Left: “Me vs. Pants, Episode 863 (Advantage: Me).” Middle & Right: “Pan Am Stewardess, Circa 1967.”
A tennis court from Ghostface (finally), that new OJ Simpson (!!) from my brother, boots & a dress & another dress & shoes from my mom, and cake & ice cream at Reggie’s house!
I’m open, RZA hit me off lovely and I love him with root beer thoughts, here’s a tennis court for your birthday, the babyface of rap politic with Sade avenging eagle crooks rock the W and Spiegel books.
It’s quite the red-letter day in apartment 15, as we celebrate the births of 2 humans so epic (please refer to photo above) that my poor little body can’t handle so much hip-hop and I think I might just pass out and die right here on the spot. I hope my spirit will live on. At my funeral, please play something from Daily Operation and a little “Live at the Barbeque.” (And “In My Life,” by the Beatles.)
Happy birthday, DJ Premier and Large Professor, born March 21, 1966 and 1972 respectively! I enjoy living in a universe that has made it so that you two luminous gentlemen were born on the same day. Incredible.
Premier.I don’t care if they want a ounce. Tell em bounce.
Jerry Wexler + Aretha, an epic coupling in the long, long history of Urban Judaic Man Signing Green Young Talent to Contract in Order to Lay Down Gorgeous Tracks Together. Spector + Ronettes, Clive Davis + everybody, Rifkind + Wu. Etc.
1. News items about old singers whose influence cannot be quantified always gets me thinking What are we gonna do when ________ dies? (Prince, Stevie Wonder). Sorry to be so morbid. By contrast, I do believe that a recently-unearthed, Sydney Pollack-directed documentary of Aretha recording 1972’s Amazing Grace will provide us with some life-affirming positive energy. Please remember that from here on out, any lack of appreciation shown for Aretha will result in me sitting you down and pulling out that dusty old Marianne Faithfull quote to show you. Again.
“One Step Ahead.” Columbia-years Aretha. I’ve posted it before, but I can’t help myself because, you see, I know…I can’t…afffoooorrrd to stop. (00:53).
“Rock Steady.” Perfection, due to its combination of jangly guitar, mention of the motion of hips, and sheer meta-ness because I LOVE a self-referential song. Let’s call this song exactly what it is (what it is, what it is, what it iiiiis).
2. “Do not build fortresses to protect yourself; isolation is dangerous.” Andrew Bynum of my beloved Lakeshowww (he’s the only one on the squad without a current hand injury) is getting all grown up now and has just discovered Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power[CNN]. Welcome to the year 2000, Andy! You heard Supreme Clientele yet?
The 49th Law is “Always heed the advice of Mr. Sky Hook.”
I already posted this one before too, but it gets a second nod simply based on the line I know I talk a lot of shit but I can back it up, part of the vast collection of statements I love because they are things I could never get away with saying In Real Life. Also, it gets a second nod ’cause it’s M.O.P. Duh.
3. Goddammit, Sly Stone, your music makes my brain hurt and my lady areas feel nice and even though you’re a space alien we still celebrate the annual marker of your years here on Earth. You and Kool Keith have that in common. Happy birthday.
“Equinox symmetry and the balance is right/Smokin‘ and drinkin‘ on a Tuesday night.”
Nam-Myoho–Renge–Kyo and Hold It Now, HIT IT everybody, because it’s the date of birth of Frederick Jay Rubin!!, he of OG shamanic glory (sorry, RZA) and possessor of the single greatest rabbinical beard in hip-hop (aw, sorry Freeway). It’s a pain in the ass that banks and post offices are closed for the occasion, I realize, but show Uncle Rick a little respect.
(Lack of D’Angelo photo due to lack of any D’Angelo photos on the Internet of him wearing a shirt)
For a change, I decided to do a tribute post to male musicians of African descent who are strongly represented in my record collection. For a change. Just this once.Ergo: Happy birthday, H.R. and D’Angelo, respectively! Thanks for changing the world through the power of stage presence/lyrics/killing it (H.R.) and the power of basslines that suggest I take my dress off (D’Angelo).
The record industry will always be full of nefarious goings-on, Rastas will always ask about our desire to test champion sound, and this song coming on will always make dudes in the club turn quiet all of a sudden and lower their heads out of respect and awe. I know you offered me that Japanese B-side of an Ummah song from ’96, but I’m posting this one because I done told you 89 times: melodic & beautiful trumps obscure (always).
