Help Me: Ashanti

What’s poppin’, Mike, it’s your girl Ashanti. Hitting you up for a bit of advice…y’know.

Yo, I’m dropping my new album in June…or July…or September, hmm, Christmas ’09 at the latest. But MAN, the album is BANANAS. Like the kind Mighty Joe eats. It’s that crazy! YESSSSS!

But you know a lot of people are dogging me out. I feel like the underdog, know what I’m saying. It’s like people trying to act like they weren’t singing all those babies with me a couple of years ago. I know they remember, because those joints were BANANAS! Curious George at a banana buffet BANANSAS!

No, bananas in pajamas bananas!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, it’s like I feel pressure, but in a good way, know what I’m saying? I’m nervous, but I’m excited at the same time.

I think that definitely since it’s been so long that people might be ready for me to come back. My last album was ’04, y’know. Wait, maybe you don’t, because not many of ya’ll copped it. What was up with that anyway? How ya’ll gonna just stop buying my rec-kerds like that?

Oh, I know: Be-yawn-say. That bitch. I mean, what was so hot about her anyway? She doesn’t even know what déjà vu means. At least when I say baby it makes sense. Like you can’t mess up baby, feel me?

I gotta admit, though. She kind of caught me by surprise. Wasn’t expecting to be just blown away like that. Maybe those rumors about her breath were right, because she like huffed around my position on the charts and blew me away. Who knew that gravy at Popeyes was that strong, right?

But aye, I finally figured out the brand of glue Beyonce’s using for the wigs. And I been taking dance lessons again. The game ‘bout to change, man. It’s murder! – or the Inc., or wait, I’m saying derrty now. Re-do: The game, man – it’s derrty! HA!

Anyway timing is everything, and it’s like, everything’s falling into place, know what I’m saying? Like I’m here and I’m back!

Have you heard my new single? Crazy, right? And yeah, Babyface is on the new album. When I found out we got him for the project, I was thinking, “Yo, the first part of his name is Baby, my favorite word is Baby, bam we got this!”

But man, the song isn’t doing as well as my previous ones, nah mean. I mean, it’s doing a lil’ something on the R&B charts, but I want it to POP, y’know.

I kinda feel like the underdog now. It’s been a four year gap beyond my control. It’s not like I decided to chill. It was taken away. Irv was trippin’, man. I mean, man can’t plan in advance for an FBI indictment? Now he not tawking to me, acting all funny. Whatever, little Black Vienna sausage man.

So this comeback, right. What do you suggest? I mean, I got Shia ready to bust Rihanna’s kneecaps, and Mom’s said she’s shanked a tranny before, so Ciara’s no problem, but that Beewildering Breath having chick better stay outta my way this time. I don’t want to have to do her in Glen Cove style, feel me!

So, man, I’m trying to put the puzzle back together, only dolo this time. I need your help man. I want to get those hits back out there. YES!

Oooh baby,

Ashanti

Dear Ashanti,

You know, when people actually hated you, I mean starting petitions about you and plotting to bomb Glen Cove, I didn’t really think you were that bad.

Don’t get me wrong, you did look like Harry and the Henderson’s was your kinfolk and what not, but after a fresh makeover, I thought you cleaned up pretty nice. I though all of those hairy comments about you were out of line. They had you looking like Smurfette after a couple of good waxes, and Smurfette was pretty for a blue blob, so tell the haters to take that!

Besides none of that had to do with what matters most: the music. So yeah, after I stopped debating on whether or not you were a disgruntled teen mother because you kept hollering baby in every song, I liked your music for what it was. Did I buy any of your albums? Hell nawl, but I thought about buying that second. I have a promo copy, if that counts for anything.

Your voice – well, that’s another, story, but let me put it this way: You’re sounding a lot better than Mariah Carey these days.

Still, I have to know: Why haven’t you had the slightest bit of vocal growth in five years? I watched that performance you had last week and you sounded like you were struggling something awful. Like your throat was trying to runaway from an abusive relationship. Stick to singing softly, okay? You can get by doing that. The minute you try to really sang, whew, you sound like a commercial for kicking a chick in the throat.

