Monday, September 27, 2004

“ja joe jada” jack

the city never sleeps
full of villains and creeps

From the opening ‘light-saber’-vibrations ushering in the dramatic return of Ja Rule you know it’s time, once again, for a Rotten Apple Anthem. Blocking off both ends of the alley the Don and the Champ hold down the dark threats just lovely. So let us daydream with city pride along with the switched up chorus.

(Ja Rule)
I got a hundred guns, a hundred clips and I’m from New York
I got a semiautomatic that spits next time if you talk

(Fat Joe)
I got a hundred guns, a hundred clips and I’m from New York
you can tell the way a homie spit I’m from new york
100 ways to make a grip I’m from new york
you can tell i get real ignorant I’m from new york

I got a hundred guns, a hundred clips and I’m from New York
Ruff Ride and D-block and shit, fuck what you thought
you can’t take shit for granted, cause life is too short
I got a hundred guns, a hundred clips and I’m from New York

And this is how we do...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Is Brooklyn in the house?

...because they got the block on lock...

I had moved out of 230 St. James Place, Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill, Brooklyn a few months before my next door neighbor bka Biggie Smalls, was shot. On March 10th 1997, the morning after he was shot, I was visiting the hood totally by coincidence but for the last time… until this past Saturday. Through the rain, I was surprised to see that the fried chicken joint, was now a halal chicken joint but not surprised to see that the old yellow spray-painted ‘Junior Mafia’ tag near the Fulton corner was painted over. And no irony was lost on me when I saw that there’s a new little ‘drug store’ on the corner.

The block parties that used to happen along St. James in the summer months were always warm family affairs with the old folks smiling, kids running around and teenagers scoping each other out as Wu-bangers bumped. One block over, past Gates, they even got some award for ‘most improved block in the city for 1995’ or ’96 or something like that…

So I was really set to criticize the Dave Chapelle Block Party. I mean… it didn’t feel like a ‘block party’ at all…

I loved that the set-up was in front of the old ‘Broken Angel’ joint, it was “free” and the line-up of performers was just about flawless. But why couldn’t it just be a regular block party? Put flyers up around the hood, hire the same security guards and document the show and crowd! There was so much room on the street it was kind of embarrassing… don’t get me wrong I’m sure the bad weather had a lot to do with the small turnout… but so did the catering to the internet crowd rather than the neighborhood crowd (all props due to Okayplayer for holding down ‘that’ audience on BOTH fronts). And when D ‘applied’ for tickets the form asked for age, height, weight! Ethnicity! Eye color! Hair color! A movie can be cast based on whatever the director wants… but don’t front like this a new Wattstax.

But like I said I was really set to criticize but then I read the LOVE and I realized… well OF COURSE it was one of the best shows ever put together…

If I was going to list some of the strongest shows I’ve seen it would include Black Star (at the old Tramps), Fugees (at Tramps), Kanye (last year at SOBs with Common, Kweli, Twista…), Big Daddy Kane (at Joe’s Pub), Freeway (controlling the crowd at House of Blues New Orleans), Common (at Summer Stage and BB Kings), Badu (opening for D’Angelo) and Dead Prez (at SOBS with Tahir, Killer Mike, Youngbloodz…).

Put all of them together with the Roots and I can’t be mad at that…well maybe a little… ONE, I got there late. TWO, I left early because of weather and hunger. THREE, I had to suffer through a Jill Scott set… nuff said.

I, of course, WILL watch the cable broadcast because I know Michel Gondry will take out all of the LOOONG breaks between sets and take out the empty street space behind the cameras and put in some backstage stuff. He better… I’m already thinking that Spike Lee could have conjured his Brooklyn crane-shots, parted the clouds and had Erykah hitting the double-dutch with some BK school-girls.

Monday, September 13, 2004

New York Invasions

I run this city,I don't dance around like Diddy

Last week, after we saw the worst of these white people leave Money Making Manhattan but before we saw the best of these white people leave Queens, this white guy left the Earth and I spun ‘White People’ for these white people at a party which was probably related to these (mostly) white people.
They keep invading the city but I don’t know if they ever experience it.

But leave it to Yeolee, a non-white fashionista, to force the issue and stage a runway show on an unbearably humid subway platform and make it a velvet-rope event two days after the rest of the city was stranded at stations all over the city.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

‘Welcome!’ to Scoville

I know you gonna let me shine and get mine
Seventeen year old Scoville Jenkins, repping HTL stepped to the International Tennis Organization like Jigga’s old boys…
“Ayo ITF, can I get Open?”
“You know it!”
said the ITF, “but first you gotta get through the USTA Boys 18s National Championship.”

Sco became the second black player to make it into said finals (after James Blake) since the tournament began!… and then went on to win it!… and then got the wild card spot to compete in the ‘04 US Open!… and then…(screeeeech!) drew Andy Roddick for his first round. A-Rod of the courts… the player ranked number TWO in the world. Sco was ranked 1,441.

So we’re in the Arthur Ashe Stadium up in Section Nosebleed, Row Way-the-fuck-back-there... and the crowd is welcoming Scoville, the underdog, to his first tour-level event. “Let’s go, Sco!”
WHAM! The first match flies by. 6-0.
There are big cheers for every good play that Sco puts out there but dumb fumbles and easily missed strikes at the net showed Sco’s inexperience. But the crowd keeps cheering… at least until Roddick loses one game… OK maybe two… four?

Even if Sco could handle the heat from the spotlight on Roddick, my man was completely overwhelmed by his serves. Sco got served, fo’ reals!… at 152 miles per hour!… the fastest serve EVER fired at the Us Open!

I was hoping a young black dude on the come up could show ‘em how the south do but Roddick stepped in like he knew Juicy J bringing it like 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

Summary: Sco brought the dirty dirty but Roddick mopped the floor.
And apparently Sco made TEN times his career earnings by getting served in this one match.

I’ll be checking for you in the future though, Sco.
In-between-time you kick back to “S. Carter Tennis” (“Advantage: Jigga”) with a beat using tennis court sounds and Mike Jones over the same beat.

(charge the MJ track to Government Names)