Today the world said goodbye to the man that paved the way for Michael Jackson, Prince, Usher, Chris Brown, funk, hip hop, and the man who put soul into everything he touched, James Brown.
I’m not going to make this a lengthy post, but I loved the way his funeral was done. It wasn’t the least bit melancholy. It instead was the perfect show for the perfect showman. A celebration of life rather than a somber gathering to mourn his death.
Highlights include Hammer dancing on stage and seeing Michael Jackson speak on the man he referred to as his greatest inspiration. Michael, with a lacefront wig that puts Tyra and Beyonce to shame, made me want to scream “Miiiiiiiiiiichael” like a five-year-old watching “Moonwalker.” If only he had performed.
Brown’s estranged wife, Tommie Rae, bless her heart, is like Teena Marie without the talent. I’m almost certain James thought to rise up out of his golden casket, pimp slap her throat, then head back down to meet his maker. After that performance, I can understand why she’s been locked out of their home.
James’ funeral was one of the best concerts of I’ve seen in years. It made me want to order a fish plate. I kept waiting for them to play “Sex Machine.” Perhaps I missed it.
And I’ve never seen so many men with curls on one stage. Black men with perms roll thick, don’t they?
Watching his funeral on CNN made me want to hurry and achieve my fame now, so I can book Beyonce for my funeral in advance. I would like her to perform the extended mix of “Get Me Bodied” at my funeral” (Pat yo’ ceasar, pat pat pat yo ceasar), then proceed to lead the audience into the Ratchet. All jokes aside, James Brown may have had his faults, but he did a lot for black people, particularly in the ‘60s, and so much for music. His legacy will live on forever.
All jokes aside, James Brown may have had his faults, but he did a lot for black people, particularly in the ‘60s, and so much for music. His legacy will live on forever.
May he rest in peace.
There’s an interesting new article by the Associated Press floating around the various media outlets. It’s entitled, “Rap lyrics bring poetic justice, prosecutors say,” and it details how prosecutors have been able to gain convictions using rap lyrics penned by those accused of committing violent crimes. The article begins with the story of Ronell Wilson, a 23-year-old black male convicted of murdering two undercover police officers in a federal court in
According to the article, when police arrested Wilson, who went by the moniker “Rated R,” they discovered his pockets were stuffed with writings that contained violent lyrics boasting of leaving .45 caliber slugs in the heads of any would-be challengers. Prosecutors were able to submit this as evidence, cementing
The article then goes to point out similar instances where prosecutors used rap lyrics as evidence. This doesn’t always pan out, however. Such is the case for Beanie Sigel, where a federal judge dismissed a federal prosecutor’s attempt to submit lyrics depicting violence acts committed against children.
I just so happened to read this article after reading Sasha Frere Jones’ piece in the New Yorker on cocaine rap hours earlier.
As Jones points out, nearly every emcee (at least those that are mainstream) has rapped about selling cocaine. Likewise, as noted in the AP article, since the advent of gangsta rap, many, many people have scribbled their violent fantasies on paper the way
But, hip hop is about boasting and exaggeration. It’s a constant one-up man ship, and much of these grand tales of debauchery are fantasy.
However, in recent years, it’s been much harder for consumers to decipher what’s real and what’s an illusion. In a lot of ways, the listener has committed the very acts that the emcee could only commit to doing on wax.
Mainstream hip hop glorifies criminal behavior both visually and musically. Selling drugs, murder, and jail time are all mainstays in subject matter. Each action conveys a sense of realness, or at least it gives the listener with the false impression that criminal behavior should constitute it. By today’s standards, that latter is seemingly enough.
Though pioneers in the genre of gangsta rap can lay claim to their lyrical content being a direct result of the harsh realities that the crack epidemic placed them in, can those of the genre that’s been christened cocaine rap make the same claim?
Do killers appear on dating game shows like “Change of Heart?” Do they sit in Madison Avenue boardrooms? Are they thespians?
For the few that would dare to make such a claim, how far removed from a lifestyle does one have to be before they and their subject matter evolve? Or am I expecting too much by hoping that a contemporary mainstream rapper would even want to?
