RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Friday, June 29

EWA100 - #35. Common Sense - I Used To Love H.E.R.



35. Common Sense - I Used To Love H.E.R. (Relativity. 1994. From the LP Resurrection)

Raven Mack:
There are two bookmarks on my attitude towards Common formerly with Sense... The ending one is where I'm at now where I see him in every other commercial about Gap AIDS block parties in gentrified districts of nondescript Advertising Age cities that I imagine the Huxtables might've bought a few rowhouses in, and I invariably make a joke about how Muhammad has thrown him off the mountain. Used to be I would make a joke about how Erykah Badu's vagina poisons great rappers, but Common's far enough removed from greatness that doesn't resonate so much with me. And on the front end of the bookmarks of Common was when I got a free copy of his Can I Borrow A Dollar? tape from the record store because we spent mad money up in that joint on singles so they'd give me cut-outs and throw-away tapes for free. The Source had hyped me up to Common Sense cleverish creativity, so I had high hopes. Can I Borrow A Dollar? was a piece of shit, and to this day, is one of only two musical purchases I listened to briefly then threw against a wall to stomp into pieces (the other was Ice-T's Home Invasion, which I bought on vinyl and was a lot of fun to break, using it like a frisbee against the cinderblock walls of my mom's basement).
However, even after I was full of "whatever" towards Common Sense, the remix of "Soul By The Pound" that got heavy play on Rap City was fuckin' awesome, and hinted at the for-real clever connecting snidbits of this and that he would later exploit to a larger extent on Resurrection.
And see, that's the thing with Common. As much as I can't stand his fake-ass public service announcement neo-soul ass music nowadays, Resurrection would be high on my list of greatest hip hop albums ever. As someone who halfway considers themselves a lyricist of a shitty sort, Resurrection sort of shifted how I looked at doing lyrics, which has only really happened maybe two or three times in my stupid lyrical life from an outside source. Mostly, you get that shit internally or just soak up all the crap you get into over time; but Resurrection was a tape that flat out had me going, "Oh shit, you can be like that?" This was the big single off that album, and you know the story by now how it's equating his love with hip hop with being in love with a girl (which is terribly funny now that Common owns cocker spaniels... see? I'm always doing that shit with him).
At some point last year, I sold a bunch of old singles by people I felt no allegiance to anymore on ebay, and I had both my "Soul By The Pound" and "I Used To Love H.E.R." singles in the pile of shit to sell, and I think I actually sold the first one to some dude in Canada who was buying up all my shit - everything from Common to King Tee, and when I mailed it away, it sort of scared me into pulling back on this single, which I still have, and still bump from time to time. As much as Common has changed in ways that don't satisfy my punkass expert whiteboy attitude, if you take his point from the "Soul By The Pound" remix through Resurrection through his "Bitch In Yoo" dis/ownership of Ice Cube during their little verbal circle jerk, and maybe even into parts of Someday It'll All Make Sense, that's a seriously great chunk of a MC being pretty goddamned good.
Oh Common, why can't you love h.e.r. again? Why did you get so gay? (When I say gay, I don't mean in the fulfilling homosexual tendencies way where two people of a like gender make each other happy and satisfied; I mean "gay" in the sense of stupid and not all alpha'd up. So don't get all riled up at me. Save that for the argyle sweater vest crowd at the coffeehouse a couple blocks from Whole Foods, where I'm sure everybody loves them some Electric Relaxation.)

Mike Dikk: I was never really enamored with Common. After a while, I forgot why I never liked him, then a few months ago, I saw his first music video and noticed he did some kind of gimmick rapping where he would make his voice squeak like a boy going through puberty and then I remembered that’s what set it off, and I never really looked back after that.
I don’t know when the first time I heard “I Used to Love H.E.R.” was. There’s a good chance it was years after it was initially released. There’s no doubt that it’s a tremendous song and easily deserves to be on this highly reputable list, but at the same time, at least 50% of the reason I voted for this song was because it was the catalyst for “The Bitch in Yoo”, which is probably one of the greatest dis songs ever written.
“I Used to Love H.E.R.” is a truly beautiful song and at the time it was a completely unique idea to look back at rap music and write a love song about it. Somehow Ice Cube misinterpreted the song all together and felt insulted by Common. I have a feeling it was more of a case that Ice Cube saw an easy target in Common and wanted to flex his macho studio gangster muscles for a minute. Ice Cube was also no stranger to dis songs, as he wrote “No Vaseline”, which is one of the few dis songs that could be considered better than “The Bitch in Yoo”. Unfortunately for Cube, he was already too far into directing Color Me Badd videos to really put the boots to Common.
At the same time, I really doubt anyone expected Common to be this crazy battle rapper out for blood. Even with my lack of interest in Common at the time, I knew he was kind of a Nancy, and if there ever was a figurative David vs. Goliath battle in rap music, this was it, unless you count all those jobbers that came at Eminem when that was the in thing to do.
It would be very hard to find another dis song that basically obliterated another rapper’s entire career within the span of four minutes. Of course Cube went on to make more subpar music, but I think “The Bitch in Yoo” really hurt him. I’m sure it didn’t hurt his bank account or the nice house he lives in or anything, but I’d like to think he sat in his bedroom alone one night and thought long and hard about what Common said and maybe cried a little.
Anyway, “I Used To Love H.E.R.” is what just about every current nostalgic rap song is based off of, and every once in a while I think about how I should probably listen to the record that song came from, but I never get around to it. On a different note, If they ever greenlight a Marvin Gaye biopic, I don’t see how Common couldn’t get that job. He even wears those silly little knit hats sometimes.

Download: Common - I Used To Love H.E.R.

Watch the video:

Thursday, June 28

EWA100 - #36. Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down



36: Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down (Elektra. 1993. From the LP In God We Trust)

Mike Dikk: It’s safe to say that when Brand Nubian split up, everyone expected Grand Puba to become a star and Sadat and Lord Jamar would fade into obscurity. Both Puba and the Puba-less Brand Nubian released singles a few months apart. Puba’s “360” hit first and it was definitely a hit, to the point where it brought the simple word “parlay” into the hip hop lexicon. I remember going into my freshman year of high school that year and this kid whose name I forget, had a crew neck sweatshirt with a crude hip hop style design on it that just said “PARLAY” in big letters. As far as I know, “parlay” is some kind of gambling term, but for a short time it was a hip hop buzzword with no real strong explanation behind it. It seems all you had to do back in the '90s is say some dumb word with conviction and next thing you know, kids would show up to high school wearing a shirt with that word on it. Hip hop has been the greatest musical commercial for everything for quite some time now, even when it comes to uncommon words.
Sadly, “360” didn’t even make the list, but Brand Nubian’s first single without Puba did, so I guess Sadat and Jamar were the real winners, as far as we’re concerned. This is still my favorite Diamond D beat ever. EVER. It really sells the point that Sadat and Jamar aren’t taking any shit and they will stomp your face if the situation arises. Puba’s “360” was this breezy summertime single, but Brand Nubian v.2.0 were coming rough and tough with the Timbos and Carhartt jackets.
It also should be noted that if it wasn’t widely known that 5 percenters didn’t jibe well with homosexuals, this song set things straight (pun intended). I remember seeing the video to this song and feeling that I needed to grab this single immediately. I was very surprised when I got the single and played it for the first time to find out every other word was “faggot” and the rest of the words were about violence toward faggots. If you’ve heard this song, you know that’s a bit of hyperbole, and that in actuality, there’s only a few really blunt instances of gay bashing. At the time it was kind of intense. Even going back now and listening to a lot of old rap records and hearing the anti-gay shit being thrown around like it was perfectly acceptable behavior is pretty amazing. If you listen to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “He’s the DJ...” record, you can even find some gay bashing. Of course, we can’t forget Kool G. Rap’s “V.D. in 3D” line, which is possibly the best anti-gay rap line of all time.
Personally, I have no problem with ignorant and offensive words. A rapper can make a song called “Mike Dikk is a Buttfucking Faggot” and I’m not going to run to my internet to start an online petition like half of the hypersensitive pillow biters in America would. I also won’t demand that Brand Nubian do a duet with Elton John to make things better between the gay and anti-gay communities. I’m not advocating homophobia either. I just think we all have our priorities all kinds of fucked up and everyone comes out looking like a hypocrite. It’s pretty commonplace for a 13 year old girl to dress like a gutter slut these days. That’s a bigger problem to me than gay intolerance. I do think people who make fun of gays, and not in a tongue in cheek way like the way I make fun of gays, are pretty ignorant, since the internet has proven there are around 45,000 other fucked up fetishes that people should make fun of and write rap songs about exacting violence on those types. I would be very cool with a song denouncing shit eaters where the protagonist in the song took boots to their brown stained faces and I would definitely enjoy it if Sadat X went back and redid that one line in “Punks Jump Up...” to “I could freak a fly flow, fuck up a furry”, but that’s just me.

Raven Mack: When all this shit was coming out, I was dropping near a hundred bucks a week on new full-length tapes and vinyl singles, probably averaging five or six singles a week. I had both the "360" single and this single. The Puba single, and I was a big Puba fan because it was awesome that a guy with a face that looked like it got stung by a thousand bees could be a sex symbol of some sort, has long been sold off, but I still have that Brand Nubian single. And I still play it regularly. I know internet dork computer preservation fuckwad would want to put it to digitalization and save the vinyl for some far-off never-reached ebay value level, but fuck it, I bought the shit, it's mine and I'm gonna play it till it breaks. I might even go draw some shitty graffiti tag on it with a silver Sharpie right now, maybe write PARLAY in really bad 34-year-old white man cholo letters.
This song is great. I had the One For All tape, and wasn't too bummed when they broke up because like everybody mistakenly thought at the time, I thought Puba was carrying the group. This single proved that wrong completely. In fact, other than this single, I don't know what notable non-Brand Nubian albums any of these guys did (although I've been meaning to "obtain" Jamar's album from last year for a while now). And them being split up made you realize that. I think one of the last actual brand new rap tapes I bought before the form became obsolete was their reunion Foundation tape, and it's a good tape, with a grown folks vibe. More shit about community and kids growing up right and all, which jibes well with my family-oriented drunken lifestyle. However, the penultimate rap jams are not about overall concepts of community and making the world better. It's about raw emotion. And you let Diamond sample the horns from Rocky for a thick-booted beat, and then Sadat and Lord J kick a couple of fags in the face lyrically, and that's a motherfuckin' song. (The B-side of the single has a remix where Diamond gets on the track as well, which is neat if you've never heard it, but nothing compared to the original song.)


Download: Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down (clean SINGLE version), and Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up... (dirty ALBUM version), and Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up... (Remix feat. Diamond D)

We both neglected to mention in our writeups that the Single version and Album versions were slightly different (outside of the naughty lyrics). The videos are basically the same, but I'm posting both versions anyway.

This is the dirty word version with the slightly "darker" beat:


This is the clean version with the more cheerful beat. Unfortunately, the sound quality on this one sucks, but hey.


Wednesday, June 27

MNZ: Punk Planet Issue #80


This is the last issue of Punk Planet ever, and I can’t say I’m disappointed. My kids got me a subscription to it (meaning my wife did) and man does Punk Planet really suck. They talk about how the times changed which made them not able to keep going on, but fuck, in the last three or four issues, they’ve had multiple transgender bullshit articles. This one had an article on the growing “transgender media”. What the fuck? I do not give a fuck about transgender politics. I don’t give a fuck about most politics, but I can see how people get overdone with certain things, like killing babies or killing arabs or killing killers and shit like that. But transgender politics? There are women and there are men, and when we have an entire sub-culture of people who are surgically and emotionally between the only two things you can be born as, then we are some fucked-up ass people. Makes me glad I don’t live around PC punks anymore, with their damn vegan pot lucks for homeless people and shit.
I guess I get some other dumb shit magazine now in exchange for them closing shop, which is a good gesture, because usually magazines just disappear and don’t tell you shit. (What’s up Elemental? What’s up Ozone?) I guess I could look through their back issues and probably find something worth getting for an interview with some backpacker term paper rapper, or I could just get some vegan cookbook with crudely drawn comics inside it or some shit. Fucking punks. They should work a shitty job for real in their life for like six months and see how punk they feel at the end of the day. Fuck a activism after stacking bricks with spics for nine hours, it’s Miller time.

MNZ: Juxtapoz June 2007


Entire issue was dedicated to shit about a graff crew called The Seventh Letter crew, and some of the stuff was neat, but goddamn… a whole issue of just graffiti shit got boring as fuck. Dudes are way motherfuckin’ hung up on their graffiti style. However, the giant fold-out poster of the ridiculously large piece Saber did in the L.A. river concrete basin made it all worth it. That’s shit’s bonkers.

Thursday, June 21

EWA100 - #37. Big Daddy Kane - Raw



37. Big Daddy Kane - Raw (Cold Chillin'. 1988. From the LP Long Live The Kane)

Raven Mack: I bought a used truck from a private individual, and was briefly teased with Sirius satellite radio for about three weeks, which I think was a plan on their part into luring me into thinking I needed their commercial commodity. It worked once it first went off, but after like a week, I didn't give a fuck anymore. However, during my time having it, they played a good chunk of the songs on this list (which further worked to trick me). "Raw" was one of those songs.
I remembered in my mind how great Big Daddy Kane was, but when you throw on certain tracks, it just rushes your head again, filling you with memories of those times and how he was the penultimate. It's strange for me, with today's standard Tupac/Biggie Super MC hierarchy, to realize me and maybe my best friend got in an actual fistfight over who was greater - Kane or Rakim. (For the record, I was on Kane's side, but I was also known to be devil's advocate, so maybe I was just fucking with Sterling.) I have come to the conclusion in my life of hip hop worship that it's a two-headed godfigure, with Rakim representing knowledge, and Big Daddy Kane representing party. If you wanna get all unitarian about shit, you can throw in either Kool G. Rap or Masta Ace or even the both of them as skills, but most regular hip hop worshippers won't recognize them. Of course, most nowadays hip hop worshippers wouldn't recognize Big Daddy Kane or Rakim either. It'd be Tupac and Biggie, which is a shame, because both benefitted from dead man's frozen legacy status, where they couldn't put out shitty records or do remix guest verses with second-level Mariah Carey knock-offs to ruin their greatness. The thing is, Kane never did that either (Rakim had that one thing with that one butt ugly chick on that song that had the weird Middle Eastern vocal sample or whatever that was reminiscent of "Paid In Full" but not "Paid In Full" even slightly).
Tomorrow, I'm wearing overalls with one strap undone, all day long. Fuck the haters.

