Friday, February 24, 2006

Get money till I die, got my hand on the bible...

Rock wit' it, roll wit' it...
or do like I do, drink beer from it

- Get Ya Hustle On: You’ve probably seen Juve’s masterpiece “Get Yo’ Hustle On” by now, but if you haven’t peep. It’s really great. Some folks find the need to comment on the apparent contradictory messages between the song itself and the video. My thoughts on this absolutely ridiculous criticism are as follows:

    I find the criticism of "the message" of this song absolutely fucking ridiculous. It's not a fucking accident that the video is so critical of the government while the lyrics of this song seem to just condone crack selling. To assume that it's just some sort of accident is to give Juvenile absolutely no credit and is to ignore the role of the rhetorical technique known as "signifyin(g)" in the history of black music(s).

    This shit is flat out great... at least rhetorically. I obviously don't think it's particularly good advice to literally advise everyone to go sell crack and I don't think Juvenile really thinks that selling crack is really going to help New Orleans in any large-scale, long-lasting way. This shit is obviously on some "Fuck it... they didn't help us before this shit, they didn't help us during, and if they're not gonna help us after the shit either, we're gonna do what the fuck we gotta do to survive."

    The whole thing about Katrina was never so much that FEMA dropped the ball--even though they definitely did--but that none of these people deserved to be in such dire situations in the first place that allowed so many of us to overlook them so easily, right? So, what has changed since Katrina? Pretty much fucking nothing. There's still poor people everywhere who are fucked, so fuck it: the only thing for many of these folks to do is keep hustling or start hustling.

    If you wanna read this song purely as straightforward "advice" or some shit, obviously you're gonna be let down (and I think it's always a mistake to read black music as straightforward). But, if you take this song along with the images portrayed in this video seriously, I don't know how you can see it as anything but very passionate and important criticism.

    In other words, if we agree that in the blues, "the message" of the song was actually much more complex criticism than the lyrics suggested on the surface, why can't the same thing be said about hip-hop? It is after all black music that comes from very similar music traditions.

    Again, I don't know how you can separate the video's messages and the song's message. To me, it is not a fucking coincidence that the two are paired together as such. They act as criticism together. To read it any other way, I think, is to ignore the history and tropes of black music.

- Autistic Folks: This is hardly a groundbreaking insight, but man, autistic people are an interesting breed of folks, especially the “idiot savant” ones who are capable of pretty inhuman feats of math, artistry, and, apparently, athleticism. Can’t we think of a better term than “idiot savant” though? Jesus, how offensive is that shit? Anyway, this autistic kid scored 20 points in 4 minutes. Makes you wonder if Kobe is autistic. Byron Crawford wrote an interesting piece about Hova being an idiot savant a while ago. It’s pretty funny, and possibly true… except for the Bleek part.

- Knitted Digestive System: I feel like I’ve posted this before, but this knitted digestive system is next level whoa steez.

- I Heart AI: My newest piece on FreeDarko: I ride for AI forever… win or lose.

