Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How I Could Just Kill A Man

We've all heard Derrion Albert's tragic story. Not tragic because he was a relative or personal friend, but tragic because we had the privilege of witnessing his beating. A beating that led to his death.

Things like this occur regularly, throughout inner-city war zones all across the glorious U.S.A., on any given day. However, reading about them in the newspaper or online doesn't force us to attach a human life to the victim. Having the luxury of viral video gives the poor kid a personality, a presence, a life, so to speak. These are the images that build legends, more so than eyewitness accounts & empty anchor person rhetoric.

I try to imagine what he was thinking; put myself in his unfortunate shoes during the last several heartbreaking minutes of his life. I would like to think that, somewhere in the earlier part of the violence, he blacked-out & wasn't aware of the horror he was experiencing. Knowing the resilience of the human brain, he was probably cognizant of his predicament, if only in a haze, but knowing the fortitude of the human mind, the whole episode was most likely funneled into some dark, solitary place, in case he survived the attack.

I saw on some news outlet, where the relatives of the accused were denying their respective family member's involvement, even going so far as to call Derrion a "gang member" & saying insensitive things like "it was just a gang fight, they're all gang bangers" & "my son was defending himself". How do you say that to the mother who must not only avoid the media, and the video being forced down society's collective throat, but also has to bury her son? Even if that were God's truth, it still doesn't justify the lack of compassion that we, as humans, have for one another.

Not that this incident has a monopoly over societal ills; parents are killing their own children (& vice versa), fathers are raping their daughters, the list is a bottomless barrel of inequity with no foreseeable future other than annihilation. & regardless to whatever, it's not a race issue as much a people issue. Impoverished people, to be exact. The detrimental cycle of poverty breeds a different kind of creature. "The Cosby Show" was merely a fun house mirror, designed to distort the wicked actuality of our genuine reflections. So contrast to that fantasy, when despair is all you know, there's basically no chance at creating anything else. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but within that rule is Murphy's Law (anything that can happen, probably will), & the mathematics just don't work in most "exceptions" favors. They wind up as statistics or innocent victims to the reality they're forced to digest routinely.

Any possible solution goes beyond tax reforms & job markets. There's no political advisors or government officials with the ability to change the hearts of man. Even if the most unfortunate, misguided soul was taken from his natural environment & thrust into the richest, most beneficial environment with every imaginable bell & whistle life has to offer, that wouldn't necessarily change generation upon generation of programmed misinformation, struggle, & survival of the fittest ethos. & truth be told, the real skills one need to "live" in today's society aren't taught in school. That's why so many youth's become disenchanted with education by 10th grade. Their education comes from the street. The same street where their ignorance was conceived, waving good bye to them as they leave, & subsequently, saying "Hello" to them when they return home.

& I'll tell you this; these rappers aren't helping matters one bit. Even the one's with a voice are usually to wrapped up in their own personal battles to lend a hand. It all begins at home, as we should already know, but think about the conditions of said homes in a lot of instances. So, what we can do, individually, is reach out to those tangible, be it boy or girl. Help those still within arm's distance. Now is not the time to be innocent bystanders, but willing participants in whatever avenues need to be traversed. Again, it all begins at home...

Broken homes, drug abuse, desensitization, racism, classism, depression, alcoholism, violence in general are all fueled by a harsh poverty that many may never escape. Those that succumb rarely make it through to the finish line. I'm not here to preach, but, wow. Something's gotta give.

*RIP to all those whose untimely, unnecessary deaths remind us about this turbulent life we live daily*

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hate The Game, Not The Player...

So, Lamar Odom married Khloe Kardashian, girlfriend of about 3 months, over the weekend. Thus, leaving behind his baby momma &/or love interest of about 10 years & their 2 children. According to, Liza Morales is dealing with Odom's marriage for her kids & wishes the newlywed's happiness because "everyone deserves to be happy". However, she refused to let THEIR children attend their FATHER'S wedding. WTF?!

Says Ms. Morales-"Yes, the circumstances over the last few weeks have been upsetting but none of my actions publicly or from the privacy of my home could be classified as a meltdown. I have maintained a brave face for my children who are my main concern and I remain strong for them."

Maybe I missed something in my slow, neanderthal way of man-thinking, but did somebody die? Sounds like the worst thing ever has happened to her & life is at a complete stand still. Really though, 10 years & no wedding? You've been living fantasies sweetie, for 'bout a decade or so. No Shots, though...

Swizz Beats, musical mastermind behind a whole bunch of shit, has apparently left his wife, R&B singer Mashonda for a more popular, & arguably more talented (& more attractive. No Shots, though) Alicia Keys. This isn't new news by any stretch of the public eye's imagination. Though the couple is still legally married, Swizz has more than made it official that his marriage is doomed to despair & has since had his pieces picked up by Ms. Keys, soon to be Mrs. Beatz, figuratively & literally speaking. Now, Mashonda has made her outcry public document via Twitter (is there any other way to snitch??).

Says Mashonda-"Already I can hear some of you saying "why are u blaming her, You cant make someone leave their wife, You cant break something thats broken". Well, my marriage was not broken, as far as I knew we were celebrating our sons birth and getting ready to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary . Call it blind love, whatever. I call it being a devoted wife.."

"As far as I knew" is usually what a defendant says on the stand when asked about their knowledge of some criminal act that's taken place, when they know damn well it wasn't right. Or, what most women say to illustrate the blind eye they've decided to turn towards whatever mishap has landed in their weaves semi-unexpectedly.

Regardless to the urban legends & broken home myths that fill court building hallways, children don't fix marriages/relationships, & hold no bearings over an individual's happiness. Truth be told, the children are often the resulting mistakes of people acting like the animals they are. Rarely are children born as a sum of love + happiness. I would go in on women not recognizing the power of the 'tang & just handing it to any guy without a speech impediment, but what do I know?

Actually, quite a bit...

Women, you need to understand the nature of the beast with which you decide to up the vajayjay to. Men are merely boys with body hair & bad credit scores, give or take. Man's intention lies in self-serving gratification, be it physical or otherwise. We like things that make us happy, per se. Fun things. Things that aren't hard to operate or take a lot of concentration to engage in. Men complicate things solely out of frustration, where as women seem to do it out of necessity. That alone is an oil & water situation, from the first date (booty call) to the last kiss (booty call). It's not that all men are dogs, or that we're selfish beings from the planet Stingy. It's just that once something stops being fun, we don't like it anymore. Ladies, how many XBox360 games does your man own? Do you know why? Because he finished a game, & at that point, he needed something new to have fun with. It wasn't anything personal towards the game itself; nothing to do with if it gained weight or let itself go. He's simple finished, bored & has moved on from that game, now dull & mundane. Now, had the game learned some new levels or created some alternate endings every time he got to the end, that would be a different scenario altogether.

I'm no Steve Harvey, but women, certain things can't be done in the traditional sense if you want to keep a man. Let's start with the word "keep". You "keep" a pet. You "keep" a pair of shoes. You don't "keep" a man; you "keep" him happy. If you're willing to get willy-nilly over the fact that he's moved on, then get equally as willy-nilly in your efforts to keep him around beforehand.

It's actually not that hard. In fact, most women could/would lighten their load if they just check dude out thoroughly before he becomes an amusement park's worth of genitals. I've always said to my home girls, as far back as I can remember, "Don't bone that dude. Yet.". No hate fellas, but we all know we've told that to a close home girl, only to be ignored while she "falls in love", then soon after has a bastard child while dude has already driven away to the next sperm receptacle. If you've ever seen a Tyler Perry movie, you have an idea how that system operates.

It's always amazed me that the behavior of Man is common knowledge, yet every woman thinks her cooch is the Kryptonite to every super guy she sleeps with. No Dice. Cats wear lead draws these days, girls. In case you're not hip to Superman-ese, that means that dude's already prepared for whatever new entrapment weaponry you think you've invented. It takes more than a home-cooked meal & D.S.L.'s to make a dude want to hang up is walking, umm, running shoes.

