Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guess Who's H.I.V.+?

Okay, you got me. Your guess is as good (hopefully not better) than mine. But, at some point one has to imagine that we will eventually be reading such a phrase on or (God forbid) Frankly, I'm surprised MTO hasn't used some variation of that headline already. They're a pretty low-brow, douche nozzle website. For example, according to MTO, both Bow-Wow & Soulja Boy are closet homo's (with "pictures" to back up the allegations). Hell, I could've told you that based purely off of my keen ability to see. That site is nothing more than a rumor-fueled gossip fest; a bunch of fat, black women who swear they'd do a better job on The View than Whoopi Goldberg (no relation to the wrestler) &/or Star Jones (no relation to Nasir or Knight Rider). Ftr, nobody's fucking with Whoopi though. Unless you're Ted Danson.

Now apparently, Lil Wayne is having two more kids this year, to add to his 20 year old daughter & son he had earlier this year. Not counting the handful he undoubtedly has tucked away somewhere in Magnolia Projects, that brings the (public) total to four. One would gather that he doesn't "stay strapped" as he declares. But, hold that thought...

Supposedly, Man was designed to inseminate. I don't dispute that. It's a natural animal instinct. Just look around & various mammals are bumping uglies with the sole intention of pro-creation. Humans, however, are the only species to do it willingly, for recreational purposes. Like cocaine. Knowing that it's an automatic response, more consideration should be taken when the chance of a hormonal explosion is imminent, kind of like avoiding a bill collector. You KNOW if you answer the phone, no matter what you say, you're going to have to deal with these people asking for money. So, you don't answer. Or, at the very least, you prepare some lame duck excuse ahead of time to get around the situation. That's called preparation. Same rules apply here. Or at least they should.

Dudes must've forgotten what happened to Magic Johnson. & save your "AIDS ain't real!" rhetoric. It's real enough to kill people. Don't tell me shit about a conspiracy. Perhaps Magic's a space alien whose physiology destroys the virus. Maybe he has Michael Jackson's doctor, & takes a molotov cocktail of meds that the average cat isn't privy to. Either or, don't forget the underlying point. He. Caught. Something.

Point is, I'm seeing way too many carefree, willy-nilly pregnancies nowadays. I could go in on the broken home, no Father propaganda, but that's another drop for another day. You could just watch "The Pursuit of Happyness" & glean what you will. Seriously, & I say this as a husband, father & human being....

Go buy some god damned condoms! Really though.

Maybe it's not 1989, & perhaps there's all types of new medicines which allow the infected to live a "normal" life, & maybe folks are under the impression that it's still a "gay disease", but at this point, I suggest you pull your head out of your ass, & wise up. Btw, Black women between the ages of 24-35 have the highest infection rate of the largest group of growing cases, which is coincidentally, Black woman. Quick math problem for you: H.I.V. infected Black Women + frequently incarcerated Black Men = ?. The more I look at that equation, the more I see how the answer could be a number of things, all of which translate to a healthy mix of genocide/suicide.

I'm all for the expansion of bloodlines & the joy of creating life, but remember, shit's real. Just because no one's talking doesn't mean there's nothing to talk about. I'm going to leave you with two words that can make a great deal of difference in your life. At least for the time being...

Prophylactic & Masturbation.

No judgment, I'm just saying.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

good albums>classic albums

**In Conjunction With Federal Ranga: On Yo Ass!!! Episode 3-"All I Need To Get By"**
Who doesn't love a classic album? A timeless, quality piece of work that appears flawless & effortless intro to outro.

NaS-Illmatic, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx-Raekwon f/ Ghostface Killah, The Chronic-Dr. Dre, Doggystyle-Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Infamous-Mobb Deep, The Slim Shady LP-Eminem, Reasonable Doubt-Jay-Z, Enter The 36 Chambers-Wu Tang Clan, Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory-Tupac, Death Certificate/Amerikkka's Most Wanted-Ice Cube, Ready To Die-Notorious B.I.G., The Diary-Scarface, Muddy Waters-Redman....

The list goes on, but it's not endless. On the contrary, this era of Hip Hop, labeled "the golden years" (1990-2001), was basically the zenith of classic rap albums, with the exception of a couple of later entries, like Get Rich Or Die Trying-50 Cent & Tha Carter II-Lil Wayne. Since then, many have tried, but few, if any, have ascertained said greatness. One important aspect of the aforementioned records, is that they weren't recorded with the intention of becoming "classics". They just turned out as such.

What defines a classic LP should be: lyrics, production, concept, structure & emoted output. Simple requirements for a not-so-simple achievement. Granted, one listener's taste is surely skewed by various factors, including environment, age, sex, etc., but the same basic rules apply nonetheless. For instance, plenty Cali cats didn't feel, or have ever heard of "The Infamous", so on average generalization, it wouldn't be considered classic material. Personally, very few albums can achieve the level of legendary as Mobb Deep's second offering. Though, those same dudes still bump "Doggystyle" like it was released yesterday. Maybe I suffer from an acute case of open-minded bias, but both albums catch heavy spins in my universe.

Nowadays, we're faced with a faltering talent pool, & a lack of zeal & zest for the music. Hence, classic albums don't exist anymore. Sans all the reasoning why, it just doesn't happen. The problem is born out of the artists intentions on creating a masterpiece, as opposed to it happening naturally. Like, girls only get pregnant when they're not expecting to. Very rarely can a person predict a pregnancy; ovulation isn't guaranteed impregnation.

