Category Archives: A tomboy moment

Odds are my Fantasy team will render all others broken and battered and winless this season.


It’s early September so here comes the NFL. In the springtime, Ronald Artest has the power to make me forget that football even exists–but when fall begins and Chris Berman starts bellowing on the TV and all the stores start carrying boots and trenchcoats even though it’s too hot in LA for any of that, I realize how much I’ve missed it.

I love and participate in Fantasy Football. I go at with my signature no-holds-barred style, I take no prisoners, I leave it all out on the field and I give it slightly more than 100% on any given Sunday. The fact that I always make fun of fake things should be disregarded. I hate fake rappers and fake nerds, fake NYC accents, fake rappers, fake producers, fake producers. The only good fake things are Biggie’s Twitter and fake football, and so I’m jumping into this season’s fakery with a full heart and a clear head. I just got my Fantasy roster, assigned to me by the robotic, soulless machine that is Yahoo! Fantasy Football automated system (I tried drafting my own guys last year, and it turns out I’m no good at it). I care about each of the randomly-assigned men below so much, but only to the degree that they remind me of a musical figure with a similar name or back story.

E-40’s still rapping, Funk Flex still hasn’t learned voice modulation. I’m still underdressed on the Internet. Rae’s still rapping. Scarface, Ghostface, Metal Face: still rapping. People do what they’re used to. The familiar is easy, comfortable, like they say on commercials for Wrangler jeans. Brett Favre, with his familiar face and his arthritic joints, is suiting up again this year, because Brett Favre still plays football. He retired a couple years ago. I remember, because Jay-Z was on his farewell tour at the time. But, you know. People just do things they’re used to. It’s hard to walk away.

Upon seeing my Fantasy roster, I started a spirited text conversation with my mom (also in my Fantasy league). “I got Bretty for QB!” I wrote on my tiny keyboard. “OMG, did you know he is old?” she sent back. Then I stopped playing. It started out as such a fun thing, and then somebody had to go and hurt my feelings. Fuck off, Mom. (sorry, Mom!) The concept of a (nearly) 41-year-old QB is the kind of thing everyone laughs at until everyone sees that it’s just crazy enough to work. I have a strong feeling that Brett Favre, sometime subject in Weezy* and Jeezy** songs, shall lead my squad to victory.

Brett Favre’s middle name is, like every good ol’ boy from Mississippi, Lorenzo. Odd and fascinating, that’s what that is. I’d like the story behind it, please. Brett Lorenzo has a 73-year-old body. He wears Wranglers, drives a truck, can’t handle his booze–a real live walking stereotype, except lovable. He continues to be worn and creaky, but still very very clutch—the E-40 of the NFL, rather than the grouchy, bloated old KRS, thank the lord.

(KRS has no current NFL equivalent…if it were the ’70s, maybe sad, elderly Namath when he played for the Rams? I don’t know; let me work out the analogy some more in my head).


* And I never miss a game, no Shaq O’Neal/More like Brett Favre, just like Brett Favre
(“Get High, Screw the World”).

** Watch for goonies when you got it, n—as wanna rob/And pull a staff and quarterback ’em like Brett Favre (“Trap or Die”).

Santana Moss. In terms of music, who does his name evoke? Well, Carlos Santana of course, and that hideous creature who calls himself Juelz. But there’s also Now for 10 years, we’ve been on our own/And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone (“American Pie,” Don McLean). Don really enunciates that F–ffffffat. It’s unnecessary and wonderfully stylish. Anyway, a rolling stone gathers no something something; Santana, roll it back to ’05 and let’s have a thousand-plus-receiving-yards season, buddy.

Brandon Marshall. NO, not Marshall Mathers. The Marshall Tucker Band! The beautiful “Can’t You See” was on the Blow soundtrack, but I was already familiar with it due to childhood time spent frolicking in my parents’ record collection. It was released by Capricorn (of course) in ’73 and it therefore sounds like weed, Jim Beam, big belt buckles, and getting hugged by my dad. And it’s got a flute solo!

Ronnie Brown. Ronnie from New Edition, sure, but since I am a California girl dipped in honey and bronzed by the sunshine, I instantly think Ronnie Hudson and his “West Coast Poplock.” Worldwide, let ’em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans.

Owen Daniels. Owen Pallett, that weirdo who’s obsessed with Final Fantasy. Charlie Daniels, that guy who used to be SO hip hop on account of his storytelling technique but then started showing up on Fox News to weigh in on foreign wars and the reasons Obama is leading us all down the big global toilet. On a side “everything’s connected” note, however, Charlie Daniels did a lot of collaborating with the Marshall Tucker Band in the ’70s. Let’s hope that Owen Daniels does some collaborating with Brandon Marshall when the EP Eagles take the field–mostly I just want Owen to let Brandon get all the touches, since tight ends are worthless in Fantasy Football but the system forces you to play one anyway.

Devin Aromashodu. First of all: Who? Second: based on his name, I believe that he is of Nigerian descent. And third: NIGERIA!, now and forever. I don’t understand how such a small county is so fertile in terms of epic humans, but I’ve worked out the analogy in my head that Nigeria is to countries what Georgia is to American states–unfairly, disproportionately rich in musical geniuses (Fela, Sade, + a hundred more from Nigeria; Ray Charles + a thousand more from Georgia), writers (Achebe, Wole Solinka; Alice Walker, Carson McCullers), and physically stunning people (Oluchi; T.I.). I’ve never heard of this Aromashodu fellow but the signs tell me that he will surely kill it every week.

Austin Collie. Barrington Levy, “Collie Weed.” Horace Andy, “Collie Herb.”

