Definitive Swim

Just dropping a quick note to let you guys know that the good peopel over at [adult swim] have linked up with Definitive Jux and Old Spice (???) to put out a new, FREE batch of music: Definitive Swim. Featuring the Def Jux stable, with tracks from Mr. Lif, Aesop Rock, El-P, Camu Tao, Hangar 18 and others. If this is your cup of tea, go drink some. For FREE.
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the shuffle. [2/24/07]

Don't ask me why, but I'm living in 1996 this weekend. For no reason at all, I ripped my copy of Dr. Octagon (the one on Bulk Recordings, without tracks like "1977" and "Real Raw", before Dreamworks re-released it), and checking out CLASSIC wrestling on WWE 24/7, the WWE On Demand channel. I had to wait until I paid my bill to order it, but I am so happy I have it now. I've already seen great shows from WCCW, the original NWA, Randy Savage fighting Bret Hart back in 1986, and a load of other bits. I feel like a kid again, only I have a kid. Three of them, plus three cats. And they wonder why I feel like an old man...

I also checked out HIP-HOP: Beyond Beats & Rhymes, which was a decent documentary, but it didn't really say anything new. We know that the state of Hip-Hop is fucked up, but saying that is not enough. One program I also saw was BET's Top 25 Events That (Mis)Shaped Black America, which has the audacity to have "Negative Images in Hip-Hop" being on their list, when BET is the same channel that not only showcases all of these negative videos, but had BET Uncut, which was basically a forum for under-the-rader MCs to show their skrip club vids. Talk about hypocrisy...

Anyways, let's get this last shuffle for BHM 2007 going...

01/On a piece of news that finally puts to rest one of Black Entertainment's legends, the battle over where to lay James Brown to rest has finally come to a close. Why this took two months to be hashed out is ludicrous, but I guess when that much money is involved, everyone feels they need to be represented properly - or just hold up the proceedings as they see fit. The final resting spot has been on lock for whatever reason, but I'm sure the world will know so we can blow that town up like Elvis' remains blew up Graceland... not to be outdone, one of the successors to JB's legend, Michael Jackson, has to keep his name in the news, for good or ill: it looks like back in Feb. 2005, MJ visited a hospital, and to make room for him (does he really need MAD room?), this 73 year-old lady had to be moved. Her family states that, as a result of the "circus-like atmosphere" created by MJ's visit, she was unhooked from life support and ultimately died because of the ordeal. The hospital is saying they took good care of this woman, but of course, the family just sees cha-ching. Now, I totally sympathize with what they must have gone through, but is that really MJ's fault? Break it down for a second: MJ requests a private room, so this lady who had a two-bed spot got moved. The onus is on the hospital to provide care for the sick, right? Why should MJ come out of pocket over this situation? He didn't pull any plug... he just made a request and was coddled. It's a fucked up situation, but I feel they should be solely going after the hospital, not Peter Pan...

02/In the aftermath of this Britney Spears going bald mania, her ordeal is just getting weirder and more surreal as the days tick away. I first thought she was just going through a depression, but I think she might have serious issues she needs to deal with. In the beginning of the week, locks of her hair were supposedly up on eBay for sale; who knows how much they had, but then I heard about this website, that's asking for $1M for her hair. There are lots of pictures up there (even ones with a Bic lighter and a can of Red Bull, like this is some twisted still-life art project), and while they look like a lot of hair, I'm not sure one million bucks is truly worth it. Next came Britney's dabbling with the rehabilitative services, first going back to rehab on Tuesday, only to duck out yet AGAIN on Wednesday, but is not set to be spending $48K on a 30-day stint. Many think that her completing rehab will help her keep her kids, but who knows. I'd be surprised if a judge would seriously consider K-Fed a legit parent. I'm just wondering what Brit is doing to herself. I don't see her as a heavy drug user, although the sight of her snorting up the white lines is not that foreign of a thought; do we really think she would get drunk enough to be considered an endangerment? Finally, the last bit of Brit I have this week is a fucking wacked-out Brit. X17online looks like it had a serious encounter with Britney on the 22nd of Feb., while she was trying to visit her boys at Kevin's residence. Apparently Fed didn't open the gate, so this enraged Britney, who took it out on the photographers with an umbrella. There's even a video on the site that shows the entire ordeal, from the cursing from Britney's mouth to the marks on on of the dude's backs from the umbrella. Sick, sad world indeed...

03/I wanna send a shoutout to Bol for keeping the Joe Rogan vs. Carlos Mencia video up on one of his blogs. I knew comedians bit each other's bits, for I've been watching stand up ever since I was a shorty, but I just couldn't believe how many guys were saying that Carlos in particular stole from their acts. I think it'd be one thing if he wasn't so damn popular, with his TV show and stuff. It's just insane when you actually see footage of someone telling a joke, then he goes and does it practically identical a few years later. I knew there was a reason I couldn't get into him. And the fact that he's overplaying the Mexican thing, when his real name is Ned Holness and shit (LOL WTF), it's just got fraud written all over it (here's an mp3 of Joe Rogan talking for 40+ minutes about Mencia and more on Jim Bruer's satellite radio show). Who woulda thought that Fear Factor's old host was so deep, btw? After doing my research on more Joe Rogan craziness, I was directed to this link on his website about the "Santa Claus" story being derived from (magic) mushroom use? The fucked up part is, with the pictures included, that shit kind of makes sense. Something to think about, esp. for you 4AM stoners...

04/For some reason, there were people who kept tripping up on shit this week. This one poor bastard from San Francisco returned from his two-week trip to find that his apartment had not only turned over by apparent robbers, but he literally tripped on a corpse that was lying in his apartment. How do you trip over a fucking dead body? I rarely walk into dark rooms without some kind of light; how do you not see a grown adult lying dead on your floor? Well, it was in Haight-Ashbury, so you do the math... On the other side of the country, a Florida teen stumbled upon one of the largest fossils ever found in that area in nearly a century: a 65 lb. jaw/tooth from a mammoth, supposedly. While it was black, it must have been in pretty good condition. I wonder, does the kid get any kind of recognition (other than this story) for finding this, and does that include monetary compensation? I always wondered if you could get rich finding shit like that, these days anyways. I just never fall upon surprising shit like that. Last thing I found out of the blue was a $5 bill like 6 years ago. Now I keep my eyes on my feet from time to time, but all I find are pennies...

05/To break things up a bit, I want to hit you guys off with some news stories from the crazy world known as "Urban Entertainment". That's white radio for Black People Shit. The dude Taye Diggs must have someone who really loves him over at ABC: after being in the failed Day Break program, he has been offered a new role in the forthcoming Grey's Anatomy spin-off. Again, all these cats get work THROWN at them, I spent 4 months at my PC, hunting... I wanna big up Spike Lee for winning a Polk Award on his When The Levees Break documentary for HBO; if you haven't seen this doc, it's the one to watch... In a decision that is 13 years too late, a judge ordered OJ to start paying the Goldmans from the residuals he received from his past work. My question is, how much of that money do they seriously think is there? By the time the trial and shit came, he wasn't exactly rolling in the dough, and Team Cochran cost him a pretty penny. What a bunch of bullshit, they might as well bleed OJ and sell his corpse to science... Rizoh reported on The Rap Up that Hip-Hop is not doing well in terms of album sales. It is kind of telling that the only guys from last year who went plat were T.I., Jay-Z, Ludacris and fucking Gnarls Barkley. Do you think Diddy barely passing gold will stop him from making solo albums?... J-Zone, of the my favorite producer's you've never heard, broke down his Five Things That Killed Hip-Hop, creating one of the more concise write-ups on Hip-Hop's descent... Redman kept it gully with AllHip-Hop in his recent interview (parts 1 and 2), breaking down his thoughts on the current state of Hip-Hop and Def Jam, him being a more mature individual, and his plans for himself and his Gilla House crew... This week was an odd one for rich niggas who are my age: Nick Cannon got married to a dame he had only been seeing for less than a month. Talk about Wild'n Out; on the flipside, word is that Usher got engaged, with no known wedding date. Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but doesn't shit like this tarnish their images? I can understand if they come into the game with someone on their arm, but these guys are known primarily for their bachelor-ness. I just don't see how this helps them at all, but good luck to them nonetheless!... Beanie Sigel fucked up his probation and got an additional six months for testing positive for codeine and morphine, as well as hanging with convicted felons. Do they not know how Beans rolls? Mac is just a hood dude, they had to have known that he wasn't going to stop. I feel for him, though, because I know he is trying to get his career back on track - at least I thought he was. Beanie, please just lay off the sizz and the purp for six months, then get back in that booth and do you. No need to risk your livelihood any more than you already are... Finally, Busta Rhymes figured that, "hey, since I beat my charges recently, it will be OK if I go out driving with my Ls suspended"; mind you, if convicted he only has to do 15 days, but what good is that? And why was he driving anyways? I know he spent a grip on those icey medallions he has been rocking the last year or so, but no more loot to pay ya boy to sit behind the wheel? I'll never get it...

