Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday

Building off of Diallo's post on Big L, today's Flashback is one of my favorite tracks by one of L's producers and Diggin' In The Crates (DITC) crew affiliates, Lord Finesse.

Just a nice, mid-90s head nodder.

Big L

There was a time in Hip Hop when cats like Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Large Professor, and Kid Capri could really put a new face on the radar.

One of those cats was Big L. Was going back and listening to a lot of old Hip Hop this week for the polls we have up, and came across one of my favorite songs by this fallen MC.

What better day to post it than on what would have been his 34th Birthday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

First Diddy, Now This?

Last week I suggested the end of time was upon us when Diddy stated he was "in love" with hip-hop again.

Now Obama picked up a "kind-of, sort-of" unofficial endorsement from one of the most unlikely sources.


Please, don't cringe.

Someone has to have a thought on this.

When should we expect the locusts?

This Week's Polls

We've had a lot of interest in this week's polls, so consider this thread a place to elaborate on your votes and sway hearts and minds.

Gary Dourdan: How Not to "Do" Coachella

Sounds like Gary won't be facing prison time since he plead guilty to felony drug possession.

I guess that's a good thing.



But when you are found passed out in your car, with the interior lights on, parked on the wrong side of the road, with "heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy" on you...well, it might be time to chill a bit.

Making the situation worse? This was the song playing on his radio when the police found him:



Alright, that last part is a lie. I used to really like Queens of the Stone Age.

In fact, I had the chance to see Queens of the Stone Age at Coachella, which is apparently where Gary was leaving (going?) when he got arrested.

B and I were hanging out with hip hop act Little Brother. Clearly, we needed to be hanging out with Gary.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Winner of a Website

I spent about 20 minutes on this site yesterday.

Hot Chicks With Douchebags

PURE. COMEDY.

The best aspect of the site is that if you read the entries the blogger is developing his own language. God I love how English is evolving thanks blogs. (Thank you web 2.0 and Fark) And definitely check out his awards section (the 2007 Douchies).

Just a simple and hilarious idea.

Wish I had thought of it, his traffic of off the hook.

El Verano Kickoff

It's Memorial Day so summer is officially here.

As a music lover and really amateur DJ, I know there are some records that don't have the same feel unless they're tied to a current goings-on like the weather or a season.

I can't ever recall hearing Eddie Kendricks' "Date With The Rain" when it was sunny and 80 degrees. A downpour is required for it to be in the mix.

"Santa Claus Goes Straight To the Ghetto" doesn't get played in March (unless it's on my iPod).

And how often have you heard "Sometimes It Snows In April" when it wasn't snowing and it wasn't April?

All this stated, I had to post some footage for a song that rarely gets played unless it's Memorial Day weekend (or, again, my iPod). I think this is the congressionally mandated summer kickoff song.

Let "Summertime, Summertime" begin.

For the Fallen Soldiers...

Don't know about your family, but every year on Memorial Day, we would watch the NBA playoffs while we ate BBQ.

And then Mom would throw on a song for all the fallen soldiers, like Tupac's "Pour Out a Little Liquor."



Yep. I have a photographic memory.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Keith Is Mad Again. Good.



What's wild is I actually think these special comments are WAYYYY over the top.

But when you think about how many times Hillary Clinton, whom I used to love, says things (and her people say things) and does things that seem geared SOLELY to destroy the Dem's chances and pretend that she is always a victim yet somehow always a fighter...

...Keith is dead right.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Black NY Governor Pardons SLICK RICK!

What a wild news day! I can't take it any more.

McCain announces he's got Cat AIDS, Cindy McCain can buy and sell any of us, and Hillary's making her last stand on the grassy knoll ("how she learned to stop fearing and invoke the sniper's fire").

But after all is said and done, THIS is my story of the day...

NY GOV PATERSON PARDONS SLICK RICK


Honestly, isn't this why ALL blacks run for office? So we can "free Mumia?"

I jest, but the pardoning of Slick Rick is one of those feel good stories I don't see any down side too.

I might play "Lick the Balls" in celebration tonight at Boulevard 3. Good tides to The Ruler (now stay out of trouble, Rick!)

Flashback Friday

Thinking up today's Flashback Friday didn't take me long.

