Thursday, July 28, 2005

Get Your Mind Right

- The Cookbook: An academic’s thoughts on Missy’s “The Cookbook” including a bold comparison to Dylan (Bob Dylan, not “My five favorite rappers are: Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan” Dylan).

- Crash: I’ve heard some good and bad things about the movie “Crash,” but I haven’t seen it yet. Jeff Chang (congratulations on the award for the brilliant “”) and Sylvia Chan sound off about why—contrary to popular opinion—the movie really doesn’t do much to advance the “race conversation” in America. I should probably see this shit.

- Young Jeezy: Young Jeezy is the blogosphere’s new favorite rapper. The bol Dame at Cultstatus has posted like 100 mp3s. Go get ‘em. The rumor mill proclaims that Jeezy and Santana (no guitar) are working on an official album for Def Jam. Jesus. Gangsta, gangsta. By the way, I still think “And Then What” sucks.

- Holy Fuckin’ Awesome: As if I wasn’t hype enough from the potential Jeezy and Juelz audio beat down, I see that Pharrell has signed on to produce music for the Voltron movie soundtrack. That is fucking awesome! Frankly, I didn’t know there was a Voltron movie in the works, but regardless of how shitty it is (and chances are that it will be on the shitty side), if there’s some “On and On” type of Neptune brilliance backing them Voltrons, shit will be off the meter.

- Awesome: Super fresh flier for Caps and Jones’s gig at Milk in SF in September.

- Darko: A larger than normal freedarko post by Shoalsy. Even the comments section of that site are funny and insightful. Dude says: “I gave Steve (Francis) a ball to sign once and he was still reluctant to pass it back.” Haha!

- Chuck Klosterman: I saw Chuck Klosterman talk the other day with my girl and a couple friends. Shit was hot. Dude was really, really funny and read a passage from his new narrative non-fiction book “Killing Yourself to Live” which sounds pretty funny. I would talk about the night except my dude Drew says pretty much what I would’ve said right here. The gist: “pop-culture” is just as important as (if not more so) “high culture.”


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Post-Rap" vs "Post-Colonial-Rap"

- Chuck K: Chuck K tonight in Philly. Should be fun.

- Trapper Juan: My dude Drew moved his blog from myspace to here. Good job, my friend. Looks way nicer.

- Pimp My Ride UK: Tim Westwood is like a fucking paradoy of himself. Peep this shit. Dude is so awkward and cheeseball. If you let the screen idle too much on that web page, Westwood gets all hype and says “Yo, let’s get busy! Click the mouse, baby, let’s go!” Jesus.

- Eddie Bo Discography: Damn. Hot discography (and probably about as exhaustive as its gonna get) for that illy funkster from N’awlins.

- Fish and Walker: Audrey posted some yucky lookin’ fish things and links to Walker Texas Ranger flicks from Conan O’Brian. I can’t believe there are people in this world who think Jay Leno or David Letterman or any of those late night jack-asses even hold a candle to Conan. Don’t say “The Daily Show” because that doesn’t count. While, I’m here I might as well drop a link to her most recent radio show. So, linkage has been dropped. Here’s the tracklist. Her summary of the Metallica movie epic is fucking hilarious.

- Post-Rap vs Post-Colonial-Rap: My boy Aaron reviewed Buck 65’s record on Coke Machine Glow. I haven’t heard the entire record so I will refrain from commenting on the quality of the music. I will say two things about the new record though: (1), from the two songs I’ve heard, one I rather like, one I think stinks; (2) the best that I could possibly say about this record at this point is that I’m really not interested in hearing it. I’m still really biased against dude and think he’s pretty much a jack-ass. At the very least, he has a problem expressing himself and enjoys putting his foot in his mouth, saying wildly ignorant things about rap music (like “Why is Jay-Z quitting? Why doesn’t he learn to play an instrument or something?” and “I hate hip-hop” etc).

I don’t mean to rehash all the shit that was said about Buck being an ignoramus and an idiot in the wake of those comments. He’s subsequently apologized for those comments and, fuck it, we’ve all said dumb shit before. I’m sure if somebody had a mic on me at a particularly bad time, I’d be saying stupid shit, too... granted, not as stupid as that shit, but his girl-friend is some classical music snob. What the fuck do you expect? Anyway, truth be told, his dumb comments really shouldn’t have too much of an effect on how I view his music, but the only reason I’m bringing this up is because I think it’s germane to something Newell brings up in his review.

