Thursday, September 28, 2006

I want you to be a father! I'm your lil boy, and you don't even bother..

Lupe Fiasco - "He Say, She Say"

Some of you may know that my father wasn't a big part of my life when I was younger. Until I was 6 years old it was just me and my mom and my grand-father was the father figure in my life. Then at 6 years of age, I met my soon-to-be stepfather. I didn't like him very much because I was used to being spoiled, acting an @ss, and not getting beat afterward. I got disciplined, but beatings are different (LOL).

My mother and grandparents were loving, caring, encouraging, and so much more. But what I needed as a young black boy growing up in SE D.C. was discipline. My stepfather quickly entered my life and began to instill that badly needed discipline in me through a$$-whoopings that traumatized me for life (jokingly serious...LOL). But I thank GOD for my stepfather because without him I would not have had any discpline nor a positive male role model who was in my life every day. While I didn't like how he instilled discpline while I was young, once I was older I realized how much it saved me! "Spare the rod, spoil the child" is so true!

This past weekend I purchased Lupe Fiasco's CD and began listening. I had been pumped about this release for like am onth already. When I got to track #7, "He Say, She Say" and listened to the lyrics, I almost cried. I remember calling Dane immediately because I knew he would relate to my feelings and what Lupe was saying 100%. That song hit home for me because I know how it feels to be in that young man's position. Wondering where your father is - knowing that he is out there and alive - is a very empty feeling.

In my situation, my father was in my life via phone calls or visits from time-to-time (I remember getting Legos wrapped in newspaper for my birthday), but by no means in the capacity that he should have been. As I got older my father and I actually became closer (especially in my college years) though we never spent time together on a regular basis. We could relate. He was a track athlete, I was a track athlete. He gave me advice on women. He gave me advice on life. He gave me peace of mind, because he opened up to me about him and my mother, why he wasn't around when I was young, and how bad he felt. I respect him alot for that.

But after having a positive and supportive father figure (my stepfather) in your life for so long, he begins to replace your father in terms of the relationship a father and son have. So while I was in middle and high school, I actually began to feel like I didn't need my father in my life. I just wanted to know him and who he was as a person and develop some sort of real relationship with him. Fortunately, I was given that opportunity during my college years. But unfortunately, my father passed a few months after I graduated from college and even though I learned alot from him about who he was, why he wasn't in my life, and who my family was...There was so much more that I'll never get to hear or see and that hurts.

My father was a good man and he loved his kids. He just made some bad decisions in life that he couldn't take back. We've all done that on one level or another. I've always loved my father and I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know him better. But because of our relationship I've always vowed to make sure I am a real father, and not just some figure in the distance...
I want you to be a father/
He's your little boy and you don't even bother/
Starting to use red markers on his work/
His teacher say they know he's much smarter/
But he's hurt/
Used to hand his homework in first/
Like he was the classroom starter/
Now he's fighting in class/
Got a note last week that say he might not pass/
Ask me if his daddy was sick of us/
Cause you ain't never pick him up/
You see what his problem is?/
He don't know where his poppa is/
No positive male role model/
To play football and build railroad models/
It's making a hole you've been digging it/
Cause you ain't been kicking it/
Since he was old enough to hold bottles/
Wasn't supposed to get introduced to that/
He don't deserve to get used to that/
Just breaks my heart/
When I try to provide and he say 'Mommy that ain't your job'/
To be a man, I try to make him understand/
That I'm his number one fan/
But its like you boo'n from the stands/
You know the world is out to get him, so why don't you give him a chance?/

Monday, September 25, 2006

Random Miscellaneousness...

50 Cent and Sam Jack'

I gotta give Fiddy his props for this joint. That's a HUGE move for him. Just look at the cast. Since when does a rapper other than LL or Will Smith (who's arguably a rapper) get a part in a movie like this???

Def Jam Fall Schedule:

# Redman
Red Gone Wild
October 3

# Shareefa
Point of No Return
October 24

# Lady Sovereign
Public Warning
October 31

# Bobby Valentino
Special Occasion
November 14

# Jay-Z
Kingdom Come
November 21

# Young Jeezy
Thug Motivation 102: The Inspiration
December 12

# Nas
Hip-Hop Is Dead...The N
December 19

I won't even start talking about Nas album getting pushed BACK and Jay-Z's joint still dropping in November. Won't even mention it...

New YOUNG Jeezy - I Love It

Looks like the same ole' same ole' from Young Jeezy. "She don't like my flow, she just like my ad-libs (YYYEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!)".

Allegedly this is his lead single off his Thug Motivation 102 disc. Yes, Thug Motivation 102...Second class. Let's Get It!

Sytle P and Sheek - 914

Is it just me or does this song have a odl-school hip-hop feel to it? I like this joint.

New Luda (featuring Pimp C, Beanie Sigel and C Muder - Do Ya Time

The track linked-to above is pretty much F-I-R-E! Everybody gets their shyt off (no johnnycakes) on this one. Luda's "Release Therapy" drops 2MORROW!

SIDEBAR: After this week's episode of The WIRE, I think I am going to stop using "No Johnnycakes" and start using "No Omar".

Reviews/comments coming soon...

1. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
2. Young Dro - The Best Thang Smokin'. Yeah, I bought it..AND WHAT!?!

Jay-Z, Lucifer, and how it all comes together...For one preacher at least...

Jay-Z poisons all of us:


Me being the *sometimes* anal rententive, *wannabe* webNerd, *since back-in-the-day* Jay-Z fan that I am, had to find the song this guy's referring to. Conveniently, the name of the song is "Lucifer" on the Black Album. I'm sure this preacher probably utilized that little bit of information in his sermon as well.

The song is posted below. Here are a few items of note regarding the song and this sermon:

1) As you will probably be smart enough to detect, in the first verse Jay has the words "murder" and "Jesus". Though they're used in different contexts, they do appear.

