Thursday, December 31, 2009

2nd Annual Greatest American of the Year

After much consideration, I'm ready to declare the winner of the 2nd Annual Greatest American of the Year (GAY) Award.

And this year's Award goes to...

Will Phillips of West Fork Elementary in West Fork, Arkansas. To remind yourself of what Will did, check the extended CNN clip.




Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

Well, I hope so but little Will here would probably give you a run for your money. I really admired the kid's resoluteness and articulation of the issue. Granted, he probably won't be reciting the Pledge anytime soon due to his rigid criteria, Will seems ready to endure the insults and threats to kick him out of the country for being less than a patriot. Although I hear that, thanks to the Tea Baggers, dissent is once again legal after an 8 year suspension...

But seriously, it would be great if we could get over this national phobia. Here in DC, the City Council passed legislation to legalize gay marriage (frankly, gov't should probably get out of the marriage game and sanction committed relationships/contracts. Leave marriage to religious bodies and outfits of that ilk) in the face of a lot of displeasure from certain members of the black clergy. So maybe we're moving closer to being a country Will can pledge allegiance to. But until then, stay strong my overly intelligent and articulate little civil libertarian.

We might need you to run some isht in a few years.

So for the second year in a row, someone who can't legally drive was America's greatest American. Wow. Adults really do suck.


Other candidates in the running for the GAY were: Michael Steele and Balloon Boy.

And now for the Anti-GAY:

Well, this year it was hard picking. I checked this guy out, but felt bad for him after seeing some of his other videos. Dude has bigger issues going on than his God-aweful songwriting.

So, instead it's a three-way tie among Balloon Boy's dad, Cathy Hughes and her.

All right, you all. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diallo's Favorites (Non-Hip Hop) 2009

Diallo's Favorites in:

Indie
- Empire of the Sun's "Walking On A Dream" (notably sampled by Wiz Khalifa by the end of the year)



Electronica

Franz Ferdinand's "No You Girls (Trentmoeller's Remix)" aka dirtiest bassline of the year



British Pop


Don't sleep on Jack Penate.



R&B

Letoya Luckett had a R&B track I could believe in, and not just because she interpolated one of my favorite Pharrell beats. "Regret"



House

Give it up for my man, Nicolay. When he's not doing it big with Phonte on Foreign Exchange, he's doing it on his own, and this track, off his solo album is hot...like an evening fueled on red wine.




Favorite Song of the Year (Runner-Up) - Mos Def's "Casa Bey"

Yep. He gets props just for releasing a hip hop album this year. Besides that, I loved this track. My #2 for the year.



Favorite Song of the Year - Animal Collective's "My Girls"

It could have been "Sleepyhead" by Passion Pit. Or Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks".

Indie rock had a lot of classic albums this year. But at the end of the day, the best album of the year dropped way back in January.

Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion

And ever since Bashir and I were spinning indie and electro for the hip hop kids (and hipster stragglers) at HUGS in Williamsburg Brooklyn, I've mixed this song into my set.

It's epic. It's cinematic. And if you wait for the drums to kick in (at the halfway mark) you're in for a treat.



That one was perpetually stuck in my head. Have a great New Years.

- Diallo

Monday, December 28, 2009

Worst Song of the Decade

I have my pick right here.

For all the crimes against musickind Diddy can be charged with, this is the most egregious. And to top it off, he got Kelis to join in on this sonic mess.

There's a long history of drug-powered dance music. Coke, acid, you name it. They've all served as fuel from the days of jazz to disco and beyond. Some narcotics have produced and helped enhance certain sounds. One drug that's almost single-handedly f**ked dance music is "E". It managed to bring out more glowstick and Dr. Seuss hat-wearing morons than you ever thought could possibly exist. If you've ever witnessed a trance rave or anything like that, you probably lost more of your comprhension skills than you'd care to know. Listening to the music for extended periods of time is the equivalent to huffing glue but louder.

That brings us back to Diddy. I guess he spent one too many nights in Ibiza or some other Euro club locale and thought it would be worthwhile to get on the trance house bandwagon. As far as I know, this track was never formally released in the States but was a 2003 hit across the pond.

To best experience "Let's Get Ill," get some headphones and crank the volume. Please stay away from sharp objects and get a plastic cover for your keyboard. I'm not about to be responsible for any seizure injuries or puke-damaged laptops.

Completely and utterly cringe-worthy.





If you have something to top this, please let me know.