There's no doubt my home state and its largest city have seen nothing but bad press this year. If it's not Kwame, it's the auto industry. If it's not the Neo-Nazis, it's unseated delegates. If it's not Monica Conyers...well, you get the drift.

But cheer up, Michigan/Detroit. Things are looking up. The Pistons (a.k.a. God's Team because Detroit is God's City, according to Mayor Kilpatrick) are all tied up in the conference finals, the Red Wings are playing for the Stanley Cup, and it's Memorial Day Weekend.

For a lot of folks, Memorial Day Weekend means the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Besides Motown, Detroit also counts itself as the birthplace of electronic music. The Belleville Three helped pioneer the genre and are still forces in it today. Over the past 8 years, the Festival, and its associated parties, has drawn some big time talent to perform ranging from Parliament to Louie Vega to Jaylib.

So to kick the party off correctly, I'll tap into this great late '80s dance track, "Good Life", by Metro Detroit-based Inner City, a.k.a. Kevin Saunderson.



Enjoy your three day weekend and hang in there, Michigan/Detroit. Better days are (hopefully) ahead.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

VP Talk

Well, the chatter has begun on both sides of the political spectrum about who's going to ride shotgun on the Election Express into the White House. McCain is hosting a shindig in Arizona that you probably didn't get invited to this weekend and Obama is reportedly putting his feelers out.

We started a convo back in March about this topic. I even put my Democratic pick out there, Evan Bayh, and although his name is still in the mix, I think I might change my prediction. So, without further ado, I present my Republican and Democratic* nominees for Vice President:


Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL)



Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)


What do you think?
Discuss.
----------------------------------------------
*=This is based on the assumption that all present rules developed by the Democratic Party are followed and Clinton is not the nominee, otherwise my selection is Bayh.

What did McCain Say To Usher and Jeezy

I have been meaning to point out all week, that at the end of last week's episode of Saturday Night Live, John McCain (who made a guest appearance), leaned over and not only shook hands with, but also whispered in the ears of both Usher and Young Jeezy.

I would LOVE to know what he said to those two. Smiles were all around, but they talked for a little bit. What in the world could have been/was said...?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Superdelegates STOP HER NOW!



Today is THE day folks! This is the day that I believe Hillary Clinton officially "jumped the shark". For all of the rhetoric about not harming the party and not harming the eventual nominee, I believe she crossed THE line today. As quoted from "The Swamp" political blog,

"At a rally in South Florida, Clinton suggested that Florida voters were being denied their basic rights because the national Democratic Party has refused to seat the state's delegation at its convention.

'You did not break a single rule and you should not be punished for matters beyond your control,' Clinton told the crowd."

Uh, excuse me? The state parties in both Florida and Michigan broke national party rules by moving up their primaries and were summarily punished by the DNC by losing their delegates at the Democratic Convention. Period. End of story. Right?

But wait it gets worse, "The lesson of 2000 is crystal clear," she said. "When right here in Florida you learned the hard way what happens when your vote is not counted and the candidate with the most votes doesn't win."

Uh, excuse me? So is Barack Obama now George Bush? Gore lost Florida because of voting irregularities, NOT because of the electoral college system. Hillary is effectively saying the "popular vote" SHOULD make her the nominee. This is WILD LOGIC for several reasons:

1. Nobody during Bush v. Gore said we should IGNORE the Electoral College SYSTEM (although there have been calls to dismantle the system entirely since then). Clinton is effectively saying DO AWAY with the delegate system DURING the race. Wow!

2. Simultaneously, she's effectively SINKING his chances in Florida by portraying OBAMA as the villain, NOT the state's Democratic party leaders who deserve the FULL BRUNT of Florida's Democratic voters ire. Period.

3. Doesn't anyone respect the fact that Obama did NOT campaign in Florida and Michigan (hell, his name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan)? So how on earth could he have been expected to fare well against the established democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton? I'm not necessarily claiming it would have been close if he had campaigned, but why can't Hillary just admit to that aspect of her "popularity".

I'm sorry. I've tried to be polite. I've tried to point out the flaws in her logic and rhetoric. But today, Hillary gets my "Please Sit Down" award. Admit it Hillary. It's not about the Party, it's about YOU. Come clean. Oh, my baad, today you obviously did!

Should We Be Scared or Excited?