2) I'm not sure where this guy got the 6-6-6 from or what type of sound engineer he got to mix/edit the song so that he could make his religious/spiritual point (though I'm sure it wasn't Young Guru), but it sounds like he got the 6-6-6 from the beginning when Jay says "See-see-see". He just slowed it down (DJ Screw style) so that it sounds like 6-6-6. Drawn? Pressed? I think so.

I think his usage of this edited and manipulated version of the song is a pretty decent stretch. I won't even begin to talk about how I think preachers CAN BE some of the worst psychologists man has ever seen OR how hypocritical some of them can be, but ... You make the call. The song's below:

I suggest going here and reading the comments by DJOFFICIALONE.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Pack - "VANS": I kinda like this joint

But let me explain why...

First I have to put this in perspective. Nowadays we are oftentimes given a video before we hear a song on the radio. Or we will hear a song on a mixtape to create a "street" buzz before we hear the song on the radio or see a video. This song (for me at least) was presented via the first option, a video first. The first time I saw this video I thought these guys were from ATL (I plead guilty to coastal profiling) and I gave it 10 seconds and kept it moving because I thought I was going to get some more D4L type -ish.

A month later (literally) I catch the video again and this time decide to watch it. I like the beat of the song. I like the video and everything that's going on. It gives that real street vibe but then you have the skateboarders in the back (shot out to PHARRELL first and Lupe second).

Aside from the beat and the video, I like the fact that they're actually going against the grain with their content. By this I mean that they are going against the norm of hip-hop's fixation on Air Force Ones.
"We sport Vans and we throw away Nike's!" D@mn, it's like that?
I've never owned a pair and I am not into the custom shoe thing at all, but I can understand why someone might be like "who gives a shyt about an Air Force Ones", I got my own style. I can respect that and relate to it. To me, that's what hip-hop is about, setting yourself apart from everyone else in some way, shape, or form.

Anyway, I like THIS SONG. I doubt I'll buy The Pack's album because I'd need a little more lyrically than what they appear to be offering. But then again, I bought Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, and Yung Joc's (yeah, the first single got me, I can't lie) CDs. So maybe I need to step up MY game up a little bit...But that's another post. But I think this is some real hip-hop -ish in its own way and it's a fun video. Good luck fellas! With moving units that is.

Wanna catch me Ridin' Dirty White and Nerdy???

Weird Al Yankovic makes me laugh!!!

White and Nerdy

I'm Fat: This one is pretty classic.

Amish Paradise: Coolio actually took offense to this. Coolio though???

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Random Miscellaneousness...

Tiger Woods ain't going for that bullshyt

After an Irish tabloid did a satirical article about Tiger's wife being a porn model, Mr. Woods brought out a smidgeon of the "bruh" we all know has to be inside him, somewhere:
"My wife, yes, she has been a model prior, and she did do some bikini photos," Woods said. "But to link her to porn Web sites and such is unacceptable, and I do not accept that at all. Neither does our team."
This is what's described by writers as Tiger Woods "ripping" a tabloid. Yeah, he ripped them for sure! I agree with him though, don't bring my wife (and/or kids) into the limelight like that. Especially if I don't even do it!

Interesting post about public school teachers
"What I know is for True. Public School Teachers are bound to Fail. Only when they have shared history with the kids AND they get paid a salary on par with their nearest surburban counterparts OR they get complete control over thier classroom (within reason)."
For those of you that do teach, this might interest you. Education, financial empowerment, and family values...The key to rebuilding/uplifting black communities. Remember who said it.

At least they didn't pop off like this at those banging Johns Hopkins parties (yeah right) I used to go to
"Police charged two men Tuesday with shooting five Duquesne University basketball players after a school dance, and they accused a 19-year-old sophomore of helping six men into the dance despite knowing some were armed."
This doesn't really shock me at all. Stuff like this comes *close* to happening all the time. I mean, wouldn't you think that you could get away with coming to a party (at a school you don't attend) and shooting 5 basketball players (totally inconspicuous guys, right) at a party with tons of people present? Of course! And I could also ride around drunk with a hatchet, bulletproof vest, 2 handguns, a rifle, and not manage to get locked up...Yes, I definitely could!

Baltimore...Through "THE WIRE"

I've done a few posts that either indirectly or directly cite the WIRE as my favorite TV show. So far this season (season 4), I've seen the first two episodes. And with each episode I watch, I have additional confirmation that not only is this my favorite show on TV and quite possibly the best show on TV, it should also be your favorite show too!

Maybe it's because I've been in Baltimore for the last 8 years and this show resonates with me because of what I have seen: the poverty, the drugs, the down-trodden rowhomes, the ineffective politicians, the struggle for better education in a perenially underachieving public school system, and a littany of other real-life issues that The WIRE brings out for the rest of the country/world to examine and (hopefully) ponder.

While the first episode gave me the feeling of a family member I hadn't seen in a while coming to visit, the second episode made me realize just how in-touch the producers of this show are with what takes place in "Charm City". The second episode addressed so many issues that have so much depth to them that I couldn't help but give those issues more thought even after the episode ended. Of course, these are issues that I have thoughts about all the time, but the show depicts the real issues of this city so well that it forces you to face them. A few of the things that were addressed in this episode include those listed below (those of you who have watched the show will understand what I am talking about in the parentheses):
-Political contributions and their origins (Clay Davis using laundered money to fund the mayor's political campaign)

-Political leverage (Carcetti pulling Mayor Royce's card at the debate; Lester sending out the subpoenas knowing they would/could have an impact on the mayoral race)

-Political misconduct (Mayor Royce receiving oral sex from his intern)

-Incarcerated black males who in turn help produce misguided children (the scene when Nay visited Weebey in jail)

-Incompetent parenting (Nay's mom calls his working under Bodie, a known drug-dealer, Nay's "job")

-Mothers who show their kids love through tangibles rather than intangibles (Nay's mom giving him a bunch of school clothes and then saying, "you know my son ain't going to his first day of school not looking like HIMSELF")

-Rivalry among friends (Nay and Michael appear to have a rivalry brewing in their friendship)

-Integrity (Michael not accepting the "free money" from Marlo)
There are probably some things that I didn't even catch while watching the show, but these are the issues that stood out prominently in my mind. The writers, director(s), and producer(s) of this show do a masterful job of keeping the storylines up-to-date with the issues of Baltimore and the actors are fantastic.

