Category Archives: Oh snap

And then there was that time the judge lady and the large-eared man in stripes made me smile

Sonia “Badass/Princeton Tigress/Yale Bulldog/Charlie Hustle” Sotomayor throws out the first pitch at the Yankees – Red Sox game, 09/26/09 (AP photo).

And I don’t even like baseball, but it was too charming not to post.

John Fogerty – “Centerfield.” Because I’m corny and love all things ’85. And handclaps.


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Media trend that I do not understand or care for #5,360: Pale-skinned ladies looking uncomfortable and this allegedly being sexy

From the land of the Straight Male Gaze (i.e., print media…oh hell, the entire world) comes all these recent photo shoots arguing that THIS IS THE SEX:

I like a pretty pretty lady just like every other stripper/librarian in this town, but the ones depicted above don’t make me clamor to give them an invitation to the pants party. Somebody please explain; I’m like a (tiny, adorable) doe lost in the woods.

Handsome Furs – “I’m Confused”


GQ/Details/Esquire, I believe that Allure mag has sonned you in terms of sexy-girl photographic imagery – and Allure is a mag for ladies. It shouldn’t be this way, but sometimes it takes a competitor in the world of periodicals to come along and make you rethink your photo shoot direction. I mean, I think we all remember where we were, what time it was, and what we were wearing when we first experienced


(Sorry for fucking up your whole program. I should’ve warned you not to click unless you want to make sure you are completely distracted the rest of the day. I still haven’t recovered)

PS – UHHMM. Buddy buddy buddy all in my face? Additional photo-shoot confusion.

My former Internet paramour Malin. This leaves me feeling awkward, and that’s hard to do, and it leaves me feeling dirty, and not in a good way, and this is bad, so bad, and NOT bad meaning good like it’s ’85. It could be because the dainty undergarments are black; I just don’t know. I want to run away from this, as I am feeling besmirched.


Common is old and positive and it is annoying (and other rap news), 09/24/09

Common tells CNN there’s less talk of rims and chains in the rap music these days because President Dreamboat is in charge and fools are more conscious now, y’all. Ostentatious lyrical talk is super played-out, he says, but everybody knows if you’re from Chicago it’s bogus. OH COM. You’re so out of touch.

He hopes more rappers abandon vacuous materialistic ideals and the glorification of vices plaguing American communities — and whatever MC doesn’t, I will, he warned.’Then he gave us all a copy of Manchild in the Promised Land and asked if we wanted a ride to the co-op for groceries (nothing over-processed and nothing that once had a face, obviously).

Sigh. Happens to all of ’em eventually. Nobody I know and love has cared about this dude since Be (OMG, remember how good Be was? JESUS), but it’s still annoying to see a classic ’90s action hero cross over into Old-Mans-ville. The sun rises and sets, children grow older, and rappers do Gap commercials then date the tennis star then give quotes to CNN about the state of hip-hop. To everything, turn, turn, turn.

It’s finally time for me to move on, I suppose, from 1992. HA. I kid! NEVER moving on from ’92! Have we just met?? Here’s Com in his glory days, when we loved him the best, talking about some lady who won’t let him hit it.

“Breaker 1-9”


2. Les and JuJu are starring in a play, says XXL. Bob Fosse and Leonard Bernstein, watch out now!

I believe the term you’re thinking of here is subtle imagery.”

The Beatnuts will be starring in a play written and conceived by journalist/His Holy Ego Trip-ness/my ex-boyfriend Sacha Jenkins called Deez Nuts, because evidently nobody could think of a better pun (?).

According to Jenkins, Deez Nuts follows a journalist as he interviews founding members Psycho Les and JuJu outside of a Bodega in their shared hometown of Corona, Queens. It will feature live performances by the group as well as a full cast of actors.

3. Rae, in a rare misstep, wants old rappers to do remakes of their classics. That’s great. Really great. Hey, you know what? I want a pony, access to the Def Jam masters (hi Russ!), and Britt Eklund’s whole appearance and bearing. Let’s keep each other posted on our respective goals, what do you say, Rae.