Newell wants to define Buck 65’s new music as “post-rap” (a la Simon Reynolds and “post rock”) and to a certain extent, I can understand the desire to re-define music in terms like that (after all, google the term “post-rap,” it’s been used quite often in reviews, especially with respect to Anticon artists). But, I wonder, first of all, is a white journalist really in a position to be defining “rap” in any sense? And, secondly, why is it always white rappers that are getting terms like “post rap” thrown at them? Are there any “post rap” black rappers? Should we consider the “experimental” offerings of folks like Cee-Lo, Common, and Q-Tip “post rap” or that something different? I’m really not trying to call out anyone here, I’m simply wondering if there’s an implied whiteness in the adjective “post-.” Similarly, I’m wondering if there’s an implied sense of REJECTING “black rap” in “post-rap.”

I just think it’s important that we’re careful with these terms and not forget that when we talk about hip-hop, we are necessarily talking about race. Frankly, I think a more apt term would be “post-colonial-rap” (where “post-colonial” isn’t a reference to actual historical colonization, but the potential cultural colonization occurring as we speak). That’s probably the most clever thing I’m going to say all week. Anyway, this brings me to something I’ve been thinking about recently regarding Frederic Jameson’s definition of “the pastiche” in postmodernity.

In “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” Jameson describes “pastiche” as similar to the technique but at odds with the intent of “parody.” I don’t have the text in front of me so I’m going off of memory right now, but the basic argument is that “pastiche” is neutral appropriation where “parody” appropriates and re-performs with the intent of mocking or providing some sort of commentary. But, again, “pastiche” is the “neutral” form of a similar appropriative technique where styles and techniques are appropriated and re-employed for different affect/effects. This is a simple enough differentiation as far as I’m concerned, and I really didn’t have any problem with it until I started thinking about it in terms of race. The problem when race enters the picture is that this supposedly “neutral practice” cannot help but lose its apparent “neutrality.” For example, when a white rapper like Buck 65 appropriates rap music and sort’ve re-defines it and then ultimately re-deploys it in his unique way, it’s too simple to say that this is “neutral” postmodern pastiche. Certainly, Buck 65’s intentions might be “neutral”—even though he’s said a bunch of ignorant shit about rap, you still get the vibe that he loves it and respects it and has no intention of really disrespecting it—but, intent isn’t perfectly equitable to effect. And, given Jameson’s insistence that context is king in postmodernity, one would think that he would agree with me when I say something like this:

    given that this type of appropriative movement (the white rapper constructing his musical identity as a pastiche of “black rap,” Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious, indy rock, beat poetry, and whatever else) is ultimately performed in a society that is still, to a very large degree, “white supremacist,” it seems to me that this pastiche can never be “neutral” and is necessarily going to embody the dominant political unconscious--which is institutional racism.

Therefore, white appropriation and pastiche might be “neutral” in intention, but it almost certainly won’t be neutral in affect/effect.

Again, I don’t have the text in front of me and it’s more than likely that Jameson is really only speaking in terms of intention when he describes the difference between “parody” and “pastiche,” but I think my point stands: the relationship between the “white experimental rapper” and the typical “black rapper” is a complicated one—one that might be “neutral” in intent, but might have much more dubious effects, regardless of what the rapper or reviewer intends.

So what? Where does this leave us? Frankly, I don’t really know. All I do know is that it’s somewhat dangerous to use terms like “post-rap” when talking about “white rappers” without really discussing the issues of race that inevitably surround the issue. It’s just an extremely slippery slope in all directions and to throw these terms around without pointing out the racial elements that abound seems to me a bit irresponsible. That’s why I think “post-colonial-rap” is better (and way more clever): it at least contains the suggestion of race in it and points out the potential for cultural imperialism, oppression, and domination—which is of course what we mean when we talk about “race.”

Sorry for the mini-dissertation.

I should probably get to work now.

By the way, I just found this for those interested in the Jameson piece.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Best believe your drank gone get drank up....