Before I say what I have to say, I just want to state that I agree with Diddy about Kanye's show (I'm shocked, too). The last thing I'm compelled to do is drive 40 miles into the Virginia backwoods to commune with 21,000 other people, but I did for Kanye and was glad I chose to. It was a great stage production, talking computer interface and all.

But is this video a sign of the apocalypse? Diddy talking smack about people who make bullshit music? Isn't this the same guy who rapped that he doesn't write rhymes, he writes checks?

For all the negatives that could be written in this post about Diddy musically, I have to say, he gets a tip-of-the-hat from me for his work on Jay-Z's "American Gangster" album.

And it's not bad seeing an egomaniac give props to someone else. But does this mean we should expect a new Diddy and Bad Boy Records?

Perhaps a resurrection of Craig Mack's career?

Maybe he'll bring Dylan back?

What can we expect based on Diddy's declaration?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Greatest Movie Title In The History Of All Humankind

Ladies of The Message...are you with me?

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. As this campaign for the democratic nominee slowly comes to an end per the rules of the DNC, Hillary has turned away from her negative attacks on Barrack and is now targeting "men" in general. On some level, I feel for her. I would have to agree that certain criticism's of her have their basis in sexism BUT I would also say that certain criticism's of Barack have their basis in racism. Which leads us to the ultimate failure of identity politics - which group is more aggrieved? Good question? Fair question? Answerable question?

My two cents: There are CURRENTLY 16 female senators; Obama is the ONLY black member of the Senate, and only the THIRD African American SINCE Reconstruction to serve in that body.

"Framing" him as just another "man" seems downright SILLY when considering the ACTUAL context from which he exists...

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Rise And Fall of Battlestar Galactica.

Battlestar Galactica was once my favorite show.

No more.

You see, this is the last season of it's five season, The Wire-esque series run.

The show was pretty basic: Humans vs. Robots, last one alive wins.

The parallels with The Wire extend to the fact that the show is universally praised by critics for its unflinching look at American policy. And for the fact that, much like Andre Royo on The Wire, James Callis' work as the controversial Gaius Baltar is a feat to behold.

Andre, we gotta get an Emmy this year, right?

(Hollywood refuses to give Emmy's to actors on some series. Never understood that.)

Along with excellent writing and acting, the show was written to defy the Sci Fi stereotypes.
  1. It wasn't safe. You had NO IDEA who was going to die each week. They killed off main characters without batting an eye...so you felt tense watching.
  2. It was adult, there are scenes of attempted rape, murder, infidelity, psychotic behavior, things that real people on the front lines of conflict deal with. Unlike Star Trek, it felt unclean and unhinged.
  3. The "good guys" weren't united. There was backstabbing, revolt and sectarian division among the humans. No one was sure who they could really trust. The battle lines were constantly evolving.
  4. The action was more Aliens meets Black Hawk Down than it was Star Wars. The show took its military cues from the right places. The production design was flawless.
I was happy and didn't miss and episode.

Then...they decided the show was gonna end and they had to tie up all the loose strings.

ALL OF THEM!*

Literally, this season has been one big ass gabfest. ("Less Action, More Talking!").

Instead of just following the logical step of staying focused on the main idea, the humans have to find Earth or die, they decided to make every robot (Cylon) important to the humans. So now we have to learn how we are all intertwined and connected. We have to hear how everyone has feelings, even the robots.


I'm kind of depressed.

We have to discover how every nuance of the past episodes tied into the emotional core of every character. They want to end the series in such a way that we, the viewers, have all our questions answered. THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T LEAVE US WANTING MORE. Really? That's the decision?

(Really?)

Truthfully, I think the show was just too expensive** for the ratings it got. So, they decided it had to end. And they decided to end it clean...

...the way you clean a house when you're a teenager and you realize that, contrary to what you had thought, your parents get back from their vacation on Sunday...not Monday. You do it rough and quick.

What's happened to Battlestar is sort of like in Star Wars Episodes I - III where we learned that all the throwaway stuff from the original trilogy, stuff that is the manna from heaven for fan fiction, was somehow really important. It just felt forced and a little stupid.


I was once a popular character with a mysterious past...now? Just a kid with daddy issues.

I was watching the latest talk-tastic episode with some lady friends who remarked, "oh, so it's just a soap opera with robots". (gut punch.)

Yes. That's what my favorite show has been reduced to. A fu*king soap opera where some robots walk through every now and then between people and people-bots expressing their feelings.

