Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LOL-in'

Every once and a while you need to laugh.

And by that I mean laugh at other people.

Hence my growing love for Failblog.




Yeah, I know there's something wrong with reveling in others misfortune but honestly, some people are a-holes and deserve to be ridiculed:



I could watch this all day. Schadenfreude is a beautiful thang.


Are there any other sites out there that I should be on the lookout for?

MUSIC OPEN THREAD

Comment on whatever's out there you like...

By the way, what hip hop albums (as opposed to singles) should I be picking up?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dance Your Pain Away

My boy sent me this.

Dance My Pain Away



Having a tough Monday? Dance it all away.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Drake

Young Atticus wants you to take a listen.

Drake

Man Of The Year


Thoughts?

---

ps - I think I finally beat Diallo to the punch on something. I've never heard him mention this cat before.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Had To Ask Pharrell Why...

...this happened.



Diallo and I had a meeting with him when he came on to perform with N.E.R.D Friday. So at some point I felt comfortable enough to ask about the above episode.

Pharrell: "I had just got off a long flight from Malaysia. It was 6AM in Paris. I saw that McDonalds was almost open for breakfast...and I was really hungry."

And knowing is half the battle.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Friday Rant


So I was flying back from NYC on JetBlue this week and I glanced at the monitor in front of me tuned to CNN. The caption below the talking heads said, "Could Barack Obama be a one-term President?" I immediately laughed. For those of you that are counting, Barack Obama has been President of the United States for a WHOPPING 65 days. This "conversation" on CNN illustrates what I believe to be the "real" issue of race in this country. Chris Rock states this "issue" succinctly on HBO's "The Black List - Volume One", "We will have achieved TRUE equality when a black person can absolutely FAIL, learn from that failure AND is given ANOTHER opportunity to try again". The second-chance part is what I'm emphasizing here. Let's be real - how else can you explain the tenures of Ty Willingham and Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame? Back to CNN's original "question". Am I the only one noticing that President Barack Obama is on a much shorter rope in the public discource than it seemed our former TWO-term fuck-up of a President enjoyed? Never mind the fact that we're in one of the biggest economic crisises since the Great Depression. In spite of my many white friend's protests to the contrary, you are NOT color-blind. Not being color-blind doesn't automatically make you a racist, but it does create a situation in which "individuals" are always running up against collective "assumptions". See examples: "You talk white" or "she dresses black". So when Maureen Dowd boasts in her column, "We have just inaugurated a black president who installed a black attorney general.", I sit back and say to myself SO THE FUCK WHAT? My plea to America: If Barack Obama stumbles, or even flat-out fails. Please give him another shot, because these problems are not "insignificant" by any measure...

Anyone feel me on this?

OUR VERY FIRST OPEN THREAD

Well...

we'll be doing this every Friday...

...so what's on your mind?

The Roots Jam

One of the other cool things about our day job is that we get to hear about this...

The Roots do a weekly jam session where they just bring up guests and kick it.


Black Thought, Talib Kweli, & John Forte Jr. from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

I've go every. damn. week.

But don't be jealous...

... it's listed on OKAYPLAYER.com and it's in New York, so you can go too.

Even More Fun At The Gig

Flashback Friday

If there was ever a king of the non sequitur, Son Doobie would be it.

Case in point--"Bow Wow Wow".

If you have any clue regarding what he's rhyming about, please offer me your insight.

But much like their brethren from Cypress Hill and House of Pain, Doobie & Company (a.k.a. Funkdoobiest) managed to get people out of their seats and moving. What the people were actually moving to beyond the infectious beat, I don't know. Some tracks are good enough to make you forget that the isht doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

RIP - John Hope Franklin



I'm the son of a historian, so it's not surprising one of the most prominent books on the shelf in my house was From Slavery to Freedom.

To say John Hope Franklin saw a lot in his 94 years is likely a drastic understatement. I'm glad he was still here for the events of January 20th. For someone like him, I'm certain it was special in a way I'll never know.



Thanks Dr. Franklin. We're all indebted to you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Artistic Freedom

Wow, these guys have it in amazing amounts...



Even if its not your cup of tea, you have to respect how they have grabbed their own lane....

Any of you guys fans?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Before You Die


You should see Savion Glover perform live before you die.

