Thursday, July 21, 2011

THIS GUY: whatshisface in that Eli Porter doc.

Making fun of people in general and making fun of rappers specifically is a special talent given to me by God. And for balance, being a nice person is a part of my character cultivated in me by my mom since birth. I'm deferring to my upbringing in the case of People's Champion - the story of sophomore Eli Porter, famous for being terrible in the ruthless rap freestyle arena known as “Chamblee High's 4th-period broadcasting class back in '03.” Obviously the young man has some deficits (physical definitely, cognitive probably), and you're a jerk if you make fun of him. C'mon, my mom says. Act right. Most inadequate MCs are fair game for pointing and laughing at, especially Canadian ones who make odd hand motions and talk like they're from Shreveport when they're really from Canada. Eli, a teenage rapper who walks in a labored fashion because of an impairment he was born with, is not fair game. So that's that. Glad we settled this as a family.

Watch for yourself, but please be advised: it's impossible to get a handle on the tone of this short film. Is it a heartwarming tale of mic wielding? Is it a critique of our insatiable need to embarrass each other? I've watched it twice, and I have a master's degree, and I still don't know. I'm also annoyed that a thing called People's Champion isn't about Paul Wall. But most of all I'm annoyed that, while everyone's discussing how the Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away when it comes to fame-based self-esteem, and discussing at what IQ level is it acceptable to make fun of a dude, I'm here in the cut (apt. 680) wondering why nobody's discussing the 2 most discussion-worthy things about this film: a) Eli's plastic spiral key-ring bracelet thingy (replicas of which Supreme will start selling next week for $42),

and b) the fact that one of the main players in this saga explains that the area in between white girls' legs is used as some sort of heterosexuality trophy, a proving ground for a dude's ability to exercise his masculine seduction powers. 

"Let me just go ahead and tell you guys: Marv-O fucked every white girl that he wanted to at Chamblee High School." - Will, disputing claims that host Marv-O is gay just because a little touching and feeling between himself and battle judge J-Dub (male friends who have affection for one another, what you got a problem with that?) was caught on tape (at 07:35). Will's not completely to blame for the comment - his purple RL with its sloppy collar and that huge bottle of Bud Light had this weird influence on his brain, making him feel invincible, like he could say such a thing on film without a blogging lady in LA catching it and calling him on it. Marv didn't get every girl he wanted to naked; he got every pale-skinned one he wanted naked - a feat that gets Marv more points in the competition. And what does this say about white ladies and the value of their soft lady areas? What does it say about the value of non-white-ladies' soft lady areas? I know what it says, and I do not like it. Will didn't invent this value system, and I guess I could even argue he did me a favor by being so blunt about it, reminding me that some men still think this way. But still - it came from Will's brain/mouth, so it's Will who is the face of disgusting ideas about white-female-body privilege and notions of feminine beauty and value. Will's comment is begging to be bandied and bickered about between us. He's today's THIS GUY.

(There is also an appearance by noted cultural critic Cornel West ANDY FUCKING MILONAKIS, tapped to put on his serious face and share his thoughts. He's included in the doc strictly to make me throw my hands toward the heavens out of anger/disbelief and shout the F word. I do, however, approve of the copious Georgia accents throughout, the unstoppable freshness of the name Eli Porter, the appearances by my boyfriends Rafi and Dal, and the group-shaming due to Envy's freestyle not really being a freestyle. I mean, show me the Blackberry, and then I'll know it's off the dome.)

Cee-Lo - “I'll Be Around.” Because I needed something from the great state of Georgia, and obviously this one is so, so def even though it's not So So Def. And please keep an eye out for How Could I Possibly Be Inconspicuous When My Flow is Fucking Ridiculous - my next mixtape, dropping fall 2003.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Reppin hard for that LA Chamber of Commerce (also, there is a human named Spanky DeBrest, and audio from that CoFlow show).

Goodness, my dear, of course apartment 680 is still the finest place in Los Angeles to spend time - the Rawkus and Stax stacks, the many Wax Po issues that you may hold and look at after you've washed your hands (please), the infamous big blue couch, an afghan made by my grandma's own two hands (hi Bill!), a bag of cherries from Vons. 680's been able to maintain its relevance in a time of newly-opened bookstores downtown and sunny days that make the sidewalk sparkle, ready for me to walk down it in a sundress while the “Hyperbolicsylablahblah” instro plays in my head. You simply must stop by apartment 680 during a trip to my city, Los Angeles, as it is the best place in town second-best place in town after the Battle Station recreation a lovely place to visit, third-best place in town once you've been to the recreated Battle Station and this fantastic new bookstore at 4th and Spring with 1000-ft. high ceilings and some sort of dead animal's head on the wall.

Everybody knows you have to be stompin if you're born and raised in Compton, Big Sean keeps claiming West LA, of course you got the Fairfax contingency, there's scary stuff in some places but you ain't gotta worry if you stayin north of Wilshire, and half my almost-famous rap ex-boyfriends have falsely claimed Nickerson Gardens, but let's not forget downtown, a noisy paradise, tribute to masonry - it's tall and cool and well-built, much like myself. And The Last Bookstore is there. They didn't have the Robb Report, but I made it through, and nothing I bought was more than $4! Lovely! Then I wrote a post about it in which I listed the books I bought in order of how excited I am to read them.

7. Alice McDermott, Charming Billy. Our protagonist Billy was charming, of course - but the back cover tells me he was also a guy from Queens who loved poems and had a bit of a drinking problem, which is a slam-dunk in terms of getting me to take my dress off (sorry, Mom).

Would this book's title make a good mixtape name? Yes indeed! This is obviously what Danze was talking about when he started dropping hints a few months ago.