Jabar Gaffney. It’s painful to admit, but the little elves that run around inside my brain piecing together music trivia and rap lyric ephemera came up with nothing when I saw his name. It evokes nothing music-related. Luckily, all’s not lost because Jabar Gaffney is just a great-sounding name for a man. It’s got an adequate amount of syllables, and the stresses fall in all the right places. Quentin Jammer is the current holder of the best name in the NFL (Earthwind Moreland had the honor until ’05), and Black Milk is the current champ in terms of names on rappers’ birth certificates that now only the DMV and their grandmas call them by (Curtis Cross). But Jabar. That’s a nice goddamn name. Solid, with all those consonants. It makes me think of Kareem, and that’s nice. And if I’m to believe what some man on the Internet whom I’ve never met says, Mr. Gaffney is likely to be a sleeper Fantasy point-getter this season. Denver’s offense needs to make up for Brandon Marshall being gone (a real workhorse, Marshall now splits his time between the Dolphins and the Echo Park Eagles) and maybe Gaffney will get something thrown to him now and then. He’s got seniority among the team’s receivers and he’s supposed to do things, big things, this year.

Cedric Benson. Also a great name. It’s cinematic and comic-book-hero-sounding. Makes me think of George Benson. And Cedric Brooks, I think, was a Jamaican musician (?).

New Orleans’ defense. Everything about New Orleans reminds me of music, I love the Saints, and their defensive squad is ranked around #8 or 9 at the moment, so I’m happy I got ’em. “Football is violence and cold weather and sex and college rye,” said the great sports writer Roger Kahn. Football is also, let’s hope, teams from battered and beaten-down cities rising triumphantly in consecutive seasons.

No need to impede The High and Mighty mystique/That shit would be as ignorant as Jimmy the Greek. Soundbombing II hardly ever shows up on those stupid best-of album lists that clog up the Internet every 10 years. I think everyone’s still mad at Rawkus and we’re being babies by not giving it accolades. But we should. It’s a great compilation and I wore the CD out that summer (’99). It’s ranked in my personal stupid best-of album list that I carry around in my head. What/What, what, whaaaat.

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Hustling: notes on a theme.





The whores hustle and the hustlers whore. Wake up, princess. The word hustle comes from an old Dutch expression meaning “to shake to and fro.” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hustle

The buscones of the Dominican Republic, doing that thing where poor dark-skinned people have some sort of valuable commodity that they can exchange for being less poor, and that commodity somehow becomes commodified further.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2004099,00.html

DR beisbol:
The D.R. is baseball’s puppy mill. The buscones develop and sometimes feed and house these teenage players, with the intent of selling them to the highest bidder, a major league team willing to fork over thousands, if not millions, of dollars to secure a prospect. As a reward for their work, buscones typically pocket 25% to 50% of the prospect’s signing bonus. Many folks in the Dominican Republic resent being labeled a buscón because of the term’s other connotation: swindler.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2004099,00.html#ixzz0vPg42MOH

– Am Apparel

“I don’t believe in God. I’m a pure Jewish hustler,” Dov Charney said this back in ’04, but it’s fun to dust off every once in a while.

That makes the US economy of 2009-10 Dov’s personal Nicky Santoro. They all get felled eventually.

http://image.toutlecine.com/photos/c/a/s/casino-1995-07-g.jpg

Don Cornelius, network TV hustlemaniac.

To pose, show my rings and my fat gold chain
Grab the mic like I’m on Soul Train
Soul Train, please, ; Gamble & Huff did the theme song
The Average White Band talking in their cute Scottish accents, Elton John out-flamboyanting 8 Georgia rappers combined, James Brown being skeptical that the Don could be running the whole operation without some Caucasoid financial backing. outside the studio Jesse Jackson doing a call-and-response I am somebody and goddammit if I didn’t join right in.
Songs about people all over the world? You just can’t go wrong. (people make the )
Al Green was rather foxy? It would never have worked out between us, what with his deeply religious ways and my devout atheism.

pink socks
Darren Hauck/EPA

Rich old white men and pretty girls run this crazy world of ours. Being a pretty girl is the greatest hustle of all. If you’re going to be anything, be a pretty girl. Don’t pretend like you don’t know. Von Unwerth.

Amar’e Stoudamire, Zionist soldier and agent of Mossad, doing the ol’ PR hustle. Like bathing-suited video girls, it’s boring, it’s stupid, and it works. He’s Jewish, he says, because his mom’s Jewish, which even this Irish-blooded atheist young lady knows is the policy in Judaism. This also happens to get the Knicks in the news for something other than being, you know, Knicks-levels awful on the court. Get ’em, Amar’e! Hard in the paint!

The Alchemist, Stan Getz, Spector, Lieber, Stoller, Carole King, and Lyor of course, we all have Bar Refaeli’s WHR, Rahm Emanuel’s ice-grilling, “fuck you”-throwing facially expressive abilities
For every Ezra Koenig and every Drake and every Ben Stein and every Dov,

Switch to southpaw, split your right jaw

You take out the issue of white women and replace it with the issue of religion. That’s my story! – Muhammad Ali, after seeing The Great White Hope

There are so many victims of time and circumstance in my country’s history, but it really seems like young pugilists from certain racial and socioeconomic groups seem to constitute an inappropriately large amount of this group.

Mr. Jack Johnson of Galveston had fist-related acumen, was of African descent, and enjoyed the fleshly delights of the prized white female. Since it was the early 1900s, this meant that things would not turn out well for him. Back then, my people held some truths to be self-evident, including that all men are created equal, except if it’s a black man who makes white men look bad by ripping the heavyweight championship out of their hands, and then that same black man pours lemon juice into their facial cuts by having sex with white ladies.