Not to be mean, but sometimes that willingness to churn out rug rats without a genuine, God-fearing commitment can come back to bite you in that same booty of yours that answers everytime he calls (see what I did there?). Whatever it is that you assume is so pleasing to him, keep this in mind; there's always a less attractive, less demanding, more appreciative woman out there, so you really need to give him ample reason to stick around for the arguments & what not. Really though. Separation from the pack is far more arduous than separation of the legs.

By no means are these shots at the ladies. In fact, I hope this helps some young, unexpecting girl to realize that a happy, healthy relationship is as easy to attain as an unwanted pregnancy or an STD, if you understand what I'm getting at. Women seem to have a tendency to look down the road, love-wise, & neglect the present. Too busy looking for the marriage, without giving the courtship the proper attention. Then, when it all falls down, the man's a dog, a womanizer, a Federline, etc.

If it takes 2 to tango, then why on Earth wouldn't it take 2 to fuck up a relationship? Most cats naturally have an exit strategy embedded in their psyche to begin with. It's just about how, when, &/or where is it going to take place? Knowing how to diffuse said mechanism is the mark of a woman worth being "kept" by.


15 Minutes

I've had some pretty shitty jobs in my day. We all have, I'm sure. But, I doubt anybody can top being a shoe shine boy (literally, a boy. I was like 16) in the lobby of one of those snob hob-knob hotels near LAX. Imagine my dismay the first time some rich, White douche nozzle kicked his loafers up on my foot rest & asked me to "hook him up". Indeed, I hooked him up [||], & dude even gave me a generous tip [||], but that wasn't the point. I felt like it was a scene in some 1934 Shirley Temple movie, & I should have been wearing a white tuxedo with my eyeballs bulging from my shiny, negro head. One customer asked me a retarded question one afternoon, & out of youthful rebellion, I answered, "yessum". He didn't find it amusing, & actually his tip was one of the biggest I'd received ([||] x 2). Ugh, the memories. One thing I'll say in regards to undermining, menial labor for White folks; they pay extra. It's like some form of reparations; they must feel sorry for all the times Chicken George got slashed across his back as a fringe benefit to slavery. Chicken Tony, on the other hand, exercised his right to freedom, & bid the shoe shine industry a farewell after one long summer.

For the most part, I've always done some asshole manual labor that I was over qualified for, but underwhelmingly desperate to make some loot from, so, the ends justified the means I guess. I'll tell you what; I stress the importance of education to my son like there's no tomorrow. The way things seem to be going, there isn't one unless you have a college diploma.

Possibly the best job I ever had was working for The Adam Carolla Show radio show, in L.A., a few years back in 2006-07. I was an avid listener at the time, & they had a "Black guy" named Jarron. He wasn't what the quintessential Black dude would personify, especially on a lower-upper class yuppie talk radio program. In short, they didn't want a well educated, correct english speaking Black guy who sounded & acted more White at times, than the hosts themselves. They wanted a "nigga"; someone who could take them places, in the hood, that they wouldn't otherwise have had access to. So, the show held a contest for the new Black guy. I called, & became one of 3 finalists. The deciding factor was to be an in-studio Black-Off, judged by none other than the great (psychotic) David Allen Grier. I think he has some sexual issues, but that's a blog of another color.

Basically, Adam Carolla & co-hosts Theresa Strausser & Dave Damasheck asked me & 2 other Black guys a few random questions that only Blacks would know the answer to. Obviously, I was faster than the other two dudes. All the while, David Allen Grier kept finding reasons to touch my shoulder or lean on me as if I were a prop for his comedy routine. I was waiting for dude to "accidentally" graze my ass, but in a bad way. The finale was a bagging contest, which I passed with flying colors. Come on, who has more jokes than a nervous alcoholic surrounded by White people & a mentally unstable Black Z-list celebrity? Nobody, thats who! Thus began my stint on the show as "Tony the Black Guy".

It sounded corny & extremely racist, especially when Adam said it, but it was cool to be a Black man on the radio who wasn't rapping or being Steve Harvey. I met some cool ass celebrities though; Michael Irvin (the "cocaine" Cowboy), Tony Hawk, 3 Playboy bunnies who apparently REALLY liked Black guys & their "pimp", Danny Bonaduce (he's a nice guy, don't let the fiery hair fool you), David Allen Grier (I seriously think he wanted to sodomize me, seriously), I went to a premier of that year's Harry Potter movie & made some White people very uncomfortable & even interviewed my neighborhood homies about Obama. To add authenticity to my 'hood interview, the big homie Bird was cursing & didn't know who a pre-presidency Obama was. Sweet! I even pulled my son into the action, & he recorded a few intros for the show. It was easily one of the few times in life I felt important; even had my own electronic key to get into the building.

I often found myself walking the thin line between being "the Black guy" & embarrassing my race. It's not so much that I fancy myself a spokesperson for Americans of African descent, but never was it my intention to shuck & jive my way into the Coon's Hall of Fame. Arsenio Hall would've probably have me assasinated before he let that happen anyway. Whenever I recognized myself in the precarious situation of being "too Black", I'd drop some knowledge on whatever dumb topic we were discussing on air. Multi-syllabic words & what have you. & to think, I didn't want to shine shoes anymore, yet look where I ended up...

Alas, as in all good things, my time ended, the show got cancelled, but I'll always have my 15 minutes. Recently, I googled "The Adam Carolla Show Tony the Black Guy" & found a few blogs that mentioned me by name. I went to images even, & saw the picture I took the day I won. How cool is that? If nothing else, it'll make a cool story to tell my grandkids one day. Or my blog readers today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twitter Gonna Kill Somebody!

This whole insta-communication thing has always been kind of suspect to me. Gone are the days of not answering your phone or ignoring contact with people, regardless how irritating they may be. Case in point, there's at least 5 ways to get in touch with me, if anyone really wanted to reach me. Oddly enough, I don't even have a house phone & know very few people under the age of 40 that do. My little brother hipped me to that "on-the-go" way of life some years back. I thought it was the dumbest idea ever. The only people who shouldn't have house phones are those without houses. Eventually though, my wife & I succumbed, & realized we eliminated a bill. But the trade-off for one less bill isn't necessarily worth being available for comment at all times of the day.

Which leads my to my next point. Say, you did something to me that warranted some immediate attention paying. First, I'll call you. If that doesn't take, I'll text you. Still no dice? I'll send a polite email, & include the fact that I've tried reaching you to no avail. If need be the big guns come out, per se. I'm hitting myspace & FaceBook with an ass load of things to say, knowing damn well that you won't be the only one to read them. This would be the social networking equivalent of DEFCON 3. Privacy is no more an option at this point, seeing as though I've decided to take it to the "streets". My last, & most audacious resort would be to hit you on the Twitter, for the world to see. Now, we're at DEFCON 4, & with a limited amount of shoving, I could make you a trend. Yeah, a trend. Thats when the users make fun of a person/place/thing even if they have no idea why, it just becomes fun & cool to the popular & anonymous alike. Papoose, Bow Wow & Ace Hood have all allen victims of said trending, & it wasn't pretty.
[tony's note: seem as if rapper fabolous has become the spokesperson for dissing other rappers on twitter. i called it a couple weeks back on "what happens in las vegas, goes on twitter". just want my credit....]

There's an incident right now involving blogger Combat Jack ( & radio personality Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97fm (the place where Hip Hop lives). Jack took sourly to some thing's Rosenberg said during the morning talk show, & decided to give him a piece of his mind via Twitter. & to think, 10 years ago, you'd have to wait until you caught a nigga slipping at the grocery store. Whatever Jack said was far from insulting, or even insinuating, he merely wanted to make a point in regards to Quadaffi's speech at the UN meeting. Rosenberg, obviously a man of many words, hence his profession, tweeted back to Combat Jack:

"Ill slap the shit out of you in front of ur kids..."

Now, any other interaction between the two is irrelevant. At this juncture, Rosenberg had crossed the sand line Combat drew in the proverbial sand. [tony's note: proverbial is like my most favorite word ever.] Not only did this whole episode not begin with any threatening language or chance for violence, but you don't wave threats in front of a (Black) man, AND involve his children without expecting quite the backlash. Keep in mind, a Black man who does raise his kids is naturally going to be extra territorial over them. & the fact that it was on Twitter, where possibly thousands witnessed the occurrence, only fuels the fires.