06/This guy who got fired from IBM has a set of cajones on him, yo! It looks like dude had been visiting some 'adult' chatrooms, and when IBM found out, they booted him. He says he is addicted to the Internet, needs some therapy, and figures he should sue IBM for $5M. Say whaaa? Let me get this straight: your ass is so addicted to both the Internet AND porn that you have to be on your work PC chatting on adult chat lines? AND THEY SHOULD PAY YOU FOR THIS!? Shit, I guess I should go pay the good people of Swank a visit and get some money back for long-term pain/suffering.

07/Speaking of porn, Antonella Barba, NJ's answer to shitty singers in this season's American Idol competition, has been outed this week for a gang of sexually-explicit photos of her that hit the 'Net this week (here are 13 shots of her in various outfits/poses; more explicit shots here). I will never understand who finds a pic of her holding a Swiffer as something erotic, but to each his own... the sad part is, these shots show a promising career; this audition? Not so much... and while Idol producers are now aware of the shots, they have not made a decision on whether they will pull a 'Frenchie' on her or not. I would imagine so, but only time will tell. I guess at the end of the day, Sprite was wrong: Image is everything.

08/In other naked female news, blogger Perez Hilton is in hot water, AGAIN, this time over some topless photos of Jennifer Aniston he posted on his blog. It looks like the shot was made during filming of The Break-Up, but was never used, for whatever reason (probably b/c her tatas are kind of teeny), and Perez is said to have obtained them illegally. I say fair play to him for posting it up, but he might want to choose his culprits a tad more wisely in the future: Aniston is a pistol, and is definitnely equipped to rape you in court fees, dog. Good luck in this one...

09/Remember Tommy Morrison? He was an average boxer, and starred in Rocky V, playing, well, himself, but ended up testing positive for HIV and ended up retiring? Well, he recently tested negative for HIV, and already had his first fight on Thursday, whooping a bum's ass in the 2nd Round. This is wild though, because he's apparently tested negative on like 5 or 6 tests in the past couple of months. How did he end up testing positive back in 1996? What was he doing in that 11 years, meaning, was he taking meds or receiving HIV treatment of any kind? I just don't see how he lived with that for 11 years, and only just recently got back to trying to reclaim his name and life back. I can only imagine how frustrating that ordeal was for him, but something just seems wrong. Eh, at the end of the day, he can get his weight up and get his ass kicked by a whole weight-class of bums and underachievers. What a great time to be a pro boxer!

10/I knew there were millions of blogs and bloggers out there in the world, but had no idea about Amanda Baggs, an autistic woman who, by reading her page, would not come off as autistic from the rip. She writes about living with autism, her personal struggles, the media attention she is receiving as of late, and whatever else is on her mind. In her face-to-face dealings, as reported by CNN, she is drastically different: introverted, reserved, and she does not communicate like others do. She says she is bilingual in a sense, and referred to seeing things in terms of color, which I had heard author Daniel Tammet, who is also autistic, make reference to with his book. It's ironic how little mainstream America knows of autistic people. Like, my oldest daughter is autistic: my wife tells me time and again about how Tika is not supposed to be speaking/using the bathroom/reading/interacting, etc., essentially, they had Tika pegged to be a vegetable before she was out of diapers. Now, you wouldn't know it. And you know what? Tika is probably smarter in things others aren't. Most people equate autism with Rain Man, which my wife has never seen, and sadly, they wouldn't be wrong. I think America needs to educate people more about this disease, especially with studies showing that the number of Americans living with autism is a lot larger than we once thought. Think on that.

11/Alright, with that, let's hit you guys with the ADD rundown of the rest of this week's new bits: James Gandolfini helped usher in this year's Mardi Gras celebration in an ugly ass shirt... this poor Florida teen can't stop her hiccups... Although she failed a field sobriety test, and let the cops know that she was smoking herb and took some Vicodin before getting into her vehicle, Nicole Richie entered a not guilty plea in her DUI case... Viacom hates YouTube, so it decided to create a solution: set up its own online video viewing service. While they gain control of how their programming is viewed online, it will lose loads of viewers who have to a) download a separate program to view the Viacom videos and b) have to sit through commercials. Sometimes bucking the trend is not the best option... Buckethead, the former Guns'N'Roses guitarist who recreates ODB songs and Bruce Lee themes, all whilst wearing a KFC bucket on his head, is currently selling a 13-disc collection of albums entitled In Search Of The, which he is personally burning and shipping himself ($20 for a single CD, $200 for the entire set). There is no concrete artwork, nor does anyone know anything about the music on it, but I bet you the guitars are intense and the other sounds are out there. Check out his site for a dose of weirdness... A lot of people are saying that, statistically, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevards across the nation are not as crime-ridden as we like to believe. I dunno, I grew up near an MLK Blvd., and there's always violence or drug running on that street... There's a situation going on currently involving a military man being accused of serial rape in the military. Now, they say he drugged these dudes with GHB and sodomized them, but one of the guys says that they did have consensual sex in the past. Since most of these accusers are guys in uniform, I can only think of 2 scenarios: either dude really did rape them, or they just skurred of being outed in the military. Or a possible 3rd scenario: the accused was a ho, and too many of his partners found out what he was doing and concocted a scheme. I wonder if this will get more mainstream attention, this could be a big case in terms of gay rights issues, esp. in a military context... Cisco and Apple have settled their iPhone dispute, with Apple basically being able to use the name, but only if they get gwap with Cisco in the future. Cisco, you punked you, but I see why you did that: it was easier to break bread than break the bank in court fees battlin' Apple... Former SNL star Jimmy Fallon is being rumored as Conan O'Brien's successor when Conan takes over Jay Leno's spot in 2009. Is that wise? Jimmy had no career after SNL, and hey, Arsenio should still be free. Or just holler at me. I'll blog while doing the show, double exposure!... For you fans of the Game Cube, Nintendo announced that it has officially stopped manufacturing new titles for the unit. There are still tons of games available in the stores, and my daughter Tika swears by the system, but hey, gotta make room for the Wii... Louis Farrakhan is going to be making his final address on Sunday, which is kind of a landmark thing I guess. The jew bashing and ridiculous posturing can now end. I just wonder who will be HIS successor... Rakim?... Some well placed, porno boomboxes turned faithful church goers' Ash Wednesday into Ass Wednesday (sorry, I had to!!!)... You know the state of the world is in trouble when teachers are buying crack in middle school offices and cops are too dumb to realize when THEY are being stung for their pseudo-mobster lifestyle. And they wonder why are children turn out the way they do.


Hey, this turned out pretty good. Now for my final thought:

Randy Savage and Arsenio Hall: two guys I miss these days. Even if the Macho Man lost some points trying to rap...

Be easy, peeps.
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Friday, Feb. 23rd 2007 playlist

Diverse styles this week... hitting you with the hip-hop, the rap, the dubstep, the dnb, and... yeah, that's it. Get invovled...

