I received a ton of supportive emails from you guys in response to my last post – a sampling of the comments posted to my IG feed that contained helpful instructions on Record Collecting for Persons with Vaginas (“1. Don’t have a vagina. 2. OK fine you can have a vagina, but don’t be semi-attractive, creative, or full of joy.”) Thank you for your kind words, everyone. I love you. Let’s always be friends.
I haven’t received any troll-y comments since my last post. But this morning, MamaFiveSeven reminded me of that time I got trolled during my very first days on Instagram, back when I was using the X-Pro II filter a little too much and I hadn’t yet tightened up my hashtag game. So in tribute, I’d now like to give some attention to the originator of the HeightFiveSeven Hate movement: my man Troy, who got his Krylon cap all bent out of shape when I posted a recreation of Dr. Dooom’s First Come, First Served. Troy immediately went in on me because of all the hugs MamaTroy withheld when he was a child. Let’s get into it, bro!:
(D-Nice posted a nice thing about me on his feed, because he is dumb and thinks that people with vaginas collect records haha bro. The next time he and Troy hung out, they had a good laugh about it)
I blocked Troy for being an adult male who uses winky emoticons. And for being a shit-stirring troll.
What’s the best way to deal with an adult female with whom you disagree about a topic? Go to her blog, then type words threatening to put your boy parts in her.
And who in the fuck still uses AIM? Haha bro.
Please email me pictures of kittens now, guys. Thank you.
Beth Gibbons and I are doing a song together. I decided this, daydreaming at work today. Beth and I are going to make a song, or maybe even a whole freaking album together, since we both have hair the color of sunshine and we’re both in love with bass. That’s enough, right? We should create things together and put those things on the Internet, right? It doesn’t matter that one of us was born to make music and one of us is terrible at making music, I hope, because that would really put a damper on things.
Wiz:Not Michael Jackson, I ain’t feeling these kids/and you hatin’, such a shame that’s where your energy is/I’m in a Gfizz flying, leave your bitches with the planes, now she sky diving, hella vibin’/And your hating adds just more steam/More chips, now I’m living more Rothstein.
Lieber and Stoller wrote timeless stories set to melody in 15 minutes, smoking and pacing around the room, tossing out lyrical snippets to each other. Smoke DZA can say RIIIIIIIGHT over a beat and I’ll listen to it on a loop in my Civic for at least a half hour. My point is that making songs that please the people is quite a reachable goal when you were obviously born to do it and don’t try to force things if you weren’t born to do it. Ahem. Thank you.
Logan, outshining Wiz:Mike Jackson raps make me yawn, you’re a Boy who’s Badly Drawn/I’m sick of you, vamoose, sail the fuckin Dead Sea/I’m hoi polloi, you’re a pig who’s bourgeoisie/Eat some brie, drink some chablis/Your high times ain’t nothin compared to Prodigy in his bucket, flyin on PCP/Your career’s over, I heard your label reneged/Your utter lack of substance means you’re just an image – JPEG.
Then something about twinkletoes and my heart breaking. My style’s derivative – I’ve obviously been too influenced by Nickatina and Cellski plus a little G Rap and that fucking supa dupa flow that I despise, and overall I need a better grasp of my identity as a narrator in song. Still, I put the lyrical hurting on em and man I’ll never quit. The game needs me too badly.I come around and fools’ careers are just done – folding in on themselves like the house at the end of Poltergeist.
Curren$y:Kicked up sittin’ behind a mahogany desk, crumblin erb just as Big Boi and Andre would suggest/Flow sick need a check up, flow sick that’s how I got my checks up/Bad bitches gold diggin’ lame n—s out a trip to foreign places, or bracelet or necklace/Then slide through the set and fuck the Jets cause she respect us/You think you got a winner, but you don’t I bet she let us (lettuce)/Pickles, tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard, and ketchup…the works.
E-40 set the standard for condiment raps with the claaaaaaassic “Mustard and mayonnaise smokin up at the sky light/You can’t touch my Vogues, baby bye-bye.” That one was delicious and left my tummy/heart/soul feeling satisfied. Curren$y’s verse is about girls acting wrongly and it’s somehow wrapped up in a metaphor about hamburger toppings, but the whole freaking thing works because OutKast works, always. Everyone loves OutKast. My landlady loves em. My mailman too. Your 4th-grade teacher. David Stern, Alex Trebek. My future husband, my mom. Me and you. Your mom. And your cousin too, of course. Everyone loves OutKast, the kittens/ice cream/pizza/free money of the music world. In case you’re reading this, future husband: I’m ending my wedding vows with Power music/electric revival. Also I’d like you to constantly tell me I’m fine as all outdoors. Thanks in advance! I LOVE YOU, BABY. XOXO.
Wiz:Clear the runway, baby/I get money from Sunday to Sunday, lady/Oh behave, I’m young, rich, famous/Grinding, keep my pockets on Schwarzenegger/OG in my Swisher so my blunt taste flavored, don’t it?/Ya’ll n—s can get if you want it/Tryna catch a flight?/I’m in the back seat playing X Box, car service just chillin’/Burners in the wall, money all through the ceiling.
THIS GUY. These are the words of a professional musician, above – and if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Writing composition experts weigh in; regarding style, Toni Morrison said, “The language must not sweat.” (She’s talking about effortlessness.) And then there was that time adjunct English professor D. Dumile said most MCs are “rusty like oxidation, in the world’s most strangest, most dangerous occupation.” This is just a nicer, though no less correct, description of industry persons’ shortcomings that Big L and Kool Keith have revealed to my innocent ears over the years, except don’t forget to add that everyone’s got AIDS, according to L, and they all want Keith’s autograph according to Keith. And I believe it was Logan the Shy Bathing-Suited Sex Kitten Comedian who said, after trying to come up with something nice to say because that’s how her mom raised her, “Wiz has a lovely smile. He really does. It is unselfconscious and genuine. But he should take notes from other weed-loving duos who constantly have adventures together – Jay and Silent Bob (Bob stayed silent because he could not rap), and Meth and Red (they both learned how to rap and be charming, understanding that it’s not fair for one dude to always be the heavier lyrical Spitta hitta).”
