Category Archives: Oh snap

“Miss, we heard you were sad because Drake is working with Stevie Wonder; here are some pictures of Doomsy at Montreux to make you feel better” – the rap gods.

Pro tools confiscated as evidence by the crime
Lab spyin, ain’t even have to do em like that
Knife work on the track
Many I cut and slash
At the neck like a sash
Blood on my hands, me and my killin bag
Raw shit, kill a gram
High spinnin ceilin fan
You ain’t never seen a man til you seen the man.



The Wizard of Rad, his belly, his red polo, and his light halo, along with the Robert Glasper Experiment, in a scene I really really want to call “Swiss Beats” (ST). I’d like to point out that he’s wearing an actual fitted so it turns out snapbacks aren’t really as back as you all thought. (Fools.)


YES: variations on a photographic theme.

1. Fucking YES, everybody. War has arrived to inform you that you and your inferior hairstyle and wack kit should step aside. This photo, those sweet potato fries at lunch, and the Quinones incident* were the 3 best things that happened to me today.

2. I only like rappers who once sold stimulants or the bodies of women. I think I’m reallll badass sometimes because of this.

But that’s only because 10-year-old Libyan kids haven’t started rhyming yet about daily life. Pink scarves, rebels, ceasefires, kevlar helmets, etc.

3. One of these things is not, in fact, like the others.


Take your rap unserious like your movie roles
Don’t smile when the Doberman Pinscher finishes bad work on your sneaker soles,

all V.I.P. material – don’t pay me to hype your lyrics

Tear you a new ass, go pay Jay-Z to write your lyrics

(Kool Keith, “Robert Perry”)


Shut your face, shut your mouth like pigeons floying south

(Kool Keith, “Get off My Elevator”).

Either way, YES. Thank you, Keith (as always).

4. Of course Reatard wore Vans and no socks. I could’ve predicted that. And of course he was fragile since he was a carbon-based life form. But yes, this picture is just nice because of the red/red motif. Settle down if you thought I was making some kind of statement about his psychological state. How pretentious.

5. All girls like the stunning Earthling named T.I. All girls – straight, gay, bi, questioning, intersex, transgender, transsexual, asexual, and ones who wish they could physically make love to the Stalag riddim bassline, like somehow find a way to express affection for it in a grown-up way and maybe agree on a “safe word” ahead of time so nobody’s comfort levels get disrespected.

I’m a girl, so I like T.I. He makes me say yep. And yes. And How long does a flight to Georgia take? And unflheihiehrwiorhw9rhf.

(From the Stripper Song of the Day, the remix of that Killer Mike one)

6. The Internet giveth wonderful presents sometimes, like the booking info for rap’s Kool-Aid Man which I intend to use to stage an elaborate prank, yes I do. And new/old Doomsy (thanks, Rafi!). And photos from the Class of ’89. God yes.

7. “We are welcoming people that appreciate street art but we hope they are not inspired to show off their work on the buildings outside,” Kito (the owner of a business near MOCA) said, “WE HOPE THEY ARE NOT INSPIRED TO SHOW OFF THEIR WORK ON THE BUILDINGS OUTSIDE.” Jeffrey Deitch added that he had that tingly feeling when he was curating the show that it would bring “unwanted and unauthorized ancillary activity from ‘some of the young taggers who are anarchic.'”

Unbridled irony running loose on the streets of Los Angeles doesn’t get a YES, but

* Your favorite awkward ladyblogger shaking the hand of THE GOD QUINONES today as she walked past the Geffen at lunch gets a yes. ZORO. YES.

Nobody back at work would understand. They are a simple and dull group of folks. So I just tucked it away inside. And when I came down from my high, I found this, from back when Lee was younger and more anarchic and insisted on showing his work on the buildings outside:

And YES, the “raw nozzle” technique does mean something totally different on Urban Dictionary.

“Let me see you. Let me see your tight wire come alive. I just want you to get up” – The Dramatics, on being young and anarchic. No drips.


My ideal man wears conflict-free diamonds and is fully aware that I would leave him if it were legal to marry the “If You Want Me to Stay” bassline.

He also doesn’t judge me when I discover a thing that I shouuuulllllld’ve known a long long time ago (it was Bobby Womack, not Ike Turner! JESUS, LOGAN, who played guitar on “Family Affair”)

(It’s Sly‘s birthday. Kanye’s fond of kid stuff–labels, lasers, lights; Sly was into space travel, coke, and girls with my skin tone back when it really meant something).