01/Inner Loop "I And I Blues" [lovely jazz/dnb/dub hybrid styles. Apparently this group hails from DC, and is a jazz band that dabbles in drum loops and experimentation. I wish I had a file for this, but check their MySpace page and peep it in their player. Dope track.]
02/DJ Motive "Screwtop" [a friend of this very blog, Motive has been kind of silent for a spell... but I get the feeling a load of new bits from him will be forthcoming. This one is on Bingo, and is the best track off the EP. Heavy bass on this one.]
03/Juju "Mogera" [one of my favorite DNB artists has really come into his own with this dubstep stylings. This new release on NarcoHz is no exception. Just a serious bopper, hypnotic sounds in it as well. Lethal!]
04/Nolige "Eyes Deceived" [Scientific Wax dropped a dope 12" on the masses, and this is my pick, even though the Fracture tune on the flip is serious too. I love the intro on this one, really funky vibe to it, but the track then drops into a nasty, drumfunkula number.]
05/Nas "Hope (Original Version)" [this is reportedly the original version of the acapella track on Nas' latest. I like the strings in this, Nas sounds dope on this.]
06/Saigon ft. The Game & B.G. "Pain In My Life (Remix)" [what an odd pairing! I like how they all sound over that brooding track. Shouts to BG for holding his own.]
07/Loxy & Ink "Killing Season" [nice bleepy b-bop DNB beats on Xtinction Agenda. Horsemen crew, stand up!]
08/Alix Perez "Morning Sun" [DNB's brightest star, killing it for his debut Creative Source 12", and Fabio knew what to pick. This 12 is going to be hard to find in a bit. I hate people comparing dude to Calibre - I can see the similarity, but I think Alix does it better.]
09/Prodigy ft. Un Pacino "7th Heaven" [more Return of the Mac hotness. ALC and Prodigy linking up is a great combo. P sounds crazy lit on this, which is a good thing. He keeps dropping Bloods references (on Blood Money, they talked about eating your food, on this one he makes a comment about 'sex money and murder', which is a popular Blood set around my way); whattup with that?]
10/Blu Mar Ten "Pilgrim Soul" [new shit on Vibe'z. I love how BMT is stradling the old school way of making tracks sound, but focusing on dropping some heavier, funkier vibes than before. Solid sound for them.]


In mixtape news, there's a few heavy spitters dropping shit right now. Rizoh posted up a new Young Buck mixtape (The Clean Up Man) today, while eskay let the world know about the new Redman mixtape (Live from the Bricks) we've all been fiending for. I haven't listened to either, but I highly doubt they suck. Red and Buck are some dope MCs, and both have shit to prove with their forthcoming albums.


Monsta, a guy I knew just as making sick DNB tracks, has been making a name for himself with his drawings as of late, scoring some serious Metalheadz work, among other gigs. His Life4Land crew is always making noise, and now he has a new dubstep sampler for the masses to sink their teeth into. These appear to all be tracks he has made, I am guessing. Download the mix HERE, and peep the tracklisting:

2.crush dem
7.fat slug
8.picnic in the country
9.bad mistake
10.wife swap
12.space invaders
13.crap garage



Now we know Prodigy of Mobb Deep is working on new albums, but Havoc has his own joint coming out too. A video is on YouTube showing him and his crew wildin' out to some of his joints in the studio. That first track is TOUGH! The other bits aren't for you slouch niggas either. Peep game:

Too ill. Should be dropping this summer.


For this week's final thought, and the final playlist for Black History Month, I want to still bring light to some of the struggles and situations going on in Black America. Get'cha mind right:

Public Enemy ft. Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane "Burn Hollywood Burn"

Ice Cube "Steady Mobbin'"

Boogie Down Productions "My Philosophy"

2Pac "Trapped"

Jay-Z "Minority Report"

Juvenile "Get Ya Hustle On"

Until next time...
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LOST, Season 3: "Stranger in a Strange Land" [recap]

Nice episode, let me just get that off my chest first. I had been waiting for the producers to give their origin of Jack's tatoo for a while (ever since I heard them mention it on a podcast last year some time), and I wasn't disappointed. He always seemed like a character in search of something, and him going to Thailand and boning some fly chick for months or so doesn't seem that far off. Plus, it reminded me of one of my favorite Tales From The Crypt episodes, which featured Heavy D without his glasses, working in some tatoo parlor where the tatoo artist just puts whatever your skin is telling them on your body. In reading up on this episode, though, I realized something: homegirl was doing a lot of namaste in that episode. Remember when she received the gift from that man when her and Jack were eating lunch? I didn't hear it at the time, but she made the 'namaste' symbol with her hands and said it. Plus, in reading up on LostPedia, her name, Achara, is actually synonymous with the word dharma. So, who else is thinking homegirl is more than just a tatoo artist? I mean, those references can't just be chance, right?

I am just puzzled as to why her brother beat Jack up... is it not right for him to have even gotten that tatoo, or did they see what she wrote and got freaked out, thinking he might bring bad karma or something to their island in Thailand? I am puzzled over that...

...as I am puzzled over the LOST commercial for this episode, saying that "3 Questions Will Be Answered"... the more that I think of it, the more I have more questions as to WHAT WAS ANSWERED. Follow me here, and see if any of these might be what they eluded to:

  • Karl revealing to Kate & Sawyer that "The Others" don't live on the island where the Hydra is located. This makes sense though, as this island seems to be smaller than the others, and there's no way they could have their backyards and homes and such out there. The question is, WHY? He says they conduct "projects", but how does breaking up rocks fit into that? And what is this "better life" that he figures his people give the children? His speaking that "God loves you like he loved Jacob", which was taken directly from Room 23, was creepy...
  • Cindy, the stewardess of Oceanic 815, making her return with what seem to be like a whole other set of Others, on their way "to watch" (I assume they meant watch Juliet die for her murdering Pickett), which is both eerie and I guess telling of how rigid their group dynamic is. We also saw that Zack & Emma, the kids from the tailsection, were straight. I'm guessing this is their way of answering "what happened to Cindy and the kids?"...
  • Ben is still the leader. Duh. I mean, he calls the shots, he has been since towards the end of Season 2. That Isabel lady was a cold bitch though, right? Even she couldn't shake his ruling. Jack's decision to stick with the Others is going to be a true test... it also makes me wonder how many of the Others ended up with them based off of some similar situation...
  • Jack helping Ben because he said he would. That's no real surprise or answer, I don't think. Jack's a pretty stand up guy, and has been one of the only members of the cast to stick to his word, thick and thin. His brewing romance with Juliet is going to be an interesting situation, if it happens... and what's up with the marking they gave Juliet?
In any case, it was a tight episode that makes the real fans out there go "Hmmmm?!?!" with all of the innuendo, and others be like "eh, filler"... the fact that a show like LOST is so vast that you can think that gaining more info on the characters is "filler" is beyond me... And that preview of next week looks like it will be a big one. Don't be surprised if someone gets killed in this one... just a hunch I have over here.

Until then... namaste.

related links:
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NEW TV: Dancing With The Stars Cast Revealed!

I was just watching Good Morning America, and figured I'd drop the dime on the new Dancing With The Stars cast (premieres March 19th), even though I'm not the biggest fan. Here we go:

Do I know who is going to win? Right now, just based on their past, I'd give it to Ohno or Fatone, just because they've had to dance and be light on their feet. I don't know which of the females would be a good fit, I would naively say Laila Ali, but being a boxer doesn't mean you can dance. Her father could float, though, so who knows...

Maybe I will blog about this... maybe not. We'll see.
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Fattie Tuesday

Nice play on words, no?

Just popping in to say what's really really to you guys out there. I first want to apologize if my last shuffle was kind of 'blah'... kind of hard to get jazzed about some of the nonsense stories out there.

In any case, I saw that today is Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, depending on what part of the world you live in. The reason I remembered, though, was because they said it was "Pancake Tuesday". I remember this time last year being down in South Jersey, with my Marines-bound cousin Mike, making sure everything for his father's funeral was straight. It was a rough Feb., with my Uncle Allen passing, and J. Dilla passing, just a surreal time really. Shit, I grew up on Dilla beats and my Uncle's eats. He introduced my to Canadian bacon and the joys of pepper on fried potatoes. He taught me how to be smooth and cool, and how to not take everything so seriously, even if he was a principal at schools for developmentally disabled teens. His desk would have a drawer full of brass knucks, knives, all kinds of things, and he toko it all with a grain of salt. It was hard seeing him in that casket, emotionless, when his face was all salt and pepper beard, puffy cheeks, Winston in hand/on lip, cracking a joke or a sarcastic face.

His life was spent helping others, and it was his own body that couldn't help him. He drank and smoked for years, and his ticker gave out. It was all so mind-blowing until I saw him in that coffin, with hundreds of people in that auditorium. Crying, rejoicing, reconnecting, all over Smitty.

