Saturday, December 30, 2006

the shuffle. [12/30/06]

So this is what the last shuffle of 2006 is going to be... a weird week of death, broken legs and assorted pieces of random drama and nonsense. Can't say I blame it - this year, while being a highlight for some, has been pretty crappy all around. I mean, I now have a new addition to my family, as well as a few blogs that I am proud of, the world as a whole is a bunch of bullshit. For no good reason, either. It seems as the further down the rabbit hole we go, the cruder, ruder and more vile our world seems to become.

This is going to be a different shuffle: I'm both sick and not drinking. Surprised? Let's see how sharp the venom is...

01/First, this week was about death. James Brown died on Christmas, Gerald Ford a day later, and Saddam Hussein finally got murked today. Now, while I saw loads of shit on TV today about Saddam's execution, which is totally expected, and Ford's sad procession got less than an hour and a half on local Philly stations. All I saw on James Brown this week was a hodge-podge video for "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" on some random BET countdown, and a 3 year old VH1 special showing him making a "comeback", like he ever truly left the game. Now, my thing is, OK the fucking GODFATHER OF SOUL passed away on CHRISTMAS DAY! You'd think that'd be the biggest story of the year! Nope - Ford dies Tuesday, and the whole fucking day is dedicated to his short tenure as prez. White people can never let niggas have the spotlight too long. To make matters worse, they wouldn't even let his fake wife/real backup dancer into the home. Like this is what we need to see about our beloved Godfather. On a good note, James' biopic is now set to be directed by Spike Lee. Keep in mind, this is a project that was already underway for some time before his untimely death, but hopefully Spike will breathe some life into it. I swear I had no idea there was a flick about James forthcoming. I wonder who they are going to have play JB - if they say Jamie Foxx, I will be both pissed and alright with it. I mean, who else could actually play James? I don't see any true actors being able to handle the dancing, singing and pure mimicry of the voice like a comedian. In any case, I hope there is a big tribute concert or some newly released LIVE DVDs or something of JB.

02/This point is just on Hussein, but I have something I need to get off of my chest: OK so 9/11 went down, and our country was gung-ho on flushing Osama bin Laden out of whatever hole his ass has been hanging out in. We go to Afghanistan, and cant' find this fucker in the hills and caves. OK, so we backtrack and say "yo, Saddam has some yellow cake, and he's down with Osama" (even though we fucking funded Osama back in the day), and decide to bumrush Iraq, on the hunt for WMDs. We find... nothing. We stay there, taking over the country, all the while losing casualties on our side and murdering all kinds of people, not just insurgents. We find Saddam in a fucking foxhole, capture him, and put him on trial, which resulted in the execution of Saddam today. Now I say you, we started this over the events of Sept. 11th - do you honestly feel as though the families of the victims of 9/11 feel safer now that Saddam is deceased? And, when are our troops coming home?

03/It's funny when my site touches on other blogs... last week I mentioned a story about Perez Hilton, and this week he touches down on el shuffle again, but this time in a diff. way. There is this website, WorldOfBritney.com, that was said to have been shutting down due to Britney Spears "losing her identity and credibility within fans and industry people." Now, I first read this and was like "OK, Britney going commando really is killing her fanbase", but I then saw this post over at Perez Hilton, showing how the guy who owns that WorldOfBritney URL fucking sold the jawn a WHILE ago, and his lease is up. Not to mention that he has his chip on his shoulder over some random fan thing that Britney skipped on. The account is all on dude's site, scroll down and check it out. In any case, I just find it amusing that he goes through one site like "oh Britney, you are so slutty, I cannot back you" to now "yo I didn't have the funds, and now I cannot rewrite my wrongs". Grow a pair - I mean, a fucking Britney Spears fansite?

04/This week has been a pretty dope one for year-end free music files. Aside from the normal legging, we've got guys like Chamillionaire, you know, neph who the po-po tries to catch ridin' soiled, dropped Mixtape Messiah 2 for FREE on his own website. How chill is that... well, if you read the notes on that page, it looks like he had some beef going on getting this out, so I guess he is just saying 'fuck that' and dropping it for doink. Watch for that DVD. Rizoh also linked to a new mixtape from the guys that brought the world the Bobb Deep mashups - this one is chock full of Nas vs. Al Green blends. My personal favorite is the "Made You Look (RMX)" b/w "Love & Happiness". Just sounds so damn funky. If you do some hunting like ya boy khal did, you can find a literal goldmine of files, all for the taking... sneak attack! Speaking of Rizoh, over at About Rap, there's the 2007 Hip-Hop/Rap Albums roundup, showing 27 LPs that are set to make much noise over 2k7. I personally cannot wait for Sean Price's Jesus Price, Superstar, just off the strength of "P Body".