Now on to your career: Uhh…ooh baby. Look, the song is alright, but if we’re going by third time’s a charm and you’re still not blowing back up well…

To be kind, I think you might go gold (at best), and maybe you might put out a few R&B hits. But your previous mind-boggling fame from a few years ago — yeah, homie, those days are over. Might not be a bad idea to call Monica and Brandy and talk about a “We Ain’t Dead Tour.”

If that’s not enough for you to keep going, maybe you might want to work on getting a sitcom. That way you can step out of yourself and play someone that’s so unlike your true self – like a person a rhythm or something. You got a few decent chops. I saw you on Buffy!

If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to tell you.

Have you saved your money from your royalty checks? If not, punch a hole in a condom and go make a trip to St. Louis. Best investment you’ll ever make in your life.

That’s the best I can do. You should have hit me up in 2005.

P.S. Before you fade into oblivion, I have to ask you a few things.

Did an ewok have to die for you to wear this shirt? I’ve always been curious.

And you didn’t really bang Irv Gotti, did you? I don’t know why, but the dude reminds me of a ham sandwich. Tell me you didn’t, Ashanti.

Public Service Announcement

Can we end rap beef, especially between cornballs? Not that many rappers move that many units anymore these days, so as far as I’m concerned, everyone is on the Minnow headed for the island of irrelevance. Learn to get along or all drown in Soulja Boy’s wave of popularity.

I’m not exactly Bow Wow’s biggest fan, but even I have to speak up for Omarion’s BFF, because Yung Berg (I know, I know: Who the hell is that?) is getting out of pocket.

“First and foremost, 50 told me some smart shit. 50 told me move him [Bow Wow] out the game, period. He told me to crush him. He told me demolish him,” Berg revealed to XXLMag.com. “He told me do the ‘Do That There’ remix with him on it and then come up with my diss record and totally move him out of music. “But, I don’t wanna do that,” Berg continued. “I can see me and Bow fucking a lot of bitches together. My whole thing is either you’re going to be an alliance on this [Snoop Dogg] tour this summer, or it’s, ‘Fuck you!’ Period. I don’t need you as a friend. I came in the game by myself.” Don’t expect the Fif assist just yet, though. Berg and Bow are cool for the time being. In fact, Bow may appear on “One Night,” a YB record that already features Trey Songz. Then again, Berg is offering Bow one of two choices. “If he gets on the record then we’re cool,” Berg explained. “If he doesn’t cause he doesn’t want to, that’s fine. If he doesn’t cause he doesn’t get cleared cause of his current situation, I’m on his head again.”

Ahem. First off: “I can see me and Bow fucking a lot of bitches together.” That’s quite an interesting statement, isn’t it? No hetero.

Secondly: Why listen to Curtis? Was he one of the few fools who bought Curtis over Graduation last fall or something? While he’s at it, maybe he should get some advice on maintaining a successful career in music from Charli Baltimore.

Third: “I don’t need you as a friend. I came in the game by myself.” Ok, but if it’s all about [you] then why do [you] care what Lil’ Ruff Ruff does with his time? I’m confused. Explain stupid rappers who don’t move units, and will say anything they think will mislead people into thinking they’re not as lame as they truly are to me.

Lastly, whose career can Melted Cube ether? Has he released an album before? I don’t follow wack asses like that, so help your man out.

Instead of beefing with Bow Wow, shouldn’t he be joining him at the train station at Times Square holding the cups while Omarion pop looks for quarters?

Unity people.

From His Own Mouth


Those glasses are fly.

If you want to move beyond the misleading headlines and distorted sound bites, you will find a number of links below.

You can click here for Reverend Wright’s interview with Bill Moyers. This proves yet again that when it comes to real journalism, you’re more inclined to get it from PBS and overseas news outlets – or The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

And if you go here, you can watch the man’s NAACP speech that CNN decided to make a national event. What can I say? I guess it’s better than playing a 30-second sound bite for two weeks straight over and over again.

