Wednesday, February 3, 2010

stick. and. ------>move.

I hate change. I'm a grumpy old dude like that. Which is funny, because I'm so anti-pack rat that I've thrown out important documents ,& the like, all for the sake of it sitting in the same place for too long. Shit looks like trash; it's trash to me. Probably why I don't have a lot of "friends" these days.

But I digress...

All things change, whether we like it or not. Sometimes, we actually get to comandeer fate, & dictate what said change is (not often, though). This, for ya cat Grands, is one of those times.

*chucks a duece at Blogger*

I've relocated. & upgraded. It was about that time to give y'all a little more, seeing as though y'all stay effing with me.

That's the new address. Head over, support your dude, & let's keep this moving...

I'm still working on it, so consider it a somewhat work in progress. Bigger & better is definitely on the menu, but, well, come holler at me. We'll take it from there.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Unnecessary Complication Complex*

Lil Wayne is headed to the slammer in less than a week. I know, shocker right? Not so coincidentally, he'll miss at least 3-4 of his children's birthday's while on vacation. See, I know a lot of irresponsible cats, but I can honestly say that I don't know any who have several kids who'll all turn the same age in the same year. I figured by now, he would have done an interview, or YouTube video explaining how latex gives him hives, or he's allergic to birth control pill residue, & how "kids" should practice safe sex, even if he doesn't. Hell, he could even throw a "Say Nope To Dope" in there as a sort of private joke. No dice. He just shucks & jives as usual, taking publicity photos with whatever random offspring is visiting him on the tour bus that weekend. Not to sound like a douche nozzle, but a rich, drug addicted father is the stuff that poor kids have wet dreams about. Lucky little dust bunnies. &, as if a gaggle of baby mommas isn't complicated enough, the reasons behind his legal woes (legal woes being the reason he'll miss back-to-back-to-back-to-back parties), are in short, unnecessary. Drugs & guns. Two things that folks with money should never have to worry about carrying. Yet & still, here he is, with a cabbage patch full of garbage pail kids, rivaled only by the life giving 'tang of Erykah Badu, & time behind bars an inevitable reality. Undoubtedly, this man has an Unnecessary Complication Complex. A classic case, if I ever saw one.

Now, should we be surprised that Kanye West has been absent from the past few major publicity events that have been rammed down our collective esophagi?


See, the "average" celebrity would've taken that opportunity to throw a jab at the then-president at face value. Even though the world had a pretty good idea that George Bush couldn't care less about the coloreds, Yeezy spoke for us, with balls the size of monkey fists. [ll]. Maybe we didn't thank him loud enough. It's hard to be heard over a personality the size of San Francisco. You know, there was actually a time in American history where such a remark by a person of the negronious persuasion would've been viewed as mutiny, & he would've been lynched for TWO reasons, instead of the usual one. Ha. But, he got away with it, & continued to Hippity Hop along about his pink, fuzz-covered business. But, along that path, he found several more missteps to make, most of which involved him looking like a slick-talking cock sucker, at the expense of poor, defenseless White people. While rappers are beefing with other unimportant Blacks, Kanye waged war with Taylor Swift, wanna-be photographers, & PETA. For the record, PETA is like the NRA, with fur & paws, instead of rifles & rednecks. Unnecessary remark, after unnecessary remark, each one only complicating the last, making a future redemption song that much harder to write, much less sing. Now, at the Grammy Awards, not only does security have orders that he's a domestic terrorist, but as added insult to an already injured ego, he actually won. Twice, I think. That's like a chick handcuffing you to a radiator, across the room, then having her way with her lady parts, while you watch, leaving you to stew in your helplessness. I've heard that the path of a genius is rife with insanity. In that case, I now understand why Kanye does the crazy shit he does. I also read that Albert Einstein talked to, & answered himself, & was unable to tie his own shoes. So, yeah.

Point is, celebrities are normal people, who happen to be famous for whatever parlor trick they've perfected. & like us "normal" folk, they have the innate ability to pile bullshit upon their shoulders until they topple over into their own hysteria. Trouble is, they're really not "normal" people at all. By the time they've reached such a lucrative apex in life, all the individuals who wouldn't mind getting dirty to keep them clean have been replaced by "Yes!" men, hob knobblers & douche bag leeches who've been praying for that day like Albino's pray for shady places. No shots. If a plain, simple, average, basic man impregnates countless women, & gets caught up for drugs & weapons, it's no big deal. I doubt that his life is headed in a direction where such set-backs will actually hinder his life's work. But, if said man is worth a million bucks, with an undoubtedly bright future ahead of him, those same unwise choices could spell uncertainty, doom, & possible failure. Unnecessary complication, indeed. Same goes with well intended, however misguided outbursts at no one in particular. The homeless guy, on the corner, spouting about how the king needs to be overthrown, in between begging for loose change & throwing rocks at passing vehicles is virtually harmless. To himself & anyone in the vicinity. But, if that man is a brand, a company unto himself, with the world at his proverbial fingertips, said man goes from "crazy dude", to "dumb motherfucker", if you smell my cologne.

One of the perks of being "normal", or a nobody like most of us, is that our mistakes & up-fucks won't have that much of an effect on our lives, however meaningless & disposable. But, once you have things to gain, you also have things to lose, & the last thing you'd want in that situation is a UCC. Unnecessary Complication Complex.