Jacarl's Tops for 2009

Last year, I think I made some good picks. My favorite artist got a Grammy nod. The artist who I said had last year's best album turned into a go-to beat maker. This year was more difficult than last(mainly because I've been picking up old tunes as opposed to new ones) but here are my thoughts...

Song of the Year (tie)
Jay Electronica's "Exhibit C"
I don't think New Orleans has ever sounded this good. I got my first taste of Jay several years back and he helped show me the Crescent City isn't all Young/Cash Money. With Just Blaze on production, this was easily the best hip-hop single I heard in '09. My favorite line: "I got a lot of family, you got a lot of fans." For the love of everything good and sacred, I hope this album sees the light of day in 2010.



Mark de Clive-Lowe's "The Light of Love"
I'll talk a little about him later, but this song was probably the singular track that really grab me this year. I love the progressions and keys on it. And Jaguar Wright's auntie, Lady Alma, always seems to shine on the tracks Mark puts together. The pairing is magical.




Album of the Year
Diamond District's In The Ruff
In the four-plus years I've been in DC I've been patiently waiting for the area's hip-hop scene to produce an album that really made me whip my head around and ask, "Who the f--k was that?" Don't get me wrong, Kev Brown, Tabi Bonney and Wale have all done their thing but Diamond District thoroughly slapped me upside the head and took my wallet. It completely caught me off guard in the best way possible. This is the album the DMV (the District, Maryland and Virginia) needed to make hip-hoppers take notice. Three talented cats in their own right came together, and while borrowing from old-time big-beat East Coast hip-hop, XO, yU and Oddisee made the album about DC like no other I've heard. Yeah, there's a free, clean version of the LP on the Web but this is one you need to buy.




Favorite Artist of the Year
Mark de Clive-Lowe
A big reason why he's my artist of the year is due to the live performance of his I witnessed back in February. This New Zealander is a modern one-man band, working the drum machine, sampler and keys during an hour and a half long set that played like a DJ mix. As you already saw, Mark was responsible for one of my favorite tracks (for beat nerds, check out this video he made about the process) this year and I hope he keeps putting out good broken beat/nu-jazz in the coming year (and puts out a complete live set album like what I saw). Here's a sample of the show I was at for your audio pleasure. The vocalist is Vanessa Freeman. If MdCL is in your town, please check him out.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Flashback Friday: Holiday Edition

I posted this one last year but it's a classic, therefore worth putting up again.
Now that tracking Santa on NORAD is done, I have to go find something else to do for the day. Sorry, old habits die hard.

Happy Holidays to you and your fam.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Gift That Hates Black People

I almost posted this video a few days ago. Sorry I didn't get the warning out sooner in case anyone was doing last minute shopping.



Since they're their pitchmen, Jay-Z and Pharrell better get on HP's arse about this.

The allegations raised by the video were substantial enough that HP put out a release on it. Granted, the video experiment isn't close to being scientific, you have to wonder how well the camera was tested prior to release. Doesn't HP have a colored person on staff to try this isht out?

This begs to ask, does anyone have the camera and software in question? And if so, have you had a problem with it? Is there any other racist technology people would like to alert us to?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How People Who Give A Shit Act

(via Gawker)

New Jersey State Senator Joseph Vitale doesn't like the way the show depicts Italian-Americans and launched an investigation into the show's wages and hiring practices...."The image of young Italian Americans conducting themselves in a disrespectful and inappropriate manner at a summer home on the Shore may make for good ratings, but it’s a fabrication that damages our State and cultural reputations,”

just IMAGINE...if any of the Congressional Black Caucus did the same for ANYTHING on BET.

you see kids, when someone gives a shit...they take action.

Diallo's The Year In Music

What can I say. I think it was a lame year in music overall.

But there WERE some good songs, and certain benchmarks that should be noted.

So here are some of the ones I liked, in no particular order:


1.

He may never have another good year, but for a while, Charles Hamilton ruled the mixtape circuit...



...until Drake popped up and delivered the biggest mixtape in modern hip hop history.

2.



Those who dismissed him because of his R&B looks or the pop feel of "Best I Ever Had" (count me among them) missed the point that he's connected with a new generation of fans in ways Hov and aging stars can't (listen to the song above from the 1:30 mark and try not to feel old).

The SO FAR GONE mixtape was the grandaddy of mixtapes in a year where all the urgent music was on mixtapes.

Even artists that got dropped from their label could come back hard on a mixtape and rejuvenate their careers. Case in point: then-dropped, now-hot again Wiz Khalifa.

3.



4.

