Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Other Side

Apparently, we weren't the only country making newsreel during World War II. I love newsreel and there's hours of it on Youtube.

Here's the US stuff. A video where an aging Babe Ruth hit some homers for the good guys.



Conversely, here's footage of a successful German counter-attack to a tank invasion:



Apparently, the Germans were also reporting on movie screens in Berlin weeks after the Normandy invasion that the invasion had failed. Watch it here. Thank God for the internet and camera phones.

That said...I think we should bring back newsreel whenever we have a war. Or play it on TV before TV shows. We should have to know what our country is doing. I know there were dark days in WW2 where daily reports of our losses would have ebbed public morale...but that's just a theory. It may not have, in fact, it may have boosted morale. Remember the first time Palin spoke, Obama raised like $8 million that night.

I think we need to know. Imagine how things would be if all movies started with a full minute update on Iraq and Afghanistan...

(of course since this is the US, a few theatres would offer "newsreel free" films, make all the money, and newsreel would die anyway...and yes, that's why my idea would never work.)

Look Closely

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Chairman



The GOP elected Michael Steele as their party's chairman today.

Part of his campaign plank was that Republicans needed to get out of the old (white) boy mode and be more inclusive.

Is there a snowball's chance of this happening?

**Fun Michael Steele Fact: He's Mike Tyson's former brother-in-law. During Steele's 2006 Senatorial race in Maryland, Iron Mike did some campaign work for him. Tyson and Steele's sister divorced in 2003.**

Good Song...but

Great song which someone mentioned in the comment section:

Brooklyn Girls by Charles Hamilton



BUT...for some reason I find this song kind of Pandering. Something about it feels a little disingenuous. Can't put my finger on it.

The casting of the girls in the first chorus?

The fact that there's like 5 different Brooklyns in terms of types of people who live there?

I dunno.

Flashback Friday

Today's Flashback is from what I feel was one of the most slept on albums of the late '90s.

No I.D.'s Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album) was short in length but most definitely brought the beats. After all, this is the guy who provided Common with his early sound, essentially launched Kanye, and even gave Shawna her first taste of the business.

Yet he's been left in obscurity, for the most part.

You haven't been forgotten, I.D.

Why don't you call your boy Rashid Lynn? It's about time you all reunited for a track.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Go See This ASAP

Medicine For Melancholy directed by Barry Jenkins



Starring our boy Wyatt Cenac. Cool guy. Correspondent on The Daily Show. Dude I had drinks with last night. (TDS does a night of comedy by their peeps here in NYC). Between him and Donald Glover's movies coming out I think Diallo and I have a bit of a fire lit under us.

Still and all...this is the kind of film we DEF need more of.

----

Speaking of which...

...I was thinking lately that I'm going to go see Tyler Perry's Medea Goes To Jail. Obviously, Perry and I don't really share a comedic sensibility, but he gets asses in seats and sometimes, it's okay to drink a little of the Kool Aid. I'm just gonna go and laugh my ass off.



I was also thinking. That... as homophobic as the black community can be sometimes. Perry is basically a super popular Drag Queen. Right? I mean, is there ANY definition of Drag Queen that he doesn't fit?

Still Funny (p. 2)

I always thoughtthe hilarious site Stuff White People Like would run out of topics. But it's still pretty funny.

One of their latest hits was Black Music That Black People Don't Listen To Anymore.

To Wit:

All music genres go through a very similar life cycle: birth, growth, mainstream acceptance, decline, and finally obscurity. With black music, however, the final stage is never reached because white people are work tirelessly to keep it alive. Apparently, once a music has lost its relevance with its intended audience, it becomes MORE relevant to white people.


I was actually thinking about this recently.

I just DO NOT enjoy Tribe as much as I used to. I was a Jazz fanatic for three years in college but now I never listen. And my "Recently Played" list on my iPod is mainly T-Pain and Swizz Beatz.

Black radio is very feast and famine. One week something is played fifty times, the next week you couldn't pay to hear it. I marvel at artists who can have a career spanning more than one album. Granted that's the nature of music nowadays...but I think black musicians and fans just get tired of their music super quickly.

I mean, seriously, who can tell me what the number one R&B song was from November 2008?

That's an example from within a genre that I think has macro-social significance.

Do we just bore easy?

Or, more seriously...what's the next new incarnation of black music? Is it something on the other side of Auto-tune? Some hybrid of auto-tune and rock (lil wayne)? Something totally different.

Frankly, I'm dying for that next new music that NO ONE is up on...but me of course. So if you knwo it. lemme know. And NO...it's not Santogold. Awesome as she is I don't think she represents a bold step in an extremely new direction.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Will Never Get Tired Of This (p. 2b)

Backfire!

I first heard The Death Of Autotune after Kanye West posted it.

I think it was supposed to be so over-the-top that it made you realize how autotune is being over-used nowadays.

Umm...damn if I don't just like it a ton.

Download and lemme know.

Your President - Fan of "Single Ladies"?!

That is how Drudge would no doubt headline it. But its a really cool video...



Any President of the United States who references Justin Timberlake's performance on SNL to Beyonce Knowles...that's definitely a change of pace.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Notes From The Day Job (p. 1)

Lots of you ask about what we do for a living. Well, one of the things we do is write jokes for the opening monologue. Sometimes they work...sometimes they don't.

Many times, they need to be fixed.

Here's one from today which I can show you since we aren't on the air yet and I wrote it.

MY ORIGINAL

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and his wife Majel will have their remains shipped into space following the couples last wishes ---- a spokesperson for the couple explained that Roddenberry wanted to spend eternity as far away from Star Trek fans as possible.