Ironically, most rap dudes that go in wanting to make that next perfect production fall short. No Dice. Stop trying to make the next classic. Don't tell me it's going to be a sunny day, because when it drizzles, I'm going to be pissed. Instead, focus on a solid effort. In today's fluctuating market, good=great. That same grade curve applies to record sells (fuck a soundscan, though).

Word to Federal Ranga, just give me something to get by. Perfect example; Blackout!2 by Method Man & Redman. Not a classic album, but a very good effort. Between that & Relapse, I can ride out the mediocrity, Auto-tune, & nigganometry I'm bombarded with until drops.

If anybody is in the position to release the next big Hip Hop classic, I'll say it's between 50, Jay-Z & Kanye West. Not to discount Slaughterhouse, Wayne or , but these guy's have the momentum that could very well make or break them when their next albums drop. With that kind of shoulder weight, the end result could be breath-taking.

Other than that, just give me something I can listen to, & I'm good. If it so happens that it winds up added to the list of timeless music, then consider that a bonus. For you, the artist & us, the fans.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Skynet. Is. Real.

I'm not sure how I feel about this technology, but it's definitely some kind of way. Matter of fact, I feel like the whole "Terminator" universe is raining down on our heads. Really though. Computers are in the process of learning & making decisions now. WTF?! People don't see that in our rush to humanize machinery that we are rendering ourselves obsolete at an alarming rate. Hell, I don't even dial phone numbers anymore. I just tell the Blackberry who I want to talk to, & Boom!, done deal. Convenient, yes. Productive, not one iota. I first really noticed this when half of my neighborhood got locked up. Those were the first physical letters I'd written in years.
& thanks to these so-called social networks, I can have friends without ever hearing their voices or smelling their body oils (or lack thereof). Granted, I'd rather type than talk, but I'm a bit introverted, so I have an excuse. Meanwhile, the whole point behind a "social network" is undoubtedly just the opposite of it's implication. Social skills have nothing to do with the entire process. True, you have more access to people, on a wider scale, but what ever happened to human interaction? Do they plan on inventing a Hug-o-matic? Or a Hand Shaker 3000? As much as I'm not a fan of Halitosis, I'd rather that than the cold, lifeless buzz & whurr of a hard drive. Shit, we don't even have to go shopping. We can sit in our coffee (or other??) stained PJ's & order from a virtual catalog. Damn, between online purchasing & social networking, "Can I get your number?" will be one of those obsolete phrases like "Post No Bills". Remember those?

& don't get me started on the Porn. Word to Byron Crawford.

I'm just saying. If we were roaches, technology is the Raid seeping into the orifices of our natural existence. Whoever came up with the premise for the Terminator movies was a fortune-telling motherfucker. I understand that scientists & engineers want progress to continue, but any fool who's watched sci-fi movies over the past 30 years should know that the last thing we want to do is emulate what we saw. But, I wouldn't know a quantum physics equation from a cat's asshole, so what do I know? Although, I do know this; I'd rather not have my Xbox wig out & decide to terminate me in attempts to overthrow my living room.

Bing "Japanese Pleasure Robot", & tell me that's not some futuristic, freak show shit. & have you heard about the driverless car? Remember how much that concept sucked for Will Smith in "I, Robot" when he wanted to drive? Or Tom Cruise in "Minority Report" when he wanted to get out? Follow me, there's a point. I promise.

We've been duped into thinking that less mental & physical activity is making society better, but, we had the same attitude towards hispanics in the workplace. No racism, but look how that turned out.

If there is a benefit from the Information Super highway, it's that people are reading & writing again. It's all exercise for the brain, so it's impossible for the activity to be bad. Dudes who thought they had something the world needed to hear can now express themselves through blogs, tweets & the ilk. Whether or not they have something worth reading &/or writing is irrelevant. At least they're doing it. I read more blogs & news online than I read during my first 21 years of life. & some of it is even good.

Bottom line, let's, as a race, not rollover & allow the same shit that happened in the Terminator movies to befall us. Honestly, I'm not trying to John Connor the human race. That time travel looked to be a little too painful for yours truly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Everybody hates a DoucheBag.

If you don't, then that means you're one of them. Kind of like when fat people see other fat people, they sympathize with the constant perspiring & difficulty breathing, as opposed to making cow noises & throwing pieces of their snack at them. No matter what, they won't acknowledge the other one's obesity. Same goes for ugly people. In 33 years, I can't recall an ugmo telling me about someone else's lack of attractiveness. That would be like Wesley Snipes telling Don Cheadle he's blacker than a motherfucker. I'm never mad at unity, though. More power. Too bad us beige nigs don't have that. Since we went out of style in the 80's, its been every light-bright for himself. To this day, I hate Al B. Sure, Christopher Reid & Shemar Moore with a fiery, creole-colored passion [||].

For years, Hip Hop's unsung hero was the D-Boy (dope boy). In one hand, he has an 8 ball of that fairy dust, getting paid to turn your aunt into the living dead. Word to George A. Romero. With a piece of that same profit, he'll turn around & buy all the neighborhood kids a present for Christmas. I'm not sure that a Transformer is sufficient compensation for genocide, but I'm horrible at math, so what do I know?