But over the years, there’s been a swelling of good intentions among good people who’ve noted the injustice in sending Johnson to prison on some Mann Act charges. We all want Johnson to receive a presidential pardon–last year, I was amazed to find out that John McCain was a major supporter in this movement. We’re still waiting; it’s in Obama’s hands now. And I’m proud to say that almost all the skinny bearded young white men who live in my neighborhood have heard of Johnson, thanks to that Mos supergroup and the popularity of his likeness on t-shirts. The one above is the best I’ve seen yet (even though that collar is so high and weird–but maybe it’s just this particular photo), and part of the profits from its sale goes to PBS for the funding and production of wonderful things like the annoyingly prolific Ken Burns’ documentary Unforgivable Blackness.

[Cool Hunting]

“Swishas and Dosha.” Because I had to post a Texas song, because that chorus, oh that glorious chorus!, and because of Bun’s punch your mouth and knock out the taste part.

Coma Cinema – “Sucker Punch”

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“Just as the habit does not make the monk, the sceptre does not make the king” and other news (Sara, Manute, Fender, Shider, Lakeshow, the Sipp)

Quote above courtesy of writer, communist, and champion of the people Jose Saramago, who died this week. Once you go Marxist, your name is forever dirt among the small-minded; what more is there to say. And I loved Blindness; what more can I say.

The masses get excited for Drake and his cringe-inducing lyrical non-prowess (“What am I doing? What am I doing?/Oh yeah, that’s right: I’m doing me”), when it’s Saramago, a real man of letters, who should be celebrated–and not just in his native Portugal.
Behold the beauty below. Obrigado, senhor.


Beautiful-facial-featured Spanish WAG Sara Carbonero is my new girlfriend with whom I’ll be running away to a land where we can marry and lounge around nakedly and read Neruda poems to each other all day long. With that skin tone and those Arab eyes–her face is like the illustrated history of the Moors fornicating their way through Europe–she rules my heart, yes, but is still only my second-favorite Spaniard, behind this gorgeous specimen:

Quantic – “Juanita Bonita.”

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God bless the freaks, went one of the more prominent bumper stickers I’d see at Dead shows when I was little. Amen, brother.

Manute Bol, my brother in unnatural-body-type-ism (his unnaturalness was height and lank; mine is scrawny legs and fat hips), was a good guy. He was able to withstand the vast difficulties and rude stares incurred as a result of being 7’7″ (that’s like a head taller than Garnett, yikes) and used his fame and money to the benefit of causes in his home country, the Sudan. He was also so smart that he really was somewhat a nerd, which makes me love him even more.

When he played for Philadelphia, Bol became friends with Charles Barkley, who shares this:

You know, a lot of people feel sorry for him, because he’s so tall and awkward, but I’ll tell you this — if everyone in the world was a Manute Bol, it’s a world I’d want to live in. He’s smart. He reads The New York Times. He knows what’s going on in a lot of subjects. He’s not one of these just-basketball guys. Basketball’s just one percent of it. You know what he was talking about the other day? Milk. He was saying that he grew up on milk straight from the cow. Squeezed it himself. Milk. He says, ‘Charlie, what’s this lo-fat milk, this two percent milk, all of this other milk? Cows don’t give lo-fat milk, two percent milk. We shouldn’t drink it.’ I don’t know. Maybe he’s got something. Ain’t no maybe about it, Charles. Except maybe he’d tell you to stop doing those T-Mobile commercials because they’re not funny, and do you really need the money at this point, unless you’re giving it to charitable causes in the Sudan? Good lord.

Please get me this book, out later in June: Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970. Guitars are perfect because the sounds they emit fill our lives with joy, and because they are shaped like women. Ain’t no maybe about that, neither.

Gary Shider, Diaperman, Starchild, has left this place and joined the big cosmic slop up there above the clouds. He was proficient in gospel and goddammit if that’s not what this music is, below.

Coke & headphones are necessary here, after you press play. C’mon, a little won’t kill you.

In the role-playing game of Funk Gods If They Were Clan Gods,

Bernie Worrell is RZA (song constructor),
Eddie Hazel is GZA (space cowboy in tune with the cycles of the moon; not of this earth),
George is Mef (charisma, voice),
Bigfoot Brailey is Rae (the anchor, consistent, unflashy),
Bootsy is Ghosty (often high-pitched voice),
and Shider, of course, is ODB. Because he wore a diaper on stage, people.

Lakeshow necessities:

“Drake Brings Out Kobe at Powerhouse” is a headline which could also just as accurately say “2 Wack Rappers on Stage at Powerhouse.” My strong sense of integrity means that I simply cannot overlook bad music, which explains my snark here, but #24 is still the greatest. And hey, what happened to all those people who were making fun of the LA Times magazine spread? So weird, how they’re not really running their yaps right now. You oughta be ashamed, e-thugs. It’s like the liquor store owner in Menace said: I feel sorry for your mother.

Ron-Ron has a song called “Champion” that is, let’s be honest, not very good, but the best part about following this link is that you’ll see various commenters on Rap Radar correctly ascertaining that it’s far superior to anything on Drake’s album. I find comfort in this, being understood by my brothers in hip-hop, even though I dislike the fact that Ron had to do it over that goddamn Beamer Benz beat. WHYYYY in the name of Long Island City his verses were not done over “The Bridge” instrumental is beyond me, but I love Ronald always and forever. If things don’t work out with Sara C. and me, he’s definitely my next conquest.

Most of the team (sorry, Luke) and a spectacular pair of Harlequin pants were guests on Jimmy Kimmel. Update: even if things do work out between Sara and me, I’m setting my sights on Ron. He’s my density.


Haley Barbour is the Republican governor of Mississippi, deflector of criticism aimed at BP, and brand-new Dude Who Will Not Be Seeing Me Naked. Welcome, Haley! Pull up a seat next to Sean Hannity, just behind all the dudes in that goddamn Grown-Ups movie who bored me to death with their courtside appearances and half-assed takes on NBA rivalries during the finals (even you, Chris Rock, who disappointed me most of all because you should know better).