- If Loving Bob Marley is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right: Wait… are you telling me the white, pot-smoking hippie kids aren’t engaging Bob Marley authentically?!?! WHAT?! Seriously though, this criticism is fucking stupid. I have no problem with the “real, true Bob Marley lovers” (i.e. the ones who like the early stuff better!) actively trying to preserve Bob Marley’s legacy—or at least redefine it so it encompasses more than just “Legend” and “Exodus”—but I find this type of authenticity grandstanding to be downright ridiculous. I mean, seriously. Is it a surprise that white kids aren’t engaging Bob Marley “authentically”? Let me be frank here: when I was listening to Public Enemy in my early teenage years, unfortunately, it’s not because I empathized with the struggles of the black community or agreed with Chuck D’s politics. I was an apolitical, upper-middle class suburban white kid who didn’t know shit about Malcolm X or Louis Farakhan or, really, much of anything besides college basketball. I liked the fucking music because I liked the fucking music. I think it goes without saying that I was not engaging the music “authentically” and, I think we can safely assume that I’m probably still not engaging hip-hop “authentically” (see my rants about Dipset and Derrida for confirmation). But, dude says “The problem with Bob Marley in white America is one of perspective. Many of Marley's songs are about resistance and violent revolution.” Of course this is the “problem”! This is the great postmodern “problem”: postmodernism has taught us that (a) context is always of the utmost import, but (b) it’s also fleeting and pretty much inaccessible in any “authentic” way. Again, I don’t mind folks trying to redefine Bob Marley’s legacy, attempting to call out these “inauthentic” imposters who are reading the music “incorrectly,” but there is always at least a twinge of condescension in these posts that assumes that it is possible to really engage this music “authentically.” The great question is, where does this leave us? This is a profoundly difficult question to answer and isn’t going to be something that gets answered in a blog entry. But, what I do know is that to frame the argument in the (for all intents and purposes) mythical terms “authentic”/”inauthentic,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Or, in short, what else is there to say after you’ve said the following: “These folks are engaging this music ‘inauthentically’ but these folks aren’t.” What is there to say after you’ve said “These folks are doomed to miss the point because of their context”? This isn’t just a piece explaining “Hey, there’s more at stake in Bob’s music than you might’ve originally thought.” This is a piece attacking the “inauthenticity” of the folks that like Bob Marley for reasons other than the “authentic” reasons. I thought that type of criticism died when punk ‘zines stopped writing articles about who sold out and who didn’t.

Wayne, can I get you to weigh in on this?


Monday, February 13, 2006

It was not a significant bullet

Pretty? True. Annoying? Double true.

- The Giant Rabbit Lives!: Last week’s super popular giant rabbit story has gotten more interesting with this fantastic update. There’s more pics too!

- Brokeback Mountain Jokes Spread to Pacific Northwest: So, Gonzaga fans are being asked to stop using their Brokeback mountain chant to suggest that an opposing player is gay. I realize this shit is potentially offensive, but I can’t help but laugh thinking about a whole stadium of folks chanting “Brokeback Mountain.”

- I Don’t Like the Tone of this Article: This is an interesting article about misinterpretation of tone and intent in company emails.

- Killa Cam Luhs The Kids: Ok, I’m as big a Cam fan as you can be without being brokeback homo-erotic about it, but his children’s crusade to make a DVD that confronts sexual predators is as ridiculous of an idea as it is a bad one. Even the casual observer of this ridiculous ploy is sane enough to know that making a DVD about this ish is really not the most effective way to deal with sexual predators. I mean, Cam says he’s gonna confront these predators, getting to the bottom of the situation with enlightening questions like the following: “What the hell are you doing, you damn pervert? What the f--- is wrong with you, coming to meet a 13-year-old boy?' We're gonna talk to them and not let them leave until we find out what's wrong with them.” Excellent idea, Cam. All these guys need is a good “talking to” (i.e. ass-whooping) and that’ll totally change everything. In fact, just asking these fellas “what the f--- is wrong with you” is likely to make them see the light. Seriously, even for the most intentionally ridiculous rapper ever (unlike the most unintentionally ridiculous rapper ever: KRS One), this is just absurdly ridiculous.

- Gladwell: I’m a certified Malcolm Gladwell hater, but I haven’t really read enough of him to hate as hard as I do. I only hate on dude because I think “The Tipping Point” is overrated and it’s easy to hate on things that people jock the shit out of. Back in 1997, he did write an interesting article about race and sports.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Intensity... in ten cities!

Perfect album

- Minnie Ripperton “Come to My Garden”: Thanks to my dude J****y at Good Records in the LES in NYC (3rd Street between Avenue A and B… GO!), I am now the proud owner of Minnie Ripperton’s quietly slept on classic album “Come to My Garden” which was produced and written by one Mr. Charles Stepney with Ramsey Lewis’s rhythm section (think this). The album is great. “Les Fleur” kills me. Also, for the sample-spotter nerds, the Beatminerz performed one of the best filter jobs ever (no brokeback) with a sample for this album for the beautifully produced track "Hellucination." The Beatminerz used to be great.

- Hedonis: This jawn can rap her ass off. I’m trying to do some beats for her. We’ll see what’s up.