Mike Dikk: After pouring over Big Daddy Kane’s first three records for the last couple days, I have to disagree with some of the stuff Raven wrote. First off, I totally understand the point that Big Daddy Kane represented the party aspect, but the truth is, he had just as many socially conscious jams as he did party jams. He’s better known for the party jams though. I already said in the “Road to the Riches” write up that I feel G. Rap and BDK are kind of like yin and yang, so I’d like to get more overly analytical than Raven and say that Rakim represented the knowledge, G. Rap represented the gritty hardcore reality, and Kane represented showmanship more than he represented the party aspect. I know it’s a slight difference from the original point, but you have to be an anal retentive asshole to make a list like this in the first place, so there.
To me, Kane was the first rapper to really legitimize Punch Line rap. That’s a term for rap that relies mainly on clever similes and metaphors. Most punch line rappers are fairly one dimensional and usually suck after you hear them a couple of times. The only other Punch Line rapper to reach somewhat of a legendary status was Big L, and that’s because he died. He also sounded nothing like Big Daddy Kane. There’s Eminem too, but he’s more multifaceted, however the punch lines are what made him famous.
The other thing I have to disagree with is that Kane never did tracks with second rate R&B singers. That may be true, but Kane has enough absolutely dreadful softcore rap songs where he didn’t even need the help of some has been R&B songstress to make the song suck. I’m not saying I like him less because of it, but he is certainly not untouchable when it comes to the sappy schlock department.
I should get to the topic though, which is the song “Raw”. This song is really bare bones when you look at Kane’s other hits. It’s a very simple beat and Kane is just going off. It’s like he’s battling everyone ever and no one in particular on this track. It’s an aspect of rap music that’s basically been lost in the shuffle. A lot of people back in the day appreciated these tracks the most, and I was one of them. I’m not going to lie though, if someone came out with a record like this today where all the tracks were like “Raw”, I’d probably hate on it for being too plain. What makes this song so great is that Kane could do a song like this and hit it right out of the park, and then do a song like “Smooth Operator” or “Get The Job Done” without missing a beat.
I should also mention that a couple years ago I got the Edan Fast Rap mixtape which you may be familiar with if you’re the type of indie rap nerd who is into Edan. The first track on there is a “Raw” remix that features Kool G. Rap. I’m not really sure how rare this track is and if it’s something I heard way back when and forgot about, or if it’s something I never heard because it was only on the vinyl single or something. The Kane/G. Rap “Raw” is even better than the original “Raw”, which I suppose is a no brainer, since it’s Kane AND G. Rap, and they always seem to bring out the best of each other when they’re on a track together. So instead of giving this spot to one version of “Raw”, this coveted #37 spot on our hip hop list that doesn’t matter in the real world goes to the original 1988 “Raw”, the “Raw Remix” and the “Raw Remix” featuring Kool G. Rap. That’s how dope Kane was. He three-way tied himself.

Download: Big Daddy Kane - Raw (1988 original), Big Daddy Kane - Raw (somewhat different remix), and Big Daddy Kane feat. Kool G Rap - Raw (taken from the Edan - "Fast Rap" mixtape)

No real video for this. To keep with the theme, here's three Youtube videos:

First is Big Daddy Kane backed by Connie Prince & The Keystones live in New Orleans sometime recently. Honestly, I'm putting this video up mostly because it's 26 minutes long and I didn't even know that was possible on Youtube. BDK shows up around 8 minutes into it. I'm not even sure if Raw is on here, but the other hits are.


Second, here is BDK doing "Raw" st something called the Parish Nation Clothing Launch party in 06. There's multiple angles and shit, so it's like a fake music video.


Last, here's a mildly funny overdub of Voltron that has to do with learning BDK lyrics. They play Raw for 10 seconds.




Wednesday, June 20

MNZ: Vice Volume 14 Number 6


Vice magazine is really stupid. Like, I guess if I found skinny dudes and homely girls with 6-year-old boy asses hot, and talking like the internet seemed hilarious to read in printed format for me, this might be my favorite magazine ever. But basically it's just a shitty magazine run by the type of fags who moderate message boards and think Jap chicks and simply drawn cartoons using curse words are awesome. I mean fuck, even Patton Oswalt is in this issue and sucks. Patton Oswalt hardly ever sucks, but he really sucks with the dumb shit about a heroin movie he wrote in here. Even when you see titties in here, it's those weird tiny pointy Russian immigrant slut titties that creep me out. If it wasn't for that skinema dude, there'd be nothing of redeeming value in this issue. Although it will be fun to put it in the free bin at the library.

MNZ: Donk Box & Bubble Vol. III Summer 2007


Okay, in a short amount of time Donks have gone too far. There's donk diecasts at the Wal-Mart, and donk models at the hobby shop. But all of that is whatever to me. However, this issue sorta creeped me out. I mean, I'm down with weird reverse low riders when I think it's just dudes who have too much new money to know what to do with so they do strange shit with their rides. But this new issue had all these cars with commercial themes. Like one car had a Garfield theme, and there were two cars with a Hawaiian Punch theme. Plus a Lucky Charms themed car with fucking leather stitched lucky charm marshmallows in the door panels. What the fuck? I mean, I could think of about seven million things to do a themed car of before I would choose some chump-ass company product. I'd rather do a big uncircumcised penis themed car before I had fucking lucky charm logos stitched into my swivel seats.
Anyways, a lot of the donks in this issue were stupid looking. In interesting rim news though, the cover car had 30 inch clear rims, but only on the driver's side, which makes me think they must be more expensive than shit. Also, apparently they already have 32 inch rims okay for the street (meaning they have government approved tires already ready to be manufactured meeting safety standards), and 34 inch rims already designed, but no tire manufacturer has made a tire for them that's legal. Also, there's an ad (as well as most of the car featured it) for digital dashes you can have installed in your late model hooptie. That's funny, and makes me want to have a really shitty beat up old Cutlass with a digital dash and nothing else of worth. Except I bet those digital dashes are like way more money than any of the cars I've ever droven cost.
Also, the other week, I was just wandering around one day in my truck, drinking double deuces and enjoying the Piedmont spring weather, when meandering through Roxboro I think, I passed the crazy little cinderblock convenience store that was in the first issue with the dude that had that blue and yellow Cutlass with a matching wheel chair (even had matching rims on his wheelchair)... it was a fun moment, and I thought about stopping to buy a calling card, but I've got a robot cell phone now so that would be kinda pointless.

MNZ: Raw Vision #59 Summer 2007


I think I've mentioned before how I enjoy the concept of Raw Vision magazine, being it's about outsider art. But when you make a high-priced art magazine out of that type of shit, it becomes conscious of itself, thus kinda ruining the whole idea of outsider art. This issue is the best one I've gotten since I've had a subscription, with the cover story on some Nebraska dude who built a giant thing of sorts out of metal scraps that's supposed to have healing energy, according to his own personal scientifics. Plus, there were some drawings in this issue by mental patients about mind control machines. But then there was also a bunch of dumb shit. Basically, the idea of an outsider art magazine, for me, would be just the crazy drawings/collages/paintings of mental patients.

MNZ: National Geographic July 2007

Natty Geo is a really boring magazine, and unless they have pictures of how fucked up perfectly imperfect some small town in America or some warped city in a Third World country is, it's not worth even looking at. And even with those good times, it's better when it's a crusty 30-year-old issue than a brand new one. So I won't be reviewing anymore of these. I'll also try to make sure I explain to my stupid mother-in-law not to renew the shit. She was all talking about how bad illegal immigrants were and I was trying to get away from it, and she's a Welsh lady anyways who came to America like 5000 years ago to do nothing good except blend her DNA with a dude to make my wife, but she's all bitching about the Hispanics and now the Italians with their diseases and all this crap, and I was trying to brush it off because I don't care really but didn't know how, so finally I just said, "Yeah, I know what you're saying. My dad was always freaked out by how you wasn't American." She had to get off the phone pretty quickly after that.

MNZ: Lowrider Magazine 30th Anniversary Issue

I have always been a fan of Lowrider magazine, but don't always buy it so much anymore because, as the father of two girls, I don't need the cheesecake vibe laying around the coffee table that Lowrider kicks. Plus, their models got mad siliconized in recent years, so aren't as attractive to me, as ooh baby I like it raw.
This issue though is perhaps the greatest thing I have bought this entire calendar year thus far. It's basically nothing more than reflection with snippets from the entire 30 years of Lowrider, with the best cars ever, crazy old shit, old models, everything. It's really awesome, specifically the 50 Top Vehicles section. You can probably steal this from any grocery store in America right now, which is kinda cool to think that even some doomed schmuck of a kid in Shitsville, Ohio, can look at candy paint and suicide doors opening up to suede-covered swivel seats right now. Ahh... the (Mexican-)American Dream.

MNZ: JPG Issue 10


I have mentioned I have this stupid obsessive compulsion project where I have a shoebox full of around a thousand pics from magazines all cut to the same size and I do some shit that would be great paranoid schizophrenic homeless man art with them on old 12-pack boxes, except I have a home and am fully cognizant of what I'm doing. Perhaps when alzheimer's kicks in from smoking weed through beercans, I'll be able to get down to the real shit.
But nonetheless, I sometimes buy magazines just because they have a ton of pictures I can cut like a 5x8 piece out of it. JPG is one of those types. It's full of great visuals, so if you're a paranoid schizo who does a lot of bizarre collages about the apocalypse a-coming, or if you're just some dumbass who wheat pastes a lot of goofy shit to your walls, this is the perfect magazine for you. Otherwise, you're gonna be kinda bored with it and feel ripped off.

MNZ: Waxpoetics #22 April/May 2007


This is a pricy magazine, but always a great read. I haven't even gotten all the way through this issue, which has stories on Betty Davis (crazed funk bitch), Ornette Coleman, and Too Short, plus other shit. Those were the three on the cover promises list that got me stoked up though to waste $8 on a magazine.
Since I've been recording more stupid music in the past year, and dealing with people who are super-obsessive about different aspects of making a song or CD, like the production and mixing and ambiance of the recording area and how to make something sound clean yet raw or raw yet refined or whatever the fuck, it's made me get more into reading about past shit of that nature. Waxpoetics is the perfect mag for someone nerding out on that tip. And it's got nothing but love for the vinyl lover.
This isn't the cheapest magazine there is, but it's also the most book-like in the amount of shit in it worthwhile to read. Plus, of the three issues I've gotten, I've learned more about some artist I barely knew about but liked, and discovered some new crazy shit to explore as well. You can't ask for much more than that. Well, you probably could, but if you did you're probably the type of bitch ass who thinks everything should be right there for you to see and that you've actually learned more by having the internet when all you do is look at dumb shit all day long, unless you take minimal breaks to read graphic novels (grown folk comic books). But should you ever come across Waxpoetics, pick one up, if you love the musics of influence upon the hip hoppers.

MNZ: Lindy's Pro Football 2007 Preview


Man, I thought this shit didn't usually come out till first week of July, but every year it moves further and further ahead. Still, I can't resist snatching a copy as soon as it comes out, because pro basketball is sleeping pills and baseball is for old child molesters with handlebar mustaches to get all mathematical and shit and read numbers all day long. I actually played a fantasy baseball league this year and that shit is stupid, and frustrating, and there's nothing worse than being frustrated by something you think is really beneath you to even be doing in the first place. That's why I think I'm either gonna just waive all my players and have no players, or trade them for all black players in honor of Gary Sheffield.
Anyways, the Lindy's annual is my preferred printed guide to the impending NFL season, and I'll read over the rosters and columns and look at dumb shit like which team has the most undrafted free agents and which team has the most of its own draft picks and which team has the most non-major college players and all that junk. I used to compile all-star teams of the players who were most awesome, who sucked the most, who had the funniest names, longest tenure on one team, all that type of shit, and I might do it again, even though I've come across other internerdz who do shit like punter's formulas and ratings systems for best offensive guards that make me leery of getting all dorked up. To my credit, being like "Haha, Jericho Cotchery sounds like a Biblical crime" is way less nerdtellectual than creating a formula to rank who the best punters are because the already in place system of net yards just isn't truedat enough is.
Anyways, Redskins are off to a great start, drafting a player they really didn't need with their only draft pick, and now he got shot in the dick during paintball. I really really really hope Dan Snyder's heliocopter crash lands upside down in an alligator pit soon enough. (Oh yeah, Dan Snyder just bought Dick Clark apparently.)