Barbour is going to be trouble, I can feel it already. “A self-described ‘fat redneck,’ he speaks in a marble-mouthed Mississippi drawl, loves Maker’s Mark bourbon, resembles an adult version of Spanky from the Little Rascals and fits no one’s ideal of a sleek new political model: squat, big-bellied and pink-jowled, he looks as if he should have a cigar in his mouth at all times (and occasionally does),” and makes it clear he’d be none too pleased if his daughter were to bring home a young man of color. Oops, I may have added that last part.

“A bunch of liberal elites were hoping this would be the Three Mile Island of offshore drilling,” said Mr. Barbour, who earns over $120,000 annually but is in no way a dreaded elite. This was in response to the BP spill, which Barbour insists was not very consequential–I mean, oil won’t affect the ecosystem just offshore from his state, which he knows for a fact based on his scientific research that consists of walking along the Mississippi coastline and seeing that very few tar balls have washed up. Offshore drilling employs a lot of people in Mississippi, and it’s nice that he’s defending that; however, I believe he has an even stronger sense of obligation to defend the oil companies that gave him $1.8 billion toward his gubernatorial campaign.

“I appreciate him promoting tourism,” said Diane Peranich, a Democratic state representative from the coast in response to Barbour’s public statements of delusion, “but not to the detriment of reality.”

Home to this guy and birthplace of Elvis, plus that whole Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner unpleasantness, Mississippi needs a miraculous turnaround if it hopes to redeem itself after all these years. David Banner and Bo Diddley can’t carry the whole state, you guys.

America is broke/its backbone was built off of dope, oil and false hope.
David Banner – “When You Hear What I Got to Say.” I sure do love this song, especially right around the second minute. Like me, David’s got a dirty mouth but a pristine soul.


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I said hey hey hey/What you got to say

Hollywoooooooood!

Hollywood swingin‘!


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I LAUGHED, I CRIED. Ron-Ron thanked his psychiatrist. Adam Morrison bragged that he now has twice as many rings as one K. Garnett. Bow Wow and Jesus Shuttlesworth underestimated the power of Queensbridge which is just so foolish. Really, that’s like trying to win a championship series with jumpshots instead of consistently scoring down low. I mean, how dumb can you be.

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D. Fish’s Isaac Hayes beard disappoints. USC. Rap underperformers. Drake’s stranglehold on the hearts of journalists. Goo.

That beard, my favorite beard on a human this side of Frederick Jay Rubin, could not out-play Shrek and Donkey. Sigh. That’s not how we practiced it, gentlemen. And now I’m going crazy, I’m sitting alone in my 4-cornered room, starin at candles. My mother’s always stressin I ain’t livin right. It’s fuckin messed up, you guys, this mind of mine.

Isaac Hayes – “Hung Up On My Baby.” (my baby = the Lakeshowww)

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(It was either this or Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin,” produced by Mr. Hayes but I would have failed you if I did not mention the sexual fervor that is Steve Cropper’s guitar, which you really should listen to like it’s the first time and take in that title, that chorus, like the promise that it is. Sweet Jesus, what a song. Makes my heart skip a beat, I tell you.)

Presenting, for one night only, in all its glory – Thank you, Barry Switzer: the story of a girl, her blog, and a pasty old football coach turned TV analyst who stood up for a scrappy LA team.

Everybody hates the popular/beautiful girl, even if she’s really nice. They dislike her success. Nobody could be blessed that much. No fair. Let’s be mean to her. Haters to the left, and then form an orderly line out the door and around the block. Such is the tale of the football squadron at the mighty University of Southern California, clearly the only school in NCAA history to have the thick, murky waters of cashmoney sin lapping up on the shores of pure and true academia/rah-rah sportsmanship. For shame, Mike Garrett and Pete Carroll! Reggie Bush was allowed to drive a car and live in a house?

OH WAIT. That’s only what we’re supposed to believe. I’m far from a Reggie Bush fan (he’s got a bitchy and Napoleonic air), but the shoulders of Reggie Bush are currently being burdened with blame and it’s not fair. If you see something, say something, right? Barry Switzer notes that Reggie Bush getting cars and cash is the norm rather than the anomaly, it’s been that way for years, and it’ll just keep happening when you have 19-year-olds padded up on TV, making cash registers sing for athletic departments across the land. Switzer’s comments are my most recent addition to the long, long list of things that people should just say out loud and stop omitting. Feel the power of truth. Rihanna’s voice is not good. Glen Davis’ eyes are too close together. Fucked-up Eminem was better than the sober version. Stop the charade already.

I have no reason to like Barry Switzer, since I’m ambivalent about the Sooners and I wish the Cowboys nothing but malice and a fiery end off a tall cliff, but credit has to be given here because it’s due. He is exactly right here. Agents and Escalades aren’t the problem but a symptom of a larger problem/issue and I wouldn’t even really call that issue a problem. The kids in uniforms play for free and they yield millions of dollars for their schools, millions of merch units sold, millions of viewers on TV, and make working-class girls like me want to go to those schools and walk in their halls. Although there are Division I coaches with better names (1. Izzo; 2. Stoops), Switzer’s on-point distillation of this issue renders him Today’s Winner. Nice one, Switzy.

O’Jays – “For the Love of Money.” Lookie, it’s a pun! Orenthal’s name! I RULE.

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Gamble plus Huff plus bass plus wah-wah. Pretend it’s your first time hearing this; demand the DJ put this on when you come into the club, and I’ll see you from across the room and swear you’re Nino Brown. I mean, the resemblance is really uncanny.


Things I wish were better, rap-wise:

Minaj—love her and the way she p-pushes it real good, and the ludicrous amount of fun she seems to be having on the microphone is only rivaled by Chris Bridges, but I thought she was above the “Look At My Ass” hustle (which is a hustle I strongly wish I had thought of, as it is highly successful). The debate of why we hold the “Look at my ass; I’m classy” girl (Beyonce, Rihanna) and the “Look at my ass because it’s Warholian” girl in higher regard than girls like Nicki shall be deferred at this time.