If you haven't watched the show at all through the first 3 seasons, don't fret. You don't necessarily need to know the past 3 seasons to appreciate this one. This show will grab you and force you to watch every episode. If not for the raw manner in which the city is depicted, then for the issues that this show forces you to give thought to. The WIRE manages to be raw, authentic, thought-provoking, shocking, enlightening, and entertaining all at once. If you have HBO or know someone who does, catch the first two episodes of season 4 "On Demand". It's worth your time!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Jay-Z and Nas Address/Analyze Black Women

Continuing on my Nas and Jay-Z ish...

Saturday I was listening to my iPod (shout out to *someone* for the iPod that I can't name for fear of being decapitated) and got another taste of Nas' "Black Girl Lost" from his album, "It Was Written". I use a line from this song all the time when talking to my boys about some of the crazy women we meet or know:

"...there goes a black girl lost!"

This song however, is not a joke and actually a very good reflection of some women. I've got it posted below for you to listen to but I'll go over some of the highlights real quick:

- The dialogue prior to the song: I have personally overheard conversations like this between women. It not only disgusts me but upsets me.
"Reminiscent of my first time up in a chick/You was innocent, but now you rent-a-dick, wear the tightest shit/Chanel lookin real, airbrushed nails/Hit the gym, hit the scales, heaven-sent but negligent (so fine..)"
"Wishin I could be the one man; but you juggle/way too many Willies all in one hand/You wanna run up in clubs, gettin rubbed on/Niggaz pull your hair, shake your fat rear/Get your fuck on - followin week, you back there/But what you stuck on, weed, clowns and cars/Puffin with some lil nigga, husband not knowin she's out/Could you believe Eve, Mother Earth of the seas/Niggaz thirst you, you just let em hurt you and leave/What up mah, frontin like you naive/Pusherman's whip, callin police when you flip"
To get his mind all you do is give him somethin priceless/Cause in time he'll realize the thighs is all he needs/More than weed, then you hit him off with lies and greed (deceit, yeah)/There you go again, startin wars, makin me more yours/Seem to get a kick out of keepin me on all fours
Igloos of ice trickin on you, you never listen/to this nigga spendin Franklins on tennis anklets/Must've had a bad deal in the past though/Can't even keep it real with a nigga with cash flow/
Say men are all the same, what we need to do is break this chain
You gettin interviewed, but your boss is into gettin screwed/Typical day that the black girl sees/Comin home wantin more from a college degree
Where are you focused, on legit niggaz and where the coke is/Nice and Thug Life niggaz, yo you seem hopeless/Your value - too much to be measured, I wonder how you/could ever be played, your pussy worth gold amountin to/more than the world, but not knowin nothin about you/You leavin the crib, takin all your kids out to/drop them off, lettin some nigga knock you off/
So hot and soft, that's the same thing that got you lost
(you should be ashamed)/Growin up seein it, it should remind you, you bein lied to/Everything that move be inside you/Sacred as you are, left with these wannabes to guide you/I watched you, hard to knock you, I tried not to/They spot you out dancin topless in your drawers/Damn look, there goes a black girl lost

Nas - Black Girl Lost

Listening to that song by Nas made me think about Jay-Z's "B&tches and Sisters", which is one of my favorite songs by Jay-Z because it definitely reflects how a lot of guys think! Nas's song is more lyrical and less straight-forward than Jay-Z's but they both serve the same purpose I believe. That is, to expose some of the good characteristics of women and some of the flaws or hang-ups (mental and emotional) that *some* women have.

"(Bitch) I got a sister who schooled me to shit you chickens do/
Tricking fools, got a whole Robin Givens crew that I kick it to/
They be hipping dudes, how you chickens move, I be listening to/
(Bitch) (Bitch) (Bitch)/
Don't make me say it thrice, you acting all up tight/
All sididdy like, like/
You ain't a (Bitch), You ain't no better cuz you don't be fucking rappers/
You only fuck with actors, you still getting fucked backwards/
(Bitch) Unless you fucked a dude on his own merit/
And not the way he dribbles or ball or draw lyrics
You're a (Bitch), No ma, you're a (Bitch)"
And I'll just put the entire last verse here because it's all relevant
"(Bitch) Sisters get respect, bitches get what they deserve/
SIsters work hard, bitches work your nerves/
Sisters hold you down, bitches hold you up/
Sisters help you progress, bitches will slow you up/
Sisters cook up a meal, play their role with the kids/
Bitches in street with their nose in your biz/
Sisters tell the truth, bitches tell lies/
Sisters drive cars, bitches wanna ride/
Sisters give-up the ass, bitches give-up the ass/
Sisters do it slow, bitches do it fast/
Sisters do their dirt outside of where they live/
Bitches have niggers all up in your crib/
Sisters tell you quick "you better check your homie"/
Bitches don't give a fuck, they wanna check for your homie/
Sisters love Jay cuz they know how 'Hov is/
I love my sisters, I don't love no bitch"
Jay-Z - B&tches & Sisters

If these two guys could get together and do an album and have songs like these where they're both rapping this way, I'd love it! But unfortunately, it looks like Nas is going to drop an album November 7th only for it to be subsequently overshadowed by Jay-Z dropping an album a week or 2 or 3 later...Man, maybe hip-hop IS DEAD!

Justify my THUG HOE!