6. Alice Munro, Hateship, Courtship, Friendship, Loveship, Marriage. You can't really go wrong with Alice's stuff, and I liked The Love of a Good Woman. Short story collections are my weakness, as are stories set to music and told by masked, monotoned big-boned gentlemen from New York.

His face contained for me all possibilities of fierceness and sweetness, pride and submissiveness, violence, self-containment. I never saw more in it than I had when I saw it first, because I saw everything then. The whole thing in him that I was going to love, and never catch or explain.

— Munro, speaking for me when asked to describe my feelings about Daniel Dumile. Thanks, mama.

Would this book's title make a good mixtape name? No, it would not; it's too long and a bit of a mouthful - and that, coincidentally, is what she said.

5. TIE:

Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn. While its title is the same as that Ghosty/ODB buddy-cop soundtrack album that nobody ever heard (Rifkind shelved it in '94), I would have bought this book anyway because Lethem seems to be a good dude who would probably forgive my shameless posting of pics from the bathing suit gallery. Motherless Brooklyn also won something called the “Gold Dagger” award for crime fiction, thereby making it the book with the most tangential Wu associations currently in my collection. (Gold Dagger is that Rae mixtape from '03). And Lethem's first book was called Gun, with Occasional Music, a name that is just begging to become a mixtape title.

Edward P. Jones, The Known World. If I paid better attention to Zinn I'd probably have known that there were days when free black men owned slaves. But who has time to read some wacky liberal's version of history. Who has the tiiiiime. I am a busy lady. Those bathing suits and records aren't gonna buy themselves, you know. I'm curious to see whether this one's any good, because at first glance it seems like it must be pretty bad, just a terrrrrrible concept for a story - like, oh goodness, I don't know, Tarantino's latest move of cinema stuntery, making a feature about slavery? Just off the dome, you know, that's what hit me: QT's future film, the apex to be reached in the realm of bad ideas. However, Jones' book has gotten great reviews and it does sound like an interesting tale (former slaveowner leaves his human “property” to his widow; it is unclear whether she will free them; narrative tension ensues). It's been called “a sprawling story built around a morally bankrupt social institution,” which is not about the music industry but about slavery (that's the same thing!, Prince would argue, because he's turned into somebody old and cranky).

4. James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. That title would fit in nicely at the top of this blog, directly under the header, to prepare my readers for the massive amounts of MC groin-area-riding that I do so lovingly in my posts. The phrase is from the Bible, a fact I was unaware of due to being raised by heathens in a southern California weed den. (I loved this upbringing, but that doesn't mean I can't be a tiny bit wistful for my non-childhood of going to church and hearing all those fantastical tales and beautiful phrases in the Bible).

This one was an instant purchase once I held it and turned a few pages, because the book's just nice looking, beautifully laid out - a mix of straight narrative form with some poetry and photos, which is what happens when you get a professional photographer (Evans) and writer with an unfair level of skill (Agee - poet, film critic, journalist, etc.) to collaborate. These 2 wrote about poor white people before Yelawolf made it the hot new thing; it's a classic and I've never read it, so I'll read it now because it's the morally appropriate thing to do. Also I am vain and don't want to appear foolish; if someone asks me if I've read it but I have to say no, I'll be embarrassed, like what happened with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance until I finally cracked it open at age 16. “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you,” Pirsig informs us - the machine, of course, being your motorcycle, your earthly human body, your old Rawkus records, or any number of breaks you have in your collection. “There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.” Amen, brother.

Would or would not be a good mixtape name? Would! It sounds like a '90s-rap-music-homage mix that someone would do, then email me about to try to get me to post it. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, hosted by JuJu and Craig Mack. Valiant effort, sirs, but the only '90s-homage mix I will ever recognize is that time 9th Wonder was at the Do-Over. It was perfect. I'm writing this from my spaceship that orbits Saturn. Earth had nothing more to offer me after I heard his set. 

3. James Campbell, Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin. Chosen because James Baldwin managed to be dignified, all the time, goddammit, despite living in a country with hostility toward gayness and blackness, and despite having to listen to contemporary Norman Mailer yammer on about the coolness of blackness (and generally thinking about coolness way too much to ever be cool). I salute you, James Baldwin: professional dignified person, excellent writer, and, most importantly, ideological road-paver for Lil B.

Talking at the Gates would be a good mixtape title, though only in the right hands (Monch, Scarface, Banner); Chris Brown would try to get away with it as a theme tape (songs about his relationship with Jesus; “the gates” being those of Heaven) and then I would be forced to hire someone to assassinate him for being such a bratty, pretentious moron. It would be the morally appropriate thing to do.

2. Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. At #2 because I'm told Mr. Jones had some type of career as a music producer, and I enjoy reading about such men. He also had a fondness for, shall we say, ladies of a certain... look. Tupac hated that, but I happen to think it's pretty OK since I have this particular look! I win! Oh - except that being a blonde-haired nubile female beginning a romance with Quincy with the hope that he will treasure you even as you age and your body becomes less than stunning is some pretty fierce delusion. He makes babies at a rate only rivaled by Rod Stewart, or maybe Shawn Kemp? Or no, wait - Cromartie? But you can't fault Peggy Lipton or Nastassja Kinski or ______ (blonde nubile female, take your pick) for wanting to be near the dude, or at least I can't; like Chappelle said when they asked him to justify his claim that Michael Jackson was innocent of any crime: “He made Thriller. HE MADE THRILLER.” Who doesn't want to sit at the kitchen table and eat eggs and toast with such a human, even if you know there's heartache coming up when you are inevitably replaced by the next lady in his life?