The hip hop underground gave us some great songs by Tanya Morgan, Skyzoo, and even Raekwon (acting like he was new in the game again). But I liked the litte exposed U-N-I. Their mixtape A Love Supreme was solid and I think they will be back in 2010.



5.

And now, my choices for the best of the mainstream in hip hop.

Ryan Leslie (a friend of The Message) hooked up Fabo's album (as well as his own solo album).

Of all the Fabo cuts, the remix to Throw It In the Bag was the one I hummed over and over again. Leave it to Lil Wayne (who released a monster of a mixtape at the end of the year) to pick up on just how hot the track was...



6.

The Clipse know how to stay relevant. It doesn't hurt when Pharrell is throwing you beats like this one, one of the best of the year.



7.

Give it up for Texas. Dorrough's track KILLS on any system.



8.

I hate the music, but I'm gonna end with a severely underrated song off a severely underrated album. Rick Ross released the album of his career and few gave it an honest listen. Talked to Questlove about this one, and he agreed - y'all should go back and discover this one.



Like Kanye's "We Major," the chorus is so ridiculous, you will come back to it months from now and still be singing it.

BONUS

When I first listened to The-Dream's "Love Vs Money" on a flight from NYC to LA, I thought, damn, am I just happy to be on this flight or is this album incredible. I don't know where such a slept on album fits in my top ten, but I thought I would include the best cut on the album anyway.



Here's to hoping we all get even more amazing music in 2010. Also, I'll be curious to see Craig, Bashir, and other bloggers' top tens.

Sci Fi I Love

After my review of Avatar, and based on commenter "Phil's" great comment in my Avatar review, I wanted to go on record as saying, I'm not mad about Avatar, just wildly disappointed.

I am a sci fi geek to the utmost. Nothing beats a great sci fi flick.

Here's a list of Sci Fi films I love...in no particular order.

1. The Star Trek that just came out (just a great movie all around. not patronizing or stupid...a few gaps of logic but nothing every other Star Trek hasn't been guilty of)

2. Aliens (best. sci fi. movie. ever.)

3. Terminator & Terminator 2 (though the first one holds up WAYYYYY better. Just more raw and real and unfriendly. Plus, that kid's performance in T2...has not aged well. You will be annoyed by him.)

4. Serenity (I have issues with Whedon, tons of issues...but dude is just a superior writer and director)

5. Enemy Mine

6. Starship Troopers (I know, I know, I know...but seriously, this is a great movie. It revels in its cheese and asks for seconds. And the sci fi tech is actually impressive)

7. TESB (aka SW ep. V)

8. The Abyss

9. Star Trek: First Contact ("this far, no farther, motherfucker!)

10. The Matrix Reloaded (it's NOT as good as The Matrix. Not even close, yet I like it more.)

11. X2 (I tried, I TRIED, to take this off the list...but I can't front. It's a good sci fi movie.)

12. ???

well...what'd I miss?

---

FYI - LOTR is not Sci Fi. It's Fantasy. Neither is The Dark Knight.

Why Is This Still Funny?

DUDE

I've seen this over a hundred times. Why am I still laughing out loud at it?!?





I remember when this sketch came out. I was in LA and Diallo was at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. I called him...

B: "Diallo, I've just seen the greatest sketch in American history"

D: "Dude, I haven't seen it yet, but people are running around Miami saying, "I'm Rick James bitch...gotta watch it as soon as I get back to LA!"

Also...I rarely get star struck, but Dave Chappelle was backstage at Fallon a few weeks ago, I asked The Roots sound guy, who knows Dave, to introduce me.

(FYI, Dave looked yoked. clearly, he's been hitting the weights. Comeback?)

Dave: Hey man.

Bashir: Dave, just wanted to say it's a pleasure to meet you.

Dave: We've met before, haven't we?

Bashir: No.

Dave: You sure?

Bashir: trust me, we've never met.

Dave: You're doing a great job here, man. the show's funny.

Bashir:
(said in my head) LET'S RUN AWAY TOGETHER AND DO CHAPPELLE SHOW SEASON 4!!! TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!

(aloud) Thanks, man. Nice meeting you.

Well...he's kind of a hero of mine.

I have a ton of theories about what happened at Comedy Central. But the bottom line is...what Dave Chappelle just way ahead of his time?

I think not. I think he was perfectly on time.

And I'm eager to see what he does next...outside of another surprise 6 hour set somewhere.