You can also hear the man speak field questions following an appearance at the National Press Club from some reporters that should’ve opted for careers in accounting by going here.

While I concede that his speaking out is indeed a distraction from the issues at hand, and Reverend Wright’s presence in the media may well indeed further damage the Obama campaign, if my entire existence were being surmised in thirty second sound bites that were largely taken out of context, I wouldn’t be ducking the opportunity to clear my name either.

If Obama is meant to be President, he will be President. Either way, an Obama administration won’t change some of the issues that people like Reverend Wright speak about.

Am I Alone?

Disclaimer: If four-letter-words and graphic details are unsettling to you, scroll away from this post. I’m a bit more blunt than usual. Smile.

I’m beginning to feel like the old man who yells out at kids on his porch, “You lil’ knuckle heads don’t know nuffin’ ‘bout no good music.” That’s a problem at barely 24, no?

When I’m not complaining about how awful music is sounding, I’m throwing jeers at how ridiculously the pseudo artists behind them are looking. I sound like a T-Pain hook, but I can’t help it.

I understand that sex sells and when it comes to pop music, putting everything on full display boosts chances of success. In the past, that never bothered me as much as it did other people. I am no prude by any means (trust me), but the more I look at the stripper-like singers and how increasingly younger they’re starting to spread ‘em, even I’m becoming a bit unnerved.

Like I said, I tend not to mind slutty artists, but the fact that I can tell this under 21 piss-colored hair minor waxes her snatch (that’s clearly on display) when I know her music is probably geared towards people who still wait for a bell to go to lunch kind of bothers me. Whatever middle-aged man and/or ex-Band member turned A&R rep that never got any until he got credentials should be ashamed of themselves for this overly-sexual contrived image made for these girls.

No one is telling this fame-hungry minor that with all that makeup and ugly weave, she’s going to be baldheaded and looking 40 at 30. Not to mention broke as I can’t imagine a member of a group formed on a television network really making any significant amount of money even if they do manage to go platinum. Ask Danity Kane.

Believe me: I’m not running around listening to “Stomp” throwing holy salt on the CD aisles at Target. I honestly don’t mind sexually charged anything, but it just bothers me when it doesn’t feel like the person owns it. These girls just seem to be doing as they’re told. I miss the good ole days when Madonna and Janet were their own whores. (That’s said in jest, stans: Don’t go trying to e-got me.)

In the recording industry must every Black girl be forced to morph into an off brand version of Malibu Beyonce with the sexual energy of Karrine Steffans at the NBA draft while their white counterpart transform into some big tit blond? Meanwhile Rick Ross is supposed to be the object of sexual desire because the police haven’t caught him yet. It just seems wrong and I’m a man.


And what the hell is sexy hair? Someone explain that concept to me. Does it came in a pack from Kim’s Beauty Supply or does it have to be custom-ordered from India? I’m lost.

Okay, let me go put my teeth in and step out of my soapbox before I break a hip. PopsCynic has said enough.

All dese dick swallowing, nut bucket ass hoes walking around like dey supposed to get all the praise! Got young girls thinking its cool to be fake and fuck and suck niggas to be respected.

Khia hears me, though. Now if only I were as eloquent. One day.

Pole ‘n B Presents: Girlicious

Can you catch crabs from a video? I hope not. I didn’t know what a Girlicious was when I first scrolled passed the name on a message board, but after one phone call, I’ve since learned that this freaky foursome consists of the ‘winners’ from the show, The Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious. Isn’t that name Girlicious catchy? It’s like so sexy, right? Yahh!

The show’s season finale aired yesterday, and their pimps producers from the show have wasted no time in releasing the video for their first single, “Like Me.” The song gives Natalie, Nichole, Tiffanie, and Chrystina (Isn’t cool how they remixed the spellings of their names? That makes them like so much hotter! Yahh!) the opportunity to let us all know that no other hoe can out tramp them.