Former girlfriend of Nas...Infidelities with:

- Jay-Z
- Allen Iverson
- Diddy

Part 1:

Part 2:

Interesting. Sounds like you have quite the expensive infidel taste Ms. Carmen.
"According to Carmen, the reason why Jay and Nas fell out was because of her and Hov's "relationship". This chick even sounds proud of being the thing that came between them and being 'a part of this hip hop legacy'."
This pretty much disgusts me. Am I really supposed to take her story seriously?

This young lady's claim to *fame* is being a rapper's baby momma, having slept with celebrities, and being in the middle of one of the greatest hip-hop battles of all time. Excuse me, is this a joke? Granted, she didn't ask to be a part of any of it, but she is d@mn sure milking it now! She's using her "infidelities and escapades with celebrities" to get her 5 minutes of fame and I can't respect that. There's got to be more to her than just this crap and I really hope that she exposes some true, non-embellished, and non-exaggerated details about who she is as a person and how this whole situation has affected her, (perhaps) made her grow, and (perhaps) made her a better person. On top of that, she SHOULD be using her five minute of fame to tell young girls and women not to make the same mistakes that she did when she was in a relationship and slept with three (or more) other men. This I could respect, rather than just telling us all who she's been with; how well-endowed they were; how much stamina they had; and whatever other B.S. she has to talk about.

Did I mention this disgusts me? I wonder how Nas feels about this.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Let me get aaaahhhh...."Piece of Fried Chicken" and some "Chicken Noodle Soup" with a soda on the side...

This one is probably worse than Flavor of Coon. Somewhere, Fuzzy BadFeet Zoeller is SMILING!

You already know my thoughts on this one.

Sidenote: D@mn DP...Why'd they have to go there??? I'm trying not to make some reckless blanket statement about Southerners (because this *appears* to be some Southern CRAP) so I won't. But d@mn if...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"What More Can I Say"...

It's official! Jay-Z is dropping an album before the end of 2006....

I'm thinking the interview in this magazine will go a little something like this:
"I'm Addicted to the Game". So you know what? "The Ruler's Back" for "The Takeover"! Holla! I've semi-retired for two/three years and enjoyed "Big Pimpin'" Bey, but I wasn't "Feelin' It" 'cause I've got "2 Many Hoes". So I decided once again that the "City is Mine" and "Ain't No Ni99a" (including the lil homey) messing with me.

"U Don't Know" how many times I've been "All Around the World" since I announced my retirement and ya'll wouldn't believe how much "Some People Hate". That was my motivation though. That's why "The Ruler's Back" to "Change the Game" because when you're from "Where I'm From" it's the "Things That You Do" on the mic that make you "Brooklyn's Finest", and I have to reclaim my throne. Hovie's home!

So all you "Imaginary Players" (50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, lil homey, TIP, Jeezy, Rick Ross, The Game, etc.) can "Bring It On". But I promise you that challenging me will be one of your biggest "Regrets". So, "COME AND GET MEEEEEEEEEEEE" m*th%rf&ck$rs!

Until the day my album drops, just know that "All I Need" is "Guns & Roses" to come out and "Justify My Thug". Hell, not even "Lucifer" could stop me (pun intended). Besides, you know you want this "Encore". Sorry to tell you everybody, but "Somehow, Someway" "My First Song" wasn't my last, and "Soon You'll Understand" why...

If you're a Jay-Z fan, you'll understand the quotes. If you're not, you still don't have an excuse since I'm linking to his "discography" (sort of)!

Personally, I think it's a pretty selfish move if he really does drop an album prior to mid/late December. You've got a Nas album dropping in November (7th). It's alleged that Jay's album will drop on the 14th or 21st of November, which will undoubtedly cut into Nas's sales! That's WACK! Why sign Nas to Def Jam and then release your album a week or two after his? Knowing that your immense popularity combined with the speculation of you possibly coming out of retirement (as you know Mr. Jay-Z) probably means you'll move 1,000,000 units in the first week...That's WACK! Whereas Nas will probably struggle to move 300,000 his first week considering he has YET to drop a single. You're trying to get this guy cast for "Dancing with the Stars" or the "Surreal Life", aren't you?

I love your work Jay-Z! You're my favorite rapper, the best all time in my mind. But come on man! What's really going on here? Did you get fired like the media has been speculating? Did Beyonce pull your card so much on "Ring the Alarm" that you have to take out your frustration by venting to the world via a new CD?

You're making it harder for me to take up for you when I argue with Laf over email about your selfishness and arrogance. Think about the Joe Buddens, Juelz's (okay, maybe not him so much), Jeezy, Method Mans, etc. that you have signed to your label. These guys need to eat too! But I guess not only do you overdo it thunnie when it comes to battling (see Prodigy of Mobb Deep), but you overdo it when stroking your own ego as well. Damn son, that's NOT what's really good!

[More or Less] The older I get...

the more I realize how precious life is.

the more I appreciate different kinds of music.

the more I realize how much I LOVE women of all different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.

the more I want to fall in love again.

the more I wish my father was in my life when I was younger.

the more I wish my father wasn't deceased.

the more I wish I was more honest with my parents when growing up.

the more I enjoy seeing my brother grow up into a stand-up young man.

the more I appreciate my family and what they've done for me.

the more I thank God for everything he's blessed me with.

the more I fear losing my grandparents.

the less I fear death.

the more I am disappointed in how politics works.

the more I become steadfast in achieving my goals.

the more I appreciate good friends.

the less I stress.

the more I want a wife and kids.

the less I have time for any type of bullshyt.

the less I have time to fight (in any sense of the word).

the more I regret the hurtful things I have done to people directly or indirectly.

the more I grow mentally and spiritually.

the more I learn about my father's side of my family tree.

the more I want to know about my father's side of my family tree.

the more I travel.

the less I drink for fun.

the more I drink to relax.

the more I love my mother, stepfather, grandparents, and brother.

the more I learn.

the more I love.

the more I live...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Redskins LOSE, I don't blame Jon Hall though

My team lost their first game of the season (and home-opener) last night to the Minnesota Vikings. I am not as upset about the loss as I thought I would be. It bothered me a bit for about 4 minutes after the game until I started watching the first episode of the WIRE On Demand. Anyway, what I realized is that even though the Skins have new players, new coaches, and are supposed to be really really good (on paper)...They still have the same problems they have had over the past couple of years. Namely:

1. An inability to score inside the red zone

2. An inability to keep their momentun going on drives and in the game in general

3. A defense that's good at everything but great at nothing.

4. A specials teams group that is average at best.

Combine these problems with the following and you have a pretty good recipe for losing a close game to a very average Minnesota squad:

- Antwaan Randle El not getting past the first down marker on that crucial 3rd down on the Skins final drive of the game. How he did NOT manage to get past the marker is really beyond me.

