Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More From Kat Stacks!

MIAMI STAND UP!

God, I love this woman...



...She's the FUTURE of America!

KAT STACKS!!!!

(just...wow.)

I Step Gingerly Into Religion

I try not to ever post anything about religion. Period.

It tends to be something that will inevitably backfire. People get mad. Plus, I'm not a religious person though I try and respect the traditions of others.

That said, the Pope's statement amidst the newest proofs of The Vatican's role in covering for and shuttling abusive priests caused me some consternation.

In his open letter he states: "I can only share in the dismay and sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts..."

Dude? "share in the dismay...on learning" Those seem the words of someone taken by surprise. Which I know is inconsistent with reality.

In EVERY organization, be it The Fraternal Order of Police, The Democratic Party or even The Writer's Guild of America...you simply can NOT rise to the top without knowing all the dirt. You can't get an office or a title without being in the room with the dirt, seeing it, inhaling it and being like, "okay, I understand how this works."

I mean, as much as I love him, Obama is from the CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC PARTY...he knows some wild shit that he could never talk about. But he's cool so they let him do his thing. Didn't say he condoned it. But he damn sure knows about it.

Perhaps I'm taking The Pontiff's meaning incorrectly:

(a) he could mean," I've long felt horrible about all of this." but that flies in the face of his previous efforts as we've learned based on recently unearthed evidence.

(b) he must then mean, "I'm as appalled as you are by all of this." But doesn't that sort of say his disgust is recent?

That's what I find somewhat concerning; his statement implies a sudden deep contrition in the face of a mounting catastrophe...and I would never presume to question the veracity of The Pope's sympathy.

I do doubt the veracity of his implied lack of awareness.

There is no way he wasn't intimately aware of the specifics of the goings-on of the men under his charge. And, worse, some of the men with whom he entered the priesthood. Again, I didn't say he condoned it. But he sure knew about it. He still knows more than any of us ever will about it.

That said, I applaud him going further than any Pope in history to address these concerns.

As an outside, I'd love to hear from some Catholic readers on their take.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Still Rocks

Remember SuperDeluxe

I loved a lot of their stuff. But I think Brad Neely's work on "Baby Cakes" was the under appreciated comedy of the last few years...almost as under appreciated as my SECRET favorite show (down below)

Brad Neely's "Role Play Tournament"


Also used to love the work of TreeBrain

Weeeeeeeee


(couldn't find the link for my favorite by Treebrain "Kitty"...used to love that thing.)

---

My secret favorite show is Frisky Dingo.



A show so great, I showed it to my mom and she is NOW a huge fan. Love me some Frisky CANCELED Dingo. Not sure what you call the style of comedy that started with Space Ghost Coast To Coast, then got AMAZING with SeaLab2021 and finally peaked with Frisky Dingo...but that stuff makes me happy.



It spawned one of my favorite lines ever written: "Okay, once again, the mall has become my waterloo"

Also, Killer Mike does the world's greatest theme song (aka Taqu'il)



AND...the single most offensive album cover of all time

The Last Thing Needed

So Sunday I was feeling pretty good for my home state.
My homie Tommy Izzo led the Michigan State Spartans to the Final Four when nobody thought they had a chance.
This was just what the Great Lakes State needed. A nice jolt of positivity.

And then came Sunday evening...


Is this what Jesus would do? According to them, yes.

F--k.

Once again, the MI's crazy folk have come out of the woodwork and show they're trying to catch Texas in terms of nutjobs per capita. The humorous part is Michigan Militia members, who became famous during the final decade of the last century for ties to Tim McVeigh and the Nichols' clan, have come out saying these militant Christian terrorists are on the fringe. Wow. Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle?

I've said it on this blog before, but I feel like I'm reliving the early-/mid-90s. If you remember, a lot of paramilitary groups started getting pub. For the last 30 years, whether it was the folks in Ruby Ridge, Arizona Patriots, Branch Davidians, Oklahoma City bombers, etc., there always seems to be a segment of the population that loses their isht when a Democrat is president. And by lose it, I mean thinking the damn world is gonna end and being willing to take other folks out with them. The whole black president thing was just added gas to the fire. Apparently, I'm not alone in my thinking, either.

Luckily, this latest nut iteration got stopped, probably as they were planning to "celebrate" the Davidians and OK City next month (that's my guess).

Part of me wants to spend a few minutes in these folks' heads just so I could understand the thought process. But really, I don't.