05/Mike Tyson, you have officially left my good graces. I could deal with your ridiculousness when I found out you were on antidepressants. When it was known that you were a fucking lonely boy trapped in a goliath body, being taken advantage of, I could understand your pain. Now, you get arrested for DUI... and possession of coke?! And then you have the nerve to add this fucking gem of a photo to the archives - were you trying to test out some new sniff in this one? Is this the real reason for your antics over the years, the white powder? Or were you genuinely nuts? I mean, you say you are an addict, but I ask how long. I want to know just so I can reevaluate why I lost $5 on your last bout with Lewis. I figured your crazy self deserved to be backed up. Not if you are on the snuff, though. Shape up, pa.

06/Scattered pieces of news... it looks like, starting Jan. 2007, downloaded tracks will be able to be counted towards the top 40 charts. By the tone of the article, I assume this is a UK-only thing, but who knows. They said during the Xmas trial run, Wham and Mariah Carey hit the top 40, mainly due to their Christmas hits. Interesting stuff; watch the Beatles hit the top of the charts once all of their catalogue is finally available for purchase digitally... Speaking of digital downloads, iTunes got slowed to a snail's pace, and at times shutting it down altogether, over the Xmas holiday, mainly due to the increased downloads from gift cards and what not. You'd think they'd have these things sorted, but hey, that's still money in the bank for Apple... Nas hit #1 this week with his new album, Hip Hop Is Dead. I wonder what Young Jeezy has to say about Nas' claims now... Jill Scott has two CDs dropping in 2007: one is a CD full of collabos entitled, fittingly, Collaborations, while the 2nd is her next album, entitled The Real Thing, which has a sampler disc accompanying the collabos thing... I want to send a get well soon to Styles P, who was involved in a lil road rage incident that left him with a fucked up leg. Damn shame dude who originally cut him off didn't get in any hot water charge-wise, but so be it. I have an aunt like that, who got so heated on time, she snotted into a tissue and threw the dutty cloth into the open window of someone who pissed her off... Michael Jordan and Juanita are divorcing... again. Looks like his cheating and not being home have taken their toll. No word on the settlement specifics, but I bet she got caked off, as well as got some good real estate...

Well, that's all for 2k6. I might be taking a few days off, blog wise, just to rest and spend some time with the family. If I don't post before the 1st of 2k7, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year's Eve (here's the lyrics to that song white people like to sing when the ball drops)... 2007 will be much bigger, much brighter, and a whole lot tougher. Trust. And on that note...



Classic "Tower of Doom", 1988 Great American Bash shit.

I also found some new KIMBO SLICE FIGHTS, but the dick who put them on YouTube disabled embedding. Bitch. Peep game anyways, even though you know EXACTLY what Kimbo is gonna do to both "Afro Puff" and "Big Mac".

Any other blogs out there bringing you this much fire, week in and week out? Didn't think so... Oh and I want to send a big shout out to EVERYONE out there who is voting and keeping me in that #1 Spot over that the "Blog For A Year" competition... keep it up!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Last Playlist of 2006



At the end of the day, you gotta know where you've been to know where you are going. I will not be going through what I loved about 2006; that's what my reviews are for. Check the side panel for links to the various bits and bobs I dug or dig dug this year. These sweets are sendspace goodies that will be available for as long as they allow them to be. I should just let the music do the talking, but...

01/James Brown "Papa Don't Take No Mess (Part 1)"... first off, RIP to James Brown. It's hard that a guy can have such a direct influence on so many genres of music, and still maintain his own singular voice. Many imitators, none duplicators, and many niggas owe their bank accounts to this man's work. He's one of the only Black men in America who did it without asking for help or assistance or giving a fuck about what anyone else thought - he converted millions. And he did it without really being the best singer. He had his own voice, but his tracks weren't about him singing. It was a full package, a single groove. The sum was definitely greater than the whole of it's parts. And we will miss him for it...

02/Mobb Deep "Survival Of The Fittest"... One of my fav Mobb tracks of all time. They signed to G-Unit this year, and although I loved their album, it failed to crack any serious numbers. Shame, shame. Probably too much Fiddy dick-riding, but Prodigy seems to be back on his grizzly, so maybe they will take it back to how they were coming up. "Until my death, my goal's to stay alive..."

