Tuesday, November 30, 2004

it's an all good thing

Growed up eatin spam sandwiches
Sugar water and mayonnaise sandwich

Martha's meals aren’t what they used to be but some of her new friends are enjoying them and maybe she’ll school some of these cats but who’s gonna hold down the vittles vitals OUTSIDE of the bing. Who’s going to bring the ghetto flavors to you and me? Now, peace to the ‘white boy’ nachos, and pace to Mario Battali’s menu and shalom for the Shabbat but I’m afraid that’s not what I meant.
Have no fear, Trick Daddy Dollars is here… and he has his own cooking show!
Now maybe he can answer all of your kitchen conundrums.
But why, Trick?

I'm doin' this one for the kids in the streets
who ain't missed a beat
do it for the deaf and the blind
and those who don't eat meat

And as he reports on allhiphop.com he’ll cook just about anything…
I cook anything but chitlins, because chitlins smell like a dirty ass.

Monday, November 29, 2004



catch me in the room eatin grouper

I might get with Tim McGraw’s sentiments (“a place where we can lay low, and the Cuervo goes down nice and slow, and the warm wind blows”) if you take out the credit to God… and I am mos def not a Toby Keith fan (“What happens down in Mexico, stays in Mexico”) but I will keep it brief…
I enjoyed a week in the Yucatan. We flew out of Cancun on Thanksgiving and we gave thanks over a Popeye’s four-piece at the ATL Delta hub that we missed this.
Chicken pebil and fish tacos, white sand beaches and a friendly stingray, Palapas and Sol.
I also got to see the ancient ‘basketball’ courts at Chichen Itza where the losers were executed (with honor!) and had their skulls displayed on a platform decorated with skulls…but who knew I was missing the updated version…

I just got off the court where I was whoopin some cats in basketball,
here's a question
that I have to ask y'all
who be killin it?

all my players in the house that can buy the bar
and the ballin-ass niggaz wit the candy cars
when you get on the flo' throw dem 'bows

I’ve already touched on my admiration for Ron Artest when he tried to focus people on Rodman’s ‘game’ rather than ‘games’ but I really had to wince when Ron started off the season diverting attention from his ‘game’ to his ‘game’.
I had hoped for a standout transition year for Artest the way Iverson and Kenyon focused on the team rather than outside distractions or a bad temper but unfortunately his album promotion was nothing compared to the hoopla to follow. The rivalry that already existed between Ben Wallace and Artest could have become the great court battle of the year (Kobe v Shaq doesn’t hit the right balance) but turned out to be just the opening statements.
I’m the first to admit that my interest in particular ball players and rap artists stems, quite often, from their position between ‘the street’ and ‘the high road.’ There is natural drama there. With artists like Beanie Sigel and Peedi Crakk or with athletes like Iverson or Artest, the hope is that they will choose the high road out of the streets but of course the drama comes with NOT knowing if they will. I don’t excuse Artest for shutting down an asshole that thought he could play tough-guy at some ‘safe’ distance…personally, I hate the loud drunk/high motherfuckers who think they’re more important than ‘the game/show’ on the court/stage. I don’t excuse Artest but, as Chris Rock says, “I understand!”
And (surprise!) The Worm agrees.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

40 acres and a demon dog

I thought the motherland-set ‘Sucker Free City’ was sufficient for a spike in Spike-supplied amp-age…
The key to the Keanu / crooked-cop film project 'The Night Watchman' is the killer combo of Spike Lee on direction and James Ellroy on script. I couldn't craft a stronger double-edged sword from more unlikely elements... and so well honed to hack into the thin blue line. A jazz lover directing scenes by a jazz hater! A man who has become cinema’s voice for black issues, black anger and black love conducting words by a man who has become the chronicler of evil white men with power! Both paranoid poets and conspiracy cult leaders! Both Americana’s iconoclasts and racism’s raconteurs! The oft hated-on heat-bringers meld for muckraking mischief with potential to put the po-po pot in the pressure-cooker! Wake-up, indeed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

and the loser is...

