Archive for 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Moe 'N Joe" [recap]

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I'm kind of torn with this episode of The Sopranos. I think it has to do with the fact that this show is winding towards it's end; I can't see how ANY of this is going to piece itself together (2 more episodes this year, another 8 starting Jan. 2007)... there is just a lot going on, rifts being presented, and chapters seemingly open-ended. Let's get to brass tax.

First off, Johnny Sack got 15 years. His lawyers started out trying to get him to flip -- as I said last week, he shot that down with the quickness. Some of his people (Phil Leotardo, Silvio) made some strong comments about his course of action, but he had no choice, honestly. They went after his assets, and he stood like a man and made sure his family was taken care of. He had to take some low blows, like selling Tony his house for half price, but if he stood trial, that shit would have gotten UGLY, and there's no telling how many MORE years he would have gotten, as well as how much more loot they'd take from him. In my opinion, smart move, but that life they chose can be a bitch sometimes. With that story, you get some funny moments. Ginny (happy 50th, ma) had her brother play messenger between Tony and Johnny, and seeing Andrew in the jailhouse with Johnny, trying to talk in code, was hilarious ("Our friend with the stomach", "7 cups of coffee", etc). John's a broken man, but he is taking this shit right on the chin. Good luck.

Speaking of selling the house to Tony, guess who got it? Janice, of all people. She cried to Tony in the beginning, made him feel guilty about things. She kept on and on about how Tony is just like Livia, how he always shits on Bobby, wondering why Bobby isn't a captain. Bitch even went as far as to say that the only thing shared between them is DNA. Cold, right? He took this to Dr. Melfi, who we got to see twice, and she told him that it's possible his early sexual fantasies were about Janice (barf!), and that because she got laid and got out, he had to take the brunt of the pain from Livia, as well as running the family business. He has always had that soft spot for Janice, and will always do for her. It's just fucked up that things have to be like that, and she always makes her problems the only important problems.

And boy does she have some problems. Bobby Jr. is showing his ass, talking slick to both her and Bobby. She's the only one who really can put a foot in his ass, but as he gets older, he's kind of not even wanting to deal with them (can you blame him?). She also has to deal with Bobby Bacala, who in every preview, from HBO.com to my cable provider, said he has a "visual impairment"; this cat got got up in Newark by a gang of kids. They beat him down (that's the scene I thought was someone getting beat by firemen -- wtf was I on?!?!) with a lead pipe, jacked his money, and shot at the ground, which ricocheted into his eye. Tony initially laughed at this, but I think the guilt set in, and this is something that leads to him giving Janice and Bobby the house.

The other continuing arc in this episode was Vito's Big Adventure. We first see him chugging Smirnoff in the library, drawing motorcycles. Johnnycakes sees him and is upset (remember, "Vincent" told him that he was a sports writer), but Vito calms him down. Vito also lets Johnnycakes know that he is connected, not in so many words, but why would he even go that route? He doesn't know that bitch from Adam. Anyways, one night Johnnycakes responds to a fire call, and Vito decides he wants to go with him. He ends up saving the day at the fire by cutting some electrical wire, which pisses Johnnycakes off (he ends up giving in and apologizing). "Vinny" takes Johnnycakes up on his offer to work some odd jobs for some locals, but that doesn't set well with Vito at all, and these scenes were some of the funniest. From Vito getting caught "on a siesta" in the barn to the dialogue he has with himself, trying to coax himself from clock-watching, are some of the best individual scenes of the year. Vito cooks dinner for Johnnycakes, who tries to butt-pump him at the stove, but that was a meal he'd have to wait for later. OK, the homosexual stuff got to be a little too thick for me, and I think it got to be too much for Vito, because he cleared out of there. He longed for the life he knew, which is back in NJ. While drunk driving, he ends up smacking the shit out of a SUV on wooded road. The guy has a rapport with Vito, who just wants to bounce, but dude wanted to file a police report. Vito went to grab his registration, which turned out to be a gat, and he plugged homey in the back of the skull, murking him in the woods. Fuck the dumb shit, but watch him get popped for that. Vito took off (ironically yelling "cocksucker" while trying to detach his car from the SUV) and drives back to his stomping grounds, passing the pork shop with a found glare. Silly bitch, you are about to get capped.

A few additional points of interest:

Meadow revealed to Tony that her relationship with Finn is NOT working well. It seems that they are spending little time together, and that time is usually spent apart anyways. She cried on Tony’s shoulder, but he was none to pleased… kept insisting that she discuss this with Carm.

Carm and Tony were going back and forth about this spec house. We found out that Tony let it “slip his mind”, and ordered Silvio to speak to the inspector. Sil was fronting on it, putting it off until Friday, but Tony told him to 86 their meeting… a day after he noticed that Carm was looking to get another contractor for the job, possibly costing more money. In my opinion, Tone doesn’t want Carm to be working outside of the house, no matter how small the task is. He was pissed when he came home to no home-cooked meal, just some sandwiches, while she was prepping for an interview. She was pissed when he basically lied and told her they wouldn’t budge, but what can she do? Tony wants her in the house, and as long as his lies work, she can’t do much else. WHY he’s doing her like that is the question… esp. if she did so much for him when he got shot…

The preview looked juicy… I get the distinct feeling that Vito got found by the crew. There’s a scene with Phil, Sil, Tone and someone else walking through what looks like a warehouse… which looks like the same warehouse that Sil is telling Tony he doesn’t want to go in. I think they catch Vito, and don’t want T to know he got caught. Who knows.

*sigh* I’m a bit upset about this whole Sopranos ending thing. I watch 2 old episodes every Sunday it seems. I will be kind of torn when this ends. Anyone else?

We’ll chew this over next week. EZ.

the shuffle. [5/13/06]

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I spent my Saturday on some very good vibes shit. Wifey and I went out to the mall, mainly to cop her a serious gang of maternity clothes. People kept downtalking Motherhood's price range, but she got mad tops and bottoms and we didn't even go over $300, which is good shit in my book. We ate the American Cafe that is located in the mall... the food was excellent, but that service was fucking ridiculous. Shitty floors, very retarded servers... just an overall downer on some great meals. I actually spent money on myself today, too! I copped a pair of Timbs, a pair of S Dot's for like $50 (!!!), and a Boondocks T-Shirt. All in all, a great way to spend a Saturday with the misses. We took the girls to cop shoes at Payless, and had a fun Burger King dinner. Chilled, etc... watched De La Hoya murk out on Mayorga, who is a fucking horse med taking fool.

In any case, most of this has nothing to do with a pretty wicked week in the world of entertainment and shit. shuffle on, peeps:

1> The Beatles' Apple label
lost a battle against the Apple computer company, who is still allowed to use their 'Apple logo' on the iTunes Music store. Great, another 15 years before people can purchase Abbey Road on iTunes.

2> The
E3 Expo went down this week, and people got to see the first glimpse of the Playstation 3. Who wants to buy this badboy for me? There's no way I'm spending $500 on a PS3, not right now. Nigga, I got kids. That shit can wait. I heard there's a Reservoir Dogs video game coming on it, though... which might sway me (even though I've never watched the flick in it's entirety).

3> Mobb Deep got a big lift with their G-Unit affiliation. They
have the #3 spot on lock, right under new albums from Tool and Pearl Jam, which is a good look for them. Now if they could only do an album without 50...

4> Faggot ass 'Prince' Naseem Hamed
got into a car accident recently. Hopefully, this will derail his planned return to the US boxing circuit. He was funny for 2 fights, but when you realized he couldn't fight, the comedy ended. Good riddance...hopefully??

5> Outed writer James Frey
admitted that his 2nd book, My Friend Leonard, has some fabricated situations in it. I wanted to read this; I read Million Little Pieces before all of the hype, and loved it. I understood why he might want to embellish in that one... but the 2nd one? It just makes me not want to even take a peek at the shit. Fuck that, James. Speak to me. In your real voice. About your real life.