- Big Ups: Big ups go out to urrybody that bothered to engage my dumb ass in some blog conversation recently, especially Pearsall Helms. Go to his blog. Shit is better than mine.

- Big Numbers: I’m really bad at grasping big numbers. When I’m at a concert or some sort of big event, as soon as there are over 50 people, I have a hard time even estimating how many people are present. 150 people? 650 people? Shit might as well be exactly the same to me. So, in that vein, we have this which allows us to visualize $87 billion. Of course, it’s a bit of a dated link, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

- Fashion: I can totally imagine David Brent showing up to work wearing one of these. “Fashion.”

- Reef the Lost Cauze: Reef’s got a new album coming out soon, but I posted some of his older shit on the shrimp. Scoop it. It’s good stuff. I did the beats to “This is My Life” and “The Puzzle.” Feel free to diss the shit out of ‘em (especially my use of the rather played “Come Dancing”).

- Hood 2 Hood: I must admit, I do want to see this. I’m sure there’s plenty of disturbing and downright reprehensible shit going on in this video, but, to me, the most disturbing thing about it is that it’s fucking 5 hours! FUCK. That’s ridiculous.

- Mississippi Burning: I haven’t seen “Mississippi Burning” for years upon years, but it was brought up recently in a messageboard post and I found this article about it. Read it if you’ve seen the movie or are bored.

- RIP frhate: To anybody who used to frequent the Anticon board years ago, you might remember the long stories a member named “Frhate” used to post. They were really interesting Kerouac-esque, Hobo stories that were rather well-written and always interesting. Unfortunately, the talented, free-spirited soul passed on recently but people with more foresight than me were wonderful enough to copy/paste them jawns and preserve them for eternity. Go here to read the stories. They’re great. R.I.P. Serg with more on the man.


Friday, July 22, 2005

No Comment

These comments sections (here and here) are poppin'. Waste your weekend debating!


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm not a player...

- Wedding Crashers: Welp, I saw “Wedding Crashers” last night with the dudes Lowbeezy and bo blizzardry and it’s officially hilarious. Let’s get the obvious criticisms out of the way: it’s the same old unbelievably unbelievable story of guys-who-like-to-fuck-and-have-no-intention-of-
settling-down meet girls-who-make-them-realize-they-want-love-
and-not-a-perpetual-fuck-fest thing. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, it’s stupid, overdone and unrealistic (and might even be partially responsible for perpetuating the age-old “Girl likes asshole” syndrome all of us nice fellars despise so), but the movie doesn’t purport to be much more than a laugh-fest. The fact that it’s the same-ol’ bullshit story and you know how the film’s going to end before it even starts winds up working in its advantage however. After all, since the film is so predictable and the happy-ending is pre-prackaged, the focus of the movie is instead on the performances of and chemistry between the stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, who are both pretty damn flawless. Basically, the shit is just fucking funny. Go see it.

- No Mo’ Tuesdays: My Tuesday weekly DJ gig with Low Budget (Hollertronix) and Dan the Swede (my “White T’s and White Belts” partna in crime) has been put on hold until the Fall because there ain’t nobody in Old City on a muhfuggin’ Tuesday night. Sowwwwy!! Come back in late August/early September. We’ll make the fucker jump-off (like a suicidal person from a roof).

- Judge Roberts: So, I’m kinda scared about Judge Roberts’ potential Supreme Court appointment, but at least he said this: "[Roe vs Wade is] the settled law of the land… there's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent." Ugh. I’m still scurred.

- Toonces: Awwdamn posted some funny SNL movies of Toonces the Driving cat on a messageboard. Here: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

- Fuck: If you didn’t see this dunk yet, click now. Lil’ dude gets called for an offensive foul, but who gives a fuck? This shit is redonkulous. In other basketball news: good for the Sixers, bad for the Sonics.

- More Ebonics Discussion: For more on the Ebonics/Black Vernacular English (BVE) stuff, read the comments from yesterday. I also describe my basketball game in 50 words or less.

- Saved by the Bol: Yet again, Byron Crawford saves me half an hour of my life. Shit is better than watching the shit.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm still smellin' crack in my clothes...

"Still smellin' crack in my clothes"? Come on, now! Does Jay-Z really expect me to believe he hasn't bought any new clothes since '88? Pssssh! Anyway, on with the bullshit...