Logan, upsetting Wiz immensely: Ball til I fall, make that dollar holler/If it don’t make dollars, blah blah stickin up white boys on ball courts/Pockets on stun, consumption on conspicuous/401k on a hundred thousand million jillion/I’m leaving Warner Bros. for good this year, not enough artistic freedom/Just kidding, I’ll never leave, they’re my meal ticket/Plus I know Warren Buffett – the real Warren Buffett/He owe me a hundred favors.
See, I can do it too. When it comes to luxury raps, I’m nowhere near Janye’s level – but I can certainly outdo a kid from Pittsburgh wearing some Converse, with his language sweating all over the place.
Curren$y: Bitches freeze in the Xenon headlights like a deer/But not out of fear, she looking ’cause it’s money over here/Shine from above these land lovers I’m a chandelier/My girl gotta pocket bubbler in her purse/She keep it G and pack the bowl with weed and let me hit it first/Ain’t tryna be a hog, doggy – all I want is what I’m worth.
“It’s not a guarantee that I will like your songs just because you make a reference to girls being like deer, sweet and gentle forest creatures,” said the lady with eyes that always get commented on (by fucking cops) and give her the appearance of a fawn in the forest, “But it helps.” This is critical bias on the part of the blogger.
8. “Glass House,” with Big K.R.I.T. (Kush & OJ mixtape; produced by ??? – Jerm? Sledgren? K.R.I.T.?)
Wiz:Just by the smell it’s obvious/That my connect come from Cali/I’m good long as the money piling up/All the while I’m just quick lane pimping, big jane twisting/Walking how I talk it, bitch that’s Pittsburgh pimping.
The three things that should bother me most about this affair – the presence of Wiz, the presence of Curtis Mayfield, and the song’s theme of girls needing to perform sexually in order to hang out in a fucking incredible car – are blissfully offset by the fact that ’09 Wiz was still tolerable, that the Curtis break is used in a pretty fashion, and the fact that I got over gender roles in song lyrics a long time ago and am much happier now that I know that lyric life is not real life (or trife life, for that matter; word life.) Curren$y’s verse starts it off, and all is as it should be as we head into the hook. There’s a dumb Wiz detour next, and then our Mississippi rep walks in and calls 808 a southern mating call and you know I love that. K.R.I.T.’s an ass guy, clearly, and that’s OK with me, because nobody said you can’t be an ass guy and also a sensitive guy (my dream combo, duh). What is also OK with me is that K.R.I.T. says he’ll push my hand away from the buttons in his Cutty unless I take my dress off, but without his friends around he’s pure sweetness. (A man who writes a tribute to riding around in the car and listening to music with his dad? That’s a sensitive individual.) Oh and that hook, that hook! It’s a sing-along-in-the-Civic beauty! When I first heard it, I thought it was Pimp C asking me if I wanna rest my ass in this glass house. It’s not, but man do I wish it was. I wish it was.
Logan:A re-jacking of Wiz’s jacking of Cam’s technique (“I take this word and say that same word again 1 bar later and that’s my verse, doggy”*), I’d have to start off with Meth was Mary’s Noah; Mary was his wiz/Nipsey Russell played the Tin Man in that movie called “The Wiz.”
(The song would be called “Divine Mathematics,” obviously. And Wiz should join Dipset, obviously, because he’d fit right in. He’s a long-lost cousin of J.R.’s, and he has to box Vado in the backyard before every tour stop to decide who gets to sit next to Jonesy on the bus.) Later in the song, I address Wiz directly withDon’t wanna read your book, won’t look at your brochure/I can name 2 terrible rappers named Cameron who should go on the ‘Rappers Named Cameron Are Terrible’ Tour. I’m planning on performing it at SXSW, and I’m also planning on the crowd loving it. I am planning on opening for Danny Brown as well, and when he does “Monopoly” I’ll yell along with him into the mic when he gets to the Fuck you and your tough talk/When I monopolize I throw your ass off the Boardwalk part. (My hair gets all messed up but I don’t care.)
* 5 year old reference, but please. I can’t imagine he’s changed much, flow-wise.
Curren$y:I chill with all that baller fishing/You fucked around and you caught a shark/Cold hard, tear your feelings apart/I’m more focused on getting my rims powder-coated/One of the dopest, I’m Schedule I/You just ibuprofen, what is you smoking?/Them bogus growers, they got you choking.
Some things are boring until you dig a little deeper. “The San Diego Chargers agreed to contract terms with defensive end Corey Liuget today,” a sports site told me a couple weeks ago. Yeah yeah, terrific, so what. Several hours later, however, sports talk radio told me “The San Diego Chargers signed defensive end Corey LEGIT today.” IT’S PRONOUNCED LEGIT! COREY LEGIT. He therefore has the perfect SODMG associate/MMA fighter name, and that is not boring in the slightest. And in this verse Curren$y’s talking about ballernomics, rims, narcotics; but dig a little deeper, and you can appreciate that Schedule I mention, and that shark mention (an obvious nod to Nickatina).
9. “Weed Brownies” (that Big Sean mixtape; Big Jerm)
Wiz:Eat champagne and lobster cause I fucking deserve this shit/N—s say I’ve got an old soul/Well, I tell them that I’m here, muthafucka/And I made it cause my flow cold.
