Thursday, September 30, 2010

Going Viral

Bashir and I worked on this piece for last night's episode with Jimmy, Justin Timberlake, and of course, The Roots.

A HISTORY OF RAP



We had discussions, where we talked about what would qualify a song for this chronology (2pac and BIG versus De La Soul and Public Enemy). In the end, it needed to be the songs that broke through to mainstream success.

So please don't hate us because there are no Primo-produced joints in there. We had three minutes to hit all of the major shifts and sea changes of the last 30 years!

Most of all, we hope this gets you hype.

Night Catches Us

I actually saw a rough cut of this with Black Thought a while ago. Very compelling and not the kind of black film that typically makes it to theaters.


Check it out.

Someone Responds to My Post About "The Exhausted Woman"

an anonymous poster writes in response to my calling the woman who blamed Obama for her economic situation an idiot...

To Wit:
I’m confused. You start off with a sensible point (paraphrasing): the influence of any president on the current performance of a $14 trillion market-based economy is far (far) less material than conventionally assumed, especially relative to other deeper and far more profound underlying economic forces at work; and by extension people shouldn’t blame Obama for what has been a particularly painful combination of an international recession and a seizing up of global credit markets beginning in 2007-2008.

So far, so good. I'm with you. But then, in the very next paragraph, you assign primary blame for the above “mess” to (wait for it) Bush? Come on, now: If you’re going to make an argument (and a good one, I think), at least follow it through to its logically consistent conclusion.

I won't defend myself as I think the commenter makes a good point and goes on to make others.

My error is that my language conflated "Bush era American economy" with "Bush policy induced Economic Morass."

The Bush era American economy was only two years ago....that takes time to fix.

All Access Trailer

Diallo and I have a trailer for our short film ALL ACCESS.
video

We're also working with Ryan Leslie on another screening in October. Can't wait for you guys to see it.

HELLO HELLO...Who is this?

Do I need to start watching ABC news more often?

How long as this person been on the air?

Did you guys know she was on the air and why didn't you tell me?

So sad.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Every Little Step With Mike Tyson and Wayne Brady

Our friend Robin Thede from The Message produced this.


out. of. control.

SEAL's new song is funnier OUT of context

imagine, somehow, this video was shot on a plantation in South Carolina in 1786:

Seal - Secret (AKA "I belong to you")

HA!

(yes, I'm going to hell, I know)

More Fun With 70's Hair Commercials

(from the comments)


1. I love the brothers face who appears picture in picture. He's all, "yes...I take my hair seriously, my man."

2. You just know the main dudes family was like, "Look, ya'll, Ervin got a commercial! He's gon make it big in hollywood."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New House Track

I'm lovin' this

Grammaphonedzie - Why Don't You

A Few Thoughts About Bishop Eddie Long

Here's his speech about his scandal.


1. Future generations will look back at all these dudes and wonder why we didn't see scandals coming a mile away. "Men of God" dressed in fine jewelry living audacious lifestyles and we never imagined they could be corrupt? HA! "Gospel Of Prosperity" my ass.

2. I think men who preach anti-gay rhetoric and then behave in gay behavior have a different perspective than we give them credit for.

I think these gay dudes from priests to politicians feel guilt for being gay so they "atone" by preaching against homosexuality. It's not that they think they're hypocrites...but they are more like GE or other large corporations. They do some "good" to balance their "bad". They pollute a lake so they build a school in Africa.

In the case of these gay powerful men their sense of what's "good" is to preach against and speak against and legislate against homosexuality.

It's sick thinking, no doubt, but I think it makes sense. In their twisted up brains, they think they're like Batman they wanna keep you from "experiencing" something like what they deal with.
Don't be like unto me.

3. When is America gonna finally wake the hell up and stop being surprised that people we elevate to the stature of a God behave as if they have god-like impunity?