Why am I bringing this up? I dunno, it's Pancake Day. Get fat and reminisce on your loved ones.
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the shuffle. [2/17/07]

I was going to spend my lil section before the shuffle talking about my lacks... lack of new music, lack of job, lack of patience, but who wants to hear about that right now? I'm sure you don't.

I do want to publicly applaud Niecy Nash, who is a cast member in Reno 911!, as well as that black chick who always wears flowers in her hair. Well, the Reno cast (shouts to The Show), have a new film dropping next week entitled Reno 911!: Miami, and I guess their premiere just happened this past week, for Natasha of YBF fame posted up some pics of Niecy straight up assed out. Gotta love it. The thing is, when someone got played out or exposed, I used to say they got "assed out like Prince pants", but I might have to change it to "assed out like Niecy Nash".

Why, you may ask, did I lead off with that? Who knows. Why does most of the nonsense that happens in this world happens? Which takes me into this week's round-up of odd news. Consider yourselves warned...

01/In this week's Black History "What The Fuck Are You Doing, Ma?" department, Foxy Brown recently got arrested in Florida for an incident in a beauty shop where homegirl was told it was closing time. Now, I can see if you are Oprah Winfrey, and someone tells you "look, we have to shut down the store", and you are in some ultra exclusive spot, taking time out of your hectic schedule to pluck down serious cash on shit. Nah, Foxy, who may or may not still be signed to Def Jam, was in the fucking beauty shop sampling the inventory. When she was told that the shop was closing, she threw fucking hair glue at the workers. While they called 911, she spit on the people, then proceeded to leave the spot. 5-0 shows up, and she has to be restrained using a "takedown manuever", over some beauty supplies? And word came out today that she might have more problems on her hands, for the NY probation officers said she wasn't even supposed to be in Florida. It's just sad. You'd think deaf people wouldn't be allowed to express their inner rage on unsuspecting beauty shop employees...

02/Speaking of artists who have had a hard last couple of years, Michael Jackson's name has popped up surprisingly in the last week. First off, he has tapped Simon Fuller, one of the heads behind Pop Idol, American Idol, and the Spice Girls, to help mastermind his pop comeback. If this means that MJ will be walking through Idol moonwalking and laughing with Paula Abdul, count me out. I don't see the attraction for Fuller, who should have enough on his plate to deal with. Is Mike that bankable as an artist these days? In a similar, funnier story, some nigga named DJ Tempamental has a track called "No Friend Of Mine (Gangsta)" up on his MySpace page, featuring both Mike and the Fugees' Pras. I don't get it at all, honestly. Mike calling himself "the new gangsta", but he beat his case. You aren't gangsta for not going to jail, dog. Grow up -- oh wait, you're Peter fucking Pan! Good luck with your career, Michael, but I think you are so disconnected with today's scene, you might be up for a big disappointment. Or maybe I will have to eat my words...

03/Austrian officials finally let the world know about the disgusting misfortune 3 daughters met at the hands of their mother. From the report, this mother, who is a lawyer, got a divorce from her husband, and won custody of the girls, at the time aged 7, 11 and 13. She took them out of school, and left them locked in a room... for 7 years. This situation is awful: they had no exposure to natural light to the point that they can't be in natural light right now. They spent the first few weeks out of their captivity huddling in the darkest spot of the place they were staying. The oldest girl was rendered helpless, only being able to stand on one leg and constantly crying. What's so shocking about this situation is that with the mother's law background, she might be able to manipulate her situation using the law to her advantage. You can't change the law, but you've seen it get reamed time and again. We can only hope that monsters like that get shut down for good. Fucking crying shame... speaking of mistreated kids, check out this CNN article about child soldiers.

04/The Mixtape Wars have a new chapter in the saga, this time Universal Music Group vs. DJ Swindle. Swindle has created mixtapes marrying Mobb Deep and Bob Marley, Nas & Al Green and the one that is currently the focus of debate/legal action, the "80 Cent" project, which took 50 acapellas and classic 80's tracks and mashed them all up. I wasn't a big fan, but it is what it is. UMG has made dude cease his promoting of this mixtape, and have even had his MySpace page deleted/changed. Swindle spoke to HHNLive and gave a good point about the industry putting acapellas on 12" singles and such, but then getting mad when people use them. My thought on this situation? The industry is shooting itself in the foot. Their promotion game is not on point, that's why so many artists are going to mixtape DJs and getting on that grind. They make loot AND get to hype their projects. The industry is willing to sign and rape an MC, but will stop the one circuit that is providing a lot of the heat and word of mouth on these niggas getting signed! We are in an age where niggas get signed based on their following (i.e. this dude sold 50K mixtapes in his hood), yet once they get on, you expect these cats to not get on the mixtape grind? Sounds kind of shady... and before they go into "piracy costing us billions", don't forget that LEGAL DOWNLOADING is on the rise.

05/With the NBA's All Star weekend activities going down this weekend, I thought it was kind of crazy that Tim Hardway decided to come out his mouth about gay NBA players. He actually said "I Hate Gay People", which in turn the interviewer was like "dogs, you're being homophobic", to which Tim then came out his face like "yeah I'm homophobic", bascially saying "so what, I said it". Is Tim high or drunk or something? I mean, I can see you disliking some group of people, that's your own ignorance and hate. The thing is, I looked up to dude. I was a fan of "Run TMC", and even followed him when he went to the Heat. I just don't get how you can be in that spot, as someone that kids and just ballers look up to, and you can be that fucking ridiculous in the media. He must have gotten some serious flack from someone, for he spent the rest of this week apologizing for his remarks, but come on. Just like a white person can't live down calling someone a black ass nigger, ignorant ass basketball players cannot live down saying they hate gay people. Tim probably takes it up the ass anyways.

06/The Japanese have a serious piece of history to fix on their plate right now. Women who were sexually brutalized by the Japanese soldiers during WWII took their horrible memories to Congress this week, part of a committee's plea to make the Japanese government offer up a formal apology to these surviviors. The thing that surprised me about this situation is that they aren't even trying to get paid off of it. Is that a cultural thing? Niggas in the US stay talking reparations for slavery, like they could name the families that enslaved their forefathers. These women lived through this shit, 60 years ago, and just want the Japanese to be like "we're sorry, it happened and it shouldn't have". That's heart. They have such fury over the way they were treated, but only want a sincere apology. Maybe, during Black History Month, us Black folk might want to reevaluate how we are going about reclaiming our dignity for the shit that has happened to us...

07/The media seemed to jump on the news that LOST has plummeted in the ratings since their switch from Wednesdays @ 9PM to 10PM, as to not battle with Idol. My initial reaction is, yo, it's been TWO FUCKING WEEKS, who is to say that more fans are just not really up on the change as of yet? This article up on Yahoo! seems to be piercing, speaking to this cat Marc Berman, who cannot be biased because they admit that he is an upset fan who thinks they mishandled the show. If you are a reporter, having an opinion is one thing, but why would I want to speak to someone who on the one hand represents a news website, but then is a disgruntled fan? He says that ABC has put the nail in the coffin, mainly b/c they take too long exposing pieces of the puzzle, as well as taking too long between parts in this season. While those points might be true, they have also been poured over time and again, from the reasoning why filming a show like LOST in Hawaii takes longer than a normal show and how that relates to the rigid TV schedules set up by the majors. And how are you a fan of LOST and you spend your time being upset about the way they divulge info? That has been a piece of their makeup from day dot, so you are basically pissed at yourself for sticking with it for so long. Cats like THAT put the nail in the coffin prematurely. Long live LOST, I don't see it going anywhere.