So I'll finish this season, then cry a few tears for what could have been. If you wanna get into the show. Watch the Made for TV movie and all of seasons 1 - 3 and the first half of season 4. Then just pretend that's the end of it.

I haven't gotten into LOST or HEROES yet... do they stay good or do they go off the rails?

---

*note to Hollywood: You do NOT have to always tie up the loose strings. In life, most of the loose strings remain untied. That is all.

**but apparently not so expensive that they can't do a freaking spinoff. "this costs too much, let's end it...but then do it again." W T F ! ? !

Get Some Comedy Here!

Remember when Fox and NBC announced they would be pulling clips off Youtube to form their own site?

Guess they weren't full of sh*t.

Hulu

All the Family Guy and 30 Rock you can handle with a name as goofy as you'd expect from corporate America.

Enjoy.



---

not sure how they got all that NBA stuff on the site. Isn't that all Disney/ABC property (ESPN). Wonder if ABC is gonna join Hulu pretty soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Good" Times?

So I'm up watching the Good Times clip that Jennifer linked to and a couple things caught my eye.



1. Being a kid is hard because you believe what people tell you. Growing up I heard JJ say over and over that Thelma was ugly so I was like..."yeah, she's ugly." But watching this clip...

HOLY SH*T BernNadette Stanis is FINE AS HELL!


Fire.

2. Watching this clip, like over 50% of it is not comedy. No jokes. Just a diatribe on how hard black project life is. Nothing funny. Purposefully.

And to this day, most black "comedies" are still like this. (We even made fun of it on our parody Every Black Show on HBO On Demand.)

Why the hell is that? Why can't I just laugh for a 1/2 hour? Why I gotta be getting a lesson or lectured to? Even the really bad black shows do this, some artful grab for relevance. Sad.

When we do our sitcom, we PROMISE there'll be no serious moments or speeches unless we're being ironic.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This Takes Balls

He went to Afghanistan.

He won't go to Iraq.




In a country where so many people do weak cowardly ass stuff and get over because there's no consequences.

Like this guy whom Chris Matthews proves hides his stupidity behind jargon:


It's refreshing to see someone put their ass on the line for their beliefs.

Stilll, my thought is that once you join the military, you pretty much have to do whatever our government tells you outside of unprovoked murder of noncombatants. (by which I mean if you serve, you probably don't wanna look up the word "cluster bomb".)

But, unlike many on the right, I've never been in the military so that's just my opinion and it has no real validity. Further, I'm not gonna stand on some soap box and pretend my opinion is important as regards something I have no personal knowledge of. I haven't served and I can't speak for what it feels like when you think your orders violate your moral code. I can't imagine the mental anguish that would engender.

Still...deciding that serving in Iraq is wrong and that you want no part of it, takes courage.

(Maybe Scott can weigh in since he's an officer in the military.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Need Music Help

Okay, so I'm at that point where I'm getting kind of tired of my music. I'm looking for another band/artist to get in to.

In LA you spend your life in your car which has the benefit of allowing you to really listen to whole albums over and over.

So I need some new tunes for the whip. I'd LOVE if I could find a new band to discover. Not someone who had one good disc, but someone whose many albums I'll wanna listen to over and over.

I NEED YOUR HELP.

1. The Mars Volta -


I like prog rock. I love TOOL (Laterulus changed my life). I like their aesthetic and the whole latin/black magic vibe. I could do without their fans. But I hear they give an amazing live show. Are they gimmicky? Is their sound like TV On The Radio? Should I get into them?

2. Beck -


I liked Odelay, but I never bought Sea Change. Should I buy it? Beck always seems to be kicking around and everyone in the industry seems to have love/respect for the guy. Should I get in to Beck?

3. OutKast -


To Diallo's chagrin, my knowledge of southern rap is piss poor. I love every single Andre and Big Boi put out. But I can't say I could listen to a song and tell you which album it was on. Should I buy their whole catalog? Start from the beginning (1996?) and just go to Speakerboxx/The Love Below.

4. Shuggie Otis -


Maybe the key is to go old school. I like Strawberry Letter 23. I like all the samples I've heard from him. Like a more upbeat Roy Ayers. Should I buy some albums and get into Shuggie?