All these reasons are why I am NOT upset with Jon Hall even though he should have made the kick. He gets paid to make kicks at crucial points in the game. That's all he does, so he should be able to make that kick. But in reality, the Skins should never have been in that position in the first place. Especially if they took care of numbers 1 and 2 above.

On another note, my favorite moment of the night was Clinton's Portis' debut of the mohawk haircut. It appears that this haircut is becoming quite popular among athletes and celebrities. I have to give Diddy credit for bringing this trend back because he did this way back during that "Diddy Runs the City" thing and now it's really caught on. I don't really like it nor do I think it's stylish or cool but to each his own. Ladies, I guess this is a decent way to weed out the guys who have white-collar jobs from those who are either *stars*, athletes, gay (LOL), or just plain bamas. Second to this moment was Jamie Foxx's minutes in the booth with the sportscasters. He really had me dying laughing for about five straight minutes. The odd part is that he wasn't even trying. But the guy seems so relaxed and genuinely comical that I could not stop myself from giggling.

Loss #1...0-1 on the year.

I might be a day late, but I'm right on time

Sept. 11 remembered through the power of the freestyle hip-hop.

I'm not saying I agree with everything he said, but I am saying that it's thought-provoking.

Sounds from

The reason Mos Def got arrested at the VMAs (Katrina Clap)...

This video has a lot going on so you may want to watch it once for the images, another time to listen to what Mos is saying, and a third time to read the text scrolling across the bottom of the screen.


"And she can lean wit it/And she can rock wit it!

Image courtesy of the Bastardly

FYI - That's Britanny Murphy. This, to me, is reminiscent of another famous actor's dancing..."Don't get it twisted homie, this a hood dance."

Monday, September 11, 2006

The WIRE gives a boost to the Baltimore hip-hop scene

I read an interesting article about how the usage of local Baltimore music (hip-hop, house, etc) as a part of the WIRE is not only bringing a new level of authenticity to the show, but helping expose a rap scene that has longed for attention outside of 695 (the Baltimore Beltway).

The article, entitled "For 'The Wire,' Rap That’s Pure Baltimore", gives insight into the music of Baltimore rappers and producers who have contributed music to this season's shows and also last season's shows. Having lived in Baltimore for 8 years now, I have to admit that I never really took the local rap scene seriously. Not until this past June when I attended the Style Warz hip-hop battle at the local Five Seasons after a recommendation from my co-worker Todd. I did just that, and what I discovered was that there is talent in Baltimore when it comes to rappers. I already knew about Bossman and his deal with So-So Def. I'd seen him in the club a couple times doing his "local celebrity" thing, but never really paid him or his music any mind (even after Jermaine Dupri signed him).

The truth of the matter is though, that there are some talented rappers in Baltimore and just like any other city, the rappers from Baltimore have pride in where they're from and are looking to bring a truly authentic view of their city through their words whether everybody likes it or not. I am glad that these guys are getting some exposure because it may lead to bigger things for them and Baltimore deserves some positive shine.

The article is a pretty good read, but one quote in the article rubbed me the wrong way.
"'The Wire' inspired me, let me know we had a voice I didn’t know we had. It showed me I might be sitting on oil."
This bothered me a bit because it reminded me of how people can have a talent and be creative, thought-provoking, and sometimes enlightening. Yet they still can't see that the most worthwhile asset is what sits above their shoulders. The BRAIN. Yes, you might be in a position where The WIRE can help you become a success. Yes, your city might be part of what helps you become successful. BUT, the "oil" is in your head, not under your feet. Without your creativity, intelligence, intuition, and ability to think, you wouldn't be able to see that the "oil" is under your feet. Keep that in mind.

As I write this I feel as if I may be over-reacting or taking the quote out of context. Yet I still feel the need to express my point. While that statement may not have been meant to be interpreted the way that I interpreted it, I think that many times a statement like that one will have an unspoken, non-connatative truth behind it. What I mean is, someone can say something and sound like they really know what they're saying but have no grasp of the depth of the comment they're making. For some reason, this statement came across as such to me.

Anyway, if you have time, I urge that you read the article and learn a little bit about how the WIRE is positively impacting the Baltimore hip-hop scene.

Just the reason I needed to go back to Cedar Point


For those of you that don't know, Cedar Point is an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. They have 16 (yes, SIXTEEN) rollercoasters. This is the best amusement park I've ever been to! If you like amusement parks and you have never been to Cedar Point, it's definitely worth the trip. Unfortunately, there's really nothing in Sandusky BUT Cedar Point, so if you're looking to have fun outside of the park you are pretty much short.

But if anybody's interested in planning a trip out there sometime next Spring or Summer, holla at ya boy!

So Soulful Man...