03/Cassidy ft. Lil' Wayne & Fabolous "6 Minutes of Death"... this is the best shit off Cass' last album, no bullshit. I slept on the CD -- it was just a bit too much crack-rap from someone who is a hell of a lot more than a crack-rapper. My nigga Boo put me onto this one, and it stuck. Symphonies run rampant on the beat, which is mid-level kicks and loads of live-sounding snares. Weezy drops one of the most slept on verses of 2005, Fab spits his smooth one-liners and Cass just one-ups both of them for about 2 and a half minutes. Get well soon, Cassidy.

04/T.I. ft. Bun B & Rakim "Get Ya Pay"... you fucks slept on this track, this mixtape, and this blog for too long. The very first post on rock the dub was about DJ Green Lantern's Alive On Arrival mixtape, which is hands down the mixtape of 2006. If you don't believe me, then fuck you. This track is off that tape, so sorry if you are looking for a full clip - I don't have one. Anyways, Green laces this bass heavy beat with some odd Rakim vocal snippet as the chorus, and Tip goes off about being "a rebel", but music just being a way for him to escape...and UGK's finest just pimp slaps this track with another banger. Go grab that tape, quick. Stop sleeping.

05/Lil' Scrappy ft. Young Buck "Money In The Bank (Remix)"... I'll admit it -- if it wasn't for the bleeps in that minimal beat, I wouldn't give 2 shits about this track or this LP. The LP ain't half bad -- it ain't half good, but that's how it do. Scrappy doing it for BME and G-Unit, and Buck Fiddy-riding about a whip he is allowed to drive by his boss. Gay, but whatever, shorty whatcha drank!?

06/Obie Trice "Black Boy"... i heard this on the promo version of Obie's 2nd lp... I never wanted to peep the 2nd LP, for I didn't like the first. I think Obie stepped his game up a tad, he started emulating Jay and others. This track is just straight thick. That beat, I don't know who did it, but its a heavy head nodder with some dope horn work in it. Obie tries to go into some politicals, and it works, but its that beat. Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm?

07/Masta Killa ft. Ghostface Killah & Raekwon "It's What It Is"... this is one of those tracks that, when I am working, I can throw on repeat and get a shitload of things done. That repetitive loop might bore some, but this is the essence of the Wu. Beauty in monotony, and some poisonous darts from 3 of the Clan's finest. Who knows what the track is about, don't you wish more Wu-Tang joints sounded this dirty?

08/Beanie Sigel "Why Wouldn't I"... Beans was my favorite enigma of 2006. He put this out, a dope mixtape with Drama and 'em, and pretty much just gave dope ass interviews. Hopefully more of his mixtapes will surface, so we can find out what is really going on with him. He's without the best MC out there right now putting his life on the mic. Not too many sound sincere - B Sig IS sincere. And raw. And real. And in your face. And all over the map. Keep pushin', nigga.

09/Snoop Dogg ft. Dr. Dre & D'Angelo "Imagine"... best track on Snoop's new one? Yes. Don't you just love knowing that Snoop and Dre grew up, and can get introspective about live. And D'Angelo showing up on this AND a J Dilla album!? Gotta love it. Dre didn't get much props for his beats, but he did his thing this year. I won't say grab Snoop's LP, but def. check this one out.

10/Big Kuntry & T.I. "Throwback (DJ Nappy Dubstep Mix)"... this is called THE FUTURE. Dubstep and Rap united. We like to call it THUGSTEP. My boy Nappy is going ghost for a bit in a bit, so I'll be providing you guys with more of his heatrocks in due time, for due time. You'll be aware when its time to make you fucks aware. Until then, do a search on this blog for DJ NAPPY, and go dload what you can. You can't tell me that trap niggas and dubsteppers are some long lost twins. Nappy just had to play Maury...

___

You know how we do, though. It's not just about free shit I am providing you...

arQer and Realtime, two of Texas' finest DnB producers, dropped a 101MB .zip of 320kbps tunes... for FREE! Eight licks of funky shit, from the bouncy funk of arQer's "Atlantis Touch" to Realtime's neuro-dub exploration on "Homegrown", you are not ready. Realtime also brings in some old school vibes with "Rough Age", and on "Grasshopper Lies Heavy", arQer goes classic as well, but with a modern twist to it. Back to the future status. Why these tracks aren't signed already is anyone's guess, but that's not the point. We got them now, for cheap, too. So grab while they are able to get got, and keep an eye peeled for them.

kapsil recently dropped his sixth edition of his "unsigned" series, and while you might not recognize all of the names, you will be stunned by the tracks and the mixing. Pure funk, baby.

