Friday, January 29, 2010

Murray Hill for Congress

It looks like Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen could face some stiff competition from one Republican candidate, a relative unknown named Murray Hill:





Granted, this will go the way of Colbert '08, it points out an issue that'll be one of the biggest to watch going into 2010 and 2012.

Personally, I don't like it when non-breathing entities are ascribed human qualities. You know, like "The Market". "'The Market' is down in the dumps because it doesn't like what the President said about the banks." "'The Market' knows the best way to get out of this financial clusterf--k." "'The Market' is up today because it gets really turned on by Scott Brown".

People have actually spoke in words similar to this. And while corporations and other similar entities probably won't be running for office, it's not too far of a stretch to think they'll be running an office or two or a hundred. It's really happening across the political board. If there's an interest to be had and a dollar to spent, it's already in somebody's back pocket or being used to apply pressure in other ways.

Sad fact is, it's hard or near impossible to take the money out of politics and the SCOTUS's latest ruling made it even more so. But luckily we live in times where a good number of people and reporting outfits are hip to the game. We all really need to keep our eyes open and on our new corporate citizens.

Flashback Friday

Black People in Bands, Pt. 4

For the past 10 years I've comptemplated going down to Miami for the Winter Music Conference held there every March but never followed through to make it happen. Instead, I catch the best parts via the Interwebs.

A few years back, I recorded a live mix broadcast over the BBC's Radio 1 that featured two of my favorite DJs/producers, Kenny Dope and Louie Vega. After hearing their set, one of the joints I went on a hunt for was this 12" gem by Skyy.





A couple of things really date this video:

1. No one writes their number in a book of matches anymore because you'd get yourself booted out of a place if management saw you with smoking assessories.

2. Pay phones. When was the last time you used one? I'm drawing a complete blank on that question.

3. The guitarist has that Maurice White hairline. Kids today would get creeped out by that. He'd need to be traded in for Nick Jonas because Nick Jonas is dreamy.

Still, you have to love these early forays into videotized music. The tracks were on point. The videography--not so much. Nowadays, I'd argue the vids are great but the tunes blow. Will there ever be a time when there's a perfect balance?

Why The Onion Is Still Winning


Rep. Seeks Retroactive Immunity For Anyone Who Hit On First Lady Last Night

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Go See RACE on Broadway


Go see David Alan Grier and James Spader in David Mamet's new play RACE on Brodway.

It was simply a great play. The thing I enjoyed most about it was how it worked hard to avoid being profound.

It worked it's ass off to be normal and regular, the characters sought to see the complexity of the world and manipulate its shortcomings without being consumed by them.

And of course, they failed.

Good stuff. And, it goes without saying that the acting was sublime. The characters each spoke as if they weren't speaking to each other but rather, presenting an opening argument to a jury. Very grandstanding and very very fun.

---



ps - I had a chance to chat with Kerry Washington after the play. She went to high school with the woman who produced Diallo and my movie and with whom I attended the play.

1) I was always lukewarm on Kerry. I thought she used her obvious intelligence and cuteness to mask a fundamental mediocrity as a performer...I was wrong.

2) She's way hotter in person. Holy crap she's hot. I'm going to spend the remainder of the day pretending that she was flirting with me last night. It didn't happen, but in a few more hours, I'm honestly going to believe that it did.

A New Day In Hip Hop

Who would have ever thought in 1998 that Talib and Mos would be on stage with Puffy?

It took Jay Electronica to make it happen.

"As we proceeeed...."

It's so lovely when the beat drops.

Dumbass of the Day

Today's recipient is James O'Keefe.

Don't know the name?

Does this pic of a preppy guy who's cartoonishly pimpish ring a bell?



Yes, the guy who the Right championed as a truth-seeker exposing that sh*tpool of corruption that called itself ACORN through his investigative journalism is now facing charges on entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, which has a penalty of up to 10 years and $250,000.

Allegedly, O'Keefe and three of his homeys were posing as telephone repairmen in an attempt to gain access to Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans. Oh, and one of his cast of characters, Robert Flannigan, happened to be the 24 year-old son of an acting, Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney who's been able to hold the job because the other Lousiana senator, Republican David Vitter (yeah, that dude), has been stalling on the confirmation of President Obama's nominee for the position.