Any rap fan loves a good story, & one with Robin Hood-like quality is almost as enjoyable as one about "gettin' some head in the back of the whip". Or, something to that effect. Even Raekwon, fresh out with a sequel to his 90's debut Only Built For Cuban Linx, is taking it back to Nino Brown status on his latest album, picking up where pre-penitentiary TI left off. Hustin', trappin', slangin', whatever you call it, cats dig a D-Boy ([||]?). But, that entrepreneurial attribute is being overshadowed by the new kid on the block. At a rate so alarming that even Young Jeezy's wearing his jeans a couple sizes smaller.

Enter the D-Bag (douchebag).

He's a sly one. Unassuming, somewhat quiet in his approach, almost appearing harmless (translation: gay), yet intent on having things his way. & now, the industry is being flooded by this character. His uniform is simple; acid-washed 28 slims, no boot cut, extra schmedium shirt, relentlessly uncombed faux-hawk, brightly colored plastic watch, & dozens of pointless tattoos in odd, ungangsta places on their person. More than likely, a variation of travelling stars, musical notes & words like "STRENGTH". I liken this to the Bohemian movement some years back, where everybody decided that looking homeless was what's up. The difference is, that was a mind state; peace on earth, love life & a bunch of other hippie bullshit innuendos that only sounded cool if you were high on Ex pills.

Douchebaggery, however, is a way of being. They stay high on emotion, like walking MENopause PSA's. & I blame Kanye West. Always have, always will. He's the epitome of douchevolution. He began telling anyone who'd lend him an ear that he was better than them at everything. Then, he decided he crowned himself King Bullshit, most noticeably in how he went from sporting Polo knits to designing leather cross-trainers with matching man-bags, between hoo-riding for Katrina victims & slapping up paparazzi. Not quite as dandy as Fonzworth Bentley, but equally as fruit-filled.

Now, as with the D-Boy, the D-Bag also has both hands full of something. One hand is filled with misguided idiocy, & the other is holding "feelings". The D-Bag's gift is emotion. Coincidentally, it's his curse as well. See, one thing Hip Hop has lost over the years is the ability to articulate feelings outside of "Fuck You!". Notice the lack of songs dedicated to someone special. Unless that "someone special" is a drunk chick at the club. I'm surprised cats haven't started making Rape Raps yet, but, that's neither here nor there.
Point is, we NEED the cats who aren't afraid to be different & express themselves. If only for the fact that they force us to check ourselves. DoucheBags have a strange way of making you appreciate stuff (besides pants that fit comfortably & staunch heterosexuality). Maybe it's because they're so hell bent on explaining everything. Or making a point when most folks would give up out of sheer laziness. DoucheBags are persistently annoying, but aren't your parents? See what I'm getting at?

I would love to see Spencer Pratt & Kanye West duke it out, UFC-style. Word to Spider Silva.

I declare June 23 Douche Day, worldwide. Asshole appreciation [||], per se. They're like the plankton of society. Bing "plankton" if you're confused.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

...& now this commercial break...

A plug isn't shameless if you do it for someone else.....


Federal Ranga

ron mexico

...a few of my blog brethren who showed love [||], so it's a must that I return the favor. Check 'em out, for real though.

Shouts to all you cats who check me out & make this worth it; Capital G, $ykotic, J7, Shazzy5000, The Commission!, hell, everybody who fux with Tony Grand$ (you know who you are, my memory blows! [||]). I appreciate the love, real talk.

Here, put this in your pipe(s) & blaze;

You only live once. There is no room for regret in Heaven, & no sympathy in Hell. Forever is a long, long time....

Love yourself. If you do not, nobody will. &, if anybody else does, consider it a gift from God & act accordingly.....

Soulmates are imaginary, but lifemates are real. Go find one, it ain't that hard....

Close your mouth, open your eyes & do not hold your breath....

Raise your kids yourself. Otherwise, the world will. Children can not teach themselves....

Pray for the best, prepare for the worst. & in the meantime, smell the roses....

God sits high, but He looks low. No deed goes unrewarded or unpunished....

Know who you are, remember who you were, & focus on who you will be. Life stops for no one. Especially you....

Sleep is the cousin of Death. Love is the sister of Hate. Five minutes can change everything....

Blood is thicker than water, but money is thicker than blood....

Be your harshest critic, worst enemy & best friend. That limits the need for outside interaction....

Just because you are a human being, does not mean you are being human. Think about it....

Chase your dreams, but keep in mind, they had a head start.....

The Devil's got the whole world in his hands, not God....

Always keep enough change to make a phone call. Even if you have a cell....

Accept their apology & forgive them. They did not know any better....

Find eveything wrong with the shoes you are wearing. Then, go find a man without feet.....

A mistake is an accident the first time. After that, it is intentional....

Happy Hump-Day, folks.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hip Hop 101 (summer school class)

Hip Hop is dead........

I would've figured that phrase ran its course by now. No Dice. Every time some cat praises Soulja Boy for his musical accomplishments, 18,000 out-of-work myspace rappers sound off in unison that he's the reason they gets no shine. As if their lack of skill isn't the culprit. Or their complacent, arrogant anonymity is working in their favor. Too many indians, in my opinion. Might be time to clean house, Trail of Tears-style. & coming in a close second to the deceased Hip Hop propaganda, is the sentiment that it needs to be saved. Which, to me, is equally as confusing. How? From who(m)?