Vibe....vibrations...stakes is high

The biggest loser at the 2004 Vibe Awards?
And the nominees are:
- Dr. Dre
for getting sucker-punched right before being honored for a couple decades of brilliant music!
- The Dude for trying to elevate the affair to 'a bridging of generations' only to have the brawl breakout while he’s on stage!
- The hip-hop fans who have to argue once again “It’s not the music! It’s just a couple o’ knuckleheads…blah, blah, blah…”
- UPN 9 Local News Coverage for reporting that the brawl was between ‘rapper Dr. Dre’ and ‘rapper Suge Knight’ due to an ‘East Coast / West Coast feud! (huh?!?)
Young Buck gets the warrant!!!!

can I get an encore… again?

It's not always been this grey.
All things must pass,
all things must pass away.

Just when you thought they couldn’t milk ‘em any further…
The Jay-Z retirement has a movie (wait for the book), the Beatles return with digital-Americana versions, and the Danger Mouse mixing experiment resurfaces in the form of a proper mash-up (sorry, LP).

And while we’re combining TV sweets with MC streets…here’s a very Happee Rascal…

(thanks to Brixey for the Grey Video)

Monday, November 15, 2004

watch ya step, kid

bite my style
I'll bite your motherfuckin ass

For MCs the balance of ‘persona’ and ‘artist’ is always key to long-term success and will be the main factor in judging them posthumously. Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s persona fell somewhere in the realm of the clown princes of rap such as Biz Markie, Flavor Flav and Kool Keith but also verged into the ‘heart on my sleeve’ / ‘fire in my blood’ plot that DMX staked out.
There was a time when rappers couldn’t act crazier; scowling and growling and claiming insanity. Onyx produced some great records but the over-the-top cartoonish ‘nature’ got in the way of their legit ‘nurtured’ anger. Eminem signaled the end of that style as he made the transition from ‘my punchline is more insane than yours’ to the more philosophical ‘what’s real? what’s fake?’ rhyming perspective.
The extreme characteristics of the MCs I mentioned in the first paragraph were so entwined with their rhyme style that there was never a doubt that they were all a little bit crazed (Biz, maybe the least).
Of the MCs that have passed away, I would have assumed I would be relating ODB to his fellow East Coasters, “The Bigs”: Pun, L and The Notorious. Surprisingly, I find myself relating him more to Pac. As strong as their music is, Pac and ODB will be remembered equally (if not more) for their personas, interviews, public character, headlines and rap sheet.
I remember the day after I heard ‘Proteck Ya Neck’ for the first time. A handful of phrases, words and sounds bounced around in my head as I tried to describe it to some friends who had not yet heard it. I thought the song was called ‘Watch ya step, kid’ and one guy said something about "Movin on your left" and another dude said something about climbing a mountain with an electric guitar. But the sound that cut through all of the kung-fu effects was some dude saying “Rollin” on a couple lines in this strange trembling tone that I could only relate to a deeper toned version of Snoop’s smoothe and weird delivery of the words “On an undercover cop!” (from Deep Cover).
ODB transformed words (such as ‘BROOKLYN ZOO!’) and well known phrases (such as KRS-One’s “That's the sound of the police!”) through his delivery. And for me, his brilliance will always be as a vocalist. Many times he misused his ‘master of ceremony’ title when he dominated the stage with rants rather than rhymes. But his voice and delivery could always add an element of off-kilter energy even if the track was already verging on 'controlled chaos' (such as the tail end of the piano riff on ‘Shimmy Ya’ or the off beat chords of 'Brooklyn Zoo')
The Tofu Hut gives a great summary of ODBs career with extensive links to high- and low-lights.
Davey D has a nice account of his memories encountering the persona and art of Ol’ Dirty. One interview he recounts brought another memory to my mind. Davey recalls an interview with ODB in which he was asked what he planned to give back to the community. Davey recalls the tragicomic answer that the Dirt Dog gave: ”Nuttin’!”
I can’t recall if it was the same interview or a similar one afterwards but I vaguely remember him adding to that answer in a much more profound way. He said he gave his MUSIC back to the community.
And that, in my mind and his, should be enough.