O'Keefe's lawyer is already playing the "Aww, shucks. He's really a good kid" defense; but let's face it. All of the guys are either 24 or 25 years old (and happened to be prominent conservatives in their college days) and aren't f--king kids. They're grown-ass men. Jimmy and his gang should own up because some of his champions, like Glenn Beck and Brett Breitbart, are hanging him out to dry by saying one of two things: "If he did it, he went too far" or "I don't know him".

Well, he did and you do.

When the whole ACORN thing was happening last fall, it was rather obvious this was a manufactured controversy. Yes, ACORN shouldn't have done what they did but did it rise to the level of a Congressional rebuke aimed at just them? If as much uproar occurred whenever miscues and other general malfeasance happened in government contracting/grant issuing (see Haliburton et al.) went down, cases of heart attacks, monocles-falling-out-of-eyes due to shock and old-fashioned bitch slappings on Capitol Hill would be off the meter.

So here's to James O'Keefe, Dumbass of the Day. Hopefully, he'll wind up on his feet like other good soldiers in the Movement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Top 10 Movies of All Time (Avatar Edition)

The next time someone mentions that Avatar is the "biggest" movie of all time, remind that is in non-adjusted dollars.

In other words, there was a time when a movie ticket cost a quarter. And those movies are supposed to compete with $18-ticketed Avatar.

FYI, here is a list of the truly TOP 10 FILMS of ALL TIME, adjusted for inflation.

1 Gone with the Wind MGM 1939
2 Star Wars Fox 1977
3 The Sound of Music Fox 1965
4 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Uni. 1982
5 The Ten Commandments Par. 1956
6 Titanic Par. 1997
7 Jaws Uni. 1975
8 Doctor Zhivago MGM 1965
9 The Exorcist WB 1973
10 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Dis. 1937

Avatar is 26th on this list.

Let's put things in perspective.

My Life...what happened?

You ever see a photograph and think, "why in the hell am I sitting at a desk all day?"




Some people just know how to live.

You think that guy in the picture ever has to have a meeting with HR about dresscode?

An Open Letter To Paul Shirley

Dear Paul,

Kiss my ass.

Sincerely,

Bashir Salahuddin

---

in case you aren't aware. Paul Shirley, whom I came to read, and really really like, after he was brought to a lot of our attention by Bill Simmons, blamed Haitians for their own mess. Others have rebuked him far more eloquently than I.

A few other thoughts.

1) I don't know why he felt the need to speak. Disasters in the world tend to have a rhythm.
a. awareness of the event
b. tragedy of the images
c. support of the world
d. mild improvement
e. the world forgets and moves on

so...why weigh in at all?

2) maybe don't repeat everything you've heard from David Brooks. Especially if he was eviscerated for it.

3) I have been really, truly, torn by the revelation that Wyclef's charity YELE HAITI has not been well run. I feel strongly that Clef's heart is in the right place.

But, like many of my friends, he's a multi-tasker. Multi-taskers, like me, often leave stones unturned. He was giving time and energy to his homeland, he reps Haiti better than anyone. But I just didn't think his organization was the best organized on the ground. So I gave money to The Red Cross.

Should I have given to Yele?

As someone who believes strongly that the key to the upliftment of the African Diaspora* is a commitment to free market principles and entrepreneurship, principles with Yele shares, should I just give them money anyway?

Did any of you give to Yele?

---

*ps - I used to laugh at the notion of the African Diaspora in college. It sounded like one of those black student organization bullshit buzzwords.

But then I did some traveling. And I gotta tell you, if you're black, your distant relatives in Sweden, England, Haiti, Jamaica and Canada...they got MAD love for you, guys. Go visit 'em.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Black People in Bands, Pt. 3

Look at this video.



It used to take a lot of people to make a song. Also, if this isn't one of the best songs ever recorded, you clearly don't hear that keyboard/recorder on the track.

(I love looking at ancient videos for songs NO ONE remembers).

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Music

New Radiohead



New(-ish) dancehall
(yes, there ARE new dancehall songs...every year...all you DJs stuck on Reggae Gold 98)



New Hip! Hop!
Strong Arm Steady (feat. Phonte), has one of the best album titles ever. And the music's good too.