1! Graham Marsh and Glyn Callingham, The Cover Art of Blue Note Records. Nothing in it is as stunning as the image on that new Adrian Younge album, but still! It's Blue Note covers! Of course it's #1 on the list. Random page I flipped to that happened to seal the deal: Dexter Gordon, Our Man in Paris. I mean, c'mon. How could I pass it by. “You're coming home with me, darling baby,” I said to the book, clutching it to my (very attractive) bosom.

- Another Hit It and Quit It jazz edition just feels right to listen to after a bookstore adventure. It's just really beautiful, plus I learned about the existence of one Spanky DeBrest. Baddest name in all of jazz-cat-ery.

Part 1.

Part 2.

- Joe Tex - “Buying a Book.”


- COMPANY FREAKING FLOW. Ten steps Eight steps ONE STEP to Perfection. (that step is clicking the link, silly). I believe a certain concertgoer put it best on the evening of July 16, 2011 A.D.:

The Last Bookstore
453 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 488-0599

Pros: Good books; cheap books; AC; it's about 2 miles from apt. 680; staff leave you alone when you're walking and browsing; “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” started to play on their sound system right when I walked in. This really happened.
Cons: None. It's heaven.


Friday, July 15, 2011

White girl side hustle opportunity I missed #6 (“industry dinner with Curren$y” edition)


I would add “Whothefuck is that bitch,” à la Joi in Friday, but I don't talk like that in real life so I don't want Curren$y to see this post and think I'm foul-mouthed. It's unladylike.

Aw, censorship. I had to do it, this being a sweet and innocent blog.

(you gotta buy the Blu-Ray edition if you want the director's cut)

I know there's more to him as a man but you can't fault me for thinking that all Curren$y cares about is his X-box, V-12 engines, the greatest strains this season, and a whole lot of commas on his checks. He also says things like Dead stock tissue in the box, elephant print/On my Flint 13's no retro 3M reflective, which is either about cars or shoes - either way, I'm fucked. Not a lot for me to work with there, conversation-wise.

But I bet you I can elicit a smile across the dinner table by engaging him in a debate about Sean Payton's visor (stylish or no?) and which is the superior walking-in-slow-motion-out-to-your-Caprice-in-the-driveway song (“Easin' In” or “Only One Can Win”?). Then I can just babble on, ask him what he thinks about the pumpkin-colored 328 on that Frank O cover, and try to repeat some of my favorite lyrics of his - Something you n---as ain't never been: boss/Can't find your mom and your dad/In the grocery store, panicking: lost - til the champagne hits me and I lose my focus. I start to get all critical like I'm composing a blog post (“I didn't much care for your lyrical content being so firearm-heavy a few years ago, you sounded silly”; “How come I was not notified of the audition for the ‘White Girl Jumping into Pool’ character in the ‘Address’ video?”). It turns into a huge foot-in-mouth extravaganza. So I just resort to giggling, playing with my hair, saying “I FEEL THE JETNESS, LALALAAA” and just when I'm about to ask him to start reading the phone book to me, the DJ plays my funtimes girly song that I have no choice but to love due to the estrogen flowing through me, or maybe it's that funtimes girly song, so I scream THISMYSONNNG, then excuse myself from the table to go work it out on the floor. It's a good plan, yes? I'm ready. I am. I've lotioned myself up, I got my white tank on and I'm ready for my meal at the table, the human obstruction known as “Dame Dash” be damned. I want to be that lady at that table. Time to get it crackin like lobsters.

“Run Dat Shit.” The part about having advance access to fashion designers' sketch pads for next season is lame; it could be straight from Rawss' playbook and that's the most devastating criticism I can give a lyric. But the description of him on the red carpet in shorts makes up for it. (He was just at the premier 'cause his homeboy was in the movie!). Also: My style straight like 9:15 and Marlo on the screen, yeah bitch we on The Wire/You talking too much, bitch - go sit up there with the driver. (things I like)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

“Sorry, C-Rayz Walz already has too many friend requests” but I got a mix from Stretch Armstrong, and 9 other rap disappointments/joys this week.

1. Informative emails from my darling readers are a mixed bag, emotionally speaking.

Joy: Finding out it's called the rising synth! Of fucking course that's what it's called; use your head, Logan. Disappointment: Person who sent a yelling email that I "should familiarize (myself) with Wayne from the Sqad Up days!!" (Thanks, dollface - just please be a little more gentle with me next time.) I also received an email instructing me to "stop the hocus pocus," which made me even more self-conscious than normal, then confused, then kinda giggly, and then finally I settled on FUTURE MIXTAPE TITLE.

2. "Milk the Cow"! What could possibly be disappointing about the new video for an old Cappa song?

YAYYYYYY/TRIUMPH/YES! Except, oh wait, what's this?

How can I possibly respect Mr. Diamonds as a man when he insists on calling himself that. Luckily, there's still the chika-pow on the hook, Cap's "ode to joy" interpretive dance throughout the video, and Meth shouting out "bad birds that fuck nerds" at the end. HE SAYS BAD BIRDS THAT FUCK NERDS and I've never felt more satisfied. (Sorry for about 50 things I just typed, Mom)

3. Drake remains an easy target so I'd be a fool not to take advantage. Positive (boring) comments: In the "I'm On One" video, they do a good job of creating a melancholy landscape to match the tone of the song. It's this weird party in the future, where everyone’s had a lobotomy and there’s no electricity; I can't say I approve of the concept, but it's certainly executed well. And this part, where the hook kicks in, perfectly mimics what I do in the Civic when the song comes on the radio:

(“somebody shouldatolya”)

BUT (negative/joyful comments):

I cannot get over 1. the pinky raang, and 2. grown people who count like that (using the pinky for 1 instead of 5, like the good lord intended). Nelly has arrived to demonstrate a nice clean finger style, from the video for the “Racks” remix:

"Down to the Dirty," he says, those hand motions his deeply human way of manifesting the music-joy coursing through his bloodstream,

"back up to the trap." Simple, effective. Perfect for the Civic. I've been known to do this one myself.