- Lil’ Wayne and Gang Gang Dance: I threw up a remix I did of Go DJ with a Gang Gang Dance sample on my myspace page. Don’t call it a “mash-up” or I’ma smack ya. I just sampled a Gang Gang Dance song. End of story.

- Unnecessary Censorship: I don’t watch the Jimmy Kimmel show, but this censorship clip is absolutely genius.

- JJ Redick: Great article about Duke’s hated child prodigy JJ Redick. I didn’t hate him in the first place, but this article made me like him a bit more. The KKK vs Duke line is priceless, but I think there is a lot of truth to what’s being said in this article. Now, that being said, I am not entirely convinced that Redick is going to be a good NBA player, but I do think he’s the real deal as far as college is concerned. The boy can shoot and he’s really stepped-up every aspect of his game, especially his medium range jumper and his willingness to penetrate. I’m a strong believer that good things will happen when your go-to-guy penetrates. If you can’t get to the rim yourself, the defense will collapse and you’ve got a lil’ dump off to a big man for a dunk or a kick out back out to the perimeter for an open shot or to reset the offense. I want to coach 8th grade girls basketball.

- AYO!: My dude D*n*el pointed this out to me, but peep the O-Dub interview. Not because it’s particularly interesting but because the interviewer says this:
    When I was hired recently as music editor for this newspaper, one of my first orders of business was to find a hip-hop columnist. Fortunately, I got Wang, my first choice.

Oh word? Your first choice was “Wang.” HAH! Dude, you forgot to say “no Brokeback.”

- Cartwright and Marion and Dudes: ForeverBurns (who’s only interest listed in blogger is “leather”) over at FreeDarko posted a great piece about abnormal jumpshots. In fact, the piece is too good. It’s single-handedly frightened me out of contributing to FreeDarko for another 3 or 4 weeks. It’s become clear that I’m out of my league. (In all honesty, I’m going to post some thoughts very soon about Kobe’s 81 and how it has or hasn’t changed the entire landscape of the NBA).

- Mo’ Animals Less Problems: Dude, scientists found hundreds of new plant and animal species in New Guinea! I bet some of these lil’ muhfuckas taste good as hell!

- Office Depot vs H&M: Office Depot has a website you can order stuff from. H&M has a website that you can’t order stuff from. That’s a frustrating fact of life. To quote somebody from the new and improved hollerboard in my recent post about Quizno’s and jean shopping:
    i wish h&m would blaze boldly into 1999 and get a fucking webstore so i could cop shit

Messageboards are beautiful because everyone is a poet… whether they know it or not.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Allow me to reintroduce myself...

“My name is Robert. I am a tortured soul.”

- Allow Me to Introduce His Self: My dude Robert from somanyshrimp is finna join me over here at the Schizophrenic Tenant to dual blog with your boy. Why? Well, because I could use the help and because he’s way smarter than me and more handsome and certainly a heck of a lot funnier. We’ve both been pretty lazy about writing over on the shrimp, mostly because we don’t have too much to say about rap music right now (except that I like a lot of it… most of it being Weezy), but it’ll be nice to have his voice around. Seriously, dude is really smart and just an all around good dude. He will make this place better. Funny thing is, you guys know before he does that he’s posting here! HAH! He will be writing in this weird green colored font to differentiate between me and Robert.

- New Fader: The new Fader is out and it’s got a great article about the Clipse and one about spankrock. Cop that ish. It just struck me that it is highly likely that an academic I admire greatly will most likely be bumping this spankrock album very soon (given the type of music he has revealed he listens to on his blog), and that is extremely weird to think this academic that I think is the shit will be listening to music made by an acquaintance of mine. Small world.

- Spermamax: Nuff said.