THE FIXED VERSION

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, along and his wife Majel, will have their remains launched into space. According to his will Roddenberry wished to spend eternity as far away from Star Trek fans as possible.

Notice how it's shorter and cleaner?

Jay Leno has the most efficient monologue machine in the business.

New MTV Show

I think I'll be watching this.


Trailer for "How's Your News?" Series! from How's Your News? on Vimeo.This time, I mean it.

Gone Too Far?


Kanye is now answering to the name Martin Louis King, Jr.

Which many people do not realize is a joking reference to the fact that he designed some shoes for Louis Vuitton.

Keep it Andy Kaufman, Ye.

Still Funny

As the Superbowl approaches Spike is showing their top 10 fave commercials.

I STILL laugh at this one every single time.

From The Gut Punch Section

Another great story from the "WTF, America?" files.

Today's story is about an elderly veteran freezing to death for failing to pay his electric bill.

To Wit:

George Pauwels Jr. said Schur owed almost $1,100 in electricity bills to the city of Bay City, though Pauwels said he noticed money clipped to those bills on Schur's kitchen table the day he found Schur's body.

Fucking, nice.

As someone who has TONS of family and friends in the military, including two people who are very important to me serving in Afghanistan right now...we have to treat our vets better.

And while we're at it, we should probably start respecting the livelihood of our elderly and those less fortunate as well.

This is complete bullshit.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Allow Me To Disagree

Aaron McGruder, talented creator of The Boondocks, noted recently, when referencing Obama that, there are different kinds of blackness which are determinable based on whether ones ancestors were American slaves.

I've met Aaron many times. He's a cool guy. There is in his statement the implication that basically...Obama's "sort of" black.

His statement implies that some kinds of blackness are more authentic than others. Further, those who identify with Obama based on a sense of shared history and experience are misguided.

I disagree.

On my mother's side our first relative here, her great grandfather wasn't descended from American slaves at all, but a west African who came to America right after slavery ended.

On my dad's side everyone was a slave...in the Caribbean.

Obama's been black in America a lot longer than I have

Obviously this isn't a simple thing to discuss or easily clarify. There's a wonderful bit of nuance we could explore that touches on relative degrees of separation from slavery, ones parents and the parameters that truly define "blackness"...whatever that is.

The easier thing to do, I think, is to say that no one should be trying to define any one else's blackness unless they do so knowing full well they haven't the right.

I mean, honestly, who are we to judge?

Tropic Thunder Redux

Okay...

So I finally saw TROPIC THUNDER on DVD.



Bottom line... it was so brutally OFFENSIVE, it was hilarious.

Yes, it's possible for a piece of comedy to be BOTH offensive and funny. Look at the work of Mel Brooks. It's not something you can teach, either. Some people can just do it. Some can't.

Mr. Stiller is a superb talent and he and his boys just said, "screw it, let's make the most outlandish movie we can even think of."

Sometimes that decision backfires (Soul Plane).

Sometimes you make a classic (Friday).

But don't get it twisted, there's no high social commentary here. It's a minstrel show in the purest sense of the phrase. But it's also damn funny.

Thriller: The Musical


I think this is actually a good idea. I would go see this.

And if they cast talented young singers, it will be like the minors for new R&B voices and talent.

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller the Musical'

Friday, January 23, 2009

And For Our Site's 1001's Post

I can't get enough of this track.

You by Kamal



so much to like in there. the bass is sex. the repetitive piano. the Bonita Applebum-esqe cadence.

remember this...



...see, there was a brief period moment in like, 1992, when Tribe and other youngish members of Native Tongues were only listened to by a certain segment of the hip hop community...and the above video represented everything we loved about ourselves. Our uniquness within that diaspora and our unapologetic outsiderness.

Damn, that just brought back a lot of good memories; basement parties on the south side of Chicago, sock hops, football games in the stands when my boy H would bring the boom box, getting my first high top fade from my auntie.

Screw it...I'm writing a memoir, I think my life has been just barely interesting enough to be worth exaggerating.

Damn... Right In My New Neighborhood?!?



There's no racism like that in the northeast.

Flashback Friday

In '94-'95, Wu Tang weren't the only rappers out of Staten Island with an affinity for kung-fu flicks (and faux Native American chants).

I had this album on the b-side of a copy of Puba's 2000 and damn near played it out.

Any word on the whereabouts of King Just?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Did The Oscars Get It Right?




I've been reading a lot of qualifiers today when people mention the nomination of Taraji Henson for the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


Here's mine: Congrats to both her and Viola Davis.

But I have to ask, why a nomination for Queenie?

I checked Button on Christmas Day and while I thought it was fantastic visually, I felt like the film dragged us to its inevitable end. I could've lost at least 30 minutes of it and still have gotten the point.

Now, though, I'm trying to think about how she added to the film to the point of being nominated. Granted, her love for Benjamin came second only to Cate Blanchett's character, I'm really struggling to see how Taraji's performance helped advance the movie. Again, I'm no film connoisseur, so if I'm missing something here, please call me out.

I'm not even going to mention Robert Downey's nomination. I know he even had a WTF moment when he got the call from the Academy.

I'll close out by saying I hope Mickey Rourke wins for Best Actor.


Life imitates art or vice versa.

The Wrestler and Slumdog were probably the two best films I saw in 2008, followed by Frost/Nixon. Since The Wrestler didn't get picked for the Best Picture category, Mickey (or maybe Marisa) has to represent. Plus, he just played the hell out of the role. The final scene is one of the saddest/moving I've ever experienced.

Any other thoughts or predictions (besides mine that WALL-E is going to be this year's An Inconvenient Truth in the music category)?