To get to the point that you believe the world is close to ending, it must be mad taxing. Think about it. Your life and general well-being probably hasn't taken as great a slide in the last five years yet you have to convince yourself that it has. I have no clue how you'd do that.

But it must be possible since this divine nine felt it had. The question is, who's still out there with the same ideas? Anybody hearing about anything popping up in their neck of the woods?

And the point is...

For all the great things about the 'Net, sometimes I see things that make me really wonder the whole point of having access to and contact with oodles of information and people when all you can do is produce Grade-A b.s. for content.

Case in point, "Kat Stacks".

If you haven't been following, Ms. Stacks is, shall we say, prone to being in intimate but meaningless situations with rappers. Recently, she's taken to posting her exploits online (I'll leave the Googling to you). And wouldn't you know it, the rappers and their peeps aren't happy.

So, the PR savvy Stacks took to Twitvid to, uh, defend her own honor (FYI, kinda NSFW)...




Could someone please give me a reason to care about anything she has to say (other than it's funny in a twisted, f-ed up way)?

And just like Waka Fuka Flam, I'm having a hard time making out what she's saying. A translation would be appreciated.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Frank Rich Tells You What You Already Know

Guess what....

It's not about Health Care

An excerpt:

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory.

The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.

It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.


The rest is in the clip above.

New Music Monday: Erykah's Window Seat

h/t to Tony

I heard Ahmir talking about this. Then the video drops on the low.



NSFW.

Welcome to the week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Have a good Weekend

Sorry for the paucity of posts, but your boys are busy here at the show.

Enjoy the track below, and have a good weekend, y'all.

Flashback Friday

Ok. I was gonna do a completely different type of song but then remembered I'd been meaning to post this vid for a while.

Honestly, there isn't much out there about Down South. They were a one (album) and done group.

But I'll give bonus points to whoever can name the album AND can complete the name of one its tracks, "__,__ and __" (take a guess if you don't know). Additional bonus points if you can find the relationship between this group and Dante's "Universal Magnetic". (please note: Diallo is not allowed to respond with an answer until this post has been live for 5 hours [1pm ET/10am PT]).


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Real Real World: DC

I haven't watched it but apparently MTV's venerable Real World franchise finally made it to the District of Columbia this season. From what I hear, though, most of the action takes place in only one of the city's 'hoods, Dupont Circle, thus giving the distorted view that D.C. consists solely of stately row houses and boutique restaurants.

Well, in my part of the city we still have buildings burned and/or abandoned from the 1968 riots. So I gotta call MTV on their B.S. and agitate for a reality show that speaks to the heart of D.C. I just wonder, who could be the star?????



Yes. By the looks of this trailer and various reports, former D.C. mayor and current D.C. council member (D-Ward 8), Marion Barry, will be the focal point of a forthcoming "reality show".

Barry's garnered a lot of attention in the past year. On the plus side, he had an HBO documentary. And on the negative, well, there was this, this, and the topper-offer (if you want more reading/background, check the Washington City Paper).

Since that health care reform stuff doesn't kick in for another four years, I'm gonna leave the editorial comments to y'all. I'll just ask this: Is this "must-see-TV" to you? Or are you more amped to watch a BET-revived (yes, BET is actually bringing something black back to life as opposed to slaying our souls) The Game?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ghost-Meth-Rae

Love this video.



Love the lyrics (recalls my days loving the video below). We could use some Wu in '10.

Health Care Fallout Open Thread

WOW

remember when BILL O'REILLY was considered the "crazy" one over at FoxNews?

Now, he's not even top 5.



word?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fark Photos

I've loved Fark.com for a while now. It's a site where people comment on news stories but it's less democratic than Digg. The best thing about Fark is the threads which tend to be pretty harsh...but also yield some of the best sarcastic writing in America.

They also do great pics. Here's some from last night; out of context but still entertaining.

















HEALTH CARE (Open Thread)

Alright, folks. Let's hear it.

Did we see history last night? Did we show that Change is real and can happen if you persevere? Or did we see the Constitution shredded up and destroyed on live TV?

On purely the politics of it, I think Josh Marshall's assessment of the Democrats says it best.

"[E]ven if they lose their majorities in November, they'll be able to say: This is what we used these majorities to do. And it was worth it."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Abortion?

Oh-kay...so THAT'S the Republican strategy.