Aw damn, I let things bother me too much. The flows, beat selection, and clothing choices of men who exist in my headphones and on my computer screen – I take it too seriously, like it’s a gamble. I do. Sigh. Now that that’s been established: NOBODY SAYS WIZ HAS AN OLD SOUL. Has anybody ever said that about Wiz? NO. They have not. In the category of other things I’m supposed to believe that insult my intelligence: Dre drives a Chrysler, Em drives a Chrysler, and Timberlake is a HUGE Leonard Cohen and Mantronix fan.
I might toss it to one of you guys since I don’t have an authoritative voice when it comes to weed high jinks. But if put on the spot, I just go to my old stand-by topics of Doom, making fun of dudes’ gear if it’s overly fancy, and maybe something from that day’s RSS feed about non-rap?
Logan, easily making Wiz look foolish: I don’t know Mary Jane, but I’m told she’d make my heart sing/Wiz, you so skinny, on that steady diet of nothing/Something something, Minor Threat, … ________ (line that expresses my disappointment about this although really, why should I even care since nothing’s sacred)/You’re screaming at a wall, you’re broke, you got no ends/Your whole style garbage, Wiz you need to make amends/Prepster I’m just playing when I says I likes your Land’s Ends/Doomsy and me and Vast, we’re super friends.
All I have are punchlines at this point. Punchlines galore. So many punchlines that I’m ready for my YMCMB contract. (“HOOKS IS EXTRA” – Dumile.)
Curren$y:I’m outta here, stratosphere/Paper hella straight, nappy hair/Bitches seem not to care that you were even there/When we pulled up, lit like Times Square/When we pulled up, lit like road flares/When we pulled off, them hoes disappeared/Because they know what we be doing over here/She just wanna be high in her underwear/With her iPhone plugged in the wall, power outlet/Stepping out the shower, threw her a shirt to towel off with.
I am jealous of Curren$y’s girls, who do nothing but lounge around, smoke and take their clothes off, and this is enough to get them mentioned in song. ME ME ME, why can’t this be me? I have excellent references and I’m a hard worker and a people person, I said during my interview for the position of “song girl/lyric muse.” It did not go well. I was politely informed I need to gain 10-12 lbs, dumb it down a little bit, and stop cracking jokes (let Curren$y shine).
Wiz:From the smell, and by what I paid, you know it’s good/Them n—s with me? They from the hood/Now we through parties in the sky, I’m on the 42nd floor, now that’s super high/Champagne, more paper planes than you can fly/Them young n—s fell soon as they tried/When the paparazzi flash, I’ll be counting all this cash/Plotting a million about how I can build a mountain out of hash.
Good/hood, sky/high/fly/tried, cash/hash. Before WK goes to a writing sesh, he throws on his Chucks and touches a plaque on his wall for good luck, like the Tree of Hope at the Apollo. ALL SEUSS EVERYTHING, it says on that plaque. TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE LIKE THEY READ AT THE FIRST-GRADE LEVEL.
Logan: Pass; I respectfully decline. (I like the beat too much to denigrate it with my awful flow. JESUS, WHAT A BEAT AND I’M STILL NOT SICK OF IT; EXCELLENT JOB, CLARK KENT). Here’s what I’m tossing around for the next song I’m doing with Beth, though:
– She like them boys with the big ol chains/Ridin round town in a big ol Rrrrrange. I still love this, unfortunately. I turn it up every time. Goddamn you, Power 106.
– “Listen, hot shot – 355,000 Californians have medical marijuana cards/And about 1,000 of them are in my family, living in my apartment complex,/Standing behind me in line at Vons, next to me on the freeway,/Delivering my mail, changing the oil in my Civic, and ringing me up at CVS.” It’s my ol’ “battle raps in the parking lot of my brain” daydream again. (I’ll make it rhyme, promise.)
– “Fuck Wiz, I funk with the young prince Abu buck” – Lil B, “Look Like Muhammad.” I need to use this in a song somewhere, or at least make reference to it.
– Danny Brown being the long lost member of Funkdoobiest and his use of Prince iconography. Need to use this somewhere too.
– Google making me smile by suggesting Bobby Hebb when I typed Bobby Heb (on my way to “Hebert,” whose jersey Curren$y is pictured in, above). Google, I like having you around. You’re my boyfriend when my other boyfriend is out of town, and when my girlfriend is busy, and when my other other boyfriend is acting dumb.
Curren$y:Don’t front, you in the back of a long line/Trying to get in, cause only members inside/Trees get twisted up like fingers in gang signs/Purple Kushions broke my fall, I fell from a grapevine/Super high, from the free throw line, I’m/Drexler status, glide the espionage/Many a jealous eyes scrutinize the wise/But the Jets in the house like the curtains and the blinds/It hurt to see me shine, that’s why they frowning all the time/In they Internet videos, digital CB4s.
“I just found out that Hi-C did Gusto’s raps in CB4. Now I feel dumb that I didn’t know that! I did know that Drexler was from New Orleans, though, so I feel like I’m still the nerd champ.” – me in the studio with the Jets and the Jet hangers-on and the Jet caterers and the Jet shoe-shiners, about to be kicked out for not taking my shirt off and for talking too much out of nervousness. I’ll never achieve “song girl/lyric muse” status. Time for me to start coming to terms with that.
11. “Rollin Up” (How Fly)
Wiz: Me and Spitta, spend a grand at the bar/Buying drinks for my n—s/Hoes selling they souls just to be with us/On the road with winners, champions/Ride smoking weed to myself the only reason they stress/Because I’m on the level you can’t be in/And I flick the middle finger to fake friends/We live like when the loyalty is strong you can’t bend.
Goodness gracious, Wiz’s life has more plots than a graveyard! So many twists and turns! OH WAIT. No. That’s not true at all, is it. This is just another verse about his friends and their shoes, getting high and staying that way for as long as possible, and people being upset with them.
Logan:My shoes are pretty, ooohhh I’m Loubie’d out/I got enough enemies, I need a buddy or three/Time’s too expensive, Ice Cube’s my cousin/You’ll only see me naked if you own a copy of Both Sides of the Brain/Just listened to “Cyberpunks” today; yeah I do that every couple weeks/What a fucking space cadet dreamboat, Jesus Christ I love Del so much.