A.O. - After Obama: The Bill is Due

On Tuesday, I was watching the Inaugural Festivities on my couch (on a wonderful 80 degree winter day in Los Angeles) and thought to myself, "Shit, I prayed for this day BUT it is clear that my life as an African-American will NEVER be the same!"

During President Obama's campaign, I never allowed myself to dwell on the inevitable downside that his victory would have on black/white race relations because I didn't want to jinx anything. I just wanted him to win. And win he did. Now he's THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the bill is due.

I was going to explain my thoughts via text in a much greater detail, but I've decided Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller do an excellent job of demonstrating my point on their own:



ht: Byron Crawford

Joaquin's The Rapper, I'm the DJ

This footage of Joaquin Phoenix rapping...



...feels a lot like watching Michael Jordan place baseball. Not sure what demons led JP to take this hiatus.

But he'll come to his senses in about a year...and this will be an awesome footnote.

That said, the only thing that makes a person decide that this...



...is now a good look: Entirely Too Much Access

The Power to Move You



With the returns of LOST and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, I would argue Science Fiction has never been hotter on TV.



Bashir and I have always been fans of the genre.

Back when we were roommates, this video, which speaks to fandom, role playing games, and other awesome nerdy fascinations, was always in heavy rotation...


Watch Tenacious D " Wonder Boy" in Music Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.comTenacious D - "Wonder Boy"

What are your theories on this season's BSG? The death of a certain person on that show?

And what about the LOST fans? Do you guys feel any closer to answering the mystery of the island?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome To This. All Day. Every Day.



What I love is seeing ardent Bush apologist Glenn Beck imply that the lesson of Bush is that we can't trust people in power who have character flaws.

Shameless.

Just think: The FOXNEWS machine was utilized solely to defend the Bush administration. Now they can be on total attack all day every day.

This is going to be entertaining...

...and a little sad.

What's The Name Of This Song?!?!

Feist show at the Hollywood Bowl. I was there. She opened with this number...



...anyone know the name of it?

LYRICS:

...They always controlled
they're always confined
controlled by their parents
until they are wives
then slaves to their husbands
the rest of their lives...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obam-a-thon 2009: Final Day

I am tired.

Around 4 p.m. yesterday, there was a mad scramble for tickets to the swearing-in ceremony. Congressional offices were dumping tickets and you had to know how and where to cast your net. Long and short of it, after a long night at Wonder-Full, I was up after two hours to walk to the Capitol. Luckily, I was in the Yellow section. Some people I knew who were in the Blue area didn't make it in.

Note to the Obama Inaugural team in 2013: People traffic control is key. Get some please.

Overall, it was a great, but cold, time. I'm not the most weepy eyed guy in the world, but when President Obama (that sounds fantastic) started his oath, you could feel the emotion and couldn't help being a little overwhelmed.

I'd post pictures but everybody and their mama is using Verizon's bandwith now so the photos won't transfer. Oh well. Y'all will have to wait.

Now, it's ball time. Yep. Your boy is looking to go black tie for a few hours.

And then it's back to the regular grind and cleaning up after what's been the most ridiculously hectic yet beautiful times I've ever seen in DC.

A Point About Acting

(expanded from a discussion in the message boards)

I stand by my previous statement that Derek Luke is the best black actor working today. I base that on my preference of work that shows both a strong emotional connection to the character (and the homework) with the technical details that show training.

Let me start by saying I really enjoy the work of everyone I'm about to mention. Period.

But while I freaking LOVE the work of Lawrence Fishburne and he's a great character actor...his range is limited. He plays untrustworthy anti-hero very well. But can he play "light-hearted" romantic lead or offbeat best friend?

(Still and all one of my favorite Fishburne role's was a small little movie no one saw called Always Outnumbered on HBO. There's a scene where the cans he collects are scattered all over the street... and he just knows he has to go and pick them all up, one by one. It's Goddamn heartbreaking.)

So, still, at this point in history, Derek Luke is better.

I think Jeffrey Wright, as much as I love his work knows the types of roles he can play and stays with them faithfully. One on one he'd probably out-gun Luke, but I think Luke has more range, believe it or not. So while (using a sports analogy) Jeffrey might out-play Luke in the cold weather... Luke would out play him in the sun, rain and windy conditions as well. Wright knows his lane and stays in it marvelously (just like Phillip Seymour Hoffman).

Jamie Foxx... I totally believe his connection to his characters. But I think he's more of a mime than a traditional actor. So while he shines in role's like Ray (and was the best thing on screen that year period)... I don't always believe him in every role. I just don't think he has the physical vocabulary of Forrest Whittaker or Andre Braugher.

(the scene in Collateral with Jamie and Tom Cruise in the cab at the end... I think Jamie didn't hold his own.)

I am not nearly as talented as these men. But I've taken about a million acting classes and done countless shows. Further, I'm very attuned to the stuff I've seen in acting class appearing on screen. I have friends who've taken years of dance and when we see a dance performance they can just TELL who the people are who comnbine the emotion with the technical ability. I feel that way about acting.

There's a difference between actors and movie stars. There is often overlap... but there is difference. One is not better than the other, and anyone who claims one is better than the other is full of it.

Will Smith is a helluva leading man and a TRUE movie star with charisma and talent... but, and I'm probably alone in this, I always enjoy the work more when an actor can perfectly BLEND both a true connection to the core of their character and technical ability (again, like Jeffrey Wright in Boycott... that was an acting master class).