Life is easy. It's the decision-making process that's difficult.

Maybe I'll start an online self-help website for these dingleberry famous people who habitual shit where they sleep. I can charge them an arm & a leg, then get rich & famous on their blood, sweat & tears, & make the same mistakes they did. That would make this the most prophetic drop I've ever penned, word to Nostradamus.

*These are just 2 examples. I'm sure, without effort, you can find many more, within arm's distance.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'm a pretty optimistic dude, in most situations.

I keep the faith, with my fingers crossed, the whole nine yards. But, there are two things I've given up on for the new year. The first is any naked pictures of Mariah Carey surfacing on the 'Net. No disrespect, Nick. All these D-list celebrities have candid shots, showing their nipple rings, clitoral piercings and what not, so am I a fool for thinking she should have some out there as well? Mariah's far from D-list, been in the business long enough, and has had more than enough emotional outbursts to have had a moment of weakness or three. Who wouldn't want to see that? But I digress. The second thing is Dr. Dre's 'Detox' album. I have 4 reasons why, in case you want to know...

1) Dre's a perfectionist...
We all know there's no such thing as perfection, but it's overly apparent that Dre doesn't agree. By that ethos, he'll never be able to live up to his own expectations. If you've ever watched a child race his own shadow, or a rotweiler chase his own tail, then you have an idea of what I'm saying. People who accept nothing less than exceptional are never satisfied. Especially when it comes to themselves. For years now, Andre Young's been promising this elite, exquisite album. Anxiously, we cling to his catalog of yesteryear hits, hoping to foresee what we are patiently waiting for. No Dice. The problem with being so critical is that, no one else is holed up like some reclusive madman, perfecting a sound that will only be re-invented as soon as it gets leaked to the 'Nets, which is bound to happen. So, for every song that he remixes and remasters to fabled perfection, 15 duck sauce rappers and their chow mein producers are flooding cyberspace with warm feces. More music to distract us, and further help us forget that 'Detox' is even in the works. According to the Hip Hop grade curve, Lil Boosie has a better chance at hypnotizing me than Dre does of mesmerizing me at this point. Of course, it's quality over quantity, but damn, if said quantity is 2-3 songs bi-yearly, if even that, then anything more than 2 songs in a year's span wins by default. Unless of course, he lives up to the hype, and delivers the most magnificent audio experience ever. Keep in mind, when Quincy Jones recorded 'Thriller' with Michael Jackson, he didn't believe in it. He chased perfection until he gave in and settled. Years later, it's the biggest selling album ever. So Dre, there's hope. Don't be so hard on yourself. At least give us a chance to criticize.

2)Dre's kinda a douche...
There's a reason why every time Dr. Dre's in the limelight again, he's usually surrounded by a different group of people than the last time we saw him. It's the same reason that 50 Cent always has the exact same two dudes with him all the time (they forget the other people). If you're familiar with Dre's industry presence, you could run down a laundry list of Dre-affiliated cats that have come and gone quicker than the Swine Flu scare. Aside from that, let us take a look at some of his other moments of douchebaggery:

-He beat up Dee Barnes, female rapper/host of the video show 'Pump It Up' in 1991, for interviewing Ice Cube after the N.W.A. split.

-He aligns himself with acts that are/were arguably more relevant than he is, then wishes them to the cornfields (Eve, Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Raekwon, Joell Ortiz, Glasses Malone, Game, Bishop Lamont, etc.) for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

-He signs new artists, squeezes out a little creative juice for his own purposes, [||]?, then sits them on a shelf, until they go bad or find a better situation. He's almost like Suge Knight, without the cigars, violence or bankruptcy.

-He hasn't even so much as dropped a single. Not even a teaser. Even Big Boi, of Outkast, dropped a single last year, and I don't know anyone who's pining for his next solo outing. In his defense, he did release some designers headphones, though.

A man's only as good as his last accomplishment. Word on the street is that he's losing his touch. I mean sure, Game runs rampant on Twitter espousing about how great 'Detox' will be, but I have a bi-polar cousin. And sometimes my cousin and Game act very similar. Just saying. I wonder what ever happened to the N.W.A. reunion?

3)People don't buy CD's anymore...
Dre's claim(s) to fame has always been his record sales. He's not a rapper (although White folks think he is), so he can't boast about his rhymes, but he can sure as hell brag about the benefits of attaching himself to a rapper's project, especially one who doesn't move a tremendous amount of units until he comes along (see: Xzibit). Undoubtedly, Dre has sold millions upon millions of records worldwide throughout his career, but the industry has changed dramatically over the last 5 years. If you're not T.I., Lil Wayne, Eminem or Kanye West, fans aren't flocking to drop hard hustled recession dollars on your release like they were in Dre's hey day. Today's average rap fan has, more or less, no clue Dre used to be a musical monolith, and would have virtually no idea at all who he was if Marshall and Curtis hadn't been his live action commercials for the last decade. The Old Man Rap market is still in it's early stages, and at this point in his career, he's almost starting over again, so to speak. And before y'all start bringing up Eminem's phenomenal success, trust and believe that every album Em sold was on the strength of Em's lyrical ability. At the very least, Dre gave him that push into popular music status that solidified his achievements. Still, Eminem could've rapped over gorillas grunts and wet farts, and would've most likely had the same productivity.