Random Tribute: Riding (but mostly just a tribute to Duane Allman photos)

The only people you should trust to teach you about the general history of the world are Chomsky and Zinn. (Everybody else is either on the payroll at Fox or is trying to get website hits by making up dumb outrageous facts.) And the only person you should trust to inform you of important events in the Allman Brothers story is the girl whose middle name is Melissa.

On March 12 and 13 in 1971, the Alllman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East shows were recorded–40 long years, but put it on the platter and I swear it throbs like it was made yesterday. (For the record, “Live at the Fillmoe, East” is a Rappin 4-Tay/San Quinn collab song that has yet to be made, but it exists in my heart and in my fantasies.) Anyway, before Duane Allman’s crying guitar played over the montage of everybody from the Lufthansa heist getting theirs, the wreckage of past sins finally coming to light, his crying guitar played in the living room on the platter while I lay on my stomach and colored. I’m a grownup now but I have a thousand pictures of him on my laptop because I still love him. Sometimes I swear I see him at Trader Joe’s (nope; it’s just all the boys in the neighborhood go 7 months between haircuts and wear nothing bigger than an M in t-shirts). He was quiet in real life, they say, and he was usually high, plus he died when he was 24; these are qualities that usually make me fond of a musical individual. And before I wanted to ride with the kid, and before all I wanted to pretend my name was Sally so I could ride around with abandon (ride, Sally. Ride.), before I was down to ride and definitely before I was prepared to ride or die, before I fully committed to the hoo ride lifestyle, before I begged the sweet chariot to swing down, stop, and let me ride, before I loved breathless ladies’ man Toney Knight Rider, way before I wanted to ride the plain bow in flare gully yellow rain coat, before I Ruff Rode and really believed in the Stop, drop, shutemdown-openupshop mantra (which is what I will forever think of any time I hear “Free Earl”), before I obeyed when a Gulf Way Blvd g told me to pop the trunk, get it crunk, it’s time to ride, show them boys I got that front back and side to side, baby, basically before I ever wanted to take that ride, and way before I asked myself how should I ride?, I knew running away and riding was the way to go ’cause Duane and the last 12 frets on his guitar were like honey, let’s ride.

“Midnight Rider.”

It’s OK if you think of that Devil’s Rejects opening when you hear it. I don’t mind. The shit was pretty incredible. (Good job, Rob.)

King Curtis – “Games People Play.” Duane’s guitar on this isn’t really a standout performance, but still. So lovely (01:20). And the original is kind of like “Ether” but directed at half of humanity, and with harmony and a la-la-la chorus.



Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media

College and rap meet up and do wonderful things–Banner has a bachelor’s in business and an almost-master’s in education. Various godlike individuals are teaching at Rice and Duke (Bun B and 9th Wonder, respectively). A thousand mentions of College Park in my record collection (mostly contained in songs by OutKast, everyone on Grand Hustle, Luda). A thousand mentions of college girls (mostly Ghostface). Thug Motivation 101 is not an actual sit-down class but it’s an actual listen-to-my-life-struggles-and-successes class, so it gets included here too. Meth and Red didn’t make the list because they did not take their coursework seriously, but Jay gets a nod for his school of hard knocks matriculation symbol (his all-blue Yankee), and I also have to include Cam’s cute wordplay regarding his shoes being University of Florida–because, you see, they are gators.

Communications 306 is a forum for the presentation and critical analysis of AP images as a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist at large. The goal of this course is to facilitate the improvement of students’ ability to deconstruct, organize, and critically think about communicative messages while becoming better equipped to articulate ideas. To that end, please turn in your papers providing a thorough explanation of the reasons for rap producers’ general inability to successfully merge MCs’ revolution-praising lyrical content with ear-pleasing piano loops and crunchy, snappy drum patterns by the end of class today. (Other than Waka’s veiled criticism on mixtapes of the media’s coverage of crusading journalist and muckraker Julian Assange and the difficulty of reconciling his hero status with our disgust regarding those rape charges, it’s all either stripper songs or old Coup albums in apt. 15. Killer Mike’s “Burn,” a hate letter to Johannes Menserle set to some nice heavy drums and harmonizing courtesy of Parliament, needs to be better, but what is the answer? Shocklee in ’88 is not available, so let that dream die. Remember the gates-of-hell/fuzzy bass of death in that dead prez song? Yeah, like that.)