It hasn't been implemented thus far, but it seems they plan to dampen President Obama's efforts to sell this bill by saying that it funds abortions.

That hadn't been brought up that much in the debate before because of Stupak's objections. Also, because FactCheck.org would have debunked it. But now it seems like that's the hail mary.

Interesting strategy...interested to see how it plays out.

The BEST line from Coming To America is...

Diallo and I will often trade Coming To America quotes.

To many people, this is Eddie Murphy's best movie. Eddie was WAY ahead of his time. He did the same thing Spike Lee did (Mo Betta Blues') after he made a hit movie and the studio gave him a big blank check...he made a VERY black movie.

But one that defined "blackness" on our terms.


still genius

For a long time we thought the best quote from the movie, based on the criteria of comedy, audacity and timing was Eriq LaSalle's at the basketball game:

"what games do ya'll play in Africa? Chase the monkey?"

So much disdain and revulsion.

But as I watched the movie recently, eager for that line, I discovered it's no longer my favorite. It's still great and perfect in every way; both ignorant and self-hating...but it's not the best.

The best line is the one that comes before it.

Because it's uncalled for. In every other part of the movie, when someone makes a joke it's in response to something else someone has said or done...there's a REASON for it.

But not this joke.

My new fave line from Coming to America is delivered, also, by Eriq LaSalle. At the basketball game everyone's having a good time. Then, without warning and for no FUCKING reason what-so-ever he turns to Eddie Murphy...



"wearing clothes must be a new experience for you"

So perfect.

----

other Coming To America Odds and Ends

1. "you know him as Joe The Policeman, from the What's Goin' Down episode of That's My Momma"...is still, to me, one of the top 5 greatest comedy lines EVER written. Period. it's funny on about 5 different levels.

2. did you ever notice that when Eddie and Arsenio movie INTO the shitty apartment the landlord said it has one view of a brick wall...then like a second later Eddie is on a balcony that clearly has a decent view of the street. Continuity fail...but still good.

3. never realized how much anger King Joffe Jaffur had in his voice when he screamed "let them wait" to the guests. He's was a fucking out of control monster.


is this song good or bad?

4. the next time you watch the movie, watch Arsenio Halls face as the preacher character when he's listening to Eriq Lasalle announce the engagement: epic.

5. Eddie as the old barber never actually MAKES CONTACT with Cuba Gooding Jr's hair. Yet charges him anyway. Also, why has Arsenio made his barber character about 4 shades darker? Dunno why but I feel like that was brilliant for some reason.


This

5. Vanessa. Bell. Calloway. Holy. Shit.

6. Cleo McDowell doesn't even TRY to pronounce Queen Aoleone's name correctly. Also, this guy is as much of a tyrant as Joffe. His entire empire is based on brand confusion.

7. The 2 seconds before Arsenio screams when Oha is at the door is just as funny as the two seconds before Vondie Curtis Hall realizes that he just walked past Prince Akeem.

8. "Black Awareness Week." I have never in my comedy life written anything as funny as that title. It means nothing...and everything. It's the kind of thing you can only think of when you're in your comedy prime. It's the kind of thing you look back on years later and go, "how in the hell did we think of that?".

9. I never realized how much Eddie and Arsenio were like the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of black comedy. The alpha is so damned good, that you look back and go, "I never realized how amazingly good this other guy was". Here's the good news...both Michael and Eddie realized how good the other guy was and kept him close at hand.

10. Black Awareness Week...just had to write that again. My goal in life is to one day write something as funny as that.

11. Some of the funniest lines in the film, which I had always missed until a friend pointed them out, come AFTER Arsenio puts the chicken bone in the collection plate. You have to listen closely, but what he says next is pure comedy.

12. Lastly...Eddie Murphy did something no other comic had dared do before. He made a joke about MLK. Not just any joke either. But a joke in which he claimed that The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr... punched him in the chest.

I just can't imagine what it was like between takes of that joke. The set must have been howling. One thinks Eddie could have made a string of movies like this. Movies with conversational humor rather than "jokes"...but those movies don't make much money if you're a big mega comedy star. I mean, sure, if you're Woody Allen you can make smart stuff like that all day cuz that's your niche.

But you can't go from 48 Hours and Beverly Hills Cop to something more niche. The system doesn't work that way.

Not yet at least.