- Ugh: Dad boxes with three year old son because he’s scared the kid is gay… winds up killing him. Good job, you fucking idiot.

- Prayer: A hilariously awesome study about the effects of prayer. Sounds like something out of the onion. Maybe these people just weren’t that good at praying.

- Guess Who’s Bizzack: That Queens-bridge bol with the short temper and best all-around game in the NBA is back on the court. God speed, son. By the way, Draft Express is nuts. If you’re an NBA dork, that place is for you. If you’re a streetball dork, you’re probably all about the EBC classic poppin’ off right now. The fuck is Gilbert Arenas thinking? Oh, and good ol' Larry Brown pulls the same ol' bullshit we've come to expect of the "classy" guy. Fuck him. Best coach in the NBA? Check. Hall of Famer? Check. Piece of shit? Check. Fuck that guy.

- Mashpolitik: Wayne waxes on mashes/mixes/blends. A bit long but some important stuff to think about.

- Lyrics Born: A good article about a rapper I used to really be into but now couldn’t really care less about. Written by Eric Arnold.

- Vinyl Sales Up: Via grand good, 7” record sales are up in the UK.

- Dorks are the New Jocks: So, apparently, dorks are cool. I’d just like to say I pioneered that campaign back when I was coming-up in my school days: I was dorky and got good grades, but everyone still liked me because I had a mean twenty-footer… except girls, of course.

- Ebonics: Sheesh, this only took, what, eight to ten years for people to realize the legitimacy of Ebonics? Hopefully, this will allow Ebonics-speaking kids to transition into Standard English better because, let’s be honest, you need to learn Standard English in this country if you want to be successful. To be sure, Ebonics is just as legitimately a “language” as Standard English is, but which of the following is a more feasible goal: (a) instituting educational programs that will teach our Ebonics-speaking children that, yes, Ebonics is a legitimate language, but not one that is acceptable in the American business world, or (b) convincing non-Ebonics-speaking White America that Ebonics is a legitimate language that needs to be recognized and accepted? I hope more programs like this are instituted across the country, and I hope supremely dumb motherfuckers like Bill Cosby shut the fuck up about it.

- White Lies: I bought Maurice Berger’s “White Lies: Race and the Myth of Whiteness” on a whim yesterday. It’s a memoir-esque, firt-person account of a Jewish kid growing up in the projects on the Lower East Side with a racist mom and a relatively open-minded (but schizophrenic) pops. Some interesting anecdotal insights about race/racism, random quotes of interest, and some interesting facts. It’s good. Stupidly predictable title, though. Still, it’s good.

- Interesting Thoughts about Tobacco: Here’s a really interesting take on smoking and why Corporate America approves of it in the work-place. You could probably sum it up by re-contextualizing the famous Marx quote about religion: “Smoking is the opiate of the masses.” It’s from Wikipedia's tobacco entry ...

For another take on the moral aspects of smoking, see David Krogh's book "Smoking: the Artificial Passion" (Freeman 1992). Freeman documents a strong case for tobacco's uniqueness as a "drug" and accounts for the fact that in the past, many moralists who disapproved of "recreational" drugs approved of tobacco.

Krogh shows how tobacco is not like alcohol or so-called controlled substances including marijuana a recreational drug. He shows how smokers use tobacco to normalize their feelings within the narrow band necessary for functioning within an industrial society, where energy levels have to be carefully rationed according to expectations.

Krogh's analysis is unusual because it explains why workplaces prior to about 1980 actively encouraged smoking through the provision of ashtrays and vending machines and even today, smokers in nonsmoking offices are usually allowed generous breaks far in excess of nonsmokers. Krogh shows how cigarette smoking (unlike alcohol or marijuana, but perhaps like "speed" and "crystal meth") reconciles people to dull jobs by narrowing their physical, and hence psychological responses to fit within an expected range: not so depressed as to be subpar but not overenthusiastic or so angry as to cause fear in fellow employees.

This range is naturalized as normal but in fact all industrialized societies have had to train their lower-level cadres to dampen their response and it appears, given Krogh's narrative sociology, that smoking was morally neutral before about 1980 because it fulfilled this necessary function.