I saw him this weekend at the Joyce Theater in New York.

The only word I can think of describe the show is "Transcendent".

It made me feel, decidedly untalented and I was in awe at his level of mastery and improvisation.

What's more, I had never before thought of dance as a means of communication...but he and his boys were just "talking to each other". That's about the best way to describe it; talking without speaking, like musicians do. I don't think that exists in most other forms of dance...but tap is like Jazz in that it's loquacious.

Further, the show, in which he mixed Jazz and Flamenco moments as the backdrop to his work, was astounding. It felt too short, I could have used another hour.

So...the next time you see him coming to a town near you, get a ticket.

Politco-Drudge


I have been saying this for a while. Sad that a site like GAWKER had to be the one to call it out.

THE POLITICO-DRUDGE ECHO CHAMBER

http://gawker.com/5180451/the-politico+drudge-echo-chamber#c11552395

But it's definitely true.

Friday, March 20, 2009

For No Particular Reason

Last Night's show

Slow Jam News

Flashback Friday

A few minutes ago, it became official.

Happy Equinox, y'all.



It's a little nippy in my neck of the woods, but who cares.

Winter is gone.

Enjoy it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I Ever Get Rich (p. 1)

If I ever get rich.

I'm gonna walk around with my own theme music.

As seen at the 4:30 mark HERE:


And my THEME SONG...?

Either this



OR this



I'll make that decision when the time comes.

You know you'd do it too if you thought of it first.

What The Hell is Jay Z Thinking...

...or his team?

I have been looking to buy "I Know" off of American Gangster for a while now.



1. It's not on iTunes.Bold
2. You can't buy it as a single on Amazon without paying for the whole fu*king album.

3. I don't like the song ENOUGH to buy other tracks I don't want.

W T F?

Are they really suggesting that they'd rather lose $1 in the hopes that I'll spend $10? I KNOW I can just find a way to download it for FREE, but I'm trying to pay the man for his work.

This is some bullshit. And it's not just Jay Z. If you go and buy When Disaster Strikes on iTunes the version of "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" is a bizarre thing that wasn't created anywhere near 1997. It's like Busta, just as Jay Z (or their people) have decided that you get to have the song OUR way or the highway. And good luck buying The Black Album online.

I totally get that if I go to your concert you get ot do whatever you want to your songs. Since if I just wanted to hear them played I could buy the album.

But when I buy the album I just want the damn song. Not the song changed and sometimes not even the whole album.

The music industry is stupid and has been forever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weigh In On This One

Diversity on TV as discussed by the New York Times.

To Wit:

“I don’t know what to say to these networks that don’t put on shows with black leads,” said Larry Wilmore, who has a recurring role as the “senior black correspondent” on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and who was an executive producer on “The Bernie Mac Show,” which ran for five seasons on Fox.

Minority talents “are faring better in dramas as part of ensembles than as leads,” Mr. Wilmore said.

“I don’t think there is anything sinister going on,” he continued. “It is just an unfortunate coincidence and situation."


That's been my feeling about it as well.

But, is it possible there's something more deliberate going on?

I will say this without any hesitation: most black comedy shows are built around PERSONALITIES and not TALENTED WRITERS.

(for other shows it's more of a mix, some are based on comedy personalities, some are based on writers)

Lucky for us, Dave Chappelle was both a great personality and someone whose writing instincts were strong.

But that isn't always the case. So as long as networks wanna try and find "the hot new comedian" and build a show around him/her, I think things will stay as they are. Sometimes you get a Chappelle/Cosby/Martin Lawrence who can really hold an audience...sometimes you don't.

I will also say that there are dozens of VERY TALENTED black writers we know personally (both in LA and NYC) and we're very optimistic that the "good black comedy show" on TV will one day be the norm.

Thoughts?


Still Waiting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Isht That's Gotta Stop: Over-protection

A couple days ago, I was at a drug store in my 'hood (a store with a name similar to a TV network).

Since I can't grow a proper beard to save my life, I was in desperate need of some razors.

Seems simple enough, right?

Wrong.

It's bad enough that a pack of eight disposable razor heads costs $25 but making it worse is that you have to go through Ft. Knox-esque security in order to get them from their specially-enclosed click box. I spent damn near two minutes trying to get the crappy push tab thing to release my soon-to-be purchase but I gave up and asked a manager to open the shelf with his key.