No plot, no characterization. I also didn’t include any actual rhymes, since I spent less than a minute composing it. But mine has a Del mention- top that, WK. Also, WK: “Fuck outta here”/“You better get a goddamn job” – Rock & Sean P, August 2011. (I could also maybe add “I feel the pain of everyone/Then I feel nothing” – Mascis, earlier today, on stupid ol’ pop radio that plays a gem or two sometimes. There now, see? Aren’t 10 simple yet effective words better than a hundred useless, braggy ones from Wiz?)
Curren$y:Yeah, jets n—a, As if I had to say it: Spitta/In the middle of every bad bitches playlist/iTunes banging from my hotel room/Nothing but beats bitch/Fuck it when I die I could sleep bitch/My momma need a bigger crib so I need this money, G/King Kong ain’t got shit on me/My face is a coupon – I don’t know them but they know me.
Pedestrian compared to some of his best stuff, but this verse is still fresher than those of the last dozen men with microphones I’ve heard, plus he gets residual credit for the knots n racks n bands lifestyle picture he paints in “Elevator Musik.” It’s still haunting/pleasing me (Think I gave my last hundred to the fuckin valet/Good evening, Mr. Jackson/I mean good morning, shit/Dang).
To understand my gripes, it helps to break it down. hairs.
Football and basketball are what make college sports relevant and profitable. Those sports traffic in poor inner-city talent. The rules of the NCAA, the governing body, are not quite the same as the rules on the street, and neither is the desperation the same near the library on the manicured campus as it is in the ghetto. The poor inner-city talent is expected to abide by these made-up rules — rules that are not their rules, rules not made by or for the poor and continually broken by the poor — and that’s understandable. The exchange is a free education. But the only real way for a football player to make it from the desperation of the inner city to the multi-billion-dollar NFL is through the NFL’s free and monopolized minor league. These rules keep getting broken because the rules either a). don’t mean much of anything to the inner city breaking them or b). the desperation of the inner city has outgrown the rules.
I don’t need Daniel Le Batard to inform me of the details of Edge James’ hard-scrabble childhood, or how Vince Wolfork spent his first 18 years livin just enough, just-e-nouuuugh, for the citayyyyy.
This is like watching a couple of mall cops trying to contain America’s drug war, so now it is the University of Miami’s turn (again) to be devoured by the scandal of the month.
Soon as they seen the Benz, hatin season was in. The only useful parts of Dan Patrick’s boring radio show are whenever Charles Barkley comes on, and whenever a big blowhard sports writer comes on and gets me all heated. Since I’m a skeptic, I believe that this is what’s referred to as promo for my new ______ (in Le Batard’s case, it’s his ESPN show due to start in September). Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn Democrat and one-man bullshit detector, announced last week a plan to regulate the real-estate practice of applying jazzy new monikers to existing slices of the city. “Brokers are allowed to essentially pull names out of thin air in order to rebrand a neighborhood and have the effect of raising rents or home prices,” Jeffries told the New York Times. His bill, Jeffries explained, would require new names to withstand a vetting process and receive City Council and mayoral approval.
New York, of course, has a long-standing tradition of geographic shorthand. In what was once just “downtown,” Soho rose south of Houston and a triangle below Canal became Tribeca, acronyms that have since undergone an orthographic blending, to the point where the underlying words are almost forgotten. More recently, the trick has been applied, dubiously, to quadrants that already have established identities—the financial district rechristened as FiDi, which has not yet earned the right to lowercase that D. Some of these newer confections work better than others: Nolita, not unappealingly, evokes a brand of upscale evening pajamas; SoBro, an appellation for the South Bronx, suggests a novelty liquor. But what these labels have in common is that they merely shorten the names of places, not change their meanings.
“ProCro,” the coinage that seems to have sent Jeffries on his crusade, is a different animal. A blending of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, it qualifies as a portmanteau. The term describes “two meanings packed up into one word,” as Humpty Dumpty tells Alice. The result may be efficient (pluot, podcast), inane (sexpert), or depraved (cremains). At their most effective, portmanteaux are absorbed into the lexicon so smoothly as to become unrecognizable (electrocute, motorcade) as the Frankensteins they are. At bottom, they should describe a new thing (a test guesstimate fails), and, indeed, facilitate its existence. Large servings of French toast eaten at noon were just that, until someone came up with brunch.
Ghost Town DJs, “My Boo (Balam Acab Remix).” Because I want to be your lady, baby. (NOT YOURS, DAN)
Making fun of people in general and making fun of rappers specifically is a special talent given to me by God. And for balance, being a nice person is a part of my character cultivated in me by my mom since birth. I’m deferring to my upbringing in the case of People’s Champion – the story of sophomore Eli Porter, famous for being terrible in the ruthless rap freestyle arena known as “Chamblee High’s 4th-period broadcasting class back in ’03.” Obviously the young man has some deficits (physical definitely, cognitive probably), and you’re a jerk if you make fun of him. C’mon, my mom says. Act right. Most inadequate MCs are fair game for pointing and laughing at, especially Canadian ones who make odd hand motions and talk like they’re from Shreveport when they’re really from Canada. Eli, a teenage rapper who walks in a labored fashion because of an impairment he was born with, is not fair game. So that’s that. Glad we settled this as a family.
