode to DC's "go go" music at the end)

And Diallo's current fave:

Pop Bottles.

(Diallo says when you hear this loud at a club...there's nothing like it.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why Writers Matter...

With the strike now over, I just wanted to point out one thing that should be obvious, but sometimes isn't.

Writers matter.

We here at The Message like to post clips from our favorite cartoons a lot. But the fact is, all those cartoons HAD WRITERS and even I, a writer, sometimes forget that basic fact.

So let's remember one such writer who died yesterday. His name was Steve Gerber and he was a writer on GI JOE, The Transformers, and Thundarr the Barbarian, just to name a few.

His obit is here. Much props to him and all the writers who rarely get the notoriety they deserve.

Light Skinned Leaders


When did this new wave of light-skinned young politicians start taking over?

Mayor of DC: Adrian Fenty

"I can see the White House from my office."

Governor of Massachusetts: Deval Patrick

"You thought I was Irish right?"

Mayor of Newark: Cory Booker

"Thank GOD I joined Jack & Jill when I did."

Former Congressman: Harold Ford

"Obama-Ford '08... you FEEL me."


...every one of these cats above support this dude:

"Where my boys at!"


Is there some kind of secret light-skinned conspiracy I'm not privy to?

Maybe not...I mean Julian Bond is riding for Hillary.

"Fu*k them young bastards."


Well at least me and my brown bothers still got:

"Return my calls, Bashir. Stop Playin."


Sarkozy's Woman

I apologize.

I don't know why it has taken me THIS long to figure out that Carla Bruni, the new wife of
French President Nicolas Sarkozy

is the SAME Carla Bruni whose songs I have been playing for the last three years (whenever I book a gig at a lounge, hotel lobby, or chill-out nightspot).

For those who don't know her, you should definitely check her out. Her material sounds a lot like Feist's early solo work (except in Italian).

Sad to admit it, that kind of makes them the coolest First Family on the planet...

...for now...

The City of Obama

Turns out there is a town in Japan named Obama that is REALLY in the Illinois Senator's corner.

A funny little article from Yahoo News.

City In Japan Holds Parties for Obama

If It Ain't Broke...

The comedy device Will Ferrell uses here...

Is the same as the one he used years ago here...

It's a GREAT way to get good comedy because as an actor you can just keep doing lines and pick the funniest stuff in the edit bay.

Still and all Will Ferrell + 70's ABA Basketball = I'll be there opening weekend.

We Need A Producer

Okay...someone needs to sample this beat for a house track, or a Daft Punk Remix or something.

I DO NOT remember this being so hot. (In a mid to late 80's kind of way)

Seriously, someone needs to get on this ASAP...(Diallo, looking in your direction).

Who wrote this?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I hated this show when I first saw it.

But about...fifteen episodes later...I was in love.

Gotta love Carl.

I'm a sucker for Adult Swim. I love the way their programs are made by people who are really, truly unapologetic fanboys.

(It also helps that it premiered at a time I was deeply unemployed. In fact, every show I'm about to mention is somehow better when there's not a day job on your horizon for miles.)

Of course, my all time fave Adult Swim show as Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, untouchable in its prime.

Both Harvey Birdman and my other love Sealab: 2021 flowed from the series Space Ghost Coast to Coast; an early entrant to Cartoon Network's foray into more adult fare that leaned on the Hannah/Barbara catalog. But Space Ghost wasn't as strong as its progeny.

Still, I think the current market for this type of narrowly tailored, fanboy meets fratboy humor paved the way for many of the smaller scale shows that we all love.


But...if we're showing love to irreverent gen x targeted cartoons, let us not forget the guy who was first and best.

To Wit: John Kricfalusi

Wrong...just truly and deeply, wrong. Not sure how John made near-psychotic paranoia funny, but he did.

His greatest episode E V E R: Space Madness

(part 1)

(part 2)

Oh so good.

And if you don't believe that Ren and Stimpy was truly the pioneer show, when it first premiered, it was on NICKELODEON. For kids. During the day. They probably had NO IDEA what the hell they had or what they were doing.

So what niche animated comedies did I miss?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hip Hop Proudcer Poll

We got up TWO polls this week.

Vote in both.

We're sure we left off someone's fave (backpackers) but it's just a poll.

The winner gets a free t-shirt.

What Bun B REALLY Sounds Like...

Um, wow...This contrast between how this cat sounds when he raps and how he sounds when he is just talking is STARK! And no, I don't get the sense he is using his "white voice."

A must watch.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fluff for the Weekend

You know someone's going to eventually ask if you have seen this, so we're proud to bring you the latest video that's gone viral. Watch. Comment. Enjoy.