The things men have to go through to stay pretty.

Yeah, that was frustrating but something I saw an aisle away was even worse.


A pic from another one of this chain's D.C. stores illustrating the issue. Not taken by me.


As I went to make my purchase, I noticed a guy and a person I'll assume was his girlfriend attempting, like I did with the razors, to get condoms from a vending shelf/click box similar to the one pictured. After several failed attempts, they walked away.

I'm not going to hypothesize on went down with that couple later that night, but the described scene went from possibly humorous to potentially dangerous given an article that ran in the Washington Post today.

To quickly give you the gist of the story, at least 3% of D.C.'s population (the city has approximately 550,000 people) is infected with HIV/AIDS. A D.C. health official said this rate is higher than parts of western Africa and on par with Uganda.

That's right. Uganda.


Idi Amin says: "S--t, that's bad."

Given the epidemic-level problem we're facing here in the Nation's Capital, could we please take the lock off the condoms? Please?

Is there a point where we look at loss-prevention programs and say, "Actually, it might be OK if people steal this"?

Compounding the problem have been some well-documented instances where stores in this same chain keep condoms in locked click box shelves in poorer neighborhoods while upper income ones are on your typical, non-locked shelves (in fairness, there were some "free-range" condoms, three packages worth, in the store I visited).

I get there's a desire to protect merchandise but I think this instance is one where someone is gonna need to take the proverbial "L" in favor of potentially keeping people from becoming part of my present locale's growing pubic health calamity.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Never Thought of It Like That

Matt and Trey make an interesting point about the Jonas Bros that had never occurred to me before...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Killing Em Softly

We're proud to say that the show is beating both the competition (Ferguson and Kimmel) and also previous ratings records held by Conan.

Bashir and I will also be appearing in future bits and sketches, like the one below that has your boy as a character in a parody of MTV's The Hills.



Everyday we go into work, we see comedy cats we have been watching for years and decades.

At one point today, when Jimmy and our announcer Steve Higgins were riffing for a solid half hour on the couch in our office, I kind of took a step back and had to remind myself..."this is real? I get to do this for a living?"

It's only been ten episodes but it's been amazing so far. And to think we have 200+ episodes more before next year? Well...that's pretty amazing too.

I hope y'all are watching. The show is just getting started.

Flashback Friday

What happens when an emcee from Brooklyn incorporates the '90s California G-Funk and car culture with a touch of Down South bass into his sound?

You get what was Masta Ace's most commercially viable release, Sittin' On Chrome. Even though it's in my iPod, I really didn't remember how nice "Born To Roll" was until I had to do some extended driving recently in Texas. I don't get to do that much on the East Coast.

Since I've gotten back to my train-riding self, though, the song doesn't have the same feeling. Some tracks are best enjoyed behind the wheel.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Fun With Epiphany

I have always felt, and will always feel, that the most UNDERRATED hip hop album of all time...

...is Dare Iz A Darkside by Redman.


The Rodney Dangerfield of hip hop.

The BOMB SQUAD at the height of their powers. No ego from the artist. Disgusting basslines and filthy flows.

Epiphany

I think my favorite band is The White Stripes.


Living Legends

I always thought it was Radiohead.

I don't think it is anymore.

1. I own all of The White Stripes material. And listen to something from them at least once a week.

2. I like every song they've ever done. (can't say the same for Radiohead)

3. I like every album they've ever done.

4. While Radiohead created one of my top 3 songs of all time, The Tourist, The White stripes have the most songs in my top 20.

wow...that's just one of those late day writing revelations.

So, in honor of Jack & Meg I'll post my favorite song by them.

Instinct Blues



And a bonus for those who don't know.

Seven Nation Army



I feel torn about this.

I never thought they were my favorite band, but the numbers don't add up any other way.

Oliver Stone at USC

A great conversation about Wall Street, the movie and the current crisis.


I could watch this stuff all day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Biggie And Al

I had this urge to listen to Machine Gun Funk while I wrote this morning. And came across this.

I kind of like it.



And I will NEVER get tired of this song.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Racist Resident 5?

This conversation is pretty funny.