EWA100 - #38. MC Shan - The Bridge



38. MC Shan - The Bridge (Cold Chillin'. 1987. From the LP Down By Law)

Mike Dikk: I never got to be a fan of this song because I was a staunch supporter of KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions. In fact, I most likely heard “The Bridge is Over” before I heard “The Bridge”, and for those of you without a clue, “The Bridge is Over” is the greatest diss song hip hop has ever known.
From a critical standpoint, I guess this song is alright. It sounds exactly like a song from 1987. Halfway between the tired ass old school disco era but leaning more into the upcoming rap golden age. Shan has that jazzy “Rap Rap Rappity Rap” old school flow, but the beats were more forward thinking for 1987. Listening to the song over again makes it fairly obvious why Shan’s career was basically over after “The Bridge is Over”. KRS was the new hot shit, and Shan, for better or worse, sounded like Busy Bee or something.
I do feel this song has a place on this list though. I just feel like KRS punked Shan out like a bitch and it makes this song unappealing to me. I do realize we are twenty years removed from this whole Shan/KRS feud, and I should really learn to let it go, but it’s not like I’m about to forgive Shan for the Snow incident either. That was really uncalled for, and any time I hear the name MC Shan, I can’t help but think of “BECAUSE SHAN WON’T TURN INFORMER!” followed by a bunch of Canadian rude boy nonsense. Though, it’s a little known fact that KRS and BDP had a white reggae dude in their ranks around the same time as Shan and Snow. He appeared on that HEAL Yourself comp. and disappeared directly after. I am a fickle consumer, and I could have easily been hating on KRS like I’m hating on Shan right now if KRS’ white reggae savior blew up like Shan’s did. In closing, I do support Puma footwear, and that was the only MC Shan trait I did like.

Raven Mack: Shan isn't really what makes this song, because like Mike said, KRS obsoletified Shan in fairly short order. But Marley Marl was pretty forward thinking, starting to come with that famous boom bap sound of rap's golden era ('87 or '88 through '91 or '92). This beat is the best example of how motherfuckin' great Marley Marl was.
I was lucky enough, years ago, before the internet spread the world over and gave record dorks the confidence to crawl out from behind their musky boxes full of shit they never listen to, to find a copy of "The Bridge" 12-inch in a Goodwill of all places, for fifty cents. I still have it, and friends have sampled that drumbreak, as scratchy and warped as it's become, at least three or four times over the years. It's really one of the top five all-time beats in hip hop history, and this song would've been a lot higher if Shan wasn't such a dumbass on the mic, all sounding like a girl and shit.

Download: MC Shan - The Bridge

No real video for this song, so instead watch a commercial where Shan & KRS battle over Sprite. KRS wins this one too.


Friday, June 15

EWA100 - #39. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator



39. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator (Elektra. 1991. From the EP All Souled Out)

Raven Mack: You know why in 2007, Pete Rock is still considered one of the all-time great producers ever and C.L. Smooth's got his new joint filling up the used bins faster than folks can sell it back to salvage enough money for a pack of Newports? Well, it's the same reason this song is so ridiculously awesome and places above almost every other Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth song ever... because Pete Rock had It. He had that invisible, unidentifiable touch that made things great. It allowed him to know how to tweak some weird horn snippet he found on jazz fusion records, and it allowed him to slur and stumble through his words at just the perfect pace when he had some lyrics written on a shit in front of him in a song like "The Creator". I mean, seriously, Gang Starr often gets mentioned in this same type of artistic relationship, but I am pretty sure that Guru would've made a name for himself, albeit maybe not as famously, without DJ Premier. But C.L. Smooth without Pete Rock? I don't think so, to be honest, regardless of how great C.L. was... and he was a smooth motherfucker on the mic in an age of smoothness. But fuck, it could've been Pete Rock & Positive K or (imagine this one!) Pete Rock & Grand Puba, or fuck, you could've had Pete Rock & K-Solo and they would've made a name for themselves. (I am fantasy mashing "Your Moms In My Business" lyrics with the beat to "Straighten It Out" right now.)
Pete's staggered flow over his tweaky beats is two great tastes that taste great together, and the fact Pete Rock never chose to exploit this combination for ridiculous self-important marketing creations is probably a testament to how much of a down-ass brother Pete Rock really is.
I think it got mentioned in the Chubb Rock write-up way back then about the concept of Party People. Pete Rock controlling both the mic and the sampler together just conjures up smoky basement parties in my mind, no beefs and no gun-toting ego shooting from dudes' heads like aura... just people drinking and dancing and having a good-assed time, trying to escape the fuckin' dicks and assholes of the world. When did it become cool to be a dick and/or asshole all the time? Have we lost the ability to be Party People to a thug pandemic? It makes me sad, and makes me feel old.

Mike Dikk: I feel like my Expert Whiteboyness should be revoked after this entry. It’s no question that Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s most memorable song is “T.R.O.Y.”. So I tried to think of what *I* thought their secondary most memorable song would be, and honestly, I haven’t listened to Mecca & The Soul Brother since it was new. Not because I didn’t like it. I, in fact, liked it a whole bunch and was actually pissed at The Source for giving it a lower mic rating because it was too long. See, I owned it on cassette, which is a horrible format when it comes to preservation. I probably own around five cassettes at this very moment, and they are all things that are irreplaceable, i.e. only available on cassette. I just haven’t gotten around to replacing my cassette copy with an electronical mp3 copy yet, despite the fact that Mecca, along with anything Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth has ever done together is all over the internet for free consumption. I don’t know what’s wrong with me where I can’t finally bite the bullet and press the one or two fucking buttons it takes to download something that I know I actually like.
To get back to what I was saying. When I was trying to think of a secondary song, “The Creator” was completely off my radar. After some quick internet research, it turned out “The Creator” was the single from the Kind of Forgotten About Until The Internet Reminded Everyone Again All Souled Out EP.
I’m not going to front. If I had heard “All Souled Out”, it was definitely after I heard Mecca & The Soul Brother, because I’m positive that was my introduction to Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. This song really holds no special relevance to me. Even without going back to listen, I know every song Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth ever collaborated on was 4 stars or above, simply because there was no producer ever as “in the zone” as Pete Rock was in that time period. I think people were ready to give him the Producer of the Century title at that point, as he remixed one of every three east coast rap songs that came out at the time. Pete Rock was On Fire in the early '90s much akin to the pixilated domination you could achieve when you got Shawn Kemp "On Fire" in NBA Jam.
Its funny Raven brought up the Pete Rock/Grand Puba combo, since Grand Puba ghostwrote this song, which is really easy to figure out once someone tells you Grand Puba wrote it and you listen to it. I’m still not sure if this would be considered the second best Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth song of all time by the masses, but when you put our “Singles Only Unless We Feel Like Cheating” criteria into play, you don’t have much else to choose from. I do know writing this has given me the motivation it takes to click on a mouse and own Mecca & The Soul Brother once again. I guess I’ll take the 4 seconds out of my busy schedule of eating and eating again to download All Souled Out while I’m at it.

Download: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator

Watch the video:

Tuesday, June 12

EWA100 - #40. Goodie Mob - Cell Therapy



40: Goodie Mob - Cell Therapy (LaFace. 1995. From the LP Soul Food)

Mike Dikk: “Cell Therapy” was brought back to my attention by this list. I saw the video a few times when the song first came out, and I liked it. It was like some kind of mutated Geto Boys thing, except I may have thought that because The Goodie Mobb also consisted of two regular-sized guys and one not so regular-sized guy. At least I compared them to The Geto boys and not Too Much Trouble.
After rediscovering the brilliance of “Cell Therapy”, I was prompted to acquire the entire Soul Food LP. Now, I feel like a total schmuck for sleeping on this record for so long. I hate to be one of those guys that just discovers something for the first time that everyone else has known about for the last ten years, and all they do is talk about how brilliant it is, like it’s some kind of brand new development no one else figured out, so I’m going to try and refrain from doing that, but it’s hard for me to fight back that urge.
The song “Cell Therapy” is some serious Grade A lyrical knowledge. These dudes can GO. Or at least, could go. The individual members of the Goodie Mobb are definitely now on extremely different plateaus of fame, but this song, along with the album, are now things I deem essential, which means you should rush out right now and buy them. Honestly, the song is rather depressing, but it gets the point across that these dudes know the deal, and they are going to tell you the deal whether you want to know about it or not. The younger folks would call this “real talk”, and "Cell Therapy" is real talk at its Rillest.
I also remember finding that Khujo guy pretty scary looking when I first saw the video, and that whole “Who’s that peekin’ in my window?” chorus really tripped me out the first time I heard it. I’m glad I finally caught up with the rest of the world and listened to the rest of the lyrics to see exactly what these guys were so paranoid about.

Raven Mack: When this shit came out, I was sold. Hearing some gold-tooth paranoid-assed brothers rap about mark of the beast tattoos and black helicopters was a bridge between two gaps in my personality. I shopped at a bookstore - I think it was called American Opinion or something like that - in Richmond, which was run by an old dude who was part of the John Birch Society, and you could buy back issues of The New American for a dollar each, and after a few visits, old dude trusted me enough to invite me to a back room screening of some Bilderberg expose film or something or other. And this was all fine and great. Except John Birch Society has a certain amount of racism to it, meaning they hate everybody who's not white and at least mostly worried about the same things they're worried about. It's like Klan-lite almost sometimes. Well, I was never one to be too segregated in my life, mostly out of environment and not so much because of some stupid moral purpose in my life. And I have always overly-idolized rap culture, mostly because of the rock star aspect of it. I mean, who else could rock some goofy-looking gold teeth and make it look awesomer than Penthouse Forum experiences before breakfast time? Only crazy rappers. (See Johnny Dang, or Paul Wall, or google image search "white girl" and "gold teeth", but you may want to filter the results if you're at work.) Well, this shit was a combo double dropkick tag team of shit I loved and spoke at me. The crazy thing is hearing Cee-lo and how awesome he was with his retarded band kid voice, and then getting the CD, as well as the "Soul Food" 12-inch single (which I still have, unless I sold it on ebay and don't remember, which would suck), and it was some great ass shit. I was actually sad when they kind of went their separate ways. The Still Standing CD wasn't the greatest, but I think it's overall underrated, because it's not as bad as it's made out to be because of that stupid "they don't dance no mo'" song that was the single off it. And really, it's hard to believe, stepping back, that one of the guys on "Cell Therapy" is the same guy singing on Gnarls Barkley "Crazy", not because he sounds different that much, but because it's hard to believe mother-in-law NPR types, no matter how liberal and open-minded they claim to be, being down with something like "Cell Therapy". This is also why rap used to be the new rock-n-roll, and also why rap sucks now. I wish the new rap meaning the new rock-n-roll meaning the new flapper bathing suit showing scantily-covered kneebones would hurry the fuck up and get here though.

Download: Goodie Mob - Cell Therapy

Watch the video:

Saturday, June 9

June Expert Whiteboy Analysis Monthly Top 25



(Blogternet simulcast with the official EWA site. It's not up on there yet, but it will be, and there will be pictures...and cake.)

June Expert Whiteboy Analysis Top 25 Hip Hopish Things.
(top things related to the hip this month (but really last month), with liberal use of the word "related".)

Intros:

KM: Broke-ass intro for a broke-ass month. Meet me in the job, it's going down. Meet me on the couch, it's going down. Meet me at the el cheapo burrito shack, it's going down. Guarantee you won't catch me in the club any time soon. Hugs not drugs, you ugly motherfuckers! AIYYO!

MD: Hi I'm Mike Dikk and When I was little, my father was famous. He was the greatest Samurai in the empire, and he was the Shogun's decapitator. He cut off the heads of 131 lords, for the Shogun. It was a bad time for the empire. The Shogun just stayed inside his castle and he never came out. People said his brain was infected by devils, and that he is rotting with evil. The Shogun said the people were not loyal. He said he had a lot of enemies, but he killed more people than that. It was a bad time. Everybody living in fear, but still we were happy. My father would come home to mother, and when he had seen her, he would forget about the killings. He wasn't scared of the Shogun, but the Shogun was scared of him. Maybe that was the problem. That night, mother would sing for us, while father would go into his temple and pray for peace. He had prayed for things to get better. Then, one night the Shogun sent his ninja spies to our house. They were supposed to kill my father, but they didn't. That was the night everything changed, forever.

JD: I am John and I had the most insane dream the other night. I was hired based on my Madden skills to be an assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders, and in order to gain respect, I had to freestyle against Aesop Rock to get the players to stretch. I am not sure if I subconsciously recited a verse that is bouncing around in my head, or I am the God MC, but I ripped dude to shreads, and the team started stretching.

RM: I am a white man writing stupid shit on the interweb, which automatically makes me an expert. You are, in all likelihood, a white man reading stupid shit on the interweb, which also makes you an expert, and chances are you may call indignant "bullshit" on things I stupidly write and proceed overthink how I overvalue my own opinions. This is the nature of the internet. When this happens, chill. Lately, I've found the most chill thing I can do to relax myself is masturbate in the woods during the day time. Very calming, like a kava kava drink with a splash of codeine cough syrup.