That’s an interesting choice of subject matter considering this song sounds like nothing more than an irregular version of their fairy godstrippers’ hit “Don’t Cha” – the first single from their debut album. Plus, if you squint while watching this, you would think Danity Kane pulled a Destiny’s Child and filmed a video without letting one of their members know they no longer have a job.

I really hope this show’s demographics consists of mainly men who want to fuck them or a few gay men that want to be them. Maybe even a little bit of both. Whatever the case, tell me little girls aren’t watching this show thinking they, too, can become well paid famous strippers that “sing” jingles so long as they can work a pole and treat individuality like it comes with a case of herpes. Then again, truth hurts.

I give this group six months until most people forget their existence — until the follow up season airs, of course. Then they get a few more extra months of D-listdom out of sheer politeness.

If you want more Girlicious, you can check out the video for their next single called “Stupid Shit” here. Now why didn’t anyone suggests that as a group name?

Feeling Silly?

I’m obviously wasting too much time reading and writing because I’m letting the hits slip past me. This song would obviously advance the Young Sinick movement. I’m feeling inspired.

I heard this nonsense in Atlanta last weekend. I thought a bunch of people were served some bad brown at the bar, thus they busted into convulsions out on the dance floor, but alas, that scenario makes far too much sense. Peep the cameo from Soulja Boy. It wouldn’t surprise me if they used to share seats on the short yellow bus.

This will no doubt spread like K-Y jelly at Chris Stokes’ house, so look forward to hearing this drilled into your skull in the next couple of months. That is, if it hasn’t already been embedded into your brain.

Personally, I’m too old to dance like I’m caged at the zoo — you can count me out of doing this dance. ‘Get Silly’ doesn’t have the sophistication of say, a ‘My Dougie’ or a ‘Ratchet.’ I’ll be stepping as far away from this dance as the hairline of the person behind it. Or should I just be happy this song and video isn’t not killing anything besides my brain cells?

I will give V.I.C. one thing, though: If there were any two words to put together to craft a hit song in 2008, they would be ‘get silly.’ I think I’ll go with the words ‘dumb asses’ for one of my platinum ring tone smashes due in the near future. What do ya’ll think?

Lock This Fool Up Already

Remember when R. Kelly made good music? I believe 56k modems were still what the bidness was.

I would expect a song like this from a mentally retarded 10th grader inspired by the Pretty Ricky’s and Soulja Boy’s of the world. But not someone, who despite being an admitted functioning illiterate with a well documented urinary tract deficiency problem, is a talented musician. Or so I thought. This has got to be one of the stupidest, simplest, poorly written and “sang” songs I’ve heard in a long time — and I listened to the radio for a few minutes last night. Having said that, I imagine looking at many an idiot with this bullshit as their ringtone for months to come. Seriously, though: Hairbraider? Hairbraider?! What’s next? Biscuit Baker? Sexy Waiter? Chick That Sold Me Gators?

Make it stop. Please. I swear a baby who just learned his first word could make a hit song so long as he or she uses a vocoder.

I hate R. Kelly, and I’m pretty sure I’m close to hating anyone that keeps letting his old ass hang out at both the club and McDonalds Playland. Can someone please lock him out of his Jungle Jim themed studio so he can stop making songs like this?


Damn.

Teenage Love Affair

You might have picked up on this, but I’m not the biggest Alicia Please fan. But today, there will be no screeching cat pictures, nor will there be any pictures of Queen Latifah as Cleo in this Alicia Keys post. I’m taking a break to give props when they’re due. I like her new video. I think it’s dope. I liked School Daze, and this video serves as a good tribute to the one of the best Spike Lee joints. I would like to add that while I don’t always like the final product, I appreciate that Alicia tries to be creative with her video treatments versus the typical look at my lacefront, look at my lacefront, watch me coochie pop, watch me coochie pop videos that dominate R&B and hip hop videos these days. Having said that kudos to Alicia and her side eye for thinking outside of the fan and wig glue factory.