New Experimental
(this artist is very exciting. his name's Toro Y Moi. check him out.)

The Cost of Music

Download Biggie's Machine Gun Funk off of iTunes today.

It DOESN'T sound like the song below.



Why? Because the clearance on the Parliament sample has run out. So they went back in and re-recorded parts of it with new instruments.

Simply put: it's not the same song.

Conan O'Brien highlighted the cost of music in his last week as host of the Tonight Show, when he used "the original master recording of the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction'" in one of (what he billed as) the most expensive sketches in history.



My point?

Tonight on PBS (check your local listings) a documentary is airing on sampling.

It basically asks the question of "how much is too much to charge for a sound?"

And before you answer, watch the clip below, specifically the part about the drummer Clyde Stubblefield.



Stubblefield deserves some loot, does he not?

When you consider cats like Mr. Len, Prefuse 73, the Def Jux label kids and Q-Bert continue to sample stuff from his era, long after the rest of hip hop has moved on, making a lot mroe money than he makes, it does make you feel like something is wrong.

Friday, January 22, 2010

RIP - Apache

I hate to send you off into the weekend on a downer, but Flavor Unit member Apache died today after a protracted illness.

His biggest hit could've been today's Flashback, but instead I'll post it here and say, "RIP".

Thank You!

Effing nailed it!

Flashback Friday

Here's a secret I'm fine with sharing: My first live show experiences weren't hip-hop based. They were all punk, even though I really didn't listen to punk much. It was a by-product of growing up in a small town with a lot of white, rebellious high school nerds. One thing I noticed then was the spirits of punk and hip-hop were essentially the same. There's a matching current of "f--k the pop establishment" in both genres. And frankly, my inner H.R. loves that notion. But due to my personal conservatism, you won't catch me with combat boots or chains while yelling or rapping about it on a record.

So when I came across the video of what was probably the first hip-hop act to appear on SNL, it was no surprise that Blondie's Debbie Harry was doing the intro. And if you know anything about hip-hop at that particular point in time in NYC, it shouldn't be shocking, either. I give you the Funky Four Plus 1's "It's The Joint".




And as an added bonus, one of the seminal punk band The Clash's New York street music-inspired tracks, "This Is Radio Clash".



Man, vids like these make the early 1980s seem like the most magical time you could ever imagine. Musics of the dispossessed coming together. Yay! But then you remember three words, "crack", "heroin" and "rocks", and that notion goes straight to hell real quick.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Your Boys On Air





It's rare when we both get to perform on the show.

And we're thankful as hell when we get to do so.

I Love Heidi Montag!

Rarely is someone so committed to a vision of physical perfection that they're willing to make themselves a monster to achieve it. Jocelyn Wildenstein comes to mind...as does Michael Jackson.

Heidi Montag is in that group now...



I love it. She's a total disaster who believes that her elective surgery and subsequent health problems make her a martyr and an inspiration. She's said in interviews, and I'm not lying, that her surgery taught her that beauty comes from the inside. She's the perfect storm of celebrity indulgence and hyper-LA-provincialism.

In a world of Haitian devastation and health care reform collapse...I look forward to watching this story unravel over the years to hilariously sad effect.

Finally, someone we can all agree on.

GO HEIDI!

If Hillary Were President...

...yeah, I said it.

Been kinda disgusted lately at the memes coming out of Washington.

Barack Obama has proven himself a man of integrity and earnest devotion to his beliefs. But the swift retreat on health care that he's signaled...I'm not sure how he thinks that will help him.

How will that help?

1. Lefties are pissed and their base depressed

2. Righties are stoked and their base excited

3. People without health care are suffering even more and more will die because our health care system is in the stone ages.

I have amazing health care through the writers guild, but I still had to have it out with my insurance company over my allergy medicine. (Allegra D motherf*cker!, D!)...I can't even imagine what that would be like if I had medicine I couldn't live without.

It' seems Obama isn't just making a moral error with this retreat, but a tactical one.

And that's what's most surprising, he's helping his enemies expand their narrative. Politifact has done excellent research that shows Obama has been very faithful to his promises especially compared to Presidents past...and yet, the narrative is enemies are building are gaining steam.