4. Home-team hats: lately I've been talking about them in every other post. They are lovely for donning, gentlemen. And why is Nel wearing a carbiner? I feel like I'm back among my people (barefoot, idealistic, goofy, vegan) at Santa Cruz! Nells and I are meeting up later to bicker about Chomsky, then maybe climb a mountain.

"2 things is for certain, mayne

and 1 thing is fa sho." Also a great hand-move for the car (when any song involving numbers 1 through 10 comes on). Bonus points for the baseball shirt, which I love on a dude.

5. Then frowny-face here has to show up in the frame, which is disappointing. These two standing next to each other makes it seem like a lady only has pretentious mixtape dropper or creatine-shakes drinker/dogtags wearer to choose from in the gentleman department, UNTIL

Jay makes his entrance. I APPROVE OF THE TIGHTNESS AND RIGHTNESS THIS OUTFIT. I believe it would have been referred to as buttery in an old Menace skate video. Buttery kit, my friend. Oh and that new Keith Murray we listened to in your Maxima is dooooope, though not quite as good as that Above the Law. If those are True Religions I'm going to kill myself. I mean it. Pills, probably (I want something painless). Nice knowing you guys; divide up my records amongst yourselves.

6. "I'm on One" again, or maybe it's more appropriate to say "I'm (still) On One"? Either way, we have a scene in which Wayne corners a lady in a parking garage while they are both hiding from the zombies who prowl the streets above. (This video is really fucking stupid and has no common narrative thread weaving the scenes together.)

Weezy’s prowling around her like he's Prince, body language screaming Go to bed with me. This is the part in his verse where he says he's going to “Put an end to your world like the Mayans.” That's a really fresh thing to say, clever indeed, and I would love it if somebody would corner me in a club or at Vons and say that. I’m sort of odd, though. Most of us don't want to hear you talking about the art of murking right when you are trying to get us to take our clothes off.

Then an old friend shows up!:

BABYYYYYY! His presence still delights me, after all this time. What can I say, I enjoy a southern gentleman. By the way, Littles Weezy and B, respectively, did a song together in which they try to out-weird each other and it's a little tiresome. The most interesting thing about the whole affair is when Wayne says No Limit Records: we so bout it bout it ("Grove St. Party" uhh "freestyle"?), a phrase which still delights me, after all this time. Also "Nolia Clap" (remix, because it's the best version) and Tracy Morgan ESPN video game commercials from yearrrrrs ago. (delightful)

7. My pa is the Birdman, I’m rich as a white man/I come to your show and kill you and your hypeman, Dwayne says in "Rollin." I don't know where it comes from but I love a good murder rap. I swear I was hugged enough as a little girl so I can't really explain. This one in particular is really something, following the first-person narrative formula of most of my favorite songs since 1992: 1. I'm important/I know people, 2. I'm rich, and 3. I will end you. The F in Weezy's name stands for nothing, by the way, because his middle name is Michael. Stop the hocus pocus, Dr. Carter.

8. A lottttttta size 38, 40, 42 waist jeans in this pic, people. And that's the way I likes it. (Joy)

Funk Flex, a man whose ability to annoy me through the sheer power of voice is unparalleled, is hosting this "Legends" performance in NYC - and if that's not some juxtaposition to prove the rap gods are playing a trick on you, I don't know what is. "Yes Logan, you can stand in a dark room and drink in Monch's stories, but you have to tolerate a radio jock doing his impression of a dentist's drill before and after Monch's set. And what if I told you Dru Ha would probably be there, and Evil Dee would definitely be there? And Sean P would probably make fun of everyone in a super stylish way like a rap Don Rickles? But remember: DENTIST'S DRILL. (evil laugh)."

The show's tonight and geography says I am unable to attend, but if I could somehow get there I'm guessing I would be informed by Flex that it's going down and reminded that I know what it is at various times throughout the evening. Also I am sad because nobody will get to hear me proclaim drunkenly, “I believe it was Paul McCartney who said, ‘Tell me tell me tell me the answer. You may be a lover but you ain't no dancer. HELTAH SKELTAH.’”

9. THIS is my chiva. My china white. My subbies, snorted (not under the tongue; that takes too long).

("This" being "funny little music history snippets")

Today I learned that that Toussaint record was Prince Paul's! There's actually nothing disappointing about this; I just had to post it. I also learned that tinny snare sound on “I Wanna Be Your Man” was created by using a pair of scissors! SCISSORS. Hire me for your next party; I can spout this stuff for hours. And OK, fine, if you'd like a skinny girl to jump out of a giant cake, I got you.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“She was struck down; it was her DOOM” - MJ, regarding me passing out from joy over hearing some new Dumile this week

Hearing “Pass it off, Starks: go” is all I have cared about for the last 48 hours.

I died/cried when I heard that new DOOM/Starks. A big fat thank you thankyouthankyouuuu to fellow Doom-minded types like my blipster friend here, for it is with their electronic help that my Doomsy-ness is all that it can possibly be. Until I finally break down and accept the offer to join the Future Foundation, the best way I can think to serve humanity's future is to post helpful breaks information such as this.

Dannie Belles. I will never cease to praise him for the good he’s sent my way, she says, And I know he will continue to bless and lead me to a brighter day. Well, yes, because he's been doing that since around '88-9, Dannie! Pay attention.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Persons whom Rawss inaccurately believes himself to be.

other than the glaringly obvious “Rick Ross,” of course.