5. Nine Inch Nails -


Once again, just about everything I've heard I liked. Plus I LOVE music that is cinematic in theme (like Tool or Mercury Rev) and I know their latest one Ghosts I-IV is supposed to be really good. Should I get into Trent and his peeps?

6. The Beatles -



I am the only human who doesn't worship them. Mainly because every one else does and I'm a contrarian and also because their stuff has been so copied over the years it's hard to listen to it with fresh ears. Still...billions of people can't be wrong, right? Should I get into the Beatles?

7. Santo Gold or Janelle Monae -


santo with MIA


Monae

I LOVE LOVE LOVE when black artists try and do something different.

But the music still has to move you. Both these women are coming from a fresh perspective as regards their music. But, to be brutally honest, the stuff I heard...is only augmented when you see them and realize they look/act/perform different. Heard on its own...I haven't been that moved by it. The songwriting at this point is just not that great to me. (Plus I have a sneaking suspicion Kelis hates these chics for kinda sorta doing what she was trying to do before she went kinda sorta went pop.)

Still, I could get in on the ground floor with these ladies and be an authentic fan. Should I get into Santo Gold and/or Janelle Monae? Should I start early on this one so I can really appreciate when they get great?

What do you think?

Who are you getting into for the first time?

---

ps -

Also don't suggest any of the following cuz I tried and failed to get into them: Ben Harper, G-Unit, The Eagles, Steve Winwood, The Raconteurs (heart breaking but i love The White Stripes.), Massive Attack, Morcheeba and...most sadly of all...Lupe Fiasco (great singles, sketch albums).

A Quick Defense of LeBron James, and other NBA stuff

By now you've seen the video of LeBron James telling his mom to "sit yo' ass down" after she tried to enter a seeming on-court fracas during the playoffs.

No?

Here:



While some are hating on him. When I saw the video it reminded me of something I've observed over the years.

Single children of single parents who are close in age have a relationship that's far more like siblings.

Especially ones where the son is a superstar, I mean, look at his mom Gloria. She looks...maybe 5 years older than him. I imagine if you saw them together you'd describe their dynamic as one of cousins.

So while it is undoubtedly disrespectful of LeBron, and all single children of single parents don't act that way...not by a long shot...I've seen it confirmed that there's a strong "big sister/little brother" quality to those families that CERTAINLY didn't exist in my Parental-Dictatorship.

Plus...she kinda did need to sit down in that moment. Her parental instincts aside, she could have made that MUCH MUCH worse.


Gloria, seriously...chill.


---

other NBA notes.

1. Deron Williams from Utah is the fu*king TRUTH. When he has the ball I'm like, DAMMIT! He just makes great decisions and has the heart to come up big in big games. Remarkable how he made Kirilinko irrelevant on a team he once ruled. He has that Jordan/Magic/Bird quality of wanting the ball down the stretch and making you happy you gave it to him.


I tell no lies.

2. Kobe is also the truth. He can't score, so he puts his team on his back and makes them win games. Remarkable.

3. New Orleans scares the sh_t out of me. I wasn't on the Chris Paul bandwagon and had no idea. Plus, since Hurricane Katrina, I just feel like NO is due for some good Karma. So be VERY SCARED of the Hornets. (unless you're from there).

4. If you haven't been watching the playoffs you need to start. It's the best year in years.

Talib to Hillary

No kidding. Talib Kweli is registering in on the campaign. And the title says it all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why Write Comedy?

Real life is so much funnier...

HOLYHEAD, Wales (AP) - A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

AP - 'Darth Vader' Spared Jail Time in Jedi Church Attacks

You really should read the whole article. Laugh-out-loud moments from real life people.

Just In Case You Never Thought It Would Go There...

...I want to show you that it has.



I'm starting to think the U.S. should be run by a benevolent king/queen/dictator just to keep us away from the nonsense we seem to get ourselves into every four years.

Anyone else down for my revolution?

Jordan Carlos, a discussion

Jordan Carlos is a New York based comic who often complains about the lack of jobs for smart black humor types (like us) on white shows.



In fact, he's becoming known more for his disaffection toward hiring in this town than for his comedy.

His gripe boils down to this. If you're viewed as traditionally "black" you get work, but if you're black/retro/hipster/bipster/nerdy/geeky/fanboy/indie-rock is

Here's one of his pieces:



Here's some of his standup:



My personal feelings on this are he's both right and wrong. But I wanna know what you think, after you've read the article and seen his work.