If Hillary were President, do you think there'd be this much instant-capitulation?

I don't worry about the future, Americans are always forward moving, forward looking and forward thinking...we'll be fine.

My concern is twofold: (a) with greater capitulation, Barack will make it tougher for a reform agenda to get another real shot in America again for a long time...(b) people are dying because of our shitty health care system and will continue to do so.

Why is Barack so scared of taking on a fight and drawing a line in the sand. Americans love that kind of shit. Does he realize, tactically, how awesome it would be to run in 2012 on, "I bust my ass for Health Care reform but the Republicans wouldn't budge. I won't give up."

Is he weak?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Black Comedy

Here's a clip from TV-ONE (do any of you watch TV-ONE?)

of their new show, LOVE THAT GIRL.



Thoughts?

(note: Tatyana ALMOST worked with us at The Message, Alphonso DID work with us at CHOCOLATE NEWS, and we are huge fans of Raphael Saadiq, who did all the music for this show. That said, we want to know what you think. Will you watch this show?)

Matt Taibi Doesn't Give A Fuck

Taibi takes down David Brooks shitty opinions about Haiti.

I love the guy, he truly doesn't give a damn what people think and is very focused on pointing out hypocrisy and injustice. He's got brass ones and a brain to match.

He can be a little strident at times. And I disagree with him at times.

But he's never boring. And, honestly, that matters.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Massachusetts

How'd the state of Massachusetts go from this...



to this...


OBAMA WINS WITH 62%.


to this

Republican Scott Brown, MA-Sen

Is it Health Care? Obama? The Democrat in the race?
What happened in Massachusetts?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lopez's Black Test

I think this is an amazing segment.



George Lopez sends off his guests' DNA to a lab and reveals to them their exact genetic racial breakdown.

I would love to know mine. And my relatives'. And Bashir's, and Craig's, and DJThePoet's, Jacarl's, Jennifer's, LAchicpic's....

Party On Sunday Night!

As some of you know Diallo and I both DJ. He way more than me.

But we're throwing a gig in New York this Sunday night to kick off our new weekly Manhattan DJ residency.

Tenure at Professor Thom's
Sunday Jan 17th
Upstairs
219 2nd avenue (at 14th)

We'll be on all night after 9 and, more importantly, the bar owner asked us to use the night to collect money for Haitian earthquake relief as well which is a wonderful idea.

"If you're in the city, this Sunday, come check me"


This^


---

ps - 10 points to the first person who can tell me where that quote is from.

(ed. note Diallo) - We will be playing everything under the sun. A lot of the music we post about on this site. I am personally looking forward to spinning some stuff like my man Dam-Funk.



Dam-Funk is a black cat from LA. It's electronic music through the filter of South Central LA. On the Stones Throw Label.

Hotness.

Flashback Friday

It hasn't been that great of a week, if you couldn't pick that up from some of the most recent posts, for a variety of reasons.

So now it's time to pick ourselves up and brush the dust off, albeit inspired by events of the week.

Straight up, I might be one of the few people on Earth who didn't really go wild over Lauryn Hill's material or The Score. I did like two tracks or remixes from the Fugees' first effort, though, and here's one of them. It's just about the most laid back and non-complex beat you would've found in 1994.

And it's a great track for it.

I hope everything's a good as humanly possible for Pras, 'Clef and anyone else who has family in Haiti.

Take care and try to do something charitable this weekend. After all, it is his day Monday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

RIP - Teddy Pendergrass

One of Philly's best is gone.

RIP Teddy P. and thanks for some quintessential slow jams.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dumbass of the Day

And the winner is...

Pat Robertson.



This pisses me off to no end because it's a emblematic of how retarded we've gotten. Nowadays, anyone with a computer and an opinion can say the dumbest shit in the world and pass it off as thoughtful, insightful commentary (including yours truly. But at least I try to practice informed, insightful commentary).

And here's Robertson, who has a track record of saying dumb shit, essentially perpetuating an assine theory while skirting over the fact that the man credited with helping free Haiti from the French was pretty Black and pretty Catholic, like a lot of his fellow rebel rousers. Last time I checked, Catholics were considered to be Christians by most rational people who talk about religious issues. For a better telling of the story, I'll pass the baton off to a prof from my alma mater.