This past weekend I had the urge to swap out all the CDs in my 12-disc changer in my car. So what'd I look for? Well, normally I keep about 8 CDs of hip-hop (ya'll know how I love my hip-hop) and 4 R&B CDs (which is usually Goapele, Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, and probably one old school joint). But this weekend, I started off by putting in two Soulful Hip Hop CDs that my man DJ CD-R (AKA Kevin) made. And I have to say that even though these CDs were made back in like 2004, they both still ROCK! So much so that I only listened to these two CDs (for the most part) on my drives to and from DC on both Saturday and Sunday. These CDs had me bopping the entire weeked so I decided to share one of them with you. Check it out:

DJ CD-R - Soulful Hip Hop (Mix #2)

Friday, September 8, 2006

When I hear these songs, I think of my wife...

...though I don't know who she will be at this point or if I've even met her (maybe I have)...I've always known that these two songs will epitomize her and my feelings for her.

Anita Baker - Angel

If I could I'd give you the world
I'd wrap it up around you
Won't be satisfied with just a piece of this heart
My angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel
Dreams are dreams - Some dreams come true
I found a real dream baby when I found you
You're so strong
But tender too
You're my angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel

Love like ours is heaven sent
Each day a day to remember
I feel so safe
I feel secure with you
You give me love and keep right on giving
You fill me up baby with the joy of living
When things get tough I can always turn to you
You're my angel, oh angel
You're my angel

Love the way we touch
I love the way it feels
Everytime you're near me
My poor heart just won't keep still
No doubt about it that this love I feel is real
Ask me to go with you, you know I will
Hold me near, hold me tight
Only you can make it real
Only you can make it alright
Just let me know that I am special to you
My angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel
You're my angel, oh angel
What's interesting/funny about this song or might stand out to you guys is that in this song Anita Baker is actually singing about a guy. Obviously, my perspective for this song has a woman as the person being serenaded.

I've loved this song since the first time I heard it. My mother was a HUGE Anita Baker fan when I was younger. So in turn, I am a huge Anita Baker fan, especially her earlier work. I have all the CDs, know all the lyrics, and have Anita Baker's Greatest Hits in my CD player from time-to-time. This song is easily my favorite. "Rapture" and "Sweet Love" are probably number 2 and 3.

Anyway, I know this might strike some of my male buddies as a sort of "soft" (whatever that means) post but it's real talk, so go ahead and get your jokes ready cuz I'm cool either way. This is REAL TALK.

Goodie Mob - Beautiful Skin

Well, I say you're my, beginnin my end
You're my sista lover and friend
God is, your light from within
It shines through your beautiful skin
What they, say bout you ain't true
There's no me if there is no you

I hope, that you understand
You got to respect yourself before I can
This one is not so much the entire song, though I do like the song. It's moreso the hook. The bolded words above resonated so strongly with me the first time I heard this song that I immediately committed them to memory. Certain words/songs/moments are etched into your memory forever and for me, the hook of this song is one of those things.

You'll notice that the title of this song above is not linked to the video for the song, but a montage that someone put together with this song as the background music. If you'd like to hear the song, please check out the video. Cee-Lo does a great job!

Come on man...You know...Hip-Hop!

"They ask me what I'm writing for/
I'm writing to show you what we fighting for/
Even when we suffer loses I still count the victory/
Shine like my girl heavenly smile/"
I love this song so much! Even with Hi-Tek's average raps the song still has that vibe that moves me.
This is definitely in my top 3 Talib songs of all time.

Here's one of the others:

Never Been In Love Before

You gotta like the concept of this video. The beat is dope (Just BLAAAAAAZE!), his lyrics are on point and come across as sincere. And frankly, this is a song that I can definitely relate to.
"Thick like bifocals/
Stacked like tupac vocals/
Her body so loco!"

"I don't care what people say/
As long as she and me okay/
Cuz I never been in love before/
All of this is new to me/
And this ain't what I'm use dto see/
Cuz I never been in love before/"

"Dudes tryna dive in it/
First they wanna spit on my name and tarnish my image/"
And I just had the random thought about this joint. Mos Def's "Ms Fat Booty". This is easily my favorite Mos Def joint of all-time:

"Is sugar and spice the ONLY thing that you made of?"
I know I'm not the only guy out there who can relate to this joint as well. Girls, girls, girls....

The day Hip-Hop died...

...might just be the day hip-hop is reincarnated. Nas's next album is dropping November 7th. I haven't been excited about a Nas album release (to be honest) since Nastradamus, and most people know how that played out. Since then, I have not been pumped about a single Nas release, NOT ONE!

But this next album comes with all the hoopla of the partnership with Jay-Z; the prospect of a Jay-Z/Nas collaboration; after one of the greatest battles in hip-hop, ever; one of the most unexpected truces and partnerships in hip-hop, ever; small beefs with other "big-name" artists (50 Cent, Mobb Deep, Cormega); and the release of an album (Street's Disciple) that lets you know that though he may not bring it on each and every song like he did on Illmatic...The man who used to be one of the most popular lyricists (and really still is by the way) can still do it with the best of them.

The question is, can Nas shy away from tyring to please the masses by bringing back the old Illmatic Nas, but improve upon that Illmatic Nas with the growth he's experienced since that time. From losing his mother to beefing with Jay-Z (and other rappers) to getting married to whatever else he's experienced. That's all personal growth that has been infused into some of his latest music and hopefully will add more depth to the music he's putting out on November 7th.

What I loved about Nas was his story-telling ability and his ability to help you see the streets through his eyes but not glorify them. And he also had this ability that BHill pointed out to me where he could rhyme like every fourth word for an entire verse. It's really amazing if you go back an listen to some of his work. The man is lyrically VICIOUS!

So while I look forward to this album, I will TRY not to get my hopes up too too much because I don't want to set my expectations too high like I did for the Black Album. But I think his lead single is going to shed some light on what to expect.

I think I speak for most (if not all) men when I say....

Hov just upped the ante'. I guess my man Jigga felt he needed to "upgrade" Beyonce with the Rolls. Honestly, I was a little upset at first because I know this will be interpreted by a lot of dumb silly women as a metric by which they should measure their boyfriends/husbands affection. Most women won't be silly enough to think they're gonna get a Rolls for their BDay though. I firmly believe that. By the way, isn't it funny how Beyonce took/stole something (the term "BDay")that most of us use already and will now probably turn it into a multi-platinum marketing tool?