6> Chris Daughtry, the man I picked to win it all during this year's American Idol was booted this week, but his some good luck. The rock band Fuel asked him to join their group. Good. I hope he does well, b/c America fucked up on that one. Whomever wins this season will be cursed. Well not cursed, but they won't do any spectacular numbers sales-wise.

7> Ya boy OJ is a funny dude. This nigga is out there fronting like he's selling his Bronco for some PPV hour show he's getting made. And he's saying he's not getting paid for this? He's got to be the dumbest nigga out there, esp. for someone that the gossip rags claim has a cocaine addiction. He's in need of a good job... maybe UPS is hiring?

8> Chris Tucker signed on to Rush Hour 3 for fucking $25 million!!! I had no idea Rush Hour 2 was the highest grossing comedy flick of all time --- $600 mill in total?!?!? How nuts is that. I guess that's why Chris can ask for that. Hopefully it's as good as the last 2 were. That first 15 mins is classic -- Chris singing MJ tracks?!?! "CHA-MOHN, CHA-MOHN LEE!!"

9> Lupus is the disease that claimed Jay Dee (aka J Dilla). His mother, Maureen Yancey, is calling on everyone to raise awarness on this disease. I'm here to do my part: check out these websites for more info.

10> Hip-Hop Shock Jock Star of the Star & Buckwild Show fame was fired from his station, Power 105.1, for some fucked up comments regarding Hot 97's DJ Envy (and his family) on the radio earlier this week. He actually ended up getting arrested over this nonsense, too, and he is lucky. Envy got suspended over this shit, but I can't blame him. That's his lil baby and his wife that this man was threatening. Fuck the dumb shit, Star should be either in the hospital being fed through tubes or 6 feet deep. After he made those fucked up comments about Aaliyah back in 2001, I disliked that nig with a passion. Now I have even more reason.

11> David Blaine couldn't do it. This shriveled up nigga couldn't hold his breath past the 7 minute 8 second mark, but the amazing feat is not that he stayed in water for a week straight; it's that people like me give a shit. I had been a fan of his when his first specials aired; the card tricks are legendary, the chicken thing, the fake levitation was even hot. Then this standing in a block of ice/on top of a high pole/staying for 44 days in a box type shit is not magic. Yes, people come see it but it is not magic. During the 2 hour snorefest, he did end up doing street magic. He pulled out some chick's teeth and spit them back into place... weird shit.

Whoa. 11 pieces this week eh? Good. Been saving some of these jammies; In any case, I'd like to wish all of the mothers out there HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I'll be grilling for my lady tomorrow. Do something nice for the mothers in your life.

khal, out.

Friday, May 12th 2006 playlist

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What's really goings on? It's another Friday playlist. Mother's Day is on Sunday, so you guys might want to get your mom songs on (I'll give you a few choice cuts either tonight or tomorrow), but for Friday and Saturday, it's time to party. The Hip-Hop game, in terms of new-ness, has been kind of not hitting too hard, so some of my pics are either very old, or on some promo/advance copy ish. You know how it is Drum & Bass wise, so you might not have heard a lot of my choices. Holla at the kid.

Drum & Bass

1> Phobia "The Messenger" [renegade hardware]
2> Random
Movement "They Locked Me Down" [progress]
3> Chino "Creation Blues" [diverse products]
4> Submorphics "Make It Happen" [vibez]
5> Bladerunner "Leave Dem Alone" [dread]
6> Silent Witness & Break "The Question" [dnaudio]
7> Calibre "Dirty Mind" [signature]
8> The Tesco Project "Gunshot" [tesco value]
9> A-Sides "Showstopper" [metalheadz platinum]
10> Zen "Break Even" [grid]


Hip-Hop/Rap

1> Obie Trice ft. The Game "Growing Up In The Hood" [these 2 murder that classic beat, I think it's Compton's Most Wanted?]
2> Fat Joe "We Getting Money" [yes, Crack is back and it's a PROBLEM!]
3> NWA "Straight Outta Compton" [one of the best examples of the aggression encased on the Amen break]
4> Poor Righteous Teachers "Word Iz Life" [big up Jersey all day, Wise Intelligent interview coming soon... fingers crossed!]
5> Obie Trice "Black Boy" [can't get enough of that beat and the way he does his thing... even if his flow is kind of Hov-esque]
6> Papoose "The Boyz In The Hood" [best sample of Boyz 'N The Hood since Remarc's "Ricky"]
7> DJ Khaled ft. Beanie Sigel & Jadakiss "Problem" [forthcoming on Khaled's album... FIYAH!]
8> JR Writer "U Not Like Me" [off that Big Mike 'Gametime 2006' mixtape -- that beat is murder on the woofers!]
9> Cory Gunz ft. Lil' Wayne "What U Know About This" [also off the Gametime 2006 mixtape, produced by Just Blaze. big beat.]
10> Freeway ft. 50 Cent "Bang Bang" [yup. Freeway album coming out on Roc-A-Fella/G-Unit soon, apparently...]

1 to grow on> The Roots "No Alibi" [this one goes out to my nigga Nappy -- hold your head, bro. keep pushin'!]

So that's what my weekend might sound like... maybe not. Keep it locked for some more developments... Horizons Music, Wise Intelligent, more reviews (I'm slackin' on my mackin')... all of that. I'm gonna go breeze for right now though. BE EASY!

RIP Floyd Patterson

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RIP to one of the more classic fighters of our time. He was 71 years old, and had some medical problems going on. "Pretty Boy" had some memorable highs in his career, and I am at a loss for words about his life in and out of the ring. He will be remembered as a role model and a good sport, and will be sorely missed by try boxing aficionados.

LOST, Season 2: "?" [recap]

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For those looking for answers about Michael’s secret being told to the rest of the survivors, you might as well avoid this recap now. In typical LOST fashion, this piece of information has been held to the side to explore another story, and boy was it a doozy for those who are into the mythology of the island. It was an Eko specific episode, so you know there was a large amount of faith and speculation involved. Let’s jump right into things.

The episode started out with a scene showing Eko chopping wood, seemingly for his church. Where he got an axe, I have no clue. In any case, he’s chopping away and Ana-Lucia steps in and speaks to him for a minute. She let’s Eko know that he has to help out Locke. She also goes from her normal looking face to showing him the blood on her head and in her chest. He is startled by this image, and realizes it’s a dream. He has another dream, featuring his brother Yemi, in the hatch (The Swan). Yemi tells him that he has to find the Question Mark (“?” for now on), and Locke will help him; Locke does not want to help him, but this is Eko’s job. He has to get Locke to restore his faith in this island and it’s many mysteries. With this in mind, Eko awakens and, axe in hand, goes to the hatch…

The flashbacks are also Eko-specific. They tell a tale of him during his priesthood residency. We start with him in the confessional booth, looking someone bored/distraught/annoyed with the whole deal, and we find out there is a man there who he paid to get him a passport so he can travel to Los Angeles for an undisclosed reason. He is told that he cannot do this, for he has to go see about proving/debunking this woman’s claims of a miracle. Long story short, this woman’s daughter drowns in a pool, and is considered dead. On the autopsy table, as we heard on a tape in the coroner’s office, during the procedure she is awakened, and is alive! The mother wants this reported to the Vatican, but by Vatican rule, each miracle must be investigated, and since Eko was originally skeptic, he has been chosen as Sherlock. The meeting with the coroner is eerie, hearing the girl’s screams, and I think that might have made Eko a little more interested in this case. When he goes to his scheduled meeting with the girl, but her father jumps outside and ushers the daughter and her mother inside. He looks familiar, and confirms many fans’ suspicion (I have to give my wife credit, she picked it up right away) when he went into his tirade. He said he knows his wife is pulling a fast one, but she is doing it because of his profession. He is a fraud psychic, who finds out about the people who come to see him for advice and guidance. He researches them and then feeds them BS. He is, in fact, the psychic that Claire met with in Season 1, the one who told her to go to LA and sell her baby to a family. Eerie, right? The flashbacks end a little later; for another undisclosed reason, Eko is preparing to board Oceanic 815 when he glances over his shoulder and sees the daughter! She tells him that while she was “between places” (presumably Life and Death), Eko’s brother Yemi told him that he has to be strong, have faith, and that he will see him soon. Eko grows hostile, for good reason, but calms down and gets ready for his plane. Libby made a cameo in that scene, making sure everything was kosher… but nothing was kosher for her.

