- Menace II Sobriety
: Here’s my amateur Photoshopped Menace II Sobriety flier
. I think it’s pretty hot, but the colors look a little janky. I hope this shit turns out OK in real life because the shit’s already sent to the printer.
: I put down Stephen Talty’s Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White; A Social History
yesterday when I picked up Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the House
. Mulatto America
has been boring me a bit and so I was up in a bookstore just browsing on my lunch break, picked up Bringing Down the House
and couldn’t help but buy it. It’s subtitled “The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” and it’s basically just the story of these 6 kids who perfected and updated an old technique called “counting cards” to win obscene amounts of money in Black Jack games. The beauty of it is that (a) it’s a true story and (b) they didn’t “cheat” in any sense of the word: their entire method was based on simple mathematics and probability. Calling it “simple” is a bit misleading though because even though the strategy is “simple,” there’s only a handful of people in the world with the mental capacity to “count the cards” accurately. The basic idea behind their “counting cards” scheme—at least as I understand it—was based on team play where one person would sit at a Black Jack table in a casino and play every round fairly steadily, counting the cards until the deck was at a favorable point (i.e. they’d count the number of high and low cards that came up until there was a strong probability that most of the cards remaining in the deck were high cards). Once the deck got to a point where there was a good chance that all that was left in the deck was high cards, the guy counting would secretly motion over for one of the other players to sit down at the table and bet away. I just picked up the stupid book yesterday and I’m halfway through the damn thing. It’s written quite well, but the nature of the story itself is what makes it so interesting. Cop it. It’s good. Bill Simmons
is quoted on the back of it saying “This book made me want to gamble” or something. That’s silly though. Not everyone is smart enough to count cards like these kids. These are M.I.T. geniuses, not some slouches who got B+s in college calculus like you and me.
- Shoe Whore
: The fuck is wrong with me? I’m spending money I don’t have on shoes, shoes, and shoes these days. I scooped up these silly New Balance jawns
in the big city the other day, and a week ago my brother (thanks!) copped me these Air Talarias
. But gosh darn it, nothing makes me feel like a new man like a new pair of shoes… except for maybe new records. Jorge Ben
is killin’ me right now.
- DJ Shadow Book
: I like DJ Shadow as much as the next guy, but what the fuck? People are writing books about him
? In the now immortal words of one Ricky Watters: “For what? For who?” “Endtroducing
” is certainly a great “instrumental hip-hop” album, but how relevant is “instrumental hip-hop” that we need a fucking book about it? “Endtroducing” will probably go down in history as the greatest instrumental hip-hop album ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s all that important in the grand scheme of the hip-hop narrative. Truth be told, DJ Shadow hasn’t made any
real lasting or important contribution to this thing we know as hip-hop. He did help usher in a whole slew of beat digging fanatics (for better or for worse), but I can’t think of any really significant impact DJ Shadow has had on the culture as a whole. He made a cute little niche market project that filled a void, he’s proven himself to be a more than solid DJ, and he’s certainly made some pretty cool beats, but at the end of the day, I don’t think DJ Shadow should be given much more than a footnote in the history of hip-hop music(s). My initial thought is something folks have been saying about Shadow for years—he’s so popular because he’s white and I don’t think it’s really all that unfair to suggest that. But, perhaps it’s slightly more nuanced than that. As my dude faux_rillz has said about other hip-hop artsits in a different context, DJ Shadow makes “rap music for people who don’t like rap music.” Perhaps that too over-simplifies the situation, but I think it’s an interesting thing to think about. But, I will sum up by saying I can think of ten black producers who have had much more of a significant impact than DJ Shadow in the last decade alone. Furthermore, I can think of two white producers (Rick Ruben and Paul C
) who deserve to have books written about them way before Mr. Davis (no disrespect). Whatever. Maybe I’m just hating. Rumor has it that he’s producing for this fella
soon. What ever happened to the Banner/diplo collab?
- Bill Maher is a DAWB (Down Ass White Boy)
: I’m still shocked by the fact that Bill Maher was (is?) dating “super head”
(God what a hilariously pejorative nickname), but now he’s chilling with Kid
? No, not Jason Kidd… Kid from Kid ‘N Play
: I saw that show “Earl” or “My Name is Earl
” or “Hi I’m Earl” or whatever the fuck the other night. I thought it was pretty funny, but that’s just because I have an asexual crush on Jason Lee
. Dude is the truth. For those not “in the know,” this bearded beauty first made a name for himself on a skateboard… specifically doing extremely stylish 360 flips. Dude even had a pro-model shoe on Airwalk. Anyway, I’ve mostly been a fan of dude because I was a skate nerd and it was cool watching this skateboarder become famous and play really dope roles in movies I genuinely liked (specifically Mall Rats
and Chasing Amy
). I can’t believe they have Video Days
listed at IMDB.com. Hah.
- Go Phils!