4)He can never top 'The Chronic', and he knows it...
It doesn't matter what he's doing in the studio right now. The Chronic was, is, and always will be a Hip Hop classic. Classic, in the truest sense of the word. Unless he has a song featuring Satan and Jesus Christ going back and forth over a 'Funky Worm' interpolation, like EPMD, he can never achieve that same level of unexpected brilliance. My guess is that he sits in the studio, alone, and listens to that album, to conceive new ideas from old material. Kinda like a boxer watching footage of his best fight ever. The closest we've gotten to a peek at 'Detox' was that damn Dr. Pepper commercial last year. I don't even like Dr. Pepper, or know a person who does. It tastes like peppermint Kool-Aid, if such a thing were to exist. That said, who gives a damn about the commercial, and who even knew that that was his beat is playing in the background? I did, but then again, my life's not all that exciting, so that only holds so much weight. It's the gift of the curse, or the curse of the gift, depending on your perception. 'The Chronic' single-handedly changed the face of rap, west coast or otherwise, without any gimmicks and no smoke and mirrors. To repeat that feat in today's overwhelming rap industry would seem to be virtually impossible. Even for a living legend. That's not to say that he's not talented, but in this era of live streams, zip drives and downloads, there's literally new music on a daily basis. That's quite a bit of competition. Some people thrive on that type of pressure. Multiply that with the expectations that have been festering for years, and you have enough pressure to burst a pipe. People refer to him as the "Quincy Jones of Rap", but I just say Dre's Dre. No need for extra stigma's for him to live up to. That may be part of the reason we're still waiting on the album. Dre's on of the best producers of our lifetime, no question, but he might have to come to grips with the fact that he may peaked, climaxed and plateau'd all in one phenomenal album-'The Chronic.' That usually doesn't happen repeatedly. Not in Hip Hop, at least. Boy, would I love to be proven wrong.

Maybe, he's trapped in some time warp, like the movie 'Groundhog Day.' He wakes up, complicates his insanity by smoking some superweed, hits the studio, twists some knobs and presses some buttons, calls some niggas to come record, spends the day mixing down vocals and music, goes back home, burns more superweed, passes out drunk and high, wakes up the next day and does it all over again-and nobody has the heart to tell him. There's a pretty good chance Andre's been working on the same song for ten years.

For the record, I'm rooting for Dre, if only because he's been counted out for quite some time, and I love an underdog. [||]. It would be nice to see him jump fresh out of nowhere, but let's be honest with ourselves and each other here. His best bet at this point, is to go with whatever he's been working on for the past decade, and let the chips fall where they may. Surely, some co-producers will blow the whistle and want their credit on the project, and if the ever-fickle public isn't receptive to 'Detox', fuck it, he can just give them their credit, then place the blame them. That's what I would do.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Disposable Art

I started rapping when I was 13. Doing little shows, making karaoke demos, & finally recording material at a legitimate studio-rapping, as opposed to freestyling with random dream chasers or writing songs instead of doing homework. I come from a generation where the ability to rap was a skill, & whatever was crafted was art. With me, never once was it a money making scheme, a "get rich or die trying" crusade, per se, but a love for words & an affinity for rhythm. It made perfect sense, too, because I've never been that good at basketball, & my nuts weren't big enough to sell drugs.

That link up top is to an album my nigga Esquire (the producer) & I recorded about 5 years ago. Please, download it & enjoy, if you haven't already. If there's something you like, great. Burn a copy for your friends. Use it as a soundtrack to a YouTube video. Or toss it in the trash bin, & accept my apologies for wasting precious time & hard drive space. I couldn't care less. Point is, getting paid for my "art" was never a part of the plan. Very similar to my writing. These things I do out of love, & if others are able to find pleasure it what I do, thats fan-fucking-tastic..

Rappers these days aren't born. There manufactured. Somewhere there's an assembly line, & a couple of times a year, the newest model of audio hustler is unveiled, & unleashed to the public, under the guise of representing an art form, a culture. No dice. These niggas are in it solely for the possibility of getting paid. No more, no less. It's a tad bit sad, depending on your vantage point.

Anybody who remotely follows the music business is fully aware of the crack pipe dreams it offers. The entertainment industry as a whole, for that matter. It's not a real job, so to speak, & while it's is possible to live off of talent, assuming you have said talent, nowadays people with such goals are adamant on becoming uber-mega-superstars, who use $50 bills as toilet tissue & eat seafood 7 days a week. That's an unrealistic minority. The majority is a somber group of people who lack the skill, knowledge &/or "it" factor to stand out, in a crowd of hundreds of thousands. & the 'Net just leveled the playing field, so good luck on your career choice.

I'm not gonna name drop specific artists who I think may be responsible for the less than noble state of Hip Hop music, but I'll blame man's fervent thirst for monetarily compensated under-achievement. & that way, the umbrella covers all parties involved. Money changes things. Fact. Once the flood gates opened on rap music being a somewhat lucrative business, with the opportunity for quick, profitable turnaround, anybody with at least a 3rd grade level of comprehension & access to a recording device decided to dive into the music game, feet first. Once that happened, the art, natural skill & prowess folks once took great pride in, was replaced by greed, gluttony, & an assload of luck. & again, the 'Net just leveled the playing field, so good luck with your career choice.