On their way back at the Swan, Sawyer, Kate, Jack & Locke are speaking about how Ana-Lucia got the gun from Sawyer, when Michael stumbles out of the door, shouting how Henry got the gun, shot Ana-Lucia and Libby and him in the arm, and took off. Eko appears from behind, telling them he will help Jack tend to Michael, and as they all enter the hatch. They see the destruction: Ana-Lucia, dead. Libby, seemingly dead until Sawyer catches a face full of her bloodspit. Jack says there’s not much he can do, due to the gunshot wounds to the stomach. He can make her comfy, but cannot work anything else. He asks for the heroin, which Sawyer has. Kate is told to go with Sawyer, and she does not get it; Jack played his cards right, because Sawyer has to go grab the smack from his stash or risk Libby in unbearable pain (FYI – Sawyer’s stash was in his camp, right under his sleeping quarters. Slick, right?). They go off, as does Eko and Locke, trying to track Henry’s trail.

During the tracking, Locke realizes Eko isn’t there to hunt Mr. Gale, and Eko lets him know of Yemi’s plan to find the ?. Locke wants to go back, but is met with a Wesley Snipes headbutt. He awakens to find Eko’s built a fire and set up camp. He asks about the ?, and let’s Locke know that he knows what the ? is. After some haggling, Locke pulls out the crude map he drew from what he saw briefly on the blast door. Eko immediately picks up on it and they set out to find the ?. Locke’s faith has been waining, and initially it shows. It’s not until he has a weird dream that his interest heightens: we see Eko, walking with a limp mind you, axe in hand, following Yemi. Yemi climbs the wall that once held the plane Boone crashed in. Eko is using that axe to climb the wall, and when he reaches the top, he sees Yemi sitting in a wheelchair, gets startled and loses his grip. Locke wakes up, and tells Eko of his dream. Eko realizes that Yemi is speaking to Locke too, and is charged up. He uses the axe to climb the wall and makes it to the top. Once there, he notices a circle-shape on the ground, ending where the burned plane sits. He investigates and realizes the ground is salted, like someone did this intentionally. With a little moving around, he finds what he must have been looking for: metal. After digging and moving the plane, Locke realize that they found a door, which turns into a new hatch! “The Pearl”, as it is called in a new orientation video (no film reels in this hatch) has 2 leather chairs, a number of TV screens, and a bank-drive through looking chute. The host on the tape explains that this station is used for observation. He says that the people in the hatch do not know they are being observed, for obvious reasons – they use this Pearl hatch to test different experiments. One of the TVs had a direct feed into the Swan, among other spots. Everything is recorded by tape and was to be recorded by the Pearl inhabitants; once they noted everything in their journals, they’d put them in the chute, to be picked up by the Hanso people. Weird shit, right? Eko asked what I knew he’d ask (“Would you like to watch that again?”), but Locke was visibly pissed. His faith was tested, he wained from it, and he saw this video and it confirmed what he thought. He told Eko this, but Eko told him about Yemi’s travels and how he got back his cross from his brother and such. He asked Locke, essentially, with all of this going on, and us finding this hatch, this does nothing but REINFORCE what we’ve been doing. Eko even went as far to say that if Locke won’t hit the button, he will.

Back at the Swan, Hurley is there with Libby. No one knows how he didn’t know for a day that Libby was hurt, as he was waiting for her to come back, but he was visibly shaken. He was there to see Jack administer the final dose of smack to Libby, and said he was sorry for not getting the blankets (sad moment, really made some people cry, too). Jack shot her with the smack, and for a moment Libby was alive, shaken, scared, and said “Michael” before dying… Jack figured she was asking if he was OK, but we know she was really trying to say that Michael capped her. Very sad ending, but the previews look like the game is ON!

In the preview, we see Michael with his arm in the sling. There seems to be much chaos going down, and this might be the episode where Michael either has flashes of his time with the Others (we see shots of him being injected with needles, and shots of him being taken off), and other scenes of him telling his story (or possibly covering up his story?). I am kind of foggy on what happened honestly, but that’s why I love my DVR! I’ll add to this more.

During this show, they showed a new Hanso commercial, this time with a new web address in it:
www.sublymonal.com. Upon further investigation, this turned out to be part of a new Sprite ad campaign. Sort of how the LOST Experience game showed up on Monster.com as well. (If you aren't into it, check out The LOST Experience Clues blog.)

That's enough of my LOST obsession for now. Tune in next week for more recap loveliness.

[rock the dub Interview]: Akrobatik

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Boston is not known for being a place where Hip-Hop lives, on a mainstream level anyways. Most Hip-Hop heads can only name Benzino and Ed OG as being cats from that area. There is actually a pretty solid underground that is peeking its head out of that neck of the woods. One of those mastadons is Akrobatik, an MC many might consider "underground", but he is more than that. He is 1/3 of The Perceptionists, with long time collaborators and friends Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One. He has a quality album in stores, Balance, where he truly shows the differing sides of a man, an MC, and a human being, guts and all. He is currently working on a new album, but took the time to bless us with news on what to expect, as well as his views on Live Hip-Hop shows, who he considers some of the superheroes of the game, and other odds and ends...


khal: First off, congrats on all of the props you have received for the PerceptionistsBlack Dialogue album. How does it feel to have one of your albums deemed one of the best of 2005, as well as have been up for a Plug Award?

Akrobatik: Thanks a lot! It was definitely hot to get the recognition we did for that album. It was a long time coming, and we really hoped it would be well-received. I'm glad we got together and made the project happen, and I look forward to doin' more joints as The Perceptionists.

khal: Personally, when I listen to Black Dialogue, it feels like a back-to-the-future type of thing: while the sonics are very current and at times futuristic ("
Blo" for example), the content, whether its political or just tracks like "Party Hard" take it back to how people used to rock in the "golden era" of Hip-Hop.

Akrobaitik: Yeah, I feel that way, too. That's why we went with the artwork design that we did for the album. Our influences stem from that era where content was important, and we wanted to make an album that we thought would get respect from the cats that we look up to as well as the new fans and cats that been down with us since day 1.

khal: You’ve been dropping tracks on various labels, from Detonator and Coup D’etat to Rawkus and Def Jux. Recently, you signed with NYC’s Fat Beats for the release of your upcoming album, Absolute Value. Why’d you sign with Fat Beats, and not stick with Def Jux to put out your album?

Akrobatik: Well, Def Jux is a quality label, without question. But they have their hands full with artists that have been holdin' them down from jump, so I needed to set myself up in a situation where I would be top priority. Fat Beats definitely gives me a chance to spread my wings, expand my audience, and get the attention I feel I deserve as a soloist.

khal: Can you give us any insight as to what’s going on with the Absolute Value LP? Is there a central theme/concept throughout the album? Who’s on the beats? Any guest MCs?

Akrobatik: Well, as of now it's still a work in progress. The concept is a loose one. My focus on this album is to have end-to-end bangers that are gonna kick ass when I hit the road. I'm definitely not trying to be super-conceptual with this album. I prefer to go against the grain. Absolute Value is gonna be a headbangin', ass-movin' LP, with hard beats and rough rhymes, just the way so many hip-hop heads love it. I got beats from Illmind, Beatminerz, Therapy, J-Zone, Fakts One, 9th Wonder, all types of cats. B-Real from Cypress Hill, Freddie Foxxx, Mr. Lif, and a few other special guests will stop in, too...

khal: Take us into the studio with you: how do you come up with your tracks? Are you bringing a full book of rhymes to the studio and working out those ideas, or do your songs come to fruition when you hit the studio? Also, does your process differ when you are working with the Perceptionists as opposed to doing your solo tracks?