See, at first, Hip Hop had no ties to the secular world. It was celebration music, only available only to card-carrying members, that eventually picked up steam & became scantily rebellious as it partied the night away in abandoned buildings & city parks. Once that introductory crowd had gotten comfortable with its care-free, disco-inspired roots, we began to see that we had a voice. Not only one for house party call & response, but one to be reckoned with on a social level. Yes, motherfuckers started hearing us. Then, it became obvious to all with eyes & ears that we weren't going nowhere.

In a gradual, modest change of direction, it became war music. Something to fight the powers that be to. Like so many poets/radicals before us, we rallied against our oppressors & battled The Machine to be recognized, as a people. Just as Martin would have continued to do if he hadn't been assassinated mid-struggle.

As we began to gain momentum, we became hungrier, demanding more fuel for the movement. We couldn't just fight the power, endlessly, without some sort of entertainment between fist-pumping & chest-pounding. & we'd had enough of their stories; by now, it was time for our own. Tales from the hood. Around the way stories that we could relate to, in our language. The language of Hip Hop.

After so much entertainment, though, we needed a dose of reality. In retrospect, we essentially chose to keep it real, as opposed to keeping it right. Be it positive or negative, our narratives carried on with the traditions of African folklore, creating legends & myths, angels & demons, to keep us occupied & away from the very same realities we existed in. &, at the same time educating each other about our perceptions & experiences.

Now, we find ourselves in the midst of renaissance. Passing of the torch. Changing of the guards. Today's Hip Hop is spearheaded by change, not unlike the change brought forth with the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama. The revolution has revolved, & the circles are now straight lines, pushing forward. Evolution. Adaption. The time for us to remain the same never existed; we'd just created our own optical illusions with redundancy.

The next stages of Hip Hop will undoubtedly be challenging, if only for the fact that transformation isn't easily digested. It means leaving behind stuff we've learned, people we've met, all things familiar. Its time for a leap of faith, in hopes that the youth are truly our future, in Hip Hop & beyond. Whether or not we agree with the philosophies, accept the costumes or subscribe to the new belief system is a moot point. Very soon, tomorrow will be today & since we can't beat 'em, we might as well join 'em. Now, the old(er) heads who were there at Hip Hop's inception can sit back & reap the benefits of a crop well planted.

I take this shit seriously. Long Live Hip Hop.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"the horsemen"

*Shout out to my dude Denske a/k/a Culture. He inspired me to write this drop for his site, after a brief convo we had about the Lo-Life movement's impact on the West Coast. Check him out, they active over there.*


I've always dug New York dudes.

I think deep down, most Cali cats do. There's just something about the symbiotic polarization between the two that one would have no choice but to find the other intriguing. Those who are/have been a part of this Hip Hop culture (as opposed to just spectating) would agree that the present day West Coast influence that eventually invaded NY is the grandson of the NY influence that affected the West in the 90's. It was that brief vacation that Gang-Banging took, around the Golden Era of our beloved culture. For real, back then, a lot of L.A. niggas wanted to be East Coast cats. Just ask Xzibit.

In 1993, me & my crew were called "The Horsemen", because of the Ralph Lauren Polo logo, of course. All we did was sit at my dude's spot, blaze philly's & listen to NaS, Mobb Deep, Wu & anything else that was hot on the East or affiliated with those dudes. Ice Cube had already made it okay to fuck with the East Coast through "Amerikkka's Most Wanted", so that made it even cooler. Y'all youngsters do know nothing about pre-Eminem Hip Hop. Shit, you couldn't tell me anybody was nicer than Royal Flush & Mic Geranimo back then. We faced ridicule, mockery, even a couple of fights. But we ain't care. These niggas wasn't up on the level of fly that we had ascertained. Camy cargo shorts, unlaced Timbs, any kick Nike dropped that everybody wasn't rocking, football jerseys, fitted hats, backpacks, baggy jeans, & more importantly, all the Polo we could afford (to steal). Those other cats had no idea. They could keep their creased Dickies, Levi's & Converse. Perhaps it was fate, but we even met some NY/Cali transplants who further schooled us on the art of New York City (RIP ReeRee).

We'd heard tales of a similar crew from NY, who we had heard about previously through all the East Coast culture we immersed ourselves in. They were called the Lo-Lifes. We admired what they were about; Ralph Lauren, & being fly no matter what. Even if it meant violence &/or jail time. How gangsta is that? They were before our time, but the same ethos still applied.

My high school was L.A.'s infamous Westchester High (alum includes Regina King & Trevor Ariza). Home of the pretty boys (shout out to 2CMob). It was mandatory that we stayed dipped. The rest of the crew went to Inglewood High (alum includes Paul Pierce). Same rules applied there, except they weren't as pretty as us Comets.

While cats out East were boosting, we were racking. We were already experts at petty theft, since we all tagged together since 9th grade anyway. From Pilots to Mean Streaks to Krylon cans, we stayed picking something up. It was this little mom & pop hardware store by the Fox Hills Mall, where dude was either stupid, scared or a touch of both, but they stayed getting got.

Wes/Disom was from the notorious K(ings)W(ith)S(tyle). So, by association, we were Dubs as well. Once taggers started to emulate the gang-bang lifestyle though, we knew we had outgrown riding grill on the RTD & etching office building windows. The Nothing But Trouble Gang was anybody killa's, & they hated anything associated with a K-Dub. I wasn't trying to catch a slug over hitting' up a bus bench.