What'd I miss?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

Last Friday I was listening to some mix I'd downloaded in 2008 and forgot about. On it was one track that really jumped out and slapped me, so I took to the Google to see if I could find the track and more about the band.

I found an MP3 of the song easily. Even better, though, I found its video. You don't know how many times I've tried to scrounge up some dope isht from yesteryear for this post just to come up dry in the moving visual department. Frankly, I consider this one of my better finds.

The video in question comes from Midnight Express and the track is titled "Danger Zone". Apparently, this song is big among D.C.'s skinny jean-wearing, boogie music enthusiasts. I was really caught off guard when I heard it and saw how hyped the crowd got when it popped up during the DJ's warm-up set to this past Saturday's Dam-Funk show here in the District.

You gotta love the bootleg quality of the vid. Really, it's a poor-man's "Thriller" but also seems to mock the MJ classic with its campiness. Also, I've never understood why guys not employed by Chippendales would rock a blazer with no shirt and a bow tie under any circumstances.





Added bonus:

While doing my research, I found this clip from a news program in the Quad Cities (IL and IA) where ME linchpin Robert Muskeyvalley (aka Robbie M.) was the focus of a short "Local Guy Does Good For Himself" story. Thanks to having a unique surname, you can find him on web (and a lot of his fam. Dang, the Muskeyvalleys must own Rock Island). Needless to say, I have this (reprinted) 12-inch coming in the mail and I'm hoping to find some more ME material.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Is Great

One of my boys at work has a buddy who goes to open mic nights at comedy clubs...specifically to bomb.

He's a great actor.

Congratulations, Chicago!

Every morning I check my hometown paper to see what's what in the city of big shoulders.

Well, it seems like one of the fine individuals from my hometown accidentally shot a 7 year old girl in the head while she was riding her scooter.

Really? That's just fucking fantastic!

Kudos, guys. We're really doing well.

My city is officially Los Angeles from 1989 - 1992. Just a big ole barrel of good times.

Let's see if we can keep this going!

(I decided to write the above rather than the string of profanity and threats that felt more appropriate. My family is all over the south side. This is enraging. Chicago has no leadership in the black community. None. Not an ounce.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things You Learn When You Work With A Bunch Of Dudes From Philly

You learn that the love interest in this video, which we've all seen a million times, is none other than...



Well...can you tell who that is?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Love This Song

I've been playing a ton of MASS EFFECT 2 lately.

The game is so perfect and addictive that you really don't need to pick it up unless you have a ton of free time. That said, they brought back one of my favorite songs to the already impressive soundtrack.

The Wards


It sounds like it's ripped straight from Blade Runner.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Get To Work With This Guy

One day I'll blog about some of the conversations I've had with Questlove in our short time working together.

It's always great when there's a second to pick his brain about music. He is ALWAYS doing something or another so it's tough to just talk to the guy...but, below, is a small glimpse of the way his brain works.



Also, he's told me tons of cool "inside baseball" hip hop shit that I could never repeat.

Don't hate.

Our Boy Is Blowing The Hell Up

Donald Glover.

Get to know that name. Back when we were doing The Message, Diallo and I came across his work with Derrick Comedy and found out he was in LA. We had to meet the guy.

Here's one of my faves.



He came by our office after a meeting with some HBO TV people and we powwowed for an hour or so. (turns out he was from Atlanta, just like Diallo.) It's so rare when you meet a person in this industry who you think is actually brilliant. But D is such a person.

Dude is going to be a star.

Flashback Friday

This week's Flashback has always perplexed me.

I've never understood why it was so popular.
The song in question was ubiquitous my freshman year in college.
You couldn't go to a party without hearing it.
Then, Somethin' For the People disappeared (they made a slight comeback with "B--ch With No Man" in 2000-ish).

So two questions remain:
Where are SFtP now and is anyone willing to fess up to either liking or buying this song?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sign O' The Times

Tip-of-the-hat to the Colbert Report for bringing this to my attention...

The greatest undercurrent of the past year or so that's bound together the nuttiness that's become the American Right is survival.

If Al-Qaeda doesn't get cha, it'll be socialized medicine.
If it's not socialized medicine, it's bankers.
If it's not the bankers, it's definitely gonna be a government bureaucrat.

You get the drill. Every boogey-man out there is gonna be coming to get us real soon. So, you better have your gun ready. And your water purification system. And tradable commodities. And your tinfoil hats.