“Foxboro, MA: Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets celebrate their 28 to 21 victory over the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium.” (Al Bello/Getty Images; January 16)

WHEN I SAY JET, YOU SAY LIFE. A trio of wide receivers expresses its fondness for Curren$y.

Where haven’t we been? To the Super Bowl, babycakes (well, not in quite some time, anyway). My affection for this team has something to do with my experience in NYC bars on Sundays, when dudes actually do the J-E-T-S! chant (they actually do it, in real life! At bars!), and something to do with the MCs who are proud Jets fans. Monch likes the Jets, Rae likes the Jets; logically, then, I like the Jets. Rex Ryan is an unfunny loudmouth who’s always shouting I’M FUNNY to the world, talented but in need of some editing, but I guess as a person with a website who is guilty of all of that myself, it takes one to know one. Jet life, fool. Jet life. Lames catch feelins; we catch flights. Jet life, fool–turn it up some. Lames can’t feel us; we catch flights. Jet life, jet life (fade out).

“Manila, Philippines: Thousands of Catholic devotees join a procession during the 404th Feast of the Black Nazarene.” (Dondi Tawatao/Getty; January 9)

Lil B at the Highline!, 01/14/11.

I’m kidding, of course, since I don’t see any spatulas in the photo above. Anyway, in the Philippines I’m pretty sure Jesus and Pacquiao jockey for position as the people’s based god.

“Rawalpindi, Pakistan: Supporters of Pakistani religious party Sunni Tehreek chant slogans and shower rose petals outside an anti-terrorist court.” (B.K.Bangash/AP; Jan. 7)

Multi-billionaire, military contractor
Crushing my opponents, with the strength of a compactor

Ex-factor, I turn liquids to metals
Water to wine, I turn dirt into rose petals.

Quick–who’s my favorite Sunni Muslim? Why yes, it is Ghosty. Very good.

Messages come from everywhere, right? Get yourself un-fucked, horrible pervy old Anthony Bourdain said on TV the other day, and I thought, That’s a pretty stylish saying that I might have to add to the repertoire. Every now and then I spend my time in rhyme and verse/And curse those faults in me, “Along Comes Mary” says on oldies radio as I drive around the city, and I think, You nailed it, Association! Nice handclaps, by the way and That’s a thought-provoking line about self-criticism, especially since it’s in a song about weed (per my dad, who would know). Classic rock radio sends me messages about classic rock breaks; If Monstabeats was smart enough to use the theme from The Jetsons theme on “Jets Son,” for example, who’s to say Ski won’t freak that Steve Miller in the near future for Curren$y? Grandpa Ghost too; he speaks to me and sends me messages–mostly in verse, occasionally in AP photos, but sometimes through e-commerce as well. I desperately need the Missoni “Fish Scale” bikini, in other words.

“Cane toad Agathe sits on a toy scale during an inventory at the zoo in Hanover, Germany.” (Holger Hollemann/AFP/Getty; Jan. 5)

Toad style is immensely strong, that’s true, and it’s immune to nearly any weapon; when it’s properly used, in fact, it’s almost invincible. And any picture of a scale is clearly meant to evoke the triple beam in current American culture. A hooligan, a heathen, wolverine, E-40 said. Everybody on my team got a triple beam. But this picture is clearly about humans’ selection of life partners.

A statement on the heterosexual female’s quest for love and romance as related to financial security, this elicits notions of the whole frog/prince idea that little girls are saddled with from the beginning, combined with girls’ fondness for peddlers of street pharmaceuticals as we get older and our bodies ripen. But in more global terms, it’s a scale, so: scale raps. Baggie raps. Pyrex raps. Anybody who explains the importance of weight and purity and payments rendered for the provision of substances that relieve various kinds of discomfort. Any schedule I/II rapper. Jeezy Biggie Rawwsss Clipse, and anybody with an ice cream cone face tat. In summary, as Agathe beautifully illustrates above: we usually prefer the frog to the prince (we don’t like pretty when it comes to our frogs, or maybe that’s just me), and we like to know our frog has the means to de-stress us and provide us with something that attaches to our brain’s opioid receptors. I don’t partake in much chemical distraction but it’s nice to know he has it at the ready just in case, as I have not yet mastered my brain’s “anxiety off” switch. (Does he also give affection inconsistently, and not call me when he says he will? SWOON! Give him my number). Not explicitly captured in the photo of Agathe, but implied: if your name is “Reince Preibus”, you will never ever see me naked.

