Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jimmy does Boyz II Men at the Emmys

This Is How Internet Comedy Should Be

Stereotypical Uses of Black Music

I gotta admit it, these Wendy's vids have been keeping me entertained for the past few days.

Question: What late '80s joint does this track remind me of? Take a guess in the comment's section.

You gotta wonder what the treatment looked like for this training tape and what the "talent" is actually doing now.

But after watching this clip, I started to think of something else:

Why isn't there any hair metal accompaniment to these videos? Why does homeboy sound like a dude who was the opening act for The Spinners back in '77?

And then there's this:

Is this a case of rhymes and soulful crooning helping employees memorize techniques or is there something more insidious going on? Like, "Rapping and singing are popular among the Negroes. Our employees are largely Negroes and/or poor. They won't 'get it' or like it unless we incorporate their music in the video".

It's kind of like at baseball games whenever a player from the Dominican Republic comes to the plate, you hear "La Cucaracha" or some Pitbull song gets played. Is that necessary? What if Sammy Ramirez really likes Brahms or Martina McBride?

I'm just wondering, where's the faux Sammy Hagar in all of this? Would there even be one or are we going to assume everyone loves the rappity rap?

***Ok, Wendy's kind of blew my theory out of the water with this clip, but still discuss.


On Saturday and Sunday, Bashir and I went on Twitter to send out our thoughts and tweet pictures from backstage at the Emmys.

We had a great time being a part of the fun at the Nokia Theater.

If you haven't done so, follow us on Twitter.

Diallo - @calvinred
Bashir - @BashSala

Let the good times troll...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week Closeout: Wendy's Got That Heat

H/T @couchsessions...

For a second I could've sworn this was Melvin Riley III on lead vocals/Heated Beverage Distribution.

Regardless, this solidifies my belief that Wendy's is the best fast food joint.

The track is undeniable.

Flashback Friday

Straight up, for a variety of reasons I'm pissed right now.
My neck hurts, I'm bleary eyed, and I've just been in a seemingly unshakable funk for the past few days.

And to top it all off, I remembered it's the 5 year anniversary of Katrina.

That said, I have a lot of emphaphy for Michel'le at this moment in time. This is a "I'm fed up and I ain't takin' no bullshit no mo'" song.

And I couldn't agree with her more at this minute.

I have to admit, though, her speaking voice vs. her singing voice still f--ks with my head. I can't reconcile it.

Oh well. Have a good weekend.

Michel'le - No More Lies

Ruthless Records | MySpace Music Videos

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Need a Job?

The DEA is hiring contractors in the Southeast.

Folk in D.C., ATL, MIA, and Nawlins, take notice.

My money's on the interview process involving deciphering "O Let's Do It".


Shouldn't we have a relatively young crop of interpretors out in Oakland we can bring to this side of the country? Or have current linguistics advanced past 1997 levels?

Oh, the peeps at Fox are gonna love this one...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/28 Options: Face Ishtstorm or Leave?

I need some help, y'all.

I'm trying to decide what to do Saturday. Right now, I have two options:

1. Go to Princeton (NJ) for some record shopping. It's always good to get out of D.C. and Princeton's close enough that it won't kill my gas tank and I'll be doing something I enjoy or...

2. Check out the C.F. that will be the Glenn Beck's rally.

I have to say, the "Restoring Honor" party is a tad intriguing. In case you haven't been watching, Glenn's been doing his damnedest to teach/co-opt black history:

And I tend to think I'm a helpful person. Maybe I can come to the aid of some of these Maine visitors who get off track.

But really, I'd like to take a page out of the Ground Zero mosque protesters play book and say this to Glenn and Co.:

Take a little consideration.

8/28 marks the 47th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. It's a very emotional and sacred day for some folks who endured a lot of B.S. we all agree was B.S. So why do you have to hold a rally in the same place, on the same day that a man synonymous with helping the poor and downtrodden, and subsequently died for it, made a speech that's cemented in American/world history when you know your movement doesn't have that spirit (despite your insistence to the contrary)?

There's going to be another march, though. Yeah, it's not a "counter" march but when Rev. Al comes to town and I get hit up daily to show up for it, I know the deal.

And hence my desire to leave for the day. I don't know about you all, but everything going on has me wanting to hit the bar.


So what should I do?