Akrobatik: A lot of producers are probably frustrated with me, because they give me CDs full of dopeness, and I only end up choosing one or two. I listened to thousands of beats while I was writing this album, and I really only picked beats that told me they needed me to write to them. In other words, I listen to hear a song out of a track before I even write anything. I don't keep books full of rhymes; I just think I stay ready to write "THAT" song to "THAT" beat. With the group, I think the process was similar, but it's cool to have someone to bounce ideas around with.

khal: I was on another blog the other day, where they were kind of dissing Hip-Hop live shows for not being innovative and what have you, with that being the reason as to why most Hip-Hop artists don’t make as much loot on shows as opposed to Rock acts or what have you. What do you try to do live that separates your show from the next mans?

Akrobatik: It's funny you ask that, because I am in the process of a complete overhaul of my live show. I'm really gonna try to make my show worth well beyond the price of admission. I totally agree that a lot of shows are lackluster. I think I do a good job as a soloist, but I've always felt it could be even better. That's definitely a focus of mine. As I get older, I'm realizing the importance of cardiovascular health. I wanna be out there 20 years from now still doing this if I want, so I'm just trying to master breath control and pacing myself. Aside from that, I just like to be personal with the crowd, and make sure that everything I say can be heard clearly. I treat Emceein' like a sport, and the shows are the big games. I try to show up and and do my best every time.

khal: You’ve got a lot of classics tracks, from "SayYesSayWord" to "
Remind My Soul" to "Internet MCs" and the "Fat Shit" tracks with Lif. What is YOUR favorite track that you’ve done? Why? Do you have any tracks out there that you are not so happy with?

Akrobatik: I think my favorite track is a joint off my new album. It's the first song on the album, and I think it's gonna go down as my signature track. It's just gets me hyped as hell. Throw that shit on, and my adrenaline starts flowin' immediately. But as far as joints that I have previously released, it would have to be "Remind My Soul". I have other songs that I think I like more, but that one has effected so many people in so many positive ways that I can't overlook how much it means to me.

khal: What’s good about Hip-Hop these days? What’s something that you wish would be kept out of the scene?

Akrobatik: What's good about Hip-Hop is that there is an audience out there large enough to keep independent artists alive and relevant. Also, Hip-Hop remains to be our most powerful voice. It's a shame that so many abuse that, but that doesn't erase the fact that the vessel is still there to be used for the greater good. For me, I would love it if the whole crack dealer/gun runner shit would die out. It's played and not really believeable anymore. So many people are tryin to be "THAT" dude, that the creativity is leaking out of Hip-Hop. But, I think there are enough creative and talented cats out there keepin' the real shit alive. Even in gangsta rap, you have plenty of dudes who still approach the shit as emceein', and that's all I really ask.

khal: You’ve connected with plenty of artists out there, but it’s a big world out there. If you could do an EP with ANY producers/MCs/artists out there, who would you choose and why?

Akrobatik: I wanna do an album with Illmind. His beats are incredible. I would also love to put together a supergroup of black superhero emcees like Ghostface, Doom, Pharoahe Monch, Bumpy Knuckles, Black Thought, and myself. Although I realize that would be putting myself in very exclusive company. Those guys are all some of the all-time greats.

khal: Your success has taken you all over the world on tour; what state/city/country has the livest crowd? On the flipside, what’s the WORST experience you have had during a live show?

Akrobatik: I love Paris. I love album release shows in Boston. Crowds in Baltimore have always been live for me for some reason, too. Internationally when you do the festivals, those are definitely the livest crowds. Illest show I've ever done though was at the Bonnaroo Festival in '05. It was Perceptionists, RJD2, and De La Soul. 10,000 people in a tent whilin' for hours. Mad fun...
As far as the worst experience, one time I was doing a show in Berlin. My DJ threw on the vocal version of "SayYesSayWord", and when I turned around to let him know, he had his back turned diggin' through records.

khal: Most people know you are a Boston head, and are into sports heavy. What’s going on with your Patriots this coming season?

Akrobatik: Ahh... I can't say I'm not disappointed about losing Vinatieri, McGinest, and Givens. But we drafted well. I trust that the organization will once again field a product that cats can be proud of. It's a tough league though. It could be decades before another team accomplishes what the Pats have done in the last 5 years.

khal: I read in XXL a while back that you are seriously into WWE, and wrestling in general. Who would you say is the superstar that is most like Akrobatik, and why? Do you think you could take any of the WWE stars in a match?

Akrobatik: I guess I would have to say John Cena. Aside from the Hip-Hop thing, the way he does a lot of his slams and stuff like that is similar to my style in the ring. He bounces around a lot, and I'm the same way. Charisma-wise, though, I'd say Stone Cold Steve Austin. He's the man.

khal: Which MCs (dead or alive) are in your top 5?

Akrobatik: Man that's NOT easy. Here goes, no order:
KRS-One
Pharoahe Monch
Black Thought...
..............
ya know what I'm not gonna do this. There are too many dope emcees to narrow it down to just a top 5. And what are we basing greatness on?
Ain't no best.

khal: Let’s wrap this up; do you have any final words and/or shout outs to drop?

Akrobatik: Just check for me when the album drops in October, and on the road this summer! Hit me up online at
Akrobatik.com or www.myspace.com/therealakrobatik

The Sopranos, Season 6: "The Ride" [recap]

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So Season 6 is almost over, and we've gotten 2 marriages already. The first was Johnny Sack's daughter, Allegra, and now we are introduced to Christopher's new wife, Kelli, who is also with child. She thought he was going to whup the shit out of her ass, but he instead held her close, rubbed her belly, and wanted to "make a day" out of a trip to Atlantic City to get hitched. We know this is something he wanted but could not have with Adrianna, due to her plumbing, so there should be NO surprise that he jumped at the opportunity. Speaking of Adrianna, she does come up a few times this episode... let's get it going.

On a trip to PA, Tony and Christopher stop off somewhere so Tone can drain the lizard. Out of their Escalade, they see a few guys, who we find out later are members of some Vipers biker gang, jacking some nice boxes of wine. They figure, why not pilfer from the pilfering? They load up when all of the sudden, the fucking Vipers roll out of the spot with an ATM MACHINE! Chrissy quickly pulls out his piece, and when the Vipers ask if they are cops, they play along. Right before they decide to leave, Chrissy squeezes a cap out, and all hell breaks loose. One of the Vipers reaches for his ratchet, and shots are exchanged... by the time Chris gets back in the window (he was hanging out, bucking like a wild man), one of the Vipers is down, and Tony's ankle is sprained. They get a great dinner, and Chris even drinks some of the wine that Tony is getting lit off of. Funny thing about this scene is, Chrissy is championing the 12 steps, how his son will be his strength, but then gives in when T pours him a glass... now, wasn't this the same Christopher who was sniffing coke off the hooker's chest back in Hollywood? Why is that OK but drinking WITH TONY some kind of crazy idea? Anyways, they spend some time drinking more wine outside, when Chrissy and T share an intimate moment, talking about how much they have been through, and such. We are treated to a scene from the past, where Chris comes to T and tells him that he found out Adrianna flipped to the Feds. We sense the hostility in Tone, grabbing at Chris to check for the wire, probing him for information. We get to see Chris at his lowest, balling over Ade, telling T he can't pull the trigger, and he won't let T make him. It's very touching, and a scene many fans have wanted to see for some time now... later on, we see Christopher again with his homeboy, the smackhead who arranged the hit on Rusty. Christopher pays him his money, which is a little less than what was discussed, but he drops some H in there for good keeping. The dude gets worked in the whip, asking Chris if he wants. Chris first "toots" some, but then decides to go balls deep and mainline. We are treated to a pretty nicely done sequence of Chrissy making nice with a dog, all the while strung out, watching the sky, nodding off in the fair, etc. Some help REHAB did for him.