“Doha, Qatar: Entertainers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Asian Cup football tournament at Khalifa Stadium. (Karim Jaafar/AFP; Jan. 8)

When I think of the term “wiz” as a shortened form of “wisdom” I think of Meth paying tribute to his lady in song. Thanks to the capital W, I now think of kush and OJ and Internet fame and that skinny frame (takes one to know one though, Wiz. No hard feelings, buddy). Based on my knowledge about things named Khalifa, I assume the soccer tourney in the photo above starts out fun, with neck ink and parties, kush and OJ and Internet fame, and then expectations plummet. Disappointing collaborations begin. The players in the stadium begin milking their glory moments to a tiresome degree, putting out boring, lazy versions of the thing that accelerated their progression toward fame. Ah, but there are small glimmers of hope yet. In these metaphoric terms, maybe the game’s not over–maybe Curren$y shows up toward the end of the second half to bring it home? Maybe that hit song becomes tolerable for one precious last time if the Steelers get to the Super Bowl (sorry, Jets) and the crowd at Heinz Field sings it in unison? Maybe?

“Members of a Navy band wait to perform during Paraguay’s bicentennial celebrations in Asuncion, Paraguay.” (Jorge Saenz/AP; Jan. 1)

All White Everything as stated by the State Treasurer of Georgia, of course (just made that up, but it fits because it’s Jeezy who’s been “preserving both capital and public trust by managing Georgia’s cash resources efficiently and conservatively” for some time now). Additionally, I’d like you to please name the only other quintet seen looking so dapper while begrudgingly posing for photos.
(It’s NWA).

“Teresópolis, Brazil: Rescue workers remove a live rabbit as they search for survivors inside a home destroyed by a landslide.” (Felipe Dana/AP; Jan. 14)

a) Landslides are metaphors for things being torn asunder and for ’70s coke-based romance ending. And do you know what rabbits are symbols of? Magic! Things that looked one way but turned out to be quite another at the last minute! Ta-daa! Collaboration with the spirit world! Deceit, but in a good way! So this is clearly photog Felipe Dana’s rendering of Odd Future’s hold on the rap game–pulling something live and precious and youthful out of that which is sad and sprawled out in pieces everywhere, dead and broken on the ground. I mean, RapRadar often has posts with titles like Bow Wow’s Suicidal Thoughts and Shawty Lo Calls Off Engagement. Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? How bout just a nice update on Del or something, rap sites?

b) If those the new 20 then order me forty/Gucci Mane rabbit drums made by Shawty. I believe Nitti would have something to say about who “made” the rabbit drums, but I don’t mean to get mouthy. And I really like that you made a song called “Nerd,” Mr. Redd.

i. Weed and syrup, you rabbit fools/Come run and get your rabbit food.
ii. Diamond brick, frowney face, rabbit food, frowney face.

c) out they rabbit-ass mind – Khujo, “Y’All Scared.”

“Madrid, Spain: A boy carrying a balloon stands with Catholic nuns after a mass celebrating the traditional family unit.” (Susana Vera/Reuters; Jan. 3)

The angst/joy, heaviness (sin, guilt)/lightness (air in the balloon) tableau coupled with imagery of groupthink, dogmatic thought as incarnated by uniformed individuals, and humans standing amid other humans and getting that alien feeling–it’s CoFlow. It is. Take a good hard look. The concept of the traditional family unit has gotten all chopped up and bloodied by those boys over the years–I just can’t decide if this photo is more “Stepfather Factory” or “Last Good Sleep.”

Most rapfan boys I know are never not waiting for The Return of Meline (YES, they still send “never not” in emails, and they type “smh.” Even though they are grown ups). WELL, I will have you know I’m never not not expecting a track from Ian M. Bavitz more often than once every 3-4 years. So here’s the one we get to last us until 2014–Murs’ Varsity Blues 2.” Everyone within a 75-mile radius of this post loves Murs but it’s not ’03 anymore so I don’t believe he’s better than your favorite rapper anymore. Those days are over. I am running dangerously low on serotonin” raps are dullsville and they have been ever since the first Living Legends CDs. Sadly, I like the idea of new Murs music more than the reality; a video of Aesey in the studio (“the studio” being the utility closet in the back of an old plastics factory in the Tenderloin, a single bald lightbulb hangin from the ceiling) just fuckin around with the beat would have been so much more satisfying.