- For the Duke Haters: I can’t front, I’ve always liked Duke basketball… that is, until recently. I mean, you can’t blame me. I started liking them way back in like 3rd grade. The reason? They were good. Everyone likes good teams when they’re young. Deal with it. I’ve grown to dislike Duke over the years, but I must say that most of the blame for my disdain for this year’s team rests on one player. No, not JJ Redick, but Melchioni. I don’t even know how to spell his name or what his first name is, but I fucking hate the guy… and it’s not because his last name rhymes with my ex’s name. First of all, like all college players I hate, I think I’m better than him. This is a pre-requisite for me to hate a player. I used to despise Kirk Heinrich because I swore I was better than him. Turns out I was completely wrong and I love the guy now, but Melchioni? I’m telling you, I could take him. All the guy does is shoot 3’s which really isn’t all that impressive. He’s got a terrible haircut and a really boisterous attitude to go with it. There’s nothing I hate more than a marginal player who thinks the 3 he just knocked down that put them up 15 instead of 12 is the most important play of the game. Um… this post had a point… Oh yeah, here’s some fairly scientific proof that Duke gets more calls than other teams. By “fairly scientific,” I mean “not at all,” but the logic seems pretty sound to me.

- Center City Restaurant Week: It’s coming and I’m hungry as hell. I think I'm finna eat at Susanna Foo's. Ayo, N*tas**a, think you can make that happen? Holler at me.

- Fat Rabbit: This rabbit is freaking huge.

- Fair Use: A bunch of copyright facts and myths about “Fair Use” and a “poor man’s copyright” etc, etc. Interesting stuff for the intellectual property dorks (me). Wayne presents us with several interesting discussions involving intellectual property as well as the role of the ethnomusicologist over on his wonderful blog.


Monday, February 06, 2006

There is fortune in misfortune

“I vow to kill these officials”

- Super Bowl: Ok, first things first: I haven’t read any comments and/or news stories about this game. I went to sleep right after the stupid thing. I haven’t heard anybody talk about it on Sportscenter or any sports talk shows or anything. These are just my thoughts on the game independent of what the Seahawks themselves had to say about this game and what sports folk are saying about that. Secondly, I’m a Seahawks fan. I was born in Seattle and Seattle is the first place my dad migrated to in the US from Lebanon. Thus, I was raised a Seattle fan. I’m a transplanted Philadelphia fan so, if it came down to a Eagles-Seahawks NFC Championship game, I’m rooting for the Seahawks. Likewise, I’m a diehard Sixers guy, but if there were a Sixers-Sonics championship series, I’d be rooting for the Sonics. Luckily, the likelihood of a Sixer-Sonics NBA Finals happening in the next 40 years or so is pretty unlikely so I probably won’t ever have to encounter that situation, but suffice it to say that I’m a Seattle guy when it comes to sports.

So, my sore-loser thoughts on the game? The fucking officials ruined this one for us. Except for a few big plays, Seattle completely outplayed the Steelers and deserved to win that one. There were three huge blown calls that made it nearly impossible for the Seahawks to win. The first was the offensive pass-interference on Daryl Jackson. He extended his arm slightly, but this is football for God’s sake, that shit happens. Anyway, I’ll let that one slide because it did happen right in front of the ref and watching that thing in real speed, I can’t blame the ref for thinking that that push off gave Jackson an unfair advantage.

But what about that Roethlisberger rush for a TD? I don’t have any beef with them not over-turning the call on the review. I don’t think there was enough evidence for them to over-turn it. But, why didn’t the line judge signal that that shit was a touch down immediately? He ran a few steps forward looking like he was going to spot the ball short of the goal line, but then he seemed to see Big Ben past the goal line and called it a TD. Hey line judge, it doesn’t matter where Ben is when you get there, what matters is if he got the ball past the goal line before he was fucking down. There is nothing that running 10 feet forward should’ve revealed to you. You either saw him pass the goal line or you didn’t. That was a wack call. Again, I’m not mad that they didn’t over turn it, but I dunno what the hell that line judge’s thought process was.

The killer was the phantom holding call on that 20 yard pass to Jeremy Stevens (who dropped a TON of big passes). Instead of the Seahawks having a first and goal from the one down 4 points, they have a 3rd and 20 something that leads to an awful Hasselback interception (which he knew was awful as soon as he let go… on the replay you can see him jumping up and down as soon as he released the ball wishing he didn’t throw it) which in turn lead to the gadget play touchdown for Hines Ward. There was no fucking holding on that play. That was a 14 point swing. The Seahawks could’ve been up three, but instead found themselves down 11. That was a fucking DAGGER.