Nevertheless, if it’s believability the hip hop community wants, prosecutors are now willing it to give it. I’m not saying I actually agree with that, but hey, their fantasies are now everyday people’s reality.
In today’s zealot news, a few University of Texas at Arlington workers are finding themselves sanctified and unemployed today after praying over a fellow employees cubicle and anointing it with olive oil.
Evelyne M. Shatkin, an administrative assistant, and Linda Shifflett, a development funds assistant, claim in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Fort Worth that their termination constitutes religious discrimination.
The university released a statement saying its decision had been upheld by the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“UT Arlington respects our employee’s rights to their religious beliefs and does not discriminate on the basis of religion,” the statement said. “We cannot comment on personnel matters or cases in litigation. However, the accusations presented in this lawsuit are a gross distortion of the truth.”
That translates into these nutjobs can pray all they want, so long as our other employees don’t live with the fear that a hex has been placed on them.
The suit claims that a male worker was having problems with another employee and shared the information with Shifflett. Shifflett, Shatkin and the man stayed after work on March 3 to pray for the woman, who was on vacation. The three met at the woman’s cubicle about 5:30 p.m., believing no one else was there. Shatkin prayed for the situation, and according to her religious tradition, dabbed olive oil on the door frame of the cubicle. The oil left no mark and did not damage the cubicle, according to the suit.
Now, if they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, why would they wait until the office cleared to spread olive oil across this person’s cubicle as if it were French bread?
“More specifically, praying, shouting and/or chanting over a co-workers personal and professional belongings without her knowledge and consent constitutes harassment of a fellow co-worker,” she wrote. “In addition, rubbing this co-worker’s cubicle with oil is blatant disregard for university property, both of which are identified as behavior that is grounds for dismissal…”
I would hate to find out what happens if you knock over a bottle of ketchup.
No word on what the person with the root placed on them thinks. You have got to be one mean ass to have people go and hold a seance over your cubicle.
News of this has inspired me to say a prayer over my blog.
This may not be right.
This may not be cool.
But thanks for keeping me in school so I’ll never have to work with such fools.
Your favorite cynic.
AOL has just revealed its Best New Artists of 2006 list and I haven’t seen this great an advertisement for nostalgia in quite some time. Read it and weep.
02. Gnarls Barkley
03. The Fray
04. Corinne Bailey Rae
05. Yung Joc
08. Danity Kane
09. KT Tunstall
10. Lupe Fiasco
12. The Raconteurs
14. Kellie Pickler
17. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
18. Taylor Swift
20. Brooke Hogan
21. Daniel Powter
22. Lady Sovereign
23. Paris Hilton
24. Vanessa Hudgens
25. Mario Vasquez
Who in the hell are half of these people on the list? I can only recognize a few names on the list — and that’s not something I’m particularly proud of.
She failed at helping Brit improve her public image, but this tabloid darling succeeded at surprising even her harshest critics with her catchy debut single, ‘Stars Are Blind.’ Admit it — even you though it was hot.
Yeah, about as hot as her crotch. It’s a sad day when Paris Hilton makes the list of anything that requires actual talent.
Don’t let her size fool you. The self-proclaimed “biggest midget in the game” is brimming with attitude and spouts defiant rhymes on command. She scored a record deal with Def Jam after Jay-Z witnessed her freestyle skills first hand, and her ‘Public Warning’ CD quickly became a hipster essential.
The only little person in the game that was mildly entertaining was Bushwick Bill and that was a very long time ago. Jay-Z discovering her isn’t a great way to sell her either. Jay is not much of a talent scout. Don’t believe me? Well whenever your ears bleed at the pain-inducing sounds of Beyonce-clone Rhianna “singing” a ballad, you’ll know who to direct your frustrations and medical bill to.
By the way, “hipster essential” is just a polite way of saying no one bought that awful album.
When you’re the Hulkster’s daughter, you can pretty much have whatever you want. So when 18-year-old Brooke decided she wanted to be a chart-topping diva, who was gonna tell her no? ‘About Us,’ her debut single with rapper Paul Wall, was one of the year’s most infectious hits and proved that charisma does indeed run in her family.
