the shuffle. [1/20/07]

I interrupt this shuffle for the following PSA: when I'm not spending time trying to get this blog post going, I'm having to deal with idiots bugging about labels who give away their releases for free on the 'Net. Think about how retarded of a topic that is. For everyone who is constantly badgering the music industry for free tunes, you go on and diss the people who make it a point to give EVERYTHING away? And that just shits on people like exegene and plainaudio, who are putting out quality beats, free of charge. This is a note to idiots who like to talk shit about free shit: grow the fuck up.

In any case, some crazy things have happened this week, no? From Obama to DJ Drama... wildness all over the place. Before I go into that madness, I want to give my wife a special birthday shoutout: I love you, and I am so glad I am with you. I know you aren't big on celebrating birthdays, so we will keep it chill. Much love. And I also want to big up the heads who've voted for me in this "Help me blog for 1 year" comp going on: you can still vote, btw. Special shouts to DOA and the other forums who've helped keep me at #1. Finally, I want to let those out there who were asking about my interview on Friday: it was kind of quick, but I think it went well. What they were asking me to do is not out of the realm of skills I have. I should hear something by Friday... wish me luck!

Let's do like MC Serch and handle this shuffle thing...

01/While most of us were celebrating the birthday of MLK, Newsweek helped us remember the atrocity that was OJ Simpson's "fictional" book about the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. He tried putting off on a ghostwriter who depicted a "hypothetical" spin on the murders, but dog, no one believes you. And finally, the judges did what they should have done more than a decade ago, and ordering that shiftless negro stop spending so extravagantly. You'd think they would have done this a while ago, but I guess the fact that celebrity books can make CAKE, they figured now was a good a time as any to get that nigga on a leash. I for one applaud them on that, but the thing is, how is he still caking off like that? I heard he was living off the NFL pensions and whatever chump change he made with appearances and autographs, but National Enquirer always runs picks of him on golf courses, with fat cigars, and headlines like "OJ Sniffs Up All Of Peru", or something to that effect.

02/The RIAA is on a roll this week, trying to stamp out "piracy" and other illegals in reference to the declining CD sales reported a few weeks ago. The biggest news was the raid over at the Aphilliates HQ, which resulted in the arrests of DJ Drama and Don Cannon, and including seizures of thousands of CDs, whips, and other unmentionables (no drugs or anything illegal reported, yet...): it's just hilarious how they went about things. They started calling the mixtapes Drama and co. produce "pirated discs", and turned their whole operation into something that they figure is designed to undercut the retail sales - when most of the mixtapes they do shed light on the very albums the RIAA is worried about! From being hosted by the top MCs, to dropping release dates and bigging up the radio singles, its more of a marketing tool these days than anything, especially when you consider the sheer amount of artists getting signed off that mixtape/underground hustle: 50 Cent, Sam Scarfo, Saigon, Papoose, and most recently, Serius Jones... the list does go on though. Both Drama & Cannon were released the next day, but the damage has already been done, but the questions still remain: is the RIAA trying to shut down Hip-Hop? Were they set up? And most importantly: is this the end of the raids? On a different note, XM Radio has been hit with a lawsuit over their XM+MP3 service, which lets subscribers store libraries of tunes in mp3 format. The record labels think that this service will eliminate the need for users to purchase songs, but really, that's like saying the invention of recording to cassette tape resulted in the decline of album purchases. A drought is a drought, and at the end of the day, when you have an industry that is built on popular singles, and artists end up making hot SONGS instead of concentrating on worthwhile albums, you get the situation we are in now: iTunes making a killing on $0.99 singles, and people downloading everything under the sun, b/c at the end of the day, the album isn't worth the CD it's burnt on.

03/The Democratic Party has received the much-needed "power candidates" they needed back in 2004: both Barack Obama AND Hillary Clinton threw their hats into the 2008 Presidential campaign this week. Hillary came in hard, with her "I'm in it to win it" speech, while Obama snuck in, starting out by gathering up an 'exploratory committee', which basically means neph set up a crew to start soliciting funds for his campaign. I'm personally torn between the two: while I have the uptmost respect for Hillary and the Clinton Clan, the thought of the first Black president does sound crazy monumentus to a Black man like me. To be fair, though, I don't see him winning before a white woman. White women and Black people are some of the most oppressed, looked-over human beings in the US, so at the end of the day, I will be happy for both: I think my vote won't be decided until I have to hit the button. It's still a long way off, for primaries haven't even popped off yet, but I can't wait to see how they start to crush each other.