I'm not saying we should stop elevating people to the stature of a god. I still worship Michael Jordan and put none before him...but I'm also aware that, as a deity, it's important for "Be Like Mike" to sleep with lots of women and gamble and be a narcissistic selfish monster in many ways.

Your God causes a mudslide that wipes out a village. My god punched Steve Kerr in the face for playing defense too physically in practice. Why...

Because that's what Gods do. They misbehave.

Unexpected Celeb Endorsements

First--how did I not know this existed?



Freddie D giving hair care tips. How far in the pocket does the Johnson Company/Afro Sheen have him for?

Second-- in 80 years, what product will Barack Obama be endorsing?

It's not like MLK hasn't done it? Remember when he showed up in a telephone ad a few years back?

So, I'm just asking, what's up next?

And man, that guy must be tripping on some of the best stuff on the planet...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kanye and Cleveland

Kanye delivers a hot beat for Cleveland.



Have we heard this beat before? I have high hopes for the new album.

SNL and Who Did It First

In light of the current SNL controversy about tiny hats.

It brings to mind another who did it first moment: Botox for Balls

SNL

Chappelle

Who did it first?

Does it matter, considering that comedy ideas often appear in two different minds at one time?

SNL Open Thread

How was your weekend? What did you do?

Did you watch SNL? Did you see Jay Pharoah?


What did you think of the show?

Friday, September 24, 2010

With Music By Amy LaCour

One Man's Stone


Amy's a buddy. Voice kinda reminds me of the Carole King I grew up on. Nothing wrong with that...not. at. all.

Jay-Z's Just Different...

I love to see the picture below...


"I heard motherfuckers saying they made Hov - made Hov say, 'Okay, so, make another Hov.'"


Warren Buffet, Steve Forbes, and Jay-Z.

DO yourself a favor and read the article HERE.

Maybe it's because I'm so stocks-and-market-focused these days (we should all be saving and investing our money but that's a topic for another day), but when I see cats doing it on this level, given where they came from, it legitimately makes me happy.

Here's a snippet:

We gassed up a Gulfstream 450 one warm September morning and flew one of the most successful recording artists of all time, Jay-Z, to meet the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffett, on the latter's home turf of Omaha, Neb. The intent was to capture their very different perspectives on success and wealth and to talk about the social obligations that come with each. They ended up finding out they had more in common than anyone would have expected between a 40-year-old rapper from the Brooklyn projects and the 80-year-old sage of compounded returns.

Flashback Friday - Don Cornelius Birthday Edition

It almost goes without saying that Don Cornelius has had a rough last two years. The Soul Train Awards missed an airing, he sold the rights to Soul Train, and now he's on probation for spousal abuse.

But at least next week he'll be celebrating his 74th birthday. That's something to look forward to.

As a tribute, here are two clips. The first, well, I posted it 'cause there's just something about Vanity. I can't really put my finger on it; all I know is it's hard not to look at her. I feel bad for those other two. What do we call them? 4?

The second is "rare" footage of Don in the famed Soul Train line. It didn't end so well.

Happy Born Day, Don.
(and thanks for selling your rights so the public could finally stop buying Japanese bootlegs in order to get a hold of those classic shows).


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Palin's Back To Using His Middle Name

This clip is from the last 24 hours.



They might actually lose in 2012. It's hard to run when you shoot yourself in the foot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Nutcracker drink - NORE breaks it down

Do they have this stuff in your town?

Name That Locale

Where was this clip shot?

And no cheating (aka clicking the vid).

There are clues. See if you can catch them.

But this plays on something Thomas mentioned in the "Anatomy" post comments.




I'm of two minds on stuff like this:

1. It's cool aspects of US "urban" culture have spread.
2. F--k. The world truly is a ghetto. One big diamond-encrusted, Escalade-driving, shades-wearing ghetto.

I'm going to take the position that hip-hop, at this point, has fatally damaged the ability to project an image of "us" beyond what's been depicted in this video.

Basically, if I ever thought I could go anywhere in the world and not be asked why I don't have a stud in my ear, face tats or speak like Waka/Weezy/Hot Rapper de jour, I should stop right now.