Without question, Glenn Beck's capitalized on this fear factor more than anyone else. He's done it not only with his show but also with his show's commercials. First it was telling his lemmings to buy gold. Now it's this...




Barter? Really? We're gonna collapse into an agrarian economy?
Get the f--k out of here with that b.s.

What makes this commercial even slightly more asinine is that non-hybrid seeds are more prone to disease and general failure in the long-term.

So is the aim of this company to prepare people for the days that will occur prior to the end times? Or are they just trying to sell a good they know won't work past one year and will require buyers to keep coming back to them for more seed product, thus creating a crazy-ass survivalist class that's dependent on a company to get them the supplies they'll need to exist when our society caves?

I'll take the latter but still, brilliant move, Survival Seed Bank.

All joking aside, how do you envision our country when this ship sinks in two years? What's gonna be in you end-of-days maintenance kit?

In my case, I'm hoping D'Angelo drops an album soon so I can get through the rough patch. Well, that isht probably ain't happenin'.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

U-N-I

I like this track. It samples a song (can anyone name it?) that I have wanted to sample for years (when I will I sit down to produce some sh*t?!?!0



I like U-N-I a lot - I have posted the song below before on the blog. Get up with these kids.



(ed. note - Let me throw a clue out there on the sample. THey are known as a jazz band primarily. Part of their name sounds like it is a part of the local news. The song title is like something out of JRR Tolkien).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let's Talk About Obesity Part 2

Diallo and I are in agreement on one thing about Gabby Sidibe: She WILL have a career.

I know Howard Stern is mean. Here he is talking about her.

I don't know much about Robin, but I'm actually a little shocked at how mean she's being as well. Not because I think Robin is a good person...anyone who rides with Stern despite what he says time after time clearly puts money over morals.

But it's been my personal experience that black women don't usually tear each other up like this.



Yes, Gabby should look to get healthier, as Jennifer Hudson did. (a) that can become a new story in Hollywood and she'll make eve more money and (b) she be more castable in less stereotypical parts.

But this level of meanness towards the young lady, kind of left my mouth open.

I really hope Gabby develops a healthy sense of "proving the haters wrong" and goes on to get like 5 more nominations.

Because, despite all this talk about her weight, and I know we all disagree about that...the woman can still just flat out act her ass off.

YES! YES! YES!

Saw this over the weekend. Almost cried.



Diallo tells me Daft Punk is doing the soundtrack.

There is a God.

Name Who Sampled This!

This is one of the benefits of working in the same building as James Poyser. If you don't know who he is, trust me, he's written much of the music you like and plays keys for The Roots.

Anyway I asked him who wrote a certain song and, surprise, he told me it was a sample and I couldn't believe it.

good luck.

Sadly, because of, um....you know...fucking GOOGLE...I can't even tell you the name of the band.



Notice I couldn't post the artist who sampled it and had you guess where it came from...as that would have been too google-able as well.

UPDATE: DJ The Poet got it.

Damn, I gotta dig deeper in the crates.

ESPN is doing original content

We knew this was coming.

Short-form comedy on ESPN.



Thoughts?

---

here's a fun game, see if you can guess who's paying for all of this. shows are trying new ways to incorporate advertising. frankly, i don't see any way around it.

LOST fans

Not sure what I am going to do when this show comes to an end.

This is from the time we had Michael Emerson on the show. Fun clip when he reads Little Boy Blue as Benjamin Linus.



Anyone else addicted? Or are you sick of hearing Losties talk about the show?

History, But Now.

India just passed a law through their parliament reserving a full 1/3 of the seats in their parliament for women.

The arguments, pro and con are well laid out and discussed in the accompanying article.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the eye of the debates for civil rights or even affirmative action...take a read HERE.

And if you wanna see their parliament going bat-shit insane (well, to be fair just a few members of smaller parties were the most disruptive)...still, it's HERE.

And people wonder why I majored in politics.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscars Open Thread

A few thoughts.

1. Last night was, i think, the first time an African American has won a writing award at the Oscars. That's pretty freaking huge.

2. I love Mo'nique. She's authentic, but more than that she's consistent. She's classy when she needs to be and funny most of the rest of the time. She reminds me of people in my family.

Very happy for her.

3. What'd you think?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback Friday

At the time this post goes live, I'll be somewhere in Vegas.
And given this is my inaugural visit to Sin City, I wanted to celebrate by digging into the LV music scene.

