RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, March 31

t r k a u

ozzy osbourne's "crazy train"
gets bumped by stoned grasshoppers
in an overgrown sandbox

Wednesday, March 30

u s a z x

clean demo derby car with
patriotic paint scheme parked
in mud - national anthem

Tuesday, March 29

d r i p a

custom paint bucket blends from
scrap cans drip fresh acrylic
across aged iron oxide

Monday, March 28

(frybread) Reading is Law

Reading hour is now The Law in this compound - and even if the 3-year-old can't yet read, she shall sit with a pile of books and be read upon and soak it in. The 7-year-old, who always thinks she hates reading but then loves it once she gets to the third page of any book, she will do more for herself with this than anything we could homeschool into her brain. The 11-year-old shall fill the gaps of her historical knowledge, and we can pick and choose wretched of the earth sourcebooks so she is not another gung ho patriot-in-training waiting to get older and either think the warhawk retards or the well-read retards are the good guys. I will read wonderful things to inspire me to either dedicate myself to hodge-podging anti-aircraft guns like I feel I should, or commit myself to finding a third world country somewhere that fits our personal Bird Tribe notions of freedom and independence better.
I was just pumping Biggie's "Ready to Die" screwed and chopped and it's sad how hard that spoke to me. Need to take my soul shine tonic me thinks, because I am frustrated with the world I live in, the false fucking promises and the shortcomings of my own doing and the continual thinking that salvation lies in financial windfalls. Fuck that. Let me tell you this my brothers and sisters, I would gladly trade financial exorbitance if a hundred of us never had to struggle again. I am fucking sick and tired of the struggle - as a kid into adulthood and it has weighed me down spiritually at times where I make fun of the light because the light seems like a goddamned joke being played on me.

c m p b e

once I'm dead and gone, digging
through my madness's clutter
would be made easy by fire