1. SUNDAYS IN THE PARK

RM: In any mid-to-major clump of human beings piled into buildings around each other, there's usually always a public lands park where motherfuckers go to chill, maybe walk a path or look at ducks or wax their car or shoot some hoops or whatever. But usually, when the warm weather comes, on Sunday afternoons, usually starts to come the congregators as well. Those looking to show off how clean their car is or how clean their clothes are or to just ogle some clean-assed chicks flaunting their fat asses and big titties in some shorts and tank tops. It's a beautiful, communal thing. The other weekend, me and the wife took the kids to Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, and it was awesome, though there seems to be like maybe 19 black people in Staunton. However, it was good fun sitting on the hill eating turkey sandwiches, watching customized cars cruise the 15 mph loop around the park, taking the kids on the mini-train and shit. I was sitting on the far hill while the kids rode one last time with my wife, and some young black chick with her little man, all decked out in some Sunday school clothes, with cornrows and that confident wobbly swagger of a bruising toddler, were heading over the mini-train. She called me "sir" to ask me if they took debit cards or some shit for the train, and they didn't of course because it was a park and it was only a dollar, so I gave her little man two dollars so he and mom could ride. She was all flirty-eyed with me, and it was one of those moments that if I didn't have the shackles of a family, I could never be that smooth most likely, but without having to worry about that shit, it impresses upon the vagina-havers.
The warm park shit reminds me of living in Richmond, where it could get heavy. Byrd Park on Sundays at one point, if you attempted to drive through, it'd take you half an hour to do what normally takes five minutes to get to the Nickel Bridge, because everybody from all parts of the city would be there styling their newest shit, drinking from Solo cups, parked on the curb, just flaunting. And as is usually the case when that many young black people congregate in public, one of two things would happen. Either cops would shut the shit down and start blocking the entrances on Sundays, or it'd get wild and somebody would get shot or some shit. I remember also rolling to Chimborazo Park one time with three buddies to go get high one time, and it was like that, cars everywhere but mad menacing urban negro thuggery style, where the very fact two white dudes, a Samoan, and some sort of Hindu/Pakistani fucker were riding through was an affront. Which meant some dude pulled a bat out his trunk and swiped the jeep we were in, which made us take off because we just wanted to get high and not get beat down for being present. I dig the chaos of youth, but that one old guy in the gold-trimmed prescription sunglasses wiping his '84 Seville down while sipping from a styrofoam cup full of something he has to keep getting from a stealth bag inside his trunk, pumping the slow jam old school show off the local urban contemporary radio station, that dude is the spirit of what I'd like America to strive for. Hard-working yet laid back, and ready to just do some quality loungin' out in the sunshine, watching other folks ride, walk, and preen by.

KM: I haven't spent as much time on Sundays in a park as I'd like. Part of it is an unexplained thing where I can't be out in the sun for long or else I look like a fucking bog monster afterward. Maybe I'm a vampire. But I do have a habit of making CDs for cruising around in a vehicle and I suppose that'd translate to chilling in a park as well. I don't even do it on purpose most of the time, but when I've done exchanges or whatever the people say it sounds like a cruising mix. My most vivid memories of Sundays in the park are probably the videos for "Summertime" and "Nuthin' But A G Thang", and that's about it. More people should go barbecue and shit. One of my friends has a grill now and since our backyard currently looks like Jurassic Park with a busted Ford Ranger for decoration we may have to start throwing deals out at the park when the weather's nice. I want to learn how to do those stuffed jalapeños wrapped in bacon.

2. THE HIP HOP LIVE EXPERIENCE

RM: So I had heard (or at least readed) mad internet hype on the Rhymesayers shit, but the homely pudgy white kids you see running around wearing Atmosphere hoodies are, in all reality, like about four feet removed from being a juggalo in a hatchet man hockey jersey, so I have a hard time respecting that shit. (Which is odd, because I probably love the oddball stupidity of the teenage juggalo more than most internet nerd types do. Going through the shit towns that pockmark central Virginia like Palmyra or Scottsville or Gordonsville, it's always great to see a pack of delinquent juggalos - usually two dudes and one chick - hunching through town with their black clothes and mohawks and mad attitude. I've also noticed in the other shit towns like Dillwyn and Farmville and Blackstone and shit, where there's like for-real black people in abundance, juggalos aren't so obvious, which would explain why ICP is huge in the midwest. Other than Division I athletes, I think there's less than three thousand black people outside of Chicago between Ohio and Nevada.) But Brother Ali along with a menagerie of independently-affluent rappers was coming to my nearby city of hotbed musical activity (because the dude who manages Dave Mathews Band is a cokehead mafioso type who strong arms acts into coming through his shit local clubs in order to play his big mega-festivals like Bonnaroo and shit), and it's always a safe good time because there's no thuggery to Charlottesville, so I know I'm not gonna potentially witness murderings or be victimized by gun crimes like the threat that always hung over me going to shows in Richmond (or shit, just living in Richmond). So I went.
Toki Wright opened and was the host, and he was good enough positive dread rapper, and doubled as hype man for Brother Ali, and the One Be-lo dude from Binary Star was good enough as well, but it always seems goofy to me for just a rapper to walk out, push a button on a laptop to start his instrumental, and then do his verses. Seems removed from the original spirit to me, but I guess that's what hip hop has become. (What's up with Binary Star suddenly hitting Internet Hype mode and being the greatest shit to ever have ever have happened, so that I was supposed to be shitting my pants just to be in the presence of one of the dudes who did Masters of the Universe?) Psalm One at first took me aback. I mean here's a chunky chick who has a sort of fetal alcohol syndrome child's face, and she's an admitted chemistry major from college and shit... but to MC? However, she had a great show, and was great lyrically and with delivery, dropping the so-called knowledge, but without being preachy. And as homely as she looked, I was ready to give her oral sex by the end of the set.
And Brother Ali... I had never really listened attentively to Ali before, and out comes this albino fuck with warts and shit, and he RIPPED it. I mean absolutely ripped it in half and stomped on the two pieces. He was probably the second best MC I've ever seen live for controlling shit (second only to a Ghostface show I went to), and his "Faheem" song brought emotions to my mind, and it was just good good shit. They stopped, and this might've been working the crowd, but it was a small crowd because a town this size really can't support music all the time like it's expected to nowadays with the aforementioned mafioso cokehead dude running shit, and some of the rap nerd dorks started an "ALI! ALI! ALI!" chant, and this was after more than half of the already small crowd split, so they took the stage for another four or five songs, in front of like 75 people at most. Ali even brought out his six-year-old kid who did a bookworm version of "Baby Got Back" and an acapella version of "Paid In Full" and it was just fun fun great shit. Ali was more like a preacher, but not like a corny self-righteous preacher, but the type who's just trying to share his positive all-inclusive world-view with you. And the thing that got me was how ugly Ali and Psalm One were in the normal standards department, but they tore shit up and carried themselves with such confidence, they both seemed sexier than shit by the end. I guess for me, being a loser fuck who came of age in the '80s, that's hip hop for me - putting a confident swagger to the ugly shit... not all this shiny bling bling pretty boy bullshit that hip hop has become.
The sad thing is, though, the very next day I was so hyped I illegally downloaded The Undisputed Truth cd, thinking I was gonna get all of Ali's shit, pronto. But listening to The Undisputed Truth, it was kinda shitty and flat, and lacked the strong urgency of his live performance. I don't think I've ever said this about a rapper performing live before, but Ali is twenty times better on stage than on recorded format. Seriously. I was crazy disappointed in the cd after going to his show, so much so that I didn't bother to download any of his other shit. But I'll go see him live again in a heartbeat without thinking twice, even if I have to pay for my ticket and don't have nobody working the bar who'll hook me up with beer.

KM: For my birthday, I got a ticket to the Street Dreams tour. The advertised acts were Fat Joe, Jim Jones, Rich Boy, Lil Wayne, Baby and Young Jeezy. Honestly, none of these people are My Favorite Rapper but I figured it would be interesting to see the show. Lubbock doesn't get really big names coming through. By the time we get there, we find out that Joe, Jim, and Rich Boy have cancelled. I went with my friend Manuel, who was looking forward to Rich Boy so this obviously bummed him out a little. As a whole, nobody seemed disappointed about Fat Joe or Jim Jones no-showing - they only have like one song apiece that gets radio and it would have probably been awkwardly dead during their sets.
After standing in a line that did not move for at least an hour and a half, we finally get inside. The local radio personalities ate up a lot of time trying to "upgrade" people to front row. I'll break it down here - the cheapest tickets were $45 and then there were midgrade tickets for $75 and higher ones for like $110. After getting inside, it was obvious that almost nobody paid more than $45. Maybe 75 people, at most. I have no idea what the $110 tickets would get you, maybe a spot on one of the sofas they had onstage for the rapper entourages? It was festival/grass seating for the cheap seats, some folks got bumped in and they had security making sure nobody else snuck in to get closer to the stage. This was my first rap show, everything else has been rock/metal/whatever shows and even the bigger shows I went to were all general admission (even Aerosmith) and you get in where you fit in. I would imagine it sucked for the artists seeing a crowd of less than 200 people around the stage, buffered by about 50-100 feet of empty seats and then everybody and their mama standing way the fuck back. All in all, a poorly-executed promotional plan.
Also worth noting, there were entirely too many minors and YOUNG KIDS at this show. No joke, people brought like 6 year olds. A lot of those 15 year olds were holding weed. Who the fuck lets their children and unaccompanied teens go see a bunch of hood motherfuckers? There were tons of of-age people who showed up dressed for the club, that was also hilarious. We came in t-shirts and jeans. We laughed at the girls wearing the cloth equivalent of two paper towels being eaten alive by mosquitoes and getting their stripper heels stuck in the soft patches of grass.
Doors were supposed to open at 7, didn't until almost 9, some DJ was on that sucked and no acts came onstage until damn near 10. Even then, it was like Weed Carrier Hour. Up first were some local dudes that didn't suck but were unremarkable. Then some dudes flown in from Philly who big upped Gillie da Kid, dissed Weezy, and generally sucked. Then another group of local dudes who were worse than the first group. Surprise act was Lil Flip, who popped in with his weed carriers and also sucked. Relevant Tangent: I had a hard time believing people who griped that MCs don't bring instrumentals on tour because it sounded so fucking impossibly stupid. I was wrong. The only acts that had them were the local nobodies. How the fuck are you a major artist on tour and you can't get your hands on instrumentals for your own shit? Are you fucking serious? I'm a local nobody working frat parties, bars, and night clubs and I have them. Dunno if it's the tour DJ, the manager, or someone else, but they need to be fired. Flip was probably the most annoying with that shit, he'd rap over his guest bars on songs and they'd slam into his next guest verse over and over and over for like ten minutes. Then Flip's weed carriers rapped badly. Then the radio people bumped some more folks up from the cheap seats.
Lil Wayne took forever to show, and he came out with a posse of his own (including a guard dude who was bigger than everyone onstage and made Weezy look like he was 4 foot 8). Wayne rapped over himself too, but in spots he'd do acapella freestyles that were decent. He took a breather, his weed carriers jumped in, and then he came back on. Wayne did a good 45 minutes to an hour all together, then Baby came out and they did another 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, Young Jeezy hit the stage at like 12. He had a few WCs with him; I think Bloodraw was with him too. Dude surprised the hell out of me by putting on the best performance out of all the acts. He went for the better part of an hour with no breaks. He popped off more acapella than Wayne and I'm not sure why, but he didn't sound as bad rapping over his own verses. I was genuinely impressed with his set. He went into "Soul Survivor" and we thought that was the last song so we started off to the car, but as we got to my Crown Vic we could hear he'd started an encore with USDA shit. Oh well. Someone had almost boxed my boo in by parking badly, but we squeaked it out and left. So, in closing: not a bad show and I had a good time. I may have been more upset if I'd paid for the ticket.

3. DEVIN THE DUDE'S CADILLAC SEVILLE

RM: I would never buy Rides magazine (although I'm a big fan of the Donks spin-off, which I wish stupid issue #3 would finally show up locally), but I do peruse it in my local bookseller fairly regularly, just because pimped car culture is both very interesting and completely hilarious. Like Rides is so serious it doesn't even have hot bitches like Low Rider does, just straight up cars all pimped out and being talked upon. Anyways, I was looking through the most recent issue and it had a feature on Devin the Dude's '78 Caddy, and it was just a great feature in the midst of all the other posturing you see in there (like Chamillionaire talking about how you didn't have 84 Vogues on cars back in the day before they started manufacturing them because dudes would take your shit, which may be true, but he made it seem like you had to be Osama Bin Scarface to even put them on a car), it was just great shit... the type of nonsense (meaning very regular folks) that I've come to expect from Devin. He bought this car for $50 a week from some dude, and talks about how he's put that much into it like 10 times over, fixing this or that, and the photo feature was the car all tore up and dismantled inside, I guess for a new interior, but the car is your very basic piece of shit hooptie. But Devin loves it. I can relate to this and was surprised to see it in a Rides magazine, this type of love for non-bling. I have an old Datsun in my yard that hasn't run for years and I've turned down two dudes who wanted to buy it for junk because I still have plans to chop the top off, fill it with soil, and plant a bush inside it. That car took me all over and I just barely avoided death as well as the creation of offspring far too many times in that vehicle to ever let it disappear. I'd rather let it sit in my yard and rust away into nothing.

KM: Good god, I think that perhaps Devin the Dude is like my own personal favorite celebrity (or tied with Redman). I may prefer listening to different MCs or various musical acts, but when it gets down to how they act in public, I can most closely relate to those two. Red's epsiode of Cribs was like a What If Keenon Had Money? for me, down to the Ms. Paul's fish fillets and the dollar box. Devin's got the car side covered. Both of them smoke a fuckton more weed and all that, but if I had to pick five people to have dinner with, it'd be Devin, Redman, Mannie Fresh and two other people. I don't even know who the two other people are, that's not important. I remember the day my dad sold his old Dodge Omni for junk and at the time I didn't understand why he felt that twinge because I was catching the bus everywhere. All I knew was I didn't want to go on any more road trips in that matchbox car with five other people. But I get it now, and if I have any say in the matter, I won't be getting rid of my boo anytime soon. She's family! Loyalty to a hoopty is something that may not matter to most of you, but it's a core value in my universe. You don't dump the one that got you through the rough shit, what kind of appreciation is that? Cherish your hoopty. I'm glad to see Devin understands.

4. DEUSE SEVEN

RM: Deuse Seven is a "street artist" which is what high-minded graff dudes call themselves, and most of that shit is kinda stupid or too political, but I just saw a bunch of Deuse Seven's shit in some artfag magazine and it was some seriously intense craziness, with absolutely no meaning. His style is not all loose and drippy like normal graff, but real intricate and detailed, almost tribal (in a non-corny sense) but with crazy Pakistani bus colors instead of earth tones. He also had just white shit he had done on black coal cars that was sick. I'd like to hope that he was the start of a new phase where stupid fuckers like him just did this shit to beautify the industrial wasteland, which has always been the best use of graffiti, and that it'll get weirder and more wild style but not in a standard spray paint wild style way. However, I can only assume he'll be "discovered" and do gallery shows and start doing custom skateboard designs or weird Japanese toys and start dating some neo-soul singer, living in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, eating a lot of organic greens.

