Friday, July 30, 2010

President Jean

'Clef wrote a song called "If I Were President" and now it looks like he might actually do it, according to AllHipHop.Com.

Yeah, AllHipHop isn't HuffPost or Politico so I won't completely believe it until the supposed announcement date on August 5th. But still, this is big. A musician president.

As far as I know, there's only one other president who's put out a music record, Gabon's Ali Bongo.

And dude even raps. Kind of.

I think Wyclef's got him beat on the tunes, though.

But what do think? Is this a good look for Jean and Haiti or is this a boondoggle waiting to happen?

Flashback Friday - RIP Melvin Bliss

Right up there with Clyde Stubblefield's work on "Funky Drummer", the percussion on Melvin Bliss's "Synthetic Substitution" has provided the basis for more hip-hop joints than I'd can name right now.

Mr. Bliss died earlier this week, and from how it reads, he was a good man.

There looks to be a short documentary coming out about him, too.

Given that it's estimated his tune has been sampled somewhere around 95 times, I printed out a list of those borrowing tunes, threw a dart at it and wound up with this Def Jef joint.

Needless to say, hip-hop owes a sincere debt of gratitude to Mr. Bliss and the folks that put this joint together.

So let's please give it to him.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Music Thoughts

From The Message reader Loren:

Also, re: the below, what the hell...?!

Lastly, I'm posting this video below because I want you to check out dude's songs on iTunes.

The song he performs below is "All Mine" and though it sounds like garbage in this iPhone video....

...the actual song is off the charts if you dig that electronic soul sound (Vikter Duplaix, Dwele, et al).

Buy it. You'll dig it.

Bonus Video:

Vikter Duplaix's "Electric Love"

Ridiculous. Vikter doing it big.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teflon Don

If The Message still had "offices" I know we'd be blasting Rick Ross' new album.

Admit it. The tracks are HUGE.

Here's Rick on Jimmy last Friday, in case you missed it.

Someone said to me over the weekend "I stopped liking hip hop when Tribe broke up."

My question is, why do we have to choose. I was listening to Group Home on Friday. I was listening to Rick Ross on Friday too. And lately, I've actually been listening to the Wild Style soundtrack falling in love with the Cold Crush Brothers, Busy Bee, and Double Trouble again.

It's all hip hop. Different genres and times. You ain't got to go all or nothing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Good Point

Making the same point our own JACARL made earlier this week.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Love her.

Flashback Friday

If you're on the East Coast right now, I know we're sharing the same pain.

To all the global warming doubters out there, please explain to me how, for the better part of a month, D.C. has had heat warnings at 11PM. 11 f--king PM. There's no sun. How the hell can it be 85 degrees out?

Well, enough with the rant. Long and short of it, I wish I were like Linda Clifford in this video. Just straight chillin' in a water fountain all day. But with my luck, the water is probably blazing, too.

Speaking of blazing, though, Ms. Clifford is looking quite sweet n' sassy. In today's video world, I don't think a female singer could get away with staying stationary for that long and have folks still pay attention to her.

Yeah Ciara, I dare you to try to pull this off.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Convince Me to Care About This

Around this time of year, I typically get an invite to cover the "Rock The Bells" tour for another outfit I get my writing hustle on with.

This year, I noticed there are only four shows, two on either coast. That's a significant scaling back but it looks like they've tried to compensate by adding bigger names. Snoop Dogg (and the early Death Row artists), Tribe, Wu-Tang, Rakim, KRS and a "special guest" that has had bloggers going ape shit...

Personally, I've never understood people's fascination with Lauryn Hill. And now, other than no one's really seen her in a minute, I can't fully grasp how folks' reactions to her being at RTB are tantamount to Jesus coming back to town without all that scary Rapture stuff. Yeah, she could sing and rap but what else was there to her?

I've heard folks call her profound. But what great ideas has she forwarded?

Maybe I just have an obstructed view.

Please, wise commentariat, bring me into the light.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

OPEN THREAD: The Shirley Sherrod Case

It seems like the three-day fever pitch is dying down a bit.

But this issue is all types of crazy. The video, the Right Wing nuttery, the White House/Dept. of Ag/NAACP freakout, the truth, the redemption and Fox News' Jedi mind tricks.