UPDATE: Ol’ Dirty Bastard will be laid to rest November 18th at the Christian Cultural Centre in Brooklyn, New York.
(from AllHipHop News)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

duel personalities

each one teach one

A brazen, mustachioed gentleman gave me his calling card yesternight and suggested an “expedited course in handsomeness.” I was familiar with his professorial inclinations and felt his unbeckoned suggestion was a sly insult to my already quite handsome sartorial stylings. I placed my Hpnotiq cocktail on the bar in order to throw down my gauntlet. I bellowed “Pistols! Twenty paces! Dawn!”

But then he introduced me to Hank Shocklee.

So it was all good in the hood, sir.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Jay-z’s startling admission!

Police talked to me rudely
cause I'm young, rich and I'm black and live in a movie

The $10.50 price of a Manhattan ticket for Mr. Carter’s ‘Fade To Black’ seems steep until you break down the expense…

1. A dollar (made from fifteen cents) – For the film being brought to us by a company called Marcy Projects.
2. Thirteen cents – For hearing the movie audience laugh at Jay-z snapping his neck to a track he likes and then quieting down as they watch Jay start flowing to it.
3. Eleven cents – For watching Jay hear the ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulders’ track for the first time.
4. Forty-five cents – For Timbaland enjoying his own work more than anybody while drinking straight from a gallon container and eating a banana.
5. Six cents – For no names or introductions for people on screen since the flick is for the fans and they'll know who's who... such as…
6. Eight cents – For a cut to Freeway’s backstage entrance inspiring some ‘Awww shit’s in the movie theater audience.
7. Nine cents - For Jay imitating the Freeway point and chop MC choreography
8. A dime – For Foxy Brown attempting to repair her outfit.
9. Priceless – For Foxy Brown failing to repair her outfit and pulling a Ms. jackson (actually a PRE-superbowl flash!)
10. Two bits – For Jay telling the camera to catch Kanye likening 'The Black Album' to a movie, with each song like a scene, and Kanye repeating his lines for the camera... and then doing it AGAIN in another scene.
11. Five pennies (for pitching)- For the film showing the crowd chanting “Hova! Hova!” for the song ‘Encore’ as Jay leaves the stage and then showing Kanye in the studio describing part of the ‘Encore’ track as the part where Jay would leave the stage and the crowd would chant “Hova! Hova!”
12. Seven cents – For Kanye playing Jay a beat which ended up on the Kanye album... which made you recall the days when Kanye was only a star to those that read liner notes.
13. Ninety-nine cents – For Rick Rubin accurately describing Jay-z’s ‘99 Problems’ cop-dialogue as “Some Slick Rick shit!” and watching Jay work out his cracker-cop vocals on the line “You some type o’ lawyer…”
14. A one-two, a one-two (or six cents) – For hearing a Rick Rubin / Jay-z collabo that didn’t make the album and realizing how many hot tracks are sitting in the vault somewhere.
15. One penny – For seeing Rick’s polar bear with the fez for the umpteenth time.
16. Priceless – For Jay turning to the camera in order to reprimand the record buying viewers who have forced upcoming MCs to pretend to be something they are not and be afraid to be themselves.
17. A big face Washington – For Jay reciting his “Dead Presidents” rhymes like poetry.
18. A dime and a nickel – For Jay letting the MSG audience rap all the Tupac verses during the memorial section of the concert.
19. Four (play) cents – For hearing the movie audience chuckle at the “Best of Both Worlds/R Kelly” portion of the concert… especially when he does a little jog across the stage.
20. Twelve (play) cents – For hearing R Kelly’s voice either overdubbed or lip-synced for his ‘Best of Both Worlds’ verse
21. Thirty cents – For watching Mary J. Blige do ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ and feeling that mutual admiration between Jay and Mary like “Damn… we here!”
22. Eighty-five cents – For Jay getting all LL on us but then flipping the ‘I Need Love’ verse to punch the line “Cry me a river / build a bridge / and get over it!”
23. A folded one – For Beyonce dressed like her background dancers with extra-large sequins and yellow pumps.
24. A quarter – For Ghostface singing Beyonce's ‘Summertime’ chorus hella outta key but with heartfelt emotions... like Starks always does.
25. A buck-fifty – For Ghostface just wanting to find a mirror backstage so he can look at himself in Slick Rick’s chains and medallions.
26. Sixty-six cents – For watching folks pile into the studio to hear ‘Lucifer’ for the first time.
27. One bit (rounded up to thirteen cents) – For watching Pharell set up the scene for his track (“Like Carlito’s way…”) and although it doesn’t bang like some of the other tracks we’ve heard, he gets Jay to understand exactly the state of mind he needed to feel the track and then watching Jay start to get all ‘RainMan’ working on verses in his head.
28. Not one freakin’ cent – For Fonzworth Bently, or whatever the hell his name is, dancing in the MSG audience.
29. Four and three and two and one cents - Jay giving Beastie Mike D props.
30. Two cents – For Young Guru getting listed on the ‘Fade To Black’ poster along with all of the other guest superstars.