KM: I had to google this. The art itself looks interesting, even if some of it has that good ol' fashioned "I want to be Basquiat!" shit that's probably derivative of someone else or whatever the fuck ever. My full extent of art knowledge is that one Basquiat book I read and I wasn't exactly sad when they got to the part where he died. Graff exposure for me is those pictures that wind up in less-reputable rapmags and also RIME. Most of those are West Coast, so they have lots of hispanic/Catholic imagery with gangbanger shit. I think it's all interesting, but I might not want a hummingbird holding an AK on my garage though. Where I grew up, graffiti was a lot simpler - dumbfucks would get cans and write shit like VAB (there's no v in "barrio"!) or North Side Locos on anything and everything. I don't recall anyone doing a mural until someone commissioned one for a store that kept getting tagged with stupid bullshit. I believe it was subsequently tagged with similar stupid bullshit shortly after completion.
Looks like Deuse is already doing some shows, based on this flikr set I saw with lots of artsy white people looking at his work on canvas. I'm wondering about the snitch tag someone's painted over some of the shit in that same set. What's the story? Did Deuse turn state's evidence? STOP SNITCHING.

5. DIPSET CIVIL WAR

MD: This kind of died out before it really caught fire, but in case you don’t keep up with the Adventures of Dipset, Cam’ron was in some club, and got punched in the eye by journeyman rapper Tru Life for some beef that everyone has forgotten about now. Days after, Jim Jones made some comments about kicking Cam’ron out of Dipset. Then when Jim was supposed to have his big interview on Hot 97, he backed out so the rest of the Dips could promote some most likely horrible record coming out. Now we’re all left hanging as to whether or not Cam is getting kicked out of Dipset.
This whole thing reeks of WCW’s late '90s booking of the N.W.O. The Dips have started petty feuds with just about every rapper imaginable. They’ve run out of anyone notable to beef with, so instead of carrying on the tired gimmick, they will now split into two groups. I’m guessing one will be Dipset Purple (led by Jimmy) and Dipset Pink (led by Cam). The only winner in this feud will be me, because this is sure to be the most hilarious thing to hit rap music since Rappin’ Duke. Hopefully the EWA Super Awesome Committee will have more up to the minute commentary on this whole situation next month. Stay tuned Gonnie Goo Goo.

RM: Yeah, this petered out as I think Jimmy was making a power move since he's sold the most records in the last ten months, but nobody else in Dipset backed him on it, so he's kinda just hanging there now. Personally, I'm hoping this is a pre-cursor to a Jim Jones/Cam'ron joint album called No Homo where they just go over the top with this "yeah, shit looks gayer than fuck, but we're not gay, yo" schtick they've got going. Like, when pepped up on X and stuck on the road, it's not gay to suck your boy's dick and he suck your's because yall are boys just looking out for each other and shit. There's also some Us Weekly style Hip Hop Weekly magazine now that had this as their cover story with an interview with Jim Jones promised inside, but basically inside all he said was we'll all have to wait and see what happens. Why the fuck Dipset doesn't have their own reality TV show yet is beyond me.

6. X-CLAN TOURING WITH ICP

MD: I know if you’re a true fan of the rap music, you’re supposed to hate ICP. Those who know me in real life know I obviously don’t hate ICP. I haven’t liked any of their releases over the last eight years, but I don’t hate them. I don’t feel the need to explain myself to strangers though. We’re all young once fuckers.
Now the idea of X-Clan touring with ICP is maybe the most hilarious thing since the idea of Dipset splitting into two different groups. I know that a lot of militant black rappers back in the day didn’t legit hate white people, but from stories I’ve heard, I always got the idea that X-Clan was one of the few that really did legit hate white people. I don’t mind, because I hate X-Clan, so we have that understanding between us. Now not only will they be touring and playing in front of 100% white people, but it will be the absolute lowest common denominator of white people left on earth. Let’s face it, Pantera has broken up and NASCAR has turned into something for dudes who have summer houses and kids named Chad. ICP and their Psycopathic crew are the last bastion of authentic white trash culture America has left.
For those of you not in “The Industry”, you have to understand that when bands tour with each other, it’s not something that happens by chance. There’s all kinds of paperwork and contracts and long talks with jew agents that you have to go through to even reach the point of getting one group to open for another group. The headliner (ICP) acts as the top in the situation and the opener (X-Clan) acts as the bottom, so not only is the tour to harbor in the apocalypse going on right now, but ICP is doing the fucking RIGHT IN THE X-CLAN'S ASS. So much for X-Clan legitimizing their comeback. I can’t wait for the remix record with Limp Bizkit and that one Nu Metal group with the guitarist that looked like Darth Maul.

RM: This was interesting because I had wondered why the fuck all of a sudden X-Clan was showing up in shit like Murder Dog. It just didn't make sense. This tour, of course, doesn't make sense either, but still, ICP and X-Clan are both things that I have fringely enjoyed in my lifetime, and throwing them together is probably the only time I'd ever go see either of them live. I still wouldn't because of juggalos. We have some in my small town, including one dude at the independent grocery store in Palmyra who has a mohawk and loves my dreadlocks, and individually in small groups, juggalos are like deadheads - not completely unbearable and able to carry on semi-intelligent conversations and you can share weed and beer and pass your time together like civilized delinquents. However, I can only imagine, knowing what I know about the combined energy of deadheads and how annoying and brain hemorrhage-inducing it was, that a gathering of juggalos would be like five times worse. Plus, I ain't trying to get no damned cheap ass soda pop on my new camo shorts.

7. STOP SMILING ISSUE 30

MD: I have already gushed over this magazine enough, and depending on what blog you’re reading this on, I even reviewed the god damn thing. All you need to know is that you need to go find this magazine right now. Specifically this issue, because the rest of the issues look a little too tight in the crotch for my tastes if you know what I mean. There are interviews and articles featuring everyone that every internerd has had a blog boner over ever since blogging became the new breakdancing. If all hip hop magazines were this good, I might actually buy new CDs instead of dropping too much money into used vinyl records like the closetcase I am. Why are you still reading this? Go buy the god damn magazine, and if you get the one with Madlib on the cover, I’ll trade you for the Nas cover. Thanks.

RM: Hey, I finally found this shit at a bookstore today. It's really good, and I'm a big magazine dork. For holidays and shit for the past year or two, all I've asked for is magazine subscriptions from a giant list I keep, because I've read all the fiction I really care to outside of a couple of authors in becoming a vainglorious B.A. in the field of English (which has led to a highly rewarding career in the construction arts), and non-fiction books tend to go on for far too long unless I'm really into the subject (currently reading a book on cockfighting and one on hashishin cult), so magazines are perfect. Plus they have purty pictures to look at. This issue was so good I was tempted to add it to my list of subscribeables, but then I saw back issue listings and like Mike said, it looked yeast infectious. Plus, I hate probably two-thirds of the subscriptions I have because they either don't mail shit, or they finally mail it like a month and a half after it comes out on the newsstand, or they just seem to shit on subscribers. Elemental went out of business and I only got like two issues out of a subscription. Ozone just completely flailed after one issue and I emailed that stupid bitch whore a couple times to no avail. Hopefully she got gonorrhea from some minor hyphy rapper. In fact, I'd say the only magazines I get that I truly enjoy that get here in a timely manner if at all are Mass Appeal and Swindle. The rest are a bunch of assholes, but I assume this is because they are published by jewish dudes who probably prefer to just mail out the returned-from-distributors-issues at the end of a month to the subscribers to save a few pennies on printing, and if the subscribers get bummed and don't resubscribe, it doesn't really matter, because they make their real money in advertising rates anyways.

8. KRS-ONE & MARLEY MARL'S HIP HOP LIVES BARRAGE

MD: There’s been a lot of hip hop nostalgia songs popping up over the past several months. I’m kind of getting numb to them, but this “Hip Hop Lives” video is pretty easy on the eyes. It’s very stylized like an iPod or VW commercial. I don’t really think young little shit kids will ever get the point that old hip hop is better than new hip hop, and to some extent, I don’t think they should. No matter how much I hate it, I think youthful folks should always be moving forward. Nothing weirds me out as much as a teenager being hardcore into the Beatles or Bob Dylan, but I digress. Like I said, I don’t think kids will ever understand older hip hop is better than newer hip hop, but if anything got the message through their thick skulls, it would be a slick little video like this one. Although, KRS is kind of taking a confrontational and boastful stance over a more nostalgic and educational approach, but I think the kids would respond to those kind of tactics a lot better anyway.

RM: I downloaded this CD because I figured I needed to actually listen to some of the music called hip hop to be relevant even barely in the EWA Clubhouse HQ, and I figured this was interesting enough. It's nothing groundbreaking or life-changing, but I still enjoy it because of the boombap nature of the beats. Marley Marl is so steeped in NYC he probably shits doodoo brown NY Yankees caps, and NYC has almost all of hip hop's history, so I don't understand why it's all hung up on this Hip Hop's Dead let's imitate shitty hook-driven rappers bullshit.
Speaking of which, I finally got around to listening to that Nas Hip Hop Is Dead CD, and man, what a piece of shit that CD was. I mean, yeah, the title I can agree with enough as a concept, but it sounded so mailed in and unexcited. What the fuck is wrong with Nas? I think "hip hop" is a metaphor for his own soul on that album and he doesn't really miss the old vibe of hip hop so much as his younger, more innocent and enthusiastic self. This Hip Hop Lives is probably the most enthusiastic I've heard KRS in years - more battle-happy and less pretending to be a preacher in some fake hip hop church self-righteous rant mode. Still, he gets pretty boring lyrically, because you can't go back, and this is 2007, and that whole "I chew you up and spit you out" reworded five hundred different ways style isn't fresh for '07, suckers.


9. MARCO POLO'S PORT AUTHORITY CD

MD: Last month, I blabbed about the Newport Authority Mixtape. Well, this is the official release. It’s essentially all the good tracks from Newport Authority along with that Masta Ace “Nostalgia” track that has been moistening panties all over the world. The only other thing I’ve learned about this Marco Polo fellow is that he’s Canadian, which I, of course, find totally weird. One time I was in Montreal sharing a hotel room with around 35 other people. I woke up early and switched on the TV, and there was some rap show on with all these Montreal Canadian rappers rapping in French and that shit was too much to handle after a night of gigantic Canadian beers and street grade cocaine cut with Ajax and rat poison. After that, I swore off all rap related to Canada, but Marco Polo has encouraged me to lift this ban, probably for a limited time, since I was all ready to proclaim Black Milk as the producing savior of rap music a few months ago and I already completely forgot about that dude.

JD: I think I have said this before, but I haven't listened to this, and it is sitting on my desktop. I really have no desire to listen to it as well. Following up on what Mike said, hip hop now is something that seems to come and go in my mind. To be honest, I don't fucking care about this dude and his album. No offense to him, but I really could give a shit if I listen to this. It is probably ok, but it will take up more space in my car and waste my last blank CD I was planning on burning an R.A. bootleg on. So Marco Polo can beat it and fall back with the rest of the dudes albums that will become a blur in the grand scheme of hip hop.

10. GHOSTFACE KILLAH INTERVIEW

MD: I’m going to be honest with you. Coming up with 25 things worth writing about that are related to rap music every month is fucking hard. I don’t know how many LOLZ jokes I average per blurb, because everything I write seems completely serious in my brain which has simultaneously skewed my idea of comedy, since the only thing I even find funny anymore is someone else’s failure. What I’m getting at is, this is the only continuous project I’ve ever done where I feel I should get paid per LOL. It’s something that ends up consuming the last ten days of every month, and I start to worry that maybe I didn’t do a good enough job writing about Donks or the new record I stole from the computer box, which then leads to me curling up in a fetal position in the corner of my room and crying myself into a coma because I obviously don’t have my priorities straight when I am worrying about the 6 strangers who read this shit who may not think my Donk knowledge is up to par when I don’t even know what the fuck a Donk is.
So yeah. This is a pretty good interview. I don’t know if it was really one of the 25 most noteworthy things in the hip hop world this month, but Ghost tells a story about getting into a shoot out on the highway while the Delfonics were following him in a van. That’s the kind of shit dreams are made of bro.

RM: I'm glad we struggled with shit to come up with and Mike told me to download this shit. One of the big problems I have with the rapping music sometimes is how it refuses to allow itself to grow old at all. Ghost drops some serious knowledge in here about making music that's more like old soul music and dropping cusswords from his rhymes so that kids can listen to it without getting popped on the head for repeating it and shit like that. I had already convinced myself in my mind that Ghostface was one of the best six or seven MCs ever in hip hop, and this interview gave me hope that he's on a spiritual track with music, not just trying to stack his papers or whine about how shit ain't like it was five years ago no more, and makes me think that by the time he's all done with his creative output, he might be considered the best ever. Of course, with overrated Jay-Z as his label boss right now, who considers himself the greatest ever, he might have to avoid too much career sabotage from above like that More Fish craptacle at the end of last year, which was forced upon us so that Def Jam could spike sales in the last weeks of last year so Jay-Z didn't look like the big fuckin' overrated fuckface he really is.

Interview can be found here!