Again, using a sports analogy, if actors were pitchers, I refer to the difference between someone who can throw 98 mph fastballs or has a nasty curve versus someone who can throw it fast, throw the breaking ball, the curve, the offspeed pitch and even know when to allow a base hit or set up a pop fly to preserve a lead. A technician.

So Jeffrey Wright, Derek Luke, Andre Royo, Delroy Lindo, Andre Braugher, Forrest Whittaker and Denzel (when he gives a shit) are all technicians with the ability to sweeten their technical precision with a true emotional connection.

While, in my view, Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackon, Larry Fishburne and yes, even Don Cheadle... are emotionally connected and have larger-than-life talent and presence but not as technical as I personally enjoy.

(I'm sorry, but Cheadle's accents in Hotel Rawanda and in the Ocean's movies were consistently inconsistent).

A fine point, I know... but all art is a matter of taste.

By the way... If Denzel Washington started caring about his acting again, he would blow all these cats away, Luke included. But he phoned in American Gangster. Sorry... I just saw someone waiting for the camera to stop so he could call his business manager.

STILL AND ALL... all this has nothing to do with what makes a good movie. So, if you're casting... do you want POWER or FINESSE or some mixture of both?

Depends on the role...

...and the budget.

-----

ps - I kept this discussion about black actors. but, as we all know, it doesn't matter. I used the race only as point of context since, luckily for us, there's so much diversity within the ranks of the black performing classs that it was fun to do so... but this discussion could have been easily expanded.

ps2 - Derek is gonna be in Medea Goes to Jail. Saw that trailer before Notorious.

Notorious Review

(No spoilers)

I'll keep this short and sweet: Go See It.

Jamal Woolard deserves an Academy Award nomination for that portrayal. He will get none. But he was damn good.

And that damn Naturi Naughton was delightful...and her acting was good too. She was simply sexy as all all get up.


Yes, please.

I'm officially worried about Angela Bassett's acting, it's always cranked up to 15 when 6 will do.

The guy who played Lil' Cease, Marc John Jeffries, was excellent even though he looks NOTHING like Lil' Cease...I saw him on the D train in NYC a few weeks ago bugging out with his boys... I'm sure he's taking cabs now that the movie has come out because he will get recognized (wasn't he the kid from the PeoplePC.com commercials?)

Anthony Mackie was good as Pac...though I think he played him on one level. He totally owned the brashness of Pac but I think he missed on the sensitivity that defined Pac to those who knew him (so I hear)... I didn't see a lot of Poetic Justice-y capability but, then again, that could have been left on the cutting room floor. It's pretty obvious at this point that THE WORLD NEEDS A TUPAC MOVIE and I think Mackie has earned the right to be considered.

I wasn't feeling the Antonique Smith as Faith, something about the bad hair and the fact that she sounded Puerto Rican... I dunno, didn't work for me (tho she's ON FIRE.)

THAT SAID...Derek Luke was the best as Diddy; every time you thought he was over the top...you just realized who he was playing and said... "yeah, actually, that's pretty accurate." Between Friday Night Lights, Miracle at St. Anna and a million others, I've come to believe:

Derek Luke is the best black actor WORKING in hollywood today. Period.


Nobody is touching this guy right now.

(Sorry but that's true: Will plays Will, Denzel plays Denzel, Jeffrey Wright does a movie every 15 years... Luke gets the nod.)

STILL AND ALL... the best part of the film is the music. I just can't say enough how nice it is to hear this...



...or this...



...but MAINLY this...



...just BLARING from 5.1 Dolby surround sound theatre speakers. (I'm always pleasantly surprised at how AWESOME "Flava In Ya Ear" comes in. Just a beast of an intro.)

As much as I loved Biggie's music I think whoever did his beats was SEVERELY underrated.

Who did those damn beats?

I know the director George Tillman, Jr. I had the pleasure of hanging with him in his office weeks before principal photography began and he was poring over the script working out kinks days before the WGA strike would force him to take a hiatus on script development. GT was meticulous in his approach and what he has created is the world's FIRST Hip Hop movie that actually works...and in many places, it transcends. The music fits. The people matter.

Congrats, G.

----

ps - Speaking of beats, how much better would Eminem be if most of his beats weren't suburb friendly aka wack as hell? Seriously, every time Em sneaks on someone else's album and rips over a decent beat I'm FLOORED by how good he is... then on his own stuff he gives us the garbage beats.

The Inauguration

Where are you watching/did you watch?



What's going through your head, witnessing this?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obam-a-thon 2009: Random Musings

I didn't make it to Norman Jay Saturday. That was a tad bit disappointing but I'm finding out being able to improvise is key to not losing your damn mind in this environment.

During an attempt to get across town the other day, traffic had to be diverted along Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. No, neither the President-elect nor the President were in the immediate area.


We're more relevant than ever!

BET had its Honors and rerouted travelers so countless stretch Hummer limos could drop off the Monica, Gabrielle Union, and Magic Johnson.

Yesterday there was a huge concert on the Mall with the performances taking place on the Lincoln Memorial with the likes of U2, Beyonce, Patti Labelle, and whoever else you can think of. I didn't go but I'm told there was an amazing vibe, even though people were about seven blocks away from the stage.

Now we're moving into the critical time where everyone is scrambling, trying to find tickets to Balls, the swearing-in ceremony, and the parade. I'm hoping to secure ceremony tickets today but there's a lot of shadiness going on where people at various levels of the food chain have given their tickets to brokers. I'm hearing ridiculous prices (going way over $1000) for tickets that are free (granted, you have to get them from a member of Congress).

Isht like that pisses me off.

But I calm myself with the fact I actually got a ticket to the sold out Wonder-full party. I have a feeling, since he's in town, Stevie might show up.