The zenith of smoking's moral approval in America was the Second World War and the postwar era where vast numbers of people had to operate technical apparatus while dampening down feelings of fear and despair which were normal given the facts of the war and subsequent period of "cold" war. But to the extent that since this era, metropolitan and developed countries had (until September 11) almost complete immunity from the immediacy of wartime conditions, smoking has probably fulfilled less of a socially necessary function in metropolitan societies...while in marginalized war zones it continues to enjoy positive approval.

As a narrative sociology, Krogh needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It may be that prior to modern restrictions on tobacco advertising, public relations was able to create the illusion that a harmful activity was morally neutral or even a *mitzvah* (Jewish commandment).


Friday, July 15, 2005

You don't know my name...

- Iverson on Punk’d: Ok, I haven’t seen Iverson on Punk’d yet but I’m sure it’s great. Freedarko says that Iverson proves in it, once again, that he is “one of the most likable players of all time” and I, for one, believe them. Somebody find me a WMV of that bitch. An MPG or AVI will do too, but no MOVs. I can’t peep that Quicktime bullshit at work. Darko also posted a link to this dunk that Dr. Robert originally put me up on. This is the word “dunked on” personified. Sickening. But, look at the crowd afterwards. What is it about putting your hands in the air? It’s like an innate way to express happy disbelief and victory. Why is that? I don’t think that shit’s socialized—I think it’s instinctual. Somebody get a grant and some funding and then conduct a test… but find that Iverson Punk’d shit first. I’m sure I could wait to see it on a re-run on MTV, but the point is, I want to see it now.

- Guess Who’s Biddack: Serg posted some new shit and it’s about 40’s. This guy is the shit on so many levels.

- Portal to Hell: I always knew Southern California was as close to hell as you could get.

- Three Suns: This is for the latent astronomer in us all. Apparently, “astronomers have detected a planet outside our solar system with not one, but three suns, a finding that challenges astronomers' theories of planetary formation.” Word?

- Fly, Pelican, Fly: Hands down, the best scene in “Scarface” is the scene where Tony Montana is sittin’ in his big ass bath tub watching TV, he sees some flamingos on TV and says “Fly, Pelican, fllyyy!” That shit cracks me the fuck up every time. It’s like, such a juvenile joke, but it’s fucking hilarious. So, ever since then, I’ve held a special place in my heart for both flamingos (except for lawn-flamingos which are just creepy) and pelicans. That is why I find this story about inexplicable pelican deaths particularly sad. To all my real live pelicans out there: fly, y’all… fly (and when I say “pelicans,” I mean “pelicans and flamingos.” Holler).

- 4 and Chinese: OK, I know messageboards aren’t exactly the most credible places in the world for information, but according to several people in this post, Chinese people are very superstitious about the number four. In fact, an architect who works in Hong Kong says “Many new residential buildings in this neck of the woods do not have any of the following: 4th, 14th, 24th etc (4 sounds like "Death" in Mandarin and Cantonese); 7th, 17th, 27th etc (Chinese mourning period goes in cycles of 7 days); and 13th floor (something for the westerner).” I just find it astonishing that superstition comes into play so seriously with shit like this. Yet again, good ol’ Teddy Adorno’s (bio) contemporary relevancy is illustrated.

- ”Girl, you’ve really got to do something about your dark butthole”: Via Poplicks, we find this strangely ridiculous and yet wholly American tidbit. Another reason why So’Cal is as close to hell as you can get without booking a flight in the hand-basket-to-actual-hell. I’ll be completely honest with you: even while watching porn, I have never ONCE thought “Damn, that girl’s butthole is too dark.” I have definitely thought “Damn, this scene would be way better without that dude’s butthole having such a prominent presence on the screen” (dudes in straight porn should wear boxers or some shit), but never ever ever have I even considered if someone’s bum hole was adequately hued. Call me old-fashioned.

- Mo’ Pollack: This is a little bit old by now, and Free Darko hates him (which—since I dickeat them so hard—makes me feel guilty for liking him), but Neal Pollack is funny.

- Drop Me a Comment: You people should comment more so I can get a rough idea of how many people actually read this thing. I have no idea how to tell and I’m really curious. Maybe I should get a web-counter? How do I do that shit? I’m an idiot. I get the feeling that the only people that read it are like Caps, KC, my buddy Ian, and a few other people, but I’m curious. So post a comment saying “You’re an idiot” or something. Thanks!


