Paper: variations on a theme.

• Paperrrr. Get it; chase it. Give me some of it, then a little more. I like it. Just don’t use Chris Brown as its ambassador, forcing himself into my car via Power 106, indulging his rapper fantasies all through my speaker system. That kid calls himself Breezy, which is what all my exes call me to their friends and I want to share no similarities with Chris Brown. Look at me now, he says, alongside Busta and Wayne (who’ll do a song with anybody), I’m gettin pa-perrrr. Sigh. Persons new to my inner world might think that this is the latest in my Magic City playlist, since it’s got squiggles and bass and it celebrates light-skinned ladies such as myself. Ah, but it is missing that special something. I cannot define or describe the perfect stripper song, which, if this were the Supreme Court, would make me just like Justice Potter Stewart talking about porn in Jacobellis v. Ohio – “I know it when I see it.” Can’t tell you what it sounds like, but you’ll know it when I hear it because first I will shake everything on my person that was genetically handed down to me from my mother. Second, I will lovingly craft a blog tribute post about it.

Everybody’s just trying too hard here, Christopher delving into some tired old lyrical territory (yellow-bone girls, his penis, suicide doors), Busta dusting off the old ’98 rapid flow, Diplo with the stupid spaceship beat like it’s ’98. Luckily there’s a wee clown with matted coils of hair to step in and add some depth –

I aint got no time to shuck and jive, these n–gas as sweet as pumpkin pie, Wayne says. Right, true, plus I love the use of shuck and jive, because it’s old-timey. Just like Nickatina’s constant use of “jakes” for the SFPD, and like when other rappers say hoodwinked, had, or bamboozled.

Ciroc and Sprite on a private flight/bitch I’m enticing, guiding light. Yep. And my pockets white and my diamonds white. Yes.

And my momma’s nice and my daddy’s dead.
Oh dear! Really? Always this sadness behind the mask of Wayne, tiny town jester. Pockets fulla paper, let’s get it, stack/accumulate it, collect it, rubber-band it to keep it secure, dole it out to show women (your mom especially) how much they mean to you. But then you throw in something brief and tragic to ground everybody. That’s why he’s the GOAT*, children.

(*He’s not the GOAT; I just wanted to be controversial.)

WHOA, like Stompin at the Savoy/get your paper, then holler at your boy, says Madlib on Jaylib’s “Louder” (not that song on Donuts; that one’s called “Thunder,” despite the fact that it starts with the “Louder!” from this). I tried to replicate Madlib’s line over coffee with Gabrielle. Unsuccessful. I don’t say it right, even though I’m from Ventura and that’s the same part of the world as Otis Jackson!, so you’d think we’d share a certain way of speaking. Alas, no. He’s got the power of syllabic emphasis that I lack. Holler-at-CHAboy, he says. It is a nice moment. The second-nicest moment is Put your hands together for some badder cats/Stomp the bass drum, then we add the claps. It’s meta and I love it, like when JB would always talk about the progression of the song while that very song is building, gaining steam like a choo choo train.

Out for Daffy Duck bucks, Porky Pig paper/Bugs Bunny money or Sylvester Cat caper/Offer DAT tape of rap, country or deep house/And I’ll make mince meat out of that (beat) mouse.

Looney Tunes raps, courtesy of Doomsy on “Mince Meat.” Sure it’s about money, so it kind of fits in here, but I just wanted to point to the line that comes earlier in the song–She rocked leather and gold, a fat blouse/And need a brother with soul to let her cat out–which, oh god, perfectly illustrates just how masterful Doom is when it comes to understanding the female psyche. I’m going to see him and some Def Jux boys in London; have you heard?*

You can hit it in the mornin/without givin me half of your dough, but I do need some of your dough because blogging and being cute doesn’t pay much. I need your dough, please sir, to be able to see *Doomsy and CoFlow on stage at the same show CANIGETAWITNESSSSSS.

• I use Moleskines (NO, not like Jay Elec, king of pretentiousness, he of the boring voice and overrated lyrical content) because I am grown-up and fancy. Still, the clean lines and lovely red/white/pale blue color combo in a classic Mead notebook sometimes inspire my fashion choices. I’m pretty much slender everywhere, especially through the middle—I’d say I’m definitely college ruled. In the hip area, though? Wide ruled.

• Roethlisberger’s got shifty eyes and maybe raped a woman, and maybe sexually creeped out another woman; he’s currently in the midst of an eight-year, $102 million contract. Rodgers is boring and tries to make up for with with a signature move (ugh, that belt thing); he signed a six year, $65 million contract extension through the 2014 season. In keeping with the theme of this post: that’s a nice chunk of paper, in both situation a and b. And more importantly: there are some nicely epic names on the Steelers’ and Packers’ respective rosters. Here they are in alpha order, with specific reasons as to what makes them epic, and, where appropriate, a description of each man’s side hustle –