Sunday, March 27

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Elite 8 Sunday

I am bored with doing these, and honestly am completely geeked/amped/hyped for the VCU game this afternoon, as hyped as I've been for any Redskins football game in 15 years. I am fucking hyped. So this will be a rush job, just so if someone comes back and is like, "Why did you do all of them except that Sunday? Why did you quit?" I will have stifled that. Not like that happens. Shit, not even sure if anybody reads this. I should really start just doing this shit in notebooks myself again because when you throw it into the maelstrom that is the interwebz, you attach the hopes someone sees it. But no one does. So then there is failure in your heart. My heart is clogged enough from years of fried chicken from assorted country stores. But here be the top 14 bitches playing ball today, as ranked by scoring points throughout their collegiate career in the NCAA tournamentel format...
#1: MARCUS MORRIS (Kansas Junior forward; 100 total previous NCAA tournament points, 46 this year) - One of them Morris boys that will have to be shut the fuck down today by my VCU Rams. That's a tall order - no pun intended. With Kansas being the only #1 seed remaining, I don't know... I hate to put negative psychic energy out there, but they seem almost unstoppable.
#2: TYLER ZELLER (UNC Junior forward; 93 previous tourney points, 82 this year) - Seven-foot white dude with pug face has blossomed into a workable slightly lesser Tyler Hansbrough. Still has another year left on his contract too, so should be a pugilist of Plumlees next year. (I am sad no one reads this, because "pugilist of Plumlees" is probably one of the better little twists of phrase anyone has written during this basketball tournament. I should start hyping myself to the world more; but then I wouldn't have time to actually do my nonsense.)
#3: BRADFORD BURGESS (VCU Junior guard; 80 previous tourney points, 70 this year) - Big Shot Brad came through at the end of the game Friday night, and had me stomping my feet and cackling like a rabid unicorn, waking up children, scaring animals, generally creating chaos in the middle of east coast sleepy time with my sports-related emotional overdoses. Big Shot Brad is gonna have to be the fuck on-point today, all day. Also man, Shaka Smart is probably coaching candidate of the year at every major school looking right now, and they are all anxiously awaiting talking at holmes as soon as this magical run is over. But man, what a run by VCU this has been, and Burgess still has another year to come back. I am not sure how my beloved VCU does it, but somehow they've gotten a run of good short-time head coaches who keep the cupboard stocked for mid-major successes.
#4: HARRISON BARNES (UNC Freshman forward; 66 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - While at this point I am pulling for UNC, during the regular season I usually am against them unless it is against Duke. So the fact Harrison Barnes has developed into a tremendous presence bothers me. He did not really immediately enough to be an NBA one-and-doner I do not think, so he will be back, to absolutely torment everybody else in the ACC next year. So while I am stoked for him doing well right now (I could never root for John Calipari team... I don't think), I am frustrated this motherfucker is playing at UNC.
#5: DARIUS MILLER (Kentucky Junior guard; 63 previous tourney points, 27 this year) - Like I just said, I could never root for a John Calipari team. He is just much too much of an obvious sketchy dick. I mean, this time of year those personal prejudices and allegiances get stretched and tested. I was pulling for them when they played Ohio State, but I had to pretend Calipari wasn't over there. I thought the same might happen against UNC, but I don't know... they are basically the same thing, just one in a darker shade of blue - two storied and powerful programs that get all the top kids simply by being who they are. Roy Williams is far more palatable than Calipari... I don't know. I have a feeling this is a game that I won't have a horse in until it kind of falls into place while the game is on. I would guess if VCU loses that I'll pull for UNC to have an ACC team represent in the Final Four. But if VCU wins, I will probably root for Kentucky to have lower seeds in the Final Four, although a UNC/UConn game probably bodes better for eliminating UConn (Big East hatred), and a UNC/VCU championship game would be great, and probably make my buddy Loftin's head fly off his shoulders in glee.
#6: MARKIEF MORRIS (Kansas Junior forward; 62 previous tourney points, 44 this year) - He is the other big twin. They were in a gang with O-Dogg and were involved in an armed robbery before their freshman year at Kansas, but O-Dogg pistol-whipped the store clerk and retrieved the tape of the robbery, so the Morris boys had their scholarships intact. Marcus is a better baller, but Markief is gullier. In fact, the reason he doesn't score as much is because he's high most games.
#7: BRANDON ROZZELL (VCU Senior guard; 61 previous tourney points, 58 this year) - Along with Boo Boo Rodriguez, the senior leadership on this VCU team that has already won 4 games in the tourney, which is 33% more than anybody else in the Elite 8. Math is fundamental.
#8: BRADY MORNINGSTAR (Kansas Senior guard; 59 previous tourney points, 36 this year) - Kansas. White guy. Named Brady. Heir to the veggie burger empire. White. As. Fuck.
#9: TYREL REED (Kansas Senior guard; 55 previous tourney points, 20 this year) - See above, just without the soy-based inheritance.