Me, Wes, C-Piece, Joshy, Skulli, Dundee & any given spot filler would plan our attacks on a friday night, over 40's, stale weed & beedies for the following Saturday morn. Nordstroms at the South Bay Galleria was our spot. 4 exits & an escalator. Them motherfuckers wasn't catching us! Back then, out in L.A. at least, the upper-scale stores didn't want to bog you down with sensor tags. They figured that young black kids knew better than to come into their stores. Ha! As if. Customer service-minded idiots.

We would stock up on the Polo pull overs, layer up on some khakis & jeans & whoever had the biggest jacket or the quickest legs that day would grab an arm-full of rugby's & break to the '89 Ford Bronco II waiting in the parking lot. Sometimes, we'd grab some Faconnable, Girbaud or Lucky Brand on the way out just because the displays were so neat. Until one day, a security guard got the license plate & informed the Torrance PD about our hustle. After a few hassles from the pig patrol, we know the jig was up. There, anyways. That's when we expanded to Macy's in the Del Amo, which was just as easy but not as exquisite as Nordstroms. Too much security, though. C-Piece got caught once, & his Moms had to go & get him from mall-jail. Dumb ass rent-a-cops never even checked the shirt he was wearing. The nigga STILL came home holding something.

We carried on for about 2 years, staying fresher than the duck sauce niggas who waited on their parents' paychecks & tax returns. We never got caught with too much, but we sure had our fair share of foot chases, which as any 'Lo Head knows, ain't easy in a pair of deck shoes on freshly waxed linoleum.

Once we graduated, cats got jobs & just started buying their clothes, except for Wes. This cat got hired at a Ross in Hollywood, & we'd go pick him up & eventually began to help ourselves while we waited. Needless to say, Ross' Polo is nowhere near Nordstroms', so it wasn't worth the risk, not as grown ass men.

I don't even talk to those dudes anymore like that. Long gone are those days. Occasionally I'll see one of them in traffic, but its nothing more than a 5 minute brag-fest about what our kids are up to. Never do we talk about how we lived the "real" hip hop life, during it's Golden Era. Stealing shit, taking drugs, drinking Old English 'til we threw up, defacing public & private property, the endless freestyle sessions. If we do talk about any one specific event, it's the time we snuck into the House of Blues in Hollywood to see Rae & Ghost perform. Sick. These niggas came out in darkness wearing miner's helmets, complete with working lights. A definite throwback to what it is nowadays. Hell, half the time I'm not even quite sure if the "Hip Hop" culture still even exists with these kids today. Or maybe I'm just getting old.
Sometimes I tell my son stories about growing up when it was okay to rebel against the system & shit. When everybody was scared to be the same, as opposed to looking clones & mini-them's on purpose.

Hopefully, I'm not filling his head with nonsense that he'll emulate. But, then again, I guess that wouldn't be so bad after all.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jeffrey's Revenge (or Rule Reloaded..?)

“That's the motherfucking first blog on Rule York TV on the iPhizzle cam, nigga. I'm getting a lot of hardcore footage. All you bitch ass niggas out there, I'm letting y'all know I'm coming and I'm fucking, oh, I got a chip on my shoulders this year, bitch."-Ja Rule via Rule York TV

Wow. That's just what we needed. Another rap star with a video camera & a web site to update us on his current activities. Perhaps he's too gangsta for Twitter. Not that I have a Twitter account, so I wouldn't know regardless. The closest I come to tweeting is getting pointless messages from my wife via Blackberry Messenger. To which I respond, "I'll see you when you get home." Somebody let me know when Jesus Christ signs onto Twitter though. That way, I can get a heads up on Judgment Day.

Ja Rule's using his fresh-out-the-box vlog to announce his re-entry into the Hip Hop foray. Can't say that I'm excited, but I bet Ashanti is. It'll give her relevance again. God knows she was a huge piece of Curtis' campaign collateral damage. In fact, ALL of Murder Inc. Records was. Even a shirtless, oiled-down, underage Lloyd wasn't strong enough to carry Irv Gotti's wet dream. Rule's stardom revolved around RnB thuggery & Fat Joe pseudo-fan overflow. If Tupac & DMX had've conceived a lovechild, Jeffrey Atkins would have been it. He was good at what he did, too; giving homothugs coast to coast something to hum while they got their next neck tattoo. But, thanks to the relentless Terminator rapper (Get it? Shoot him & he still keeps coming atcha!), all those good things came to an end.

Until now.

“Nothing fucking stale, nothing faded, brand new, nigga. Get ready. I'm lettin' y'all niggas know, man, you got about 60 to 90 days then I'ma put my dick in your mouth, man. Watch yourselves homies, telling you!"-Ja Rule via Rule York TV

No Homo?

Todays market is rife with emo-rap mercenaries who are hellbent on proving a point. Gangsta rap has taken a (May)back seat to lip rings & liquid denim. Our biggest 2 proponents of such music are M.I.A. (Fif & Ro$$), leaving just enough room for a little dude to sneak in & [re]claim a spot in the light. Enters Ja Rule. In the same breath, this cat busted guns & nuts without provocation. & from the sounds of his, umm, digital warning shots fired, he'll be back on his bullshit within a few short months.