Thanks hip-hop.

I hate you.

Any thoughts (and place guesses) from folks?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Made Me Laugh

(via Byron Crawford)

No Homo

Anatomy of a Sketch

A few weeks ago Tommy Davidson was on the show. He did this thing that black comics do that I HATE. It's a total pet peeve of mine.

They talk about the difference between white and blacks and list stuff "we" don't do.

"black people don't go in the woods"
actually, I used to go camping with my dad every summer growing up.

"black people can't swim"
I swam every year in high school

"black people don't be using them big words"
fuck you, asshole.

"black people hate dogs"
I don't like dogs but a ton of my black friends own one

etc. etc. etc... that shit is annoying and furthers false ideas. It has a net negative effect on perceptions.

So... Diallo and I were joking about that in the audience and came up with an idea for a character.

Enter: Lamar "The Starr" Lomax

Just in case people didn't catch the fact that Lamar was naming things no one has ever thought of a thing "black people hate" we added the cutaways to Questlove so you at least show that many blacks don't like this brand of comedy.

And, to be honest, this was gut-churningly nerve wracking to do. I don't do standup and this was scary. But when the curtain opens...the fear goes away.

This Lady Is An Idiot

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet. There's a myth in this country as old as time itself that somehow the President can increase the number of jobs we have.

That's not true.

Secondly, this lady is completely, as are most Americans, ignorant of the reality of the situation in which Bush left us. We were on the BRINK of a Depression. It's a minor miracle we stabilized our markets.

But somehow it's Obama's fault that she and her husband can't find a job.


Lame.

The last thing I'll say is that I strongly think technology is making certain jobs obsolete. Will we need a post office in 5 years? Will there be jobs at paper mills in 10 years?

Technology favors people who have skills that employ a working knowledge of that tech. But, for many Americans, as Bill Clinton noticed when he was President...sorry but your job isn't coming back.

You need to learn to do something else.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Boardwalk Empire

I'm officially excited about a show.
First episode wasn't perfect, but I'll be damned if I don't love history brought to life on a big budget.

And I can't wait to learn more about "Chalky White."

Lots of potential.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

I'm pressed for time so I just picked one of the first tracks that came up in the iTunes shuffle.

Just for some trivia, give me the name of this album and the instrumental song on it that I think was dope.

Yes, I'm asking you to read my mind.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Blame Chicago

No wedding takes place without this song.



I hear it in my sleep sometimes, but anyone who wants a hit record, please take note. When it comes to dancing, especially aunts dancing, not much has changed since the days of "call and response."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modern Family Is The New Cosby Show

I always assumed a black show would be the heir to the The Cosby Show. Nope, it's Modern Family. A show that not only laugh out loud funny but makes you wanna be around your family or start or family or reminds you of the things you love about your family.

That's what Cosby did and that's what Modern Family does. Kudos to them.

Also, I think it's AMAZING they were able to get a family show greenlit that's set in Los Angeles. They never talk about the setting and most TV execs want you to set TV shows somewhere, "middle America can understand". But this show defies convention and speaks honestly about the fact that the families in LA (though I suspect the show is more about Rancho Cucamonga or a similar suburb) are just as "family" as, say, a family in Brooklyn in 1986.

You should watch it.

---

ps - the ONLY negative thing about the show is that I think they've made the mother character a little too shrill. She's just not fun and I don't know why anyone would wanna hang out with her. I hope in season two they show her being fun to be around.

What Kind Of Music Is This?

Funk?

Jazz?

Old Soul?



Thoughts?

(admit it, when that steel drum comes in at 2:07 that shit is kinda hot, right?)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Are These Guys Smiling

(and dressed like slaves and confederate soldiers)




Find Out Here.

(Diallo said I should have gone dressed as Nat Turner and shook things up a bit.)

Quick! Who Produced This Beat



(hint: i was with him at the Jay/Em concert last night)

Performance of the show?