11. HUEY'S "POP LOCK AND DROP IT" SONG

MD: So I find myself watching BET’s 106 & Park after work a few days out of the week. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve watched Huey’s “Pop Lock & Drop It” video hover between the 7 and 9 spots. Just like the rest of the world, I have no idea how 106 & Park tabulates the rankings of the videos they play. I have my suspicions that it has something to do with a payola-like scam, but that’s the same suspicions everyone has.
If you’ve heard this song, you probably already figured out it’s one the most god awful songs ever recorded by humans. Fuck that, even that record where the dogs bark “Jingle Bells” is better than this shit. It’s beyond borderline self-parody and has hurdled all the way into inadvertent self-parody.
The reason I find the shitpile notable is because in my mind, it signals the ending of all this Snap, Crackle, Pop bullshit music we’ve been putting up with for the last couple years. It’s like how the Bullet Boys first showed up on MTV around the time everyone was sick of Poison and Motley Crue. Too little, too late, and too horrible. That’s the only reason I can see why this song is hovering near the end of the countdown. If they were trying to break new stars, they would shoot it straight to number one. Kind of like what they did to Kid Rock and Crazy Town. If you are a serious fan of all this bad southern pop rap, I suggest you go out and buy this record, because it might be the last single you’ll have the chance to buy that instructs you to do some dumb dance over a beat that sounds like a Nintendo with diarrhea.

JD: My name is John, and I like this song. It seems every month we have a track like this and I am always the first to bash it, but I finally caved in. The song and maybe the genre has worn me down to the point where I heard this song the first time, and sorta dug on it. I heard it a second time, and still thought it was cool. Then I finally heard it a third time and had to admit I dug it. I think this Huey dude might not be that bad of an MC if he knew how to write a decent track and did not have a soulless robot doing his production. The video is also hilarious with the dude in the barber shop leaving his Caddy running outside, then Huey and his boy doing some car stealing pantomine, then boosting it. The little children doing the "Pop, Lock & Drop It" dance is a tad disturbing, but it is only a minor (haha, get it MINOR??) detail.
As much as I enjoy this song, there is no way in hell it will ever make it as my ringtone though.

RM: Haha, you should make them cwazy kids get off your lawn too Mike. I've kinda come to the conclusion that shit like this is the modern equivalent of "Can't Touch This" and other similar pure pop music that really doesn't have much of a footing in the genre of music it claims to be, so I don't really see it as any end of hip hop signal. The beat is catchier than fuck too, and I was over-analyzing it one night while stoned and realized that a lot of these Nintendo diarrhea beats are not really song-type music so much as movie soundtrack-type music, where keys and bloops and shit trigger unconscious emotional responses as opposed to the average sensual nature of most music. Basically, it's shit that's brainwashing us, which John's statements back up 100%. The monotone rapping over top just adds to the sedative nature of it.
I did know, however, that like every one-hit wonder trying to show he's not a one-hit wonder, Huey would release a shitty REMIX! (insert Puerto Rican horn here) of this, and I finally heard it yesterday riding around North Carolina. Boy, was it shitty. Lacked all the monotone sedative nature of the original, so that you realized how shitty a song it was, and had Jim Jones, who must sleep in a customized van behind whatever recording studio everybody uses nowadays, on it as well, which meant it was just like every other shitty remix from the last four months, except even shittier. I bet his full-length release fails far worse than he'd ever expect, but to his credit, I can at least say he's not Mims. Also, this song makes me want to fuck, but I think it's that subliminal shit again, combined with that girl's voice in the hook. I bet she has big nipples.

KM: And now for the median opinion! I don't hate or love this song. It's not even the worst of its sort (that would be DJ Unk's "2 Step" if for no other reason than it's resurrecting "get jiggy with it") and the blip blop blort video game noise is something that mildly amuses me 99% of the time. The remix cracks me up - T-Pain's crooning Roger Troutman parody starts at a ridiculous apex and gets sillier from verse to verse. Lil Bow Wow or Wowsy or whatever he goes by is lame, but in an inoffensive manner that 8th graders can get behind. "Pop Lock & Drop It" is also not as stupid as "Rock Yo Hips". I can usually get away with speeding it up to mix with its peers, so it's usually over faster.

12. WU-TANG SIGNS WITH BODOG.NET

JD: From being a Wu fan since they hit, I have learned that the RZA isn't the most genius of buisnessmen. That Wu-Wear stuff that was littering the shelves at every local TJ Maxx and Marshalls back in '98, letting every dude who was ever in the same studio as a Wu member throw a W on the back of their CD, and not starting w Wu-Tang label that would have kept dudes like Ghost, Raekwon, and Method Man in one spot. But this move is the dumbest shit ever. The next Wu album will have all the "original" members sans ODB and it is scheduled to drop in 2008 sometime. There have been conflicting reports about the amount of tracks ranging from eight to ten with one ODB tribute track. But what makes this move dumb is it is scheduled to drop in Europe before it hits the U.S., so by the time it is released here, every fool with a computer will have DLed it.
I love the Wu. It is my last, one undying love from my hip hop loving life. Everyone else has come and gone with the exceptions of BDK, G. Rap, and Masta Ace, and normally a Wu album would get me geeked. But the dirty involvement of some gambling website sullies it up for me.

RM: I could be completely offbase here, but I think rappers actually make money in Europe if the old world whiteys love them. I mean, with today's music scene, CDs don't mean shit for personal profits, and touring is where you make the real cash. In Europe, motherfuckers who sit around at home after a new release here in America, can ride around on tour in a nice bus and get smoked out and make some fat paychecks along the way. Plus, rappers love white pussy, and Europe is chock full of white pussy apparently.
I don't know, in the overall sense I'm a big Wu fan, to the point at one time I knew anything they released, even fringe shit like Sunz of Man's first single and the first Killa Army tape, was gonna be the shit. But not only did they over-extend the Wu brand, but the main members got shitty as well. They've had more than a couple of albums running on Wu fame fumes, and I'd say, as a hardcore Wu fan at the time, that Wu-Tang Forever was a pretty goddamned shitty record that judged by the relative standards of later releases has unnecessarily been placed upon some creative pedestal. That shit, for me, was one of the first signs they had lost that magic. So this new Wu-Tang CD, which I have very low expectations for since it will be along the lines of Nas's Stillmatic most likely, trying to magically recapture lost magic, but without much real effort of the soul. It being attached to some shitty gambling site won't make it worse, but is pretty smart since it's mostly gonna be dumbass fratboys flashing the Wu W with their hands when it comes out anyways. That's the same demographic a shitty gambling website would want to capture the attention of. Hopefully when this all settles though, RZA will finally stop pretending to be some wisened Taoist sage and he'll just stick to making movie soundtracks and doing self-indulgent NPR interviews.

13. DJ JAZZY JEFF'S THE MAGNIFICENT CD

JD: Hi, I am an album made by someone who curiously didn't do production for any big name people. Why do you ask? Well, the dude who made me is well-known. He was on TV, won a Grammy, MTV awards, and various other accolades. But those props were mainly for his partner, not me, not Jeff. Jeff is someone who will forever be linked with Will Smith and the Fresh Prince days. Want further proof of this? Check out my skits where Jeff complains about people asking him about Will Smith, then has to jump through hoops to get Will on the phone. Couldn't Will do a verse on me? Couldn't he get someone to ghostwrite a verse to show his support for Jeff? Apparently not. What about Jeff? But I do have a bunch of "name" MCs like Method Man mailing in tracks, but don't let that scare you away. The tracks with CL Smooth and J-Live are particularly good, and my production is top notch. I guess I would have been better off as an instrumental album, but I think those instrumentals make this worth buying or at least DLing me.
Sincerely, The Magnificent

RM: I had meant to DL this for a few weeks so somebody else could speak on it, but never did. I link him in my head with Will Smith too much. I mean, I got respect for The Transformer scratch and shit, that's some great shit to come up with. But it's kinda sad how DJs got played so badly in hip hop. I mean Jeff's begging together an album deal, hodge-podging people to appear on it, and Will Smith's probably got Latina house servants licking his asshole while he fucks Don Cheadle on satin sheets while Jada takes 8.2 megapixel digital pics for them to masturbate to together late at night. Jeff is probably stoked when some upstart clothing company mails him some threads in hopes he wears it in a promo photo, whereas Will either gives that shit to the landscaping crew or just sends it off to Goodwill unopened.
Still, it seems Jeff still has the love for the hip hop in his heart, and not to sound like some hobo purist or anything, but that counts for something. I still probably ain't downloading it though.

14. DRESS CODES FOR THA CLUB

RM: I love there being rules against sneakers or t-shirts or even athletic apparel at clubs, but it makes sense. I mean, I'm a broke ass with two kids and a third on the way, but there's this outlet place where you can get unsold or misfit shit on the cheap, so I can go drop thirty bucks there and be straight tight until I get grease stains all over everything. Like we went there the other weekend and I got me some new camouflage shorts, all big and shit, some blank t-shirts (almost got one print shirt, a black one with a giant Ben Franklin dollar bill face and gold letters that said PAID IN FULL, because I knew it would disturb or confuse most people who know me, but in the end, it just seemed too ironic an action to go through with), plus some new granpa shoes (those slip-on canvas low top deals), so the next day, I'm wearing my weird desert speckled camo shorts, new granpa shoes, and this weird short-sleeved basketball jersey from some obscure place that's red sleeves and white shirt with VALIANTS in red across the front in a fairly robotic font, feeling fresh as shit. This freshness adds extra swagger to your step, and also heftens up the chip on your shoulder. There is a good/bad dichotomy to this dialing up of adrenaline - on the plus side, I'm way more apt to impress vagina-havers, not because of the threads but because of the extra swagger; but on the opposite side, I'm way more apt to accept whatever trouble may cross my path as opposed to turning the other cheek. This is why clubs have dress codes, because motherfuckers are far less likely to shoot each other up wearing khakis and polos than they are wearing acid stone faded stitch jeans with big metal plates attached at spots and an oversized white tee with a print of Daffy Duck driving an Escalade and the words FLIPPIN BIRDS on it.
I do wonder, however, how those crazy multi-colored weird African prep school looking polo shirts that have become the new shit are accepted within club dress codes, because I see some pretty shady cats wearing that type of shit nowadays.

JD: I had a whole deal planned out talking about how I dealt with this shit back in '95, son. We were a bunch of white college kids going to the club where our large, black friend worked the door, and he had to tell us to take off our tattered hats before we went into his club. But then I just dealt with this shit last weekend. The major downtown area in my town is this big strip of bars and clubs in Harrisburg that is just littered with people, police, and other transients wandering the street. My wife, her friend, and I were about to roll up in this bar/club place that for me is cool because it is mad packed with half-naked girls that smell like pineapples and vanilla, and I could stare at the chicks without the wife noticing really because you can't go a foot without bouncing into one. But at the door, there are two dudes: one who checks the ID, the other who gives you a once-over about your clothes. I was wearing a polo and brown cargos, but I did have on sneakers which the big dude said isn't cool, but since they were "dressy" I could get in. So as I fight my way to the bar to get an overpriced drink in a small, plastic cup, I notice a dude out of place sitting at the bar. Dude had to be in his late 40s wearing a plaid button-down, cords, and one of those shiny Starter jackets from the late '80s that would get you jacked up. So fuck a dress code.

KM: I have only ever bumped into this bullshit one time in Dallas. My whole entire family (including my grandmother) rolled out to a Jamaican club to celebrate birthdays because three of my seven aunts were all born in August. I got as g'd up as I possibly can, managed to have clothes that were both wrinkle-free AND matching (yeah, fuck you), and I topped it all off with this white visor that I bought for eight bucks because I felt like wearing a hat. The people at the door confiscated my white visor and I got too drunk and forgot to pick it up on the way out. Motherfuck a dress code.

15. REVEREND MASE & THE TRANSVESTITE

MD: This somehow avoided all those Pop Culture “Best Week Ever” type shows, but I guess Mase sideswiped someone’s car while trying to pick up a transvestite prostitute. I’m not exactly sure how the person who got their car sideswiped knew the hooker was a tranny. Is that how hookery works? Are there certain areas you go to where it’s only transvestite prostitutes? Maybe the tranny was flashing it’s dick through lingerie or something. I really don’t know how this shit goes down. I do know I don’t view celebrities the way most average people view them. I fully expect all celebrities, even if they are has beens like Mase, to have sex with trannies ALL THE TIME. If you’ve had a taste of success, why would you settle for normal meat and potatoes type sex when you can get a dick in your ass and grab a tittie at the same time? It’s the only logical explanation as to why you would set out to pay for sex with a transvestite. Mase had the taste of success and transvestite sex and now he can’t live without it. The only reason for his comeback was so he could fuck transvestites for free. I bet when you’re famous, you can fuck the hottest transvestites in the world any time you want. By the way, what makes a transvestite hot? Is it judged on how feminine looking the tranny is or the size of their cock?

RM: I can't speak on the hotness factor, but my first solo apartment in life was on the infamous 1100 block of Grace Street in Richmond, which was bookended by a shitty grocery store and a transvestite hooker spot. To make things even greater, I lived with a crazy bitch (who to her credit, did have big titties), and she'd get all psycho on me while I wasn't there, and I'd come home and all my shit would be on our first floor porch, with transvestite prostitutes picking through it. Most of them were pretty nice, and I tried to ask one one night how much it cost, not because I wanted it but because I was just wondering, how much does a transvestite prostitute make. The tranny accused me of being a cop, which was funny because I was carrying a beer and smoking a joint walking down a graffiti-stained alley when they said that.
Beyond Mase being famous and wanting dicks plus tits, he's also a pastor now, doing the Lord's work, and it seems a lot of the more prominent lordy lordy people tend to have weird perversions that eventually get outed. Rumor has it the whole reason Mase moved to Atlanta in the first place was to get away from Puff Daddy, with whom he had one of them down-low relationships that just got too hot and torrid for them to back off easily from sometimes, you know, to keep it cool with the rest of the world. I would think if I was the type of dude who thought casual sex with another dude was an okay activity, but not really gay in a for real gay sense, then I'd probably also enjoy fucking human beings that had dicks and tits. Personally, I wouldn't be into that shit because I don't even like it when a girl puts her finger up my ass (although I don't mind getting ass-licked as if I was a star).
On an aside, some video clip of Lil Cease doing a striptease or some queer shit in front of some of his homeboys also aired this week. To the normal homophobe, these two stories combined would have you thinking Bad Boy was on some top secret homo nonsense, but when you just step back and think about it for a second, it only circumstantially proves what many of us have always suspected - Puffy is a fag. I mean, he owns the record label and gets all these guys with questionable merit on his label. Why? What did they do to get on Bad Boy? I mean, we know Biggie had skills, and Craig Mack was too goddamned ugly to wanna fuck, even if you were a degenerate pervert into trannies and casual ass sex and all sorts of crazy shit. But beyond those original two Bad Boys, most of Bad Boy Records staff was either chicks that Biggie was fucking or guys who weren't really that good, which leads me to believe Puffy was fucking all those people.