---

ps - I've had other run in with celebs backstage. I wanna write you guys about them but I have to figure out which ones I can tell and which ones you can never know.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For Your Kwanzaa Gift List

I got this from my grad school colleague, @dumilewis, and it's just in time for Christmas and Kwanzaa.



Would you buy this for a kid?

It's hard to be snarky about this one. The creators are out to do a good thing. I'm not a big gamer (I'm only in to sports games and simulators like Sim City et al.) but I have to wonder if this even stand a chance on the market. Granted, I know it's competing with your GTA or whatever's hot at this moment but is there a reason to put effort into making Lil' Heru exist knowing that your taget audience won't ever see it? Why not work to make mainstream games less outrageous.

BTW, if a rapper comes out in 2010 with the name "Lil' Heru" I'm gonna slap myself and then sue that rapper's label for jacking my intellectual property.

Diallo's Year-In-Review: Obama, Tiger, Kanye, Breezy Edition

If there was a theme to the year 2009, it was: Reality Check.

And it's my fault that this year went the way it did. You see, after 2008, I thought things had changed. Black people were rooting for the Boston Celtics (who were black!). David Paterson became the first black governor of New York (more blackness!) And not only had we elected a man named Barack Hussein Sharpton Orenthal Obama president("darkness is spreading"), Obama had done so in part by winning North Carolina ("a realignment election" as Cokie Roberts likes to say).

I called 2008 "The Year of the Black Man."

Well, I apologize. My act of hubris was clearly frowned upon by Zeus. "Did someone call me? Seriously, someone called...?"

I got cocky in '08. And apparently I wasn't the only one.

OBAMA

The nation's love affair with Obama was bound to end when it finally came down to the actual task of governing. You can hardly blame Obama.

"Lieberman's on that sh*t..."

But there are others you CAN blame. The year started off with a shocker. He should have been the next Justin TImberlake.

CHRIS BROWN

"She's open, she's open..."

Reality Check: All he can look forward to now is playing the "OJ Circuit." That's the circuit you tour when a scandal messes up your public image so bad, you're resigned to hanging out with fringe characters doing low brow venues where you're something of a freak show (see movie: The Wrestler).

Hitting a woman, and also being the one-man inspiration of Rihanna's Law (where the leaking of domestic abuse photos by police departments to the press carries stiff penalties), is something most people will never be able to get past.

TIGER WOODS

Tiger also got cocky. He wasn't the first athlete to cheat on his wife (in fact, maybe no athlete has ever been faithful), but man did he screw up a good thing.

"...uh...oh no..."

Reality Check: Even the best golfer of all-time is being judged by more than just his ability to play golf. It's the endorsement dollars and the PR machine and the sport of Golf itself. They have to build Tiger up as this perfect person. It's what makes everyone rich. But when it comes out he's flawed, like all of us, watch out.

I for one hope Tiger and Elin can get past this and that he can return to the world of golf. You know who really wants Tiger to return to golf? GOLF.

Otherwise, they're going to have to convince Natalie Gulbis to start playing naked.

"I won over the weekend, y'all. Photo shoot's on the way..."

KANYE WEST

I think Ye got a super bad rap. I mean, Taylor Lautner decapitated him in effigy on Saturday Night Live. What the hell did Kanye actually do?

"It's only because I believe in the integrity of these awards y'all are passing out..."

He didn't punch Taylor in the face, and say "my prize!" He didn't call her out of her name. He did the same thing he has done at award shows a million times before. But here's the difference. He did it to "America's Little Sweetheart." And we know what that means.

Reality Check: No matter how mainstream hip hop becomes, some things will be slow to change.

And for his part, I bet Kanye hates the fact that he MADE Taylor's year with that one. Oh, for sure she was on a come-up, but that incident sent her star soaring, and caused his own to dim. Pulling out of tours, losing spins at radio.

My advice to Kanye: Put out a hip hop record. You can see now who your friends are and who has your back. Screw the mainstream. Get back to working with the artists on your label, and throw in some Mos Def, Kweli, Jus Blaze, and even sign on old school cats like Primo, and put out a record for the cats who've liked you since The Takeover. Now's the time.


In short, 2009 showed these guys, and by extension all of us, that it's easy to get cocky. It's easy to think that all the praise and adulation will translate into public support when you're in your hour of need.

It won't. Things get bumpy.

Here's to 2010....

ps - This post is only about the "meta-2009." My own 2009 was GREAT. I got married and witnessed the birth of my son. Keeping it all in perspective.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Is Art



what does one call this? i see it in commercials and videos now all the time.

any tech folk know?