The only good I see coming from this is 50's reaction. This may be exactly what the G-Unit machine needs to leave the office building & go back into the gutters it crawled out of. I, for one, am excited [||]. I never saw the Ro$$/50 battle musically escalate to the same proportions as 50/Ja. & one point, it seemed as if Lloyd Banks was doing all the footwork lyrically, while Curtis wrote stand-up routines for his James Brown-meets-Rick James character Curly. For whatever reason, 50 never delivered the final blow to make Rick feel a need to shave his beard, lose 138 lbs., & relocate to Europe with his career, like many predicted. He almost, but not quite, got Ja Rule'd.

I've always said that Ro$$ was too stupid to know he lost, & in an "ignorance is bliss" type way, he couldn't be defeated. He's like the Cheddar Bob of coke rap.

But in this case, Fif mega-ethered Ja's career. Fuck a knock out, dude's been in a coma. Now, years later, audaciously, Jeffrey wakes up flailing wildly for all the Net to witness, as if the real Ja Rule fans bought hyperbaric chambers & stayed 16 years old through cryogenic stasis for the last 7 years. Sorry about the sci-fi nerdgasm.

Curtis Jackson has to be pissed.

So, maybe this is the motivation needed for a trip back to the Dollar/GRODT/mixtape days. 50 could easily sit back & allow Rule to hit the ground running, confident that he made this man go Bin Laden; rarely being seen & occasionally throwing darts from a cave somewhere in East Bubblefuck. Or, 50 could take every single thing that Ja says from this day forward as a personal attack & get all "G-G-G-G-G-G-Unit!!" on that dude. Suffice it to say that most of us would prefer the latter. Put down that neck tie & pick up a bandanna, per se.

Ja Rule has admitted himself in interviews that when one is so innovative that a whole industry bites their blueprint, its hard to re-emerge, hence the “Nothing fucking stale, nothing faded, brand new, nigga". What does that mean? Auto-tune? No Dice. That would surely be hustling backwards & the well deserved nail in a coffin 50 lowered into the Earth years ago.

True, the crowd loves the underdog, but, in this scenario, who exactly would that be? The man with something to prove, or, the man with nothing to lose?

Maybe, just maybe, 50 still has some gas in his reserve tank. Then again, maybe Ja's been training like Rashard Evans to knock out Chuck Lidell. Sometimes, legends do fall.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Open Letter To Drake: Rough Draft

Dear Drizzy Drake,

First of all, I'm not a fan. Feel free to find something better to do than to respond to this letter. It won't bother me one bit. In fact, it's not an accident that there's no return address.

I've noticed that you may not be getting a fair shot. Maybe its because of Wayne, although personally, I've forgiven him for kissing a man & making the "homo hobo" look so popular. Maybe it's because you'll forever be known as "Wheelchair Jimmy". You know folks can be so unforgiving to the handicap. All uppity with their fancy chairs & special parking spaces & sh!t.

I have some advice for you, if you're willing to overlook the fact that I'm not a 13 year old white girl. I think I can help correct a few made missteps & prevent possible future ones.

Let's start with the (lack of) facial hair. I don't know how many uncles you have, but it only takes one to tell you that people don't trust a Black man without any. Even if he's only half Black. You don't need a full-lipped Eddie Murphy-esque nose tickler. You could just rock one of those drawn in Ginuwine joints. Mascara pencils do the job, in case you don't have enough testosterone to grow it yourself. I assume you can grow one, seeing as your about 32 years old. I'm sure "Young Money" wouldn't be so young if n!gg@s actually looked like they were to old to dry hump pre-teens though, so I understand.

Also, in todays rap climate, you need to be somewhat intimidating. At least a little. Since you've sided with Wayne, there's more than enough rappers to beef with. But I say, you not make it interesting? Slap the sh!t out of Kanye. Its not like he'll return the favor. You two could slap & scratch one another without any real damage being done. Or, if that's too close to home, Charles Hamilton needs some publicity also. Listen, if that broad cleaned his clock, even you should have no problem servicing his wrist watch. Tread lightly though, you're not the only rapper looking to get his ghetto pass reinstated. J-Hood's on a bender this year.

I realize that Obama made being a (moustache-less) halfer cool, but you're not a politician. You only got the "most popular" vote in High School because Canada's underwhelmed with a Black populus. & don't do anything silly, like grow braids or a 'fro. That will undoubtedly add to the amount of minstrelty that you already exude. Its hard out here for a beige n!gg@ trying to spit raps. Remember, when the kids see listen to you, you make them curious as to the euphoria of sex before one's ready. I though R. Kelly copyrighted that, though. But, when other rappers listen, trust, they smell cotton candy & lemon squares. It's mad alpha males looking for something to eat, holmes. Invest in a bodyguard for right now, because I doubt anyway fears Weezy OR Tyga.

Also, you may want to tone down the promiscuious songs. Or at least aim them towards adult females. At this juncture, you're basically a child molestation case waiting to pop. Its true. Once a picture of you with the 5 0'clock shadow leaks, being surrounded by a bunch of girls who just got their periods is not going to be so enticing. Unless, that is, its true that you're a pedophile. You'd better start asking for ID, mister. These 14 year olds be hot to trot nowadays. Touching kids stopped being okay when Nickolodeon didn't renew your contract.

& don't wear any more purple outfits. It makes you look like the biggest piece of Mystery Mix Now 'n' Later ever made. Too sweet for most cats. Unless, of course that's what you're into.

Hopefully, I've been of some sort of service. No need to thank me. Just don't try & have sex with my underage daughter, & we'll call it even, Steven. I mean Aubrey.