Saying that everybody wants to be a rapper is an understatement. Here I was wanting to share a "gift" with the world. Coincidentally I learned, quite some time ago, that I'm not built for such a egregious, erroneous, ass backwards, self-serving, cock sucker line of work. I tip my hat to those who have the gumption to stick it out, really though. They know who they are, & so do their fans. I'm sure if I have the opportunity to get back in the studio, I'll jump. But again, my love of words & affinity for rhythm would be the driving force. Not money, or my lack thereof.

I used to take my son to the studio with me. In fact, he's on a couple of songs I did. Albeit as a baby, but even still. Now, instead of saying "Daddy, I'm gonna be a rapper," he's says things like, "I wanna own my own store. I wanna be an astronaut. I wanna be a scientist. Then I can be the president or something, too, huh Daddy?"


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Barack Obama: Deeper than Politics

I'm not much for polit(r)ic(k)s. I get in, obtain the necessary info, then get my ass out of the way. Politicians sling hella mud & mad shit, & fuck getting my shirt stained with rhetoric, propaganda, & empty promises. No dice. I'd rather do what I can, & watch the rest of these lobbyists, opportunists, & agitators make mountains out of mole hills. Not to say that unemployment, the national deficit, & the state of America in general should by any means be reduced to mole hills, but you smell my cologne. We, the people, vote for our president (to an extent-I'm aware of the electoral college), but once he's in office, there's not a whole helluva lot we can do about his choices. Thats why we elect a specific dude, as opposed to having some village democracy, where we're either all in compliance, or burn those who aren't at the stake.

Sure, President Obama hasn't been the perfect president. I think anybody that's not Jesus Christ would fall short of that expectation. But, that's a drop for another day. I'm starting to believe that American's love to love something, just because that way, they're guaranteed to have something to hate later on down the road. I also think that's the dynamic of an abusive relationship. See what I did there?

But, I digress.

There's a pretty good chance that the majority of Obama's work won't get noticed, or acted upon, until after his term has come & gone. I'm cool with that, though. "Running" a "powerful" country can't be as easy as George W. Bush made it appear, with vacations & made-up words & what have you. But, at least he's setting the wheels in motion, really though. There has to be a first Black president to open the doors & windows of America, & humanity alike, in order for non-traditional candidates of the future to ever have a chance at a possible candidacy.

Obama's promise/premise, before he was elected, was "Change we can believe in." I'm not sure even he realized the deep double-meaning of that simple phrase. He may not change the national debt, or the ban on gay marriage, or the status quo of nationwide happiness, but what he did change, immediately after inauguration, was what it meant to be a Black man in America, especially through the eyes of young, Black Americans. Think about it.

For all the novelty attached, being the first Black anything is a big deal. But, the first Black president is the biggest of deals (even if he's just a figurehead, he's THE figurehead...). Media coverage, the proverbial free world at his feet-so to speak, accolades & accomplishments that would be considered great regardless of the overachiever's pigmentation. He just so happens to be Black (African-American). At a juncture where athletes & musicians are idolized & martyr'd, here came a man who, by hard work & determination, literally changed the game. Not the basketball game, or the rap game, but the game of life, & how far it's limitations can actually be pushed. When I was a kid, the only young people who said, with any seriousness, "When I grow up, I wanna be the president!" were nerds & social outcasts whose parents forced them to learn to play piano in between chess club meetings. The problem wasn't their ambition, or inhibition, but the fact that such a dream was just that-a dream, of MLK proportions. & unless you live on Elm Street, dreams & realities can not co-exist. Until...

Little Black children worldwide look up to Barack Obama in ways they don't even understand yet. A child's aspirations have no governor, except for their own imagination. But when said imagination can be shifted to real-time achievement, it's like taking the red pill in the Matrix. An entire generation of babies has been unplugged, simultaneously, whether or not Universal Healthcare gets passed into effect. Whereas Dr. King has been more or less relegated to a life to be memorialized, & a holiday to be enjoyed, Barack Obama is the now. Right now. Turn on your TV & somebody, somewhere, is talking to, about, or for him. & the kids see this. They see a Black man without boundaries, without a microphone or a basketball, & this becomes their attainable, achievable reality.

To the willing recipient, the "change" comes in the form of pride. A pride that can't be provided by an NBA championship, #1 hit record or blockbuster movie role. A pride that made grandmothers cry in happy disbelief, & grown people here & there pick up their jaws, as they, WE, witnessed history being made. Grown-ups are so quick to get caught up in the odds, ends & implications of matters at hand, that we often lose sight of the bigger picture. Thank God children are the future. Now, their future seems a little bit brighter.