Under normal circumstances, Jack, a New Yorker, would have driven to Rosenberg's place of business, also in New York, & the two could've swiftly gotten to the bottom of such blatant douche nozzleness. What made this not "normal", was the fact that Combat Jack is a lawyer, & Rosenberg knows that. Had Jack been in a different place in life, God only knows what may have happened. Well, I have an idea & it would've most likely involved jail time for one, hospital time for the other.

These days, cats like Fabolous go around teasing lesser familiar rappers, breathing new life into the phrase "cyber-bully". Who's to say that one of these not-as-successful rappers decides to make a name for themselves? Back in the days, if the beef were that insistent, one would go to the nearest venue the other was performing at, wait around until the show was over & confront them. No emotional outburst distributed throughout a social network. If "fuck you" is what you wanted to say, you'd first have to possess the balls to say it to someone's face. I'll admit that, as a whole, we've become more aggressive & less confrontational, society-wise. All you need is an ISP address & you can go around spewing as much distaste as your hateful heart desires.

Remember that girl that everyone teased & bullied & humiliated online, who eventually brokedown & committed suicide? Yeah, something like that, but only murder.

Eventually, all that will change though because, & quote me, Twitter's gonna get somebody killed.

**Take a moment & pray for my big homie Dallas Penn. & yourselves, while you're at it.**

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Blame it on the..."


Kanye-Gate has died down. It was kind of fun, I must admit. Seeing the closet-racists poking their heads out, if only to spit in the general direction of our beloved King of EmoRap. All the shots taken at him, some deserved, others not, but all quite amusing. Watching him almost cry during his Jay Leno apology. & let us not forget how he may have single-handedly reprised race relations in America, good or bad. Really though, you've got to respect a man who can get the President of the United States to call him a "jack ass" out loud. He didn't even do that for Joe Wilson. Or John McCain, for that matter. Something tells me that he calls Joe Biden that often, among other things...

Of all the excuses conjured up for Kanye's explosive expression, there's one I didn't hear often enough, but makes the most sense. He was drunk. Sure, people speculated on him swigging from a Hennessey bottle in public, but it was never pinpointed as the epicenter of the folly. I heard/read/saw him called everything from D-bag to racist, but I don't recall too many folks saying, "Hey, dude was just drunk", or something to that effect. Not that that's an excuse, but it's a start.

As you guys know, I'm a recovering alcoholic. I'm well aware of the evils that lurk inside those attractive bottles, with their pretty colors & curvaceous bodies & the damage said evils can cause if not managed properly. Still to this day, my wife will tell me some story about something I did, that I have no recollection of, & I laugh on the outside but feel like an idiot inwardly. One memory that I did seem to log onto my hard drive was being at my wife's best friend's house & cursing at her mom one time. She made some comment, & I said, "So the fuck what?". Jokingly, of course. Needless to say, drunk senses of humor don't mesh well with sober ones. She was dumbfounded, flabbergasted. I have no idea what happened after that, or before, but I do know that my wife & her friend's relationship hasn't been the same since.

Another I'll never forget is when my in-laws came to live with my wife, kids & I for awhile, some years back. I extended my house to them, because they were going through some things financially, & I figured this would be a way to prove to my wife that I'm still a good guy, underneath the stench of whatever liquors I got my hands on. I don't have to say that that decision was one of poor choice. It wasn't long before I was complaining about my lack of privacy & feeling like a child being restricted to his room for punishment. & of course, this led me to drink more. The camel's back-breaking straw was something trivial, but in a drunken fit of rage, I yelled "Get the fuck out! Everybody!", to two women & 4 little girls. &, get out they did, immediately. I felt like crap for at least 3 or 4 days, & even though my wife understood, she was pissed. It took them all awhile to speak to me but eventually they forgave me.

I have a friend; one of those dudes who prides himself on material things. The type of guy who can't differentiate between the words 'wealth' & 'worth'. There was a time that we'd sit & get drunk daily, & every so often I'd talk him into handing me the keys to whatever nice car he was driving at the time. One day, mid-drunkenness, I decided I needed to make a run, so off we went, with me behind the wheel. As I turned a corner, I grinded his front right rim against the curb. Man, I'll never forget getting out of the car & bending down to look at the destruction I caused. Adrenaline & testosterone kicked in, so I undoubtedly had to act as nonchalant & defensive as possible, but in my mind I was well aware of the irresponsible thing I'd done. That was easily one of the highlights of my life's low points. I did apologize, though. I even offered to pay for it, but dude knew I didn't have that kind of money laying around. If I did, I wouldn't have driven his car in the first place. We're still "friends" & he never brings it up, but I'll never forget it.

Last summer, when my alcohol problem finally caught up to me medically, the doctors ran every test on me that could. So, to find out that I was disease-free came as a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders. In my quest to solidify my manhood over the last 15 or so years, who knows how much risky behavior I engaged in that fell into the "blackout" zone. Let us not gloss over the fact that I have a set of twins from a semi-relationship *cough-jump off-cough* almost 9 years ago. At that point in my life, similar to a present day Kanye, I went nowhere without a bottle. Literally. I'd refill my water bottle with anything but water; sad part was that I didn't even drink the water. I'd just pour it out, into the sink. The whole "blackout" scenario is very real; some days I'd wake up & remember I'd had company, but would have to ask someone else who was there. Or receive a phone call regarding the prior night & play along, knowing damn well I truly had no idea what they were talking about. During my stint in the hospital, I asked my doc if they thought that I might have any other medical problems, to which he replied "nah, we had to check you for everything, you're clean", as if he knew what I was alluding to.

I have a pretty close friend named Charlie. One of my old drinking buddies. The last time I saw him he was telling me that I drink too much. That was the equivalent of a really fat person telling a slightly less fat person to slow down on the chili cheese fries. Later that day, after a morning stocked with beer & Vodka, he got into a fight with one of our neighborhood chicks, then her boyfriend, then walked around the corner to her house & set it on fire. Alcohol is a helluva drug. But, I'm sure he'll be good & sober when he gets released from prison in 4 years.

Admittedly, I was a self-involved jerk, who didn't care much for how other folks felt, or what they're were going through. In hindsight, it's a wonder I still have friends. & thank God that my wife is intelligent & compassionate enough to have seen past the facade. The average person would've done what most people eventually did do; left me alone with my drink.

Again, being drunk stops being cute when it affects other people, & maybe this was the wake up call Kanye needed. I'm not suggesting dude check himself into rehab or anything, but if a problem is brewing (no pun intended), that may be something he wants to research. It might save him a lot of future grief. & since I'm almost positive that he'll never read this, then I'm saying this to whoever needs to read it.

That "Blame It On The Alcohol" song would have gone a completely different direction than getting loaded & having great parties with the opposite sex if I wrote it. Drunk drivers accidentally kill people, & what do they do? Women get raped at parties, & what do they do? I needed a liver transplant, & what did I do?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stop me if you've heard this one...

I went to a gathering at my in-laws this weekend, & I'm not too partial to the majority of them in the first place; I was just there to keep an eye on my son (yeah, I'm over protective but so the fuck what? Too bad more Black fathers aren't). Anyhow, as soon as we get there, it was drama. You know Black folks can't get together for 15 minutes without some neck-rolling & finger-pointing. *cue the obligatory racist joke* Somebody either drank the last of the Kool-Aid or bad mouthed Tyler Perry.

The incident itself was completely irrelevant, but one aspect of it kind of made me chuckle, in a bad way. My brother-in-law's baby momma got into an argument with some bird that lived in the apartment complex. Luckily for me, my (sort of) sis-in-law had her gay lover with her. As the confrontation ensued, the gay lover jumped in, & was told by the bird, "Oh, you wanna act like a nigga, I got somebody for you!". [tony's note: bird = wild haired, bra-less baby factory] Normally I ignore those types of things, especially when it doesn't involve any of my real family members, but I couldn't help but laugh at that. It amused me well into the evening, & for a few minutes this morning when I woke up.