And don't get me started on the rest of the political stuff Mr. Pat missed.

Trust. This is bigger than whether or not someone's got Jesus or not.

Enough of this, though, I'm off to make a donation to a relief group because I'm not putting my stock in Pat's vision.

P.S.--Sista Kristy, Give up the fawning. It's gotten old.

Pot-Conomics

I just figured out why medical marijuana is more and more legal.

If marijuana was totally legal the government would only make money on the taxes.With medical marijuana all the revenue from it goes straight to the government. And the governments prices are higher than average. Plus they can tax on sales too I assume.

It's a Marijuan-opoly!


Government Cash Crop

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm Addicted

I'm completely addicted to LAMEBOOK.

Dammit.

Conan v. Leno

Guys

obviously, as some of you have emailed we'd love to weigh in on this whole thing. But even more obviously:

We can't.

About That Shaq Accuser

Um, fellas, really...this is getting old.



1. You guys know there are certain women out there who will do anything to sleep with a ball player. But you can afford to be selective. Y'all are tall, athletic, and rich. Again - BE SELECTIVE.

The woman above is not in the top ten percentile of women you are surrounded by any hour of the day. Also...

2. Do your homework. This woman has already filed suits against other players. That's not a red flag. That's a fire engine that comes crashing through your bedroom wall.

Google them girls before you....

Just see below:

Vanessa Lopez, an Orlando-based model, claims she and O'Neal began their affair about five years ago.

Things went south about four months ago, Lopez alleges, after she told O'Neal she thought she might be pregnant.

Lopez says she didn't like O'Neal's reaction, and told him to leave her alone. She claims the Cleveland Cavaliers center then began harassing her.

"I used to walk down the street not looking back over my shoulder," Lopez said at the press conference, with attorney Gloria Allred by her side. "Now, I fear that someone is after me. At home I'm constantly looking outside to see if there's a strange car parked."

"I want this to be over," Lopez said. "I want to feel safe again." (ed. note: HA!)

Lopez accused Orlando Magic star J.J. Redick of harassment following their breakup in 2007.

Lopez has also reportedly had problems with Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West.

In 2006, West, then with the Boston Celtics, called security on Lopez, saying she wouldn't leave his Orlando hotel room.

Police were called to the room, and Lopez accused West of making unwanted sexual advances toward her, according to the police report.

Instead, West said Lopez made advances at him, but he rejected her because he had another woman coming over.

Police eventually removed Lopez from the hotel.

Lopez's problems with Kenyon Martin happened in 2007, when Martin's business manager called police, claiming Lopez charged hundreds of dollars on the basketball star's credit card without permission.

For his part, O'Neal has been linked to at least three mistresses, including 25-year-old Swedish model Dominica Westling and the fiancee of another NBA player.(ed. note: damn, man. flagrant foul or foul and flagrant)

O'Neal's wife, Shaunie, has filed for legal separation with intent to divorce.
(h/t LAT)

Thank God It Ain't Monday No Mo'

Sorry. I had to type in the dialect native to my people who originate Delta region of the Mississippi province...

Yesterday had to have been the most ridiculous day ever in terms of the President and race and people making comments about the President and race. And if you're anything like me you had to call up a lot of strength not to scream at the feed coming through Google News.

Now it's time to vote. Who made the most f--ktard assertion of "Moronic Statement Monday":

1. Harry Reid's "Negro" comment
2. Michael Steele comparing Reid's comments to those of Trent Lott
3. Michael Eric Dyson on the President's track skills
4. Rod Blagojevich on how Rod Blagojevich is "blacker" than Obama


And the real winner in all this...


Thank God for America's tenuous racial past and 24-hour news cycles!


In other news...
Sarah Palin got a job she might hold for more than three years. Also, apparently the Man Upstairs is quite the practical jokester.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guess The Year

Take a quick look at this video and guess the year.



Me and Bashir might do some stuff with East Village Radio in the coming year.

We're also throwing a party in the East Village tonight, if you want to come by, hit us up.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flashback Friday

I never knew this video existed until I saw it yesterday on VH1 Soul.
And then I started thinking...