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Emil'll blamblam 'em.

- DJing Tonight: Come check me out at Filo’s tonight with my man Bo Bliz for Crossfaded Thursdays. Shit’s been poppin’ off lately. Good times, good music, good air-conditioning. Hottest shit south of Spring Garden on a Thursday night. So holler at us. City Paper says so (scroll down).

New Blog Rollers: I’ve added a few links to my blog-roll but since nobody uses those stupid blog-rolls, I’ma post ‘em here too:

- My Hair (Kinda Homo): My hair is looking particularly scummy lately. It’s the humidity, I think. My once vibrant, bouncy curls are now oily, heavy, and decrepit. Don’t worry, though: I’m having a telecom with my-twin-brother-from-another-mother Jim Jones at lunch today. We’re going to discuss coordinating our summer look and, amongst other things, healthy hair and beard tips. Talk to ya in a few hours, Jim-bo!

- FUCK YOU: I’m fucking elated that Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his WorldCom fraud. That fucker should’ve gotten life. Fuck you, you piece of shit.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dick in your mouth all day Bitch get your mouth off me!

- Big News: Awww shit! That flier is amazing. My main dude from Cali is gonna be in town, too. We fixing to show him how the fuck we do thangs out in the dirty, grimey, gully Philthydelphia... EARLY!

- Beats to the Rhyme: So, you know on Run DMC’s “Beats to the Rhyme” there’s that hard to distinguish vocal sample? I was hoping it was someone saying “Dick in your mouth all day,” but, Cosmo Baker dropped the knowledge on me: Sim Kinneson saying "Bitch get your mouth off me." Suhweeetuh! I can die in peace now.

- Lit Theory Tuesdays: Don’t miss Literary Theory Tuesdays o’er at the incommensurable Michael Berube blog. Fun stuff about Derrida and why it’s stupid to hate on Lit Theory the way so many people do.

- Catchdubs Updates Proper: If you’re smart, you check his site before you come here, but if you haven’t, the multi-talented dudest of dudes nikolai catch dubs hits us with a full-on, 12 bullet update.

- Zen: Speaking of Catchdubs, Rollie linked the mp3 of that Clipse song Zen that ‘dubs put us up on months ago. Real talk, real rap.

- Real World Austin: I missed the Real World last night. Byron Crawford didn’t. Thankfully.

- Grand Good: Grand Good records is a dope record label run by a couple of my NY folks. I’m supposed to work on a project for them but it’s coming along slooooooowly. They’ve got a dope little mix posted though. It ain’t mixed together, but there’s some fun shit on it. Peep right here.

- Shock G Retires: Apparently Shock G is retiring because he hates the studio and other reasons. I think it’s BS. He’ll be back. Music is like that crack: the addicts always come back. Anyway, I hope so at least… not like I check for his new shit, but uh, it’s nice to know that staples like him are still putting shit down… err, were putting shit down. Whatever. Happy trails, Shocky (and when I say “happy trails,” I don’t mean this).


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The one to look out for...

- Grab a Crying Towel: Some sad, sad shit about the Bhopal, India gas leak in 1984 and The Dow Chemical Company from the wonderful, wonderful website Knowmore: The Corporation Watch Search Engine. Here’s a piece by David Watson from—as my boy icarus from the Shrimp describes it—the “formerly important anarchist newspaper The Fifth Estate.”

- That song that gives you shivers: Here’s a study some neurologists did monitoring people’s brains when they listened to music that consistently gave them shivers. Pretty interesting stuff. There’s a sentence that bothered me though: “The study also revealed that the brain processes consonant and dissonant sounds in very different ways.” Aren’t “consonance” and “dissonance” socialized phenomenon though? Or aren’t they at least very subjective terms? Or is there something more “scientific” about the terms that I’m failing to understand. I mean, there’s a heck of a lot of dissonant music out there that people like… presumably at an emotional level as well as an intellectual level.

- Bahaha!: Rollie linked this. Hilarious.

- Dip-SET: It’s Diplomats Week over at GYEAH GYEAH GYEAH GYEAH!