Fuck those officials.

Of course, the Seahawks had plenty of opportunities to make big plays, but the officials made that shit too difficult to overcome. It’s just infuriating that referees can be so important to a game’s outcome.

All that being said, I’m happy the Bus and Cower got rings and I’m also happy Hines Ward got a ring. Hines Ward is the dude. He’s undersized and not all that fast but is always making HUGE plays. Dunno how he does it. I’m pissed though. That was some BS.

I just read some shit on ESPN. Michael Smith echoes my thoughts. Blah. Frustrating.

- Bling Bling: Hotels made of ice? That's that next shit.

- Brokeback to the Future: Brokeback to the Future is amazing.

- RIP Betty Friedan: Rest in peace, the mother of feminism who is more controversial than she is 100% hero. My buddy Robert had some interesting thoughts that I’m finna jack and post here. He says:
    I wonder how feminists at large will react to the death of Betty Freidan.
    I mean, they're already pretty schizophrenic about her legacy. She's afforded "mother of the modern movement" props on one hand while, on the other, her legacy of parochialism has been pretty thoroughly maligned since she lost control of NOW and left it in a fit of homophobia. In her own time, the woman was a dinosaur. Since then, she's been worse. bell hooks, among others, basically called her a racist. Still, in everyday life, her side basically won. The prevailing image of a feminist outside of the academy is basically one of the Freidan mold: white, middle class, straight-laced, careerist, recalcitrantly liberal (if slightly more queer than Freidan might have liked). Feminists might utilize the opportunity of her death to drag her name in the mud for a bit and disavow that they were ever really all that into The Feminist Mystique.

- James Lipton reciting PopaZoa: You know, I’m not terribly into the new K-Fed single, but I do think this is in bad taste. I usually ride for Conan, but this shit is wack.

- Herzog: Not only is Herzog good at saving actor’s lives, he’s also not terribly afraid of bullets. Dude is the realest ever.

- The “N” Word: There’s a new documentary (executive produced by Nelson George) about the “N” word that promises to be quiet interesting. Anybody seen it?

- Black History Month: The bol M-1 from Dead Prez sounding off about Black History Month. Kind’ve a catch-22 though, isn’t it, M? I respect the notion that some real-live policies need to be put in place, not just some “Oh, let’s respect Black folks’ history for 28 days,” but (a) I’ve never been very convinced that reparations are going to help very much or (b) that Black History Month itself is all that exploitive and damaging.

- Freeway Rumors: Rumor has it that Freeway is leaving DefJam for G-Unit? Another rumor (heard on Philly radio) is that Freeway is staying on DefJam but 50 is finna executive produce his album with Jay-Z. Whatever the case, I’m not mad at it. Getting 50 involved means good beats.


Friday, February 03, 2006

I get higher than a tennis skirt

- White T’s and White Belts Tonight: You know the deal by now. If not, peep the fliers above.

- Serengeti “Race Trader” Album: I did a couple beats (MP3s: 1, 2) for my homeboy Serengeti’s free, downloadable “Race Trader” album. Shit is hot. Download them shits!

- Groundhog Day: I really don’t give a crud about Groundhog Day but this whole thing is kinda interesting if you’re into it.

- Rad: Rad is the best movie ever. For all you ADD freaks (i.e. these dudes) now you can watch a cute little 5 minute summary of the jawny jawn. So real. The soundtrack is amazing, too. Bunny-hopping a bike frame is still pretty trill as far as I’m concerned.

- Herzog is the boy: One of my favorite German directors saved Joaquin Phoenix’s life! It’s probably not all that dramatic, but he helped him from his car. That’s so real. See “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” if you haven’t.

- Black. White: Ice Cube’s new reality show could be kind’ve important. Seriously.

- Lemon Red: Chris Lemon Red is the dudest of dudes. The Rub folks swing by for 3 monthly mixes and he’s got a new Santana song up. A!