Death to the Filibuster

The only thing more controversial than Bashir's review of AVATAR is the filibuster.

Republicans are using threat of filibuster 70% of the time, to stop any part of any piece of legislation working its way through Congress. That's ridiculous.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times says its time to go back to a 90s piece of legislation, drafted by Sens. Tom Harkin and (wait for it!) Joe Leiberman (!) to do away with the filibuster.

See article here.

Not sure how I feel about dismantling the filibuster, especially as Democrats face potential congressional losses in next year's midterms. What say y'all?

Word Verification

Long-time viewers of the site have no doubt noticed the incredible amount of comment spam we have been dealing with lately.
Well, we are going with a very basic form of word verification. Hope you guys don't mind. Continue with your lives.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar Sucked

This contains spoilers.

1. the story and plot are retarded and predictable. it's as bad as the trailers looked. people at work told me, "the dialogue is bad but the visuals more than make up for it"...um, no they don't.

Likke my good friend told me as we were leaving the theatre, "damn, I'll never get those two hours back."

2. the dialogue is incomprehensible. you kind of have to stop listening to what the characters are saying in order to enjoy the visuals.

3. the visuals are amazing...but so fucking what?

the reason I tolerated shitty dialogue in star wars is because the STORY and PLOT were compelling and visionary. Avatar is Dances with Wolves meets Pocahontas. Only way shittier than both. Believe me, if star wars had a BAD story, (see Star Wars, Phantom Menace) i wouldn't have sat through it.

4. this movie is racist as fuck. I mean gut twistingly so...to the point that my friends and I were dying laughing by the end at how disrespectful it was.

once again, the natives have to be saved by a white guy.

I didn't wanna see it in The Blind Side and I don't enjoy it now. not only does the white guy have to save the stupid colored natives...but of course the best woman the natives have, the hottest, smartest most capable woman...falls for the "outsider". I mean falls fast and completely. And not because he brought dopeness to her life, in fact, she had to keep his incompetent ass from dying about 20 times.

"But doesn't that romantic type of thing happen in real life, bashir?"

sort of:

(a) This is sort of what happened with Cortes and The New World, you guys should read "Aztec" by Gary Jennings. It's an amazing book that details exactly how some chick sold out her entire peoples. But, to be fair, the chick in Aztec was a slave girl who was elevated by Cortez to a queen...at least, from the point of view of self-interest, that makes sense. I mean if an alien came to earth during slavery and told all the black people, "hey, you guys wanna not be slaves anymore and help us enslave your masters"...I'm sure a few bruh's would have said "fuck the humans" and taken them up on that...

but in the case of Avatar, she's the Queen to be of a peoples fighting for survival, and she falls for a hapless idiot over a fierce warrior. This is something dorky writers (like me) have been telling audiences for years is totally in the realm of possibility. It's not.

shit, at least in Dances with Wolves he got the outcast chick no one was feeling.

(b) It also sort of happened in the true story of Cleopatra with Anthony as an example that sort of works in this paradigm of outsider dude getting the baddest chick, but again, Cleopatra was a bored queen who had everything before Antony showed up and at least he was different and interesting, hell he was near a king himself so it made sense on the "why do celebs only date other celebs" POV.

I dunno, for some reason, that's the part of the movie I found the most annoying. There's something hidden and emasculating about it.

5. the acting is a mixed bag. Main dude and Sigorney are okay but the rest suffer under the burden of the shitty dialogue.

6. 3D is OVERRATED! I've now seen two movies in the new 3D. It's not that good. the corners are fuzzy. and while the old 3D made it look like the movie was coming for you...the new stuff makes it look like you're IN the camera watching...kinda cool, but ultimately not good enough to be trumpeted.

Not yet. Maybe one day, but not yet. for now, it's just sort of cool but kind of annoying.

ALL THAT SAID...

Sadly, I think you have to see it cuz it's wrong to take my word for it and Metacritic (whom i usually trust) gave it a score in the 80's which is amazing.

So go see this bullshit and let me know what you think.


you horny as I am right now?

I now feel about James Cameron the same way I feel about Spike Lee and M. Knight Shyamalan...

"you're an amazing director, but for the love of GOD...let someone else do the writing."

And THAT...is why little Stevie Spielberg is a genius.

----

ADDENDUM - this article that reader Blacktain America referred lays out far more eloquently what I did so hurriedly.

read it HERE in i09

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hear It Here First

British cat. Donae'o.



That chorus will sound ridiculous should you hear it in a club soon.

Flashback Friday

For a multitude of reasons, folks tend to get stressed out at this time of year.