- It Ain’t Easy Being an Atlanta Hawks Fan: The Sports Guy intern with some funny shit ‘bout being an Atlanta Hawks fan.

- Reef the Lost Cauze: My dude Reef hit me with an advanced copy if his new album “Feast or Famine” that’s dropping on Good Hands Records in September. I’ve got three beats on the bitch (and obviously, they’re the best three) and it’s a real solid album. I’d be lying if I said I felt 100% of the shit, but it is a really solid album from a soon to be Philly superstar. Reef is lyrically adept, charismatic, and can just flat-out rap. I’ma post some of his old shit on The Skrimp tomorrow or the next day. But, his new album is tough. Be very scurred.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Sometimes saying nothing is saying too much.

- Fuck You, Terrorists: My prayers are with the people of London. This world sucks. People suck. Fuck. Here’s a rather beautiful essay by English Professor at Chapel Hill John McGowan over on Berube’s blog (where McGowan posts every Thursday). Good stuff denouncing violence, but it raises a lot of questions about the efficacy of pacifism as well. We need to think hard about this shit—so hard that it starts to hurt in the back of our heads; so hard that we get frustrated and confused and thoroughly annoyed with the complexity of it all; so hard that we don’t want to think about it anymore. But, once we get to that stage were we can’t, won’t, and don’t want to think about it anymore—once we are so overwhelmed with the potential hopelessness and the mind-boggling intricacy of these difficult questions—we shouldn’t stop thinking. No. That’s when we know the productive thinking has really started. So, for those of us who don’t know what to do, and don’t know where to put our energy, and don’t know how to react to any of the bullshit that has cropped up since 09/11/2001 (and, to be realistic, long before that), the only truly revolutionary act I can envision that will eventually bring about true and lasting change, Change, CHANGE is: thinking really fucking hard about this shit. Which of course doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do other more traditionally “active” tasks (teaching, volunteering, protesting), but the most important thing we can do right now is think hard about how we can make the changes we need in this world and stop assuming that the conventional wisdom(s) that we rely on are “common sense” and “tried and true.” We must accept the possibility that what we’ve been doing isn’t “right” or “enough” or “effective.” We must challenge everything—especially ourselves.

- Capitalism: So, if Baudrillard is right and there’s no “outside of Capitalism” (unfortunately, he is right) the obvious answer to combating the system is working “through it,” right? Well, yeah, but Steven Shaviro articulates the predicament we’re in beautifully in this essay. Absolutely breath-taking stuff like: “The thing to remember is that, even when we strive to resist the commodity’s allure, and the ubiquitous domination of the marketplace, it is only in the terms set forth by the commodity itself that we can do so.” Brett Easton Ellis was right: “There is no exit.” But perhaps there’s “wiggle room,” no?

- Blog Notating: Anybody know if the MLA or APA is planning on adding a standardized way to quote and notate blog citations in an academic essay? I know they’ve got web address shit and personal email shit, but I wonder if they’ll come up with a Blog-specific format since there’s so much interesting stuff being written on blogs lately.

- And now for something completely different: Got Ray Allen, but old Seattle mainstay Nate McMillian is heading down the highway. Weak.

- Lil’ Kim: So, yeah, Lil’ Kim is going to jail. Just a few things to say about this shit. First, I think it’s pretty cool that the judge compared it to the Martha Stewart case, basically stating that he couldn’t justifying sending Lil’ Kim to jail for much longer than Martha for basically committing the same crime. True, Lil’ Kim lied about a “violent crime” while Stewart lied about a “white collar crime,” but I think the judge was aware of the racial elements that are necessarily involved in cases like this and probably made the right decision. Secondly, I don’t understand why all these idiotos are talking shit about Lil’ Kim on messageboards and whatnot. Sure, she lied, but she did it to protect her friends. Fuck the fucking justice system! I’d commit “perjury” in a second to protect all of my close friends. Lil’ Kim basically just didn’t snitch. Y’all motherfuckers hating on her for it are all a bunch of snitches. Now I’ma go cop a “Stop Snitchin’” Dipset shirt and shoot you.