Everybody pads their resume in real life, so of course everybody's going to pad their resume in rapdom. Wake up, sweetheart. But Ice Cube talking about things going bang bang or Akon describing moving packaged things across international lines to satisfy Americans’ insatiable appetite for narcotics is one thing; stubbornly believing your own myth is another. Rawss is hard-headed, and his outlandish-and-not-ever-based-in-reality brags are a constant part of pop music performance these days. It’s like my generation’s James Brown splits or the Townshend windmill.

1. The fuckin' boss. Convertible Burt.


“I touch work like I'm Convertible Burt,” your man says, “I got distribution so I'm convertin' the work.” Sounds good, except NO. He's got a spinning wheel of coke kingpins (cokepins?) in his living room, and he writes entire songs around whichever name the arrow happens to fall on. He also made a funny song about being Big Meech and Larry Hoover, remember? Oh goodness, I laaaaughed and laughed when I heard such a wacky proclamation. Rawss has absolutely no dealings with rubber bands or work of any kind, let me assure you. I'm more of a Pyrex scholar than he is. He carries weight, yes, but that just means he’s walking from room to room in his house! HEY-O.

2. a G. Your Machiavelli, with a murder hit.

(“I’m a G”)

Um, Pac is our Machiavelli. But even that is a stupid boast - we get sentimental in retrospect, but everybody hated that weak Makaveli stuff when he came out with it. Rawss can't win with me, though, because if he had said “I'm your Pac from the 2Pacalypse Now era, remember how good ‘Trapped’ was?,” I would have had an angry fit, outraged that he could compare himself to such a talented and foxy man.

3. “We Boys N the Hood, and n---a you lil' Tré.”

(“Deeper Than Rap”)

Hmm. Analysis time. As I recall, Tre had sex with Nia Long, wore some fucking fresh gear from Chess King, and then went to get a college degree at esteemed Howard University, sooooo: Rick you should probably keep walkin down the street scratching that Lotto ticket 'cause Tre wins this round.

4. “Bitch I think I'm Nino. Bitch I think I’m Scarface. Bitch I’m Al Pacino.”

(“Oh Let’s Do It (remix)”)

Oh how bout we not do it, but just say we did? That saves everybody some time. Here we have Rawss bragging about being 2 characters of fiction, and 1 real-live person - an actor - whose specialty is playing characters of fiction. They say change makes you wanna hustle. I say Rawss needs to change and stop preaching to me about the rules of the hustle because he knows not of what he speaks. When it comes to the hustle, I'd go to Nino for turkey-pass-ing-out lessons, Pacino for advice on the acting hustle. Rawss would probably offer “Don't get high off your own supply” regarding the businessman hustle, which of course he will have stolen from Robert Loggia, who was playing a character of fiction and whose words were not his own - they were written for him by Oliver Stone. I believe there is a pattern emerging here.

5. Mayor of Dade County.

(“For Da Low”)

Oh really? THE mayor of Miami-Dade County? Funny meeting you here, Carlos Gimenez! I had no idea you had a side hustle as a big fat rapper with an identity problem! Must be nice to have so much free time on your hands, but I’d like to remind you that he people of Miami elected you to get down to business. Now get the fuck to work on your promises to make public transportation more reliable and fix the financial woes at Jackson Health System. I mean it, mister.

6. “With the her-ion , n---a I'm Lebron/Quarter millie for my car, and thats on the Qu'ran.”


Lebron? The basketball player with no personality and the crazy mom?

You can't possibly be referring to the dude who came up short in the “finals” and is currently “without a ring,” can you? Nice comparison, genius.

, on the other hand, am a fierce combination of championship winners Dirk Nowitski (blond), Bill Laimbeer (prominent elbows; I'm too skinny), and Oscar Robertson ('cause I'm known for “scoring” both inside and outside; OH HI THERE, BOYS). Also Raquel Welch in 1971 if you stand 200 yards away and squint really hard.

7. “Bitch I'm MC Hammer, I'm about cream/I got 30 cars, whole lot of dancers/I take them everywhere/I'm MC Hammer.”

(“MC Hammer”)

In addition to being completely charisma-free and a terrible lyricist, Rawss is also a lazy human being who can't take the time to read someone's entire bio before starting to co-opt that person's identity. MC Hammer had a bunch of money and a Saturday morning cartoon! That sounds like me! MC HAMMER BACK; UNHHH. This is like invoking the main character of the movie without watching it all the way through. Other people Rawss claims he is: JFK in October '63 and Joe Theismann during the first quarter of that Monday Night game.

8. Albert Anastasia. Michael Corleone. Sole supplier for cocaine in southern states.

(“The Transporter”)

My mom could write a pretty passable verse about Albert Anastasia and Corleone, since, like Rick, she loves those A&E shows about organized crime. She doesn't try to do it, though, because she has the good sense to know that she doesn't have the skill for rhyming. Manners, that's what that is.

Mike Corleone shows up on Rick's “Bricks” too. I guess this is OK in the grand scheme of Rawss-ery because any Godfather mention reminds me of that baptism scene, with the priest's voiceover in Latin. Fucking terrific filmmaking. And Sonny's body getting laced up with bullet holes and such, remember? Aw damn. Poor Sonny.

9. Frank Lucas. Floyd Mayweather. Don King.


I've been told that Rawss should not be the focus of my hate, and that I should instead delve into the reasons that he has a fan base. Maybe he's just giving the people what they want, you know? Aha, but then I recall that Rawss' success can be explained by a Mencken quote, which leaves me free to continue my crusade against him! Can't knock the making-money hustle, but I can dang sure knock the making-terrible-music hustle. The kids today don't know any better but this makes Rawss no less morally reprehensible. He should not be someone who gets paid for saying words into microphones; simple as that. Anyway, as a person who greatly enjoys driving and rapping along to Crack and I have a lot in common/We both come up in the 80's and we keep that bas(s/e) pumping, I am well aware of the fun of temporarily adopting an identity other than my own for an intro-verse-verse-chorus-verse sequence. That's just the seduction of melody, people. The song above, for example (I love it). Or like when you're listening to pretty “Norwegian Wood” and then you realize, Hey wait a sec, this song's about Lennon having sex with someone other than his wife.