Watch for yourself, but please be advised: it’s impossible to get a handle on the tone of this short film. Is it a heartwarming tale of mic wielding? Is it a critique of our insatiable need to embarrass each other? I’ve watched it twice, and I have a master’s degree, and I still don’t know. I’m also annoyed that a thing called People’s Champion isn’t about Paul Wall. But most of all I’m annoyed that, while everyone’s discussing how the Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away when it comes to fame-based self-esteem, and discussing at what IQ level is it acceptable to make fun of a dude, I’m here in the cut (apt. 680) wondering why nobody’s discussing the 2 most discussion-worthy things about this film: a) Eli’s plastic spiral key-ring bracelet thingy (replicas of which Supreme will start selling next week for $42),
and b) the fact that one of the main players in this saga explains that the area in between white girls’ legs is used as some sort of heterosexuality trophy, a proving ground for a dude’s ability to exercise his masculine seduction powers.
“Let me just go ahead and tell you guys: Marv-O fucked every white girl that he wanted to at Chamblee High School.” – Will, disputing claims that host Marv-O is gay just because a little touching and feeling between himself and battle judge J-Dub (male friends who have affection for one another, what you got a problem with that?) was caught on tape (at 07:35). Will’s not completely to blame for the comment – his purple RL with its sloppy collar and that huge bottle of Bud Light had this weird influence on his brain, making him feel invincible, like he could say such a thing on film without a blogging lady in LA catching it and calling him on it. Marv didn’t get every girl he wanted to naked; he got every pale-skinned one he wanted naked – a feat that gets Marv more points in the competition. And what does this say about white ladies and the value of their soft lady areas? What does it say about the value of non-white-ladies’ soft lady areas? I know what it says, and I do not like it. Will didn’t invent this value system, and I guess I could even argue he did me a favor by being so blunt about it, reminding me that some men still think this way. But still – it came from Will’s brain/mouth, so it’s Will who is the face of disgusting ideas about white-female-body privilege and notions of feminine beauty and value. Will’s comment is begging to be bandied and bickered about between us. He’s today’s THIS GUY.
(There is also an appearance by noted cultural critic Cornel West ANDY FUCKING MILONAKIS, tapped to put on his serious face and share his thoughts. He’s included in the doc strictly to make me throw my hands toward the heavens out of anger/disbelief and shout the F word. I do, however, approve of the copious Georgia accents throughout, the unstoppable freshness of the name Eli Porter, the appearances by my boyfriends Rafi and Dal, and the group-shaming due to Envy’s freestyle not really being a freestyle. I mean, show me the Blackberry, and then I’ll know it’s off the dome.)
Cee-Lo – “I’ll Be Around.” Because I needed something from the great state of Georgia, and obviously this one is so, so def even though it’s not So So Def. And please keep an eye out for How Could I Possibly Be Inconspicuous When My Flow is Fucking Ridiculous – my next mixtape, dropping fall 2003.
Ghosty’s being sued by a cranky old man playing the Iron Man card 11 years down the road (I believe the name Jack Urbont says it all – he’s a jerk, I can just tell. And he smells bad). Mr. Urbont has discovered that musical performers like to reference and pay tribute to the characters of fiction that have inspired them, so of course a lawsuit is the next logical step here. Apt. 680 was brought to its knees by this news for a minute. Nothing bad should ever befall Ghost, and nobody round here wants words exchanged between grown-ups — unless it’s me v. Rawss, or Reggie Miller v. the Knicks (ESPN reruns! An enjoyable summer tradition), because those kind of conflicts are entertaining. Copyright-infringement anything is not entertaining, however, and this whole suit is baseless, your honor. Who can say what’s right or wrong when it comes to proper boundaries between showing love for something that’s inspired you, and outright idea-jacking? Who wants to get into a discussion of the differences among appropriation, endorsement, and reification? Nobody! Stop it! The whole suit makes me worry about Ghost’s finances, because I don’t want him to get taken, and those are just useless, fretting thoughts that wear me out. I don’t need anything deflating my euphoria balloon when I’m out driving and “Hii Power” comes on, with that melancholy beat that makes every scene in the neighborhood, the dog-walkers and stroller-pushers, look extra dramatic and meaningful. I also like when that Rihanna song about murder guilt comes on; it’s fun to make the case that it’s like her “Bohemian Rhapsody,” except her version’s got notes that I can hit since her vocal range is somewhat limited.
There were the fretting moments that seemed that they’d never end. But I’ve realized that this thing will die down. I promise. Urbont’s just looking for attention and this is the best he can do without a blog, a Leica, a bikini collection, and a bunch of F-words to emphasize his love/hate relationship with Power 106’s playlist. And luckily, nobody buys rap albums anymore, so other composers won’t be similarly inspired by his greed quest. Are the Goo Goo Dolls gonna sue Lil B and Clams for denying them profits reaped from SoundCloud? (No. They are not. Because there can’t be profits when the shit’s free). Shouldn’t have legally fucked with RZA, though, Ghost! I had to bring it up! Sorry, buddy. It’s my understanding that the world is round because whatever you throw out will come back in time, but with the heat of speed gathered along its journey so it’ll be extra painful when it gets back to you. Probably it’ll hit the back of your neck, too, where the skin’s really sensitive. I’ve heard older folksy types caution against spitting in the wind, and they talk about how the things that come around are usually the same things that go around. For better articulation of this, I turned to my adjunct English professor at Baller U and language jedi master I keep on retainer; when reached for comment about litigious rappers who get theirs a couple years down the road, karmically speaking, E-40 said, “I think it goes: you live by the dirt, you die by the shovel.”
When Jimmy Conway grabbed Henry Hill’s youthful face and said never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut, I nodded my head in agreement. Goddamn right, Jimmy! That was kid stuff, though–stealing furs, robbing truck drivers, bagging coke, then describing it all to a judge a few years down the road, pointing in the courtroom at the guy who used to be your fellow foot soldier, thereby making a disgrace of yourself like a filthy rat. Kid stuff! This here is snitching, pure and uncut:
“I don’t think that [this] changes the power of the photographs he produced,” said a smart man on NPR about Ernest Withers, and I agree. Unforgivable rat finkery aside, this new information about him makes his photos even more meaningful in context of what we just found out about him–people in the movement strongly suspected they were being tailed, trailed, spied on, and the guy taking pictures of them knew it firsthand and kept snapping away. He churned out thousands of pictures of kind-faced, sympathetic individuals on buses and in picket lines, adding a stunningly energetic Lionel Hampton photo or two along the way.