Monday, August 23, 2010

In re: Dr. Laura

I haven't posted on the Dr. Laura thing because, frankly, I was more offended that a woman called her with a real issue which she blew off, one I know a lot of people deal with, than that she used the N-Word.

While I support her first amendment rights. There's a war for America's cultural soul going on right now and we can't let the intolerant people win.

Zero Sum, Bitches.

My good friend Derrick asked me to share his two posts about the incident.

Part One

Part Two

Just A Black Dude Walking Through the Crowd

So a union carpenter on his way from his job at the ACTUAL Ground Zero got harassed by one of the crowds of people protesting the "Mosque" going into the other "ground zero", a building several blocks away that used to house a Burlington Coat Factory.

This black dude was called a coward, a Muslim, and people say he "probably voted for Obama."

Just like the debate over illegal immigration, any legitimate concerns and political differences are drummed out by the cadence of pure hatred. Pure religious animosity and healthy portions of xenophobic rhetoric.

This video really lets you know who the people opposing the community center are, and what their limited worldview entails.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Flashback - RIP Abbey Lincoln & Robert Wilson

What a week.

Americans think a communty center shouldn't be built in Manhattan. Maybe it's because they don't want the president visiting there too much (SMFH).

Lost in the sea of B.S. was that two notable musicians died: Abbey Lincoln and Robert Wilson of the Gap Band.

As a memorial to them, here are some clips of them doing what they do best. Ms. Lincoln died a few days after her 80th birthday...

...and Wilson passed at the age of 53. Like Bashir said a while back, black men need to write their memoirs at 30-something.

Regardless, RIP to both.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blackbook Magazine Covers ALL ACCESS

Blackbook Magazine attended the private screening Bashir and I had for friends and family in New York.

As such they are the first publication to report on the short.

They were very kind. Link is below.


Flashback Friday

I'm on vacay right now, back in my hometown.

I've always contended that when Sarah Palin and her lot are talking about the "Real America", they're talking about the place of my birth. I swear, I walk outside in the morning and the birds are singing John Cougar Mellencamp songs. However, the area's largest employer is a university and therefore there are a lot smarty pants professor types around here. We all know they aren't "real". Not to fear, though. The number two job spot is Walmart. I think that qualifies for Real America status.

That said, there have been a lot of people from my area who've gone on to do great things but we can't claim too many famous folks. I mean, unless you're an avid PBS watcher, you don't know who the most distinguished alum of my high school is. And the other famous person from here, well, he's more famous because Ronald Reagan played him in a movie. But we do have some famous folks by extension from the Copper Country and this Flashback is dedicated to one of them.

Dennis Coffey was associated with the legendary Funk Brothers, the backing band that provided the foundation for a number of those Motown hits you know and love. According to all accounts I can find, Coffey claims he'd come up from Detroit to visit family in Copper City, which is about 20 miles north of my home. In Copper City, he learned to play the guitar at the age of 13.

So please thank my home area for nurturing the talent that would help create one of the greatest breaks of all-time:

And another nice track:

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Not To Make Jokes But

reminds me of

Malcolm X Does Fox News

my boy Thom Williams posted this on facebook.

what's funny is that, at the time that was probably seen as a pretty tough interview and heated exchange.

but it's WAY more civilized than the shit we put on TV nowadays.

Sometimes the Internet Isn't Just For Porn

When you study old classical music you learn that many of the greatest hits of classical music consisted of sections that re-interpreted and re-worked earlier compositions by their contemporaries.

As long as their was music there was reinterpretation and remixing.

The Working Poor

This incident is all over the news right now.


Almost every news media site is treating this like "look at all these people looking for a handout." One even reported "when we arrived, it was hard to believe we were still in America."

Really? Because all I see is black people, most of them working-class poor people, trying to get some help.

Seems to me, we don't have much empathy for the poor in this country. I also think that this story is getting way too much attention and that alone is suspect in an election year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is TI A Better Rapper Than He Pretends To Be

I heard a story that TI used to rap really fast but was told to slow down his flow to match better with what was selling out of the south.

I think he KILLS his verse on this. His voice sounds different. I wonder if all these years he's been pretending to be a more simple MC than he's capable of.

Fancy - Drake feat. TI

How many other rappers are secretly far more skilled wordsmiths than their labels allow?

(Woah...not so fast their Souljah Boy Tellem)

Montana Fishburne Is The New Normal

Montana Fishburne is every good dad's worst nightmare.