#10: TYSHAWN TAYLOR (Kansas Junior guard; 54 previous tourney points, 27 this year) - How many motherfuckers are on this team? Well, I know probably like 12 to 14. But damn, how am I supposed to care about this many guys? My biggest problem with Kansas is actually kind of stupid - it's the font they use on their uniforms for names and numbers. It's slightly wild westernly, but with a touch of ragtime happiness. I find it annoying, and thus hate Kansas, especially since they are always so good. Except head coach Bill Self is infamous for having his teams experience post-season meltdowns at inopportune moments. That day will hopefully be today for the calendar year 2011.
#11: JOHN HENSON (UNC Sophomore forward; 52 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - Not the dude with the Rasheed Wallace mark on his hair that used to host Talk Soup, which I guess is now just The Soup. Some other dude named John Henson, although I'm not even sure if that old Talk Soup dude's name is actually John Henson. I was just operating off memory, and honestly I've been bored and gobbling oxycodone's like Altoids the past couple nights, just to give myself something to wobble through.
#12: JAMIE SKEEN (VCU Senior forward; 52 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - Skeen is the one guy on VCU who can take over a game to some extent. He started his college days at Wake Forest, but transferred after a year, and man, I can't even begin to suggest how excited I am for this game. A problem I have is the student body at VCU freaked out after the win on Friday night and were taking over the streets of Richmond after the game. Ideally you want to save that type of energy for the final big win, and to do so then suggests that at that point, psychically, VCU was content. That's not good. Them motherfuckers should be hungry to do it all. The chip on their shoulder should not be satisfied until there's one team left on the bracket. When George Mason made their run, it was the same thing. Once they knocked off UConn and made the Final Four, you could sense they were good at that point. No need to push further. That's what made Butler's run last year so great, was they had that hunger the whole way through, and were only one missed basket away from winning the title, which would be amazing for a mid-major school in today's college basketball environment. The thing is, if VCU can knock off Kansas this afternoon, it sets up a Final Four game against Butler, which would essentially be a battle between two mid-majors. Thus, VCU would regard them as their equal, not a power conference heavyweight stacked with talent that would never even consider VCU. This, psychologically, makes VCU feel they have an even shot in that first Final Four game. And whatever team gets to the championship, at that point you're in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a mid-major (although Butler is attempting to disprove those odds), so you might as well go all the fuck out at that point. Well, now that I've plotted it all out, I've probably jinxed them. RAM NATION!
#13: JOEY RODRIGUEZ (VCU Senior forward; 50 previous tourney points, 42 this year) - Rodriguez is a small dude on the floor, but has shown himself to be solid with the ball as a point guard, and a terribly annoying defensive gnat. This run through the tournament has probably made Boo Boo, as he is affectionately known, a hot commodity in the overseas leagues. Rodriguez probably added five years to his basketball dream of playing professionally in the past two weeks. God bless him.
#14: JOSH HARRELLSON (Kentucky Senior forward; 49 previous tourney points, 47 this year) - See, I am thankful this dude finally made the list after his big game on Friday night, because he is the reason I would root for Kentucky. They showed his dad during one game in the first week of the tourney, and his dad was in like a t-shirt, camouflage baseball hat, normal redneck dude facial hair, looked like he'd be in front of me at Kidds Country Store getting himself a bologna burger. And Harrellson himself has that grubby redneck kid look as well. That means he's got to be a huge fan favorite for the Kentucky fanbase, because let's face it, Kentucky is full of ignorant, racist people who live and die for UK basketball. You drive through the business route of any small town in the Bluegrass State and you're gonna see some roly-poly future diabetes cases blue collaring their way through the day in some Wildcats gear. I do not condescend towards this at all, because such things are beautiful things, and perfect for the American World we have built. But with Calipari - who is somewhat of an obvious yankee (and I know Kentucky is not technically a southern state, but they along with West Virginia are for all intents and purposes part of the south at this point, culturally at least) - and a slew of questionably behaving black dudes, Harrellson, with his Solomon Grundy-like bumbling looks and brutarian basketball stylings, he's like one of "us" to most of those people. God bless him, too. In fact, god bless us all. I mean fuck it, the world is coated in Japanese radiation, half of the Middle East is overthrowing itself while our beloved leaders decide that out of 12 countries oppressing people and having revolts on their hands, only Gaddhafi is worth bothering with, so let's bomb the fuck out of him, relentlessly, just because. And here we are sitting around watching basketball obsessively. God best bless us, because if he don't, we're fucked.