04/You ever hear about those shock jocks who tend to go to far to get ratings, like they will somehow become the next Howard Stern? Well, some of those idiots ended up killing a mom trying to compete for a Wii for her kids. The "contest" was to see who could drink the most water without going to the bathroom, and during the "contest", a nurse called to let them know that ingesting that much water causes you to die from water intoxication. You know these assholes had the nerve to bring up the signed release forms, and made some ridiculous comments about not caring and shit. I remember seeing the Dateline NBC episode where they talked about this kid dying from water intoxication during a frat hazing nightmare gone wrong, so that shit is real. Well, the family is officially suing the radio station, and I hope they rape those bastards for as much as they can get. It's disgusting that these guys try to take quality, funny morning radio and turn it into a tragic situation. A little fucking Google search would have saved these idiots their job, and their radio station a lawsuit. I guess this is what happens when you hire monkeys to play a gorilla's game.

05/There was a discussion on the DOA boards about this fiasco involving Timbaland possibly ripping this guy's track. The Timbaland song in question is Nelly Furtado's "Do It", which is said to have ripped of this track entitled "Acid Jazzed Evening", which was entered into a Finnish competition in 2000. The thing about this situation is that, aside from the people who say that dude used a preset on his synth anyways (which kind of defeats his entire argument), is the fact that the track was never released commercially, which begs me to question: does sampling a free track mean you have to pay royalties to the original producer? I would assume this is not any different than jacking something from a free beat CD or something? I mean, let's say I am on a major label and I jacked your track and made it my own, and was like "OK let me pay this person", but you didn't sign it, how would my label go about giving you the loot? At the end of the day, dude might have a case, but Timbaland's parent company might reverse lawsuit dude (kind of like the situation Ras Kass is in), so it would be pointless to sue. There's a YTMND site dedicated to this which tells the story better than I ever can, but the fact of the matter is, intellectual property aside, the shit is free. And by shit, I mean piece of crap, disposable music, whether it's a Commodore64 mod or a Nelly Furtado track. Get over yourselves.

06/In an interesting, Nell-like story, this Cambodian lady, who was perceived to have been eaten by animals (per fellow villagers), is having a hard time adjusting to "normal" human life after being rescued from her life living in the jungle as an animal would. I mean, she was out there for 18 years - she can hardly say words, and cries a lot. She is out of her element; ask some teenagers of today to go through a week without cell phone, MySpace, TV or video games. Some of those kids will lose their shit at the sounds of silence. Sad as it might be, this is one of those situations where you either have to break those 18 years of jungle life out of her, or return her. I wouldn't want her going through unfamiliar situations if she was rejecting them. And she is rejecting them. Hopefully, we will hear more about this crazy situation...

07/Frank Hargrove, a legislator out of Virginia, got on a lot of niggas' nerves this week, when he essentially told them to "get over slavery". It might be uncharacteristic of me, but I think he might be on to something. From reading that article, most of those crybabies are the same niggas who truly think they deserve reparations for the pain our ancestors have gone through. While I am disgusted with the actions taken against my people in the past, and the ridiculous situations we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, I cannot continue to keep falling back on the idea that I should be getting paid for their suffering. If it were an immediate uncle or grandmother, that's one thing... I couldn't tell you the names of my slave ancestors, and I wouldn't want to. It's like people want no segregation, but want to cash in on shit when it counts. Now, the legislator might have made those comments in the wrong setting, in the wrong context, but fuck it, he has a point. If you want to deal with race, you can't scream outrage anytime someone says something that might be seen as offensive, when it really is just making a point. And a damn good one.

08/Immensely popular celeb gossip website, TMZ.com, is going to have a TV show on Fox, bringing it's brand of up-to-the-minute "news" to the masses. Why they decided on THIS website is a no-brainer: if you want that scandalous celeb video, you plug right into TMZ and you're in there with the newest latest. My thing is, this site is pretty much a glorified blog, so I want to know which blog is the next blog to get their own show. Could you imagine a rock the dub TV show, on like MTV2 or some shit? Interviews, reviews, crazy video: someone needs to make it happen!