“Participants react to the cold waters of English Bay while taking part in the 91st Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver, British Columbia.” (REUTERS/Andy Clark; Jan. 1)

People doing incredible things to their faces while saying “BRRRR.”



Marryrichquitwork&dothisallday.jpg and other inspirations.

Me, in a daydream I had at work today.

Daniel Dumile, lyrically summing up my daydream like always.

Today’s additional sources of inspiration: pictures of NYC books,

The Heptones – “Book of Rules.” Melody is the most important thing in the world. (00:28-00:34).


Deep Purple – “Listen, Learn, Read On.”


Joe Tex – “Buying a Book.”


RZA in Umbro,

Quincy and Peggy,

I’d overlook him being an awful husband and make myself forget that I’m just the latest in a strong of young blonde things too if my man produced “Outa-Space.”

melody wranglers,

Kanye, Pusha T!, and I think a couple other people, “Good Friday.” This was clearly supposed to have been released in June so it could ride the radio airwaves all summer. Industry politics, I guess.


annnd the realization that I would probably do French Playboy if asked.

(but only for tons of dough and after much deliberation and soul-searching. Exhibits A and B, respectively. Hi Mom!).



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.”

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.,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:,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.

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,

Lordhavemercy | Ike & Tina & the Wrecking Crew | Limbaugh & Ali | Darryl | Pharrell | The Jazz Loft Project

(It gets cold in Michigan.)

Why yes, I am still enjoying and cuddling with “Power,” but LAND SAKES ALIVE, what we have here* is some additional fine rap music! The week started out slow, as Gibbs presented more of his unfettered Hoosier testosterone-rap that I can appreciate but that just doesn’t wow me. I mean, I’m a girl. I’m allowed this.

But then Dumile made an appearance (!), then Rae with his mixtape that stimulates my central nervous system, and Kanye returned toting his big booming ego under his arm–an ego that is, unfortunately, absolutely warranted when he makes big booming songs like “Power.” I had all these feelings welling up inside.

“OH SHIT” – the Pharcyde.

“Right here” – Monch.

“Oooh, and I like it” – DeBarge.

“I feel free” – Cream.

“Press rewind” – Del.

“We will never, ever, ever be apart” – Bieber.

Black Milk – “Don Cornelius.”
As always, I wish you love, peace, sooouuuuuulllll
, and Detroit-bred songs of sweltering fiery goodness.


That break:

Lee Fields and the Expressions – “Love Comes and Goes.” In the battle-of-the-backing-bands extravaganza that takes place in my head, Lee and his Expressions go up against Curtis and his Impressions. (They do it all to see who wins my hand in marriage)


Rick Ross & Kool G. Rap – “Knife Fight.”

Let’s get it: Doom motivation 101!
Last of the Ansars/On the microphone, cyclone like Myanmar. Madvillain – “Papermill,” part of the Adult Swim Singles Program. All the boys on the Internet are whining that this song is too short. In response, all the girls on this blog say “Stop complaining” and “How come you don’t hold the Ramones to that same standard.”


Today in 1966, Ike & Tina’s “River Deep, Mountain High” was released. Did I mention I’m a girl? If you are too, you know and love this song. If you’re male, you probably think you love it as much as a girl could, but no. You’ll never understand and I’m sorry about that. But hey, your bigger paycheck most likely makes up for it.

And it gets stronger, in every way. And it gets deeper, let me say. And it gets higher, day by day. SING IT, ANNA MAE. Girl singer, girl songwriter (Ellie Greenwich), girl bass player (Carol Kaye), plus Larry Levine sitting on a stool behind the glass, Ike no doubt off to the side seething because the song’s creation had nothing to do with him, and crazy gnome Spector overseeing the whole damn thing.


This week on NPR, Rush Limbaugh’s biographer Zev Chafets equated Rush with Muhammad Ali.