See, I have no real problem with gay peoples. In fact, without sounding like a bigot, they are some of the coolest folks I've come across during my travels (recovering alcoholics can be a delight as well). & God knows I prefer lesbian porn over watching some hairy-assed dude shafting poor, defenseless white girls. But, as with most things in life, there's always a boundary. Being a lesbian is one thing; attempting to actually be taken seriously as an equal counterpart to Men is another ballpark (no pun intended).

I've noticed that, at least in Los Angeles, the butch dyke has taken on a new role. What was once the female companion to a woman who's chosen to explore her sexual options has now become a pants sagging, wave-capped corn rows wearing, sports bra to hide the chi-chi's ass anti-feminist, who's wholeheartedly adamant on edging out men in their quest for empowerment. Let us not forget what James Brown said. In case you did, this is a man's world. That doesn't mean that we don't need women, but we don't if said female is insistent on awkwardly standing in front of a urinal to create the appearance of peeing while standing.

It's to the point where two girls occupying the same personal space nowadays get automatically labeled lesbians. In my younger days, it was a case of figuring out which one I'd rather have casual sex with & mostly likely it would be both. Now, it's like trying to sneak peeks at some fresh-outta-prison cat's girlfriend. When Women's Liberation spoke to equal rights, I assume they didn't mean getting knocked the fuck out like a man, but if it walks like a duck, by all means, quack quack.

Perhaps the most mystifying facet of all this is that gay women always seem to have upwards of three children in tow. So first, I'm sure they soured their kids' heads with talks of how useless their fathers are, & next, to add insult to injury, they open-mouth kiss their women friend(s) in public as if it's a normal occurrence. On top of the fact that mommy's woman friend dresses like daddy, but has a period like mommy. Only in America people. If this were the Middle East, heads we be on sticks next to curb side mailboxes. Again, I don't judge, because that God's responsibility & it would behoove me NOT to step on Jehovah's sandals, but this can't be the way it was supposed to be. I doubt my grandmother had any bisexual experiences. Yet, I have a cousin who has/does, & thats okay, too. When I met her girlfriend, I could've sworn she looked at my mustache & got mad at it. As if she doesn't get enough hair on her lips already.

It's not necessary to prove how manly one is, unless of course, they're not. It's overkill, ladies. If you want to munch carpet, feel free to do so until it gets caught in your respective throats. But, don't piss on my Air Force 1's & tell me it's drizzling. Whatever your parents did or didn't do to you can be discussed on therapy couches that span as far as the eye can see. & with this looming health care initiative, I'm sure said help isn't far off. But I beg of you, don't impose your hostilities on us real men, who father your children, kill your spiders & move your furniture. Even if we are just your cousins & uncles.

Really though, I'm just saying. Don't shoot the douche nozzle, I'm only delivering the message. Speaking of douche nozzles, I wonder how a dyke butch (see how I did that there?) keeps the pipes clean? Never mind, no I don't...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wild, Wild (Delonte) West

"Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West was arrested Thursday night in Upper Marlboro, Md. after officers pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle and discovered he was carrying a loaded shotgun in a guitar case and two loaded handguns."-via AP.

Damn! Add a vampire, a white girl & somebody saying the word "nigga" pointlessly & this would be the beginning of a Tarantino movie.

Anybody not familiar with basketball at least knows who LeBron James is. Okay, D. West plays on the same team as that guy. In fact, he might possibly be one of the beigest negros in the league. Anyone who is well-versed on their NBA trivia knows that their team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, was almost a shoe-in to go toe to toe with the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals last season, until they got their asses handed to them by the Orlando Magic.

The Orlando Magic was the team Shaquille O'Neal played for his rookie year, when he was breaking backboards as opposed to now, his 37th season, where he's whoring himself out on lame TV shows, wearing pink speedo bikinis (ugh) & pretending to be a police officer. Nigga, please; a .38 slug will quiet even the largest man, believe that. Coincedentally, O'Neal now plays for the Cavs also. Perhaps he was an arresting officer. At the least, he'd probably heard about D. West planning to shoot up a daycare center & called 911.

As for Delonte West, what can I say that his first name or his penitentiary tattoos haven't already? Dare I say without sounding a tad bit racist, but his mother should've known that a day like this would eventually happen with a name like Delonte. He probably suffers from the same debilitating syndrome that I did once; light skin paranoia. It makes you feel as though you must prove something, especially when surrounded by a bunch of certifiable Black guys. I'm sure it's a variant of how the mulatto house niggers felt when they had to hold down the foot that was about to be chopped off. After that, it was almost madatory that they sexed the Bossman's wife, to show the field hands they were still down.

"Police said a handgun was found in West's pocket, another in his pant leg and a shotgun in a guitar case strapped to his back. They said West, 26, was cooperative."-via AP.

Cooperative is a word police use so they don't have to say, "if he had've blinked too loudly, he would've had more holes in him than a bum's boxer shorts...". Whatever was going through his curly head during that re-enactment of any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie surely was snapped back to reality when the One Times lit him up. "Cooperative" indeed. What would possess a semi-successful, regionally famous, third-string bench warmer to mount up & ride out with so many guns?

"Last year [season], West left training camp to seek treatment for depression and a "mood disorder" he said he has battled his entire life."-via AP

Oh. He must've been smoking that "funny" weed since his days in junior high school continuation classes. You know most light skinned Black dudes say they only smoke "that good shit" anyway, only to one day freak out & lose hold of their fleeting careers, a la Al B. Sure. Last time I saw Al B., he was buying dollar chili burgers at an AM/PM by LAX. Only crazy motherfuckers eat those things. & only crazy motherfuckers put shotguns in guitar cases like this was an episode of Bonanza.

Was he depressed because his team didn't make it as far in the playoffs as projected? No Dice. Lame excuse. Instead of spending time watching episodes of 'White Shadow' & smoking pot, he should've taken his high yellow ass to a gymnasium, & helped LeBron. That way, when they did finally lose to the Magic, he would've have a tangible reason for a "mood disorder". I don't wish jail on any man, but I don't see any philanthropist's investing in a "stupid niggas time-out establishment", so let the punishment fit the crime.

Ain't no telling where he was going with all those hammers. Might've been on his way to see Kobe Bryant, & we can't be have that. We need another championship...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 salt & pepper shakers.

Wow. This has been some week (give or take) for us, ay niggas? Allow me to recap a few events, before I continue...

[tony's note: by no means does my usage of the term "niggas" mean I'm alienating everyone else, so please, continue reading...]

*Senator Joe Wilson yells out that President Obama is a liar during an(other) address regarding health care, subsequently becoming the new "Joe Six-pack".

*During a tournament match, Serena Williams threatens to shove a ball down a line judges throat for a call that could've easily been disputed, thus is disqualified from the game.

*Kanye West rudely interrupts 19 year-old country singer Taylor Swift, as she makes her acceptance speech for the Mtv VMA Moon Man trophy for best female video of the year.

Perhaps there's some strange, twice-in-a-lifetime planetary alignment that allowed for so much public blactivity to be witnessed worldwide in such a short span. Nonetheless, racism has exploded with new reverence. Twitter, the world's leading boulevard for mouth running, has been a flutter with the N-word & the phrase "white bitch" much, much, much more than usual. The great divide that separates us by color has been breached, with both respective proponents taking no prisoners. Do or die, if you will.

There hasn't been this much Black/White separation since Barack Obama & John McCain were in the same room. Or since Michael Jackson debuted the video for that song "Black or White". Or since yesterday, when I pulled my Oreo cookie apart prior to eating.

It's almost funny how closest racists & brown-nosed bigots jump at the first opportunity to hurl epithets like water balloons filled with haterade. Now that each side is flinching at the other, it's merely a matter of time before the first proverbial punch is thrown.

When Gil Scott-Heron said, "The revolution will not be televised", he had know idea that it would be because YouTube, Twitter & Facebook would become the only way information gets transferred. It's not that idiocy, of all hues, hasn't always existed, it's just that now, it's a double-left click away.