And finally, I've said it before and I'll say it again...STOP WITH THE OBAMA GEAR.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obam-a-thon 2009: Night 1

Well, it's here.

People are starting, if not already completed, their pilgrimage to the Nation's Capital for all the inaugural festivities.

For a city that can seem pretty stiff at times, DC is letting loose. The number of parties and shows during this four day weekend is a little mindboggling. And damn near everyone is here performing. Hell, TI and Jeezy are in town as part of a fundraiser for the District's beleagured school system. They aren't exactly the first folks who come to mind when I think about education, but hey, if it works, DCPS will have a few extra dollars.

Since I didn't feel like standing in line in a dicey industrial section of Washington to catch Jigga, I hit up an intimate gathering to celebrate BHO44's impending presidency. The night's featured performers: Daz-I-Kue and Taylor McFerrin.

Taylor did his daddy proud with his vocal percussion over a Status IV acapella (Midwest househeads should be familiar). Isht was awesome. I caught him once before in concert but my respect for what he does got taken to another level tonight. Makes me wish I had my iPod recorder on hand.


It's genetic.

Next up was Daz. I love broken beat and it's so rare that I hear it in public. Tonight I felt like I was listening to BBC Radio. I swear, there's nothing like being in a club and hearing tracks that aren't on your commerical stations. I think the world would be better if folks caught some Jackson Sisters followed by "Hold It Down" every once in a while.

The most humorous point of the night was hearing this dance classic...



Part of me was thinking Daz dropped this for shear irony. It was safe to say most everyone in the room that night had a little bourgie in them. After all, people there knew who Bugz In The Attic are and probably weren't from London. But more so, I started wondering if this election is ushering in the return of an expanding black middle to upper class, or at least a greater recognition that this group of people does exist.


We're taking over, snitches.

Don't be surprised when there's a Newsweek cover addessing this in the spring.

Well, I'm done for the night.

Who's on deck for me tomorrow? Norman Jay.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Does The World Need This Movie?

Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li



1. Street Fighter is big for people my age and a little younger. The kids just don't know it or care about it.

2. It's not Transformers

3. I know Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Jurassic Park changed everything so now every movie has to be re-made with wire work and CGI... but I don't think the streets are clamoring for this one.

4. I know that The Dark Knight means you have to re-make every movie from a dark/tragic/mysterious/super realistic POV... but last time I checked, the earlier incarnations of neo-Batman were all very successful (except that last one with the rubber nipples) ... They've already done Street Figher and that was right after its heydey. It sucked. Even the animated one sort of sucked.

I got a bad feeling about this movie.

First Out The Gate With That New Isht

NOT A STAIN ON ME (by Big Tuck)



AND THE OFFICIAL DANCE



Enjoy.

Anatomy of a smack down

(via Digg)

it speaks for itself:



My only regret is that our media didn't grow balls until Bush was well on his way out the door... which begs the question:

If you learn how to use The Force master the Light Saber JUST as Darth Vader is on his death bed, what have you really mastered?

I Am Barack Obama. And So Can you.

Always wanted your own Obama style poster?

GO HERE AND MAKE YOUR OWN

Some of my faves from the site and one from my brother (with sunglasses).



TI's New Show

(via Bossip)

I LOVE THIS...



And yet... it really irks the hell out of me that TI had technically already learned his lesson the first time he got out of jail. I don't know the specifics of the story but I remember reading YEARS AGO that he had done a bid just after he signed his first BIG record deal (right?) and I remember him saying over and over in the press "Never Again".

I applaud TI for this and hope to watch the show. I love the message and we need more of it.

I would have liked it better if it wasn't coming as the result of his second MAJOR arrest.

We need MORE visible role models, and sorry famous dudes, despite what you think you most certainly ARE role models...

but we need more visible role models on TV and Film showing young brothers how to do the right thing. I had the luxury of a two parents who mad sure I stayed in line... But for those young men and women who have NO ONE to tell them and show them right from wrong... it would be welcome to have that role supplemented by someone with a long reach. Barack is a good start...but MUCH more is needed.

Flashback Friday

A while back when Bashir did a post about some of the worst album covers he'd ever seen. I suggested this one:



The name of the group is Imagination and the fact of the matter is, I like the above pictured album.

But whoever was responsible for that photo shoot or directing this video needs to be slapped really really hard.

I know there was a lot of decadence in the '80s but this pushes the envelope.

And that's why this video and song are so horrendously beautiful.

Happy Birthday Motown!

Motown turns 50 this week.

To commemorate the legacy of this label, I don't want to post a clip of the Temptations, Supremes, or Stevie. That's too predictable (plus I'm going into Stevie depravation in preperation for a Wonder-full party Monday. Man, I can't wait for that).

After failing to find any music by Sudden Impact, I decided to celebrate with another act that was only on the label for a hot minute.



Here's to the next 50 years and to the hope that they're better than the last 15 have been for the label that brought black music to the masses.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nerding Out (part 2)

So... I was online looking at SciFi stuff and I came across an interesting page.

WHO WOULD WIN?

Battlestar Glactica VS. The Starship Enterprise

Interesting argument... and fun, but I think this commenter nailed why it truly would be NO CONTEST.

To Wit:

By Derf at 8:03 PM ON 01/14/09

This is pathetic, the author either likes galactica more and or is a complete tard about anything remotely technological. Nukes and kinetic weapons do not have ANY effect on star fleet shields. None at all, why do you think no one uses them in star trek? The galactica would explode from one torpedo. Star Trek shuttles are not fragile, they just seem like they must be shitty because of how terrible their special effects were on, they couldn't really do any good space battles. Simply put a viper couldn't do squat to a shuttle, not even out fly it. I mean for crying out loud, with the enterprise's sensors and warp 3 capable torpedoes they could obliterate galactica from the next solar system. This entire article is pure idiocy, just seems like a sci-fi channel sponsored bump for galactica just in time for BSG's premiere.