Dave Zirin wrote a piece negating this idea, of course, which was a courageous but wholly unnecessary thing to do. It’s a fun read, reposted at the Huffington Post from The Nation (where Zirin is normally found, distracting me at work with his excellent sports writing). My piece is entitled Good One, Zev Chafets, consisting of just the words “But seriously though,” and it’ll be running all week on HFS.

Pavement – “Rattled by the Rush.”


Darryl Strawberry had a big case of the crankys (which I’m guessing is not unusual for him) and shared them with the Mets, popping into the dugout last week and yelling at them to win when they were not giving it their best effort against the Nationals. I would suggest that you do not fuck with Crenshaw High, New York.

I like this, a man in recovery who decides to scream on ’em rather than go make a dumb hokey song with a big dumb chorus produced by the dude with the single dumbest name in musicdom (and that includes all the Animal Collective boys). I also like this story because it means I can post the above picture.

Pharrell’s been wearing the same outfit all over the globe, for many days in a row, and people wanna criticize and say he looks bummy. I say he pulls off the Echo Park boy uniform with much more finesse than all the actual Echo Park boys–and that, along with the almighty spy chord, the greatness of his work with the Thornton brothers, that voice, and of course those cheekbones, makes me fall back in love with him like it’s ’98 and I just heard that Nore song.

(“OMG, HAVE YOU HEARD THAT NORE SONG?? It basically just goes what-what-what-what-what-wh-what but it is SO GOOD” – me in ’98.)

Monk & band at rehearsal, 1959.

From 1957 to 1965, the photographer W. Eugene Smith exposed 1,447 rolls of film to record the goings-on inside his loft building, as well as scenes from street life visible from his windows. He also made 4,000 hours of audio recordings that captured random conversations, phone calls, radio programs, and above all, many legendary musicians of the day, who came to the building to hang out, rehearse and jam.

Well then.
The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue is a book that I need. No 2 ways about it.

[NYT–slideshow and voiceover narration!]

Left: exactly how I’d look getting out of a car in front of the building if I had been around in 1960.

Right: girl gazing at Zoot Sims exactly how I gaze at my OJ Simpson vinyl.


Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media

1. Dance, monkey, dance! Such is the woeful life of every performer who wears a mask to shelter all the tiny, vulnerable parts inside himself.

Sofia, Bulgaria. A clown prepares backstage before his performance at Circus Balkanski. [Stoyan Nenov / Reuters]

Madvillain – “Fancy Clown.” The one where Doom tries to get over his broken heart by vigorously entering the soft, curvy bodies of his former lady’s acquaintances.



Islamabad, Pakistan. Laborers work in a foundry, 04/30/10. [Farooq Naeem / 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 Voices list.

3. “A man looks at a sculpture called ‘Also Heroes Have Bad Days’ in front of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, May 4, 2010. The sculpture is part of the exhibition ‘Heroes, Freaks, and Superrabbis: the Jewish Dimension of the Comic’.”

[Gero Breloer / AP]

Johnny Guitar Watson – “Superman Lover.” Surprise, motherfucker; Starky Love got breakfast.


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]

OK. This.

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.

DMX – “Get At Me, Dog.”


6. Dios mio, I just got back from taking the Bandwagon Express to heaven–which, tonight, was US Airways Center because the worlds of professional sports and left-leaning politics were overlapping.

[Ross Franklin / AP]

De La Soul. El-P. Uno, dos, tres, it’s on.

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 ser un masacre gigante porque Los Lakers son campeones del mundo.


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.

Mike Brown’s going to hell someday. If it were ’05 I’d add “real talk” for emphasis.

Great balls of fire/Guess who just crawled out the mud, the mire. Viktor Vaughn – “Saliva.”



Heeeeere’s Ronnie. (groan! sorry!)

[Stephen Dunn / Getty Images]
Nicholson + Artest, just like they practiced it during dress rehearsal.

Inell Young – “The Next Ball Game,” AKA “Friday Night, Please Don’t Call Me Unless It’s During the First Quarter.”


Unrelated: Sleigh Bells, “Tell ‘Em,” which (don’t get your hopes up) is NOT a tribute to Soulja Boy. Even though I kinda feel like white girls in bands singing sweetly over hard sounds get a disproportionate amount of love and shine and credit for musical risk-taking (I can say this because I’m a white girl, but you can’t), I LIKE IT SO MUCH. Hurry hurry and like it too, before B.o.B. raps over the instrumental.


“Crown on the Ground” is good too.