Problem is, there doesn't seem to be much native musical history to the town. I could be wrong but I don't think so. Get at me in the comments section if you think I've erred.

Anyway, I decided to go with the one group I knew hailed from the 702. And wouldn't you know it, it's 702.

The story of 702 is kind of sad. One of the twin sisters who founded the group died at the age of 27. Additionally, as I've suggested before, being part of a Michael Bivins business venture doesn't typically build careers.

However, 702 had a relatively good run for a few years. From what I can remember, they kicked things off by teaming up with another Biv-associated act, Subway.

Here's "Lil' Games We Play".




And for added flavor, "Steelo".




So there's "soulful" Las Vegas for you. But again, if I missed something, let me know.

P.S.--Also, if you think there's anything in Vegas worth hitting up, let me know.

(Ed. Diallo - Just gonna go on and throw this track on here too, Jacarl. It's a forgotten Pharrell gem that he threw the group and is my favorite 702 song).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let's talk about Obesity...


Yes, I know it's been a MINUTE since I've posted. Lots of things to discuss, just haven't had the leisure time to discuss them. But here goes...

Can We Talk?

I don't know Gabourey Gabby Sidibe personally. From what I've seen, she's a bright young girl that comes from a loving home. That's not the only thing I've seen though, Gabourey Gabby Sidibe is overweight (to politely put it). Gabourey Gabby Sidibe is FAT (to impolitely put it).

Why do I care? Because she's killing herself. Just like I wince at the sight of an anorexic model, I wince at the sight of Gabourey Gabby Sidibe. And let's be REALLY REAL, there are a LOT of African-American men and women that look like Gabourey Gabby Sidibe.

Obesity is unhealthy. It brings about a whole bunch of medical maladies: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and on, and on, and on... Let me be a little more blunt; Obesity = DEATH.

Let's get this out of the way first. I will allow that there MIGHT be a gene that predisposes people to obesity BUT the reality is whenever I go to ANY other country on the planet, it is STUNNING to come back to the United States of America and realize how CONSISTENTLY overweight we are as a people. Sure there are SOME people that eat whatever they want, never exercise and look fit as a fiddle. But we all know that's fairly uncommon. Just like there are some people that will never work an honest day's work in their lives because they are "pretty". Again, it's unfair, but not common. The fact is, our health and our weight, like MANY other things in life is ultimately just the result of HARD FUCKING WORK. Sorry.

Sure, you MIGHT win the Lottery and become a millionaire. But the odds are laughably against your favor. But if you work an honest living and live below your means, millionaire status is yours for the taking (read: "Millionaire Next Door" for real-life examples).

If you're overweight, most of the skinny people you hate are watching what they are eating, going to the gym regularly, etc. That's just how it is. I hear overweight people constantly complain that people automatically assume they are lazy because of their weight. Wait, is that assumption REALLY so far fetched? Be honest, you know the repercussions of your lifestyle and you just said FUCK IT! "I know I look like shit, but this tub of ice-cream is JUST TOO GOOD!"

Which brings me back to Gabourey Gabby Sidibe. There is a "minor" controversy brewing because she was left off of the Vanity Fair's "new upcoming stars" picture thread. At first, i was like, that's wrong! She did a great job in the role. But then I thought about it. What's next for Gabourey Gabby Sidibe after "Precious"? How many roles are out there for a 250 pound African-American women in Hollywood (you better be nice to Uncle Tyler Perry Gabby!)? Shit, if Nia Long, Gab Union, Kerry Washington and MANY other's are having trouble finding work then what's REALLY out there for Gabourey Gabby Sidibe? Which is why upon second thought, I'm okay with Vanity Fair's decision. Gabourey Gabby Sidibe might be a star, but I can't see a future...

I got to see this up close and personal yesterday and you didn't

ERYKAH!



ps - Regina King is ripped. I mean like Angela Bassett in What's Love Got To Do With It ripped. mean like Brad Pitt in Fight Club ripped. She should do an action movie.

Diallo's Tribute to Large Professor

Don't doubt it for a second. Large Professor (aka Xtra P)...



One of the greatest (and sadly, largely forgotten) hip hop producers...



ever....



Believe it.

The First Sketch We Ever Performed

Below is the first sketch Diallo and I performed along with Angela Yarborough and Nefetari Spencer for our first sketch comedy group Cleo's Apartment. (2 points to whoever knows the name reference WITHOUT going to google.)