The fair, the fair. The St. Elzear's fair was held by cost cutting Paulie, which ended up biting him in the ass. We knew it was trouble when the new parish asked for an increase in his pay, from $10K to a cool $50Gs. Paulie was none to happy, so St. Elzear did not get a new hat. He cut so many corners, he almost endangered Janice, Domenica and lil Bobby on the fucking teacups. The ride gives way, and some kid gets smacked in the face by the equipment. Janice hams it up at dinner, saying Bobby didn't do shit to help, so what's he do? He finds the operator, asking for $25K for his wife, who is now sporting a new neck brace (yawn). The operator snitches on Paulie, saying he was the one who scrimped on the funds. Bobby causes a scene at the fair, calling Paulie out, saying he owed him scrilla for the medical bills. Paulie, of course, wants no part of that @ all. Later on, they sit down to eat at Christopher's party, but Bobby bounces when he sees Paulie. Tony asks Paulie to make it right with Bobby, but Paulie has been going through some things of his own. He is tripping about this biopsy that he had, due to the possibility of his having prostate cancer. Sad story, but loot is loot. Paulie wouldn't let anyone else cut corners for personal reasons, so he has to not be surprised when folks are mad at him for his usage of funds. We see Paulie’s portion close when he gets out of a restless sleep and strolls down to the Bing at 3AM. There’s a shot of him walking past the dance floor, and all of the sudden, a quick cut to a huge Virgin Mary statue standing on the dance floor! As soon as it appears, we get a shocked look on Paulie’s face (and a jolt in the heart, if you are like me), and then a shot of the Virgin gone… spooky. He goes to his mother/aunt’s house later that night, probably for some comfort. She asks him if he wants some cookies and they sit, together, watching a rerun of the Lawrence Welk show. He needs that compassion, and he will not get that sympathy from anyone but the woman he knew as his mother.

Now back to Adrianna for a mite. At the fair one night, Carmela sees Adrianna’s mom, Liz, who seems to be very distraught. She says that she KNOWS that Christopher killed her, mainly because the FBI had come to her house asking all types of questions. Carmela thinks she has been drinking, but Liz says what Carm is seeing is depression. A day or so later, Carm presents this info to Tony, who has to lie to protect his boy. In the end, that’s wrong, but he has to think of his family first. He told Carm the usual malarkey, even downplaying the domestic violence angle (“First and foremost, there is always a body”). His story for Christopher is tight, and Christopher really didn’t pull the trigger (Sil did), but Carmela left that convo still distraught and perplexed.

Now, that’s the main meat and potatoes of the episode. There are some odds and ends that I noticed, and wanted to share:

The whole scene where Tony is asking Phil Leotardo if he wants to knock off that truck TONIGHT was a big set up for next week. Phil makes his sly “spare John the stress of having to hear about this” comment, like he really gives a fuck about Johnny’s well being. He wants to live well, and be the big man.

The scene towards the end, where baby Domenica is at the fair one morning with Tone, Carm and her parents, and Domenica runs to the fence surrounding the close-down teacups ride. She starts balling, and all Janice wanted to do was to show everyone how her baby wants to go on the teacups again. Tony, who is maturing in every episode, shows his softer side, picking Nica up and twirling her around in the air. Touching scene, and a good play on where T and Janice’s heads are at.

Next week’s preview played up the whole THREE EPISODES LEFT thing, which doesn’t make me happy going into this summer, but what can you do. There was some interesting shit going on with Vito, it seems:

Phil Leotardo looks to be getting cut out of things. Ginny Sack’s brother was seen talking to Tony, basically saying Phil should be kept out of some deal or scheme. There is a picture of Phil’s face looking kind of shocked (shook?) about SOMETHING. In that arc, there was a man in Johnny’s cell also making references to Johnny talking/ratting on his homies. We’ll see how that plays out… it’s not in his nature to be a rat, unless he can manipulate the situation his way.

Bacala seems to be getting shit on by Tony, probably involving money. Bobby has been taking an odd turn this season, from a lovable oaf to a sneaky bastard. Don’t be surprised if he turns up the heat, his temper seems to be unruly at times…

The other main chunk was seeing Vito again. He looked to be talking to the Johnny Cakes firefighter biker guy about his family coming to get him?!?! Then there’s a scene were a gang of firefighters are around SOMEBODY on the ground, and the body is getting hit/cut with an axe?!?!

3 episodes left… stranger things have happened.

Do you guys have any theories on how this will play out? Scream at me.

the shuffle. [5/6/06]

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Well, well. Another week down the tubes. Another week closer to my lil man being born. Another week of new music and new opportunities. Right now, I'm running with this Big Mike "Gametime 2006" mixtape, hosted by punk ass Ron Artest. It's actually pretty good. Beanie Sigel rhyming over "Still #1" is necessary. And, with my NJ Nets winning their first round game in the NBA Playoffs, I figured a mixtape like this would be necessary listening...at least once. Nets vs. Heat starts Monday night. Fingers crossed!

That's not what we're here to do though, this is the shuffle. There's some things goings on... again, I think this week might be a bit more Hip-Hop/Rap dominated, but that's only because most of that other shit going on doesn't really phase me. Let's get it going.


1> Hot 97's studios are now going to have
video surveillance courtesy of the NYPD. First off, they are going to be getting evicted at some point anyways. My thing about this is just, hasn't NY been known as one of the most taped cities in the US? Most of the major cities in the US have cameras all over, so how is there NOT some type of cameras already set up near a building in NYC? Just seems kind of odd...

2> Two actors on HBO's "The Sopranos" were reported to have been
arrested recently. What is it about this show that the characters are staying in trouble? Gandolfini had his troubles, but has been kind of silent in recent years; Robert "AJ" Iler got busted with a weed pipe; neph who played "C" in A Bronx Tale became a smackhead and got busted on some robbery/murder shit earlier this year as well. We have John Ventimiglia, who plays Artie Bucco, driving drunk with the remnants of his coke stash on his person. Is life imitating art, or vice versa? Also, duke who played "Perry", aka the driver who Tony fucked up, got busted on some breaking and entering type shit. I can see that, especially with his whole "I'm innocent. I'm always innocent" comments. What a trooper.

3> Mobb Deep's Blood Money album dropped in stores this week (check my review
here). There has been a grip of hate on this album, for good reason in some circles (the lack of their family being featured, sup Noyd!), but none has hard as Phonte's words. Still and all, it looks like they did about 110,000 in sales, based on the HITS Daily Double numbers. I really think they will at least go plat very soon. I hate hearing 50 on each and every track (whether he's guesting or being mimicked), but that's how G-Unit does. Live with it. And rock the shit that's hot on there ("Capital P, Capital H" is the joint).

4> Why is David Blaine considered a magician still?
Living in a water bubble for a week is not magic! He is going to be doing an "illusion" next week, trying to escape from chains and shit. While being underwater. For 9 minutes. That's supposedly longer than a dolphin. When are magicians going to do cool shit, like making people disappear? Isn't a lot of this stuff getting old? I can see being enaptured by Houdini's work, but come one. Get a new trick, bitch.

5> I guess this is old news, but I'm an old nigga, so bear with me.
The Boondocks is coming to DVD in June 2006. I first fell in love with the comics, which still don't get play in my favored paper, but whatever. Biting social commentary from a lil nigga state of mind. Aaron McGruder is the truth, and the art is amazing. The fact that they were able to throw it on TV and bring it right to life is even more impressive. From the voice work, which featured everyone from John Witherspoon to Charlie Murphy, to the amazing anime-influenced animation, to the inclusion of many different topics, this show is dope enough, but with Aaron's humor and intellect kept in tact... man, it's just the best shit on TV. I'll review the DVD when it drops.

6> Suge is
crying broke. He is saying, with all the loot he owes ($11 million+ in taxes, $9,300 to Nextel, $1,100 to Cingular Wireless, and more), he is left with like a G worth of clothes, and $11 in the bank, among furniture and "personal jewelry". Get the fuck out of here, Suge. Pay what you owe, and then disappear.

7>
Niggas was dumping on each other at a Bow Wow show. Now I know he is looking to hype up this hard-rock image, but paying people to shoot each other at your own show?!?! That's low!