Why is everyone acting like those Big Boi songs are good? (These ones). They’re too busy, the beats are too crowded, the choruses are dumb. More Organized Noize, please. More playin tennis with Don Cornelius, please. We playin on the moon, bitch. PACE.
“General Patton” and “Shutterbugg” aside, I demand better. His record’s still .500 at this point. I swear, sometimes I think you guys only like stuff because your friends do.

Q-Tip is annoying me steadily. The 16-year-old me deep inside is pouting.

CNN’s “Let’s Get Money.” Let’s leave the throwaway tracks thrown away, Nore, mi querido. It’s called manners.

That J.Cole, not fantastic. It’s called “Higher” and while I admire its aspiration, it does not take me there. I mean, that title is simply not a reality. Are all biracial MCs on some sort of wackness kick? (please see next bullet point, below)

I know way too many Drake songs right now/That I didn’t know last year. I blame bloggers, the entire province of Ontario, and Jimmy Iovine. Drake is only useful as a plot device (heroine vs. antagonist whom she hates and would never sleep with, but what’s this? Sometimes she finds herself humming that pretty part in his hit song “Find Your Love” [the third find your heart in the chorus, with the key change], though this has less to do with Drake than it does with the production power of melodic princes No ID and K. West).

Caramanica’s piece about him was wonderful, of course, but did not succeed in what I believe was an attempt to make Drake a sympathetic character in the saga that is Pop Music. There’s talk of his emo mastery, of course, except that I’d like to mention that everyone signed to Rhymesayers is superior in this regard. His alleged handsomeness is cited, of course, but he just can’t compete with T.I., the true beauty queen of popular rap (those perfect white teeth!). The most memorable things I took away from the article are that Drake’s worldview is that Girls Are Mean (Rihanna) and he once leased a Phantom and parked it in front of the damn house even though his mom couldn’t pay the bills. OMG, you can’t handle it. The realness. It’s too real for you. There’s some foolishness of youth that we’ve all gone through, yes, but that’s just offensive. He sure was gauche for a rich kid.

And ha!, look at this, the end of this salacious story (last few lines)! Even Drake’s fans are the worst, lamest kind of criminals–Van Der Sloot, failed pro poker player and alleged girl-killer, loves Drizzy’s rhymes, his realness. Everybody knows having your music incite the killing of a Texas state trooper is true hiphop. I’m getting tired of spelling it out for you every time.

Goo is 20 this month, and Kim and Kim’s husband and Lee and Steve are still ten times more hiphop than everybody except Scott-Heron, Crazy Legs, the melodic backbone that holds up “Trans-Europe Express,” and Rick Rubin’s NYU dorm room. I don’t have any cool older cousins who introduced me to this record. I had to learn the shit all on my own. (I’m kind of bitter, but hey. It built character. Made me the woman I am today. Etc.)

“Dirty Boots.” I left this one out of my Best Opening Track rant of twentyten.

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Yeah but at least my team’s guard doesn’t look like Bow Wow, and other news.

All Khaled does is win; my darling Lakers, unfortunately, do not live by this same credo. If you are an NBA official, you woke up this morning to a whole city–my city–hating you. Congrats. The metaphor here is something like this, if you’re a whistle-happy man in zebra stripes:
LA is the rest of the world, or maybe just the UN, and you’re Israel, just fucking up all over and not bothering to even pretend to be bothered or ashamed ’cause you know you’ve got America bankrolling you. And there’s a Dick Bavetta in there somewhere.

Anyway, everyone needs a credo. They are easy to live by and help organize your daily activities. All Channel Live did, remember, was spark mad izm. All Stevie does is think about you. All me & Kellsies do is break up to make up. And all I do is try to fill up the emptiness after a home-court loss with videos of foxy beatmakers, a DJ Premier story that makes me weepy, and Fauvism as a platform for me to bemoan the existence of Drake.


Oh No loves his big brother, grew up about 5 minutes from me, and is a proud purveyor of that “raw, nasty, gangrene, go jump off a bridge, toilet bowl music. Disgusting, nasty.” That’s what he’s about.

Usually my credo is “If you have to say it, it’s probably not true.” But in this case, it’s true: he makes disgusting, nasty, old-lady-next-to-you-on-a-bus-bench-about-to-drop-dead, flesh-eating bacteria, dirty, oozing, nasty instrumental shit. Sorry, Mom. OX CITAAAYYY.


Reef the Lost Cauze, featuring OH MY GOD, Kool G Rap and RA!! – “Three Greats.”
First Prize, Most Accurate and Succinct Song Title, June 2010.

Courtesy of Robert H. Unkut. (or whatever his middle initial is)


Just before Guru died, Premier visited him in the hospital and performed some kind of last rites that I’m ill-equipped to comment on. So here’s a description of the event, handled with classy restraint, from XXL:

(Premier) stayed a short time (in the hospital room). Five, seven minutes, he says, before a nurse came in and he left. “I just wanted to tell (Guru) how much I loved him, period,” he says. “Whether he could hear me or not, I know somewhere he heard me. It was ill. His eyes were almost half open, and it was like he almost was awake, but he wasn’t… I took my Gang Starr shirt off, and I took it and rubbed it against his body, so he can feel the logo. I knew how much Gang Starr meant to him. Even if he moved on to another chapter in his life, I know how much Gang Starr was important to him. We did way too much to just completely block it out and act like it doesn’t exist.”

As a gentle segue,

Today in Melody and Beautiful Things:

Joy of Cooking – “Closer to the Ground.” I’m always looking for this in a round black circular format; I’m never finding it. This includes yesterday. (I got an old, ollllld, possibly-original copy of Prison Oval Rock, though. It is beautiful and it sounds like the Roots Radics are playing right there in my tiny apartment when I put it on. First Place, Album of the Month, June 1985. And June 2010.)