Anyway, the Mayweather comparison is probably the least offensive thing to me here, since Floyd makes his money by 100% legal means, just like Rawss always has despite what he wants you to believe. If Rawss had compared himself to Zab Judah, though? Goddammit Zab Judah has the baddest name in all of pugilism so Rawss and I would’ve had a problem.

10. “Got the top down and I'm feelin like Steve Austin/You know the routine, rollin on, still movin a few things.”

(“Trilla,” w/Mannie Fresh)

This one’s harmless too – Rawss comparing himself to a wrestler, which means Rawss is comparing himself to a man who adopts the costume, mannerisms and language of a person selling narcotics fighting in the ring for real, but alas: it’s choreographed. There was never any real danger! It was the wizard behind the curtain the whole time, except in this case the wizard really pisses me off because he convinced Mannie Fresh to do a song with him. Unacceptable.

11. “Twitter thug, I’m the timeline strangler.”

(“Molasses,” w/Raekwon)

Rae’s one of the many who’ve disappointed me by collaborating with Rick (I'm looking at youuuu, Trick Daddy). Not much else to say here, other than: Twitter thug made the list of persons whom he inaccurately believes himself to be because a Twitter thug is not an actual thing that exists. Putting those 2 words together; that's just gibberish. In the Four Tet remix he calls himself both a unicorn 808 and a Xanax burqa. For such crimes against English, Rawss should be allowed to work with Drake and Chris Brown, nobody else. In between stints being guest speakers at the annual Dudes Who Will Not Be Seeing Me Naked Conference, they hang out with each other in the yard at Twitter jail when they take thugging a little too far. Then they can get released, and, back like they never left, put out horrible mixtapes on their own social media sites and free up space on RapRadar for the good MCs (Corey Gunz, SWOON).

12. “Oh Lord, I'm a star down in St. Bart's/The fat Tommy Lee, I made out with like 8 broads.”

(“Yacht Club”)

EW HE’S TALKING ABOUT HIS PENIS. I do like his brag circa-5th-grade brag, though (I made out with not just one girl, but several girls! I'm thinking of asking one of them to the dance!)

13. A Haitian vacationer.

(“Rich Off Cocaine”)

The only identity on this list that might actually be reality-based, I had to include it out of sheer anger. Embracing hatred gives me this nice burst of energy sometimes. Rawss' morally repugnant display of rich-man guilt provides this for me, in a nice rhymey package. Vacation to Haiti, it nearly broke my heart/Seein' kids starve, I thought about my Audemar/Sellin dope ain't right, I put it on my life/Chickens put me in position to donate the rice. WHAT A FUCKING JERK, spending all that time on Twitter and remaining so disconnected with world events. Even before a recent natural disaster there, Haiti was a place of corruption and poverty - not the appropriate place for you to take a few days off, gaze at the sunset, slurp lobster juice and purchase time with sex professionals. And yet, Rawss had to go look into some skinny 5-year-old’s eyes and hear him say Ou Linèt solèy yo ovèrprisèd ak lèd, obèz nonm. tou mwen trè grangou in order for that fact to become real.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things from that Pusha T & Tyler song that can be worked into conversations for fun.

4th of July backyard wrasslin went a little too far.

Terrence n' Ty's “Trouble On My Mind” is this year's “Lo Sweatas” - songs whose hooks you could hear even before you heard them the first time, because they both have titles consisting of classic rap lines.

Ohh! Lo sweaters!
, I said a couple years ago when I got a link to that Project Mayhem song but hadn't yet seen the video (then, when I saw it, what I said was: chandeliers on the Eldorado, oh my god how beautiful!). Ohhh, the big booming voice of Chuck! is immediately what I knew I'd be faced with when I heard the title of the Pusha/Tyler song. Welcome to the Terrordome, Chuck said in that voice many years ago, and he was not fucking around. Rap is NFL Films and he's John Facenda. Pusha and Tyler's rap voices aren't quite as big and booming, but just like Chuck they are immensely quotable in song. Plus, like Chuck, they simply refuse to lose and can appreciate the wickedness of a drummer. DEAL WITH IT.

1. “Runnin’ like the Rebels, UNLV” - Pusha.

Pusha follows this up with “sport shoe on a pedal,” because he's contractually obligated to mention his car every eighth bar, but if you're in my tax bracket and you talk like that to me you're going to sound like an asshole. So let's just keep it classic and simple, please, and stick with the collegiate associations when making your point. It dresses things up. You simply cannot go wrong with a cute NCAA nickname reference! Like before sex you could make prediction about “Freakin like a demon deacon,” for example, or if someone won't quit asking you questions you could say “We ain't in Wisconsin so stop badgering me.”

2. “Pharrell said ‘get em,’ so I got em” - Ty.

(for when you reach the name-dropping part of the conversation, and for humbly describing a recent accomplishment)

It's not appropriate to throw in the Pharrell part during a chat, unless of course you really know him [in which case you are my new best friend because he is painfully beautiful to look at; I'd like to meet him, if only briefly, then avert my gaze. Solar eclipses and Pharrell both have that potential to damage a girl's retinas. (retinae?)]. Or you can replace his name with anyone famous who's given you solid career advice. “Khalifa said get em, so goddammit I got em (made a lot of money via the combo of getting introduced to the right producer at the right time and tapping into teenage boys' love of weed).” But I'd recommend just shortening it to Get em for potency. This one's my favorite on the list because I swear to god I SAY THIS ALREADY, IN REAL LIFE. (ISTA/IRL!).