Speaking of the first punch, it may be closer than we think. & it's a hay maker, to say the least. It turns out that, according to ex-girlfriend Christie Pody, Orenthal James Simpson, a/k/a OJ, who was found innocent of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson & her lover Ron Goldman, actually did do it. By "it" I mean murder them. Immediately, this brings to mind the title of his book, "If I did it", & how White America used said book as a stepping stool to put his noose back on the tree from which it hang during his trial. But, to the dismay of probably 90% of America's caucassion community (& some Black people, too), "double jeopardy" states that he'll remain innocent for the rest of time. Then the dumb nigga robbed some cats in a hotel room & got sentenced to roughly 33 years. Go figure.

This potential situation is what's referred to as a "powder keg". At this rate, if by some misfortunate turn of events Pody provides any (more) damning evidence that O.J. actually did kill his White ex-wife, that single incident will slingshot any notion of a post civil rights movement-based society back to the days of chains & whips. & I'm not talking about jewelry & automobiles here.

As more details emerge from his ex-snowflake love toy, we can only assume that the same voters who scoffed at Pres. Obama's election will be equally disgusted & overjoyed that, even though a court couldn't condemn him, "they" still got him. This is sad, if only because it will further separate a nation that was once a place people fled to to escape the harsh realities of injustice. Now, foreigners will start bypassing us & head straight to Canada.

Seriously, we've got a Black president, & a White rapper dominating the charts. If thats not progress, then I'm wasting my time writing this. Let's not start backsliding here, y'all. I'm not saying hold hands with strangers &/or "love thy neighbor", but I am saying that, as a people, America can't revert to the days of self-imposed segregation just because a handful of pessimistic douche nozzles decide to show their asses to anyone willing to look.

Fuck it; love thy neighbor.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West: Douchebag Deluxe

If Taylor Swift has never had any Black friends, she sure as hell won't now. Thanks to Kanye, she probably believes every stereotype her grandparents ever tried to instill in her regarding n-words. I could've sworn I saw her flinch, when he broke into his estrogen-induced tirade, like she was preparing to get slapped across the face & have her purse stolen.

[Blogger's note: For those that don't know (what rock do YOU live under?), Taylor Swift, country singer, received the MTV Video Music Award for best female music video. Appalled, Kanye West stormed the staged, snatched the mic from Swift during her acceptance ramble, & declared Beyonce Knowles the unofficial recipient of that award. Later in the show, Beyonce allowed Swift to finish the speech Kanye so rudely interrupted.]

That MTV video award was hers. She rightfully earned the coveted Moon Man, whether Blacks had heard of her or not. & to think, she was most likely semi-prepared with her victory speech, family watching anxiously, & suddenly, Kanye lets the fishsticks out of the man-bag. It seems that all those years of wearing clothing that prevents proper blood circulation has rendered him unable to think straight. Either that, or it's true what "they" say about White woman.

I think he just wanted everybody to see his new haircut before his naps grew back & covered up the road map he had carved into his head. Like dudes who wear fire engine red tennis shoes just so you'll look at them. Kanye's always been a glutton for the spotlight, & let's face it; ever since Drake wheel-chaired his way into our collective hearts, Kanye's been relegated to "that guy who's dating Amber Rose.". That has to do mean things to an ego that big. Perhaps, behind those shades he never removes, he's weeping, gently, like a child who watched her drunken step dad beat a kitten to death with a Barbie doll.

It would seem that, after that traumatic car accident that left him with his jaw wired shut, losing his moms, & that girl leaving him, Kanye would have achieved some higher level of humility. No Dice. He's still stepping over the little people to piss off of a balcony ledge.

Taylor Swift, on the other hand, is being viewed as the damsel in distress, who was rescued by a very bootylicious Beyonce Knowles-Carter, & returned to her perch so she could continue to sing. In that 5 minute interval, she probably gained every older, white female fan that Kanye lost. You know, the ones who liked his music because they thought he was one of "the good ones", & danced to "Golddigger" as they drove their kids to soccer practice. Now, he's one of "those people", & TMZ will be accusing him of smoking crack rocks by Friday.

See, I'm all for artistic expression & personal opinion. But, this was a clear-cut case of the kid who gets picked on finally finding someone "smaller" than him. He may have been accurate with what he said, about Be's video being better (if only for all the ass cheeks bouncing around on screen), but he wouldn't have done that to a more formidable opponent. Say that had've been Mary J. Blige. She would have probably shot him in the stomach. Even Jennifer Hudson would've handed him his ass on a platter, or suplexed him, since her husband is a wrestler & has undoubtedly taught her a couple of moves for a situation just like this. Though he's wise enough to pick battles he can win, exactly what type of war is he waging when the enemy is a 19 year old country singer?

Rappers already have a bad name, & once America feels they can't even trust the sensitive ones, not even the mighty Barack Obama himself will be able to stop the anti-civil rights movement. Face it; Serena's putting hits out on a line judge & Jay-Z has been outed as satan. It's been a hard few days for Americans of African descent. My buddy P! just informed me that he'd received a chain text that said "Kanye hates white people. Go back to Africa". My advice, stay away from any "picnics" for the next couple of months, niggas.

So what did we learn today? Nothing we didn't already know. Celebrities are mindless douche nozzles & America waits on any opportunity to rear it's racist under-belly. & according to Kanye, even gay black men aren't harmless anymore.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back Then>Right Now

I finally saw G.I. Joe (the movie) today. A bootleg copy that I got in exchange for a pack of Newports, so I can't/won't complain about the quality. It beat the hell out of watching NASCAR & college football all afternoon though, so s'all good.

The movie itself, was actually very entertaining. I removed my childhood memories of setting up rosebush wars & backyard battles & just watched it for what it was; a movie based on an old ass toy Army man. But, as character's names were mentioned & Marlon Wayans cracked a "Kung-Fu grip" joke, I couldn't help but reminisce. See, when I was a kid, G.I. Joe ='d warfare, more so than the other toys we lusted over. He-man & Thundercats seemed like most of the dudes were gay (no offense), Transformers had to go through some sort of sex-change operation to engage in conflict, Voltron sucked if you didn't have all 5 lions, & unless you spoke some variation of Asian-Pacific dialect, you couldn't even read the instructions to your Robotech mech.

G.I. Joe on the other hand, came with some guns, maybe a knife & an awesome bio-card to inform you about the type of killer you were about to unleash into your bedroom. It let my generation re-enact the violent war stories our grandfathers told about WWII, & our uncles crazed tales of Vietnam, without the drugs & hookers, of course (unless you owned Jane or Scarlett). G.I. Joe's didn't fold up into magical balls &/or have to be summoned to a playing field to banish the other dragon warrior to a dark zone (or something to that effect). It was, "Yoooo Joe!", then let the gunfire (or flame thrower) rip. Simple, American fun.

Back then, toys, cartoons, & movies were different. It must be hard on kids nowadays, or easy, depending, with the level of play they have. Not for nothing, but nothing ushers a boy into manhood like a little bald-headed Black guy with a machine gun the size of a Hot Wheel. The first time I saw a Pokemon card I felt the same way as the first time I saw a 16 year old boy wearing skinny jeans; confused & slightly disappointed. With video games being the #1 time waster/babysitter, today's youngster knows nothing of mud rock fights & building their own diabolical bike ramps in the driveway. Who say's a broken arm doesn't build a little character?

During my last trip to a toy store (around the time G.I. Joe was being released), I happened to notice that Hasbro had begun selling the toy again, almost identical to how it was when I was a kid. Once a kid got past all the shiny, asexual, robotic fantasy warriors, there the Joe's were, on the back shelf like haggard old war vets. I didn't see one kid buying any though, movie or not. Maybe if they re-released the cartoon also, it would make a difference.

By the end of the movie, I was telling my son stories of my G.I. Joe days, only to have him look over the top of his Nintendo DS, nod his head & go back to playing Yu-Gi-Oh. The saga continues...