“I’d like to see Nas do another Illmatic. See Snoop do another [Doggystyle]. I’d like to see Hov do another Reasonable Doubt. I’d like to Slick Rick come back with the another Great Adventures of Slick Rick. I’d like to see Rakim do another Paid in Full. … I’m hip-hop for real. We could go on for days. I would like to see another Criminal Minded.” (MTV News)

The only things I have to say are 1) NO, 2) um, hello, I didn’t see Hustler’s P.O.M.E. on that list, and 3) BABY RAE IN A YELLOW SHIRT, so epic.


No joy in Mudville.

Dominican Summer League – Members of the Mets’ team push their bus out of a muddy field after their game. If you don’t love this pic you must be some sort of communist.

Even a girly girl knows that béisbol is super popular in the Dominican Republic, a giant explosion of You Can Make It Out of Here possibilities for young men that has led to epic figures like Manny Ramirez getting signed and then giving it to me all over SportsCenter and on billboards in my city. Love you, Maniaco. Besos.

Get this, though – prospective pro baseball players over there, hoping to make it big in the US, play fast and loose with the rules! (like me!). Major League Baseball is investigating (air quotes) illegal activities in the DR (steroids, birth certificate fraud, kickbacks), says the LA Times, because we’re supposed to believe Major League Baseball is really investigating (air quotes!) illegal activities over there in an effort to stop illegal activities that produce Mannys and Big Papis. The DR is a freaking baseball star factory filled with young men in poverty with so much talent and so much desire to take care of their families that American scouts and franchises can do all the poaching they want because basically for these teenage boys, it’s either a) learn how to attack a mean curve ball with your bat or b) cut sugar cane the rest of your life. I’m no dummy, Bud Selig. Try it somewhere else, jerk.

As always, my favorite part of a story is the pictures…like the one above (posted so you’d stop complaining about your cushy American problems, crybaby), and this one:

Dude. Let’s go to the DR and sit in the stands and watch baseball!
And I don’t even like baseball!

The Howlies – “Aluminum Baseball Bat,” novelty-ish and good for about 3 listens, max.
(Because De La’s “Fanatic of the B Word” wasn’t available and because I need to stop posting Large Pro productions for every baseball mention on here. I’m trying to discipline myself. PS, that Main Source song’s not even about baseball! Sigh. You’re so naive sometimes.)



Street poetry is my every day, and I like Meg F. even though she’s a biter.

It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it’s not, it’s a visa, and it runs out fast.

– Julie Burchill

The boys seem to love this whole Megan situation. She says the f word, sometimes kisses other ladies, and smokes weed! (How this makes her different from most somewhat attractive ladies with fierce eyebrows in major metro areas: unclear. She is truly, unabashedly EDGY, everyone says, in Iowa in 1954. But continue to enjoy, gentlemen. I have no problem with this. Buy the ticket, take the ride.)

I like Meg. Here’s why:

Meg says she likes comic books and anime and gaming but come the fuck on. Fronting. Trying too hard. – ladies (and some dudes) in the comments section of a thousand websites.

You say you like records and breaks but I don’t know, it seems like you’re just trying too hard. – dudes in MySpace messages, to this writer, starting around ’05. (Kids, there used to be this thing called “MySpace.” It died.)

Other than her totally biting my lounging-with-records-for-the-camera aesthetic*, I like Meg. I do not care for her physical form that has a lot of fakery and plastic parts, plus she has no hips and no exoticness like the beautiful ladies I take showers with (in my head) Irina and Sarah S, but Meg, like all girls, is an expert at being watched while pretending she doesn’t know she’s being watched. That’s a skill, my dude. She talks a lot about being insecure, and I believe her, and I think it’s good if 12-year-old girls believe her (why hello there, Myself in 6th Grade Who Is Super Gawky). People always say her claims of insecurity are BS – there’s no way she could be insecure, girl’s just trying to seem modest – but these people are usually dudes who think being a girl in life is like a walk in the park on a sunny day with the breeze blowing, people buying you things and putting your Ikea bookshelf together for you just because.
(that’s only true like 3 days out of the year

So other than the pose above (Mark Seliger, Rolling Stone), Meg isn’t hurting my feelings. I have to deduct points from her overall score for having plastic bags surgically inserted in her chest and some sort of fat injected into her lips but that is because, you see, I am a hater. And as an expert in posing while looking bored for photos, I can tell you that her right leg side-calf muscle is killing her in that picture up there. Aw Meg. Crouch or stand* with the record; the leg-sprawl is the hardest pose to master! Crouch or stand, sweetie.