8> Kim Mathers is asking for
physical custody of Hailie, her daughter with Eminem. People thought having Eminem as your father was bad enough; now the cokehead moms wants to have custody? She says she wants Em to share custody, but pay everything. OK this is out of control. How about she gets a job? How can she be the most fit parent for Hailie, her father is fucking RICH! AND HE TAKES CARE OF HER! What an idiotic case. I hope Em gets total custody of Hailie, for the sake of Hailie.

That's about it for now. I'm going to go zone out to TV Land's 48 hour Good Times marathon. DY-NO-MITE!

Friday, Cinco De Mayo 2006 playlist

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Happy Cinco De Mayo, my people. I'd say crack a Corona and get it lovely, but I don't even drink that shit like that. Heineken, Private Stock, Beck's, Mickey's, or no go. Well, Yuengling when I'm in the mood. ANYWAYS, shout out to my music industry heads holding me down. James Phobia, your EP is fire man. Neil, Horizons is the future. All others, I'm here, get at me. Akro, Exile, where them Interview answers at?!?

Since I'm here, let's break down this week's playlist. There's a ton of D&B that I've got, I'll link the reviews when they go up on DOA; there's also a bunch of Hip-Hop that's going down. This can get interesting...

Drum & Bass:

1> Ill.Skillz "Guru VIP" [ill.skillz]
2> Bungle "Too Late" [critical]
3> Logistics "Krusty Bass Rinser" [hospital]
4> Skeptic "Tear (2006 Remix)" [eastside]
5> DJ Hazard "Talk Like A Girl" [ganja]
6> Phobia "The Messenger" [renegade hardware]
7> Amit "The Tube (Outrage Remix)" [inneractive]
8> Prolix "Choke Hold" [ganja-tek]
9> Amit "Swastika" [commercial suicide]
10> Breakage & Rohan "Ruff Dub" [bassbin]

Hip-Hop/Rap:

1> Saigon "Shot In The Booty" [shouts to Kadash for this one]
2> The Game "Face of LA" [100 bars over the "Put 'Em In Their Place" beat]
3> Busta Rhymes ft. Papoose & Cassidy "Psycho" [prod. by J. Dilla RIP]
4> Joe Budden "New Jerz Shit"
5> DJ Khaled ft. Beanie Sigel & Jadakiss "Problem" [???]
6> Styles P "Problems" [prod. by Swizz Beatz]
7> Pete Rock ft. Grap Luva "Revenge"
8> Cam'ron ft. Lil Wayne "Suck it Or Not" [i can't help it.]
9> Clipse ft. Liva, Pharrell & Sandman "What's Up" [off the 'we got it 4 cheap vol 2' mixtape]
10> J. Dilla "Hi" [stones throw]

And there you go. Enjoy the weather, get nice, and cool out to what I'm coolin' to.

Be easy!

LOST, Season 2: "Two For The Road" [recap]

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Each and every article I've read about this episode talks about the last five minutes of the show. They were shocking, although kind of predictable (wifey sounded like she was seeing the future before each movement). In this first of many recaps, we'll delve into that, and try to point out some other things in this episode.

Now, this was mainly an Ana-Lucia part. The flashbacks were all about her; she started out a week after the shooting that took place many moons ago, when she murdered the guy who popped off on her. Her mother told her that she suspected Ana-Lucia of the murder, and that if she was on the force, she should cooperate. Ana-Lucia decided to quit, and became a security guard at an airport. She ended up meeting Jack's father in an airport bar (kind of like how she met Jack), and they talked over a few drinks. "Tom" (this is the name she gave him, for he didn't want them to know each other's real names) asked Ana-Lucia to travel to Sydney with him, as her "protection". Apparently, they spent 4 days not together, drinking. One night, he knocks on her door and informs her that, basically, "it's on". They travel out in a stormy night and confront an Australian-sounding woman, who is very irate. "Tom" is screaming about wanting to see his daughter, and the whole scene had an eerie feel to it; the main assumption is that his daughter is Claire, one of the survivors of Oceanic 815... who knows. In any case, she drags him from that encounter, and they end up driving until daybreak. They end up stopping outside of a bar, where a weird cross appears... "Tom" opens the door and nearly knocks Sawyer down! Funny, b/c Ana-Lucia just kind of waves Sawyer off. In any case, "Tom" and Ana-Lucia depart, with "Tom" running into the bar and Ana-Lucia apparently decided to leave. Towards the end, the last flashback sequence shows the scene from Season 1, where Jack is pleading with the lady @ the airport to get his accomodations (his father's coffin, etc) right, so he can get this over with, and Ana-Lucia is further back in line, and calls her mom on some "I'm sorry, I want to come home" stuff. Moms takes the flight #, and that's where the flashbacks end...

Alright, now Ana-Lucia also had a bunch of big things going on during the show. It started off with "Henry Gale" berating her for being bad, for killing Goodwin and generally being an un-nice person. They bantered back and forth, and he ended up almost choking her out, until Locke came behind and whacked him with his cane. Later on, Ana-Lucia decides she needs a gat, and bugs Sawyer for one... he was none to pleased with it, and shooed her away like she was a little kid. She came back, and wanted to take it by force... but ended up forcing Sawyer to enjoy a sexy romp in the woods. I had heard a rumor that was going down, but not in what context. In any case, she makes him swear secrecy, all the while stealing his piece...

Back in the hatch, Locke asked Henry why he didn't kill him when his leg was trapped under the blast door. Henry went into the now-infamous "Other" talk, about Locke being a good one, and even going as far as to say that when he got trapped by Rousseau, he was actually ON HIS WAY to recruit Locke, or so it seemed. That confused Locke even more [which seems to be his M.O. these days], but it further proved the kind of slickster Henry really is. The sad part is, later on, Jack notices the scratch on Ana-Lucia's forehead, and Locke makes up a lie about her nicking her head on the sink. This proved to be costly later on...

On the island, Hurley had some hilarious comments, referencing Say Anything, all the while trying to score some points with a picnic for Libby. He bumbles it, though: he gets lost trying to take her to the beach that Saayid took Shannon to, he doesn't bring any blankets, he just didn't think the whole thing through. We see him last letting Libby go grab some blankets while he goes to secure some wine from Bernard and Rose...

The very first scene saw Jack and Kate tending to a very disoriented Michael, who has been off God knows where for the majority of this season. They carry him back to the hatch, awaiting him to regain some consciousness. Once he does, he spins this wild tale about the Others. He says there was about 22 of them: no sign of kids. He says that half of the Others are female, and they live in huts and teepees, with no shoes. He did say there's 2 gats held by 2 guards outside of a hatch, which we all suspect is where the children are being held. Now, this automatically pushes Jack over the edge, and he is ready to collect the gats from Sawyer, so he could take a war to the Others. Only, Sawyer isn't up for it. Sawyer reaches for the gat that Ana-Lucia has, and when they put 2 and 2 together, they realize Ana-Lucia had an ulterior motive for grabbing that gun.. to kill Henry Gale! This is when Locke decides to chime in about the days events...

Back in the hatch, Ana-Lucia and Michael chat a bit, and she says she was going to murk Henry, but couldn't do it. Couldn't pull the trigger [she isn't as cold as we think, eh?]... Michael offers to do it though, as a source of revenge, apparently. Some say this was her plan all along, but I genuinely thought she was being sincere. She was probably tired of all of the killings. Anyways, Michael gets the combination from Ana-Lucia for the vault, and makes like he is going to open the vault, but he suddenly pulls his gun on Ana-Lucia. He utters a quick "Sorry"... then BLAMM!! He unloads on homegirl with the quickness. You see the blood, for he hits her right in the chest. In an instant, Libby steps into the picture [holding blankets], and Michael instinctly squeezes off 2 more shots. We see Libby on the floor... but oddly enough, no real bullet holes or blood. Hmm... Michael then opens the vault door, stares at Henry Gale, and points the gun at himself. He squeezes a round off, and then it goes black.

That last 5 minutes was a killer, no?