16. THE SOURCE IS BANKRUPT

MD: This is way less exciting than I initially thought because they filed for the type of bankruptcy where nothing changes cosmetically. Kind of like when my mom and fake dad declared bankruptcy and all that really happened was we had to eat beef stew and meatloaf a few more days a month than I would have liked.
In case you don’t buy magazines, and you probably don’t because you are most likely an internet leech, The Source was like the hip hop Bible for a good amount of years. Then at some point, awful never-was rapper Benzino took over and made the magazine suck beyond comprehension. After a few years, Benzino and for-real owner of The Source, Dave Mays were unceremoniously let go by the shareholders after wasting away millions of dollars in loans.
This was The Source’s chance to reign supreme like they once did. Unfortunately, it seemed no one told them the internet was invented and the post-Benzino Source was the rap equivalent of reading a kayfabed Apter mag in the 21st century. Now I still read a decent amount of magazines. Definitely not as much as I did before the internet, but I feel I at least help keep a few magazines in business. Of course it’s easier to get any kind of news a lot faster on the internet, but a lot of magazines still have great articles you can’t find on the internet. Plus, I don’t have a laptop so I can’t read the internet on the toilet.
My point is, The Source forgot to hire decent writers once they had the chance to. It went from being a notably bad magazine to an extremely bland magazine within a couple months. I know a lot of people on the internet feel they could do a better job than the person actually doing the specific job they are bitching about, but seriously, 95% of the people doing any sort of content-driven hip hop blog on the internet could do a better job at writing for The Source. Pat yourselves on the back bloggers, you have successfully become more entertaining than The Source. Unfortunately there is no kind of html coding to make a layout as retarded as Ozone’s, so we will never overtake them.

RM: The one thing I never understood was wasn't this originally like a fanzine started at Harvard or some shit? That means Dave Mays was at Harvard? How did a dude who was at Harvard end up dressing like Dave Mays did and hanging out with Benzino all the time, to the point that Benzino and his posse sort of took over the magazine? I mean, was it just because he wanted to hang with a black dude who was scary? Because then, almost anybody could've done that. Didn't Wyclef once hold a Source reviewer hostage in a basement at gun point because of a shitty review for Canibus? (Which is also funny, because apparently The Source was taking payola for mic awards, so he could've just bought a good review. Or maybe Clef did and they still dissed the album because it sucked that bad and Clef really just wanted his damn money back.)
Personally, I can think of a bunch of guys I would've rather seen take over The Source. Like if Keith Murray had done that, walking in with a razor blade under his tongue, flipping it around and then becoming super pals with Dave Mays because Dave Mays secretly always wanted to be fresh-dipped and rolling with dark-skinned posse, that might've turned out okay.
I also often wonder if Dave Mays and Benzino still hang out. Probably Benzino saw the golden goose get slain, so he bolted. And Dave Mays probably lives with his parents again, or better yet with an aunt who has a nice house somewhere in north Jersey, so Dave Mays can still ride to NYC on the regular and soak up that true hip hop vibe, which I'm sure he feels he knows about more than anybody, including the chumps who filed for bankruptcy in charge of The Source now. Those chumps never rolled with some crazy black dude high on woolies brandishing guns for no reason. That's the real shit.
Finally, one last question. How can a shitty magazine file that "whoops, let me try again" bankruptcy, if they made it so regular folks like me can't do that shit after we get a credit card so we can buy a riding mower, an ISB turntable, and a couple hundred dollars worth of tattoos can't do that? Man, fuck this country.

17. EVIDENCE'S "MR. SLOW FLOW" SONG

MD: While I never liked Dilated Peoples, and the rest of this CD this song is on doesn't really do anything for me, this is like the greatest song that Alchemist never produced. Coincidentally, Alchemist has a few tracks on the CD and I guess some of his mojo rubbed off on this track. Evidence does his best job pretending to be Prodigy from last month's "Return of the Mac" mixtape without talking about the guns and the sickle cell, and the synths on this beat are so dusty they make me sneeze and cough, because I'm allergic to dust. I'm also allergic to grass, which kind of sucks. The first time I mowed a lawn, I was 14, and I thought everyone felt like shit from mowing a lawn and that's why no one liked doing it. It took me like two years to find out not everyone almost dies from mowing lawns. Anyway, this is a good song I suppose.

RM: I used my internet welfare dial-up connection for about 45 minutes to get this video to load up so I could watch this song. I didn't know who Evidence was, and usually if either Mike Dikk or John Dawson suggest something like this, I figure it's more of that metaphysical but street clever indie R.I.P. Jay Dilla internet dick-hard bullshit. When I did the search on youtube, I saw Evidence was with Dilated Peoples, and I never cared for them much. They are like a grittier version of the Black Eyes Peas to me. It's also funny Mike said this was like "Mac 10 Handle" because I tried and tried and sort of convinced myself to barely like this "Mr. Slow Flow" song enough to be nice about it, but then when the similarities to that song I played a lot last month was brought up, and I realized this was just a really shitty song that sounded like "Mac 10 Handle" in spirit, I decided to just shit all over the song instead. Mike Dikk may not like grass, but he likes weed, and I wonder what flavor of weed he was smoking when he thought this shit was good? I bet it was rassleberry flavored weed.

JD: What the fuck is this? Seriously. I have never seen Evidence before, but was bored to death with his monotone flow on the vastly overrated Dilated People's shit. I do have their first two CDs but more for DJ Babu, who I remember from the old Beat Junkies mixtapes than anything else. But this video is almost more retarded than the song. It sucks, and truthfully after listening to his album, that sucks too. The star of this video is the hoodie which I would glue to my body if I owned it as nothing is more rad than a hood with eye-holes. Hey, I am talking about the best part of the song/video/album/his career is a hoodie with eyeholes, so if you like this song, odds are I won't like you.

18. COCO'S TITTIES EVERYWHERE

KM: Seriously. I buy a handful of rap magazines in any given month, and skim several I would not pay for while I'm there at the store. In the last month, I have seen her in no less than four magazines (As-Is, Grip, Rime and this shady-ass mag called Rap Entrepeneur or something that I wouldn't buy because it had a whole bunch of car pics, two pages of interviews and a Coco pictorial for $7). I want to say there were more, but I don't remember. My point is why am I seeing Ice T's wife in all these magazines all of a sudden? Usually, people plug a project when they get these features. If they're in every magazine out all at once, I would expect to read about Coco's new line of butt wax or thong pliers or something. But there's nothing. All they ask her about is her ass and also being Ice T's white girl. There's no payoff here, and the post-script is the first time I saw her in As-Is, I went and googled her. After seeing her assed out for whatever magazine that nude spread was for, I don't really need to see her average ass near-nude anymore. Okay? Go do some spreads for that Raven Symone lookalike.

RM: I think the one thing that bothers me is what the fuck happened to Darlene? I mean, Ice-T's all up in Law & Order SUV and shit, and now he's got him a white girl who is the most stereotypical of all white girl trophy wives - blonde, stupid, with a questionably sexy ass. I mean, seriously, I love a big ass and there's nothing worse than someone hyping themselves up as being big-assed and it's sort of lackluster. It's an ass that would get the Herb Tarlicks horny, but come on.
Also, is Keenon talking in the end about that American Idol chick? I know she's only 17 or whatever and the offspring of a stupid New York Giant fucker and HIS white girl trophy wife, but she's a cute hefty chick. It's like someone said, "Yo, let's make a really hot young bi-racial bitch from all these parts," and they were putting it together but when they get to the face, all they had left was a Raven-Symone gene, so they gave her curly long hair to hide that shit just right enough so you instead wondered if her ass would do that ripple jiggle up to her lower back tattoo when you get the slap motion going?

JD: To follow up on Keenon, I am pretty sure she has her own mag as well. Coco sort of bugs me out because other than hearing her utter like three sentences, she never seems to speak. I guess she speaks with her ass (and don't we all sometimes). But what really intrigues me about her is how Ice picked her up. I think she was this girl who grew up in an Amish town, and from a young age, she wasn't down with the Amish ways of life like not wearing a thong and getting all soap bubbly when washing the carriage. She was also probably looked at odd because when she would milk the cows, she would immediately take the bucket of milk and spill it all over herself, and at church she would sit there in that position all big-assed girls do on their knees. After being shunned by her community, Coco left the Amish town for the "big city", and fucked Ice-T. THE END.

19. NELLY PIMPS AFRICAN'S RIDES

JD: God bless Nelly for being out there doing things for people in need. Hip hop needs it's own Bono. Seriously, I wonder how people who normally get their rides "pimped" in the U.S. could afford to maintain that ride, but doing it in an impoverished country is some ill shit. I bet that 9,000 watt amp will sound good when cruising through Johannesburg. Also, does this mean there is a MTV Africa? What is next, a Gold Coast Real World?
This planet is full of poor people and they are all over. It bugs me out that some jerkoff in some office somewhere wants to do a show where they travel to probably the nicest place in the impoverished country and put tens of thousands of dollars in a fucking car.

RM: I've only watched Sesame Street twice in the last ten years of my life, both times trying to nap off a hangover on the living room couch while dropping my kids in front of the television's tit. Both times it was the same episode where Grover has some shit where he's in Africa showing the kids making wire cars with shit they found in the scrapyard. Those little wire cars are awesome and teach the kids much more creative and engineering skills than buying your kid a piece of shit RC Hummer with tiny spinners for their birthday. At the same time, of course the kid will end up getting some fucked up disease digging through the trash to find scrap wire to make himself a toy to play with, and unfortunately, third worlders tend to get hung up on that disease and death shit more than the superior survival skills they acquire from their wretched lot in life. Then they come to America and either collect tolls or do some crazy entrepreneurial shit and get like twelve times richer than my lazy ass ever will.
I guess what I'm saying is I hope Nelly is going over there to pimp those wire car toys, like putting a little Ipod full of Fela Kuti or even better a bunch of unreleased Mannie Fresh beats in the back trunk of the wire cars, with little gold spinners clipped on with those fancy black clasping paper clips which are common here in America but I bet mad non-existent in Africa. I'd enjoy that a lot.

20. HURRICANE CHRIS' "A BAY BAY" SONG

RM: As we get to the end of the month, I like to think of annoying cybertrons on crack type heavy rotation songs to bother Mike Dikk with, to get him on his old man "This new-fangled club shit is crazy? And what's up with women making their vagina laps popple and crack through motion? Back in my day, you LICKED a vagina after smoking a joint, not listening to one while drinking champale" kick. Luckily, "A Bay Bay" started annoying the world right at the end of May, because I was about to go with "Wipe Me Down", which features my favorite commonly discredited pon the internet rapper of the moment Lil Boosie, but I can't get behind that song too much because I have a 3 year old in that transition stage between shitting in big diapers to taking care of her own shit (literally), and she likes to sing, so she'll climb up on the toilet and shit, and yell out in a sing-songy voice, "I POOED AND PEED," and will give me like about three seconds to show up from wherever to wipe her ass before she'll say it louder and probably add some embellishments and then start singing about fake people she made up named Sara-Anne pooing and peeing and dropping an "shimmy shimmy ya shimmy sham shimmy yay" because that's her all-time favorite song three years into her life (or it might be "Bingo" because you get to clap your hands a lot). The point is, if I played "Wipe Me Down" too much, she'd have that shit in her head and would incorporate it into her sing-songy badgering of me to come wipe her ass, and I've got a huge chip on my shoulder, so I don't like wiping nobody's ass... not even my own children. But if I let them run around all stinking and shit, the county will take them away.
So luckily I heard "A Bay Bay" on the radio and then found out a mixtape I downloaded had it as well, so it is the catchy but stupid song in my head now. It also rained here this past weekend, the remnants of a Hurricane Barry, and you know they alternate the names between female and male. That means, with Hurricane Barry just breaking up and this song just hitting the club rotation, it makes Hurricane Chris look like a fag. And I would say from the hook of this song, he's maybe autistic as well.

KM: I already see bad things on the horizon with this. It's supplanted Tum Tum's "Caprice Muzik" as the new NEW SHIT! LISTEN TO THIS SONG! song on one of the two rap stations here. Simple beat, simple chanting hook, small kids to help out. Normally, I'm all over this shit but maybe it hasn't grown on me yet. I still like it more than "Party Like A Rock Star" but I secretly hope Raven's daughter winds up incorporating "Wipe Me Down" into everyday poo-flinging. Further, the thought of a toddler yelling "SHOULDERS CHEST PANTS SHOES" and the possible shock at a parent thinking they have to change said toddler's clothes makes me laugh, guess that means I'm a dick. This is one of those ringtone joints for sure, I wonder what Hurricane Chris has up next to capitalize on his remaining seven minutes.