Atari Bigby (!!)
Diyral Briggs (plays either drums or bass in Parliament)
Donald Driver (love that solid sound of all those consonants; the same number of syllables in each name is soothing; Driver is a good surname when your occupation requires stamina and strength as you carry an object to its destination. See also Quentin Jammer.)
Cullen Jenkins (solid, unflashy; author of westerns)
Howard Green (Diyral Briggs’s lawyer. Or accountant. Or executive at his label.)
Brady Poppinga (Lockinga and Dropinga; all things remind me of Magic City)

Tuff Harris (DB for a pro football team; T.I.’s cousin)
Ziggy Hood (Sly Stone’s barber)
Byron Leftwich (British lord)
Rashard Mendenhall (I don’t know; it’s just dope. Consonants galore!)
Ike Taylor (Stax session musician in 1966), annnnnnd
Willie Colon (“El Malo,” Lavoe, the whistle at 00:53). I haven’t been this excited since I found out Tony Allen plays for the Grizz!

• The 2 best moments in LA car radio occur several times each day, when “Fire Flame” is played. First it’s the blaaap from Birdy (the last word/guttural sound in his verse). Second it’s the hook–that cadence. Fireflame-flame, fireflamespitters. Bitch we the business, hundred million dolllll-ars. A hundred million dollars is what it cost to make Where the Wild Things Are. Teach for America just got a hundred million, too. The fact that Baby and Dwayne, 2 enterprising individuals from the 3rd and 17th Wards (respectively), are in on this conversation is a thing of Horatio Algerian beauty.

• Giant bitch of the universe Jeff Koons wants to copyright the balloon dog, clearly to protect his paper if not just an outright attempt to get some press (which will, of course, benefit his papermaking abilities). His wealth is only equaled by his need to shout about himself all the time, like everyone’s favorite giant musical bitch of the universe. And his ability to hoodwink and bamboozle people into thinking appropriation, pastiche, and endorsement, not to mention affirmation and reification, is the same thing as creativity is only rivaled by Fairey. The only good thing about this story is I know you all out there agree with me regarding the bitch factor at play here, and that kind of solidarity feels good. Plus every time I go to write copyright it makes me think of Copywrite, Asher Roth slayer.

When I date back I recall a man off the family tree/My right hand Papa Doc I see. Every mention of Duvalier (Baby Doc – son of Papa Doc) coming back to Haiti for his paper makes me think of “T.R.O.Y.,” which is always nice. Is CL referring to an actual family member (non-biological who did bother) with a cutesy nickname, rather than an ousted (alleged) Haitian tyrant? Is it just a coincidence, or a reference to the Haitian diaspora? Is CL of Haitian descent? Considering that he grew up in the ‘70s and that’s when a large portion of Haitians emigrated to the US (the Duvalier era started in the late ’50s and ended in ’86, when Baby Doc was ousted), it would make sense. Feel free to email me the correct explanation, but only if your source is reliable – i.e., straight from Large Pro’s mouth during your last conversation, NOT some commenter at RapGenius.

Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked is the name of Malice’s soon-to-be-released book. I prefer my men to be Eloquent, Stunting, Entrepreneurial, Braided, and Chinchilla-Clad, so that’s a shame, but I do not like them Baped up at allllll, never did, so I’m glad Mal left that back in ’08. Blind and naked is silly and dramatic, but it’s still better than Nigo camo’d. I also prefer my men masked, which is why I strongly believe Doomsy should write a book. (And why I get slightly aroused during Friday the 13th.)

You’ll find that there’s a book called Havoc (Malice) when you do a seach of “malice book,” even when you add specifiers (“clipse malice book”). It is an okay piece of lit I guess, a hundred times better than anything Jay ever WROTE (airquotes airquotes), but shit it’s no Rae (Scarface).

CRINGE re: this slice of “Portlandia,” but also

Ha ha, yesss and

Oh look, it’s you and me going toe-to-toe while sipping some fair trade Sumatra, except you’d need to add a little more sunshine, 2-3 Gangstarr references, and more hips and highlighted hair on the female to make it 100% accurate.

• Obesity is linked to economic insecurity, says science. The stress of living within a ‘free market’ regime with its competitive social system and lack of a strong welfare state probably causes people to overeat. One-third of Americans are obese, but the prevalence and affordability of fast food isn’t completely to blame; we need to take a harder and more critical look at our economic system, since financial “open markets come at a price to personal and public health which is rarely taken into account.” Shit’s deep. Countries with higher levels of job and income security (“social protection”) were associated with lower levels of obesity, so…

Wiz, in the same category as Jay Elec for his industry connections and insane luck with producers, 2 things that distract from the fact that he is not as good at rapping as the Internet claims, is clearly a resident of Sweden, Cuba, or Lenin-era Russia. Next mixtape title is either The Opiate of the Masses or Viva Fidel. (he hasn’t decided yet)

Billy Paul, “Let the Dollar Circulate.” They love me out in DC just like go-go.



2 thoughts on “Paper: variations on a theme.

  1. danps

    Similarly, I would not be the least surprised if there was a link between expanding levels of inequality and stagnating/lowering life expectancy.

    It feels like America has been in slow decline for the last 40 years or so. I think the rhetorical battle has finally turned, but the actual state of the country will lag by a few decades.


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