What do you think of his argument?

What do you think of his work?

Does the success of Dave Chappelle refute Jordan's claim because he was smart and black or support Jordan's claim because Dave had his own show and was never hired?

---

my opinion. as long as you're waiting for hollywood to recognize how great you are, you'll be waiting the rest of your life. never happens that way. in a sense, the stuff he's already doing online is the best way to move forward. this town is about clubs of boys not sharing their toys. always been that way.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

News Flash: Race Is Still An Issue



This article ran in today's Washington Post. Although I'd suspected such events would happen, the small portion of me that is an optimist was hoping it would be minimal. And according to Sen. Obama's people, it has been. But hearing the tales recounted in the story is nonetheless discouraging, especially since it primarily speaks about supposed Democratic supporters.

I just have to wonder, are people really listening to Obama and making their own decisions? Quite frankly, if someone says they won't for Obama because he's black, I don't know how I can fault them for that (well, I could but at least they have a rationale that can be pinpointed, i.e. they're racist). Folks repeating stories of Obama being "endorsed" by Hamas and therefore is in their back pocket or he's going to turn the US into a Islamic theocracy with Rev. Wright as his VP (totally nonsensical but you KNOW someone thinks it), I can fault them for being a moron not fit to be a citizen. When I was a kid, I adopted what I refer to as "The Reading Rainbow" Philosophy: Don't take someone else's word for it. Do your own paperwork. The last thing you want to do is cheat off the dumb kid.

This said, I was saddened, but not surprised, by a story out of my home state saying a Neo-Nazi group was looking to set up shop in Detroit. The Detroit area would be a ripe market. Bad times abound, incredibly segregated municipalities, and people looking for answers. It's moments like these, with the confluence of so many issues, I hope more people than not were watching Levar Burton back in the '80s. Otherwise, we're completely screwed.

A Site Ripe To Explode

Every now and then I see a blog that's just ripe to be a huge hit.

THINGS YOUNGER THAN JOHN McCAIN

Yeah, I think this ones gonna be around. It's niche but funny.

To Wit:

Alaska.

Alaska - the freaking state - is younger than John McCain.
And, for that matter, so is Hawaii. McCain is older than two of the fifty states.

OK, so here’s one of my all-time favorite jokes:

A polar bear asks his Mother, ‘Mom, am I a real polar bear?”
“Yes darling, of course you are.” his mother answered.
“Are you SURE I’m a polar bear?”
“Yes dear,” his mother replied, “You are. I am, you sister is, you’re father is, we’re all polar bears.”
“Are you POSITIVE?”
“Yes, yes, for the last time, you’re a polar bear! Why do you keep asking?”
“‘Cause I’m fucking freezing!”

Anyway, that has nothing to do with McCain. But again, this guy is really, really old.

Just like STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE it the kind of thing you'll have fun checking every day.

And the writer has skills. Get in early while the getting's good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Baby Daddy Blues

Did you guys know Karl Malone has a son he won't acknowledge?

He knocked up her mom when she was 13, and now the kid is going pro in the NFL.

(And you wonder why I have no respect for the Utah Jazz.)

Not to start your Monday off with beef, but the strain of black men in our community, from all walks of life, who eagerly eschew the duties of fatherhood is something I continue to despise.

How can you not at least talk to your kid? It's not like the kid begged you to be born.

Among certain of us men there's almost a pride in being niggardly in time, affection toward and recognition of one's brood.

At any rate, today I thought it'd be fun (tragic?) to look at some...

Highlights and lowlights of black fatherhood.

HIGHLIGHT: After only one season on the air, Bill Cosby truly becomes America's dad.

LOWLIGHT: Carolina Panther Rae Carruth has his girlfriend killed. Most suspect it was because she was pregnant with his twins and he didn't wanna pay child support.

HIGHLIGHT: Barack Obama, black father and presidential front runner limits the time he lets his girls watch trash TV.

LOWLIGHT: OJ Simpson, black father and scumbag kills the mother of two of his children.

HIGHLIGHT: Jameil Shaw's father raises a great son whom he loses at 18, but goes on to be an inspiration to black fathers everywhere.

LOWLIGHT: Apparently Flavor Flav has kids...like, a ton of 'em.