Why would the Feds be so inconsistent with their suppression techniques, though? They got valuable information from an informant, but let him keep taking pictures of men and women with kind, sympathetic faces? Since frontline imagery is one of the tools of informative persuasion for which the movement is best known, it seems like the FBI would’ve seen to it that negatives were “accidentally” destroyed, or brought the paranoid hand of justice down much harder on the man who was creating those images. They’re now on display in museums, wordless black-and-white evidence of brutal times and brutal laws. Destroying the negatives seems like such an obvious way to go. But then, I forget sometimes that J. Edgar and his drones were not known for their intelligence.
And here, in contrast, some trifling type of behavior that’s not really “snitching” at all; it’s just an assortment of various attempts by a man with a dumb nickname to get out of jail a little sooner. I haven’t seen this kind of penny-ante nonsense get the kids so heated* since Cam and Anderson made intense faces at each other and discussed the serial killer who lives next door.
* as of this writing, 30 comments from rap nation over at XXL.
The O’Jays, “Back Stabbers.” Because it’s Gamble & Huff, with the god Thom Bell in charge of strings. And because “Rat Heads” by E-40 wouldn’t upload, and the only other songs available about rats and snitches getting theirs in the end were, ironically, ones by noted rat employer Game and noted alleged rat Curtis Jackson. Oh the sweet, terrible irony.
Wilson Pickett, my favorite Alabaman (it’ll make sense when you scroll down), with guitarist.
1. Woody Guthrie is the original Rakim in my heart, and today would’ve been his 98th birthday.
Since the foundation of male attractiveness is established for a girl during her childhood, Woody’s a big part of why I like boys who amplify their voices and pour their respective hearts out over beats. The rhymes from the microphone soloist Mr. Guthrie were revered in my household. So, yes, Woody was like Rakim to the little-girl version of me, only in my heart Woody’s mixed in a little with my dad for some nice Electra complex sprinkled on top. Years later, me listening to lots and lots of The Coup can be directly traced back to lines likeYou won’t never see an outlaw/Drive a family from their home.
2. “Every sin is the result of a collaboration.” – Stephen Crane
Rick Rawss and Gordon Gekko both know that greed is good and both of them think they’re doper than they actually are and neither of them will ever have the pleasure of seeing what color my undergarments are. I like Gordon better, though, because he doesn’t clog up my RSS feed with a new rap collaboration every 12 hours. Noted overweight Floridian Rick does, though. And I know it’s because he’s got good shit on a lot of dudes, since otherwise what the fuck is happening here. This Maybach Music takeover cannot be explained any other way.
I’m familiar with the concept of blackmail, which is different from extortion in that extortion involves the added distress of a crime being committed against you, and also one time Havoc said Extortion is the key I got the key for extortion. Havoc never wrote a rap about plain old blackmail, a bad thing that you can do to somebody which is slightly less sinister than extortion because it just involves psychological distress, like when a big fat MC with a weak voice gets superb talent to appear on his album or else he will reveal their secrets. Enter, sinful collaborations.
Jay did a song with RAWWWWSSSSS called “Free Mason,” which, in a super bitchy move, doesn’t even mention Behold a Pale Horse. The only redeeming part of it really is Jay’s line “I’m on my third 6 but a devil I’m not.” (Har, Sean.) Then Curren$y and Wiz did a song with him. Then Rae did. Then Erykah Badu agreed to direct a video for him. Then I opened up my eyes real wide and took a look around at this strange new world, like Alice in that Tom Petty video. I pray it’s all just a bad dream.
The Ross domination has been going on since right around “B.M.F.” started getting played on the radio. I have many problems with “B.M.F.,” the most obvious one being that it’s by a rapper who can’t rap but there’s also the fact that nothing in that chorus rhymes (Hoover/hallelujah, God/start) and that nobody actually says whippin’ work and anyway what does that even mean? Must be a regional thing, Florida and Alabama and such. Styles P also stipulates (as most of ’em have over the years in coke raps, so it’s not necessarily him I can blame) that there are 36 o’s in a kilogram. This is untrue, and he’s therefore training a whole bunch of suburban 16-year-olds through repeat listenings how to weigh it out sloppily. It’s just over 35 ounces (35 and a third). So your customer who buys in bulk is getting almost 20 grams for free and that’s just bad business practice, daddy. Sixteen ounces to a pound, twenty more to a ki. Nope. Unless you’re Mos Def. Then it just adds up, for some reason.
3. Paul Wall just made an awful song called “Live It” in which he holds a gun to Rae’s head and forces him to join in lyrically (blackmail tactics boosted from Ross, no doubt). It is a song I will not be linking to at this time due to the fact that I have good taste in music and cannot allow my stock to plummet. The only reason it gets a mention here is that Paul name checks Nickatina! “People in Texas have heard of Nickatina?” went the response in apt. 15. “I thought that was a regional thing.” The conclusion is either that Paul reads the Slap message boards or he used to get loose at Embarcadero and I just never knew. The 14-year-old in me is mad that he likes something only I’m allowed to like. If Mac Dre starts showing up in verses we’re going to need to have a little chat.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird turns 50 this week. I love smart dudes in glasses who know something about the legal system and who hold back a little emotionally. Sooooo basically, Atticus Finch, get at me.
(Introducing my newest tag, Fantasy Mixtape Titles. First up: Just One Kind of Folks, hosted by some great combo like, I don’t know, Wolfman Jack and Mister Cee. Also, Scarlett Jo in some of the skits in between, because I love her speaking voice.)