Back to the post..So yeah, no Rolls, but that new Scion TC joint (that I happen to like) might be on some ladies' wish list. NO DICE ladies! You are NOT getting any type of car or Kobe Bryant make-up ring for your birthday or Christmas or any other holiday that you gals like to make-up (i.e. - 3 month anniversary; first kiss annivesary, etc). Don't get your hopes up! Sorry! Now maybe, just maybe you'll get something that expensive down the road for a wedding anniversary or a birthday or Christmas when we're older, financially established, and I have, say, $3 million to blow spend on my angel. Yeah, then!

Realistic (maybe):

Not realistic (at all):

Granted, if I had that type of money, I would DEFINITELY treat my WIFE-WIFE-WIFE to a gift like that. So honestly, I stopped hating when I had that thought. But my girlfriend? Nah! I'd have spent that million on the wedding ring before she really "Rang the Alarm" on me!

I guess Hov's gonna have to buy Beyonce her own G-5 airplane for their first wedding anniversary...

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Random Musicness...

Cassidy in the booth:

You think he wrote that? Probably so. It was pretty average, but I like Cass' so I posted it anyway.

Talib Kweli in the booth:

"Too many equate success with imitating these cr&ckers!/
So our kids looking up to drug dealers and rappers/"

That Dick Cheney line....Hilarious!

I think he was rhyming some written stuff at first and then started freestyling toward the end.
But it was still tough!

Luda & Jeezy - Grew Up a Screw Up

If Luda rhymed like this on every song...AND, I think he's definitely throwing subliminal disses at TIP or Weezie F. Baby somehow:

"Only reason you on that song is cuz I turned that DOWN!"

Luda ripping that Cannon beat (this beat is so so FIRE):

Oh yeah, Uncle Murder's on the track too. Who's that? I dunno! Sound a little like a Hell Rell to me.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Stoop/Corner Culture

Riding with my friend BHill to my favorite Tuesday night spot to eat, Koopers Tavern, I found myself pondering something I see just about everyday in Baltimore's east side. This is a phenemenon that I never really paid attention to growing up in the DC area but now seems commonplace to me. It's what I call the stoop/corner culture. Riding through Baltimore city, you see many rowhouses that all look as if they were made from the same cookie cutter. Many of them run-down, missing windows, or with spray-painted messages reading "R.I.P..." Some of them nice, large brownstones with well-manicured mini-yards. These rowhouses are part of what is symbolic of Baltimore city. But what amazes me is that it seems every third or fourth row house in certain neigborhoods, there's always someone sitting on their stoop just watching. As I watch them watch me I can't help but feel like they're sitting on that stoop watching life pass them by unknowingly.

I assume (hopefully naively) that the stoop view is their view of life...Sitting back watching cars roll by, neighbors walk by...Watching people go to and from doing their day-to-day business and activities. It's saddening to think that these people's lives consist of staying inside all day and only coming out to sit on their 4"X4" stoop to watch everyone else live life.

In addition to the stoopers, you have the corner crew. This is the group of kids/adults that are within ten (or some other random number) feet of the corner of innercity streets. Some of the kids might sell drugs and some of them probably don't anything illegal but are just there because their boys are out there. Most of the adults are likely drug addicts and when you ride by, they never ever let you pass without looking intently at your vehicle and at you if they can make eye contact. But is this because they think you're the police or you're being nosey? Or is it because they are admiring your ride? Or are they lost and looking to you for more than what they are able to grasp physically, visually, and imaginatively? It's that look that resonates so deeply in my mind and heart as a cry for help. It's like the look that Tupac gave in that infamous picture shown above.

That look is partly why I could never be afraid of those kids like many middle-class Baltimoreans appear to be. That look is why I could never be afraid of the people on the stoops. Those looks they give you - the scowl, the rolled eyes, the innocent gaze, the look of being lost - it makes them human. It makes them just like me and you! At times we have all been lost and needed direction, encouragement, or guidance. So in many ways these people that are viewed by many as "lost" or as "outcasts" or just "those people", are just like me and you.

The fact that Baltimore is poverty-stricken and plain old 'hood in certain areas isn't unique to this city. There are common problems in all urban communities that I could cite. The corner/stoop culture is not unique to Baltimore. My question to you is, do shows like THE WIRE and The Corner do more to help a city like Baltimore, or more to facilitate the problem? My answer at this point in time is that these shows help the city by exposing the issues to a broader audience. This audience can/may consist of adults who develop (or already possess) a strong desire to solve the problem and make things better. But for the kids, I believe that these types of shows (without parental/adult explanation) may facilitate the problems that they try to bring light upon. I'm of the former group (at least during the week), adults, so I like to think that I am part of the solution rather than the facilitation of the problem. I also like to believe that a city like Baltimore or any other urban city in this country can be improved/fixed/uplifted.

Unfortunately, for the past 8 years that I've been here in Baltimore, I can't say that I've seen the building-up of communities from within. What I have seen is the tearing down of communities (literally) through redevelopment/gentrification by developers like Struever Brothers. Projects down, townhouse and condos up...Is this the solution or does it just faciliate the problem even more? Where do all these displaced people end up...In a different 'hood! Those of you that watched the WIRE last season may be familiar with the term "Hamsterdam". In some ways, I think this redevelopment and gentrication of American cities may just produce Hamsterdams all across the country.

Had this on my mind since last night so I just wanted to put it out there. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Who's that peeking in my window? POW! Nobody now.

Cell Therapy - Goodie Mob

Way back when this song first came out I loved it. Not because I really understood the point they were trying to get across, but because the song was just DOPE to me! It made me want to get hype. And when I went to see Rare Essence (popular DC area go-go band) and they hit this joint, I developed a love for this song that is probably unmatched by any other go-go re-make of a popular hip-hop song.