Take care of your kids, people.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Flashback Friday

I don't know what the weather's like in your neck of the woods, but here in D.C., it's rainy and dreary.

So rainy, in fact, my kitchen partially flooded last night.

Even if it's beautiful where you're at, I'm sure you can relate in some way to today's video. Who hasn't wanted to cuss someone out and kick their isht to the curb? And then they have to live beneath an underpass? There's something I find wickedly delightful about that.

Thank you Mr. Jones for this classic.


Then You Do it, Fearful Bastard!

I'M SO DAMN TIRED of people talk mess about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

When the shit hits the fan, they're usually the first and only ones willing to step up and make it an issue.

Police beating in Philly. New Yorker executed with 50 shots.

I didn't see any of Al and Jesse's haters walking picket lines, getting arrested or keeping these acts of racial brutality in the public spot light.

I saw these dudes...


Fine. We'll do it. We always do it.

I'm the first one to assert that Al and Jesse don't speak for all black people, that they shouldn't be looked on as the voice of black America, a voice that is too diverse to be held to captive by a single person.

The men are activists. That his how they should be viewed.

AND I APPRECIATE THEIR ACTIVISM CONSIDERING HOW WOEFULLY COMPLACENT WE ARE NOWADAYS.

And when you get beat by the police, or your home is illegally raided, or you are unfairly prosecuted in Jena, LA, or you're held in an Georgia prison for consensual sex, or you are killed in a hail of unwarranted gunfire...

...who do you think is gonna be on TV making your injustice a real issue. At least trying to do something about it?

So keep on talking shit about them. And go party with Jay Z and Rihanna and Li'l Wayne. And go watch Denzel Washington and Oprah. And keep on reading Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson. All of whom may be awesome philanthropists and great contributors to society...

...None of whom take a stand against race-based injustice.

(unless it's metaphysical and intangible...they take a stand against it in theory or obscure lectures...or in some third party soundbite that you missed, or tucked away like Weezy's AWESOME song for Hurricane Katrina which you probably didn't see and never heard on the radio....)

(psst...it's here:)


Al and Jesse ain't perfect. You don't have to agree with them. You CERTAINLY don't have to follow them or view them as your leader.

But respect their work and service to our nation.

At least they give a fuck.

And at least they ain't afraid like so many black people with money.

---

ps - please don't comment about self-aggrandizement. EVERYONE is self-aggrandizing except the Dalai Lama and even him I'm starting to worry about. Them robes been looking crisper than usual lately.

They use their self-aggrandizement to shine a light on injustice...all the time...even when it's totally unnecessary. Which is kind of funny when you think about it. But at least they do it.

What do you do?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BARACK

May the force be with us all.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New York Is Dead

Walking through Fort. Greene in Brooklyn I couldn't shake a feeling that something was different. I frequent New York and am no stranger to gentrification...but the presence of those probably not raised in Brooklyn had increased substantially over the years. Further, they're spreading their wings. Harlem, once the strongest outpost of negritude in the city, is itself going pale. My dark skin made me feel like an outsider.

The Bronx is the last refuge for New Yorkers of color...and I'm sure its days are numbered as well.

But, really, that' s not even the most shocking change about this city in 2008

The South controls New York radio. Let me say that again very slowly...

THE SOUTH CONTROLS NEW YORK RADIO.

Whether some reverse retribution from the reconstruction era or some hearty revenge for the Civil War, the south is here and it's in control. If you've ever been to this city that statement seems impossible. And yet...it is true.

Listening to the local radio I SWEAR there were more songs by Little Wayne and Plies than any one from G-Unit. TI is kicking Papoose's ass on his home turf. This city has been conquered.


Great Moments In Getting Conquered: The Visigoth's Sack Rome

New York radio was once loud and proud. As is common knowledge, the only thing real New Yorkers respect is other New Yorkers. That braggadocio I once found annoying is now a distant echo. New Yorkers...REAL New Yorkers were once more apt to listen to random Biggie Smalls freestyles than anything from someone living below the Mason Dixon.

But things have changed. Riding with a friend born and raised in the Bronx he referred to Jay Z as the last New York rapper. The words make me sad...cuz they were kind of true.


Great Moments in Getting Conquered: Hitler in Paris

As much as I used to find their blind disregard for anything not home grown and absolute arrogance in the face of fledgling upstarts from the South...I kind of miss it. If anything I want this post to be a call to return to form.