Final exams, gift buying, long distance travel, trying not to make an ass of yourself at the company holiday party, etc.

There's a lot of isht on our shoulders when we should be just winding down in order to gear back up for the new year.

In order to decompress myself, I've been relying heavily on the music of a British group that seems to lower my blood pressure the moment they play their first note.

Here's a challenge: Try to find a Loose Ends' song NOT in the 104 BPM ballpark. It's hella hard.




And as an added bonus, another great cut from one of the smoothest groups ever to exist...



Ok. The chill time is over. We still gotta get that health care bill through the Senate and find out what shift Tiger girlfriend #4 is working at Perkins.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Henson Takes on Lieberman?

Not sure, but that puppetry design looks familiar...



Very quick, very funny, very true.

Lieberman, Nelson, and Lincoln have all the power these days.

FELA is Amazing

Go see FELA.

It's an amazing feat of choreography and song. Also, I have rarely appreciated the unique-ness of African dance as much as I did during this show. It's a towering achievement.

So...if you've EVER wanted an excuse to come to NYC...you have it.

It's the musical based on this dude:


The story falters a little in the second act.

The music never does.

The dancing never could.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Hail Colbert

He's no Jay, but I give him props for writing his own verse...

Something Great

(via Bossip)

Everything about this story made me happy.



of course, when this kid is the new Rupert Murdoch in 15 years and we all work for him we'll hate his guts.

For now though...get yours, young man.

Joe Lieberman is Exactly What Democrats Deserve

I'll keep it short and sweet.

The man has opposed every major Democratic initiative in the past 3 years. He even tried to defeat the Democratic nominee for President.

Ta-Nehisi Coates describes Lieberman perfectly.

But I can't even get mad at Lieberman. How could someone let a person so venomous to their cause stay in his chairmanships. It's lunacy. Can you imagine any other political party in the world, not just America, that would tolerate someone being, not just apathetic or passively derisive...but active in his work to defeat every initiative? I can't.

Yet the Democrats seem okay with it. So I can't bring myself to join the chorus of Lieberman hatred. Sure, I think the guy's scum...but who's worse? (a) the priest who molests children or (b) the bishop of knows and moves that priest from parish to parish? The person who does the wrong or the person who broadens the reach of the wrongdoer?

Like Oliver Stone said in Natural Born Killers: "bitch, you knew I was a snake".



To some degree, "bitch, you knew I was a snake" is my guiding philosophy in life. It's very zen.

Everything that happens between people is the direct result of the nature of the people themselves. If you don't know the nature of a person, then it's ok to be surprised by their actions, (see Woods, Tiger)...but if you KNOW someone has done everything in their power to hurt Democrats...

...you don't get to be mad at them for hurting Democrats.

It would be funny if real people's lives weren't at stake.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

He's Tiger Woods

As I said before, Tiger should just come out and be like...



Our friend Donald Glover knocked this one out the park.

Congratulations to The Foreign Exchange

Didn't I say it?

Didn't I tell you guys Leave It All Behind was the album of 2008?

My boys got a grammy nod.

The Foreign Exchange's Grammy nomination video from The Foreign Exchange on Vimeo.

With Friends Like These

one of my boys just wrote me about how Tiger just made infidelity acceptable. made me laugh.

"look, i'm telling you, tiger hooked it up for everyone. because people now realize you have no choice. it's in your DNA. apparently there is no force strong enough to stop a man from fucking every plain-to-possibly-really-ugly white girl on the face of the planet if she's going to let you do it. which they all are. tiger never had a childhood. that's his problem. if he grew up like the rest of us he would have known better than sending them bitches texts and identifying himself on they voicemail. what the fuck was that?"

uh.

no comment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Housewives and Hoda

Bashir, doing it big...

Flashback Friday

I missed out on a Public Enemy show here in D.C. last month. By the looks of it, though, I could've still written or edited a story passage dealing with one song on the playlist better than what appeared in the Washington Post:



Here's the updated story. Needless to say, hip-hop was all over this one on Twitter. My personal favorites of #washingtonpostcorrections came courtesy of @phontigallo:



My guess is this isn't the error of the writer and there seems to be some acknowledgement that it's not her fault. Personally, I have a hard time believing a Howard grad who's approximately 28 years-old would've f'ed up this bad. The likely culprit is (probably) a (middle-aged)(,) (white) copy editor. Having had the word "whack" substituted for "wack" on more than one occasion in a story I've written, I'm almost 100% certain this is the case.