This sounds more scripted than a pro wrestling match. I saw Brooke’s video. Making awkward faces you think convey sex appeal while performing stiff-interpretations of old Britney Spears choreography charisma not make. Whoever gave Brooke a record deal deserves the same fate her father once gave the Iron Sheik.
Whether you were into the ’70s rock revival or not, you couldn’t deny Wolfmother. The Aussie rockers had it all: the frontman with untamed hair, mind-bending guitar riffs, songs about unicorns and a CD cover that looked like the side of your cousin Chico’s first van. Their CD debuted in the Top 40, their music was featured in an iPod commercial and they were even nominated for a Grammy. Our necks still hurt from all the headbanging.
I don’t know who they are and what they sing, but Wolfmother has got to be the worst band name ever.
When you’re a 20-something guy, your biggest priorities are most likely music, video games and girls. 2006 brought this Florida alt-rock group a gold debut CD and a spot on the Warped Tour, a track on the ‘Madden NFL 2007’ game and, we’re sure, ton of groupies. Congrats, boys, you’re living the dream.
I stand corrected. There are worst names for a band than Wolfmother.
This double shot of siblings suffered a bad record deal in 2003, only to top the charts in ’06 with the snap dance-inspired ‘Do It To It’ and the ballad ‘Unappreciated,’ making R&B-thirsty fans say “Destiny’s who?”
Take Ciara, clone her three times, then dip her in chocolate and you have Cherish.
St. Louis boxer-turned-rapper Jibbs convinced his brother, DJ Beats, to lend him a track he originally wrote for another artist. The end result, ‘Chain Hang Low,’ became the most downloaded song on iTunes in August and scored the AOL Breaker a spot next to Chris Brown and Pretty Ricky on the Sceam Tour.
He used a nursey rhyme for inspiration behind one of the most annoying songs in history. The man exudes creativity.
Twenty-year-old Cassie proved the marketing power of the Internet when a rough version of her song ‘Me & U’ garnered her a record number of MySpace friends and a recording deal with Diddy, helping the mogul usher in a new era of Bad Boy.
Incase you forgot.
Lupe’s penchant for everything from skateboarding to politics made the AOL Music Breaker, and his bootleg CDs, the most talked-about thing in hip-hop. Now, with his Jay-Z and Pharrell-assisted debut ‘Food & Liquor’ nominated for three Grammys, all of his hype seems very well deserved.
Wow. Someone with actual talent. Though it’s miniscule, I have hope now.
After three seasons of MTV’s ‘Making the Band,’ the pressure was on for Aubrey, Dawn, Aundrea, D. Woods and Shannon to deliver. Diddy’s girls did just that when their album debuted at No. 1 in August — something Da Band could only dream of. Platinum sales lie in their future.
The clearance version of the Pussycat Dolls turned marked down beats and cliche-ridden lyrics from current hitmakers into a surprisingly decent album. However, without a vessel to sell future projects (Puffy’s recreating O-Town on the next installment of Making the Band), their fifteen minutes are slowly winding down.
Just as Destiny’s Child announced their retirement, original member LeToya Luckett burst back on the scene with the breakup ballad ‘Torn’ from her self-titled solo debut. With that hit and its follow-up, ‘She Don’t,’ under her belt, this H-Town chick effectively shut up the haters once and for all.
Go Hiram Clarke. Step your game up, Kelly Rowland.
Bad Boy’s two-year dry spell ended as soon as this Georgia MC’s debut single, ‘It’s Goin’ Down,’ hit the airwaves. And his platinum CD, ‘New Joc City,’ was just the start; his second album, ‘The Jocumentary,’ is scheduled for release in 2007.
He went platinum?!
The way she drips her breathy, smooth-as-silk vocals over soulful, feel-good pop melodies, it’s hard to not fall head-over-heels for Rae’s music. The British siren’s self-titled debut reached the Top 20 and earned her three Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year for her single ‘Put Your Records On.’
So I don’t really get the hype with Corinne. I find her to be incredibly boring and the Sade comparisons are absurd.