In the preview, we see a few things:

  • Eko and Charlie pushing the plane for some odd reason... and a shot of Eko falling off a cliff?!!?
  • Michael with his arm in a sling, seemingly in the vault or in a cell.
  • A shot of Ana-Lucia laying down, with her arm being placed over her chest.
  • And some other actions shots I cannot think of right now [lol].

That was an intense episode, but again, some of that shite was predictable. I mean, you just KNEW Ana-Lucia and Sawyer were going to get it on, just from the way he was holding her hip. And Michael squeezing off on Ana-Lucia and Libby... it was surprising, but my wife picked it right out. Sounds like that whole thing was planned from the get-go, though... peep 1 and 2.

The other big thing with this episode was the "Hanso Foundation" commerical that came on. Wifey didn't see that one at first... she didn't notice it. In the left hand corner, though, it had a "paid by ABC TV" type text there. Sneaky. It was the first piece of the LOST Experience ARG game. The phone number *1-877-HANSORG* flashed up at the end. Sneaky, sneaky! I haven't delved deep enough into this game, but I will this weekend... hopefully.

All in all, another stunning episode, a nice way to kick off a month full of NEW EPISODES!

Keep your eyes/ears peeled for new developments.

Here's a dope website for you to visit: The LOST Notebook.

As always, namaste, bitches!

The Boondocks Season 1 DVD

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Aaron McGruder's wonderfully done comic strip came to life on Cartoon Network's [adult swim] late last year. In June of 2006, the show is coming out on DVD. And I am excited! Uncut AND Uncensored?!? How insane is that...

Prequel to the LOST posts...

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As you may or may not have guessed, I am a pretty big fan of LOST, ABC's hit TV show. It was hard to pull my eyes away from it, and it is one show that my wife and I have in common. There is a mixture of action, romance, drama, suspense, sci-fi... this show has it all, and the crew behind it keeps it's ideas fresh. I figure, with the end of the Season 2 approaching, and this new LOST Experience interactive game coming out literally today, tomorrow, or on Saturday (depending on where you live in the world)... why not start up a series of posts devoted to LOST.

I plan on basically doing some recaps of the new shows, divulging any new dirt or clues to the secrets of this island. If you are not a fan of some spoilers, you might want to steer clear of these posts. I like getting deeper into the mythology, but not to the point of, for instance, knowing what happens on the season finale.

Speaking of season finales, and the end of this season, I read on one forum that the producers did an interview for a magazine and had some interesting things going on by this season's end, namely what happens. We get to peer into what Michael was doing while away from the castaways in a few weeks... I also heard that we will get to learn more about the mysterious Desmond, as well as what's really good with DHARMA and how the survivors got picked (chosen?) to be on this island.

I will also do some other posts devoted to the burgeoning world of LOST online, pre-Experience. There had been a plethora of sites devoted to the mysteries and hilarities of the island. From Sawyer songs to oddly scripted pages divulging (
seemingly) random information, I've seen a lot. I'll be sharing some of them with you guys, and hopefully you will forward some to me.

Here are some sites/forums/etc to get you started:

4815162342.com ill forum with many subforums of theories and such.
Sledgeweb's LOST ... stuff. (lots of investigations into the island's mythology, with many screencaps)
watchLOST.com one beautiful website that posts up .wmv files of the episodes the day after they show. MUST SEE FOR LATE COMERS!

That's everything for right now. Scream at me if you have more stuff to send my way.

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Johnny Cakes" [recap]

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Another one down, and what a crazy episode it was. I was expecting a few of these things, but there is always a twist in it.

First off, that Julianna chick, her real name escapes me, but she was a tough nut to crack, eh? Tony had been dialoguing back and forth with her over the sale of the shop to open a fucking Jamba Juice. She called him persuasive, and that proved to be true... by episode's end, we see Tony about to get hot and heavy with Juliana when he suddenly stops himself. I like how they did that too: we see Carm come with the very shirt Tone wants to wear, all ironed, and her buttoning it up for him. Then, as Tone is about to do the deed with Julianna, he takes notice of her unbuttoning the shirt and pumps the breaks. Good step for Tony, and a well thought out diagram of scenes. It's good to see Tony truly changing for the better... gotta show and prove.

Back to the Jamba Juice thing; I like how they showed Tony's goons trying to shake down the coffee shop in the beginning. Set the undertone for the whole episode. And my nigga at the shop stood his ground! He was right though, big chains keep track of everything, whether it's a DVD or a coffee bean. What is the world coming to is right! I just wonder if Tony will still be going through the whole Jamba Juice thing b/c he turned down the nookie... we shall see!

Now Vito, or "Vince", that's a horse of a different color. We see him not fitting in throughout the whole episode -- no conversations at the bed and breakfast, him waddling around town in his velour Fila suits. Even calling wifey and choking up at the sound of his son's voice -- which might prove to be a bad move. Cells can be tracked, numbers traced, esp. since he used someone else's cell to place the call! Dumb move. Anyways, he got enamored by the firefighting flapjack maker. So enamored that he bought homeboy and his crew a round at the bar. When 'Flapjack' tried to kiss him, Vito smacked him, which got himself fucked up. It was OK though, "Vince" came back for the Johnny Cakes and ended up going Broke-Back with dude in the park after a nice bike ride. I give Vito 2 more episodes before he's found and clipped. He can't outrun a pissed of Phil, and Tony would rather do the damage first.

Now the maddest part of this episode was just seeing AJ's decline. From big pimpin' in the club to throwing up outside of the police station. We first hear beats on AJ's drumset, but alas, it is not him playing. We find out that he is selling the set b/c his Blockbuster checks aren't cutting it with his lifestyle. He has been staying out all night in the club, parlaying with some guys who think he is more connected than he really is. He is footing the bill for guys he disliked in high school, and is leaning on Tony and Carm to front a club for him. He says he's researching, but it looks like he is wallowing in cocaine addiction. He deep down wants to please his father, but does NOT have the chops to roll with it mafia-style. One day, AJ tells mom dukes to wake him around 10AM... which she does. It isn't until 4 that day that he goes out and does what he planned to do -- bring a knife in to see Uncle Junior and take care of what, I guess, he figures his father is lax on. Only, his nerves are so shot, he drops the knife before approaching Junior, who mistakes AJ for his nephew. Corrado's "that's not my knife" line is one of the funnier lines I had heard, just struck me as so typical. Tony has to pick up AJ at the precinct, and tries to drill it in his head that AJ is a "nice guy"... AJ wants to please pops, but does not have the balls nor the brains to do it that way. As Tony alluded, AJ is too stuck in the movies. The whole convo at Blockbuster about holding the knife, him talking about Tony's fav scene in The Godfather... etc. etc. And in the end, AJ ends up passing out in the club bathroom. Panic attacks kicking in...

Preview time:

I was kind of confused with this one. There were a LOT of cuts, so the action gets muddled, but it looks like there is PLENTY action next week. Disputes between Bobby Bacala and Paulie Wallnuts over some money Bacala is owed, which may or may not lead to some dispute in what looks like a carnival? There was a LARGE crowd out there. There is also that scene of Christopher bustin' caps outside of a car window. Matter of fact, Chrissy was making repeated comments on how someone (I can only assume Tony) saved his life... maybe Tone has Chrissy take care of a job?

Who knows, maybe next week's episode will make all of the "this week's ep was filler" crowd STFU?!?!?!

For more summary info, check out MSNBC's 'Sopranos Body Count', as well as the HBO Episode Guide.

the shuffle. [4/29/06]

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Another Saturday night, another edition of rock the dub's the shuffle. I want to start this out by saying, there is an assload of new D&B out there, from a 12" on Eastside that has the Tear (2k6 RMX) as well as the Crazy (2k6 RMX). Intense. And if you haven't heard that Breakage LP, you are insane. Too many candidates for album of the year, and I think that is right up there, along with Cyantific's album, but I've already let the world know how I feel about Ghetto Blaster.

In any case, let's get onto some of the high and low points of this week in entertainment, and some other stuff...