I thank you for that, President Barack Obama.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snickers vs. Twix

One of the main things I miss from my alcoholic days are the conversations I had with my fellow bottle huggers. Birds of a feather & what not. To a room full of sober people, a drunk dude is just rambling about pseudo-metaphysical aspects of life that equate to ambient jibber jabber. But, a gaggle of booze hounds, espousing about the wonders of the world, is a think tank unlike any other. How many things do you think were invented by some drunk ass guys just pontificating about nothing in particular. Like aluminum foil. That has "sloshed" written all over it. & the vacuum cleaner. You can't tell me liquor played no part in somebody thinking, "well, how 'bout we just suck it up?"

I'd always said I was going to videotape one of our clubhouse meetings, but then I'd get drunk & forget. The closest I've gotten to those caliber conversations post-addiction was in the breakroom at rehab. Really though, shit got hella heavy sometimes. Had the free coffee been caffeinated, it may have turned bloody once or twice.

Back to my couch.

Although debates over Halo or NBA Live were enthralling, all it took was for a chick to walk past the house, or even appear on the TV, & that became the day's topic of choice. Mainly, what's better, a skinny broad & a thickums? Again, drunkards tend to think outside the box, so needless to say, these exchanges often lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Or until my wife got home. Whichever came first.

Personally, I prefer a lady of the healthier persuasion. I've always equated girth with womanhood. Child bearing hips, ample, succulent breasts, a little arm fat, thighs that give the jeans something to hold on to, all scream "adult female." With a skinny chick, I'm always taken back to the days of elementary school, when the male/female physical attributes were about even. Pointy elbows, bird chests, flat asses, etc. Of course there was always the girl or two who'd developed early, but that anomaly was looked at as more freakshow, than freak show, if you smell my cologne. I believe women are works of art, regardless to specifications. But, when I see chicks who appear to have missed a meal, before I can admire their femininity, I have to get past the urge to offer them a cheese burger. Or a peanut butter sandwich. Where as, a skinny girl looks like she could use a meal, I know for a fact that not only will a thickums not go hungry, but she'll feed my yellow ass in the process. To my heart through my stomach, indeed.

When I say "skinny", I don't mean model anorexic. That's not skinny. Thats morbidly malnutritioned. Ain't shit natural about a woman weighing 97 lbs, unless she's 11 years old or Vietnamese. No shots. That's an eating disorder, or a disease waiting to put you in the earth, & either way, I'm not into bag ladies (word to Erykah Badu). I mean skinny, like "one-too-many-trips-to-the-gym-in-one-week" thin, which is not realistic in today's society of stress, fast food & busy lifestyles. Not being curvaceous & voluptuous doesn't take away from one's feminism, per se, it just doesn't appeal to me. & I consider myself an average joe.

It could be because of my family. The only skinny female relatives I have are that way because of drug addiction (pain pills & alcohol included). I grew up around the type of women who cooked, all the time. & if you appeared to be losing weight, before any of them would inquire about your health or sober status, they tried shoving a pot of gumbo & half a fried chicken down your gullet. I'll be the first to admit that this wasn't the healthiest situation, but what could I tell them that their diabetes medication hasn't already? I grew up under the impression that it was "normal" for a woman to have some meat on her bones, thus, that's what I've always been attracted to. I've even bypassed adorable skinny chicks in my days of chubby chasing, & knew exactly what I was doing.

& don't get me started on sex. That's kinda a no-brainer. Sure, I like a good Karma Sutra marathon like the next heterosexual male, but slim jim bonin' versus chubby lovin' might be one of the few times in life where it's quantity over quality. Cushion for the pushin', so to speak; the more of it, the merrier. I'm not an expert on skinny girl sex, but I'm pretty sure that a semi-exposed rib cage or spine protrusion wouldn't help my erection very much. But a cup that slightly runneth over? 'Nuff said.

Usually, by the end of our Snickers vs. Twix debates, it was a 50/50 split as to who preferred what. Which is probably the outcome in the real world as well. But I'll tell you what; the only season of 'America's Top Model' I ever watched was the one when Toccara won, & I think I voted for Jordan Sparks on 'American Idol', so, yeah.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trina: Baby Momma Drama

"With the current state that Haiti is in right now; I personally feel like donating monetary and physical possessions is a enormous and vast donation...however I would like to contribute on a higher level for more personal reasons in addition to being ready to raise/nurture a child; by being involved on a day to day bases. The tragic and untimely list of events that have happen in Haiti even before the recent earthquake have made me realize how blessed I am as a individual and I want to share that with a addition to adding on to my immediate family circle. I am in the financial position to adopt; therefore I am taking it into deep consideration at this time, I have always admired other individuals for adopting  children not so much for their celebrity status but more so because of the 'nurturing' and invaluable change and joy it will bring to a child’s life. Lastly the fact that I am considering adopting a child from Haiti is even more significant to me seeing that a great deal of adopted children that come into the United States are from larger countries such as China, Russia and Africa. I also have family members that are of Haitian descent." - rapper Trina, via HipHopDX

What a tool. Perhaps the entertainment industry has an annual award for pretentious assholes that the public at large isn't aware of. Of course, us average joe's wouldn't get a memo about the elite attempting to one-up each other in terms of being a douche nozzle. Seems Trina's getting a leg up on the competition early. No pun intended. Well, maybe a little.