I posted a link to a Playboy article (yes, I do read for the articles) a few days back about the moves Right Wing K Street and Breitbart-types are lining up to roll out in to the November elections. Insofar, it looks like the theme is, "Black folks are scary and want to take over America. Don't let them do it". After this episode, I don't know how much more traction it has but I don't think such tactics will just disappear.

There aren't any reasons to be surprised by this mindless banter anymore. We've been warned.

So what's next on the fright menu?

For me, there are still those NAACP-New Black Panther ties to be exposed!

Wait. The New Black Panthers were formed by a guy Farrakhan kicked out of the NOI for saying crazy isht? So that probably means they probably aren't a well-organized, high constituency organization, right? So why has Fox been promoting them for almost a decade?

Any other ideas/thoughts/feelings out there?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inception Open Thread

I wanna hear what you thought about Inception.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Chris Nolan makes great movies.

And there are things I can nick-pick about INCEPTION, but end of the day, I loved it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flashback Friday

The Rhythm Blunt Crew, a.k.a. CRU, is one of those groups that in 2010 you wonder what the hell happened to them, or at least I do.

When I bought this 12-inch in 1997, CRU was being billed as a second-coming of Tribe.

But then the album, Da Dirty 30, came out.

The Source gave it 3.5 mics (remember when The Source was actually a source?), which pretty much meant don't expect Illmatic. And that would be an apt description. The album didn't go anywhere.

But CRU member Yogi did as a producer.

Regardless, "Just Another Case" will go down as one of the better tracks of the latter 1990s. Too bad the rest of the album didn't measure up.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Regional Music: UCB's "Sexy Lady"

Is this technically go-go?

Regardless, its a classic mid-2000s cut from the DC area. Mid-Atlantic States (Cackalack on up) STAND UP!

LeBron James Is The Opposite Of This

(via WSHH)

Apparently, Michael was a bit of a monster. No shock there.

Apparently, LeBron is the ultimate good teammate.

Hmmmm....what else don't these guys have in common?

Should I Get Into Frank Zappa?

Been listening to Muffin Man a lot.

Rocks lovely by the end.

Anyone here into him? What's a good album to start with?

That Ol' Hollywood Lingo

My first job in the industry was as a PA back in 1999.

At the time I worked for a hollywood exec who, to say the least, had a bit of a temper and a bit of a potty mouth. She would go from calm to atomic in 20 seconds flat.

ME: Did you say you wanted roast turkey or roast beef?
EXEC: (long pause while she inhales shakes her head for while. Stares at me for like 10 seconds, then...) Are you fucking kidding me? That's what you came in here to fucking as me right now? You don't know the difference between the two? You can't hear? Are you seriously telling me you can't fucking hear?!?! GIVE ME THE FUCKING MENU! I'LL DO IT MYSELF! FUCK!

(etc. etc. but to be fair, I still loved my time with her cuz she was extremely helpful in my career.)

I learned, through the years, that many people in this industry communicate that way. They throw these amazing tantrums. Nefetari, whom many of you know from our work at The Message, actually worked in the same office as me. One day, in her office I noticed a brown streak on the ceiling.

ME: What's that on the ceiling?
NEF: My boss got mad, and throw his coffee up there.

It's almost like there's the sense that whoever gets the loudest, maddest and most Shakespearean is the winner. And simply MUST have been right to begin with.

But more than that, the behavior is exhibited...because it is tolerated.





My point is that, to the outside world what seems very much the norm among some people in this industry.

So...when we see stuff like this...

...just know it's not fake. In fact, it's toned down.

It's funny on TV...but in real life. Well, it's a spectacle. And no matter how bad these ones seem...there's way worse ones you'd never see recorded.

Any other industry heads got good stories?

The Rapping Weatherman Kicks The Facts

Diallo sent this to me this morning for possible use on our show.

Umm....this is surprisingly un-terrible.

You can tell this guy clearly listens to hip hop and actually makes some pretty witty choices. Can't really hate that beat either.

Plus he has a little of that "I know it's lame for a weatherman to rap" sensibility that adds just enough irony to make the thing work.

good job, son.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The First "Rock the Mic"

The first use of the phrase, found here, coming out of the mouth of Melle Mel at the Audubon Ballroom in 1978.