At this point in our relationship, you should know:
1. I take my tea with a lot of sugar and a little milk,
2. It is imfuckingpossible to give me too many compliments about my brain, and
3. I LOVE songs with kids on the hook. And I love songs about pretty girls. Oh look, here come some now:

Dead Man’s Bones – “My Body’s a Zombie for You,” AKA “Ryan Gosling Can Evidently Make a Big Retarded Banger of a Song; Who Knew.”


Tribe – “Electric Relaxation”


Ronnie Foster – “Mystic Brew”



Maggot brain, skinny arms, heels suitable for walking the track.

See I’m not the type of kid to have my biz in the streets.
(But my biz on the Internet is fine, FYI)
Me and Ghetto Music just, you know, relaxing in apt. 302 on a summer day.


There’s an eternal flame that burns between me and my Toshiba laptop.

The internets are Frankie Beverly and a-Maze-ing! There’s music that people want to give you, totally for free, while record companies just look the other way! Pretty pictures! Political opinions that make you think! Plus naked ladies!

1. The Nation has a “Race in the Obama Era” feature that’s pretty great, with pictures and thought-provoking little blurbs. And did I mention The Prez sits, wears sunglasses, and eats Italian ice? He’s just like you and me (only dreamier).

President Obama’s loving engagement with his daughters is the very embodiment of idealized male parenting. However, it is interesting that Obama’s role as good and loving father allows us to ignore the simple fact that the first black president of the United States did not have a present and available black father. Obama can’t make all fathers be responsible parents but he can help single mothers give our kids the opportunities he had.

I must go consult Cornel West to see what kind of thoughts I have about this. I’ll be back.

Fun with semantics!

The sign is right, you know.

3. “Is It Because I’m Black?” Syl Johnson, on trying to be/achieve, in America, in 1969.

“It’s ’cause he’s Black.” – Jimmy Carter, on stupid people hating The Prez, in America, in 2009 (or, has he more eloquently states, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American”).

Jimmy’s right and Jimmy is a super G for saying this. Unfortunately, nobody cares what Jimmy has to say. It’s not risky for him; he’s got little power these days outside of the Habitat for Humanity boardroom. Even so – you guys, it seems like a great thing about being an old man is that you can say whatever you want to say and people just give you a pass. Unless you’re Don Imus, I mean.

OH INTERNETS, you fulfill me and bring me joy. I could never serenade you as well as Roger can:

Zapp & Roger – “Computer Love”



I was born in south Philly on a cement floor.

Mel D. Cole photo.

My boyfriends Barnes & Noble and I have a lovely relationship in which I visit them and use their stuff and they don’t ask me for anything in return (not even to take my top off!; I’m pretty sure they’re gay). So I go to their place and read things for free without buying them – lady magazines that try to teach me how to hide my hips with the magic of clothing, only I do the opposite of what the mags say because why would I want to hide the source of all my power in life? That would be foolish. I always get Harper’s and Mother Jones and The Nation too, so that my brain does not stop working from too much dumb overload from the content of lady magazines. Urb is OK; I’ll read it if I have to, but ever since Ray Roker stopped being so hands-on my heart’s just not in it. And just today, my eyeballs got assaulted by Kid Cudi on the cover. He was making a funny, sort of squinty face and doing a hand gesture that he couldn’t even think up on his own (it’s called “The DeBeers,” and it was appropriated from Shawn Carter and/or Diamond Dallas Page).

The related feature inside is about all of the retail stores he worked at while pursuing a music career, with associated pictures (Amer Apparel, Dean & DeLuca, BAPE). It’s a cute idea but its one tragic flaw is that it stars Kid Cudi. It has been therefore been filed under “Nobody Cares” in my life. (In the upcoming issue that I edit, we’ll find out where Pete Rock, Brian Eno, Hi-Tek, and Brian Wilson worked in their youth; it will win awards).

The issue gets saved by that picture of ?uestlove above (there’s a feature on the photographer who snapped it). My day has been excellent ever since I saw it, and it’s been making me think of musical pleasures from Philadelphia all afternoon because, how many times do I have to tell you, this is me and this is just how my brain is. Love me, love my nerdery.