I want New York to be blindly indifferent to anything but the smell of their own musk. That's what makes this city what it is, that's why people from all over the world come here. We love you, New York. We love your out of control self-aggrandizement. We love that this is how you express yourself...and this is the only place in the world that's quite like it.

(oh and by the way...hip hop was BORN here in the city, so it's kind of embarrassing...that's like the mostly black US Olympic basketball team losing to a mostly white team from...nevermind)



Great Moments in Getting Conquered: Toyota in America

I love you, Big Apple. But when I cut on the radio and hear nothing local, it feels like this place is full of self-doubt. It feels like the weakness of a disease. It feels like Whole Foods stores in Brownsville and quaint cafe's in Clinton Hill.

It feels like surrender.

New York...WAKE THE FU*K UP!! You need to remember who you are and what you stand for.

---

ps - one thing I saw in Harlem did make me have hope for this little city...


Two Steps Back...

Call it Flashback Friday, The Saturday Edition.

Watching American Idol this week, I couldn't help but notice that Randy Jackson played the MC Skat Kat card on Paula when she suggested he do some background rapping on her next album.

Which made me revisit America's Most Beloved Ode to Beastiality, "Opposites Attract."



Even as a wee tot, I knew something was seriously wrong with this video. Why was Paula sleeping with an animal? Why is this cat rocking a style that was years our of date, even by 1990? And why did he sound so much like Will Smith?

And anyone remember his solo record? The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob? Oh Hollywood - how is it you always get Hip Hop so right?!

Fun factoid to blow your mind: This groundbreaking video (or Roger Rabbit rip-off?) was directed by none other than (...wait for it...) David "Fight Club" Fincher! No joke. Look it up.


"So now MC Skat Kat is blowing smoke in your face..."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flashback Friday

Today's Flashback Friday is brought to you by the band that should've won the "Best Now Defunct 90's Group" title due to the fact that Wu-Tang has been on tour for the past few months and ATCQ did much the same not too long ago. Jodeci is indeed dead.

This video was selected because I remember watching it on MTV in a high school class on a day our teacher was absent. The substitute, who was watching with us, asked, "Why are those guys in a desert wearing black leather? That seems stupid."

The adamant response from one of my classmates: "They're Jodeci. They can do whatever the f--k they want." And for a brief period of time, that was true.

Nowadays, though, there's a good reason why K-Ci and JoJo's latest album only sold in Japan.

Two words: Hot Garbage.

But let's enjoy some of their better days...


A Sex Scandal Three Decades Late

In a week that saw revelations that an authentic, or maybe not, 40 year-old sex tape featuring Jimi Hendrix was to be sold to the public and the convicted "DC Madam" was found dead of an apparent suicide, it shouldn't be a surprise that a story of decades old sex with a politician would surface.

It broke Thursday that a black US Senator had an extramarital with a white woman.

Take it easy. Barack's in the clear.



Meet Edward Brooke. He served as US Senator from Masachusetts from 1967 to 1979 after being that state's Attorney General (side note: Guru's father and uncle were two of his primary political confidants). He was the first popularly elected black US Senator and a Republican.

Republican? Black? Yeah, but chances are he wouldn't survive in today's party. In his book, Bridging the Divide, he talks about how reparations would help in racial reconciliation efforts, his support of abortion rights, and his party's lack of outreach and support of minority issues. I thought it was a good read.

Over the course of at least two chapters, he retells the story of how he fell in love with his Italian war bride. When it came time for the two of them to divorce in the late 1970s, he wrote about how he wanted to be "free" and let his wife have the same opportunity.

He left one part out.
He was banging a reporter.



Yes, this reporter. Barbara Walters will reveal her affair with Brooke on Oprah Tuesday.

This begs the question to be asked--
Is it ever too late to start a "scandal"?
And better yet--
Does this matter?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More Fun With Detroit Politics, Pt. 5

Some people just keep giving.

I'm hoping this is the last Monica Conyers' video for a while.

That is unless she pistol whips Shrek in a bar filled with middle school students while her brothers join in on the beatdown. I REALLY want to see that.



And finally, our true American hero, Kierra Bell, offers her insight on her dust up with the Detroit City Council's pro tem leader. Maybe the kids really are going to be alright.