Tony Grand$

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Greatest (Minstrel) Show on Earth

I love going to the circus. Not that UniverSoul joint, although I do get amused & somewhat nostalgic with all the African American-esque spins they put on it. But, for my buck, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey's Circus is where its at. FTR, clowns scare me, but I have to remain stoic for my kids sake. Sh!t, clowns are almost as bad as midgets. Midgets = Nightmare City. I used to get high & drunk & watch the Wizard of Oz in Surround Sound. That beat every Friday the 13th movie ever made. Terrifying. An imaginary Jason ain't got nothing on a real-life 3 foot tall buff dude wearing make-up, singing a song about lollipops with a pipe in his mouth. Mean-mugging the camera at that! No Dice. Now, I just watch The Wiz (RIP Mike Jack).

Pardon the scatter brain...

So, my favorite component of the circus is its zany cast of characters. The animals are okay, but unless it has personality like Arnold the Pig from Green Acres (that's a "Pulp Fiction" quote, folks), then its an animal all the same. The bulk of the Big Top's entertainment value rests upon the shoulders of all the people who make it pop.

Just like Hip Hop.

For the sake of argument, the talentless broods with lack of personality are the animals. No specific names come to mind immediately, hence the "lack of personality", but the game is rife with these type dudes. Aww, eff it; Mims, Bow Wow, New Boyz, Chingy, etc. Random faces who pop up occasionally to sh!t on our intelligence & meander into the background without notice. God Bless 'em, though.

It all begins with the Ringleader. The Puff Daddy's, Dame Dash's, Master P's of the industry. Loud, obnoxious, no real discernible skill, yet touching every facet of the production. Try as you might, there's no escaping them. Videos, vlogs, adlibs, websites, these unnecessary commentators run the show. Like it or not. Bear in mind, it does take something besides a shiny suit to call all the shots, even if its naked to the average eyeball.

Next, you have your high-flying acts, who add the razzle dazzle to the spectacle. Your NaS', Tupac's, Em's, Pun's, Jay-Z's, Biggie's, 50's, Twista's, Kanye's & so on. When these dudes call for your attention, its never anything less than all eyes on them (npi). From the moment they emerge(d), its an exciting ride. Effortlessly flipping in & out of tricks, traps & various death-defying situations, lyrically & literally, unfortunately. Too bad we've lost more than a few. We miss them, & cherish the ones who are still here.

Then you have the animal-tamers. Controllers of the most dangerous aspects of the show. The Gate Keepers. KRS-One, BDK, Rakim Allah, Ice Cube, Too $hort, Scarface, & the all the cool-handed veterans who rule by just the crack of a whip. Rather, the sound of their voice. The lions roar & elephant's bellow are silenced by a simple command. Respect is due & widely received for good reason. Hell, without them, the beasts would rip us to shreds (albeit with wackness, but we'd still be shreds).

No circus is complete without the clowns. Ugh x 2. Soulja Boy (Dre) Tellum, Drake, T-Pain (yes, he's Hip Hop. Hip Hop's a culture, not a genre), Jim Jones, Li'l Wayne, this list could go on for a fortnight. If nothing else, these guys provide the needed comic relief that balances out the ugh's & wow's from the ooh's & ahh's. Never looked upon as anything uberfascinating, the clown keeps us occupied with their idiotic antics, & no matter how corny we deem them, we are surely entertained time & time again. I guess its okay for a Jerk to shake his Stanky Legg, occasionally.

Let us not forget the audience. The most intregal part of the performance. The REASON for the exhibition. We, the people, are who they do it for. Whether we love them or hate them, without us there'd be no reason to suit up & execute night after night, city to city. Imagine, if you will, a tent full of acts without anyone to witness them. That would prove to be a pointless excerise in showmanship that would eventually end in some folks killing each other.

Hip Hop, love it or leave it alone.

Basically, I got tired of the WWE comparisons, Ha! I didn't purposely leave out any names, but everyone's perspective is different, so do with my analogy what you will. If I didn't call out your favorite rapper, then he's the guy that gets shot out of the cannon, or one of the dudes who ride motorbikes in the metal sphere.

*cue the clowns*

Sunday, July 5, 2009

F*ck Your Fireworks!

So, the senate issued an apology for the slavery/segregation era, a couple of weeks back ( Notice how little fanfare it received. I would compare it to the whole "if a tree falls in the forest" theory. Really, If there were a message to be delivered to the Black public, why not broadcast it on Oprah like KFC did (Ha!)? If no one heard your apology, is it still considered as saying "sorry"? I don't think so, but most people think I'm a douche, so go figure.

This being Independence Day weekend & all, I've been doing the normal things us Black folk do to celebrate, minus the weed, alcohol, drunk driving & domestic violence. I noticed quite a few people, who obviously wouldn't do so otherwise, were wearing some type of patriotic clothing, as if to broadcast their support of our country. It had me wondering several things.

One being, aren't some (if not most) of these people blatantly defrauding the welfare system? No racism, because I'm Black & know first hand how valuable an EBT card can be when needed. I'm just saying. Taxes are high as f*#k, unemployment as a whole is ravaging families, the economy is a willy-nilly as a pregnant women, & "these people" are living off the sweat of those lucky enough to be able to pay how they weigh. Yet & still, they throw on the muffin-top hugger baby tees to go celebrate life in America.