- Zey Call it Murdaaahhh: So “Welcome to Jamrock” has gotta be the official summer jam… at least of the East Coast. “Gimme That” and “Stay Fly” are contenders as well, but “Welcome to Jamrock” is knockin’ the tri-state. There’s some interesting discussions goin' on about the song courtesy of a Brown student and her professor. Yeah, there’s a bunch of authenticity arguments being thrown around by the student, but dude at wayne and wax sets the argument in the right direction. Interesting stuff that is way more interesting than my Saul Williams tirade (which I might update with new thoughts or just let die). Thanks to Dr. Robert for putting me up on the debate.

- A Shit Load of Rap Videos: I kinda feel like I posted this before, but I dunno. Here it is again anyway. I’d never seen Kanye’s “Two Words” video, but now I have… and it’s effin’ awesome.

- Penis Snipping: Awesome post by Junichi over at Poplicks where he first presents his original argument against circumcision (which is damn convincing), but then changes his mind back to the pro-knife stance because of a new study that shows significant benefits. That Junichi dude is smart and hilarious. Go. Read.

- Basketball Season Is Over: Saddest thing about the NBA season being over? Free Darko is now in remission. Maybe we can convince them to tell silly anecdotes that have nothing to do with basketball over there on an almost-daily basis just so I’ll have something funny and provocative to read. We should at least convince Bethlehem Shoals to talk more about Freestyle Fellowship and jazz (you didn’t know he was uber-nerdy about that shit too, did you? Not particularly surprising is it?). Anyway, get at it Shoalsy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Worth it's own post...

Praise Jesus!

It's a new day, and a better day is coming...

I was sick last week so I took a bit of a blogging hiatus... mostly because I don't blog unless I'm at work. Anyway, I'm back. Yay for me.

- David Foster Wallace Commencement Address: DFW gettin’ gully in this commencement address. I wish someone cool would’ve spoken at my matriculation. Please read this speech. It’s great.

- Poetry Funds Terrorism: Catchdub’s recently worked with Saul Williams to make a mixtape that strives to do for Saul Williams what Diplo’s “Piracy Funds Terrorism” did for MIA. It’s worth a download. Technically speaking, it’s a solid mixtape and I feel bad about saying anything remotely negative about a project worked on by such a wonderful human (Young Catch is really the dude), but now I'm gonna put my conscience on the side for a second because I’ve got a few critical things to say about this mixtape: First of all, Saul Williams’ melodramatic, didactic proselytizing on (a) beats he almost certainly either hasn’t heard before or (b) on beats from songs he flat out doesn’t like (because the rappers are rapping about ice and money, etc) strikes me as terribly contrived. It’s clear quickly that Saul Williams is a talented writer with provocative ideas. Likewise, Catchdubs does a fine job of constructing a fun, interesting, and eclectic backdrop for Williams. But, i can't say the mixtape is a success because of the simple fact that something rubbed me the wrong way about the tape and I’ve just now put my finger on it: I can’t help but feel like the thing is some silly marketing tool where Saul Williams is just trying to reach an audience that he previously hasn’t reached. Additionally, I’m left with the sense that Saul Williams is insulting the shit out of the people who don’t listen to his music with this shit, basically saying something along the lines of "The only reason the people that listen to gangsta rap don’t like me is because I’m not rapping on the beats they like" or something silly like that. It just feels so manufactured and insincere--like a bad marketing campaign that is using all these signifiers that are supposed to communicate to a specific audience, but the usage is so out-of-place and insincere that if falls flat on its face. It's worth stating that I don't think the mixtape's failure has anything to do with Catchdubs's construction of the tape. Again, it's a solid mix with some fun blends, but I expect more from someone as smart as Saul Williams. This is just some lazy, insulting BS as far as I'm concerend. These so-called "conscious rappers" need to stop alienating themselves if they truly want a larger audience, and you can’t just suddenly spit some lyrics on some beats that were on the GAME album and expect to be accepted.

- Good News for Paul-C Fans: Via grandgood rekkids, there’s a new/old Paul C project set for release.

- Missing White People: O-Dub with a brief but on-point analysis of missing white people and the black suspects that are suspected of doing something illegal—even if they’re no longer suspects because of lack of evidence.

- "I fucked Dax from Punk’d": I can’t decide if the Andy Milonakis show is funny or not. I’m leaning more towards not, but I guess he was some internet superstar before he had a TV show and this “internet hero” freestyle is pretty funny.