Mom: “Yes, I will drive to Los Angeles just to hem apt. 680's curtains for you, adult daughter, because you make your way through the world in a state of perpetual adolescence. I will then give you $10 and insist you get some asada tacos at Tacos Arizas - at least 3 tacos, young lady, because why do you look skinnier every time I see you? (furrowed brow).” Me: “GET EMMMM, Mommm! Thanks.” Listen, it's no secret Ty would not kick an underweight blonde-haired lady out of bed. The fact that we use the same phrases just solidifies the undisputed truth that we are destined to have a brief, doomed love affair.

3. “You coming shorter than a Bushwick Billy costume on sale during Christmas in Philly” - Ty.

(for the “heated” portion of the conversation)

I've stopped making the rounds in the freestyle circuit, but if I were still active I'd totally use this line in a cipher. And my hands would get higher and higher the madder I get. Ty's not from Houston, but he raps a lot, and he's really pretty good with the insults when he's not working on his 13-Point Program to Destroy America. He's not all fellatio/fuck off, Mom/paranoia raps, people. Please. And I'm happy to hear Ty's voice hasn't lost its calculatedly ominous restraint; even though it's being used to talk about pills and fucking the world and costumes in this verse instead of things that bother easily-startled types, it's still fun for me. It was entertaining to hear people get freaked out about Chuck Berry Body Count 2 Live Crew Tyler & crew, but in the end I really am enjoying them shutting up so I can think again.

The Philly reference is also useful to throw into a conversation, as it provides a nice jump-off point for a discussion of Oyola's Epicly Laterd episode. (Rick is cranky and a good storyteller, so of course I love him. I believe commenter “dfrank” said it best: “Best recognize a real man when you see one”).

4. “The feeling is neutral, the gang is youthful/And fuckin’ tighter than Chad Hugo’s pupils” - Ty.

(for when you need to describe something really, really fresh to your friend)

Just like people wearing The Hundreds, the fact that the use of “tight” in popular speech has lasted this long totally shocks me. But then, I always get stuff like that wrong. If you had asked me in '05, I would've predicted that “tight” would soon die but Swishahouse would have the industry in a sales chokehold for at least 10 years. OOPSIE. Anyway, is Tyler saying here that Chad is an intense individual? A person insanely dedicated to his craft? Or does this line mean that Chad doesn't ingest any chemicals? If so, that's something I just added to my musicnerdfacts cache. I also just learned that Alfonso Ribeiro's charater in The Fresh Prince (Carlton Banks) was named in tribute to the frontman of Public Enemy (Carlton Ridenhour). IT'S TRUE; I heard it on HeightFiveSeven.

5. “This is for the critics who doubted the chemistry/Two different worlds, same symmetry - Pusha.

(To be used when the conversation needs some spice, so you just make something up and throw it in)

These critics who doubted the chemistry between Terrence and Ty; do they have names? Nope, they sure don't, because NOBODY DOUBTED A TYLER X CLIPSE EFFORT WOULD BE ANYTHING LESS THAN TIGHT(er than Chad Hugo's pupils). Stop being fake-hated, Mr. Thornton; everybody loves you and we all know it and we all know that you know it. Later today we can go to H&M, where you'll tell me how cute I am and how everything looks good on me because I'm skinny. And when I emerge from the dressing room in an XS shirt, I'll obnoxiously point to myself and say “This is for the people who said I'm too fat to fit in this! WE DID IT, BROOKLYN (or something similarly triumphant).” On the way home, we'll meet up with my mom at Tacos Arizas; I'll eat 3 tacos and say “Why'd you say I couldn't eat 3 tacos?” Then I'll stab her and Ty will write a song about it and rap it to me during coitus. Or when we're shopping at Whole Foods.



Friday, July 8, 2011

Can I get a suuuuuuu (e)

Ghosty's being sued by a cranky old man playing the Iron Man card 11 years down the road (I believe the name Jack Urbont says it all - he's a jerk, I can just tell. And he smells bad). Mr. Urbont has discovered that musical performers like to reference and pay tribute to the characters of fiction that have inspired them, so of course a lawsuit is the next logical step here. Apt. 680 was brought to its knees by this news for a minute. Nothing bad should ever befall Ghost, and nobody round here wants words exchanged between grown-ups -- unless it's me v. Rawss, or Reggie Miller v. the Knicks (ESPN reruns! An enjoyable summer tradition), because those kind of conflicts are entertaining. Copyright-infringement anything is not entertaining, however, and this whole suit is baseless, your honor. Who can say what's right or wrong when it comes to proper boundaries between showing love for something that's inspired you, and outright idea-jacking? Who wants to get into a discussion of the differences among appropriation, endorsement, and reification? Nobody! Stop it! The whole suit makes me worry about Ghost's finances, because I don't want him to get taken, and those are just useless, fretting thoughts that wear me out. I don't need anything deflating my euphoria balloon when I'm out driving and “Hii Power” comes on, with that melancholy beat that makes every scene in the neighborhood, the dog-walkers and stroller-pushers, look extra dramatic and meaningful. I also like when that Rihanna song about murder guilt comes on; it's fun to make the case that it's like her “Bohemian Rhapsody,” except her version's got notes that I can hit since her vocal range is somewhat limited.