And yet it brings to mind a few questions.

1. Was Larry a good daddy?

There's no way to know if this young lady had a good upbringing. As I said about the little black kid Sandra Bullock adopted, being raised in Hollywood does NOT equal "everything's gonna be fine". In fact, the women who set the standard for this sort of thing, mentioned below, were both from rich families...but who knows what happened behind closed doors. You just don't know what's happening in a person's family.

I tend to believe that women who do porn or prostitution were abused emotionally or physically in some way. Maybe I'm naive and maybe there are women who were raised well in loving families and just decided that wanted to explore their sexuality to the point of prostitution or pornography.

Maybe... but I seriously doubt it. Because you can explore everything you want to without getting paid and involving random people.

2. What's wrong with just being rich?

Paris Hilton had something like a 150 million dollar trust fund when she turned 18...but it wasn't enough. Having enough cash to start 12 small corporations wasn't enough. She needed people to see her walking down the street and know who she was. She needed the fame. She set the standard.

Kim Kardashian (another rich kid) followed suit.

So...and the reason I wanted to post about this is that...I think this Montana Fishburne thing is kind of a sea change moment in our culture.

If it works, and she gets sustained fame from it, it will literally mean degrading yourself sexually is a CONSISTENTLY successful way to get famous.

And I think that's that's lame.

3. Is fame really worth all that?

I was watching the breathtaking Basquiat documentary (you NEED to see it) and Fab Five Freddy at one point was saying that when he and Basquiat were coming up fame was great but, "now fame is some bullshit."

I agree with that.

Reality TV, paparazzi and the internet kind of ruined it. Being famous is not interesting. I don't doubt that it makes for a more fun life in some cases but "better" is not a word I'd use.

Plus there was a time that being "famous" meant being in the company of Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Marlon Brando and Peter O'Toole...

...now it's being in the company of the Double Rainbow guy, New York from Flavor of Love and Snooki. Those are your peers. They're wack.

Even as late as 2000, Diallo and I would go to parties in LA and see celebs and there'd be NO paparazzi and it would be dope. It felt exclusive and fun.

That's over with.
4. Lastly, my personal feelings on fame were best summed up by Tupac.

"all I want is money, fuck tha fame, I'm a simple man"



yes, I get it that much of this article, considering who wrote it, is ironic. deal.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kane & Lynch 2 = Yes please!

Kane & Lynch had some of the best voice acting I've ever had the experience of witnessing in a game.

Very excited for this one.

Aside from Madden 11...what are you playing right now?

I'm just about to jump into Alan Wake, wish me luck.

Revisiting Tyson and Washington

I've been watching the masterful James Toback documentary about Mike Tyson a lot lately.

I've come to believe it's brilliant in its single focus on the subject talking about themselves.

That said, I hadn't thought much about the Desiree Washington rape allegation in some time. I remember the feeling on the street, among of lot of my peers, as it was almost a decade later when Anita Hill made allegations against Clarence Thomas, was that somehow she just wanted to bring a good black man down.

Damn people are stupid...but this is before the internet age where you had about a thousand independent fact checkers and memes were more diverse.

At any rate, here's three fascinating segments of a documentary I found that deals more in-depth with interviews closer to that time.

Time flies.

Do you remember how you felt about that whole thing?


I wanna wish my Mom a happy birthday.

This video, today, reminded me of my Mom.

Have a great day, Mom.

I've Been Getting Into Frank Zappa

Mainly by listening to Joe's Garage which is a sort of Tommy-Esque rock opera.

It's epic.

Sy Borg

Crew Slut (start at about 4:14 after the song Catholic Girls which, out of context, might be a little misleading)

I won't review the work since that would be fairly obnoxious in 2010 aside from saying that his experimentation with sound clearly set the stage for groups as disparate as Air, The Avalanches and Radiohead...the above is pretty representative of it.

If you like this, you should get the whole album. Not available online so you gotta Amazon that shizz. But still and all, I love Phish and The Dead so this is right up my alley.

It's never too late to get into good music.

(right, Diallo?)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feist Anyone?

where the hell is FEIST?

Are we getting another album or is she just gonna sit in Canada and count stacks of cash all day for ever?


In the meantime...