21. BEANIE, KANYE, PHARELL = HOMO TRIANGLE

MD: So, first a video pops up on the internet of Beanie being interviewed calling out Kanye and Pharell for dressing gay, which is maybe something that would be credible if Beanie made as much money as Pharell and Kanye. Not to mention, they don't really "dress gay". They dress like rich white kids in the '80s. I originally shrugged the whole thing off as some kind of publicity stunt since Beanie Seagal is currently beating me in album sales by a very small margin. Then my friend Seth mentioned to me that if you look in Beanie's eyes and the way he words things, he seems genuinely concerned that Pharell and Kanye may be gay. It's pretty funny when you think about it, because no one really expects anyone in the 21st century to be that severely homophobic except people who live in Alabama, but it looked like Beanie might in fact be afraid of gays after deep investigation of the video.
Fast forward a couple weeks later, and another video surfaces, which I think was taken from one of those hood DVDs, of one of Beanie's nobody friends struggling his way through a freestyle while Beanie is in the background fondling him and kissing his neck. I am not homophobic at all, but it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. It's one thing if you are a straight man and you accidentally click on the wrong porn link and see one dude's dick in another guy's mouth for a few seconds before your brain relays the message to your hand to click the back button on your browser. But it's an entirely different animal when some guy who is supposedly so straight that he'd have the gall to call some dudes gay for the way they dress completely getting to second base on some young dude in broad daylight while all his other boys are standing around and no one had enough sense to tell him to maybe stop it because it looked really, really gay. By the way, June is gay pride month, so if you see Beanie in the streets, be sure to give him a reach around for me.

RM: It's funny, because I refused to use internet welfare for this video, but around the next day I heard that Pharell and Kanye and Lupe Fiasco were forming some sort of "super-group". Now first off, I should explain (and ruin my credibility with the interwebs) that I think that Lupe Fiasco CD from last year that every nerd was setting down in the middle of his friends and they all masturbated all over it together and whoever ejaculated last to the super-witty skater black dude metaphors and poignant commentary had to lick the CD clean so it would play in their communal boombox again is a big piece of overrated shit. Seriously, I couldn't make it past like five songs. Then people would tell me, including people whose opinion is normally on point and I don't think are dumbasses, "Hey man, it's really good. Give it another listen." And I did this like, seriously, four or five times, twice with other people who are similarly hip hop headed so as to make sure I wasn't just on some solo confusion tip. Every time, the CD sounded as shoddy and retarded as before, so I through it in the woods finally, coming to the conclusion that hip hop is so incredibly shitty now on the surface level that people are relatively confused and think wack shit is awesome. I don't just mean on the obvious level like your MTV southside nursery rhyme jam of the week wack, but even a lot of shit people jock as critic's faves and the best shit ever this past month are wack. Lupe Fiasco is an example of this. So is The Clipse's last album, which was butt ass stupid. Lyrically, I don't mind The Clipse at all, but every review or whatever hyped up THE GRIMIEST NEPTUNES SHIT EVAR! and basically it still sounded like amyl nitrate flower print polo dance club bullshit, just with a scary black dude rapping about selling crack over top of it rather than some froufrou hook about asses shaking in Pharell's best Barry Gibb impression.
So I say the real homo triangle here is this super-group, and now Kanye and Pharell are gonna give Lupe Fiasco Suckass Music AIDS (which they both got from making out with Common, who caught it from Erykah Badu, who is the Typhoid Mary of Suckass Music AIDS; luckily, it looks like an organic diet and herbal tinctures might have had a positive effect on Andre 3000, but we won't truly know till the next Outkast album). Beanie kissing some dude on the neck from behind... well, Beanie was in jail for a while. That's not really gay so much as getting your's. Like if you can dress normal and kick ass and still fuck dudes, that's not bad gay. In fact, that's why people from Alabama still hate gay people, it's because all the ones you are shown are effeminate and talk like butlers on old sitcoms and care about shit like curtains. The first bonafide gay dude I ever met was a biker who dealt speed to my dad and his friends, and that guy was crazy. He hated faggots and would laugh at them before anybody, but there was no mistaking shit, because he would tell you in a heartbeat how gay he was, just he wasn't no fag. None of the ignorant uneducated reckless hellbound dudes like my dad and the peeps he rolled with really cared either. They didn't hate gay people, just effeminate weird men. So I hope Beanie is gay and he kicks Pharell and Kanye's ass for making gay seem so wack.

22. BLUE SCHOLARS' BAYANI CD

MD: When Rawkus first made it's comeback, I expected the results to be laughable at best, but they've really been surprising me recently with a few pretty solid releases. Bayani isn't all peaches and cream, but it's better than the majority of stuff I've heard this month. I can do without the rapping, as it's very Whole Foods oriented, and I've never been inside of a Whole Foods in my life, so there's a lot of content I don't completely understand on here, but the beats are pretty amazing. So amazing, they can easily carry this CD into "totally awesome" territory. I'd like to see the producer guy maybe work with other rappers that I like, and the best beat on this CD ("Second Chapter") is basically an extended intro, which is a real shame. I'm hoping this guy gets a chance to do some remixes or at least do something I can fully get behind, kind of like the way Beanie Seigel fully gets behind dudes and kisses their necks.

JD: I really liked this. The production is right in my wheelhouse. I do dig that Whole Foods/Robot shit, with lyrics not offensive, but not important enough to distract from the beats which are the star of the album. I am not sure what else Rawkus is putting out, but there is some other album that I jocked for a second, then came to my senses (Kidz in the Hall, I think?), but the album was along the same lines of this Bayani record. Non-offensive MCs over good beats, and that is something I can deal with. I am not sure who is behind this Rawkus resurrection, but they have big shoes to fill as it is a label that all us white kids have fond memories of, and if this Bayani album is any sort of indication of the future for Rawkus, it is heading in a good place.

23. DJ KOOL KID/THREE SIX MAFIA MIXTAPE

MD: This mixtape kind of sucks, but it acts as a "best of" type thing for Three 6, and I only put it on this list because their album got pushed back to July, which really pissed me off. Since nominating this horrible mixtape, I got to hear some of the leaked tracks from their upcoming CD, and while they aren't mindblowing, they aren't completely awful either, so I'm kind of still excited to pick it up, but I'm not expecting as much from them, which is good because it really isn't cool to get your hopes up for shit when you know deep down it won't live up to your expectations.
Regarding this mixtape: I think it's one of those things you can only download from the internet, unless you know this DJ personally. There's seriously a track on here that was ripped from Real Audio, which is the equivalent of buying a DVD and finding out it's a shitty 6th generation VHS transfer. It did do a good job of tiding me over until July, but only because I'm lazy. I own more Three Six Mafia related records than pairs of underwear, so it's not like I couldn't have listened to any of these songs on my own, and without DJ yapping to boot.

RM: At the time I was stoked to see Three Six win that Grammy, because it made goofy fuckers who were whiter Whole Foods organic chicken breasts cooked in spicy Italian marinade talk about the Three Six Mafia. But it also kind of sucks, because the trademark sound of Three Six is crazy beats done by DJ Paul and Juicy J, and they have their rhymes, most of Juicy's being almost chant-like, and then they exploit a third or fourth current member of Three Six for awesome songs. Rap music has become more guest artist oriented, and once Crunchy Black left Three Six, it seems they might just have the guest thing from now on, and semi-famous guests since it's the Grammy Award-winning Three Six Mafia. It sorta makes me sad. The other night on the local mix show, local dude played "Tear Da Club Up" and it made me feel all good and happy inside, this destructive song made by crazy codeine-loving southerners with a semi-Satanic group name. Now, they're on the fuckin' Ellen DeGeneres show and shit, probably be showing Rachel Ray how to cook ribs when the new album comes out and on that other show with a gift of gold teeth for Kelly Ripa to talk about how she hates brushing her kids' teeth at night because they bite the toothbrush and then DJ Paul will agree and Regis will be all shocked and like, "You brush your kid's teeth? But you're a crazy-looking scary negro!" and the old ladies in the crowd will laugh and Paul will have that "aw shucks" look while Juicy J flashes a smile for once that doesn't look like a pit bull baring its teeth to flaunt his grill.

24. WENG WENG RAP VIDEO

MD: I am a sucker for these viral videos that pop up on the internet. This video consists of clips from movies featuring dead Filipino little person actor Weng Weng, set to an original song by some group named The Chuds. At first, I thought the rapping sucked but the beat was pretty catchy. Then around the ninth time of listening/watching, I realized the rapping is actually pretty good and it's just the recording that tricked me into thinking it sucks. The hook IS really catchy though. I imagine it's a sample from one of Weng Weng's movie theme songs. If you took the song away, this would only be MAYBE as good as that "little superstar" video of the Indian midget pop locking to "Holiday Rap" by DJ Sven and MC Miker G, but the original song pushes this video slightly above that one as "BEST MUSIC RELATED VIDEO EVER ON YOUTUBE".

RM: Most of the shit people tell me I have to see on the youtube is stupid shit that wastes my time. This was not. Weng Weng is just so cute, it's easy to see why chicks kiss him. It also reminded me of one of the few reasons baseball is not stupid. Years ago, before I had kids and would lay on the couch trying to nap off a hangover with Sesame Street on, I slept on the living room floor of my mom's house, but I got her a satellite dish, so I would lay on the couch trying to sleep off a hangover watching crazy Mexican TV. One time on Sabado Gigante (or whatever show that dude who looks like a snapping turtle in a suit hosts), they brought out this tiny box while some snappy dance music played, and then the door opened like fifteen minutes later and this little tiny-assed dude in a pimp ass white suit came out, doing sexually suggestive dances that had the teenage girls in the audience squealing and crying. No shit. But I was really hungover, because I was still drinking liquor back then, and I never saw that little freaky dude again, so I assumed I might've just made it up or not really seen it or who knows? I mean, who really knows? But then that year a few years back where the Red Sox won the World Series, Manny Ramirez had that Nelson De La Rosa dude as their good luck charm, and I saw a pic of them in the locker room taking a champion's champagne bath and I realized that little freaky dude was the same one I saw gyrating his penis at pre-teens years ago while on the couch at my mom's house.
And now Nelson De La Rosa is dead, just like Weng Weng and that little midget dude from the soap opera Passions. I believe in God and shit, but often times I wonder why He must take away our tiny entertaining genetic mutant cute and cuddly dudes so early. It just doesn't seem fair.

KM: I didn't really feel the song as much as Mike, but when I looked it up on the internerd (I forgot he had it linked on his blog), the site I went to also mentioned Mini Britney Spears. I actually know that girl from when I was in high school, so it's weird to get on Youtube and see her doing whatever in Vegas and posing with Skeletor Lohan. She used to do Mini KISS too. But anyway I have a really good friend who's little and I learned that "midget" is a slur to them like "nigger". I dunno, I joke around a lot about my own ethnicity in real life, but I tend to watch what I say with other people since they're not me. I would watch a Weng Weng movie, but I don't know how my friend would take it. That was awfully rambly, but to close on an informative note, that Weng Weng dude wasn't drinking by choice in the video because I've helped kill a bottle of tequila with some little people and they can fucking hang and bang with eve in the garden of eden just like you tall, fat fucks.

25. CHROME DAYTONS

RM: So I know this the blogosphere part of the interweb, and on the interweb we all like to do two things: one, think we're real fuckin' smart, and two, laugh at stupid things or goofy looks other people do or have. So something like rims is probably not acceptable, since more internet dorks probably know more about graphic novels than rim sizes. But rim technology has gone buckwild crazy, so that you see rims everywhere on everything, and even 50-year-old redneck ladies are rocking shit that looks like it got jacked off Battlestar Galactica. And some of this shit has dazzled me and some of it has been downright stupid. (For example, floaters. Me and this dude I worked with joked about making what we called "statics" as the natural opposite of spinners, like I'm sure a thousand other people thunk up at that time. When we thought of them though, we did not envision the monstrous iron cross looking things with body-colored back panels that you see mostly in the floater category. That shit looks butt.) But the other weekend I was riding through rural North Carolina, wasting another day of my life with no direction nor reason for being there, and I passed a ragged shack of a house with an Impala in front of it sporting some simple 80-spoke chrome Daytons. It was classic, and looked better than all the hot rod donks that are popping up like mad all of a sudden after that "King Kong" video. Simple chrome Daytons, or even gold would be nice, although I guess with the "platinum" medallion craze, it's made yellow gold passé.
The very special 30th Anniversary issue of Low Rider magazine is currently on the newsstands, and your local library probably ain't got shit on Daytons, so consult the supermarket magazine aisle for more information on the old school stylings of Dayton rims. (Although third issue of Donk, Box, and Bubble just came out too and cover features 30-inch clear rims. You can see through them shits. Although the Donk magazine has taken a terrible turn for the worst because now motherfuckers are either conning companies into giving them money or they're just dumbasses who decide having a donk with a Hawaiian Punch or Lucky Charms cereal theme is not perhaps the stupidest way to waste thirty grand you could come up with.)

KM: To round out the month in the "I don't know a damn thing about it" category: DAYTON RIMS. Besides the fact that they cost at least a month's rent, I couldn't tell you anything important. Maybe they were named after the city in Ohio. If so I hope they have a Dayton Rims Day with a parade. Giant fucking floats going down Broadway in Dayton with giant fucking tractor wheels with giant fucking Dayton rims would be cool enough to put on TV. Rims are something on that "If I Ever Have Real Disposable Income" wish list somewhere behind fucking a set of twins or going backpacking in Europe. Whenever I get around to tricking out my boo, they'll probably move up on the list, but right now it's stuff I barely notice. Tonight, I saw a really butch-looking woman who may like other women driving a Caddy with some gigantor rims that made her tires look like strips of electrical tape. I didn't really feel jealous as much as I wondered what would happen if she ran over anything. Floater rims sound kinda cool in my head, but again I have no real concept of it. At this point, I'm happy enough with my factory rims and my busted factory stereo from 1987 with four presets, a tape player, and two working speakers. That reminds me, I need to go buy a tape adapter so I can listen to CDs again. Bump bump bump bump all in yo trunk.