This is the mentality that chicken heads nationwide have, that just because they're alive & capable of buying a Happy Meal, they'll be an asset to some unfortunate kid's meager existence. No dice. Parenting takes more than an "I think I can" attitude & a bejeweled purse full of strip club dough. She's probably one of those "god parents" that takes that arbitrary title way too seriously. Pictures of her god kids in her wallet & what not. Rap music & fiscal success aside, Trina feels as though she has what it takes to be somebody's mother, all of the sudden, & it only took an earthquake that killed 200,000 people, in another country, for her to realize that. Are there no needy children in America that would love to have a mother? This would appear to be a clear-cut case of stepping over the homeless people outside of your building on the way to help the one's in front of a camera, even if it's all the way across town. Self sacrifice is the Holy Grail of face time. Maybe the life of a Z-list rapstress is too full of blunt smoke & bbq's for her to have noticed any of those commercials about kids who need love, followed by a phone number to a local foster care facility. Hell, I don't doubt that she's spent time in the foster system; she just reeks of needing to be "loved."

Even beyond the posturing it takes to publicly announce that you plan to adopt a child from such a desolate place, there's a certain douche bag tenacity in opting to grab a child & run, versus trying to help the country as a whole. Assuming one can afford to do such a thing. I'm sure there's dozens of people who have big money, & chose to give a sizeable amount to the Red Cross, without saying a word about it to anyone. Trina, on the other hand, is treating the news coverage as a brochure, or a catalog, as if bringing a Haitian kid back to Florida with her is going to help ease the pain & suffering of millions of people. She probably wants a cookie, too. I say this not to demean Trina's efforts at making a difference, but at the very least, this isn't the type of statement you make to the world. Hip Hop or otherwise. If she feels that their catastrophe was a maternal catalyst, cool. Do what you gotta do, sis. But don't start stroking your nuts & rehearsing your acceptance speech for "Humanitarian of the Year" just yet. I'd much rather see you exposing the itty-bitty's & complaining about what a nigga can't do for you instead. For the amount(s) of money she claims to have, she could adopt an entire neighborhood over there, personally funding it's regrowth & rehabilitation. You want to impress me, aside from form-fitting skivvies & shirts that look like bras, then adopt some adults, who are undoubtedly in just as bad a predictament as the kids. Haiti is in epic need of help, fiscally, physically, spiritually, politically & beyond, so pardon me if I don't call you Mother Theresa for picking a child to love, then flying back to your mansion.

I wouldn't call this a publicity stunt, as much as I would say it's just a bad decision. At the least, one of her weed carriers should've been the one being interviewed, then it wouldn't appear so self-serving & shallow. This type of information always comes across more passionately when conveyed by a third party. No matter how sexy one may look in spanx & pasties, patting yourself on the back is some jerk shit. Don't talk about it, be about it, so to speak.

I figured that Haiti's misfortune would bring the vultures down from the trees, but not even my cynicism would've expected this type of nigganometry. Not even from the chick who had people saying "nann nigga" for an entire summer. She has an album due out soon, called 'Amazin'. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

To Douche, Or Not To Douche...

(I wonder how many women have asked themselves that before a first date. Just saying.)

So, after all the fanfare & finger-pointing, it turns out that Mtv executives weren't behind Kanye's noticeable absence from the Haiti telethon. It was the man himself, who was too busy to be a part of history.

Really though, I would've lied about that shit. Man, I've lied to people right in their face to save my ass in my lifetime. Who hasn't? To think that after all the hell this walking tampon catches behind ass backwards logic & shit-for-brains blactivity, he didn't even have the God given sense to make up some shit. Or, he could've just told the truth.

"I'd rather be in France, looking at new clothing designs, with [other] gay people. *shrugs* Buy my album."

Here we all were, passing judgment on a bunch of anonymous shot-callers, who may or may not have had something to do with Marshall Mathers sniffing another man's balls & taint on live television, thinking they didn't care about Black people. As soon as I saw Samuel L. Jackson convincing callers to dig deep for the cause, I know that couldn't have been the case. Even if Kanye had been there, I doubt he would've resorted to such nigganometry as interrupting folks &/or bringing up Hurricane Katrina. He may be the biggest asshole this side of Pinky & Cherokee, but he knows his mom wouldn't approve of indiscretion of that magnitude. & I watch enough TV to know not to piss off dead people. Plus, just because a dude acts completely aloof doesn't mean he really is. It most cases, it's all an act, a ruse, an attempt to confuse outsiders as to what the truth really is.

When I was in high school, I got called conceited a lot. In reality, I wasn't at all. Truth be told, I thought I looked exactly like Bart Simpson would if he were a real man-child. I thought my ears & nose were comically disproportionate, like one of the Rice Krispies elves, & my height & weight couldn't have been any more average. I was the little yellow dude, who niggas would pick second to last for their basketball squad, right before they picked the fat kid. Sometimes, they'd pick the fat kid before me, if he was really dark & strong-looking. You know what I'm talking about. So, to mask my low self esteem, I treated girls like crap. Strangely, most of them liked it, which created an odd chain of events that eventually boosted my esteem, & in turn, I had become slightly conceited after a couple of years. & I owed it all to the illusion that I created; I didn't give two donkey turds about people's feelings. Of course that was high school, & I've long since graduated from such asinine notions, but I understand where some of these ass-on-their-shoulders-types are coming from. [||]? Kanye suffers from a similar disorder. Like Big Bow Wow, there oedipal relationships with their mom's created monsters, & once Frankenstein got loose, they weren't ready for the townspeople to scream & run. Or continuously make them trending topics on Twitter.