We OFFICIALLY Live In An Orwellian Age

Surely many of you have seen this clip of Palin reacting condescendingly to a woman who held up a sign mocking her.

Check out what one of Palin's supporters posted as a response on Youtube.

This is so hysterical. The depths of the hatred some have for Palin is astounding. She quit the governorship for the good of Alaska because the lib haters had bogged down the state in baseless lawsuits and ethics charges. And she is MORE effective for the cause of conservatism now than had she remained governor.

She LEFT office to serve the people. She serves the people who voted for and paid for he campaign better by leaving office.

Get it, dumbasses?

Up is down. Left is right...and of course, War is Peace.

People really will believe ANYthing you tell them.

I'm tired of being unhappy at the stupidity of my fellow citizens...how can I make some money off of this?

I Love Everything About This

Peep Tiki's entire attitude during this segment. So laid back.

This is such a great example of everything that's wrong with Hollywood

Also, I wanna comment on Larry Fishburne's daughters sex tape. Cuz her mentality blows my mind in a way nothing has before.

more to come

Kanye's new video: POWER

I'm feeling this. A lot.

The director, Marco Brambillia, is already well-known in some circles for this piece, on permanent display in the elevators at The Standard Hotel.

Great work in the medium. Give credit to Kanye, he made Takashi Murakami more famous, and now Brambillia. Props.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Kwame's Lastest Victim and Ethically-Challenged Black Pols

Older black politicians have been getting nailed as of late.

Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters both were tagged on ethics charges this past week.

But for me, the biggest story comes out of my home state where Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, former Congressional Black Caucus chair and Kwame's momma, lost her primary race. And chances are, it's largely due to her son and her inability (or lack of wanting) to cut herself off from KK's corruption train.

Famous (almost) last words in 2005...

Since my last Kwame update, dude has managed to get hit with fed charges and a misconduct citation that's just f--king embarrassing. Part of me almost feels bad for him due to that last one.

But back to the issue at hand. I've been hearing rumors from folks in Harlem about getting a Rangel replacement pronto (actually, I've been hearing that for a few years now). Obviously, Kilpatrick's protection of her out-of-pocket family tainted her. Now the question is, who's gonna be taking their place? Rangel succeeded Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who had his problems, to say the least. Kilpatrick replaced Barbara-Rose Collins who, IMO, is bat-shit crazy. So is there any hope that crazy will not beget corrupt, or vice versa, in districts that represent "us"?

At least in MI-13's case, Kilpatrick's (damn near certain) replacement might be a good start. His name is Hansen Clarke. His life story is stuff movies are made of. But when I was still in the state and he was trying to run for mayor of Detroit, everyone thought he was a little looney. Not the bad kind of looney, though. Just a really big thinker who couldn't always corral his thoughts. He finished 4th to Kwame and two other candidates.

Now, though, I'm glad he's around. For the life of me, I can't see Hansen slipping up like Kwame, Charlie or Maxine. But like I posed a few lines back: Who's waiting in the wings for those other folks' jobs?

Friday Flashback

It's no secret around these parts I like my '80s tunes to have a heavy dose of synth in them and the more obscure, the better.

In the case of this Flasback, I don't think it's that obscure and really, it's a little more on the love-y dove-y side of things than I typically venture in to. Still, it works for me. It worked for me so much I bought the album on iTunes.

As it turns out, Bryan Loren is sort of a big deal. He wrote or produced tracks for MJ, Barry White and Shanice, among others. One of those "others" helped him score his biggest hit to date.

Here's a teenaged Bryan in all his Eriq La Salle-esque jheri-curled glory with a nice pop-ish summer love song.

Question: Would he actually be able to get in the water with that curl?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Milky J (aka Bashir)

The biggest song on the internet.

Your boy killed it on last night's show.

And don't sleep. We're creating some classic tracks with The Roots that will hopefully be available in mp3 form

(special shout to Kamal).

Nicolay's Earlier Work

Our site gave a lot of publicity to The Foreign Exchange albums and the most recent album from Nicolay.

But some of you are sleeping on his earlier work.

Here is one of the best songs off of City Lights 1.5. Enjoy:

...and check out the whole 2005 album. Definitely some slept on gems.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Keith Sweat's Platinum House

How come no one told me Keith Sweat has his own show on Centric?!

If the first three minutes of the episode below doesn't make you laugh at least once, we may question your Message pass.

The show's website is here.