09/Shouts go out to The Fader Mag for letting the world know that DJ Stretch Armstrong, the man on the wheels of steel for the classic "Stretch & Bob" Hip-Hop Radio show that had so many household names on before they got put on that it's hard to make a concise list, has his own blog, and is linking to his old shows. Any Hip-Hop enthusiast should run over there, for he is posting up classic material, like the battle between Busy Bee & Kool Moe Dee back in 1982, (Rev) Run on WBLS back in 1987, as well as a 1994 show featuring Mobb Deep AND Roc Raida. True heads know what time it is. Check it out, and if you have tapes, Stretch needs them: hit him with an e-mail.

10/Parents of America, if you have a teen in your house, you have someone on MySpace. And while it's hard to police everything your youngster does, MySpace is working on trying to get a notification system in place to make parents aware of certain aspects that seem to rely on a) age and b) where your kid logs in from, which seems kind of silly. The Washington Post reported that this software should be able to tell if a 14 year old is trying to masquerade as an 18 year old, but it does not specify HOW this would be ascertained, which bothers me, because this would have to mean that MySpace would have to obtain a certain amount of info on you and/or your kid to know what their real age/info is, no? They also said it will be able to make sure a kid can't make drastic changes to their profile, or maintain a few profiles (one to show mom & pop that you're good, another to show just to friends), which in both instances, a notification would be sent to the parent, but, to quote the article, "the tool won't work if a profile is accessed entirely away from home". What good is it then? Teens spend the night at each others' houses... why limit the possibilities of this software? Is this going to be an external program, or something built within the MySpace website? It's hard enough trying to police my kid's use of the Internet - don't make it harder for me to get a handle of their goings-on.

11/I know I've received phishing e-mails, trying to fake me out and make me enter my sensitive info into a fake website for their own twisted dealings, but never in my days did I think that some cat who has been scamming AOLers for years is now on the verge of getting 101 years in the slammer over his scheme. His operation was kind of basic and pretty old school, but it worked, with him scamming thousands of heads with his setup. Now, this is fraud, right? How do they end up with a possible punishment of 101 years? Cats are getting less time for murder. I can see the severity of his crime, but does the punishment fit that?

12/Before I wrap this shuffle up, I do have a few various things to let you guys know about, all of this happening in Black American Entertainment: if you've heard Prodigy of Mobb Deep rhyming lately, while he says some weird shit, his flow is back to where it was on that HNIC LP. Well, he has two albums of material he is trying to get out soon. One will be a follow-up to the HNIC album, while the 2nd will serve as a prelude to HNIC2, entitled Return of the Mac, which features "Mac 10 Handle", a fucking DIME of a track. The best part? He's realigned with The Alchemist, so you KNOW it's going to be sick... trying to find James Brown's body is like playing Where's Waldo, apparently: they moved his body somewhere, and his attorney ain't telling. Not only is that bad, but they still don't know where his remains will be laid to rest. This ABC News article mentioned that his family is in the talks with the people who set up Graceland, which, if they did this for James, will turn out to be the biggest infestation of niggas and ignorance since the Source Awards. Now, I would hope they'd just do something tasteful, but this extravaganza is not over by a longshot... rapper Sean Price dropped a pretty sick interview for Format, where he let's it be known that Nas is pretty much crazy for saying "hip-hop is dead"; well, crazy or he just ain't picked up Monkey Barz. New Sean Price LP dropping very soon, I suggest you check it out btw... And finally, Isaiah Washington, the black dude from Grey's Anatomy, came out his face at the Golden Globes and said "I didn't call dude a faggot", talking about the alleged blow-up on set with Patrick Dempsey that turned out to involve TR Knight, who apparently wasn't out until that situation. Well, TR went on Ellen and said, yeah, he def. called me a faggot. Which prompted Isaiah to go on to say that he was sorry for saying the word "faggot" that night at the Globes. Dude, did you call him a fag on set? With all of this Michael Richards/Mel Gibson nonsense, we don't need you to be the dumb nigga to make us look even more ridiculous. Stand up, be a man, and face the music. I highly doubt you'll be blackballed from Hollywood - they just won't tell you anything important.

So, that's my shuffle, and I'm sticking to it.

PS: I wanna shout out Inaya, who put me on to this "Do The Heizman" craze that's currently bubblin' on a below-the-radar steeze. Da Heizman Boiz seem to be the ones behind this, and there's even an instructional video for the dance:




Crazy. Catch you lot next week.
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