This one: Monster, Jay, Yeezy and Nikki MInaj. those drums sounded like the hand of God in Yankee Stadium



Chris Rock was behind this pole.

ALSO: I met DJ Premier last night. Apparently he's dating ... nevermind. Can't be giving away trade secrets online. I was honored to meet that dude actually and told him so.



and he produced this:



(I love how early 90's videos had directors who were like, "Make that shit HYPE!")

MAKE THAT SHIT HYPE!


MAKE THAT SHIT HYPE!


MAKE THAT SHIT HYPE!


Wait...were all these videos directed by the same dude? same outfit, same camera angles, same everything. (CS3 perhaps? Wazzup?)

Lastly, I saw Amber Rose last night.

Her pictures don't do her justice. She's an amazon and sucks all the energy out of the room.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Same Song

Ever thought Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and everyone in "pop" music these days sounds alike?

It's because they do. One dude produced all those songs.

But to call them songs (plural) is probably incorrect.

Someone took three of those songs and layered them over one another.



Listen in stereo headphones. It's kind of amazing. Or the opposite of amazing.

Not a surprise, but pretty nuts all the same.

In Honor Of The VMA's

Young people are taking over! (right?)

So, in honor of the VMA's, here's the music I used to listen to in College.

Coltrane


Fitzgerald


I didn't discover either of these artists until college. I felt like I'd hit the jackpot.

Wish I'd Thought Of This


(INCEPTION trailer re-dub)



This reminds me of the kind of thing we used to do in college. I wonder how many of our funny college ideas we've forgotten over the years. Back then, we didn't over-think stuff the way it seems we do now. We just said, "this makes us laugh, let's do it."

And they're hilariously accurate:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Your Weekend Crazy

I've long held the belief that little good has come from Ohio. The rare exceptions being Dayton-area funk bands and Halle Berry.

This video of the contentious Stark County Republican primary race for county treasurer has been making the rounds.

Demonstrating pure Ohio nuttiness, Phil Davison comes off only slightly more sane than that Basil Marceaux guy or our good friend Alvin Greene.

I think he'd say he's just super-passionate. But your passion should never cause nervous laughter, as his does.

I have to say, for all the f--ktard stuff that's happened politically recently, a few years from now I think we'll all be wondering what the hell we were smoking in 2010.

It was some really potent isht, no doubt...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashback Friday, Pt. 2 (Andre 3000 edition)

Remember his verse on this?



Yeah? Well, remember his verse on this?



Okay, well, that's impressive, but do you remember his verse on this?

(Outkast comes in around 3:40)

Yep, me neither. Ha!

Flashback Friday

For the second week in a row, I have a song with no "official" video.

But surprisingly, Howard Johnson doesn't seem to have any official videos out on the interwebs. That's a little strange for an artist of his standing, coming out in the '80s, not to have isht for promotional vids. If anyone knows where I can find some, point me in that direction. Also, for whatever reason, I thought he was British but Wiki says he's from Miami. Since everyone and their brother plus their brother crap-ass hotel/restaurant chain looks to be named "Howard Johnson," I can't really find good intel on dude. Anyone got some?

Because I dig me some Howard Johnson. Nasally voice and all. Even sitting down, I gotta move some way, somehow, to this track.

I won't let some janky Soul Train clip take that away from me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Made My Day Already

Hope it makes your too.


Got a few buddies who've worked with the org over the years. This is awesome.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Restoring America


Having just finished watching Ken Burns' epic Civil War documentary at the expense of many nights of sleep I learned that these types of people have been around as long as America has existed.

And people unwilling to be persuaded by the facts have been around as long as there's been people.

But as we're discomforted by this here, even in wealthy and "smart" European countries like Greece, England and France there are riots, rallys and protests over programs being cut they can no longer afford. For example: any person looking at the facts will see that France must raise it's retirement age to stay liquid. And yet, super smart French students disagree.