Oh yeah, check out that movie, it's pretty good. I just wish they put a real life Black actor in the movie to play as "Rip Cord", instead of a caricature of the proverbial Black comedian. Really though, I was waiting for Marlon Wayans to clap his hands & say "Dy-no-miiite".

Friday, September 11, 2009

the EVIL among$t u$

For the post couple of days, I've noticed the prevalence of evil that sits just overhead, ominously, like a marine cloud layer.

It all began with a post on Combat Jack's, with a post entitled "Is Jay-Z A Witch?" (more on that later). Then, last night, I watched the season premier of one of my favorite shows, Supernatural. It's about God, Lucifer & the war between Heaven & Hell, & two White dudes who were to be the cause & solution to the End of Days. Deep & pointless, simultaneously, but, I digress {note to self; find something to replace the saying, "but, I digress}.

On, the drop had a link to an article citing how Jay-Z is bigger than Hip Hop in nefarious ways, had ties to the Illuminati, "The Oath", & how a healthy portion of entertainers are part of a grand scheme to flood society with Evil. Not Hollywood, fun-n-games, "oh, look! A zombie" evil. Pure, destroy mankind from the inside out, inescapable evil. The linked-to article itself was a tad bit far-fetched, but insightful nonetheless. It pointed out several reasons way Jay-Z is an agent of the Illuminati, including the Roc hand-diamond sign that he looks through with one eye being a physical manifestation of the all-seeing eye that graces our currency.

From the comments section, where the wealth of insight for the drop was found, there were a few individuals stating similar opinions, one of which volunteered a youtube video entitled "the industry part 34". The video, hosted by Public Enemy's Professor Griff, shed light on how uber-famous rappers are able to rise to unbelievable heights, if they're willing to commit themselves to preposterous levels of evil. The Oath, if you will. If said oath is broken, the results can & will be life-altering.

[Blogger's note: I don't necessarily believe all this, so don't go quoting your boy.]

Believing in conspiracies is a very thin line straddled, to begin with. But, any God-fearing person would be ignorant to label certain occurrences as coincidence, as opposed to correlation. For example, rappers B.I.G, Tupac Shakur, & Pimp C all started their musical careers based in malice intent & negativity. All three made a public acknowledgment of this, & just as publicly, attempted to mend any wounds inflicted by purposely choosing to become more responsible artists. Almost immediately, all three died terrible, unexpected deaths, respectively. By no means am I relaying a message of "the man" being out to get them, but that's quite a coincidence. That list of uncanniness extends far longer than I'm willing to type/point out on a single blog post. I was always taught that there's no such thing as coincidences, but that's for another day.

I've read books like "Behold A Pale Horse", by William Cooper, that outline the many invisible plots & plans to uproot any possible positivity in mankind. The majority of information I dismissed (like the aliens of Area 54), but other facts that are more documented & talked about, like The Bildenberg Group, the Illuminati, Trilateral Commission, etc, aren't as easily ignored. There's undoubtedly a force that can't be pinpointed, but recognized all the same.

We're all aware that the unseen hand is never idle, & the Devil is in constant motion. Take from that what you will, be at the very least think about it. & I strongly suggest you go to "The Industry part 34" on youtube, check it out, & investigate further if you choose.

Hopefully, I gave you something to think about for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Married With Children FTW!

It's not hard to turn on the telly & find an exhausting amount of shows that degrade, embarrass & minimize the Black experience. It's almost so commonplace to see "us" being ridiculed, that outrage has been replaced with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality. Indeed, Blacks have been laughing to keep from crying since days of The Middle Passage.

I can't say I don't enjoy a fair amount of what would be considered "Black TV". Any blue-blooded American of African descent enjoys the occasional chuckle at our own expense. That said, when we do get a chance to break from the normalcy of semi-racist television viewing, I allow it to totally engulf me. More specifically, I'm referring to The Bundy's. That's what we call it 'round here at Grands Manor. In short; Best. Show. Ever.

Married With Children (April 1987-June 1997) is a rare glimpse at the average lower-middle class White family that, as Black folk, we don't get to see too much. Anyone who disagrees doesn't have the common sense God gave the Hermit Crab. That's the one that lives in it's shell & walks sideways. It's not very often that a low-income, barely able to eat, cant-afford-to-feed-the-dog family graces our TV's that isn't Black. Right, wrong or indifferent, it's comedy in it's most raucous form. I believe that aspect itself had a lot to do with the shows success. Blacks could relate, even on levels that many Whites couldn't. No racism.

Kelly was a slut, 5 minutes from having an abortion on every episode, & she wasn't Black. That gave "us" a sense of empowerment, almost as much as Al having the crummiest job in the world, no matter how hard he tried to better himself. Peg was the lazy, sex-depraved housewife, who's favorite show was "Oprah" & who's main goal in life was to out-snack & out-sleep everyone. Sucking gas out of the neighbor's car, stealing food from parties, all these sub par living standards that America's small screen portrayed as it's impression of being Black in the USA, except these folks were White, & I apologize if it offends, but that is hilarious. Their plight was as familiar to "us" as an episode of "Good Times" or "South Central" (am I the only one who remembers that show on Fox?).

While shows like "The Cosby Show" planted dignity in colored children nationwide, that just wasn't a family life most inner-city kids could relate to. But Tang (or ketchup, mustard, mayo, sugar, butter, syrup) sandwiches & no food, that's something that the people who probably couldn't afford to watch better "quality" shows could relate to.

Most programs with an all white cast (shout out to Griff!) catch flak for their lack of minorities. Not Married With Children! Al, Peggy, Kelly, Bud & Buck were minorities in every sense of the term. Who knew a television show about the life a poor, impoverished family could be made without any Black main characters?

That's my most favorite show of all time, for numerous reasons, & it deserves to stay in syndication until the sun burns out.

Can I get an amen?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Happens In Las Vegas, Goes On Twitter.

“Yo I'm at [club] Rehab in Vegas.. T-Pain is DJ'ing. Sayin Fuck Jay Z, he old, blah blah.. guess its backlash from D.O.A..”-Fabolous via Twitter, 9/05

Damn. Fabolous is in this club last Saturday, undoubtedly surrounded by all types of females, even a choice selection of guys if he likes sausage with his eggs, & THIS is what he chooses to lay on his followers? I'm not the most "out-there" dude, & I'm not all in the streets with mine, but if I were, I don't think I'd be reporting on the movements &/or goings-on of another guy with my transmitter. I'd probably be sneaking up-skit pictures & posting them on Myspace & Facebook. Like a real man.

This smells like Perez Hilton to me. Not shis perfume, but shis feminine antics that always land shim in the middle of pointless bullshit, just to stay in people's mouths (no pun intended)(okay, maybe a little bit).

Anybody who hasn't been under a rock for the last 3 or so years knows about Twitter. If you have been sleeping beneath a boulder, It's like a global text message. However pointless, it's extremely popular among folks who swear that they are so important that their every thought is worth yelling off of the proverbial mountain top. It's also a great way to notify strangers of your whereabouts, but that's for another day.

“Yo the DJ is doin a Jay-Z set.. D.O.A., kingdom come, run this town, heart of the city, h to the izzo, amillie free..T-Pain somewhere in here,”-Fabolous via Twitter, 9/05

Was Fabolous purposely twitter-telling on T-Pain? I would say no, because this wasn't a formal, one-on-one cell phone call to Jay-Z's private steam room. This was more like the equivalent of one running to a group of people during breaktime & saying "Owwwwww, guess what y'all? Nevermind, don't guess, I'll tell you!". So, in essence, what he did do was dry-snitch the situation, like any good gossiper could. Except, unlike the handful of morons that would normally be gathered around a water cooler or lunch table, he digitally broadcasted it to the hundreds of people who consider Fab a celebrity. Who, in turn, will pass it on to the thousands of people who consider Jay-Z a god.