08/I have to say that this week was a pretty hectic one for white females in Hollywood. To top things off, Nicole Richie got charged with DUI stemming from the situation in Dec. 2006 when she was high off weed and pharms and sitting in her idling whip. She might end up getting a year in jail along with a $1K fine, but I highly doubt she will see one day in jail. Just a hunch... Kim Mathers, fka Mrs. Marshall Mathers, reportedly went on some Detroit radio show and let this gem slip out of her mouth: "I vomit in my mouth whenever I'm around him or I hear his name." WTF you still talking about him then? I guess your meal ticket in the fame game is hard to let go... Speaking of riding the coattails of success, this Anna Nicole Smith fiasco is ridiculous. The latest news this week is that her will left everything to her deceased son. Why the media is so surprised is anyone's guess - the will is old anyways. The problem is that she made a specific note in there that her son be the only one to get her estate, not allowing any kids born after him to get a piece of it. The fucked up part? Howard K. Stern, her possible-baby daddy and lawyer, is the executor, so I am guessing he will be profiting off the large chunk he will cut for himself. I saw on GMA today that he is going to court on Tuesday about this to try and get it set straight. If he doesnt' cake off, I will be SO surprised... and there's no way I could go on this week without giving my $0.02 on this Britney Spears rehab/baldness situation. From what I've read/seen on TV, the word is that her family thought she was bugging out, and decided to have her go into rehab, but Brit was there for less than a day, said "fuck this shit, this ain't me", and dipped. Here's where it gets odd: she gets back, goes to a tatoo spot, gets a few new markings and shaves her head after the salon worker was like "I won't cut it"? You have to feel for homegirl. Fuck those who say this is some promotional stunt. Homegirl might have fallen off the wagon or gone loco, but the description about the transaction shows me someone who is crying out for help, someone who is going through something serious and is trying to figure out a way to change things. I hope she can find her way, for I think she can get back on top if she wants it. I just want to know: was K-Fed really that good of a man that the divorce/separation started this off, or is it deeper than this?

09/Speaking of the Entertainment Industry, let's shoot some quick links at you muckety mucks: on the interview side, Rizoh broke bread with Fabolous for About: Rap, Prodigy (with The Alchemist on the helpout) chat it up with All Hip-Hop, and Papoose sat down with Prefix to do the same... Beyonce graced the cover (and inside) of the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, which just screams "we've been losing money on our previous issues" loud and clear. Why there are no ass shots is kind of silly to me... Speaking of Beyonce, Idolator speculates on the real reasons why Kelly Rowland's album keeps getting pushed back... Do you think there is enough material to make a Milli Vanilli movie? Someone does; I personally thought their Behind The Music was more than enough... I hope this one isn't true: word is J.Lo and Marc Antony are dipping into the Scientology nonsense, having been spotted at crazy meetings since December of 06. I felt fucked up when I found out Beck was a Scientologist, and then I found out that one of my childhood crushes, Leah Remini, was a Scientologist as well, I almost fell out (word is Leah and J.Lo are buddies now, too)... Chris Cornell split from Audioslave, which makes them reuniting to form Rage Against The Machine all the more special... Why does Juelz Santana and Paul Wall getting beats from former blink182 drummer Travis Barker sound so un-appetizing?... and finally, Al Gore is setting up Live Earth, trying to get over 100 performers to rock out all over the globe for 24 hours in the name of global warming (which is ironic, considering the amount of electricity that will be used up on that one day alone).

10/Now for the buckshot from the rest of the news for this week: here's a few how-to's from my wife - how to French Kiss (I asked her if she was trying to say something, but she assured me I had nothing to worry about), how to create an iPod tarot deck (spooky!) and, from MSNBC.com's Red Tape, how to make those telemarketers pay IN CASH... a county in New York is trying to ban the "N-word" for good. Good luck with that one, I don't see it going down at all... MySpace is trying to appease the majors by setting up a video filtering system to help block copyright material, like these kids won't find ways around these great white hopes... Nashville was one veto away from becoming an English-only city... GMail is finally available to the public, and no longer needs an invite... the US Mint has put out new $1 coins, but will that mean that retailers will still look at you like you tried to pay in amusement park tokens?... research is showing that there are more autistic people out there than once thought of, but its mainly due to more people finally speaking out... this 19 y/o male got arrested for agitating a police K-9 -- say whaaa?... as for right now, anyone trying to trademark "Obama bin Laden" is going to get shut down... and say a prayer for Stumpy, the 4 legged duck.

11/And in my last bit of news, I want to highlight two deaths, one that seems to have caused the other: at the age of 93, Robert Adler has passed away. He is the man who invented the remote control, a device that controls the TV viewings of many a family. We learned the longevity of batteries, the different ways lasers and beams work, and all other sorts of neat things through this invention. Essentially, Mr. Adler single handedly invented the couch potato as well... which brings me to the 2nd death: Vinnie Ricardo was found dead this week, having spent a year in front of the TV, deceased. Could his family sue? I mean, he was blind, but enthralled enough in the TV that he died right there. Anyways, the other question is, how was his electricity still on? A live family in my city could get their shit cut after 2 (or 3) unpaid bills... but this dude can sit DEAD in front of his boob tube, and the juice would still be going? Inconceivable...

I leave you guys with Grandmaster Flash from Wild Style, a movie I still haven't watched today. I was going to, but didn't get around to it. In any case:

Until next time...
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Friday, Feb. 16th 2007 playlist

I had a weird dream last night while wishing my 5 month old would stay asleep... for some reason, MF Doom wanted the world to believe that he really was two different entities, and set up two different labels: Metal Face Records and something else, I want to say it was like Hotbox Sneaker Recordings, but the name truly escapes me. In any case, he's set up these press releases, saying things like "oh Metal Face shits all over Hotbox's output", setting up "Vs." mixtapes and what not. I don't even know why, I haven't been jazzed about new MF Doom since before the DangerDoom project.

I need more sleep. Or more hot music... here's some hot trinkets for you:

01/Birdman & Lil' Wayne "Stuntin' Like My Daddy (DJ Nappy Vs. Luke Envoy Thugstep Mix)" [you thugstep haters, you know what you can do (or, you can just join the campaign). and you know how we feel... I love Weezy over these dubstep tracks, the drops in and out of the beat help accent his braggadocio. Makes me actually appreciate his flow. More Weezy this week, later...]
02/J.R. Writer "Get 'Em" [from this Dipset rhymer's new mixtape, this one has that knock. All about that beat, as per usual with the Dipset clan.]
03/Parliament "Flash Light" [who knew that a group who's name became one of the worst cigarettes ever to be smoked could produce such funk. There's James Brown, the backbone of the Funk, then George Clinton and his P-Funk associates. Tracks with lyrics but no theme, just a fucking bomb-ass groove. When it gets to that "SHINING ON THE WALL" shit, that's when I lose my shit and have to pull up and reload.]
04/Cam'ron "Currrtiss" [TWO Dipset joints for one week? I had to include this one. Especially because of that video (peep the United Nations shouting "CURRRTISS!" and you though BALLIN was annoying)... I mean, Cam is not the man on the mic, but in this battle? I think he got it on 50. Even if 50 had the iller beat. Oh and peep Cam's speech towards the end, when he speaks on those G-Unit tank tops. He is on point with that comment.]
05/Fat Joe ft. R. Kelly, Lil' Wayne, Birdman, T.I. & Rick Ross "Make It Rain (Remix)" [why is R Kelly on this speaking about being with models? We don't think JC Penney girls are really on that level, Kells. Wayne murders it, as per usual (even though he shares his 16 with Birdman... who made THAT decision), and T.I. keeps his swagger official.]
06/Erykah Badu ft. Common "Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip-Hop)" [extra cuts left off of my "rock the love" mixtape. Dope, smooth, Grammy award winning banger from Ms. Badu.]
07/Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One & Rakim "Classic (Better Than I Ever Been Remix)" [DJ Premier on the beat. If you guys caught that "One Night Only" event, the one biggin' up the Air Force 1, you saw clips of these 4 performing this on stage LIVE. This is the remix, but there is an original produced by Rick Rubin (couldn't find an mp3, sorry!), and from what Rizoh says, both tracks will be available for purchase on Feb. 20th via iTunes, with proceeds going to a Nike charity. Holla.]
08/Redman "Put It Down" [WHOA, sorry for the un-full version of this, but I had to put this new Redman out there, produced by Timbaland. Friday, club knockin beats. Seriously. What a combo. Word is this might be the lead single to Red Gone Wild? We'll let you know when we get either a full version or more info... the funny thing is, this week OhWord has been bringing some heat in terms of slept on gems (more on that later), and Red's classic "Pick It Up" made one of the lists. Nice contrast, in the titles that is. And one of my favorites. Oh, and for the fuck of it, here's another Redman clip uploaded via eskay @ NahRight: "Get Off My Dick". HOLLA!]
09/Lil' Wayne "Reggae Shit" [Wayne doing his thing over Baby Cham's "Ghetto Story". And you just thought he was done with "Mo Fire", eh? I like his fake patois lol. Does he have Jamaican in him? Shouts to Idolator for leaking this, as well as the "A-Trak RMX of Fireman".]