A friend from Paris put it this way, "In America the conservatives are older and want to stop progress and reform. In France the conservatives, in some sense, are younger and want to stop progress and reform."

C'est la vie.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Everything About This Is Bad


ahh, Religion.

1) I always think it's BS when someone says a person's actions here in America are putting soldiers lives at risk. I disagree...I think being in Iraq and Afghanistan put soldiers lives at risk. I am neither supporting nor disavowing both wars. But it seems like those places won't be MORE dangerous because of this pastor.

Those place are dangerous and are gonna stay dangerous.

2) The pastor is great at PR. And I'm loving that mustache. And he's a total assclown.

3) This book burning feels like the kind of stupid thing that could actually mushroom into something far worse. This ain't gonna end well.

4) On a very basic level you'd think every real American would always be against burning books. That's what the Nazi's and the Communists did. Aren't those our enemies? Why would anyone engage in something they abhorred in their enemies.

I think it's the same reason he told her that people need to turn the other cheek...most of the time. People bend their morality to fit their purpose. Don't Kill...unless you have to. Give to the poor...except welfare.

This may sound crazy, but I kind of think Obama needs to get involved MORE. And yet there's a catch 22 for the poor guy. His enemies think he's a Muslim anyway, so if he's seen as trying to sow the seeds of peace...he'll be seen as looking out for his peeps.

Still, he's the President and shit is tough, but he needs to figure it out. He needs make a bold statement on freedom of religion in America.

what should he do?

Local Commercials

The commercials you see late at night are usually determined by where you live.

We live in NYC these days. Hence, the ad below.



Love Vybz Kartel.

Apparently, I'm Down With These Cats

I've never heard of these cats but a buddy who's a popular music blogger let me know that I'm down with both...

StatikSelekta

And I'm down with

Yelawolf


BECAUSE....apparently I was with them at City Winery this weekend in NYC. The friend I was with was like, "are those dudes famous?"


(yela has on the red cap...and about a thousand tats but people were sweating him)
---

Incidentally, whilst at City Winery I saw this new Japanese band called "The Suzan"...they killed it. Their sound was like early B-52's meets Iggy Pop.

I don't know if the stuff on their myspace page does justice to how dope they were.

Epic Beard Man

This article from Cracked.com will blow your mind.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18725_the-truth-about-epic-beard-man-viral-video.html

It's the tale of a video you have seen on Drudge and other big name sites.

It's a little lengthy, but it exposes the biases of the internet. Definitely worth ten of your minutes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Coming To A Battlefield Near You



Damn...just like in MW2

New Music: The Foreign Exchange - "Maybe She'll Dream of Me"

A favorite around these parts, Nic and Tay are back with the follow-up to Leave It All Behind. Authenticity is the album's name and is due out October 12th.

I have to say, Phonte's ability to move from rapper to singer, especially on the lyrical side, is what I probably enjoy about him the most, other than him just being a cool dude all-around.

Seriously, someone get him a variety show. He can entertain for days.

What Do New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Miami Have In Common?

This

Flashback Friday

I always hate when a song doesn't have an official video, and that's kind of the case here.

The Tammi Terrell joint Diallo posted reminded me once again that Stevie came up with some dope isht beyond his own discography. Case in point, "I Can't Help It".

Here's another one of those "Stevie Wrote It" joints that only a person with no pulse could hate.

Don't quote me on this, but I think Stevie and Sergio Mendes had some quid pro quo deal going on for track production/writing. Mendes helped Wonder on "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" and Wonder penned "The Real Thing" for Mendes.

Personally, I'll take "Real" over "Worry" but it's hard to argue with anything Steveland has ever done. Hell, both of these joints are his, in a way.

So if you want to check Sergio & Co. get down on the Mike Douglas Show, go here.

Otherwise, just let this one ride. I don't know what it is but this track just seems to lighten whatever load I might have. Just straight sonic dopeness.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

That Song Was A Cover?!

Apparently Stevie originally wrote and sold the song to Motown for Tammi Terrell.