At the most, Jay-Z will dismiss T-Pain's remarks as jealous flails & shots at his upcoming album for publicity's sake. But, if Jay's not even responding to The Game, who's been calling him an "old faggot" on 3 different continents so far, then I highly doubt he'll go in on Robot Man. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing Jigga slap that porch-monkey ass top hat off of those dingy dreadlocks, but for the record, T-Pain looks like he would beat Jay up. Tae-bo or none. & at the least, Fabolous was attempting to get a few more record sales before the public forgets his last record ever came out. Personally, I would've gone a more masculine route (like jumping on stage & yelling "Fuck you T-Punk, nigga this Brooklyn!!), as opposed to spreading rumors, but Loso stopped being "gangsta" in 2003. &, sometimes I forget that this is the era of the emo-thug; bad attitudes & testosterone have been replaced with denim leatards & livestreamed slap-boxing matches. If I'm not mistaken, Fab was wearing skinny jeans way before your favorite rapper was. He's trendy like that.

I can't see the future, but I expect very soon that entertainers will begin moonlighting as celebrity gossip bloggers. How much more up-close & personal can one get to Mariah Carey than in the bathroom stall next to her? & there's literally hundreds of people who would love to know how stank Kristoff St. John's farts are. I don't know any personally, but I'm not a people person to begin with, so that's not saying much. TMZ created a whole other culture with their kamikazee paparazzi, so it's only right that it's now taken to the next level. Twitter is Pandora's Box, folks. If you don't get that, read a book.

Celebrity-on-celebrity twitter-telling is on the move, y'all. Famous people officially have no one left to trust.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Detox": 5 reasons you're wasting your time waiting on Dr. Dre...

1) Dre's a perfectionist...
We all know there's no such thing as perfection, so by that mantra, he'll never be able to live up to his own standards. People who except nothing less than exceptional are never satisfied with themselves. For years now, Andre Young's been promising this elite, exquisite album. Anxiously, we cling to his catalog of hits, hoping to foresee what we are waiting for. No Dice. I refuse to hear a re-worked "Bitch Please", or an updated "Let Me Ride" after so many years of empty promises. The problem with being so critical of one's self is that no one else is holed up like some reclusive madman, perfecting a sound that will only be re-invented as soon as the next lucky amateur gets his big break on YouTube. So, for every song that he remixes & remasters to fabled perfection, 47 duck sauce rappers & their chow mein producers are flooding the 'Nets with warm feces. According to the Hip Hop grade curve, Soulja Boy has a better chance at hypnotizing me than Dre does of mesmerizing me.

2)He's obviously too much of a douche nozzle to care...
There's a reason why every time Dr. Dre's in the limelight again, he's usually surrounded by a different group of people than the last time we saw him. It's the same reason that 50 Cent always has the exact same two dudes with him; Asshole Alzheimer's (they forget the other people). If you're familiar with his presence, you could run down a laundry list of Dre-affiliated cats that have come & gone quicker than the Swine Flu scare. Aside from that, let us take a look at some of his other moments of douchebaggery; he beat up (& kicked down) Dee on "Pump It Up" for basically no reason (Google it, youngsters)...I know one of his kids, & if she told you right now that Dre was her dad, you'd look her up & down & laugh, albeit quietly as you walk away...he aligns himself with acts that are arguably more relevant than he is, then wishes them to the cornfields (Eve, Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Raekwon, Joell Ortiz, that "Truth" broad, etc.)...other people write all his raps, & always have. This isn't to take away from his legacy, but don't piss on my shoulder & tell me it's drizzling. A man's only as good as the last thing he did. I'm just saying. I wonder what ever happened to the N.W.A. reunion.

3)People don't buy CD's anymore...
Dre's claim(s) to fame has always been his record sales. He's not a rapper, although White folks think he is, so he can't boast about his rhymes. For every track that he's "produced", at least 4 nobodies come out of the woodworks claiming that they "arranged this", & "sequenced that", & this goes back to his days with Arabian Prince, so he can't brag about his beats without being sued. So where does that leave a man with so much to show for so little? It leaves him with albums, that boast his name, selling millions of copies worldwide. That has changed immensely over the last 5 years. If you're not TI, Lil Wayne, Eminem or Kanye West, fans aren't flocking to drop recession dollars on your opus. Today's average rap fan has no idea who Dre used to be, & would have no idea at all who he was if Marshall wasn't suc-showing him so much love over the years. The 40-year old Hip Hop market is marginal, at best, & at this point in his career, he's starting at the bottom. & before y'all start bringing up Eminem's success, trust & believe that every album Em sold was because of Em. It had very little, if any, to do with Dre "producing" the music. Eminem could've rapped over gorillas having sex, & would've had the same productivity.

4)Gangsta music is on vacation...
Face it. 50 Cent was/is the last dude who could sell us the American nightmare & convince us it was just what the doctor ordered (no pun intended). Similar to Em, when 50 was on top of the rap game, it didn't matter who provided the sonic backdrop. We wanted to hear him shoot his way through life, & bone every broad that he could in the process. But, once 50 Ja Rule'd Ja Rule & assumed his identity, it was all downhill. Such is the case with Dre. No matter what he produced, it brought out the gangsta in a nigga (nigga, being used loosely here). Really though, as much as I don't need to hear another Drake song, I really don't need to hear Drake rapping over a Dr. Dre beat. Same for Cudi. Or Wale. Or J. Cole. Maybe Nipsey Hussle, but L.A. dudes don't get down like that. Name a current "hot shit" rapper, & I don't want to hear him over Dre. For all intents & purposes, I could be completely wrong, & Dre could put the 'G' back in the funk, but won't hold my breath. He does get style points for having O.G. Roger Troutman & Tupac on one of the biggest selling records of the '90's, though. Too bad he bit the hook from 'Pop Lockin'.

5)He can never top 'The Chronic', & he knows it...
It doesn't matter what he's doing in the studio right now. The Chronic was, is, & always will be considered a Hip Hop classic. Unless he has a song featuring Satan, Jesus & Woody Woodpecker, he can never achieve that same level of unexpected brilliance. My guess is that he sits in the studio, alone, & listens to that album to conceive new ideas from old material. The closest we've gotten to a peek at 'Detox' was that damn Dr. Pepper commercial. I don't even like Dr. Pepper, or know a person who does. It tastes like peppermint Kool-aid, if such a thing were to exist. That said, who gives a damn about the commercial, & who even knows thats his beat is playing in the background? I do, but then again my life's not so exciting, so that only holds so much weight. It's the gift of the curse, or the curse of the gift, depending on the person. That album single-handedly changed the face of rap, without so much as a gimmick to swing from. To repeat that feat in today's market would be virtually impossible. People refer to him as the "Quincy Jones of Rap", but I just say Dre's Dre. No need to put extra pressure on his back, & if he was "Quincy", that would make his "Michael Jackson" Snoop Dogg, & that brother's off on his own weed-induced, Rock & Roll gangbanger tangent. No rekindling that fire. Dre's uber-talented, no question, but he may have to come to grips with the fact that he peaked, climaxed & plateau'd all in one phenomenal album. That doesn't happen twice. Not in Hip Hop at least.

For the record, I'm rooting for Dre, because he's been counted out for quite some time. It would be nice to see him jump fresh out of nowhere, but, let's be honest with ourselves. His best bet at this point, is to go the Ice-T route; find a life-sized Barbie doll & pimp her out at his shows. Titties have a way of making dudes forget about anything else happening. Ask Luke & the 2Live Crew.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Man Down! Man Down!

Remember how shocked people were when rapper Chi Ali killed some kid in 2001? Even if one hadn't gotten wind of this young MC (no Bust A Move), it was still pretty awesome that this quasi-famous teenage rapper had grown up & taken a man's life. [See the beginning of the movie "Strapped" for a loose re-enactment.] Before the crime, he aligned himself with the Native Tongues crew, & by all early-90's Hip Hop standards, he was destined for greatness. That fantasy world finally came crashing to the asphalt when, later that same year, he was featured on an episode of America's Most Wanted for Murder. When the smoke finally cleared, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

So far this year alone, there have been two high-profile cases involving rappers & their involvement with a crime that resulted in murder.