Keith Richards is releasing an album of Rastafarian spirituals, and I can’t even make fun of the fact that it’s him doing it because it’s really quite a nice thing.

Richards became friends with rocksteady deity Justin Hinds when he visited Jamaica in the ’70s. Lots of jamming ensued, plus spiritual awakening on Richards’ part–less like the Beatles in India (kid stuff), and more like if MC Serch became a Five Percenter. And then a few years later Peter Tosh got underused in a Stones video, but overall there’s been surprisingly little reggae-poaching in the Stones’ catalog. The band, I’m guessing, gave up any Jamaican style they had attempted due their inability to compete with something called The Clash.

Hinds and lesser-known local musicians comprised the group, called Wingless Angels. The sessions took place organically, says Richards. There was no planning when they began to play, and the Nyabinghi angels lifted everybody up on a glorious, fluffy cloud of week smoke.

The last batch of recordings are from 2004; Hinds died in 2005, and proceeds from the sales of the albums go to his family. “[Wingless Angels play deliberately at just slightly under heart rate. The drumming goes deeper than your bones. It’s marrow music,” Richards adds. This is a beautiful phrase that will for sure show up in a future blog post. If he came up with it, I’m shocked and pleased that someone with a morphine-addled brain could be so damn descriptive.

Next up, Ras Keith takes on daggering, translated for white American baby boomers like my mom, original bashment gyal.

“He has no wish to offer other people anything other than calm.” – Socialist politician Marcel Sembat, on Matisse.

Henri Matisse said some pretty amazing things in his day and volunteered to go to war. His gaunt face and steezy beard-and-stripes combo also set the standard for personal appearance that every dude in my neighborhood is trying to emulate circa 2010.

A relentless self-critic with overly anxious tendencies whom I have clearly based my entire persona on, Matisse said, “Black is not only a color but also a light.” Matisse also said, “You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete” (which I’ll thank you to keep in mind every time I point out how surprised I am that the beauty of Ruffin’s voice could be ravaged by cocaine years later), and my personal favorite, “My curves are not crazy.” OUI, HENRI! C’est si bon!

Matisse was worried about the possible outcome of WWI and felt bad about not serving. He signed up, but failed the medical exam. He appealed; he was denied. Terrible, heavy guilt ensued. His mother was trapped in northeast part of France, as the Germans had occupied it; painter friends were in the trenches. “Contributing prints to fundraising efforts for civilian prisoners of war did something to assuage his feelings of guilt, (as he was) ‘sickened by all the upheaval to which I am not contributing.’” This makes me think of current artists—not painters, but the ones wielding microphones who live in the various ventricles of my warm, loving heart, as well as the ones I despise. It’s comical to imagine Drake holding a firearm, right? Panting and elbowing his way through muddy trenches. My imagination won’t allow it. Did you know he did Wal-Mart the favor of appearing in one of their videos, thereby increasing their quarterly profit? SO GULLY. The masculine-lite appeal that Drake exhibits is common among most current musicians, though. They are all so skinny and spoiled. Except those M.O.P. boys and Sean P–I think they’d be very good at war.

Heltah Skeltah feat. Smif-n-Wessun – “W.M.D.” Song of the summer, 1996! PS, a rap song with a good Sean Bell line will always get posted here, just always.

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À bout de souffle.

A few things that make me choke up a little
(for reasons that I explain in probably too much detail):


Bon anniversaire, “Breathless”!

Jump cuts, natural lighting, and improvised plotting; the French New Wave, I see now, has clearly provided the template for me as I blog my way through life and attempt to tell stories in an entertaining fashion.

Truffaut vs. Godard is yet another battle within the heads of nerds that seems terribly important if it’s your head or the head of someone in your nerd crew, but it’s a battle that most outsiders yawn at. This-thing-vs-that-thing, clash-of-the-titans bickering by members of each titan’s respective fans is too emotion-laden to ever be a grown-up debate. I’ve seen this before, many times. Innervisions or Talking Book? Hathaway or Cooke? Champion or Polo (in ’93)? Shut up, yawn, and nobody cares—unless of course you want to discuss these things with me, in which case please be at apt. 15 by 6 pm sharp for drinks & bickering.



Jean Seberg is adorable, bien sûr. I could never pull off that haircut, which requires finely textured, pin-straight hair like that of a tomboyish French girl, since I have the thick, unruly hair of my Celtic forepeople. My kind of hair looks great if you’re a Kennedy on a yacht, the sun bleaching it at the tips and the saltwater boosting its natural curl. But if you live in present-day Los Angeles and don’t make it to Cape Cod much because you’re just blogging and daydreaming all the time, it’s just a high-maintenance thing in your life that takes an hour to blow dry and looks best at about 2 1/2 feet in length. Why so much talk about hair? Oh my. I appear to have lost control of this post.

Alas, I’m not now nor will I ever be classified as “gamine,” and you people will just have to deal with that. You probably wife up Seberg; she just looks like the type–skinny pants, ballet flats, Camus novels and dainty facial features. Your mom would approve. You kick it, however, with the full-lipped, long-haired girl in the fur hat*. She’s more fun. Cherchez les hips. (I see you, Belmondo).

*


Fuck a Mixtape, says T.I.
OK, pumpkin.
Easy now.

If he’ll just keep giving me that bouncy, playful flow in that Geougiah accent, T.I. can say fuck this and fuck everything, fuck the NBA salary cap, fuck BP and fuck Rand Paul, fuck fuck all day long. What do I care. He’s adorable and diminutive and has a wonderful smile (sometimes my estrogen gets in the way of true music fandom).