Few artists — new or old — hit harder than Schaffer “Ne-Yo” Smith this year. The 23-year-old’s debut CD, ‘In My Own Words,’ sold over three million copies worldwide and spawned four hit singles, including the irresistible ballad ‘So Sick.’ He also wrote huge hits for other acts — including Beyonce’s ‘Irreplacable,’ Rihanna’s ‘Unfaithful’ and Mario Vazquez’s ‘Gallery’ — and shared the mic with Ghostface on ‘Back Like That.’
23? Ha. In what? Dog years? I’m not a big fan of Ne-Yo, but I guess I should be happy that someone who doesn’t make ProTools sweat in the studio topped the list. Still, Ne-Yo owes me a pack of cotton balls for all the pain “Unfaithful” has caused me.
Under each description for every artist listed is a poll to vote on the artist’s chances of maintaining some level of relevance in 2007. I would say it’d be great if most of these promotions for deafness would disappear, but I realize they’ll only be replaced with people just as terrible.
Such is the case for Barack Obama, who was assailed during a telecast of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show yesterday.
RUSH: Here we go with Barack Obama. As you know, he was up in New Hampshire — do you know, by the way, TV ads for Barack Obama are going to start airing this weekend? Presidential ads for Barack Obama in New Hampshire start airing this weekend. Hillary, I think, is starting to get panicked because she’s called up all of Bubba’s old buddies, Carville and Begala and Joe Lockhart, she had them over to dinner to discuss what to do about this. Her team wasn’t there. They’re all one team, of course, but publicly Carville and Begala have said, (paraphrasing) “Well, we’ll help, but we’re not officially on the team.” That allows them to have more movement and latitude under the radar. Anyway, Obama up in New Hampshire being treated like a god making a speech. Now, apparently before he made the speech, Maureen Dowd had written something about his big ears. Obama, after the speech, made a beeline for Maureen Dowd who was in the audience to tell her that he didn’t appreciate her writing about his big ears. Now, there’s a lot of noise here and it’s very muddy. I’ll translate it for you, but here’s how it sounded.
OBAMA (off mic): You talked about my ears, and I just want to put you on notice: I’m very sensitive about — What I told them was, ”I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.'”
DOWD (purring): We’re trying to toughen you up
RUSH: “We’re just trying to toughen you up.” Here is what Barack Obama said.”You talked about my ears, and I just want to put you on notice: I’m very sensitive about — What at I told them was, ‘I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.'” Now, there are many aspects of this, folks, that we need to delve into and explore. For one thing, I mean you know me, if the guy’s sensitive about his big ears, we need to give him a new name, like Dumbo. But that doesn’t quite get it. How about Barack Obama Hussein Odumbo. Well, if he’s sensitive — stop to think about this. This is a man being lauded as the savior of the country, a presidential candidate ready to be anointed, and he can’t handle being teased about his big ears? He goes out to Maureen Dowd and says, I am putting you on notice? Is that a threat? I want to put you on notice?
Apparently, Rush is too dense (or high, take your pick) to realize Obama was in all likelihood being facetious.
Oh wait, there’s more.
RUSH: I wonder what would happen if McCain did that. McCain, “You don’t say that about me! I’m putting you on notice, you hear, sister, you hear?”
Sister, eh? How subtle of you, Rush.
He goes to rant even more about a bunch of nothing. It’s pretty sad when all you have to attack a man with is a joke you’re trying to pass off as a sign of hypersensitivity.
Make no mistake, I’m not Obama’s biggest fan, but this only makes him more endearing.
It would be nice if someone from Obama’s camp would respond to this waste of airspace with, “So, how’s the habit?”
The joke was in reference to Danny Devito’s rumored drunk appearance on the show the week prior.
“The fact is that it’s news all over the world. That you know, you can imagine in China it’s like: ‘Ching chong … ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. ‘The View.’ Ching chong,” said O’Donnell on the program.
The Asian-American Association of Journalists issued a statement shortly after: “We consider this a mockery of the Chinese language and, in effect, a perpetration of stereotypes of Asian-Americans as foreigners or second-class citizens. The use of the distorted phrases is insulting to the Chinese and Chinese-Americans, and gives the impression that they are a group that is substandard to English-speaking people.”
“She’s a comedian in addition to being a talk show co-host,” Cindi Berger, O’Donnell’s spokeswoman, said in a statement. “I certainly hope that one day they will be able to grasp her humor.”