Corey Miller, formally known as C-Murder & brother to Master P, was sentenced last month to life, plus 10 years, for the 2002 killing of a 16 year old young man during a club parking lot scuffle. True or not, witness accounts say he reached into a small crowd & fired his weapon into the boy as he laid on the pavement. This verdict came on the heels of him beating an attempted murder case in another Louisiana parrish. C-Murder, in-fucking-deed. Ironically, Miller has a tattoo of his brother Kevin's face on his arm, who was senselessly killed many years prior. Now, somebody will be getting this dead boy's face on their body, no doubt.

Jim Jones/Dip Set affiliate Max B. was sentenced to 75 years on Sept. 3, for his role in a 2006 robbery that left a man dead. His supposed girlfriend-turn-witness spilled her guts about the plan he reportedly devised, in an effort to save her own ass. Though he didn't pull the proverbial trigger, he might as well had, according to the jury pool who found him guilty of conspiracy. Many fans & supporters believe that his lawyer was reckless & naïve, speaking to magazines & tweeting in regards to the case prematurely, but that doesn't alter the fact that he was an accomplice to a crime that ended in one less human being walking the face of the planet.

Maybe the weeds getting better, or times are getting worse, but cats are blindly intent on keepin' it real these days. I remember when rappers got tossed out of shows, or under buses. Under the jail though, is beyond me.

Honorable mentions to MC Slick Rick, for trying to shoot & kill his cousin in 1991, which for the most part spelled doom for his career. When he was released from prison after roughly 5 years, many popular rap dudes tried to pull him on to their projects, but times had changed from the rap scene he was running years prior. The world wasn't ready for a criminapper to be all over it's respective TV screens. Oddly enough, if that had've been today, it would've launched his recording career into the stratosphere & made "Slick Rick" a household name. In a good way. Also, rapper Shyne, who under the tuteledge of the omnipotent Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, found himself in the middle of a club, busting his .40 caliber at some of Diddy's "friends" in 1999. He was convicted of attempted murder & handed a 10 year sentence before Diddy turned his back & walked away without serving any time for his involvement, including an ensuing car chase with actress/then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez in the vehicle. Shyne is to be released later this year.

In Hip Hop, we're at a crossroad; on one side, there's these criminal minds who truly believe in what the speak. Manifest destiny per se. On the other side is the victim. Often, the victim is cut from the same cloth as the victor, yet find themselves on the bad end of the bargain. It's impossible to root for one, while we mourn for the other one. It's that complex balance of the universe that makes the world go 'round, but that doesn't make it okay. I guess it does make it okay, until our father, uncle, brother, best friend is killed for the sole reason of "keepin' it real", whatever the fuck that means nowadays.

Now's the part where I'm supposed to urge my more influential brothers & sisters to WAKE UP! & RISE!, but that empty, Spike Lee movie rhetoric falls on deaf ears. It's not a Black thing, because if it were, our collective pride wouldn't allow us to hunt & destroy one another like so much sport. & I refuse to blame "the White Man", because I can't remember the last time I looked over my shoulder for a White man as I walked home from the weed spot. It's a people thing, & their insipid lack of natural love for one another. I understand people make mistakes, but a mistake repeated is a purposeful act. If we don't take responsibility for ourselves, then other's will. & if we learned anything from 'Amistad' or 'Roots', it's that the last thing we want is other motherfuckers in charge of "our" lives.

It's deeper than rap, but we might as well find a point to start from. Better late than never, Word to Dr. Rev. MLK, jr.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shawn Carter>Jay-Z

Jesus H. Christ himself would have a hard time convincing me that Shawn Carter is mad about this BP3 download flash flood. Corporate levees be damned, Blueprint 3 is everywhere right now.

A homeless dude had a copy of it in his cart at the liquor store by my house. I asked him if he thought it was any good, & he said he didn't know because he doesn't have a home to plug up a radio in, & tried to sell it to me. I said "No thanks", & then he asked me for a dollar. Being the kind of guy I am, I said to him, "Damn, I was going to ask you for one!", & walked away. It just goes to show that if a vagrant has his grubby paws on a copy, it's no wonder that it's everywhere.

Word to Kiana @, it's even been reviewed in the L.A. Times. Is this what rap crap has been relegated to? Professional, paid critics taking bootlegs for a spin? It's one thing for bloggers to give us the scoop, that's what us "bloggers" do. Without leaks, crappy music & dumb ass celebrities, we'd be down to very few things to write about. But, there has to be some code of ethics that prevents accomplished journalists from bottom-feeding. Regardless, I'd take a Combat Jack review over some underworked, overpaid douche nozzle anyday. Assuming there's enough room, Siskel is rolling over in his grave right now.

By my mathematics, there'll be nobody left to purchase it when it hits store shelves on 9/11, unless he sets up vendor stands in the parking lot during his performance that day at Madison Square Garden. Like bootleggers at Michael Jackson's funeral, t-shirts & all. Even still, between those he buys himself to save face & the White kids in the suburbs who spend any possible bootleg money on ecstacy pills, he'll still sell a million copies. From what I've heard/read about it, the consensus is that it's a fairly decent album. I don't expect more than that anyhow. Not to say that Jigga's not worthy of praise, because realistically, he's in a class by himself, but I hope for the best & expect the worst in most situations. That way, disappointment is marginal, if nothing else.

Whether or not this album is as huge as it's buzz, it proves that the recording industry is in for some changes. & as usual, Old Hova is the trend setter. So prepare for every type of record, not just rap, to literally flood the streets, pre-retail release, from this day forward. More importantly; most of us are familiar with Soulja Boy's viral video antics, which he affectionately refers to as "rich nigga shit", replete with remote-controlled jewelry & $100 bills used as toilet paper. But this latest move by Jay improves on that coontastic formula, in true rich nigga fashion; an overall good album, with top-notch producers, excellent packaging [||], & high-quality cover art that he gives away for free, without so much as a complaint. Somewhere, Soulja Boy sits in a Minute Maid-filled jacuzzi, wiping his tears with a Benjamin Franklin. The only way S.B. will be able to top that is to have a life-sized, solid gold statue made of himself & throw it off of a cliff. Remember you heard that here first, folks.

For everyone that says Jay-Z is old news, or played out, or needs to find a wheelchair for Beyonce to push him around in, he's still THAT dude. An icon. He said all black is what's up, & similar to the throwback throwaway, & mandatory fitted's, anyone with fashion sense is walking around looking like a vampire these days. Even the jewelry is blacked-out. Simply put, the man who said "those ain't Rolex diamonds, what the fuck you done to that?", might have single-handedly taken the bling out of Websters-Merriam.

You have to respect a man that Oprah respects. After all, she HATES men. If Steadman had the chance to meet Jay, I'm sure he asked him what type of cologne he wears.

"It's called Black Card. Getchu some, nigga..."

Cats that think there's no outside world past the end of their own block can't appreciate how major it is for Oprah Winfrey to be co-signing the man who's co-signs make &/or break careers. First Obama, now this. Not for nothing, but thats an existential amount of Black Power in that love triangle.

I'm not one to compare folks, but for all the Michael Jordan of Rap shit that he speaks, I would say Jay's more the Will Smith of Rap. Actor Will, not Rapper Will, if you will. Dude is so much larger than the record business, I'm surprised he still steps out of the bulletproof, stretch Bentley to record songs. Maybe he feels there's something to be proven, which I can understand, but what could it be at this point in his life? Hell, even Ice Cube flipped us the bird & rode off into the sunset, with half of Hollywood jogging behind him. & he stopped making good rap music in the 90's! Seriously, Jay-Z doesn't have to ever rap again. & I mean that in the most endearing way possible.

The fact that he's 40, & still loves his craft enough to do it, damn near for free it seems, has me with new found respect for this dude. The fact that I still tell people "what you eat don't make me shit", & the ever popular "we don't believe, you need more people" is proof enough that this guy has ingrained himself in our collective subconscious, & that's bigger than an anticipated album. That's notoriety, & unfleeting success. Drake, take notes. This is where you want to wind up.

Now, in one last show of alpha male superiority, he needs to get Bey pregnant. That friends, would be the ultimate takeover.