But for the record, I was in the 5th grade when this song came out. 9/11 definitely wasn't in our national line of sight. We were worried about Panama and, in my case, going to Bensonhurst.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Canibus - Revisited

I never understood why kids thought LL shut this guy down.

Still don't.



Listen to that track. He was as nice as early Em, in his mixtape days )come to think of it, they sounded really similar).

His lyrical style feels dated now, but at the time, dude definitely had rhymes... and his beats A&R was bananas.



I'm just saying, I think y'all did him wrong.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Music Monday (four days late)

Late entries into our Best Of Year Consideration.

She's baaaaaaack....



How many of you old ninjas had crushes on Sade growing up? I might have been blasting No Ordinary Love on my first date.

Or was it Chante Moore, Love's Taken Over?

FLASHBACK TRAK - Chante Moore's Love's Taken Over




And what about this one, from Big Boi and the incarcerated scarface himself, Gucci Mane...it's called Shine Blockas.



Sometimes I think you can see a MAJOR club hit coming from a mile away...this is one of those times. "Miss Chocolate" by Lil Jon feat. Kellz and some dude who sounds like Usher.



That bassline is sick. Sorry.

New Kid Cudi Video

In my opinion there seems to have been a sea change in America while no one was looking.



Kanye's GOOD Music label seems to champion it, but at its heart, there seems to be a whole generation of young dudes who are literally wildin' (but it's on bass and drum, even violins).

Seriously, something tells me if I was at Harvard in '09 instead of '97, my experiences there would be a lot more wild and out of control. Is it just me, or are Cudi, Drake, Ye, and others like them letting us know there is a new paradigm on the way?

Or is it just the latest in the string of fads, like mid-90s Horror Rap?

One Hit Wonders of the 2000s

A post at Billboard on the subject is getting a lot of buzz, so I want to know....

Who do you remember as having ONE hit in the decade, and then fading into obscurity.

I'll start with this guy:

Bubba Sparxxx

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Trash From Politico

DailyKos lets you know how they operate in the clip below:

Politico reporter Daniel Libit sends me this query:

"Working on a story with another reporter about the increasing similarity between Barack Obama’s policies and Hillary Clinton’s primary platform and whether Democrats might have viewed the primary differently if they knew then what they know now. Would love to get your thoughts on the state of buyer’s remorse. Might you be able to send me something before day’s out?"

My response:

"My god, what a stupid premise."

Of course Obama and Clinton had similar platforms. They're both mainstream Democrats! But for a publication addicted to Drudge headlines, what could be better than a screaming headline proclaiming that Democrats had "buyer's remorse", even if that sentiment was wholly manufactured by Politico reporters?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Best Tracks of the Year?

Last year, this track made the list:



What should make the list this year?

It's time for the Best Of Lists and let us know in the comments section what the ten hottest tracks of the year were for you...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crisis Avoided! Jeezy & Gucci Squash Beef.



Two thoughts:

1. Dear DJ Drama. You are not Jimmy Carter. This is not Israel vs. Palestine. These are two RICH rappers that finally realized there's more money to be made by not beefing.

2. What language are these people speaking? I feel like I just listened to 500 catch-phrases spliced together.

Nevertheless, I can't wait for "So Icy 2.0". Do it for "the city"! LOL!

Flashback Friday: Jay-Z's 40th

It's J-Hova's 40th birthday today, which I find a little hard to believe.

I can't think of many rappers who've hit that milestone and still commanded his level of attention.

I'll be honest, there was a period of time after Reasonable Doubt that I couldn't stand Jigga, but he gradually put his work in to gain me back.Here are some of the vids that, I think, mark different points in his career:


Your requisite low-level start:



A first shot at breaking out:



The breakout:



That dumb isht you did because it was popular:



Getting back on track:



And, fortunately, the story is still going and growing. Just think for a second. There are several big name rappers who never made it to 30. There was that whole stabbing event that could've sunk him back in the day. Somehow, though, Jay's managed to position himself (damn near) perfectly and become a bigger star than anyone could've imagined. I never would've thought after hearing "Dead Presidents" 13 or 14 years ago I'd see Shawn Carter in the Congressional viewing gallery during a president's inauguration in 2009 (or Sean Combs, for that matter). But I did.

Happy birthday, man. You've earned it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hot House Track

In case you, like me, heard it in the new Jeep commercial...



I searched on the net for a while and finally found it.

Least Shocking News Story In The History Of Mankind

"Ron Artest drank cognac during halftime of Chicago Bulls games, the Lakers forward tells the Sporting News."