Enjoy
Momma Don't Smoke Crack, I Love You.



"John Amos asks, 'why am I NOT in this play'" = classic.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wish I could have seen it Live

Last night at JAY-Z/Madison Square Garden.
Questlove tweeted the whole event.








Why I Love Kanye West

Unlike most celebrities, Kanye West is interesting.

Because of Twitter/TMZ/Facebook/Bossip/MediaTakeOut/PerezHilton/UsWeekly/you and me etc. etc. etc...celebs are generally gun shy about doing anything.

Look at Tiger Woods.

Look at John Mayer.

You do something, big or small, and it's dissected and rehashed ad nauseum. You're killed for it. You're raked over the coals again and again.

When I read Mayer's interview my initial take on it was based on the fact that you just can't speak your mind now-a-days. I won't defend or decry his words and seriously, I don't care about him. But I was shocked he would put himself out there like that. And he was treated exactly as I suspected he would be.

There was a time you could have a POV and a personality as an entertainer. That's over. Between the shitty interviews that athletes give or the lame ass pre-fab statements that most celebs make it's like you could just as much not listen to any of them. One is a substitute for the next.

Frankly, the world doesn't NEED to know how some celeb feels about this or that issue.

But it's wack that that's not even an option anymore.

Things you won't ever hear again:

"911 is a joke"


"Amerikkka, I spell it with a triple K."

"Fuck tha police"


"George Bush doesn't care about black people."


It's wack that people smother the truth about themselves, their sexuality, their true beliefs or that they actually think a movie they just made was a piece of shit.

And that's the point. They wanna be seen but not really seen through. Being seen through, discovered and found out...that's dangerous to a career.

Kanye West knows that. He knows that more than anyone. But he spoke his heart about George Bush. And he spoke his heart about Taylor Swift (who went on to crap the bed at the Grammy's).

Was he wrong?

Nope.

Every blog intimates he's gay. He responded by saying, "I'm not but so what if I was, I love the gays and we need to end homophobia". And he and his friends still go out looking like something out an an And Warhol acid trip sometimes.


Ha! Sorry yeezy, this is funny. but i love that you did it, bruh.

He's wouldn't back down. Backing down never got him anything.

And for putting himself out there, we attacked him mercilessly. Not because he deserves it...but because he's one of the few we all CAN attack.
  • We all won't attack Jigga for saving his best work for promoting parties
  • We all won't attack the right wing racism
  • We all won't attack left wing economic complicity
  • We all won't attack food companies for making us fat and creating diseases on their wretched farms that will actually kill us
But Kanye...He's a safe target. He's a disrespectful nigger we can all agree on. He's the anti-Will Smith. Even Obama got in on the act as part of my least favorite part of the Obama Presidency so far. Senators talk shit to his face, nothing. Kanye does something on an award show...now he's got a problem. Whatever, dude.

But all you people who hate Kanye. Not "hate on". But HATE. Do not worry...he won't be around long.

Not as he is. No one can take the abuse he takes and keep pretending it rolls off his back. It doesn't. It hurts. Maybe he deserves it...maybe he doesn't. But the constant avalanche of criticism he takes will destroy who he once was. It will destroy the guy who made all those great albums.

The Kanye we know will be gone. He'll metamorphose into this other soft, boring, milquetoast pussy of a cat that I won't like that much.

He'll change.

He'll soften his image. (he's already started, haven't you noticed)

He'll go limp.

Our media will do to him what the Nigerian government did to Fela Kuti. A sort of quiet yet consistent castration. "Why can't he be less outspoken?" They'll kill who he is now the way they kill the passion of every outspoken black artist. They'll whittle away at what makes him interesting until it's gone.

His music will still be good. But it'll be safe in the way Lil Wayne is actually very safe. "Keep partying, people, nothing to see here."

In some ways our media, and, by extension, we... treat our artists the way the Chinese government treats their people: "party all you want, but don't have an opinion, please." Especially in the "black community"*. We want to listen to hypnotic yet spiritually soporific trite. We would rather not be awakened.

I love that hypnotic music as much as the next person. But there's no balance in the hip hop force. Think about that, the Jedi need the Sith. That makes for balance. Kanye was one of our best Annakin-Jedi but with Sith habits that we had...not much longer.