1. Baby Corey, of course (I pull it out every couple months or so; it just never gets old):
2. It provides an excuse to nerd out on U.S. history. January 12, 1968: Jacques Cousteau’s 1st undersea special on U.S. network TV. Related: Rae’s influence is vast and wide, with a flow as choppy as a goddamn sea.
3. a) Slyly working lyrics into conversation at various points throughout the day, while still having it sound natural:
Like a 27-inch zenith, believe it. Make ’em jump like Rod Strickland. Everything realer than fuck! (I’m less successful at this than I’d like.)
b) Really sitting back and appreciating songs about fresh death, good meals, the pharmaceutical industry, and expensive liquor that somehow aren’t boring. Impossible, they said, and yet Rae continues to surpass performance measures.
4. It provides an excuse to nerd out on Billboard-charts history. January 12, 1968: #1 R&B hit was “I Second That Emotion,” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles*. I kinda feel like giving Rae a lifetime of devotion, so this makes sense. The non-R&B hit that same week of that same year was “Judy in Disguise,” with that jubilant bassline.If you can find a way to connect this to Rae, I’m eager to hear from you, New Best Friend.
5. Lots of celebrating through indulging our senses in apt. 302 – which really just means cuddling with the Ghostface doll, dialing 1-900-Raekwon, and drinking a Red Stripe (champagne: NO. Moettastin like throw-up). Also: maybe taking a bath with a white woman.
6. Not being able to take the day off from work, but having a nice Breaks Interlude™ upon arrival back home and seeing once again that All Roads Lead to Smokey.
“If you had to go into a surgical procedure would you choose the doctor with the most experience or the one with the fancier car?
So why allow rap music to enter your brain when it isn’t being done by professionals? Rappers need to upgrade their lifestyles and rap fans need to demand more from themselves.”
– Dallas Penn, giving me an Oh worrrrd moment if there ever was one, even though I’d like to remind him of a man who straddles the worlds of materialism and paid-dues talent – the experience-haverand fancy-car driver, ladies and gentlemen, for one night only, make some noise, let’s give a warm welcome, put your hands together and assorted other motions for the walking conglomerate:
HOV! Happy birthday.
Even though some of us are not in the Biggie camp and not in the Nas camp and not in your camp – some of us are in the G Rap/Rakim camp (we fluctuate) and even in the Slick Rick or Kool Keith camp when we feel like starting trouble – I’d like to take this opportunity to say
Thanks for everything; Glad you slowed down your flow from then* til now; Kinda hate in my heart that you’re a walking Fortune 500 company even though in my head I know it’s a positive thing; Is Rubin as wonderful a man as I imagine him to be? Wait, if the answer is no, don’t tell me don’t tell me; In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Explain what happened there, please;
And PS – are you putting your penis in ladies other than your wife? I believe it is contractually obligated for you to do so if you are a straight man who has appeared on television more than 500 times and if my mailman has heard of you. I hope you’re satisfied with being relegated to sleeping with a talented, pretty-eyed song goddess. (Unless you and B have an “arrangement.” In which case, ew, you’re gross and corny. But um, happy birthday nonetheless.)
Today’s birfday boys include a talkboxing Ohioan who might as well be physically driving to the bank and placing bags of money into T-Pain’s safe deposit box, and a not-very-good rapper who has such love for NWA that he had some dude take an ink-filled needle to his chest area and permanently scratch the name into his flesh. I kind of can’t hate that.
Happy birthday, Roger Troutman and The Game! (1951 and 1979, respectively.)
“Computer Love.” Because my major flaw is that I’m not especially creative when it comes to selecting music; my major strength, fortunately, is that I know good music when I hear it.
It’s the birthday of Tina Weymouth, spectacularly talented producer, writer, singer and bass player (lady bass player!) for Talking Heads of course, but also Tom Tom Club, which prompts me to obsess over the, uh, genius that is “Genius of Love” and ask: Hey you guys, let’s you and me always ride for weird pop music, okay? Can we please?
It also provides a great reason for me to post my 3-point plan for understanding the meaning of life:
1. Basslines are sex. a) Basslines made by girl bass players are extra sex.
2. Fun, natural fun. Sly and Robbie. Bootsy Collins. Coke. Love that makes you feel like you’re dreaming but you’re not sleeping. Raise expectations to a new intention. In sum: just go with the feeling, silly.