The new Resident Evil 5 is based in Africa, and as a guy says in the video below (which you can't embed) "you spend most of the game killing black people."

http://www.gametrailers.com/bonusround_player.php?ep=301&ch=4&sd=0


The part that isn't funny at all is towards the end when the "diverse" panel says its one of the best games of the year.

You should just watch the video above. Its kinda tragic, kinda satire. All real.

And here (below) is the trailer in question.

An Open Letter To Doctor Manhattan

(From Fred Hoynes, Research Asst.)

To Doctor Manhattan,

I've been working with you here at the lab for quite some time. I remain honored you have chosen me to as part of your exclusive team of researchers seeking to solve the very mysteries of space and time itself. Every day I awaken with a burst of energy, eager for another day plying the depths of science. I know that, with your leadership, we may yet take man to heretofore unseen heights of understanding. We are the tip of the scientific spear. And every day I witness brilliance, human and beyond that will be the stuff of legend.

However, despite the importance of our work, I have one small request.

Can you PLEASE put on some fu*king pants?

I mean, seriously, it's very distracting.

I know you haven't the slightest thought or care about the silly trappings of us mere mortals. I get it. But we still have work to do. We still have important contributions to make. And, frankly, I'm tired of accidentally coming face to face with your junk every time you wanna grow large to check the top of the tachyon dampener. Or, worse, those times you multiply yourself to simultaneously run all three of the large neutrino emitters, I feel like I'm being forced to watch an orgy of blue dudes.

Not cool.

I speak for the rest of the staff when I say it would mean a lot if you took our feelings into consideration. Even a thong if that's all you can muster would be very helpful.

I hope this letter finds you well,

Asshole.



Shame on you.

I Am In Awe

As you guys know, I'm an avid gamer.

I recently purchased the "Epilogue" for Prince of Persia. I usually don't purchase extensions and extra content. Once I beat the game, I have no further use for it. So, why did I buy more content?

Simple.

Prince Of Persia has the greatest video game ending of all time.


Elika is your companion for the game. And she's on fire.

It's not the greatest game, parts of it are repetitive. The music is amazing, but you get tired of it. It's not even the best Prince of Persia game, which is still The Sands of Time; a sublime gaming experience containing the perfect blend of puzzle, action and acrobatics, with a legitimately touching ending.

But the ending to this latest game...


I got hops.

...good lord. I've never...like, once the credits roll, in a dazzling piece of cinematic brilliance...the game isn't over, unless you want it to be... they give you another option. And once you REALIZE what they're giving you the option of doing...my mouth was literally agape.

I bow to the people who came up with this ending.

Pick up this game.

---

ps - the greatest video game moment of all time is "Shock And Awe" from Call of Duty 4. I even blogged about it.

ps2 - the greatest game of all time. Hmm...you know what, it's probably the original Halo. It introduced the world to dual thumb control that EVERY FPS uses now and had a story so rich and exciting you couldn't put the thing down.

Unless you wanna go by sheer cultural POWER in which case I don't think any game as ever beaten the first Super Mario Bros. on NES. It sent a shockwave through the country. To this day, as much as I wanna hate on Nintendo, no one makes for "fun" games than they do. I defy anyone to play a Wii game for less than five minutes.

ps3 - the most Transcendent game of all time is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It just took over. It reached out beyond gamers. It moves units. People who never played video games played that one. People would watch other people play that game for hours. I went to parties in LA when that thing came out and there were TV's everywhere and everyone was playing it. The 80's soundtrack, South Beach, the dialog...nothing has shaken up the gaming landscape in such a way since.

And World of Warcraft doesn't count.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Irresponsible Music

(via Yeezy)

Considering we're in a pretty serious recession, I find the following video very offensive for some reason.



I know it follows the same formula that we all "love". But, I dunno, it just seems extra stupid that someone would put out a video in such stark contrast to a more ubiquitous new reality.

It just seems like a really dumb-assed thing to do. Even worse, I feel like John Legend, Ivy League education and all, should know better.

Music to Start Your Week

Here's a great use of a classic Parliament sample, paired with outstanding visuals and a fun storyline.

Little reason why so many of us like Royksopp...

Royksopp - "Happy Up Here"

Keenan Strikes Gold

Friday, March 6, 2009

Comedy Clip Of The Week

Flashback Friday

I've never had any reservations about loving early-'80s electro-boogie tracks.