___

In terms of a final thought, I don't really have one. Keep music good, and make quality albums, or niggas will continue to steal your shit. I hate bootlegging, but why would I spend $10 on a Jay-Z album where I can honestly only say I like the first 3 cuts? No sir, not this nigga. I have been trying to champion some Nas & Primo shit, and this video is the reason why:


Is it really this hard to realize? That's all I need in 2007... someone make it happen.

I'll holla. Enjoy the licks.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Sickness


That's what I looked like late Tuesday night.

I don't normally get sick like that anymore. I have a semi-steady diet of 40s and wine, but nothing to crazy (if you used to chill we me pre-2002, you'll know what I mean). I think I caught the bug that my wife caught from work, which means possibly more of the up-chuck, and some liquid dookie (my stool looked like soy sauce that night).

So heres how this all came about...

Tuesday night, I'm chillin'. Just finished feeding lil' man, wifey was upstairs knocked out, as were the kids. My stomach was feeling weird - I didn't know if I was hungry or had to drop a deuce, so I figured "why not make some PB&J?!"... I'm eating PB&J and watching a fucking Boondocks marathon that I didn't even know was on (!!!), and decided, let me just DVR some of my fav episodes (Granddad's Fight, Wingmen, etc.), and go to bed. This is about 12:15AM. 1:20AM, I get that acid taste in my mouth... I figured, I can choke this one back. Mind you, I seriously have not thrown up in a good 5 years or so... so I'm not prepared for any of this. I realized my whole world was about to hit the REWIND!!!!!!, so I was Michael Bolton to the bathroom door. I didn't make it all the way... spewed a bit on the rug before I hit the toilet, spewed a bit more on the bathroom floor, then I just upchucked all into the porcelin God.

It reminded me of all of these episodes of Jackass or Wildboyz, where you see these white dudes puking over everything. It was harsh, though. Dinner came up --- pineapple chunks and lil bits of ham. And the actual spew, it felt surreal - like I could see how much was coming out. And it fucking hurt. Got back into my nose, burned something awful. Some of the shit got stuck, and me trying to clear it out ended up making me gag more.

Not a pretty sight.

I spent most of yesterday on the couch, which I came to found out I had a 101 degree fever. Luckily, lil' man was at my mom's for the day (more on that bullshit in another post), and I beat the fever in a night's time. He's here, I'm doing better, and life is semi-decent.

Now I just need a job...


And for those of you who survived this post, here's a lil sneak attack for you. Happy New Year.

PayPerPost acquires Performancing.com

I didn't realize that, in trying to make money blogging, that corporate measures and "real-life" situations would take over this haven. I guess the seclusion of my computer area had my mind kind of foggy...

In checking out new opportunites on PayPerPost, I came across a headline that was kind of odd... Performancing.com, a site which I've been trying to capitalize with for a month or so now, has just been bought by PayPerPost. I'm all for taking over and building up your brand via acquisitions, but I do not see this one as a wise decision, for if you check out the forums over at Performancing, there are a load of unsatisfied customers over there, including this one.

The way Performancing.com works is pretty simple: set up your account, throw some hypertext into your blog, and if a site digs you and wants to advertise on your site, then you work out a deal. The thing is, unless you are one of the more popular blogs, you won't see any activity. I get a pretty decent amount of traffic, roughly 300+ visitors daily. Not so bad, but not the tens of thousands I am guessing most of these companies want. So, I get the shaft. You can check my right side, the same "Performancing" ads have been running for a month. And the thing that truly bothers me is the fact that the guys who run the site are no help. They basically tell you "hey, advertise your site more" and what not. That'd be well and good if advertising was all that matters. They all want Google PageRanks. Don't know what Google PageRanking is? Look it up. Essentially, if my site is not as popular as you'd wish it to be, you would rather not advertise on it. No matter how many users I could potentially bring to your product with a glowing review, oh no. I mean, I am a pretty good writer. I say that not to toot my own horn, but I get offers to do this, publicity and whatnot, and I rarely get edited down or told not to say something or do something... but it's rare that I get monetarily compensated. Why? PageRanks. *sigh* So PPP, what do you plan on doing to fix this?

The one thing I will say is nice about Performancing is their blog job board, where companies post up job opportunities for bloggers. I never seem to be able to capitalize on those situations, either, but I feel I could if someone gave me a chance *wink wink*.