Yes, who doesn’t love racist stereotypes under the guise of humor?
On her blog, Rosie responded to emails about her remarks:
Reader: Why did you think it was alright to mock Chinese people and the language on The View?
O’Donnell: It was not my intent to mock. Just to say how odd it is that Danny drunk was news all over the world, even in China.
Couldn’t you have just said it like that, Rosie? Seems like your stand-up bit is a little played.
From an article posted on People online:
After running a clip of the offending segment, which originally ran Dec. 5, she said, “This apparently was very offensive to a lot of Asian people. So I asked Judy, who’s Asian and works here in our hair and makeup department. I said, ‘Was it offensive to you?’ And she said, ‘Well, kinda. When I was a kid people did tease me by saying ching-chong.’
“So apparently ‘ching-chong,’ unbeknownst to me, is a very offensive way to make fun, quote-unquote, or mock, Asian accents. Some people have told me it’s as bad as the n-word. I was like, really? I didn’t know that.
O’Donnell said that her joke was “never intended to hurt anyone, and I’m sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground,” but added that in the future, “there’s a good chance that I’ll do something like that again … Not on purpose.”
So basically, I’m ignorant, I didn’t know about the stereotypes like the other couple hundred million Americans, so I’m sort of sorry, but then again, not completely, because I’m going to do the same shit again. Oh yeah, womp womp womp at you being teased about this shit on the playground. Sucks to be you.
Isn’t Rosie the same person, who only weeks ago, chastised Kelly Ripa for her comments to Clay Aiken? You know, where Clay himself claims to be straight and would like to keep his sexuality private, though Rosie herself labeled Ripa a homophobe, thus outing Clay in the process?
For someone that’s quick to criticize anyone who pronounces the word gay wrong, you would think Rosie would be a wee bit more mindful of the jokes she makes.
Call it a hunch, but I have a hard time believing Rosie would see the humor in someone “jokingly” saying d-d-d-d-d-dyke-dyke.
I’m not much of a Lil’
So why am I dedicating this blog post to him? Well, while
“I don’t like what he’s [Jay-Z] saying about how he had to come back because hip-hop’s dead and we need him,” Weezy told Complex magazine.. “What the fuck do you mean? If anything it’s reborn, so he’s probably having a problem with that. You left on a good note, and all of the artists were saying, ‘Yo, this is Jay’s house. He’s the best.’ Now he comes back and still thinks it’s his house. But we fucked bitches in your bed already. It’s not your house anymore and I’m better than you.”
In all honesty, I agree with him on Jay acting as if hip hop needing saving from him. I mean, if Kingdom You’re Done was intended to save hip hop, you might as well pull the plug now as it’s seemingly good as dead. However, as shitty as the album is,
I know, I know. Who’s really going to say, “Yeah he put out a shitty album, but he’s still better than
On the show, Weezy goes on to add,“I want people to just look at it like that dude who came out of college that was supposed to get drafted by the #1 team, which was Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam … They passed on me and now I’m with a good team and a good coach and of course on every interview I’m gonna cut down the team that didn’t pick me.”
He sounds like a rejected cheerleader. Someone please place him on top of the pyramid so he can quit bitchin’ and move on. Your success should be all the cutting the other team needs. It says a lot when you’re still trying to spite the people who rejected you.
As for people like Young Buck, who talk about
And what do men from the city of death do? They talk about other artists’ fashion sense, naturally.
Dude is sounding like Joan Rivers.
This is why I likened him to a rejected cheerleader. He is on some mean girls shit and it’s kind of pathetic. This is exactly why I dislike this dude. If he battled the Clipse on wax, I don’t see
Out of all the things he jacked from Hov, he seems to have bit on Hov’s delusions of grandeur the most.
I don’t care what anyone says.
The only person
If you’re like me and Beyonce in this picture, you were bored out of your damn minds with nearly every award show this year. Here’s another edition of ‘The Cynical Awards.”
Best Advertisement for Homosexuality Award: Britney Spears’ Vagina
Saggier than the breasts of an eighty year old woman and more damaged than an Los Angeles freeway after a major earthquake, the once revered sex icon Britney Spears has definitely let herself go. Her gynecologists can’t be anymore disgusted than I am.