Has The Internet Finally Let Me Down?

Dammit.

How come I can't find a page that shows how many people lived and worked on the Starship Enterprise... You'd think it would be here.

?????

And yes... this is the kind of thing you argue about when you work in a writer room all day.

(or a college dorm room... full of guys without dates)

Happy 80th, Dr. King

He should have been 80 today...

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

What are your thoughts and reflections this year for MLK Day?

And in case you forgot...

More Fun With Diallo's Ex-Roommate



We hung with Ryan just after we moved to NYC briefly. I still get a kick out of this video because I think that the only thing that's changed about him since college is his clothes... but just like back them, his work puts him at an excited level...like an electron.

Follow your passion, kids.

Elzhi - "Transisitional Joint"

Thanks to all those kids who came out to TILLMAN'S on Tuesday. We had good fun. And if you are in the NYC-area this weekend, come out to HUGS in Williamsburg, where we will again be having fun and playing good music.

This move to New York has been one of the biggest transitional periods of my life. As such, it was a little ironic that this song moved so many in the crowd on Tuesday.

Elzhi - "Transitional Joint"

Thanks to the people on this website who put me up on this superb album.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Black Skateboarders Make The Turn

I used to teach in LA.

One of my favorite kids was a skateboard junkie who told me that he and the other (black, cuz it was an all black school) skaters would be in constant fights with the gang-bangers. Every day after school, he said, it was on and if a skater was walking home alone...well, he'd better be pretty damn fast on that board.

I found that troubling and odd... from my experience growing up, black kids who skated were few and far between and not really on anyone's radar.

But all over LA... and maybe in your neck of the woods too, you see a growing number of black kids skating (and Latino kids and Asian...shit, everyone skates now).

Maybe the gang members feel threatened?

What's interesting about black skate pros like Terry Kennedy is that he seems to embody the next incarnation of black skateboarders. He's 2.0 and, just like Stevie Williams, he doesn't come across as someone unafraid to let things come to blows.

Maybe the gang bangers SHOULD feel threatened?

Terry Kennedy



Stevie Williams


Despite the fact that Terry's been shot, I still haven't noticed an overall "growing violence" among the skate classes EXCEPT skater on skater on biker on pedestrian which has been going on since time immemorial...throwing punches over park space.

But do we think it could turn violent the way tagging is now responsible for lots of gun play? Or is it impossible since one can get paid VERY WELL for skating but not for tagging?

And do you skate?

---

ps - Is it me, or is Stevie like 5x's better than TK?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Assert Yo Rights

I have to give Mr. ChiCity his props.

Dude probably could bail the Windy C's south 'burbs out of any fiscal trouble they might be in based on the number of tickets he's racked up.

But I love the fact he fought for what he believed in and was hella funny in the process.



I want to be at his hearing. Any predictions on the outcome?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Music for Your Week

I find I am rediscovering more and more songs from my collection since moving to New York. Blame it on the time spent riding the L Train to Brooklyn everyday.

Remember Drum N Bass? This track had a lot of soul, from about three years ago.

Uncut - "Midnight (Marcus Intalex & ST Files Remix)"

Animal Collective has a great new album that just keeps growing on me (like one blog I read said, there may not be one snare drum on the whole album, but it just works). Indie rock for we fans of Stone Roses and the early Blur records.

Animal Collective - "My Girls"

More tunes on the way. And also, let us know what you are listening to.

When A Man Loves A Woman...Gucci Mane Style!

Disclaimer: It escapes me to find a scenario where it is appropriate for a man to hit a woman. Violence against women is a very serious issue and those that perpetrate these acts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law...

...That being said, I have to admit I got more than a chuckle from ATL's "People's Champ" keeping it real with his fans:



Just a FEW thoughts that occurred after watching this:

- Where was this performance? Gucci Mane's show had the production values of a street performance. He doesn't even sing his own hooks, instead relying on the track. My goodness...

- Apparently she threw a glass at him (I can't see evidence of this in the video) after he "removes" her from the stage. That being said, did anyone come to this woman's defense?

- To my dismay, instead of pressing charges, this "victim" has completely re-rationalized her beat-down as a source of EMPOWERMENT and brags about her "sudden" burgeoning rap career?

A word to the victim, "Mac Breezy", I won't be buying your album. Also, I hope a group of self-respecting women track you down and beat your ass...

Now THAT would be GULLY!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Downside to the Obama Presidency?

Yesterday I brunched (yeah, brunch is a verb) at a popular DC spot around noonish.

Apparently, I missed the fact that a block down U Street NW someone else was getting a little bite to eat, as well.


Obama and, over his right shoulder, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty.

The President-elect was at Ben's Chili Bowl, a place where a number of (black) celebs stop by to get a half-smoke with chili. For people living in DC, though, U Street and Ben's are an integral part of local history and culture. We could really give a damn about the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, or ESPN Zone. Those places are for the tourists. U Street and Ben's (granted, the neighborhood is gentrified and Ben's is mad popular) are sacred.

During Obama's outing yesterday, the entire block was shut down by the Secret Service. I heard from someone a little closer to the action that some people were a little distressed about the idea that the Men In Black would become a fixture on places like U Street when during previous administrations they might have been more of a presence in Georgetown or Upper Northwest DC. You know, the places white people are.