For those looking for FREE mixtapes, Mick Boogie and the now DUO Little Brother dropped "And Justus For All", which concerns me. Is 9th still part of the Justus Leage? Anyways, enjoy the freeness.


The boy ESB's Detuned Radio brought in none other than Canada's Gremlinz, and they did a pretty dope set on the 9th of Feb. Can't believe I missed it. No tracklisting on this one, but the dload is free (sendspace link).


Shouts to the OhWord crew, Noz, Robbie, and whomever else put together the "50 Incredible Rap Songs You Need To Hear... Right Now" series for OhWord.com (I actually don't think Rafi had anything to do with it, so he was as surprised as we were when this list just came out). The dloads even helped shut OhWord down for a bit yesterday morning. In any case, these are a boatload of slept-on Rap gems from all different eras, compiled by the above mentioned heads, with their short quips about them to boot. Here are the links: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 EDIT: here is parts 1-5 in one file, as well as 20 bonus tracks from the good folks over there. Gotta applaud my peers when they bring excellence.


To put an end to this, my final thought is a special video from the man like Wordsmith. He's the head behind the Nu Revolution Camp, a group of MCs, producers and the like who are currently making some sick music and on the verge of cracking into your mainstream systems, if they haven't already. Dude is even working with Chubb Rock, which is just dope in and of itself. You might also remember that I interviewed his boys Kontakt & SoL last month, and both spots came out right.

IN ANY CASE, this is a self-produced video they did, chronicling their "Mixshow" tour from 2006. You see them doing promo photo shoots, in the lab working on beats AND rhymes, just straight wylin' out and their slick looking live shows. I like the scene where they are on the stage rappin' about drivin', and really mimicing the act of driving, and its like every piece he rhymes about, a prop comes on stage and they act it out. I haven't seen something like that since Special Ed's "I Got It Made" video. Check it out. And peep for the rock the dub shout at the end. You know how we do.

Wordsmith's 2006 Mixshow Wrap-Up

Add to My Profile More Videos

Until next time, take it light, but take it...
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American Idol 6, "Hollywood Week" [recap]

FINALLY, we've got our contestants. Were you surprised at who made it and who got left behind? I sure as hell am a bit pissed... what can you do, though?

I was surprised Sundance Head made it, with his lackluster performances over the entire Hollywood Week. I am also surprised that Antonella chick made it, even if she's a Jersey girl.

My early predictions? Well, I really like that girl Haley - she's very cute, she can dance, and her voice is nice. Not the best, but I think she has the total package. My early pick for the guys is Sanjaya, just because I think his voice is phenomenal. He murked his sister. The backup singers (Melinda and Brandon) also stand out to me, just for the fact that you can tell they are not only great singers, but they love it.

Now for who I wish would just fall out of the competition early: Blake Lewis. I get it, he can beatbox and act like Justin Timberlake-lite. My thing is, dog, you are getting through based on personality, dancing and your beatbox. I have no doubt that he will do great in the votes (as long as he doesn't totally bomb on his songs), but I couldn't help but getting annoyed when he started beatboxing during the group comp. Just cheesy and really not necessary IMHO. I'm also not too into that Gina girl either - just not seeing how long she can keep it up. Especially since she got cut during last year's Hollywood Week. There's a reason you didn't make it, ma. For the same reason, Nicholas Pedro should go - you quit, dog!

The wild card? Chris Sligh. He might be this year's Taylor Hicks: not that much to look at, but with his wit and his damn good vocals, he might stay under the radar longer than many might realize. Don't sleep on Lakisha, either. That girl can BLOW!

Those are my picks! Next week, the guys perform first. We'll see who makes it...
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rock the love (V-Day Feb. 2007)

I told you guys yesterday that I had a treat for you...

I wanted to take some of my favorite songs about love and put them into a mix... but figured, what the hey, let's just throw them out in a .rar, unmixed.

So, here you go!

rock the dub presents: rock the love (V-Day Feb 2007) (sendspace link) (more links to come)

Here's the tracklisting:

01-Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. - My Love
02-Portishead - It Could Be Sweet
03-Christina Aguilera - On Our Way
04-Bobby Caldwell - What You Won't Do For Love
05-Teddy Pendergrass - Love TKO
06-Michael Jackson - The Lady In My Life
07-D'Angelo - The Root
08-High Contrast - Global Love
09-Whodini - One Love
10-J Dilla ft. Pharoah Monche - Love
11-The Perceptionists - Love Letters
12-Nas - Getting Married
13-The Notorious B.I.G. - Me And My Bitch
14-Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige - I'll Be There For You-You're All I Need (Razor Sharp Mix)

You like how it goes from R&B and Pop to DNB to Hip-Hop, right? And how we cover all facets, from thinking about ditching love to cautionary tales to straight up Bitchery, right?

I know you do. Share and share alike.

Spend your afternoon/evening rocking the love with your loved ones... and finding out what this Valentine's Day is all about.
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Valentine's Day Eve 2007

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do for V-Day this year, seeing as this is the first V-Day I'll be blogging ever. I figured, gifts are always a good gesture, and the best gift I can give is the gift of music... there's going to be a SPECIAL rock the dub treat tomorrow, but there are some songs I felt needed to be highlighted, and they ended up focusing on Lauryn Hill, one of the oft-forgotten heroes of R&B and Hip-Hop. I mean, we all know her meteoric rise and surprising fall/disappearance from the limelight, and I don't want to dwell on that, for I'll just get upset for the lack of her voice in the mainstream music scene, but I still love her music. Her words, her soul, she just poured everything into her music, and nothing was as telling as her songs about love. You know she had some deepness going on when it comes to love, in all facets. So, today, I wanted to share with you guys a few of my favorite Lauryn Hill tracks and videos (if I can find them!) that accompany, with some words to go with them...

01/Lauryn Hill "Ex-Factor" [taken from her debut solo CD, she breaks down a relationship all of us have had: one where you hate this person so much, but you love this person so much that you end up hurting yourself just to keep them around. I think The Sopranos called it "Amour Fou", one of those undying loves, all encompassing, and all consuming. Not a healthy thing @ all, but when Lauryn sings it, it's timeless. My wife's favorite track off Miseducation... btw.]

02/Lauryn Hill ft. D'Angelo "Nothing Even Matters" [this is one of MY favorite Lauryn Hill tracks of all time. Very seductive, soulful number featuring the boy D'Angelo, just riffing on all the craziest shit that could go down, but in the end, even if that shit is poppin' off, it doesn't even mean a thing, because you have that one person. Possibly one of the simplest, yet most beautiful displays of that theme I have heard in my life. Just a great song, from two artists who were in my King and Queen spot 8, 9 years ago... and where are they now?]

03/Lauryn Hill "Just Like Water" [this is one of the tracks off of the Unplugged 2.0 set she did, the one everyone dissed her for, because she sat there pouring her heart out with her guitar and her thoughts. I mean, I personally feel a connection when I hear these songs, because they show the creative process in action, which I love seeing, whether it's Jay-Z working on his album or Busta Rhymes being inspired by a random Timbaland beat. The song seems to deal with finding love after being hurt for so long, and the river of emotions that cascade down when you really realize what's going on. That guitar is on point, I wish she did this in the studio with a nice, subtle drum underneath. We can dream, can't we?]

04/Refugee Camp All-Stars ft. Lauryn Hill "Sweetest Thing" [this is my personal fav. Lauryn track of all time. I remember buying Miseducation... and hoping this cut was on it, as a bonus or whatever, but my copy did not contain it. (it wasn't until years later that I realized I had to either cop the Love Jones OST or one of the singles to get it...) It was all over the radio that summer, I remember I was dealing with this female who seemed to be into me but only when no one else was around. She was big on making things feel one way when we were alone, but forgetting me when she got a phone call or when she was out. I got over it, but that shit hurt after a while. In any case, this track helped soothe my soul, from that soft guitar, complete with the noise of the fingers stroking the strings to that laid back beat. When the beat switches up, its MURDA! True Refugee Camp stylee on this one. That video was kind of ill too...]