I’ve never been to Philly but it probably can’t compete with apt. 302 anyway – I already have all the sons of the city, Gamble & Huff and Hall & Oates and like 50 of my favorite rappers and the Delfonics and the Stylistics, right here with me in my record collection (plus I got Nutella and Red Stripe here, as much as you want until you pass out from satisfaction). And I’ve never met Ahmir Thompson but that doesn’t mean we’re not meant to be special friends, the kind that record shop together while trying to calm all the sexual tension between us. I steal glances when we go get a cheesesteak and visit the Rocky steps together.

Some damn tightly-woven metaphors for love have come from the Philly music scene over the years, and 2 of the greats are right here – boxing and traffic – speaking right to me about my feelings: the Soul Survivors talkin bout my love car getting caught amongst all the other cars on the way to ?uestlove’s heart, and Teddy P describing that punched-in-the-face feeling that being in love with a large-haired percussionist will give you. It really does look like another love TKO; Teddy’s right. Plus I wanted to use the song and I’m never gonna do a “Back in the Day” post, so it worked out perfectly.

Teddy Pendergrass – “Love TKO”


Look at these dudes. Now go get 1/10 of that level of style. Then come see me when you’re ready.


I don’t care for commercial adornments. Also, my daddy’s rich and my mama’s good looking.

“John Coltrane and Chinese food is my date for the night” – Tariq.

Hot jazz … is expression and communication, a musical and social manifestation, and Blue Note records are concerned with identifying its impulse, not its sensational and commercial adornments.

– Blue Note’s manifesto,
May 1939.

A man from Berlin named Alfred Lion was the primary founder of Blue Note. He joined with an American Communist writer named Max Margulis (all white jazz fans were Commies back then, it was dope) and a childhood friend named Frank Wolff, pressed 50 copies of discs by their first label signees Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis, and proceeded to shut it down in the music world. I mean, it took them a while, but eventually they just killed it. Everybody’s heard of Blue Note, right? That tells you. Their first hit, by the way, was Bechet doing “Summertime,” which is a fine way to send off the months of June through August if you are feeling kinda sad (even though football’s starting soon).

Everybody says Wolff and Lion actually hung out with the musicians in Harlem (which was rare for label bosses at the time; but wait, it still is, no?) and they were held in high regard by the musicians’ union for paying fairly and generously giving their artists food and booze.
“People used to say ‘Albert and Frank record only what they like’,” Wolff said; they had a reputation for creating a supportive atmosphere at the label, while caring primarily about the quality of the music rather than its marketability (???? Pardon me?). At first I was thinking Def Jam during my inevitable game of “What’s the hip-hop equivalent?” But then it became so clear! What the hell took me so long? DEF JUX.
(minus the Vast Aire fiasco of 2009).

The album above isn’t the best way to rep Blue Note on a blog post; Coltrane only did the one album for the label and it was to satisfy a commitment he had made before signing his Prestige contract.
But that picture.
I had to.

(Frank Wolff photo)

. .

Random Tribute: Isaac Hayes’ beast of Detroit machinery.

I know nothing about cars,

and I don’t care about cars,

but ummm

is rather un-live-without-able,


Peacock blue, gold plated, ’72 Eldorado =

a present from Stax in ’71 for his success and made by Lucifer’s minions in a GM plant for the purpose of getting nice, respectable young ladies like me, who don’t even care about cars, out of their dresses. On an impossibly related note, Mr. Hayes has made a total of 12 babies with a selection of many willing ladies throughout the last few decades. Basslines Are Sex, I know this already; but what I’m starting to finally get is that big, hulking testaments to the skilled craftsmanship of the American auto worker are also, on occasion, The Sex.

I will not be posting any rap songs to wrap up this post, despite all the Lac references I can think of, lyrically speaking, from so many MCs in my record collection. Like, I really wanna say gator belts and patty melts right now, in the worst way. It’s unnecessary to do that, though, ’cause I already have the perfect song. It pretends to be about walking but it’s really a slinky, dress-dropping ode to riding shotgun next to Isaac while he steers the gold-plated beast at 7 MPH.
And it goes like this

“Walk On By.” (you can keep calling it “that Portishead song” if you want, but I do not approve)



Johnny loves hip hop.


I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.