For the record, I don't expect that every single time I go to Yum's, a neighborhood where mambo sauce is on par with Grey Poupon, or my barber shop that I'll be asked to submit my social security number for a background check. Yeah, a black man is about to be president but that doesn't mean he'll be headed to the corner store everytime he needs some milk. He has people for that. But still, given the problems Obama has had kicking his CrackBerry addicition, I can't help but wonder if he's going to wind up inconveniencing me in ways I can't imagine yet.

If so, I didn't sign up for that. I wanted change policy-wise, not change in my daily routines.

Who can finally lay my fears to rest?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

You gotta give Kimmel is his props...

...sometimes he delivers right on the money:



your thoughts?

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Song Swizz Beats Sampled for Up In The Club

A little while ago there was a debate in the comment section over what song Swizz Beats sampled for his new song with Lil Wayne, Up In The Club.

Truth is, I thought I had heard the song before but I couldn't tell from where or from what group.

Then, I figured it out....

Space - "Female of the Species"

Space is one of those forgotten Brit-Pop bands of the mid-90s. There was a time when I was really into Brit-Pop, but damn, they are not part of the Blur-Oasis-Pulp canon by any stretch of the imagination.

From Wiki -

"Space were an indie rock band from Liverpool, England, who came to prominence in the mid-1990s with hit singles such as "Female of the Species", "Neighbourhood" and "Avenging Angels". The basis of their sound has inspirations from late 1960s-early 1970s rock groups mixed with black humoured lyrics and peculiar vocal/music samples."

"Female of the Species" was released as the band's fourth single and second single proper from their debut album Spiders on May 27, 1996, making #14 in the UK charts. [The song] was used in the 1997 film The Matchmaker starring Janeane Garofalo; as well as during the end credits of the popular movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery."

Shout out to Swizz for digging extremely deep on the other side of the Atlantic.

Bring It Back!

(via HuffPo)

Is it me...







...or does this cat look better with an afro?

BRING BACK THE AFRO FOR INAUGURATION DAY, B!

Flashback Friday: Alpert Edition

If you're like me, you've probably seen the trailers for Notorious.

I'll be the first one to admit it: I was never really a fan of Biggie and I'm not overly inclined to check the movie. The flick's line about not being able to change the world until we change ourselves has been getting a ridiculous amounts of play mainly to take aim at the Barack demographic.

While I might not have a favorite Biggie song, I do have a favorite sample brought courtesy of Herb Alpert. Besides being the "A" in A&M Records, he's probably known for having one of the greatest album covers of all time and the tune that showed up in just about every '60s game show.

In 1979, though, Herb took it up a notch with a track that the Notorious One utilized 18 years later.



I know, that video was kind of slow.

Luckily, Mr. Alpert hooked up with Janet, Jerome, and Jam & Lewis (Lisa Fischer was somewhere in the mix, too). There's a little more energy in this one than the last.



Kudos to him for keeping it funky over the years.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Great Video of the Year

It's not Single Ladies. In fact, its the opposite end of the spectrum.

Fever Ray "If I Had a Heart"

Super high concept. But the imagery and song are so different...its great video-making.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Dakota Fanning has done more for Black people than any of us..."

WTF? I thought this had to be a typo, but apparently it's true:

40th NAACP Image Award Nominations

Outstanding actress nominees are Alfre Woodward for "The Family That Preys," Angela Bassett for "Tyler Perry's Meets the Browns," Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah for "The Secret Life of Bees" and Rosario Dawson for "Seven Pounds."

Doing Big Thangs

Our boy Donald Glover is 1/3 of the awesome sketch group Derrick Comedy and a writer on 30 Rock.



Their first full length feature, "Mystery Team"... is making its debut at Sundance this year.



In case you aren't familiar with them... they unleashed this comedic beast upon the world:



Methinks this movie is gonna rock.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Two Blacks"

HAH!

From the Toronto Star.

...the buzz is about the writers Fallon is assembling for his comedy team. The Apiary, at theapiary.org, noted that the late shows' writing staffs are often seen as "a homogeneous paste of predominantly white, predominantly Jewish, Ivy-school males," while Fallon's joke writers include a woman, Amy Ozols from Boston, and two blacks, Bashir Salahuddin from Chicago and Diallo Riddle from Atlanta, both alumni of Comedy Central's Chocolate News in Los Angeles.



We'll always have Canada, dear.

---

ps - if you guys hear of anyone "buzz"-ing about the diversity of our staff PLEASE send it to my attention because my social life sucks right about now and it would be awesome to hang with people who found me buzz-worthy. So sad.

Am I Addicted to T-Pain? (and other musings)

YO...

1. I think I might be addicted to T-Pain's music. I CAN NOT get enough of this track. "Blame It" Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain:



2. THINGS I MISS ABOUT LA

a. it's clean
b. you don't have to layer
c. driving
d. high concentration of scantily-clad hotties
e. lazy Sundays...and saturdays (and Mondays through Fridays)
f. sleeping
g. the LOW cost of living
h. my friends


Nakatomi Tower, how I miss seeing you every day.

2. THINGS I LOVE ABOUT NYC

a. listening to my iPod all the way til I arrive at my desk
b. interacting with actual human beings on a daily basis
c. high concentration of superbly-attired hotties
d. interesting conversation
e. a total lack of boredom unless one REALLY wants to be bored
f. seasons
g. not having to pay a car note/car insurance
h. my friends


Completely USELESS on weekends.

3. Should I get into the show LOST?

A writer in our office as well as other people swear by it. Still... I can't take the idea of getting hooked on another series only to be disappointed (looking in your direction Battlestar Galactica season 3.5)...?