Finally, I leave you guys with a track Talib Kweli wrote for Lauryn, simply titled "Ms. Hill", which is a letter that he wrote specifically for her, but many of us feel the same way. No more words to describe it, really...

related links:
Lauryn Hill's official website
Lauryn Hill page on Wikipedia

Ah, here are a few extra video pieces of Lauryn performing:

"Motives & Thoughts", performed LIVE on Def Poetry

"Killing Me Softly" video, with The Fugees

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just because

controversy @ 320 kbps bitrate:

Birdman & Lil' Wayne "Stuntin' Like My Daddy (Nappy Vs. Luke Envoy Thugstep Mix)"
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HBO comin' correct

So this morning I did what I do every Monday morning: check out my HBO On Demand to see what shows have been added/taken away. I always hit the "HBO Series" option first, because I've been waiting for Season 5 of The Sopranos to pop back on (which it did), but I awoke to a surprise: the first episode of Season 6 of Def Poetry is available! I totally forgot that the new season was premiering this month, let alone this Friday (Feb. 16th), so I was pleasantly surprised. They had a few dope shorts on there, too: one entitled "Def on Def" had Mos Def talking about the phenomenon that is Def Poetry, and showed a few highlights of cats who are going to be featured this season, including George Clinton, Carole King, Jill Scott and DMX, among others. The one face I was glad to see was that of the beautiful Suheir Hammad, who has been my favorite poet on Def Poetry, aside from that nigga Black Ice. Her voice, her words, her emotion... I remember the piece she did about her Palestinian brothers, the pain resulting from 9/11 and the Iraqi War situation, and just racial and political stress in America, NY and in our hearts. Once I heard that piece, I was a big fan. Big up to Brooklyn. So, I will be checking out this episode and dropping gem on it later this week...

Now, the boy eskay posted about this a week or so ago, and he reminded me that I Needed to check out this documentary that HBO picked up entitled Bastards of the Party, which goes deep into some info I saw on the "Tookie" episode of BET's American Gangster, which glossed over the idea that the Bloods and Crips evolved from the racial strife and struggle going on in the LA community, tracing back to the 1940s and 1950s. From the Slausons and Gladiators, crew of Black men who set sights on the "Spook Hunters" who were trying to kick the shit out of them, to the Black Panter Party, the US Organization, and the "Black Power" movements of the late 60s and the 1970s. If gang history and just Black History in general intrigues you, definitely check out this doc. The man who made it is a Blood named Bone, and while he wears his set on his sleeve, he's a man who wants to make a change from within the organization. He is a deep cat, has a nice speech at the end about the dehumanization of people via words ("Nigga", "Jap", "Gook", etc), and how that makes it easier for cats to kill each other, whether it's two brothers in gang wars or soldiers fighting international wars.

I saw HBO has scored two for the month of February... with more to come, hopefully. If you haven't gotten a subscription to them yet, do it now! You guys claiming Showtime and these other cable channels, step aside.
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the shuffle. [2/10/07]

I must say, I'm in a pretty good mood right now. I went with my girls today and saw Night At The Museum, which was pretty dope, especially for the heads who were into flicks like Jumanji. It's funny though, this is the first time I've been to the movies since Constantine came out. In any case, I saw some pretty dope trailers: the new Fantastic 4 flick looks awesome, but I think it will suffer from "shitty-plot" syndrome. It has Silver Surfer in it, but I can't tell if they are going to make him some villain or a rogue kind of good-guy. I actually already told my wife that we are going to go see the 3rd Spider-Man flick, which just looks, sounds and is going to be a superb flick. This one features that nigga Venom, which is one of my fav comic characters of all time, but the entire story just looks sick.

Oh, and I had NO IDEA that The Simpsons was getting it's own movie!? The trailer I saw has Homer literally between a rock and a hard place, and had me cracking up out loud. The kids in the theater were not getting it, but that movie is going to do MAJOR numbers. Will probably safe Hollywood.

And I just want to take the time out to say a big RIP to Big Pun and J Dilla. I know others died, but I have to rep my fallen Hip-Hop Heroes first...

I've also got some beats riding right now, waiting for Mosley to get his fight on, so let's get settled and get this shuffle rockin'...

01/Seeing as this is Black History Month and all, I want to first cover some of the highpoints and lowpoints in Black America from the week that was. First, a few positive points: Senator Barack Obama has taken another step in his presidential race, officially declaring his presidential candidacy. You know what's weird, though? I almost don't want him to run. As much as I'd love to a) see another Democrat in the White House and b) see a BLACK MAN with the title of President, I don't want him to fuck up. I mean, in all of the years of differing presidents and such, they all fuck up. Aside from Clinton, who I just loved because he seemed like such a cool cat, things really aren't that different. Maybe it's just because my official adult life has been in the shadow of the Bush era. Clinton spent the majority of his time in office while I was in high school. I've been affected the most by the fucked up Republican tenure in massa's crib, but who knows. I also wonder, who is Obama going to run with? I haven't heard a bit about who his VeeP might be. Will he be having another Black person as his VP? I'd like to see an Obama/Oprah ticket... maybe I'm REALLY dreaming lol. Speaking of the presidential race, one of Black Radio and TVs more prominent faces, Tavis Smiley, has been tapped to host two presidential forums later this year. Last time it was Charlie Gibson doing his 1-2 on live TV, now Mr. Smiley will try and hold his weight in the pit. Shouts to him. Now, for the negative, and watch out, it's HEAVY: this heartless asshole named William Page wins the worst father award this week, which is amazing considering the pricks who are using stun guns on their kids these days. This Page nigga apparently got upset because his almost-2 year old woke up last Saturday and was playing instead of sleeping. What does he choose to do? He says he hit her so hard she lost conciousness. Ridiculous, right? Oh, it gets worse: I'm guessing this nigga figured she was dead, so he wrapped her up in some blankets and left her out by some railroad tracks. It was 2 degrees that night in Pittsburgh, and not surprisingly, the toddler froze to death. That was just the WORST thing he did, though; the previous Friday, he fucking held the mouth of another child in the house, and molested her, and then left, with the toddler in tow. I mean, what kind of ANIMAL fucks up the lives of children like that? The sad part? This bastard will probably never have to receive the sentence/punishment he SHOULD... watch him get some time, and have advocacy groups out the ass pleading his case. I'm not the STAUNCHEST supporter of the death penalty, given how many times the judicial system gets it wrong, but in situations where you know this nigga left this helpless child out to die, I stand by the Bible's "eye for an eye" rule... In a final piece of good Black History Month news, a judge has finally stood up and told OJ to stop spending his money. Why this wasn't done over a decade ago is anybody's guess...

02/There's a fire going on in Texas that is going to be the catalyst to how a lot of states and doctors react to the HPV vaccine that is being given to young girls. Essentialy, HPV is the virus that is found to cause cervical cancer, and recently, there has been medicines and vaccinations that are available to treat this form of cancer. The thing is, in Texas, their govenor pushed an "executive order", giving mandatory vaccinations for HPV. Now, the parents are beefing with this because, well, HPV is only contracted through sexual contact, and they believe that giving this vaccine will promote promiscuity. HUH? OK, granted, some twisted kids might think "wow, I can get my freak on and not get HPV", but that to me screams one of two things: 1) they aren't teaching "safe sex" or abstinence to their kids in the first place, which is fucked up on their parts, and 2) they are assuming their kids are that fucking naive and stupid to think that this vaccine will give them a free pass. My other thing is, if this becomes mandatory, will it be added to the shots that babies get when they are just months old? I mean, sure, right now it will be given to girls already old enough to be getting regular periods and possibly becoming sexually active, but that still begs to question: would you RATHER your child contract HPV because you were too busy trying to defend your rights to decide what you want to do for your kid? It's not like they are saying "yo, you can get this shot and not contract HPV, but you will grow a 3rd tit out of your back". I just don't get how some parents can be so rigid on these issues...