Seriously, just pay some godd*mned taxes & invest in the economy legitimately & I'm positive that would be enough for Uncle Sam. F*#k your fireworks (which BTW, are illegal in most states).

Hell, I'd throw a party too if I didn't have to do anything but be a parasite, by choice, & still reap the benefits of the working lower-middle class. I'm not saying all welfare recipients, just the ones who have babies as a career choice. You've seen them; not a man in sight, & there's usually no more than a 3 year difference between their 8 kids' ages. If you have that many kids & no car, something is wrong. Really though.

Now, I have several relatives who blame the White man for everything. Their lack of employment, the fact that girls don't like them, why books are so hard to read, so on & so forth. These are the same dudes who nonchalantly traverse back & forth between home & prison of their own valition, constantly saying "School of for suckers!", without so much as a GED. Convicted felons who casually blame their law breakage on the existence of said laws.

"I wouldn't have to rob & sell dope if somebody would give me a job." No, you wouldn't have to rob & sell dope if you had gotten some education. Sweet, sweet irony.

Yet, on a day meant for symbolizing all that the American experience entails, they feel the incessant need to join in the festivities. As if their .03 a day penal system job qualifies them to be productive citizens. Hmmph. Nothing says "patriotism" like violent crimes against fellow Americans. Repeatedly. That's like singing the National Anthem while an upside-down flag flies, on fire, at half-mast from a totem pole.

See, while I may not consider myself the most blue-blooded American (of African descent), I know I've earned my place under the Red, White & Blue pennant. & not because I had to be hog tied/pepper sprayed first either, but because life in Russia sucks & I don't know sh!t about no Africa.

If nothing else, I could always pull the "y'all owe us" card out of my Kente cloth tote bag. But I don't. I pride myself on knowing that I contribute to the country, even if they did annihilate my ancestors. The smallest backhanded compliment they could pay me is at least "Thanks. Pop your fireworks & eat with us".

"You're welcome. & I will."

In another hundred years or so, they'll be no more colored lines. Race will be one big blur of Mullatos talking about the days that their ancestors (Us) began to be treated like actual human beings. But, until then, I'll take my piece of pie.

Whether I choose to eat it or throw it at the next White person I see is yet to be figured out. But, I know I've earned the right to make that choice.

Happy Fourth, motherf*ckers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No, he was really moonwalking!

Now that the tributes have happened & the memorializing of an icon is well under way, of course, the debunking must begin.

The die-hard fans have cried, the not-so dedicated followers have begun to move forward, & as the smoke must clear, the truth shall now come to the light. Its mandatory; just the way this life machine works. & let's be honest, who doesn't love a little posthumous drama, especially involving a celebrity. Even if the celeb is revered by some as Music Supremacy.

According to several sources, Michael Jackson was a hardcore drug addict. One such source being TMZ. & not that Harvey Levin is THE man, but he's damn close. Just ask Chris Brown. For all the years of tasteless jokes & speculation aimed toward Mike, who would have thought that the jokes about drug addiction would eventually be deemed accurate? Of course, growing up under Mike's reign, one wouldn't truly subscribe to the theory that his moonwalking was synthetically induced. But, in a strange twist, he really was high enough to traverse the moon's surace. That's pretty f*cking sad.

His open-book life would be worthy of some type of mind-altering device usage. Where I'm from, drugs are introduced early in life to cope with the harsh realities that emerge even earlier. Why would Michael's situation be any different than, say, a teenage mom or a boy who's step dad sexually molested him? Mike's may have been worse, simply because the entertainment business is a cold-blooded monster with no regard to the age of it's victims. Who truly knows what Mike witnessed, but God?

& being in his position in life may have caused a worse outcome than the local crack dealer being your best friend. He had numerous doctors who knowingly subscribed him whatever he wanted, which is clearly illegal. For further proof, Mike had several alias' to collect his narcotics. That's lying. You only lie if you feel there is something to be ashamed of. Yes, even Mike.

He appeared frail & weak sometimes, others he seemed upbeat & over animated. Now, maybe there's a legitimate reason behind those peaks & valleys.

I've been addicted to alcohol, so I know first-hand how seriously that type life can damage you & all those in your vicinity. I guess Mike had enough money to make everything appear okay, until he was no longer available to clean up his mess(es).

The jury is still out on whether or not his personal physician is responsible for his death, but at this rate, its not going to say "Natural Causes" on his death certificate.

He had a heart attack, per se, but it seems his heart was broken long before it stopped beating.

Now, there's a glimmer of reasoning behind the rash choices he seemed to make. Seriously, what sober person buy's another man's bones or owns a pet monkey. I've heard, plenty of times, about his love for the "Jesus Juice", but even a drunk dude doesn't behave in such a manner as to completely alter their appearance. Completely, as in my kids were freaked out when they say pictures of him from birth to death.

"That kid is Michael Jackson, Daddy? What happened to him?"

I've always felt sorry for child celebrities, & I'll be a monkey's uncle (npi) if he doesn't further fuel the flame of infamy ruining a kid's chance at living a normal adult life. Now, even in death, he's unable to find any type of peace. The saddest part is that he so dearly wanted his "kids" to have a good life, but it seems he just dumped a lifetimes worth of complications on their respective laps. Not to mention the doctors who were simply trying to "help out" a friend in pain. More pain than any of us could ever fathom.

Hell, I blame Joe Jackson, truth be told.

I know the drugs are what ultimately killed him, but, one has to wonder. Was it suicide of sorts?