I can see Kanye's facade for what it is. He may not hate himself, but when he looks in the mirror, & sees that oversized jaw, & those beady little possum eyes, he's not happy at all. What do Black dudes do when they feel a need to compensate? What else but get the baddest White(ish) chick money can buy. & if he's smart, he'll get a bald one, to save money on weaves & hair care products. Chess niggas, not checkers. I wouldn't be surprised if he counts calories & snacks on salads, either. Fuck all that, though. I'm a man. If I eat lettuce, it's because I forgot to tell Alejandro I didn't want it on my Big Mac. Not to get all psychological, but men who pay too much attention to themselves are usually doing so because, at some point, nobody paid enough attention to them, except for maybe their mother & gay guys. I've had gay guys pay me too much attention, & that did nothing for my self esteem. It made me quite uncomfortable, as a matter of fact. Not that there's anything wrong with being gay. Which brings me to my next point.

Kanye is far from homosexual, even if he's a wig & eye shadow away from being a cross dresser, & probably prefers briefs over boxers, because they're snug. Kanye's a selfsexual. Yeah, I just made that up. Feel free to use it at your leisure. It's not all about him because he really believes that it is, but it's "all about him" because he's convinced that it isn't. Every backhanded compliment he dishes out is just a blind flail for attention. When his mom passed, I told people he was going to wild out, & low & behold, he's stabbing himself in the stomach in mini-movies & dressing like a superhero. If only someone would give him a hug. A man hug. To comfort his soul & let him know that everything's gonna be alright. I'd suggest Jay-Z should do it, but he doesn't have a mustache. & I've been raised not to trust Black men without mustaches. I advise you to do the same.

Maybe 'Ye will seek professional help, or simply humble with age. Or maybe not. Either way, I'm glad he stopped singing like a robot.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

T.I. should meet my uncle.

Can you imagine how many rappers wish they were in T.I.'s position right now?

No shots, but Mystikal, Mr. "Shake It Fast," served a little over 5 years for some unsavory business etiquette towards a female member of his entourage. As successful as he was pre-"Bitch betta have my money (or else swallow throat lotion!)," dude comes home to little fanfare whatsoever. The few fans who were excited about his return, are lost in the message boards of articles & blog drops about his release. Lost, as in a "Mystikal's back!" is met by 25 commentors calling him a criminal, & throwing around words like "extortion," & "rapist." I'm not a judge, so I don't condemn. I just hoped he learned something, aside from how to live with nothing but men for years at a time. Point being, many people don't even know he's home. Of those they do know, most don't really care. His ship has long since sailed unfortunately, & not even the great Percy Miller himself can undo that. Shit, P can't even keep his own brother out of jail, so good luck with him relaunching a rap career that's long been dead in the water. "Watch yaself," indeed. It'll be interesting to see if Mystikal jumps into the viral ring, or fades into absolute obscurity. How much you wanna bet that he's set on putting 'The NEW, New No Limit' back on the map. No dice. & I don't think it's so much that we, the fans & heads & afficianados, turn our backs on artists during trial & tribulation, so much as it's just that niggas have better shit to do. Any man who believes life will stop for him is a fool doomed to failure by his own stagnation. I'm almost positive he wishes he was in T.I.'s position.

Again, no shots, but Prodigy of Mobb Deep, is in a curious situation. Mind you, I'm a Hip Hop Head from the early 80's, & still, if I had to name a rapper who I could quote verse for verse, song by song, it would be Prodigy, before NaS, or even Redman. There was a period in my life where I had a BIG ASS poster of 'The Infamous' album cover on my wall, over my bed. No homo. Call me a stan, but I'd prefer you call me a Tony (ha!). Sorry, that was corny. A lot of people may not know that P has sickle cell anemia, a blood disease that affects people of color, that can cause death. The girl I lost my virginity to had it. That shit is no joke. It almost seems unbelievable. I know all to well how it can affect a person. Yet & still, this nigga wants to be a thug. Carrying guns, fighting people, going back & forth to jail, where he sits now, as what remains of his music career sits in limbo. Not to mention, the apex of his career came & went while he was still free, so now what? Dude's gotta be at least 30-something by now. The number of people who probably don't even know who he is greatly outweighs the amount of people who anxiously wait for his release. Saddest part is that 50 Cent (Whaddup MDub!!) seems to be his only remaining tie to rap music at this point. Good luck with that, P. I put him in a category I call "When Keepin It Real Goes Right," because apparently these dudes want this life. Mistakes are one thing, but repetition is insanity. I'm pretty sure he wishes he was in T.I. position.

Which all brings me to my point about T.I.'s position. As a rapper, boundaries are set as to what you can or can't do, lest you be wished into the cornfield by the public at large. The nay-say is loud & plentiful, but the truth is that T.I. is arguably the most successful rap dude of 2009. Success, in terms of popularity, record sales & media attention. Dude held a press conference last year. Now, I don't remember what it was about, but what rap nigga does that? & wasn't the police chief or somebody there with him? This guy got a television show, based around a crime that he only served about 8 months for. If that's not "success" in some variation or another, feel free to correct me. Unlike most young, Black felons, he has the chance to come home, & make a difference, especially on a worldwide scale. The same difference he made when he began his arbitrary reality show, which to me, was a pretty good idea. Who would you take sound, sage advice from; your grandfather, or some nigga who lives a life you wish you did? Just saying.