1> Let me get this off my chest: I am an admitted LOST fan. Wifey and I got hooked on this from jump, and have continued to be HUGE fans of the show. I listen to the podcasts, we own Season 1 on DVD, and can't wait for this coming week's new episode. I bring that up to let you guys know that, starting this Wednesday, there will be an "online experience" starting up in connection to LOST. Damon and Carlton (2 of the show's producers) spoke on this a few months back, and it looks like its become a reality. It seems to be a sort of interactive game, where the more you gather clues, the more information you get on some backstory, possibly involving the DHARMA Initiative, as well as the Hanso Foundation. Whatever it is, believe you me I will fill you guys in on the details, and solicit any help I need. Speaking of which, the one site I find the most useful for information, as well as clues, is the 4815162342 website forums. Check it out. On a side note to this, it seems as though Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Ana Lucia on LOST, decided to go to jail for 5 days rather than take the community service they were going to give her. The reasons she gave were kind of vague/odd... I hope she's OK, and not doing this out of some weird call for help.

2> VH1 and the great people over there at ego trip are starting a contest/reality show to find the next great white Hip-Hop MC. This will be my favorite TV show of its nature, aside from Diddy's Making The Band.

3> Maury Povich and other producers of his hit TV show, "Maury", have been sued by an employee for all types of sexual harassment. I will not go into the details of what she should have done, why she was there so long, etc... I just wonder, are we to really be surprised? Maury is Jerry Springer-lite, so you know some ill shit has BOUND to have gone down back there.

4> Marc Ecko filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Mayor Bloomberg and New York City. Big up for that. I'm all about graf and bombing culture, even if I was never good at it. Some see this as a publicity stunt, but I think bombing is art. I also think this is a touchy subject, because while I'm down for freedom of expression, I am not down for destruction of other's property. I do think that it's fucked up for them to bust you for carrying fat caps though, that's ridiculous. Might as well bust people on drug charges for carrying lighters around, you feel me?

5> Britney Spears has another bun in the oven, apparently. I personally don't see her career getting any better after this. I think the backlash she's received ever since she got pregnant with her son will only increase. And K-Fed needs to give it up. Seriously. I really just don't see this ending well at all.

6> Nintendo has named their latest gaming system, previously dubbed "Revolution", with an odd name: Wii. It's supposed to stand for "we". I hope this trick works... it just seems kind of Apple-esque to me. Everything seems simplified and, well, "blah" compared to their other systems and campaigns. Only time will tell.

7> The "bad idea" hub has struck again: Rosie O'Donnell has been tapped to host The View. Don't they already have an annoying female comedian on that show? Why the need for Rosie?

8> Why do I think that this Duke rape case is going to end in acquittal? This nugget of information. How many times will a jury buy her crying rape? Not to say she hasn't been raped, but credibility is a bitch, and if she has been found to have done the same thing 13 years ago, and falsely accuse people of this crime, this will weigh heavily...

9> It took this unknown rapper getting capped in the ass to do it, but Hot 97 is going to be getting evicted. They were kind of gully. I mean at least 3 shootings have occurred in the last few years, right outside that spot. I mean if you want to up your ante, going on the radio and being a jackass should do it 9 times out of 10. Shooting a nig in the ass? That's pure comedy.

I think I'm going to end this right here. End it with a track fitting of how I'm feeling: Breakage's "Losing Track". I lost track of what I was doing... maybe the Mickey's made me do it. I'm off to watch the rest of Kill Bill, vol. 2, then this HBO Boxing After Dark. Holla.

Mobb Deep "Blood Money" [review]

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Let me get this out the way first: I was surprised at how much I am feeling this new Mobb album, Blood Money. I was surprised when first hearing that Hav & P signed with 50 Cent's G-Unit Records, because they were getting dissed by him on that "Piggy Bank" track. Mobb has always been shitted on, so I think they took it on the chin... but they are really RIDING for 50! I mean they are assuming beefs, getting G-Unit tats on their skin, etc., so it has to be serious. Queens connect.

Don't get it twisted, though: this is a win-win for both sides. The Infamous get a pass to blow their following worldwide, having niggas in Bahrain rockin' to "Put 'Em In Their Place", and they might hit that stardom they were just hoping for. 50 gets some more cred in the street, which, no matter what anyone tries to tell me, that nigga needs. 50 turned into the most hated when he started dominating the game, which is to be expected for anyone in that position. In any case, G-Unit gets a pretty solid crew, and Mobb gets the loot to really make a quality record. The ? Remainz: is Blood Money that quality?

Yes and no. I mean, I never thought I'd hear Havoc reference himself as "Hollywood Hav"... that's not real ghetto, you feel me? And there are times when not only does 50 contribute mad choruses for this album (direct and indirect), but both V.I.P. and Havoc mimic his style (peep how P rocks his verse on "Backstage Pass" -- remedial much?). It's funny though, b/c 50 used to crack on Jadakiss about his choruses, saying that Jada doesn't even have a hit with his own voice on the chorus. Is 50 doing your hooks the way to get to multi-plat status? You betcha. Anyways, there isn't too much G-Unit guest rhymes, aside from a bunch of 50 shots. Yayo and Buck show up for some pretty snooze worthy tracks ("Click Click" and the "Just A Lil' Bit"-sounding "Give It To Me", respectively). Lloyd jumps on the heater "Stole Something", which works a pretty rugged beat: all bass and tight, crisp drums running underneath some ominous organs. Tracks like this and the aforementioned "Put 'Em..." are drive-by music. No metaphor; this is some shit you can put on and live a violent life by. "Creep", which features an odd sounding 50 verse, has a hot sample running over top a heavy kick and clap beat, documenting situations where niggas gotta creep. "Capital P, Capital H" is another favorite: straight futuristic G-funk sounding shit. P and Hav establish their credentials over this smooth track, to perfection. The only Alchemist beat on here is the old school drenched "The Infamous", which has a 50 chorus on it as well. The ALC-Mobb combo has always been perfect, I just wish Alc got more joints on this one. Oh well.

Arguably, the best and most talked about track on this album is "Pearly Gates", which has some darts thrown at, well, God and his son. 50's chorus sets it up, but it's deceiving. 50 is basically speaking on how slick he is; he's so slick that even if he makes it to hell, if you get him to heaven's gate, he will be able to talk his way in, b/c hell, he talked his way out the hood. Hav's verses are throwaway, but P comes with some anti-religious heat. I felt his verse when I heard this on promo months ago, but on this copy, P's verse is reversed when he speaks about God, the Lord, whatever you want to call it. I mean if you check the XXL post on this track, you can peep the full lyrics, but I just have to wonder why they did that. Dr. Dre has smacked women, Eminem has murked his wife and killed his mom, but P can't express his feelings about God and his predicament on Earth? Poor move. That Exile beat is murder though, straight murder.

I do enjoy listening to this record, and at times it's got some serious heat. I do wish however that 50's hand was out of the cookie jar more. The end of the CD also seems like a wash, including the "Outta Control Remix"'s inclusion - the only reason I can see that being necessary is for the TRL head who has to be like, "Oh, THIS IS MOBB DEEP!" And why throw a random Mary J. Blige appearance on it? If you have been a fan of Mobb's from jump, you'll find something to rock to. If you are a G-Unit soldier, you will definitely memorize this one ASAP. Don't pick this up expecting The Infamous, though. And, on a personal level, I don't think I need to hear Havoc rhyme anymore. He speaks to some anonymous old school heads, making comments about not caring "if you pioneered rap"; who's he shooting at?

In any case, this album does what it was manufactured to do: it gives people some rugged ghetto swaggar, hot beats for the spring/summer crowd, and a huge dose of thug muzik. I will not be surprised if Mobb pull some serious loot in for their work here, and I will not be mad at them if they do. They have been doing this shit for a while, and it is much deserved. Would I have rather they gotten to that level by staying true to themselves? Of course. I guess getting new Porsches from 50 will make you do some strange shit, though.

rock the dub rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Mobb Deep's Blood Money is out in stores on May 2nd, 2006. Check out their website for more information.