The mixtape is not worth all that download time so don’t bother with it–the song below is the only one of quality, and since I can’t tolerate an entire DJ Drama anything (including mixtapes), I left the rest of the thing alone. Skip right to the part where my ex-boyfriend Killer Mike comes in, snappin and trappin and takin my breath away.

The song with Lil Wayne (“Yeah”) is noteworthy only because of its intro. “For those of you who care,” T.I. says–except in Atlantan, it’s Cyeah. Cyeaugh. (I’ll get it eventually). I gave it a couple listens just because it’s been a while since I’ve had any Wayne fodder. My new thing is wishing hard that Wayne takes a meeting with BP execs upon his release from jail to yell at them, or that he at least calls his next mixtape Top Kill. This is because I am not very reality-based. (I also hope that Nicki Minaj writes her own stuff and that Blu and Redman will do a mixtape with Green Lantern, but those things are probably not happening either.)


T.I. feat. Killer Mike, who will never be successful in getting me to refer to him as Mike Bigga – “Ready Set Go.” (produced by No I.D.!)

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I’m breathless when I think of all the things an LA-Boston series means to me (which is mostly misty childhood memories of really good televised matches of sport), and when I consider the beauty of this photograph.

That’s right, Green Jacket. You fucking get Mr. Worthy a beverage.

The Celtics and the people who love them clearly need an uplifting series of moments, an injection of mirth and energy, to make up for all the Guru melancholy weighing their city down. I believe a championship would provide this. However, to paraphrase my good friend T.I.: fuck a Boston team. Also, they do know it’s not pronounced “selltics,” right? I’ve been whining about this since I was a know-it-all 10-year-old. I’m assuming people have just been too polite to inform them all these years.

Dosh & Andrew Bird – “Number 41.” Because it’s only 1 digit away from Big Game James, and because they haven’t made a “Number 24” yet. YET.

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This one’s a holdover from Sunday, and it’s so good that I still haven’t been able to catch my breath. NYC, fresh from begging and whimpering for LeBron, makes a strong comeback with this story in the Times about the origins of the metal rims in all the public basketball courts. They’re made by blacksmiths–referred to as a team in the article, since there are 6 of them, of course–who cut, weld, and paint each one, by hand, from a hand-drawn blueprint, “using a century-old method that has long since vanished elsewhere.” Woody Guthrie should do a song about these guys and the related difficulties of the perimeter shot.

The finished product is a remnant of an earlier era of the sport, somewhere on the evolutionary chain between the original wooden peach baskets and the modern spring-loaded breakaway rims used by the National Basketball Association

Other cities, including those with their own share of contributions to basketball lore like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Newark, buy modern, factory-made rims. New York is among the few places, and possibly the only one, where municipal rims used at more than 700 public parks are still made by hand.

And the opener! That first paragraph is so inspiring, I may have to copy it and hope the writer never notices:

The old steel rim that presides over this public basketball court absorbs missed shots with an angry clank, sending the ball careening upward and the wood and metal backboard into a rickety seizure. Sending the backboard into a rickety seizure is the particularly nice language moment for me.

Gasp! Look how stunning!

Lightleafs are illuminated OLED bookmarks that are as thin as a book’s page and provide just enough light for reading in the dark. I’d like one of these, and maybe several more, as only then will I be sufficiently pleased and distracted enough to overlook the incorrect use of language on display here (light leaves) the likes of which I have not seen since the travesty that was the 2010 Rock the Bells poster.


The bookmark runs wirelessly, and the light is rechargeable with brightness controls to turn it down so that it won’t bother others nearby. Courtesy of DesignBoom.

Are the rims big? Do it ride good? Lean back, right hand on the pinewood.

The god Craig Sager and I agree that the most flattering colors on one’s person are those adopted from the Dreyer’s* palette. The playoffs arrived right around the time my mother announced to me that all of my clothing is pastel, “which makes sense because you like ice cream so much.” Why yes, Mom. It does make sense. And yes, I am ignoring the subtext of your observation (that I’m a big girl now, too old to be wearing chocolate- and lavender-hued things).

I’m resisting the urge to say French vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate deluxe at this time, and will instead just give you all a Cream on the inside/Clean on the outside. Yeah buddy.


6 12’s in the trunk, 4 screens in the deck. And yes, the outside frame in the trunk is wide.
(STOP MAKING IT INTO SOMETHING SEXUAL, YOU GUYS.)

* Edy’s, for my NY cohort.

Bikini-clad white girls with funny names don’t like sports! and other sporty news.

1. Ronndohhh, we all yelled. Rondo Rondo! And it worked!


Sorry, Ohio! You had to know it was curtains for you when you played a team with Tony Allen on it. Tony Allen. Aw Ohio, your love’s still like a rollercoaster baby baby, I still wanna ride, and you still got Hi-Tek, Bone Thugs, Bootsy, and The Pretenders, plus the Geto Boys used this, below. Get yourself an affirmation + “God is Love” intervention from Rev Run and chin up, buddy.

The Ohio Players – “Skin Tight.”

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2. LeBron’s crew team chic in the photo above is from a GQ feature about NBA press conference style that I saw and promptly devoured.

Wait, LeBron is kind of attractive? I approve of forearm tats and the not-too-closely-cropped hairdo. King without a ring, though! Such a shame.

Kev D with the chest buckle!



Derrick Rose & Dwyane Wade: dictator chic.

“Dwight Howard, looking like he stopped by a Robert Evans/Robert Wagner yard sale.” Ha.
Steve pulls off a black trench, even though he’s so, SO unfortunate in the face. Unbelievable, the amount of blessings one man can receive in a certain area (physical prowess) while being denied in another (that FACE). Genetics can be quite the joker sometimes.

3.