All that for only $10.50! Change clothes and go.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Government / X-it Polls

fighting dirty?

Being not wigga, nigga, nor Chigga I’ll leave it to those who care to go figga…
But the X-man kicked up some dirt that landed on some Government issue shoulders.
The Warscribe’s paragraph goes ‘ch-chk…’

i’m fighting an awful urge to get into the plethora of masquerading whiteboys who love[?] yet overanalyze southern hip-hop, as if there can be some significant pleasure gained from parsing the individual offerings of guys like bun b, lil’jon and slim thug; guys whose musical cannon is best dealt with in an encyclical manner, like tv series dvd box sets. . .

‘…move from the gate now!’

Gun Yoga can’t seem to believe that the ‘I Heart Houston’ contingent could break out the magnifier and scalpel on ‘Track 23’ of ‘Southern Smoke 99’ or whatever the way we (if someone would dare include me with you Paid Journalist Muhfuckuhs) have all done on the singles of our enthusiastic youth huddled around the rewind button. It’s just that NOW those ‘this shit makes life worth livin’ moments are out there for everyone to read. When someone legitimately likes something they can’t talk ENOUGH about it! The Government workers are chin-deep in it AT LEAST!… and for a ‘brother’ like me who loves splashing in the dirty, dirty tide that flows onto my ‘weeks-behind’ shores, it’s a beautiful thing to watch them search for the perfect crunk-ass wave (Talk about painful metaphors, O-dub!).

Kris seems more interested in staring down the barrel of the canon… which is the appropriate position for a context slinger. I’ll ride shotgun for that, too! But Kris takes the obvious position a critic/fan/true-believer has to take if faced with a ‘joint-producing-genre’ he may not really be feeling. He can’t knock the cultural hustle but don’t expect the ‘White Tees Remix’ bumping his Bent. That's not a contradiction.

I can’t call it, kicko! But I’ll check the X-box just because dude has had the only Cool Breeze blog reference I’ve seen since yours truly.

P.S. I have to say this… I don’t get music sent to me and I don’t often hang out in lounges or clubs… As all of my friends have ‘given up’ on hip-hop, I was beginning to think I was crazy for getting passionate about dudes that are listed as ‘Off Chain’ in my margin. This blog shit has legitimized my formerly isolated tastes (to some degree) by showing me that there are plenty of others who are STILL into IT. It just takes awhile for the some to catch up…. 2005? Houston, we have a problem!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


half full?... choke on it!

In these times, of hate and pain
We need a remedy, to take us from the rain
Jealousy, a little greed
I've been thinking, of what I need

No, not a freak… a cure for a four-year hangover…
You mean the Peedi Crakk demographic wasn’t enough?!?...

Young Philadelphia voters such as Peedi Crakk are a significant block."I'm not going to say I'm anti-Bush," said Crakk, 25, who'll vote in his first presidential election in the city. "The decisions you make today will really affect you tomorrow. You have to make a wise decision today."
-from philly.com

Actually, PA stood up!

just like Oliver's neck, we should break North

So as Jay breaks North, anybody down for building the Northeast Great Wall? Nobody? Well, take a brick anyway… in case you wanna show some love to that krazy kat Karl Rove.

Focus on distractions…
Focus on distractions
Focus on distractions...

Yeah, right...

(charge the map to MThomson)