Michael Bivins might have a worse artist development track record than Diddy. Sure, Boyz II Men were strong for a number of years but after that, it kind of falls off like this: 702, ABC, MC Brains and Subway. That's steep.

As I watched the video, I was reminded that Bivins and his Biv10 Records had the East Coast Family. B2M, Brains and ABC were a part of that outfit but check out these other folks you've probably never heard of unless you're their cousin. And WTF?!? They didn't even showcase Sudden Impact. Who can forget Sudden Impact? Good God. Mike even had a chunky, Iowa farmboy-looking dude singing his arse off.

Who were these people and where did they go?

Mike has some explaining to do.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hockey vs. Basketball

Average number of fights per NBA SEASON: .75

Average number of fights per GAME of Hockey? 1.2

So...here's my question:

How come basketball players are often called "thugs" on tv and radio yet no one says that about hockey players?

I'm serious as hell, someone answer that question for me.


Thugs


NOT Thugs

Any questions?

---

ps - that Iverson/Lue photo was from one of the greatest moments in NBA history. 2001 NBA finals, Lue held Allen down in game one...but in game two, Iverson went nuts and destroyed Tyron Lue.

And that was the last time anyone on TV ever said the name Tyron Lue.

Why The Clips Are The Best Artists In Hip Hop Today

  1. Phat Beats
  2. Sly Rhymes
  3. No Drama
Just great fuckin' hip hop:



Tell me I'm wrong.

Hotness From The Gig

Roots + Clipse = Classic

Lucas on The Daily Show

Watch this. It will make you happy.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
George Lucas
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis
George Lucas on The Daily Show

I love the part where he talks about making his next film about the Tuskegee Airman.

Nice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Australia - Racist? (Part 2)

This site got in a lot of trouble when we (jokingly) suggested that Australia was racist (that's right, the whole nation - some people forgot we occasionally do humor here).

Well, guess who else does humor?

Kentucky Fried Chicken, who was running this ad in Australia before realizing MAYBE it was in poor taste.








"The ad shows a very distressed white guy, surrounded by a crowd of black people at a cricket match, who wonders, "Need a tip when you're stuck in an awkward situation?" He gets out of the "awkward situation" by handing them a bucket of chicken."(via TMZ)

Um, oy. That's effed up.

Dumbass of the Day


Smooth move, Mr. Hibachi.

This pic of Washington Wizards' star Gilbert Arenas looks playful enough, but if you just had to talk to the Feds about playfully pulling a gun on a teammate, you might want to turn your isht down a notch, i.e. don't make the international sign for a gun and act like you're shooting your co-workers.

Dumbass move, Gil.

And it looks like NBA commish David Stern wasn't in a "ha ha" mood either. The penalty: indefinite suspension without pay. And without pay means $147k per game.

Repeat: Dumbass move, Gil.

Given that my yearly salary doesn't even come close to what he's gonna get docked for missing work, hypothesizing about what this is gonna do to him financially is fruitless.

All I know is he's completely screwed the Washington sports scene--
'Skins. Trash.
Nationals. Garbage.
Wizards. Craptastic.
Capitals. Hockey.

Another thing he's done is brought all of the "What about the kids?" folks out of the woodwork. Just like with Tiger, Vick, and any other athlete who's run afoul of the law or social mores, he's gotten hit with the question: "Did you think about your young fans before you did what you did?"

For once, I wish one of these guys would just say, "F--k no," and then walk away from the mic. That would be refreshing a la Sir Charles:



We can't make the world completely kid friendly but we can at least reprimand the Arenas-es of the world to have think twice before acting a damn fool.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Harlem: No Longer Majority Black

Joshua Bauchner on his front stoop on W. 123rd St. in Harlem, two blocks south of Malcolm X Boulevard (via NYT)

I'll admit it. I'm a little sad to learn that as of the 2008 census, Harlem is no longer majority black.

Blacks are now 4 out of 10 residents in the historical and cultural birthplace of the modern urban black person here in America.

Alright, y'all. Zip it up, and zip it out.