"I got Jeezy on my latest track"

Plus he was consistent...if you ever actually listened to the lyrics of his music, Kanye's interest was in personal and artistic power. He wanted you to quit your shitty job and go back to the studio in your mom's basement. He wanted you to stop doing the same thing the last artist did. Show your fucking tattoo's for God's sake. Live loudly as who you are...the way he did.

DID. Not Does. Not anymore.

All that will be left of Yeezy in the next few years will be the soft boring repeat of every celebrity personality. I work with celebs at the gig all the time. Except for the rare one willing to take a chance, they're a gun-shy bunch. I don't blame 'em. Being safe keeps the money rolling in. Money is good.

He'll become boring and safe. And people will say they love him. And he'll make more of his music. And it will be safe. The way Common is now safe as he goes back and deletes things he said in previous albums so he can sell more SUV's or whatever the hell he does.

I've always liked Kanye. And I'll continue to enjoy the last remaining outbursts and moments of mad genius he exhibits. I don't agree with everything he says or does. Not by a long shot.

But at least he's interesting. At least he WAS interesting. And that counts for a lot in my book.

Also, he might be the best urban entertainer of his generation.

Thoughts?


I already miss this guy.

---
*still not sure such a thing as this exists.

ps - Yeezy has a statement on his NEW BLOG today that's a rallying cry to those as passionate about making a statement as an artist as he is. It's a great read.

Get Better, Gifted Universal Rhymes Unlimited


As of posting, dude is in a medically-induced coma.
We'll be praying for you, Guru.

UPDATE:

And he's better....!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

N.W.A. In Concentrate



My first interaction with N.W.A. was in the 6th grade when a friend gave me a tape with Fear of a Black Planet on the A-Side and the 100 Miles n' Runnin' EP dubbed on the B-Side.

Honestly, it scared the shit out of me. It goes without saying, Miles was graphic in describing things I'd never seen or imagined.

More than anything, though, the language was raw as hell. I was just starting to incorporate swear words into my everyday vocab and, in my mind, N.W.A. were the grandmasters of cussing--a level of vulgarity to aspire to. To this day, I haven't heard anyone come close to their four-letter word mastery. The combinations created and force with which they used them were amazing.

Apparently, someone else has noticed the crew's deftness for colorful language. Someone's gone an extracted the explicit content from Straight Outta Compton and Eazy-E's Eazy Duz It and put it on vinyl (as well as MP3 for free). Do you think there's a market for this? Also, is there ever cursing overkill? If you're interested, you can pick it up here.

Otherwise, here's every beautifully foul utterance from Compton's favorite sons. Please listen at your own peril:




You have to admit, they're the Van Goghs of their verbal art.

Monday, March 1, 2010

ThunderCats Outtakes

Man this is a great way to waste some time.

THUNDERCATS OUTTAKES.

In Praise of Desiree Rorgers

As you guys probably already heard, "way too hot to be around Obama every day" White House social secretary Desiree Rogers "resigned".

I had the pleasure of meeting Desiree at a Chicago fund-raiser a few years ago. It was one of those inside events that made me realize a full 1/2 of the real powers players in Chicago are black people. These were Obama's confidants, the ones who know where the bodies are buried. It was amazing to see them operate...and gossip like high-school kids.

But Desi, (that's what I call her) HOLY DAMN...she is fine.

That's it. That's my blog post. That's why I took a break from my real job to write this.

Desiree is fine. She's fine in print, she's fine on TV...and dammit she's fine as hell is real life.


f i n e

Plus she's single, I think, so 0.00078% of me was like, "do it...ask for them digits."

---

ps - did I mention I have a thing for the short haircut on ladies?

I'm Doing Sound Bites!

I'm quoted at the end of this article, though my name, as usual, is spelled super wrong.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

2009 films mostly ignored African-Americans

To Wit:

"We've already had a situation where all the black people were lions, in 'The Lion King,'" he said. "So I'm used to them digging deep and finding our essence, which is not who we look like on the outside but who we can be transformed into -- either lions, frogs or big blue Smurfs."

Boo Yah!

Name That Sample

Bashir lobbied for it so I'll provide the first installment.

I'd say this one is tough but at least you'll hear some good music in the process.

To give you a clue, the sampled artist is the late Jorge Dalto, a dope Argentinian keyboardist. The sampling artist, a mid-, late-'90s rapper who's moniker is two words, two syllables.

Bonus points if you can name the sampled tune.

video

UPDATE: For those that are curious, here's Street Smartz's with "Problemz".