I definitely don't have a problem saying this Sharon Redd joint is one of my favorites from that genre.

But the videos for these tracks can sometimes, well, eh...

I can't tell if Sharon's playing the role of a prostitute trying to break away from the street life or just acting a fool in public.

And did anyone else catch what she does when she talks about her "dream"?

Nevermind the video, though. It's all about the music.



P.S.--Does anyone know where this video was shot?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

RandB Chick Beef

You might not have heard or, more likely than not, you really don't give a damn but there's new drama in the hip-hop/R&B world.



The opening blows have been thrown by Ms. Keri Hilson. According to the venerable Media Take Out blog (yeah, that's sarcasm), she's taking aim at Beyonce and Ciara.

What set her off?

Who the f--k knows.

Why is it important?

In the grand scheme of things, it isn't. But I have to wonder, what the hell has happened to make R&B singers start taking cues from the likes of Shawty Lo, Lil' Flip, and too many others?

I'm waiting for Bey to respond, but I won't hold my breath. Chances are she won't.

But what if she (or Ciara) did?

Anyone have thoughts about how that would look?

Speaks for Itself



Not above giving another daily late night show it's props. The regular news outlets could do it, but they don't. Kudos. Jon Stewart. Kudos.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thank You

As we sit here, late into the night, working on a bit for tomorrow's show. I was just thinking how much I appreciate our little community here online.

You guys are great.

Instant feedback, eyes and ears, and actually people who's opinions we've come to value.

Glad you've been with us on part of this journey through the world of media and we hope to have more and different stuff to share with you in the future.

We are also working on getting a podcast together that we can upload here to share with you.

B & D

ps - I've figured out something very important.

LA is lazy.

But New York is crazy.

Thoughts?

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

What are your thoughts on the show?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Just Another Day At Work

Peep the 4 Minute mark


OkpTV: Behind the Scenes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

fun times.

I wasn't being rude, I did some funny stuff later. Which they assure me, they'll post.

But it's fucking great seeing Ahmir and The Roots Crew at work every day and getting to work with them and Jimmy has been too much fun.

Which Is Funner?

Two ideas

Similar ending

which is funnier?

BAT FIGHT (Ferrell/FOD featuring our boy Craig Robinson, Whitney Young High School stand up!)



SUPER HERO (Samberg, strong production)



Well, what do you think?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Coming Sports-pocalypse

Just as the NHL had to trim the fat on everything it does to stay alive, the NBA has a day of reckoning in the future.

Bill Simmons, in discussing this, wrote an interesting paragraph on something I've always suspected. Why a lot of NBA millionaires are living paycheck to paycheck.

To Wit:

Quick tangent: You're asking yourself, "Wait, how can a dude making $8-10 million a year live paycheck to paycheck?" Easy. First, he's only banking 40 percent once the IRS and agents are done with him. Second, he's probably overpaying for multiple houses and luxury cars just to keep up with everyone else. Third, he's buying expensive clothes and dinners, chartering planes, buying expensive TVs, going to casinos, and paying for friends and family at every turn. Fourth, there's a decent chance he's supporting a bunch of people back home -- family and extended family -- and not just that, but he might have gotten roped into funding at least one dumb "investment" by a loser family member. ("Uncle Lenny, I thought you told me this nightclub couldn't miss?") Fifth, he is, um, "dating" frequently -- even if he's married -- and if you "date" frequently, mistakes might happen that lead to hospital bills and child support payments. (If you catch my drift.) And sixth, he's not adding these numbers up in his head because he's thinking, "I don't need to worry about money, I'm making $10 mil a year!" I know it sounds farfetched, but I've heard the Inexplicable Tale Of Financial Woe with NBA stars too many times to count … and that doesn't include stars such as Scottie Pippen who were screwed by their financial advisers. It's a long and inglorious list, and if you don't think we're headed for 15 "Real Sports" segments in the next decade with Bernie Goldberg catching up with Broke Former NBA Superstar X, you're kidding yourself. Remember the lessons of the '99 lockout -- the players HAD to come back. And it wasn't because they missed playing.

Don't front, you might do a LOT of the same stuff if you suddenly made $19 million a year.

Well, you might HAVE done that prior to this year. Now you'd save a lot of it, then ball just a little bit.