There were the fretting moments that seemed that they'd never end. But I've realized that this thing will die down. I promise. Urbont's just looking for attention and this is the best he can do without a blog, a Leica, a bikini collection, and a bunch of F-words to emphasize his love/hate relationship with Power 106's playlist. And luckily, nobody buys rap albums anymore, so other composers won't be similarly inspired by his greed quest. Are the Goo Goo Dolls gonna sue Lil B and Clams for denying them profits reaped from SoundCloud? (No. They are not. Because there can't be profits when the shit's free). Shouldn't have legally fucked with RZA, though, Ghost! I had to bring it up! Sorry, buddy. It's my understanding that the world is round because whatever you throw out will come back in time, but with the heat of speed gathered along its journey so it'll be extra painful when it gets back to you. Probably it'll hit the back of your neck, too, where the skin's really sensitive. I've heard older folksy types caution against spitting in the wind, and they talk about how the things that come around are usually the same things that go around. For better articulation of this, I turned to my adjunct English professor at Baller U and language jedi master I keep on retainer; when reached for comment about litigious rappers who get theirs a couple years down the road, karmically speaking, E-40 said, “I think it goes: you live by the dirt, you die by the shovel.”


Monday, July 4, 2011

Then I look at you/And the world's all right with me

The photo above, that Ginsberg poem, James Brown in Rocky, jazz, rap, and the Stankonia cover are all pretty fresh, but generally I feel outraged and sad when I think about the country I am from, America. Scroll back some; you'll see it in previous posts about the death penalty, Rick Ross, John Boehner, FEMA. It's not the day of celebration that the checkout lady at Vons would like me to believe (“You saved $8.02! HAPPY 4TH!”). But I'd still like to keep it positive today, in the form of a birthday compare & contrast for two American super Gs who were both born on Independence Day: Al Davis and Bill Withers! (1929 and 1938, respectively).

I'd also like to point out that non-graphed commonalities that both men share include being revered in my childhood home and both continuing to be revered in my adult home, apt. 680 - and not just because they both have a Dr. Dre Connection!*, god you guys think I'm so easy:

Al: NWA’s attire in promo photos. Ice Cube hosting that “30 for 30” episode.

his “Kissing My Love” provides the drums for “Let Me Ride” and a hundred other quality rap songs. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” the fucking JAM (7), was produced by Dre and is built on the “Grandma’s Hands” intro. Teddy Riley doesn’t have a good voice but remember how stellar his Shorty get dowwwn, good lord/Baby got ‘em open all over towwwn was?


2. Kinshasa.

3. Bill. Cam.







Friday, July 1, 2011

Metta Muzik.

Mr. World Peace has gotten soft over the last couple years - and yet, in a move I could not possibly have seen coming, I love him more with each passing day. (This never happens, since I prefer 'em during the dirty n' inappropriate years. Upstanding adults who've outgrown teenage-boy behavior are boring. Sorry, MCA, Ice-T, and Mike Tyson).

Driving around during my government-job shift earlier this week, I heard a podcast on my local pretentious public radio station featuring Ronald talking about Lenny Williams, the O'Jays, and Mobb Deep like it ain't no spectacular thing, NO BIG DEAL, DUN (I managed to retain control of the vehicle, though just barely). Listening to Ron Artest talk about records is intense daydreamy material - that accent! that voice! - and erases the pain I felt when I missed his autograph sesh at Living Spaces a couple months back. Thank you for the make-up gift, universe!


Surprising Things Learned from the Podcast:

- Ron can't listen to rap before a game (gets him too emotional. ME TOO, Ron! Me too).

- He likes to listen to Alberta Hunter before a game. But if I may be so bold: based on his performance in the Mavs series, I would suggest that this ritual be re-tooled a little bit. Maybe bring some UGK in?, I don't know. Also, keep practicing less, because that seemed to agree with you.

- The host (Jason Bentley. Don't get me started.) is shocked at Ron's taste. "Ron shares his surprising pre-game soundtrack – soulful songs about love - and more in his Guest DJ set." Because, you see, men who handle their disputes in an effective manner, which may or may not be with angry faces and fists thrown in rage, cannot possibly like songs about romantic triumphs and tribulations. Mr. Bentley believes that just because Ronald's mentality is what, kid, that he doesn't have a muscle the size of his fist thumping away in his chest. Ugh. The stereotypes.

Unsurprising Things:

- Ronald and his mom listened to good music before church. Just like every other professional athlete during the last hundred years.

- Ron has an auntie, and the children of that auntie are, guess what, his cousins (he explains this in a charming and innocent fashion during the "Killa B shot in the head" portion of the interview).

- Mary J. got Ron through some tough times. This is developmentally appropriate; Ron was a teenager in the '90s and in college in the late '90s, and those were some prime Mary years.

- Ron's a Dude Who I Wish Would Read Me the Phone Book out loud, he's also a dude who can tell me stories any goddamn time he wants about Killa B's self-inflicted gunshot wound. (This actually happens in the interview. This is a thing that he actually talks about. Because that's just Ron for you). And Ron likes good old soulful music, dudes pouring their hearts out (Lenny Williams, the O'Jays). ME TOO, RON! Me too.

The Lenny Williams song is a Laboe classic, as well as an Original Kings of Comedy defining moment.

(Don't tell Ty, but I cannot possibly hate Steve Harvey when he pulls the ol' "I'm not too cool to freak the fuck out when some quality soul music comes on." Let's just say I can relate. Kicking the stools over; the whole thing. Yep. I will always loathe Tyler Perry though, so I still keep some credibility, yes?

You take Steve's reaction to the Lenny song, along with that of all those ladies in the first 10 rows, and you have successfully created a composite of me and my bodily responses in the Civic when "Cross My Heart" comes on. Throw in some Minaj,

and you got me in the Civic when anything Toomp- or Mannie- or Spector-produced comes on.)

And The Best Thing:

Well obviously it's the Mobb Deep Mention, of course.

Once more, with feeling: nothin like home.

(Logan laughs).

(Lenny Williams again! FULL CIRCLE, BABY.)