The writers at Battlestar think this is a picture of a lawyer... it isn't.

4. So far... are you disappointed with Barack? Or, like me, do you think the media needs to find something else to talk about, you know, until he ACTUALLY makes a decision as President?

5. Are you doing what you always thought you wanted to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a Surgeon during the week and a Fighter Pilot in the USAF on weekends.

YEAH...uh, didn't work out that way. Kinda sad too cuz I still secretly think I'd be dope at both. I'm not knocking entertainment, I love it, but...would you rather write jokes all day...

...or fly this puppy?



That's what I thought.

Souljah Boy's Cartoon



Wow. What do you think?

R-Les?

He's our boy...gotta put him on blast a little, ya know?



This shows he's been talented a long time. Proud to share the City with him.

One Of The Dumbest Things I Have Ever Read

(via HuffPo)

Big Hollywood is a new blog claiming to represent the voice of the right-wing in Hollywood/Entertainment from Matt Drudge protege Andrew Brietbart.

It's pure comedy.

READ HERE...as blogger Greg Gutfeld, who is from the goofy FoxNews show late-night yakfest RedEye...shows how some of the best albums in American history are conservative.... sort of.

TO WIT:

NIRVANA. “Nevermind” is nothing but a celebration of free markets (”Smells like Teen Spirit” being an anthem about owning something as simple as deodorant). And the truth is - that adorable baby on the cover chasing the dollar is now in his late teens - a healthy testament to a system of monetary reward based on hard work and achievement. “If only Kurt Cobain had chased the almighty dollar instead of the dragon, he’d be alive today,” Steve Albini might have said, if he wasn’t so busy reading Hayek.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. Many people, including the “Boss” himself, worried that his album “Born in the USA” might come off as a sarcastic jab at America. But simply look at its cover, with Bruce standing in front of our flag, his backside to the enemy, turning around defiantly, as if to say, “You want a piece of this?” All worries about Bruce’s lack of patriotism were laid to rest when our greatest president Ronald Reagan, used the title track in his winning campaign. True to his gentlemanly nature, Springsteen refused to take credit. That’s the kind of guy he is.

Hilariously wrong.

Unless Greg is trying to be funny on purpose in which case, I give him props. Methinks however, he's being sincere.

Freeway

I've always liked dude and have wanted him to be bigger than he is (at radio, in sales, what have you). Here he talks about his current relationship with Jay-Z...



And here is a new song from him...

"There You Go"

If nothing else, he should be some label's Beat A&R - he always selects a couple of hot tracks from producers (as opposed to someone like Nas who can't ever seem to pick and choose to his full potential anymore).

In the mean, I'll be spinning "There You Go" here in N-Y.

Monday, January 5, 2009

iPhone App From Hell

I recently saw a friend (well, a Facebook friend anyway) recently playing a game on his iPhone.

"What's that," I inquired.

"Wurdle."



Seemed innocent enough. Just dragging your fingers over a letter grid to form words.

That was two weeks ago. Now I can't stop.



At home. At lunch. On the train. Waiting for the train.

Last two nights...I have seen the grids in my sleep, and felt euphoric as I found long words like "monolith" and "lingerie."

What iPhone apps (other than Shazam) are you finding it hard to live without?

One man's "Freedom Fighter..."

It's funny that when this movie came out, Rambo was fighting with a little kid named Hamid (as in Karzai?) and a freedom fighter named Mousa (based on a tall skinny man hiding in the hills of Tora Bora?).

RAMBO III: 'God have Mercy, because Rambo won't!'

At the time, this movie was dedicated to "the gallant people of Afghanistan." How times can change perception.

Chocolate News Redux

BLOMICON



Thoughts?

The Art of Being A Nigger

(via Bossip)

In bragging about robbing Soulja Boy, these guys have mastered the art.



This video makes me angry. Some of US still take great pride in crime and stupidity. And to brag that because you put a gun on a man's head he started "crying like a bitch"... what's the appropriate response to having a gun to your head? Hearty laughter?

annoying.

Quietly (p. 1)

(via Kanye West)

Quietly and without much fanfare...

...Swizz Beatz is the hottest producer working in hip hop today.

Check the new hotness "UP IN THIS CLUB"



Seriously, I feel like every time I hear something good and ask Diallo who did it, it's old faithful... Swizzy.

I mean, is there any other producer today who every time you see his name on a track you just KNOW it's gonna be a club banger? For as long as Swizzy? He's been on his A-game for about 2 years now... which is EONS in the current hip hop environment.

1. You probably can't appreciate that bass line on your office computer.

2. Kudos to whoever can FIRST identify that marimba melody on the track (hint: The D)

Obama-rama Begins

Here in the District, the inauguration proceedings are already beginning. The Obama girls start at Sidwell Friends on Monday and locals are being warned about epic congestion due to the increased number of visitors for January 20th's festivities.


Dear Tom and Tina Tourist,
Thanks for the clusterf--k.

Sincerely,
The Residents of the District of Columbia


If there's an upside to any of this, it has to be parties. For the past few weeks, I've been getting emails galore for state balls and random parties trying to capitalize on the Obama name and the fact that it's essentially a 4-day weekend (just because Obama will be president doesn't mean we can forget MLK). I predicted more "urban"-themed celebrations would be going on back in August, but it's now come to fruition.

As expected, Jay-Z will be holding a party at the previously discussed Love. But the most interesting piece of information that could've ever come out of these soirees is the revealing of the President-elect's favorite DJ...


I bet he didn't vote for Shirley Chisholm this time around.

This begs to ask: If you were about to be president, who would DJ/perform at your inaugural celebration?