It was hard to choose just one string of words to pull from the text. I always liked this one, though: “She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl.” You goddamn right, Jean Louise Finch. Every time I start to bitch about something, like if I have to go somewhere I don’t want to or if I want to go somewhere but I can’t get there, I try to remind myself I’m lucky not to be an 11-year-old girl during the Depression in Maycomb, Alabama, with a pretty great father but a father who has a deep kind of melancholy due to being a widower. That usually clears it right up, the bitching.
Wilson Pickett – “Mini Skirt Minnie.” That voice and those HUH!s come courtesy of Prattville, Alabama.
“You got all the men chasin after you, baby/you got the women cryin and carryin on,” AKA Logan goes to Trader Joe’s.
5. We are the ever-living ghost of what once was.
Cee-Lo covering Band of Horses is somehow able to supersede an unnecessarily glitchy beat and a tired old video concept (boring thin white people freaking out) mostly just by using his vocal chords, as they can do no wrong. I’d like this song in my record collection, please, even though I’d never listen to it because of the pain exacted in my heart region as a result of its lyrical content. I still can’t listen to side A of Cease to Begin unless I’m being cuddled and I’m confident in that moment that the cuddling will only stop when I want it to. Otherwise, I get pangs in my soft girly heart and I start to worry that the moment will end. I’ve only listened to this version below once and yeah I got misty a little and that’s about all I can take, as there is currently no one present to cuddle me.
Anyway, Cee-Lo’s voice is going into the Smithsonian someday for being a thing of impossible note-hitting smoky high-pitched beauty.
Rae, Capone, Sean P. (I stepped out of the hug so I could take the pic)
6. CNN are back in a not-so-big way, based on everything I’ve heard from The War Report 2. How sad, since Queens is otherwise doing so undeniably well these days!“With Me” is the best example of the album’s dreariness, as it features a plodding beat that makes me want to take a nap, and a corny feel-good chorus by Nas that is so highly feel-good that I believe Em was offered it for Recovery but turned it down because it was too saccharine. Capone slightly redeems the song with his line Frequently I like to Buck shot(s) like Evil Dee, because “frequently” is terribly underused in songs, because everything Black Moon related is valuable, and because ME TOO, CAPONE! I like to buck shots too, you dreamy son of a gun.
Let the record reflect that “T.O.N.Y.” is a shining, perfect example of a sing-along, feel-good chorus. Me and you/You got beef? I got beef. Solidarity, you guys! I don’t have beef with anyone, really, and even I sing along with that part. (I also love the old-timey use of “jakes” for “police officers.” It feels so ‘20s, like I just bobbed my hair and I’m giddy ’cause I just got the right to vote even though I have breasts)
7. Grease is, in fact, the word, as well as the time, the place, and the motion.
It is also the title of a joyful, bouncy song that a kind man on FM radio was playing during my extended time on the 101 the other day. The rule in determining whether a song is quality is that you picture Stevie Wonder either having composed it or singing it, and then you listen to it through that filter. Just ignore everything else. “Grease,” with that bassline, the way it’s structured melodically, that moment around 2:30 when the horns pass the baton to the drums, surely passes this test. I know it, ’cause I tried it, and wouldn’t you know, I solved my problems and I saw the light. I went home and I looked up its history, and I found out that Barry Gibb wrote it (and “Islands in the Stream” too!). And then, ’cause it was Saturday, I went to the roller rink.
8. “Madre mia.” – my newest paramour Sara, below, after her boyfriend Iker Casillas, the captain and goalie of the Spanish soccer team who has a classy Basque first name, cries and is overcome with emotion and kisses her. I keep watching this and automatically taking my dress off in a quick and obedient manner, a pure Pavlovian example of “Ladies like to be grabbed and kissed in a sudden and surprising way.” Genuine emotion has been getting ladies out of their clothes ever since I can remember and it’s not going anywhere. Live it, be it, achieve it.
9. Aubrey Graham won’t leave me be. We’re just two lost souls swimmin in a fish bowl, year after year. The latest in the story of us is that he showed up in one of my lady mags with no warning. (“Warning,” by the way, is a song by slain rapper Biggie Smalls that Drake hadn’t heard until last week since it was made in olden times, before ’06. Drake’s good now, though; Wayne played it for him and he thought it was uhmayyyyzing, so authentic, the way Biggie nailed in the narrative all that talk of clips and Rolexes)
It happened yesterday, in Elle mag (do not judge me, please), in my hands, on the couch in apt. 15. I read this quote from Drake, in response to being asked which rappers influence him:
THIS GUYYYYYY. Groan, cringe, groan, groan, CRINGE. When you give the same answer to a question about rap music that Bill O’Reilly and the nation’s grandmothers would give, you are performing at a sub-par level and you should stop it. He is an awful person. Drake is just so awful. I mean it. I wish bad things would happen to him. My mother would say Logan! That’s not very nice because she’s a real sweetheart, but she would also say There are far too many kids around today getting record deals because they are good-looking, know the right people, and do not challenge the dominant paradigm. And then my buddy Steve P. Morrissey would add Sing your life/Any fool can think of words that rhyme, which kind of sums up that record deal thing that my mom was just talking about.And then Affion Crockett would show up and give me exactly what I need.
10. Curren$y n’ Devin the Dude!, “Chilled Coughee.”It’s Devin the Dude; obviously this was going to show up on here. I don’t need to explain the hows and whys to you. Last week I did a post that was a link to a video taken on a cell phone of him reading the phone book. But for today, just this:
GPS loaded with the coordinates of this bitch crib to receive love and nourishment In the form of joints rolled, drinks poured Her in nothin but a robe, playin her role.
Aw, that’s all that men really want, isn’t it? It just hit me. Love and nourishment, and a girl to greet you at the door, clad in nothing but a robe. Even Rawss wants that, I bet. Even Rawss.