It's still fire, in a totally different way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cee Lo Subverts The Dominant Paradigm

Fuck You, Cee Lo Green


I LOVE THIS.

Not that it's brilliant...but the idea that she's "stepped up her game" or some other such madness is the exact kind of thing that most black music is about nowadays spanning all the way back to Beyonce singing about "scrubs".

Like TI said on Mayback Music III, "how you bitch gon feel in that/when you two pull up next to this."

Cee Lo's subversion of the financial giant as most desirable entity ethic has happened in urban music before. I remember De La Soul doing it on their first record. Still, it's been a while since someone with credibility, like Cee Lo, has said in song that "money isn't everything".

It's nice to see.

The Tiger Woods View From Sweden

Did you know that many of the commenters on Swedish newspaper sites see Elin Nordegren, their fellow country-woman, as a lucky gold-digger that no one should feel sorry for?

If you read Dagens Nyheter , a Stockholm daily, you'll see pattern in the comments of stories about Tiger's divorce (and using the very awesome Google Translate of course.)

To wit:

Sure, I admit, I'm jealous! I would also like to get married and get divorced and cheated if I get $ 100 million to plaster on the wound. Not one more day of life with other work than I want, no trouble with bills, hey-e festival in the Caribbean, I think I will take first best o First Class check in at the exclusive resort, of course, including butler ... Poor little rich girl

surputte, 09:47, 26 August 2010.

Elin has well been pretty good hourly rate anyway!

John 02:39, 27 August 2010.

Elin is not better than other golddiggers. Cynical, selfish, crazy money!

May, 15:45, 26 August 2010.

What is it they call women who get money after having slept with a man? One can see really that we (or Yanks) are living in a women's discriminatory society where women go from poor to wealthy insane simply by sleeping with a rich man and then be different from the same man. Women can! Become rich by making a distinction is thus ...

Marten, 09:41, 26 August 2010.

Woah!

And there were many many many more like that on both Dagens and other sites.

How strange that the focus over here in America has been so much "poor Elin" and "Tiger's a liar and a cheat" whereas over in Sweden it's different.

I wonder if the Swedes overwhelmingly "equal" sense of the sexual power balance contributes. I mean, when I was in Sweden, I didn't see any dudes picking up the check at dinner. Everyone paid their fair share. No opening doors or asking ladies to dance. Not a chivalrous attitude to be sure but I think it contextualizes the attitudes among some there that Elin was golddigger who got lucky and is getting even luckier.

What an inconsistent world we live in.

Apparently Good Investigative Journalism Still Exists

Vanity Fair on Sarah Palin

To Wit:

Palin departs from the script and speaks as if from the heart, describing her fear and confusion upon discovering that Trig would be born with Down syndrome. “I had never really been around a baby with special needs,” she tells her listeners. For what it’s worth, this statement is untrue. Depicting the same moment of discovery in her own book, Palin writes that she immediately thought of a special-needs child she knew very well: her autistic nephew. Such falsehoods never damage Palin’s credibility with her admirers

I LOVE reading good investigative journalism but I do worry that there's no money for it with shrinking ad revenues for print. I think Obama, sadly, may need to step in and provide permanent federal funding for something akin to the AP but that has the independence of The Federal Bank or the GAO. I know that's a totally socialistic POV...but I think we need a vibrant 4th Estate or our country will go to shit.

I Like This More, Cold War Kids

Not typically a fan of the hipster stuff, but this I think is great...and yes, it's old

I Like This. Kelis, A Capella

Ground Zero Mosque

a reader of this blog sent this to me. it's pretty bad. not really funny...


...as with many right-wing tropes, there are logic gaps you could drive a truck through.

Does that mean that since Timothy McVeigh was a Christian we can't build any Churches near the Oklahoma Federal Building?

No, because that would be dumb.

It's not even that I support the Mosque, as my own views on religion aren't in the mainstream. But stupid still gets under my skin.