03/So, the Colts won the Super Bowl, and Tony Dungy becomes the first Black football coach to win that trophy. What is America thinking about, though? Gay Snickers Commercials. And if Prince's guitar was supposed to be a symbol of his dick. Say whaaaa? Now, I will admit, when I saw this commercial for Snickers, I was taken aback. I mean, I literally was like EW EW EW when I saw the guys touch lips, I won't front. I just wasn't ready for it. A split second later, I was like "this is gonna cause hell", for I was suprised that the Snickers people greenlit a commercial promoting these ideas, that these guys had to "do something manly" after their "kiss". Well, gay advocacy groups spoke up, and the ad has since been pulled from airwaves. The way Snickers comes off, they knew it'd cause controversy, but I bet they didn't imagine the power those groups had. Dumbasses... Now, I saw Prince perform and he did his thing, invoking both Tina Turner AND Jimi Hendrix (gotta love that Black Music History), and didn't find anything wrong with his performance, surprisingly (I joked to myself that its kind of funny that, after Nipplegate, they chose Prince to be the safe performer. Oh if this was only, say, 1994...). He mixes up classics, other people's music, and shows his prowess as a guitarist, and what are critics pondering? If he was trying to simulate his dick while in the shadows. With all of the controversy and such that the halftime show saw with the Janet/Justin shit, you'd think the media would try to steer clear of it. No, they want to make it up, as if Prince was really doing that. If he was, hey, it's a symbol, he didn't whip it out. Thing is, he hasn't said yes or no, so why try and create some truth that isn't there?

04/I love reading stories where people acting like assholes make certain products or actions get banned. First it was driving while talking the the cellphone, which can be annoying to other drivers, but it's not like this is the ONLY distraction people have whilst driving. Now, in NY, Sen. Kruger (wonder if he lives on Elm Street?) wants to ban public iPod usage, $100 for walking the streets of NY while listening to your favorite pirated mp3s, just because some imbeciles got hit by vehicles due to not paying attention. If people start getting hit while talking on the phone, or looking at all of the fucking ads running rampant on buildings in Times Square, will they then start banning that stuff, too? It has nothing to do with electronics fucking with, how did they say it, "public citizenry", it's dumbasses who don't know how to pay attention while walking across a busy street. I stay with the headphones on when I'm out, and I've never been hit once. Maybe it's because I rock the discman or the Zen Xtra, and not an iPod...

05/You guys have already been bombarded with the news since Thursday afternoon, but Anna Nicole Smith passed away suddenly in Florida. I don't want to dwell on this too much, for the regular news outfits have already bled this story dry, and it's not over, not with the paternity issue(s) and the movie that may or may not come out, or the fact that she gave her daughter a trumped up name like Dannielynn. I just have to get my shit out. I mean, back in the day, before she was all Guess Jean Model and whatnot, I used to crush on her a bit. I think it was the whole Marilyn Monroe/thick broad thing. I do remember her on Howard Stern's show early in her career, and during the interview she seemed hopped up, not drunk but on pharms or something. Just out of it. Once she started getting into the marrying the old dude and the aftermath of that, I kind of lost my intrigue into her life. Nothing personal, I think Salma Hayek came out around that time. I just feel bad, because she went through a lot - I won't debate whether she brought any of this on herself, but you have to feel something for a woman who dealt with birth and death like 2 days apart. Fuck all of the other nonsense, and just focus on that for a second. Post partum feelings, a new kid, and your only son ODs. That's tough for ANYONE, but put in the fact that she is already somewhat unstable, and that's a recipe for disaster. I truly think she was on some medication, and just went overboard. TMZ is reporting that people are talking about her being drunken and on the serious stumble/bumble as early as Tuesday of last week, and she was just on a bender with the drink. Damn shame, for her daugher's sake that is... Now, while some of you poured over all of the Anna Nicole stuff, the people over at Editor & Publisher want you to remember that she is not the only female who died before her time this week...

06/Now that THAT is out of the way, I have some Black Entertainment links to dole out: in the world of Hip-Hop interviews, Tru Life spoke some tough talk to XXL about Dipset and how he grew up. I've seen BEEF, so I believe him, but release an album already!... El-P talks to Remix Mag, giving insight on his recording process (or lack there of), his studio setup for you gearheads, and some thoughts on his forthcoming LP, I'll Sleep When You're Dead (pre-order HERE). NJ's own Redman spoke to CrackSpace about his upcoming LP and his overall work aesthetic towards Def Jam and Rap in general. I can't wait for him to drop new heat... I just read earlier today that ?uestlove of The Roots is working on the next Roots album (due out in either Oct. 2007 or Feb. 2008... huh?), but he is also at the helm for the next album by Al Green. I do think it's dope that ?uest wants to make a vintage Al Green record, as opposed to trying to grab the ears of today's generation, who really aren't going to fuck with Al anyways. Hopefully it works out... We all know that cockroaches never die, so this must be why Jermaine Dupri has been named the head of the newly-minted 'Island Urban Music' division. You gotta love how LA Reid sights JD's track record as being the main reason he signed duke, but duke flopped with Janet's LP... Gillie Da Kid, AKA dude who says he wrote Lil' Wayne's rhymes, got arrested for operating two known crackhouses. Talk about "When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong"... the Vivid Adult entertainment company is going to be putting out a sex tape made by Ray J and Kim Kardashian (AKA Paris Hilton's friend) on the 28th. There's a website where you can apparently see clips of the video before it drops, and from what I've read, Ray is supposed to be in a scene where he R. Kelly's homegirl. Who woulda thunk that the daughter of one of the men who got OJ off would be seen years later getting a golden shower? She is fly though, even if she's gotten a bunch of work done... B.I.G.'s mom is expanding the Brooklyn Mint clothing line to focus on a new line, the Notorious B.I.G. line, which will feature apparel for men of all ages... Even after smacking the shit out of a New York Knick in the middle of MSG, Carmelo Anthony has been allowed to be a reserve for the 2007 NBA All-Star game. This came down from David Stern, so he must have gotten a shitstorm of hate mail from heads who were upset 'Melo didn't make the West's team originally... speaking of the NBA, the first NBA Player to officially come out of the closet, some nigga named John Amaechi, is of course dropping a book about his trials/tribs in the NBA. My thing is, why do the gay atheletes, for the most part, wait until they are retired to announce their sexuality? I don't doubt that it is a great for gay and lesbian people who look up to these men and women as heroes, but wouldn't it be an even greater triumph to admit it while still in the sport, playing professionally? Magic played the Olympics not too long after owning up to his HIV+ status, and I think that helped open up a lot of dialogue amongst Americans. I can understand if they have conflicts and/or issues that might make this difficult, but I just think it'd go a longer way in the end...

07/Here is a heaping helping of links and stories for you to fawn over whilst avoiding work: Samsung is working on their own iPhone killer... speaking of Apple, Apple Computers and the Beatles' Apple company have finally come to an agreement in their long legal troubles. I bet you Beatles fans can't wait for iTunes to be flooded with all the classics... the Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare farce casualties are lining up: Turner Broadcasting is ponying up $2million to Boston, and the Head of Cartoon Network quit over this debacle... "Super Tonio" is causing quite a stir in Mexico - you would too if your birth weight was 14 lbs... Here is the RIGHT way to prank a telemarketer (shouts to my wifey for the link)... For you Planter's peanut eaters, may these stories of Pennsylvanians make you wary: this week there was a tooth AND vertebrae in their cans of peanuts... Are these pictures of the remains of the real Romeo and Juliet?... This dude working as Disney's "Beast" got arrested and charged with owning crazy amounts of kid porn. He also plays Goofy. Soon he will be playing "Shirley" or whatever Big Bubba wants to call him... And finally, Richard Branson is offering $25million to the person who can figure out how to put an end to global warming. Get your thinking caps on, that shit could be MONEY IN THE BANK!

Alright, so there you have it. A grip of links to keep you occupied until this time next week. I will leave you with my new favorite Black Man on the Web, next to Kimbo Slice, of course: Reverend X, the "Spirit of Truth" dude. What's really good with him? He's like one of those crackheads talking to themselves on the streets... it's not that he's preaching while listening to All Eyez On Me, or that jacked up hair-do. It's the fact that he is fucking SERIOUSLY PREACHING:

Sounding like someone's drunk uncle and shit. "'Cuz I'm God, bitch!" Be easy!
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