I know, right? You just look at this and right away you think “boning.”
11. Christina Hendricks discusses boning in the LA Times magazine; I feel good and validated inside now because like any foxy lady, I, of course, am well-versed in boning.
As a woman, I have to say the retro underwear on Mad Men actresses looks like utter torture. Am I wrong?
“No, you’re not wrong…(Those) undergarments really aren’t made for relaxing. (If) I have to wait a few hours for my next scene, I have to learn how to position myself, otherwise the boning presses into my guts.”
As shown in the uncomfortable bodice of my dress above (that’s boning, you guys; it keeps everything in place up top) there’s work involved in being a girl. The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird taught me that. And boning jokes are classic, hilarious since since oh-nine.
Presenting A-Rod, my new Least Favorite Dominican (sorry, Juelz!).
“Rod,” by the way, is short for “Rodriguez.” And still, he has no opinion on xenophobic, illegal policies that affect people who look just like him. And so it was said, so it shall be done: 2010’s Most Superior Bitch Move, decided and awarded, swiftly and officially, to Alex, based on the 2-word snippet above. The year’s only halfway through, and he had to go up against LeBron’s self-fellating TV hour, and still–A-Rod came out on top! That’s some real skill.
Seu Jorge – “Queen Bitch.” My heart’s in the basement/My weekend’s at an all-time low, Bowie said. This song’s about A-Rod, you see. ‘Cause it’s about a bitch.
“The head of the Republican Party criticized Senate candidate Rand Paul on Sunday for questioning the landmark Civil Rights Act and said the Kentucky libertarian’s views were out of step with the party and country.” [Reuters]
Heaven! Oh, it’s heaven.
Republican in-fighting is a joyful, lovely thing, and it’s all this lady needs on a this particular Sunday to wash away the grime and escape the miasma of urban woe. Michael Steele called out Rand Paul for his criticism of the Civil Rights Act; this was the correct thing to do, which marks the first time I’ve approved of Michael Steele’s behavior. Rand Paul’s already done a quick side-step, turn-around, backpedal, “nevermind” dance following the fallout from his remarks, because that’s what shit-talkers always do. He also says he does, after all, support the Act, makeno mistake about it, because shit-talkers are also liars. Anyway, the whole thing is fun, plus, YOU GUYS, this is just like Jimmy vs. Cam, only the Huffington Post is the arena instead of Kay Slay’s show!
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to affect Mr. Paul’s political trajectory, as people just do not give even a little bit of a fuck about Michael Steele and what he says. I bet even he knows it. This is not cause to feel sorry for him, since E-40 teaches that if you live by the dirt, you die by the shovel.
Mos Def – “Johnny Too Beef.” Because I must’ve posted BDP’s “Beef” in a previous post. I must have.
Islamabad, Pakistan. Laborers work in a foundry, 04/30/10. [FarooqNaeem / Getty]
I wasn’t really ever a big fan, but I’m wise enough to see that if he hadn’t died young, the apprentice would have taken over for the teacher probably sooner than the teacher would’ve been comfortable with. Sorry, Joe. Additionally, Pun gets a place on my Great Rap Voiceslist.
Don’t nobody is more hiphop than Gil! (Sometimes you guys forget and I have to remind you.)
4. I have a Bachelor’s in Literature and I still lack the capacity to accurately put my feelings for this photograph into words that my fellow English speakers can understand.
Labourers work as their children sleep at a brick factory on the outskirts of Jammu May 1, 2010. [REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta]
You know who never went to college but who’s still a better wordsmith than me just because of going through life as a theatrical protagonist in his own narrative epic? Oh, just RAE, that’s who.
“10 Bricks.” This song marks the first time I ever heard the c-word used as a verb. Although my sense of feminism requires me to oppose this down to my core, the lyrics fan in me wonders how come nobody ever thought of doing that before because it’s pretty sharp.
Threw Kool-Aid rubies in a lemonade bezzle/When I was 12 in the church, I started packing that metal. Say it out loud; it just feels good in your mouth, doesn’t it?
5. OH SHIT, it’s dark and hell is hot.
Shepard Fairey at the opening of his May Day show at Deitch Projects, 05/01/10. [Sam Horine, The Village Voice]
I believe at last year’s convention we decided to retire the term hater, but I’m dusting it off just this one last glorious time because THIS PICTURE! THIS GUY!! Shep and his dogs stop, drop, shut em down, coordinate their black tees to display only the trillest of ’70s bands, then open up shop. (No, that’s not Rawss. But imagine the possibilities if it were! So much vitriol I could sift through, then write a post about!)
Me and my self-indulgent writing style insist that Earl Woods is like a Shakespearean figure, a little bit beautiful and very, very doomed, like Hamlet but from Yonkers. All I know is pain/All I feel is rage. The unironic emotional display of an American black man is a pretty intimate thing to behold. Dr. Drew, save X, but not so much that he goes completely over to the other side and eschews late-’90s G stuff like pitbulls and getting the crowd to lose its mind through the power of a gruff voice. AH!, also, in less serious news: I forgot to add X to my list of Great Rap Voices.
Kanye and a thousand viral marketing campaigns have made me suspect that everything done publicly is done solely for the purpose of moving units. I can’t believe that the increase of revenue isn’t the main goal here. But still. Even if solidarity with Los Suns means that owner Robert Sarver will sell a hundred thousand jerseys, he seems like a stand-up guy and the means justify the ends. I also was unaware that Steve Nash was the first athlete to go on record against the Iraq war back in ’03! Get ’em, Canada! That said, should the Suns advance, the conference finals van a serunmasacregiganteporque Los Lakers son campeonesdelmundo.
Venezuelan army in vocal support of Hugo Chavez, 05/02/10. [Juan Barreto / Getty]
I just really miss The Coup and dead prez.
8. Make um say testicular fortitude. The hubris is strong with this one.