Click at your own risk.
It’s not enough that the self-professed “Louie Vuitton Don” spits rhyme after rhyme about the various designer clothes he’s accumulated over the years. To up the ante and prove to people just how oh-so-fly he is and that there is none flier, the Don himself decided to get the Fendi emblem etched into his head to match the backdrop for the event — and possibly his jacket. No word on whether or not the people over at Louie Vuitton are jealous.
Opportunistic Whore Award: Carmen Bryan
Though she claims to have began penning her book before Karrine Steffans released her New York Times best-selling (deep sigh) book, Confessions of a Video Vixen, Carmen Bryan can’t help but thank Steffans for making sordid tales of celebrity dick-sucking profitable in a new medium. Carmen’s book, It’s No Secret (clearly, Carmen) writes about fucking Jay-Z, Allen Iverson, and of course, her ‘baby daddy,’ Nas. This has led to
Overrated Faux-Prince Music Award: Justin Timberlake
I like “Sexyback.” I enjoy the iTunes bonus track, “Boutique In Heaven.” I can tolerate “FutureSex/LoveSound” and “Until The End Of Time.” Three of the four mentioned are largely inspired by Prince, hence the mild enjoyment. I cringe whenever I hear “Chop Me Up.” The city of
Best Transformation: Boyz II Men
Thanks to Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, the good people at Golden Corral, and trans fat, Boyz II Men has done what no other male R&B group has done: they’ve transformed into a completely different group. Meet the new O’Jays, folks. If they got “On Bended Knee,” do you think they’d be able to get back up?
Most Likely To Be Invited to the Next Edition of “Celebrity Fit Club:” The dude from Webster
It looks like Emmanuel Lewis has been sucking up whatever small bit of food Boyz II Men left on their plates. He looks like Bonecrusher’s Mini-Me.
Trillest Mama: Scrappy’s Mama
Last year I asked my mom if she wanted to go to TV Johnny’s and get matching grills. She told me no. This Thanksgiving, I told her about the 2-for-1 sale TV Johnny had going this year. Again she told me no. When I ask again (and I will), I can say, “Lil Scrappy’s mama would do it!”
Congrats, You’re Not Dead: Group of R&B Male Singers the 80s Threw Up
Congrats, You’re Not Dead: Group of R&B Male Singers the 80s Threw Up
From the new jack swing era to now, it’s like nite and day. *mumbling mumbling ‘how I feel about you”* They look horrible, but hey they’re all alive (despite looking half dead).
Hammer Pants Award: Ciara
Like Waldo, I always wondered what Hammer did to those hideous, oversized, garbage bag-like pants. I see Ciara’s people scooped them up at Hammer’s third bankruptcy sale.
Swagger Jacker Award: Ciara.
She’s got Janet Jackson’s old choreographer, Aaliyah’s old weave, poses, and style, and Wanda Sykes’ face. When it comes to swagger jacking, no one is topping Ciara this year.
The A Lot on Her Mind Award: Rhianna
The A Lot on Her Mind Award: Rhianna
The size of her forehead makes me think she’s thinking about her problems, my problems, your problems, and the problems of people not even born yet. With a head that size I’m guessing her SAT scores are pretty high.
Hiram Clarke’s own ex-Destiny’s Child backup singer turned legitimate solo star LeToya Luckett preserves her sexy by making sure she hides her forehead from the eyes of the public at all costs. Rhianna, while you’re busy digging through Beyonce’s trash to learn about her as much as possible, take a lesson from one of Beyonce’s old bandmates.
You’re Probably Going to Hell Award: The Creators of This Shirt
I was almost certain I would have to give this award to myself, but in the bottom ninth some fool created this shirt. Blasphemous, but what do you expect from a man who calls himself “Hova.” Thanks for taking the heat off me.
I don’t know what she’s on, but it looks painful. Like a walking advertisement for sobriety. So delicious.
Sexy No Matter What: Beyonce
Only Beyonce could look this good with that much hair under her lip.
Now if anyone wants to book me to host an award show next year, I’m available. I mean, I don’t have shit else to do.