Also, there is something about old school rap that I hated as a kid that I love now. It's kind of amazing to hear the DJ (Grandmaster Flash) loop the beats live. Which is why they're so imperfect, and yet, "perfect."

Whoopi Goldberg Is A Fucking Idiot

(via Perez Hilton)

Here she defends Mel Gibson

This is the same woman who saw no harm in this.

It's all in good fun, niggers.

This Mel thing is telling. Pure and simple. You can't blame alcoholism. Those of us who've had a few drinks know that it doesn't make you say things you don't believe. Maybe things you regret...but it's more truth serum than a potion that creates lies.

Whoopi, plain and simple, has been in Hollywood too damned long.

When you're in Hollywood you watch and hear people say racist, homophobic, misogynistic shit all day long. You become immune to it. You lose the ability to react to everything in light of focusing on the big picture.

But a few of us don't believe the hype. We may not react to every incident...but we don't, like Whoopi, actually lose our sense of morality.

Whoope Goldberg might be the best actress of her generation. I have friends that know her and attest to her generosity and kindness.

But she should be ashamed of herself.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Week In STFU News

...When you take it from my wrinkled, scorched hands.

Apparently some folks are raising one of the great questions of our time: If we had a white president, would there be a tanning tax? Well, Lord knows President Boehner wouldn't let that isht fly.

Yesterday the Washington Post dedicated two stories and a poll to the issue. Why? It's July in D.C. and it's hot as Hell during a slow news week. Still, it just adds to the mounting evidence that (certain) (white) people in the U.S. are scared for reasons that aren't entirely clear but worth capitalizing on.

So what do you think? Are tanning taxes and letting the New Black Panthers off the hook the sign of the end of our freedoms? Are you scared yet?

And speaking of folks banking on crazy, anyone looking to attend GBU this fall? Got ideas for a school mascot?

Flashback Friday

I was thinking about posting something Miami-related due to that Earth-stopping news about South Florida's newest resident. But then MTV Jams played "Welcome to Miami" and I effectively killed that idea.

F--k that song. No need to pump that place up any more than it already is.

So I went in another direction with someone we've already heard from: Aaron Broomfield.

Now, this vid is the antithesis of "Welcome". No extras. No fancy dance moves.

Just music.

And tuxes being worn inexplicably.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LeBron TV

This is proof-positive that the biggest winner in the whole Tiger Woods' fiasco wasn't Elin (financially) or all those Perkins waitresses and porn stars, it was LeBron.

He's now cemented himself as the biggest marketable entity in sports for some years to come. Hell, maybe even in the entire entertainment world. And don't bring up Kobe. He's "old" and that Colorado episode is like a scar that will never fully heal.

And you better believe ESPN will have high, if not the highest ratings, tomorrow night at 9PM.

Question is, what is he gonna say? Where's he gonna go?

I'm just a casual observer to all of this. The Wizards won the John Wall lottery and my Pistons are, well, the Pistons.

Anybody got theories, hints, rumors or conjecture about what the end result will be?

My guess:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flashback Friday

This afternoon I'll be on a plane bound for Chicago.

Ever since I was a kid, I've always loved going there and when I lived in the city a decade ago for a brief period of time, I came to love it even more.

At the base of my affection for the Windy C is the fact I have a lot of family there. For the past few months, I've been on a personal quest to find as much documentation about either side of my family. This isn't an endorsement of any particular service, but I've found Ancestry.Com to be a great resource. Census records, enlistment information, slave inventories. I've gone back in time and built potential explanations to fill in family lore I wouldn't have been able to, otherwise.

So while I'll be sure to hit my yearly barbecued pork quota, this weekend will also be a chance to fill folks in on what I've found out about "us".

Going to Chicago isn't exactly like trekking down to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee, but it is like going back to my roots.

Which brings me to today's Flashback. I wish Lamont Dozier had done a video for this track. Odyssey kind of did but their version of the song doesn't measure up, IMO.

Gotta go with the original for this one. Another thing I'm wishing for: An extended version of the last two-and-a-half minutes. Great stuff.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.