Dear Black Folk

I quit.

No She Can’t

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton on winning a state we all knew she was going to win several months ago. With that being said, can this bitch drop out already?

Yes, I said bitch. If it helps, I think her husband is a bitch, too. Didn’t I tell ya’ll I was a gender-neutral bitch basher? Anyway, this novel idea of Hillary Clinton somehow slithering her way past Obama and seizing the Democratic nomination despite not having the lead in either the delegate count or the popular vote is nothing more than a media-generated fairy tale invented to keep ratings up and all of us talking.

Let’s be for real: She’s not going to be the nominee. That is, unless the Democratic Party makes the dumbest move in decades. Considering their moves in recent years, that scenario isn’t completely unlikely, but I highly doubt it. Indeed, the Reverend Wright controversy has put a dent in the Obama campaign, and of course, the “bitter” comment he made weeks ago was a stupid move on his part. Still, she ain’t gon’ win. So can we off this fool, already?

Hillary’s minions keep yapping to the press about how Hillary wins all of the big states, and how she and she alone can defeat John McCain. Bitch please. The Democrats need two key factions of society to vote in droves to win the presidency: Black folk and the youth. I’m Black and I’m young and let me tell you – I ain’t voting for that lying, conniving, double-talking, race baiting, piece of shit clown of a candidate.

She is poison. She is nothing more than the Democratic Party’s version of George W. Bush: A sneaky, despicable, tactless person that will do or say anything to denigrate her opponent to get ahead. I used to like that she seemed to be strong – now I’m seriously considering donating to whatever Republican that tries take her Senate seat in New York. I despise her that much.

I am huge on voting, but I can’t force myself to vote for Hillary Clinton. I know there are plenty of people who feel the same way. Sure, there will be people who will vote for a three-legged pit-bull before they vote for John McCain; but not enough to give her the edge she needs to win. What’s more, she won’t get nearly enough people to come out to vote so that the Democrats can gain a sizable control of Congress. Nope. It ain’t gonna happen. So again, when can we build a yellow brick road and tell her happy ass to skip on back to Chappaqua?

Her camp complains about Hillary being mistreated in the press. Shut that noise up. At the helm of the campaign she coasted on both the legacy of her husband’s accomplishments and $100 million dollars in campaign contributions from the richest of the land. She’s since mismanaged her money and run an arrogant campaign that’s resulted in her having her ass handed to her by a novice. Now if Obama were in her position, I’m certain they would be giving him the same map they handed Jesse when they told his Black ass to find his way back home back in 1984 and 1988. Her campaign is broke. She’s not going to win every remaining state with the sizable portion she needs to magically overtake Obama’s lead in everything, so why are we still humoring her silly ass?

As for these polls that suggest that more Obama supporters are likely to vote for Hillary should she get the nomination than vice versa: don’t believe the hype. They’re not speaking to young people, or that many Black people. That I’m almost certain of. Why? These pollsters have never called me. Have they called you? I thought so.

The Democrats have a candidate that could expand their electorate and build a much needed base for the future of the party. But, instead of focusing on that and raising money to combat the GOP spin machine that’s already gearing up for the fall election, they instead decide to continue to put up with some chick who six months ago, could at best win 48% of the popular vote, then ultimately lose Congress, state legislators, and governorships like her husband because so many people hate her and her husband that much. Why oh why are politicians so simple?

Apparently Hillary’s campaign sent out emails asking people to donate $5.00. With $10 million in debt, she needs every penny she can get. I’m not giving her anything. She’s clearly spending those dollars on keeping her campaign staffers’ crack pipes smoking. I’m not an enabler.

If her campaign weren’t so negative, I wouldn’t mind her battling this out until June. But, Hillary has decided to take the Karl Rove approach to seizing power and it’s hurting the Democratic Party’s chances in November.

Much like the New York Times, I’m hoping this will all be over sooner rather than later.