At the end of the day, if PPP can turn around Performancing.com, they can do a lot of things. Hopefully they will be able to turn that sinking ship around and bring it to new waters.

As always, this post is brought to you by the good folks at PayPerPost.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Not broke enough...

Is the line of poverty seriously askew these days?

I ask because of my ventures today... I went out to the local "One Stop Career Center" to see if I was eligible to take some test that will then see if I am elligible to get some free schooling from the government of NJ. It's all a fucking scam, but you have to play the game to get ahead, no?

So I go to this office, paperwork in hand, which included my ID, SS card, unemployment stubs and pay stubs showing my year to date earnings. Once I get to sit down with this bitch, she delves into my life, asking about my fam and shit. I tell her I am married with 3 kids. She then pulls out this chart showing what is assumed to be the poverty line, which is $43K a year for a family of 5. With my take home pay added to my wife's, we make slightly above that. I am then told that I have to wait 15 weeks before I can be automatically elligible to take this test to see if I can take some free courses.

Mind you, by that 15 week period (roughly the 2nd week in April, 2007), my unemployment will have run out and I will probably be employed at that time. I mean, they know that you only get a finite period of time for unemployment pay, and the schooling is based on your still being on unemployment. So basically, I'd need to be a fucking deadbeat with no way to attain a decent job and support my family. Fuck you very much, I hustle. I get my grind on how I get it on, with this writing, through eBay, whatever the fuck. You honestly think I'd still be on assistance through April of 2007? Get real.

My thing is: OK, we might make what is considered to be over the poverty level, but really, with student loans, other forms of debt, rent, and the occasional 2 month old getting RSV and pneumonia or the 15 yr old needing special care for rare allergies to the sun, how do they expect me to stay afloat? I hate to fucking harp on my life, but shit, I just had a kid, I'm living in one of the most ridiculous rent markets in the state of NJ, and I am struggling. I got fired over some bullshit about me not being productive, all the while I'm doing the work of 2 and 3 people. Life is a hairy bitch, and I'm tired of being told I do not qualify.

I need to find my own way. Make my own way in this world. I will continue to play by the man's rules, but it's going to work in my favor this time. And in the end, I'll be laughing, holding some mint julep and sippin'.

Sippin' I tell you...

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Year We Lost James...

It was not even a month ago that I spoke of my affection towards "Funky Drummer", the track I have playin' again, right now. I had no idea that the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, would be leaving this earth come Christmas Day. I mean, he was 73, but if you ever saw him perform, he always looked like he was 18. And for many of the people making money in music these days, you owe a great deal of respect and due to the one like JB. I mean, Funk was not a state of mind until James fleshed out the sound he heard in his head, using artists he knew he could push.

Earlier this year, Rolling Stone published this ill piece on James, following him around in the modern day, showing his demented studio work to his work on the stage. For anyone who has had even a fleeting interest in the man, I highly recommend you check it out and see all sides of this genius.

For many beatfreaks out there who, like myself, take pride in knowing where that producer nicked that break to create a new sonic bed, you know that James has been a constant in the Hip-Hop scene, from his grunts and wails to his drummers' drumming. I wish I could provide a true mix like Edan did, showcasing the guys who paid homage by looping and reworking James' grooves, but I just think, by week's end, I'll provide some of my favorites to you guys, with words about each lick. Not today, I want to let the God rest. Soon though...

One more question, which I just posed to Rafi of Oh Word: How do we lose both James Brown and James Yancey, and yet Puff Daddy is still able to bring kids into this world? God, you are one cruel sommabitch.

PS: I added James "Funky President" to my "America The Ugly" mixtape from Sept. Downloads still available...

EDIT: while hitting up the DOA board, I saw that BlueWater has a tribute mix of classic James 45s up for dload. Check the original thread for the tracklisting (peep the 45 pics), and show some love.

EDIT: Shouts out to eskay at NahRight for posting up this tribute mix by the one like Salaam Remi.

Merry Christmas, bitches!


As J Dilla's "Time: The Donut Time Of The Heart" rocks in the foreground, and Ralphie does the spazzout at his mom for taking too long to get Randy's snowsuit on, I bid you guys a Merry Christmas. Eat, drink, be merry, and drink some more. Reminisce on great Christmas past, and just be with your loved ones. And if you don't love them, resolve to find new ones.

In any case, keep it fresh. Take it light, but take it. And always stay gold.

-khal