But today, after listening againg, I realized that this song was actually ahead of its time. This song was released in 1995, but they addressed/brought-up some topics that are actually still relevant today (and I'll use the actual lyrics here):

"Young girls thirteen years old
Expose themselves to any Tom, Dick, and Hank"
Young girls growing up too fast!

"United Nations, overseas
they trained assassins to do search and seize
Aint knocking or asking
Dem coming for niggas like me"
The young and strong being dragged off to fight wars

"Me and my family moved in our apartment complex
A gate with the serial code was put up next
The claim that this community is so drug free
But it don't look that way to me cause I can see
The young bloods hanging out at the sto 24/7
Junkies looking got a hit of the blo it's powerful
Oh you know what else they tryin to do
Make a curfew especially for me and you the traces of the new world order
Time is getting shorter if we don't get prepared
People it's gone be a slaughter
My mind won't allow me to not be curious
My folk don't understand so they don't take it serious
But every now and then, I wonder
If the gate was put up to keep crime out or to keep our ass in
Putting the poor together so that they don't interfere with the rise of the wealthy/rich/middle-class; Drugs in poor neighborhoods; "My folk don't understand so they don't take it serious" (think about that line)
"Who am I to tell you to stop smokin
Now you're open to disease and colds
And aint 16 years old, this shit has got to stop
Let's take a walk through detox
I want outta this hold I'm in a cell under attack"
While these lyrics may not be such a smooth read, the issues brought up and the point of the song is pretty poignant, "GET ME OUT OF THIS CELL!"

Most of these issues are either still being dealt with today or have been pushed under the rug because there are (allegedly) bigger fish to fry. The entire song is a metaphor (in my opinion) for being trapped in an environment where it appears that there's no way to get out. So they need "Cell Therapy" to keep themselves sane. "My mind won't allow me to not be curious/My folks don't understand so they don't take it serious".

They just tapped the surface of actually addressing these issues but I think it's both sad and interesting that these guys had a hold on issues back in 1995 that are still relevant today. They weren't the first or the last, but it just makes me realize just how slowly progress really is. Music is (in alot of ways) a reflection of society. Hip-hop used to be a very accurate reflection of OUR reality in urban black America. But now it appears to be more glorified in negative ways and filled with personas and egos that are larger than life.

We should really appreciate the artists who take the time to NOT address themselves or massage their own egos, but those that address issues that govern the lives of those who listen to the music. Like the Mos Defs, Talibs, Dead Prez, Common, Kanye (dare I throw him in there), etcs. They're music may not be the most popular or the kind that makes you want to move in the club, but I don't think anyone would argue that their music is probably the most moving.

My question to you all is, what will the kids growing up on hip-hop now look back and say about the music they loved when their in their mid to late 20s, their 30s, and 40s? Will they look back and say "that was deep, they really were talking about serious stuff"? Or will they say, "Damn, all we really were learning from that music is how to become a dope boy, wear overpriced clothes, and spend way too much money on materialistic items"?

Food for thought, you do the dishes...

Monday, September 4, 2006

LL and 50 doing more than just working on an album

Hmmmmnnn. This is interesting. Let's think about this for a second.

The Facts:

1. 50 is producing LL's next album.

2. LL took shots at Def Jam and Jay-Z during interviews at the VMAS:
"I think Def Jam needs to be a better promoter of hip-hop,...I think Jay-Z does a very good job ... of promoting Jay-Z."
3. Jay-Z long long ago took a shot at 50 Cent with the line "I'm about a dollar, what the f&ck is 50 Cent?"
3. 50 Cent is arguably as popular and *powerful/influential* now (if not more) than Jay-Z was back then.

4. LL never really speaks bad about anyone unless it's in a battle. He is one of the most proven battle rappers out there (see Canibus)

The Humor:

1. Wouldn't 50 and LL be the strongest rap tandem in history? These dudes could each, easily bench press Jay-Z. LMAO!

2. How much more vitamin water will 50 sell to LL's healthy 49 year-old a$$?

3. "You 38 and still rapping"...Jay-Z or LL?

4. Between LL and 50, whose ego had to take the backseat for this deal to work out?

5. If 50's smart, he'll start selling lip-balm and use LL to promote the shyt.

What I'm Thinking:

If 50 and LL continue to publicly call-out Def Jam (which right now equals calling out Jiggaman), then sooner or later, directly or subliminally, someone with ties to Def Jam will be dissing either 50 or LL or both. This could come in an interview, song, whatever. Will this turn into a Jay-Z versus 50 Cent/LL war? I doubt it. Even though I'd like to see a great HIP-HOP battle (meaning lyrically) between two artists like Jay-Z and LL, I doubt it would ever happen. But it could turn into a media battle between 50 Cent versus Def Jam.

The most interesting thing here is thought that maybe, just maybe, LL and Jay-Z would battle it out. LL has ended people's careers and Jay was 1/2 of the most famous hip-hop battle of all time. And with the ULTIMATE instigator/shit-talker (50 Cent) involved in all this, it could get pretty heated/ugly. And I didn't even want to mention this, but the thought of Nas/Jay-Z versus LL/50...Nah, I won't even go there.

It'll be interesting to see if this situation gets any larger than it is. We'll see. And if it does, I just hope it stays hip-hop and doesn't too far out-of-hand.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Killer Mike - That's Life

He calls out Oprah and Bill Cosby on this joint and manages to make a few good points. I disagree with his last statement on why young black kids wear their pants sagging. Though I don't agree with people who say that people wear their pants saggin' because of the jail culture either.

"They said be like Mike so ball nikka, that's RIGHT!/"

"Call me a dumb rapper, girl stop, pardon me/
You be hard pressed to find another rapper smart as me/
Maybe Jay-Z 2pac, C-U-B-E/
But Oprah rather put Superhead on TV."

What do you guys think about this joint?