And as a New York resident, I can tell you, the shift is not likely to reverse itself. Gentrification and the fact that a lot of blacks are moving back to the American South mean that this trend is likely to continue.

I used to live in LA, where the same thing happened in Compton and Watts, which are now majority Latino. Another reason there are no major "black" radio stations in LA anymore, just "party" stations.

The townhouses in Harlem, once renovated, will be some of the best in the city. How long until a Harlem address is the new status symbol?

"I got a hot new pad at 1-2-5 and St. Nick, y'all. Hollaaaa..."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bashir's Princess And The Frog Review

It was a good movie.

The only bad part was, surprisingly, the music.

The music wasn't bad, so much as it was forgettable. I mean, every Disney movie has a song that you leave the theatre singing all the way home; A Whole New World, Hakuna Matata, Color of The Wind, etc.

But this one, good lord did Randy Neuman ever mail it in.

And what makes it worse is the thing is set in New Freaking Orleans. I know Randy is the best "song maker" in the biz, but I wonder if the film would have been better had the producers turned to Harry Conick Jr. and Wynton Marsalles (and maybe Baby/Birdman... why not?) to do the heavy lifting. The music was simple, serviceable and forgettable...

...well, except for this song. This one was great.

Ma Belle Evangaline


---

ps - based on our post about Avatar I finally got around to seeing Pocohantas. I think Disney did a BRILLIANT job handling that politics of that movie and making it work.

They made the politics heavy-handed so they didn't get accused of not paying attention to the reality...then just focused on the love story. They saved the best writing for the love story. So you never doubted it and it drew focus from the politics. Very smart approach...meanwhile, in Avatar...well, you know how I feel about that.

Is Drake Overrated?

I listened to his mixtape a ton over the xmas break whilst driving all over LA.

I gotta say, as much as kids ride for him, and as much as it pains me to be seen as a misanthropic contrarian: I just don't get it.

Not to be a hater, I loved the mixtapes of Wale, Consequence (the best lyracist working IMHO), Wiz Khalifa (sofa king great, and if you wanna hear that "The Best" beat used way better, listen to Wiz's song, "Ode To A Naked Pro"), Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and others. I think these guys are talented vocalists. Diallo and I had a massive fight about whether Kanye was a "good rapper" or "just a good producer and an adequate rapper"...but I now have to concede that Diallo was right, Kanye is a very good rapper. Period.

But Drake...damn, man. I just don't see it. Granted he speaks very clearly, he makes cool references, but...
  • His voice sounds SOFT to me. Not full of swagger like J or compelling like Kanye. Not on fire like Lil' Wayne...just soft, off to the side and not wanting to be a bother.
  • He's the only rapper in the game still seeking to make compelling/smart sentences and phrases in his work... but I think that time is gone. Hip hop is definitely at a "style over substance" place...I'm okay with that.
  • Isn't he usually the least hot cat on the track when he does collabo's?
  • Kanye and others marketed the hell out of him and his backstory...but damn, man, all the autotune aside, is this someone you could hear rapping in a subway.
Drake reminds me of some of the rappers who went to ivy league shools...Twice the smarts and half the swagger of your normal cat from NY or the ATL...but better? I don't know about that.

Am I wrong?


Talent or Marketing?

---

ps - I used the word, "whilst"...did you catch that? I'm trying to get bruh's onto that.

ps2 - you think Andre 3000 will ever do another rap album? I think he might be the MOST underrated MC in history, having sort of come and gone right at the start of the "Total Domination Of The South" era.

plus i tink Dre's verse on this...



...was a shot across to bow to other southern rappers that he was still the baddest motherfucker in the game.

A Horrible Secret

In college, I was really into Nightnoise:



Sad or awesome?

What music did your college roommates get YOU into?

2010: Year of the Entreprener

Mark my words:

2010 WILL BE THE YEAR OF THE ENTREPRENEUR

I have so many friends starting new businesses and striking out on their own this year. I wonder if it's because, after 10 year of Bush, war, terrorism and a shitty economy, people are like: screw it, I got nothing to lose by taking a shot at my dreams. It's not like things could get any worse"

Are you starting a new venture this year?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flashback Friday

This is a dope song, but I picked it more for the group name.

Happy New Years/Hangover Day!