Hennessy > Gatorade?

(ummm...why admit this, did he see Tiger getting attention and get jealous?)

Ladies, Be Serious... (a follow up)

...if you marry a pro athlete or a mega celebrity...

don't you sort of EXPECT him to cheat?

granted, you could be married to the night shift manager at White Castles on 71st and Stony Island, and he could cheat...but you wouldn't necessarily EXPECT it. With someone big and famous, you kind of expect it.

a few other odds and ends:

1. I know Michael Jordan saw this story and was like, "Thank God I was famous before the internet era!" That's why LeBron James is single to this day, he knows the deal...you can't hide ANYTHING nowadays, people are going to find out, period.

Everyone gets caught nowadays. Period.

2. there's a TON of famous athletes and entertainers who are married right now and sent their side-pieces a cryptic text message. people are shook of this one.

3. If Tiger's dad was alive this never would have happened. Earl would have handled it. Earl was ex-military, he knows where the bodies are buried.

4. I HONESTLY think this incident is more of a sea-change than people realize. I think it's already started national dialog on infidelity. Frankly, I think some men are going to start saying, "fuck it, it's natural to get some on the side. get over it. and why do we call it cheating anyway?"

This is a bad idea and will backfire in the long run. But I see it on the horizon.

Yet I think things are changing, Mark Sanford is the family values governor of South Carolina and he cheated a ton and he's not leaving office any time soon according to him. That's significant.

Men are becoming more brazen about this stuff. Especially men of accomplishment. Expect another big name person to be outed very soon.

5. Does Tiger have street cred now? Is he going to be in a video with Gucci Mane? Is going to go the way of OchoCinco, "fuck it, I tried to be a good guy but that's impossible, so I'm just going to be a thug."

6. Lastly, this whole notion that, "If he knew he was going to cheat he shouldn't have gotten married..." well, that doesn't take into account how dudes are. As a budding and completely pseudo pop-sociologist, it's my observation that guys don't plan to cheat. I think they honestly think, (based on societal fabrications about what's normal), "I'm in love, I'm done."

Then that 7 year itch sets in. Then he does something stupid.

But statistically about 1/2 of men cheat on their significant others, (heard that on NPR so it must be true, right?)...so ladies and dudes in gay marriages...you got about a 50% chance of fidelity.

To be honest, I don't personally give two shits about any of this nor will I proffer moral mores. I just find this circus endlessly fun and funny.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Defense Of Tiger Woods

For the love of God, people.

He's Tiger Freaking Woods...

...I mean if he can't get a little on the side, who can?

How much does a person have to accomplish before their spouse (male or female) just goes, "you are kicking ass in the game of life, if you ever wanna have a little affair, be my guest, you've earned it"

Right?!?

The following people have worked hard enough and accomplished enough that their spouses should allow them to cheat at least a few times a year.

OFFICIAL LIST OF PEOPLE WHO'VE ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH THAT THEIR SPOUSES SHOULD ALLOW THEM TO CHEAT PERIODICALLY SO LONG AS THEY ARE DISCREET
  1. Bill Cosby
  2. Barack H. Obama
  3. Angela Merkel
  4. Angela Bassett
  5. Will Smith
  6. That one lady who's the Surgeon General
  7. Steve Jobs
  8. Jay Z
  9. Nelson Mandela
  10. Oprah if she was married
  11. MLK
  12. Michael Jordan
  13. Meryl Streep
  14. Bill Gates
  15. Dick Wolf
  16. Barbara Walters
  17. JJ Abrams
  18. Michael Phelps
  19. Keenan Ivory Wayans
That's all I can think of for now.


I made the list? No way!

People need to chill.

---

ps - okay, I don't know why, but this Tiger Woods thing as me giddy. I know it's wrong to be all up in his shit, but it's damn entertaining. Sad...but entertaining.

Ideas for the 2009 Greatest American of the Year

I know it's hard to believe 2009 is almost done, but it is.

Last year I started what I hope becomes a tradition: the Greatest American of the Year award (not named Obama).

The 2008 winner, Kierra Bell of Detroit, was deserving and could even be credited with helping expedite a politician's path to jail.

I'm flirting with ideas for who will be this year's recipient.
To support my effort and give me some more inspiration, I'm asking the viewership to suggest some names in the "Comments" section.
They can be for real or a bit snarky.
All I ask is that you just leave the name, no extra commentary.
I'll give them a look over and see if there's material to work with.

Thanks in advance