Ice Cube, if you didn’t know, got drama hoes. Jackin for beats, steady mobbin, and this week, his episode of “30 for 30” premiered. He’s a busy guy. Cube interviews Al Davis (you must see this, you must), and delves into the history of the LA Raiders vis-a-vis the emergence of NWA. Everyone hated the Raiders for playing dirty and being too violent and for having too many brown young men south of Wilshire as fans (yeah I said it), but when their gear started to sell, everyone was a fan and everyone wanted a piece. The LA Kings changed their colors as a direct result of the Raiders’ success, and immediately saw their popularity swell. Violence is a bad and awful thing, except when the kids get into it and start buying shit. This is so clearly a metaphor for ’80s hip-hop, O’Shea says it without needing to directly say it.

“Straight Outta LA” will repeat on ESPN all this weekend and next week. Howie Long comes out the gate with an anecdote about being told Al Davis wasted a draft pick on him because he was, although quite large and talented, white. Howie laughs it off, like all white men should in situations like that. Good job, Howie. And thanks for being nice to me when I was a little kid.

I know I look like a boy, but that’s me! A very unphotogenic me.

4.

NYC continues its plea for the guy with the tatted forearms to just give it a chance. New York is convulsing with desperation to get LeBron, and I keep seeing examples of how much New York is dumbing it down in its desperation–offering free lap dances to LeBron if he’ll sign with the Knicks and telling him that such luminaries as, uh, John Leguizamo, Martha Stewart, and Tommy Hil (??) want to see him at MSG. New York is like a tough guy who suddenly decides that begging is an effective tactic instead of maintaining the stoic mystery that’s always made him so appealing. LL did “I Need Love,” and it worked, but that’s because it was preceded by tough-guy stuff like “Rock the Bells” and followed up by tough-guy stuff like “Going Back to Cali” and “The Boomin‘ System.” It was just enough vulnerability that it didn’t cross the line into simping territory.

I think it’s also important to note that LeBron already fucking gets free lap dances, dummy, and he probably gets ’em in places with strip clubs superior to New York’s (Atlanta, Miami. Or so I’m told). I feel embarrassed for New York, so sprung and willing to grovel during these times. Act like you don’t care, New York, and Bron’ll come running to you. (See, I flipped and bounced Leykis 101.)

5. Will athletes boycott Arizona? This is basically just an article from The Atlantic about what a G Ozzie Guillen is. I love him.

It’s not clear what would happen if a player did refuse to go (play the Diamondbacks in Arizona), and perhaps no one will. The players’ union would be obligated to represent a player if he did refuse, but, since there’s nothing in baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement about players refusing to travel because of laws they don’t like–or in political protest–the player may not have much of a case. Consequently, the union is unlikely to go out of its way, despite its opposition to the law, to encourage a player to take a doomed stand against his contract and to begin a formal grievance process when, or if, he is fined.

6. I alternate between somber and flippant in this section; you’ve been warned.


The inner workings of LT’s psyche are being bandied about and discursively examined everywhere I look, but this angle from the Huffington Post is one that should probably be more in the forefront. I don’t know what happened in the hotel room and neither do you, and there’s all this talk of condoms and sex acts and fluids, but the one thing that’s not disputed is the fact that the girl was 16. When she’s 18, it’s prostitution; when she’s not yet 18, it’s human trafficking.

LT’s likely sense of entitlement to buy sex is a sad and gross thing, and it’s yet another example of the most powerful, respected and privileged among us demonstrating the normalization of the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Mr. Taylor is part of what (those) in the anti-trafficking movement call ‘the demand that fuels sex trafficking.’ Without the demand for commercial sexual exploitation there would be no 16-year-olds or 26-year-olds for that matter, being offered for sale, to Johns by traffickers.

I remain, as always, deeply conflicted when I think about this story–LT has frequently been rewarded professionally for not giving a fuck, so why would we expect a sudden moral trepidation from him when it comes to sex acts? And sure, LT is replete with demons and had it rough growing up, but you know what, I’m guessing this is equally true of the 16-year-old girl whose body he tried to purchase. In the end, unfortunately, there probably isn’t an end, a tidy answer or explanation. That tossing of the discursive ball, back and forth, will just have to continue. Men are complicated beings and the socioeconomic/environmental/cultural forces at play in shaping them will always interest me. Also, don’t underestimate the redemptive powers of talent. I mean, Ike Turner was an awful guy, but DUDE. HE PRODUCED “PROUD MARY.”

7.

The New York Times found a sports-lovin underweight whitegirl and decided it was such a novelty that they wrote a whole piece about her. SI Swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, who tries unsuccessfully to murder me on my own shit, got the “30 Seconds” treatment a few weeks back to plug a movie and talk about her love of the Tar Heels and Panthers. No disrespect, but I am clearly the superior Girl in Bathing Suit in this arena, and if I wanted to look at a sports dork in a 2-piece, I’d visit my own website* instead of an esteemed publication like the New York Times. TAKE IT ELSEWHERE, MRS. RODDICK.

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, “Baltimore is the New Brooklyn.” I needed a song with the word Brooklyn in it, obviously. Ha, you thought I was gonna post something by the Boot Camp Clik.

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*

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And all the suckers get pushed back.


RONDO! was the chant in apartment 15 yesterday. I’ll always always hate this team due to the entire decade of the ’80s and the mispronunciation of the word Celtics, but just look at the love up there! (You ever tell anyone I did a post in small tribute to them, by the way, and you’re out of my RSS feed for life.)

PS –

The New York Times’ “Style Map” featured Boston this week–and called it, of course, Mass Appeal. So subtle of a Guru tribute, I bet most of its readers didn’t even notice; they thought it was merely a reference to the state of Massachusetts. Step up your Gangstarr, NYT subscribers. Good lord.

“I Got to Have It.” Don’t make me act like where I come from ’cause it’s bru-tal. Ed OG had a boring voice and okay verses, but this fucking song, sweet Jesus.

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