Friday Music

Two of my favorite chapters from world's most UNDERRATED musical.


Chapter Two: The Confrontation

Chapter Eighteen: The Church

Love 'em.

And Not just because they feature my first cousin (Rufus aka Rolando Boyce) and his real life fiance (LeShay Tomlinson) whose done a lot of work with The Message.

(She plays Eartha Kitt in the below)


Remembering Jay Dee

I missed it by a day but later is better than never...

Happy birthday James "Jay Dee"/"J Dilla" Yancey. He would've been 34.

I've come across a slew of DJ mixes and shows dedicated to him over the course of 48 hours, as well as over the almost 2 years since he passed away from complications of Lupus. This is all fine and good, but this is all ultimately a case of too little, too late with a dash of what could be considered exploitation.

I started really listening to Jay Dee back around '96 when I was still in high school in my little college town. I fell hard for his undeniable head nodding beat. So when I moved "downstate" for college outside of Jay's hometown of Detroit, I was thinking my fellow (black) school mates would be hip to the sounds of their city.


I then began what turned out to be a four year crusade to give the local hip-hop scene proper recognition. How could someone like Jay not get play in his hometown, except this song's instrumental during the major urban radio station's 5 o'clock traffic report, when he was known around the world? (BTW, that song is featured in one of my favorite comedies)

Only in his passing has he received his proper respect. But at the same time, I find something a little creepy about that. T-shirts, stickers, re-releasing albums that came out two years prior, hipster kids screaming his name. I don't recall all this clamor when he was alive. Is death the ultimate career boost?

Anyway, I feel myself going into rant mode. I'll likely have a better post on the predicament Jay found himself in next week. Until then, if you're interested in his music, and even though I took a shot at them, a number of major cities are holding tribute shows. If they haven't happened already where you're at, check them out.

R.I.P. Jay Dee.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ahead Of Its Time

From The Archives of THE MESSAGE


(this series would have been sweet...still may.)

Why I Like Obama (part 2)


I like strong women.'s one of the things I really admire about Hillary as well...but...

...I just can't see Michelle sitting idly by while he cheats, or smiling complicity while he destroys the nation's finances (Laura) and standing in the world.

My favorite thing she did was wait to quit her job to support his campaign until she absolutely had to. She said something along the lines of women have always had to juggle career and family and that she was adept at doing so. The vast majority of women married to powerful men are ones whose live REVOLVE around those men. I think Michelle loves Barack more than anything...but I don't think her entire being REVOLVES around him, like so many political wives, and I like that.

I feel like if he ever did something shady she would pull him into a back room and read him the riot act.

And I like a man comfortable enough in his manhood to choose a strong woman as his partner.

Plus...she went to my High School. GO DOLPHINS!!

You know how hard it is to imitate a Dolphin sound at a football game...yeah, it sucks.


ps - As Craig pointed out yesterday, the journalistic attacks on Obama have begun. The new line:

His followers are a cult. Nothing in this "well reported" article by ABC News talks about policy. The idea is to make Obama seem like an exciting new trend that will grow old soon and isn't even supported based on reason. Expect this to get worse.

ps2 - Before you tell me Bill Clinton also had a strong woman as his partner I would remind you that (a) until recently I DID like him and (b) he's not running.


We know you need your fix of Black History.

So enjoy this piece which summed up the full scope of Black History, in under 40 seconds.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Don't Mess With Us


Some cock-sure, wanna-be Bill O'Reilly type tried to ambush what he thought was an ignorant Obama supporter at a rally here in LA...

...unfortunately he ran into my friend Derrick, a public speaker and musician with whom I went to Harvard.


Maybe next time, asshole.

By the by, Derrick's band, Soulfege, is hot...check them out.

(big ups to Baratunde at Jack & Jill Politics.)

Black History Month


Is it Black History Month already? I had TOTALLY



Okay, here's Willy O'Ree: First man to break pro hockey's color barrier.


"Just gimme the damn puck"

Reminds me of some other great firsts...

Why I like Obama (part 1)

I don't spend enough time explaining why he's my candidate of choice.

Reason no. 1:

He's funny.

Saw him speak in LA and was shocked, SHOCKED, at how good he was with humor off the cuff. Something about someone who is able to poke fun at themselves and has a genuine sense of humor just does it for me. Especially if that sense of humor isn't used to water down horrendous ideas (like W's).

Is that a reason to vote for him? No.

But it's part of a collection of reasons...which I look forward to giving over the next few days.


(later today, part 2 - Michelle Obama)

The "subtle" smear...

This picture was on Drudge Report this morning:

nuff said.