I'm not one to recalibrate another one's moral compass, but it would be nice to have a high-profile celebrity bring some positive energy to a culture that seeks instant gratification, yet ignores any repercussion. The listening world knows all about what T.I. has done to harm his impending society, so why not be an asset, in the public eye, to reverse the detriment? I always say society loves a rehabilitated convict with a story to tell. That trumps a "feel-good movie" any day of the week. Now's his chance to be a role model, at a time when we really don't have any left. Again, just saying.

I have an uncle, who served 7 years on federal drug charges. Dude got home early last year. When I was growing up, this cat was rich. Literally. In a White people way. He moved from Compton & Firestone to Rancho Cucamunga, & had unnecessary luxuries as far as the eye could see. I loved going over there, looking for shit to steal, even though he would've given it to me if I asked. Dude was so heavy in the street that every time I rode with him, we got pulled over. Here I am, a kid, being treated like a man because my uncle's a known drug dealer. Everybody knows a hustler, or the neighborhood dope man, but this cat was far removed from all that. With all sincerity, 'Scarface' was very, very similar to his life story, except the ending. Anyway, he came over yesterday to pick up some mail. In his work truck. He drives for some meat-packing [||] company, delivering dead animals to businesses for food consumption. A humbling job, to say the least. To the multitude of kids he has (yes, MULTITUDE), he's a hard working cat, trying to provide the best way he can. Only his oldest daughter is of an age where she could slightly recall when this guy was ridiculously paid. Albeit by poisoning the community, but paid nonetheless. All the others know is that daddy's finally out of jail. Point being, he touched down with the intention of doing the right thing(s), by his kids, if nobody else. That's the least he can do. It's imperative that the kids see that, especially with the stories of their father they undoubtedly have heard about. You know kids stay eavesdropping. One of the first things he did when he got out was to check on me, hearing about my run-in with death via alcohol. He had some very wise advice, too. It was obvious he'd thought long & hard about the life he lived, & for all the evil he'd exposed me to, as a kid, he was know shedding much needed positive light on me, as a man. That's that real shit, fuck the fake.

It would be nice if T.I. employed that same attitude for the thousands, upon thousands of young folks who look up to him. He's blessed with the opportunity to help, from the inside out, & us positive Black men could sure use the manpower, really though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Rain


It's raining in Los Angeles. I hate the fucking rain.

Fuck that, "It washes away our sins," bullshit. Jesus' blood did that for me. Worst thing about the rain is the darkness. The confinement. Unless, one happens to like being damp & wet for no reason. I like specific parts of my body wet, for the intended purpose(s). Yes hetero.

The rain has me thinking about something. Haiti. Man, those folks really got screwed. First the political axis of the entire country got kicked & beat to death. Next poverty & famine got comfortable, no thanks to America & Europe. Then this earthquake shook them up terribly so, in which case they weren't even prepared for a mild shaker, much less something about the size of the quake that leveled a healthy portion of Northridge, California when I was younger. Now, disease, despair, death, renegades & vigilantes, politics, destruction.

After they pull through this, which they will, nobody will be able to take their resilience away from them. The moral determination one needs to forge ahead, through such gloom, is the defining line between man & animal. Life & death. I pray for them fervently, but I wish I could do more.

I was watching footage on the news, & thought to myself, "what can I possibly complain about?" Although we all have circumstances that demand our attention, how bad can they be, compared what the Haitians are going through? Unfortunately, it takes someone else's misery to make us appreciate our own. Well, kudos life. Mission accomplished. I saw footage this morning taken inside of an orphanage as the quake hit. Not only were these children living a life rife with variables, but to complicate that, their literal lives were now being turned asunder, in real time, while I watched. Needless to say, I didn't fuss at my little man today for not finishing his Frosted Flakes. I did, however, talk to him about the importance of appreciation, & how life is never really yours to begin with, like money.

A friend & I were talking about the similarities between Haiti & Hurricane Katrina. I said the only real comparable aspect is the unexpectancy of it all. Sure, people can always do more, but by the time that realization is formed, it's usually too late. Which seems to be the schedule of life. No matter how informed we are, there's no such thing as "totally prepared." It didn't help matters any that Haiti has no building codes, which sucks, but not as much as how the country has been treated over the last couple hundred years in general. Haiti's history, which I've learned about extensively over the last week or so, thanks to Dallas Penn & Combat Jack, is an awesome remainder that sometimes in life, you get the shit kicked out of you, only to stand up & get kicked, again. & again. For the most part, there's no legitimate reason that life won't continue to piss in your scrambled eggs, daily, until you die. If that doesn't happen, & by the grace of God you find yourself somewhat happy on this planet, be thankful. Some motherfuckers never experience that.

Come to think of it, I'm complaining about rain, while people walk past corpses. Kinda mate's my whole reason for writing this. Or maybe I just needed to write.