g y p a e

teenage doodles - notebook dreams
not yet polluted by work
histories and resumes

Saturday, March 26

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Elite 8 Saturday

Thursday's games were not as hyped up as Friday's, although the two early games last night were probably the worst pair of this Sweet 16 round. I still cannot complain enough about the lack of switching games on the main CBS feed, because it just ain't the same flipping channels (or, as in my case, listening on the radio to one game while the other is on TV with the sound muted). Still though, two games tonight that could go far in helping set up one of the most intriguing Final Fours in a long time. Butler vs. Florida is a great underdog mid-major team against a power conference power team, even if Butler did this exact same thing last year, and Florida, even with a pair of National Championships a few years ago, is not exactly a historically powerful basketball elite school And Arizona vs. UConn is a pair of major conference programs who have been the best at times. But somehow both of them have a certain underdog feel to them. That's gonna be a great game if they both come with the adrenaline. Nonetheless, here are your top 14 players on the hardwood today who have scored the most points in NCAA tournament games over the course of their student-athlete charade...
#1: SHELVIN MACK (Butler Junior guard; 168 total previous NCAA tournament points, 58 this year) - It is an overplayed sports talking meme to say this is a solid team, and far more than the result of one great player in Gordon Heyward last year. They are a collection of players, and their big dog here in Shelvin Mack isn't even a Senior, which is usually a pre-requisite for teams like this making a deep and shocking run. Mack and Matt Howard give Butler a fairly good inside-outside combo, even when usually at this point, mid-major teams look undersized against the power teams. This is a scrappy little fucking team, and as I always love when teams get to where their tourney seeding is higher than the amount of teams left still playing, I am very much wishing for them to knock off Florida this afternoon.
#2: KEMBA WALKER (Connecticut Junior guard; 138 previous tourney points, 87 this year) - Walker is probably the best player left in the tourney. Sometimes you have guys who are hyped to the moon and they don't live up to that hype, or at the college level they don't deliver on that promise, and then they go pro, and they make millions but don't really deliver dagger baskets at that level either, and they are just very talented basketball players who use their talents like a dude going to work every day - nothing spectacular, nothing terrible, just existing. But then you have some guys like Kemba Walker who can't just be straight workers like that. They have to win. They have to be the best, right now, not next year, or content with how good they are even if they don't get declared the best by the scoreboard at the end of the night. Walker is the fucking man, and even if Arizona gets adrenalinized tonight, Walker is the type of dude who just squelches such adrenalin bursts. He has somehow made me not even hate Jim Calhoun specifically, or Connecticut in general. No one else has ever done that, except for that Khalid El-Amin kid, who was so pudgy and street-tastic it was impossible to not love.
#3: MATT HOWARD (Butler Senior forward; 134 previous tourney points, 51 this year) - Howard played a big role in knocking off Wisconsin, and is a scrappy old school board-crasher. Really, if Butler with it's built-in real life Hoosiers of the 21st Century story, and VCU as the little pesky mid-major that could somehow end up meeting in the Final Four... fuck, it would have greasy old sportswriters nationwide drooling over themselves about the chaotic beautiful perfection of the March Madnesses.
#4: DERRICK WILLIAMS (Arizona Sophomore forward; 71 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - One of the great things about the NCAA tournament is how, as it gets into the second week, there are moments where stars are born, right before your eyes. That was Derrick Williams on Thursday night, leading the beatdown of Duke. Sure, he most likely would've plugged along at Arizona regardless of this year's tournament, and got himself drafted into the NBA, and been successful. But he transcended that and made himself known now. There will be no need for heavy scouting and tape analysis to get the attention of NBA GMs. He made himself fucking known.
#5: KENNY BOYNTON (Florida Sophomore guard; 69 previous tourney points, 42 this year) - I just don't like Florida much. Their back-to-back title runs, they had a full starting line-up of solid collegiate level superstars, who could ebb and flow with each other, confident that somebody would step up and take over every night, just maybe not the same person, or even the same two. That's kind of exactly what Billy Donovan has going on now with this team, just the superstar line-up is like two levels lower than his version of the Fab Five a couple years back. Boynton is the beyond-the-3-point-line threat on this team, and only a sophomore, which means he'll be gunning it in boring NCAA tournament games that I wish would hurry up and get out of the way of the next game for another couple years probably.
#6: ERVING WALKER (Florida Junior guard; 67 previous tourney points, 55 this year) - Erving Walker makes me think of Magic Johnson, which makes me think of how weird he looks in that Dove commercial, which flashes back to him when he was younger and still playing, which makes me think about him getting the HIV from a stripper he fucked or something. I wonder how his wife feels watching that commercial, being in her head like, "After that picture, Erving was cheating on me and got HIV and nearly ruined our lives," and then get all mad and Magic Johnson comes into the room and is like, "Hey, you wanna go out to that new Thai restaurant tonight? I'd love some good dim sum tonight." And then she's like, "Fuck you Erving. I bet you would like some dim sum, you fucking piece of shit. Do whatever the fuck you want. I'm going to Rhonda's house."
#7: JEREMY LAMB (Connecticut Freshman guard/forward; 54 previous tourney points, all of it this year) - Jeremy Lamb is also the name of the main character in a graphic novel about a sort of gothy sad fat kid in high school who goes off to an art school in North Carolina from his suburban Pennsylvania home, loses a bunch of weight by hiking mountain trails all the time, and is mentored by a acid casualty little gnome of a crazy guy living outside of Asheville, who eventually convinces Jeremy Lamb that he has to make up for what the old dude didn't do, which was not murdering and destroying the earth, too hung up on the peaceful vibes of the '60s, but that did no good because the world is a more terrible place now than ever before.
#8: CHANDLER PARSONS (Florida Senior forward; 53 previous tourney points, 33 this year) - Chandler is not so much a good name for a dude.
#9: RONALD NORED (Butler Junior guard; 50 previous tourney points, 5 this year) - Nored's not having much of a role in the tourney thus far, relegated to a bench role this season, and becoming almost another bench coach in the process. He also is already coaching AAU basketball, and has a big forehead.
#10: SHAWN VANZANT (Butler Senior guard; 47 previous tourney points, 25 this year) - Not related to Ronnie, so far as I know. I didn't actually look that up or anything, but I'm assuming a college basketball player is not the dead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd's kinfolk.
#11: VERNON MACKLIN (Florida Senior center; 45 previous tourney points, 29 this year) - Vernon Macklin sounds like the fake full name a Bay Area rapper would give themselves, so that you'd have Bay Area Thizztape 23: Corner Whippets, by Mistah F.A.B. aka the Fabulous Percywinkle featuring V-Mudd aka Vernon Macklin.
#12: ALEX TYUS (Florida Senior forward; 41 previous tourney points, 35 this year) - Tyus is the Gators Senior presence, and he took the paint over against BYU, eliminating those offensive rebound kickbacks to stupid fucking Jimmer Fredette that result in a massive 3-point barrage. Thank fucking god Jimmermania is dead.
#13: SOLOMON HILL (Arizona Sophomore forward; 36 previous tourney points, 16 this year) - There were a few dudes in that Arizona game that had some massive plays in the 2nd half, and some posterizing dunks on hapless Dukie whiteboys. It was glorious, and will make me feel warm feelings towards Arizona for as long as they wear the dark jerseys of the lower seed, which most likely will be the rest of the tourney, for as far as they go.
#14: JAMELLE HORNE (Arizona Senior forward, 36 previous tourney points, 16 this year) - Just see above for this dude too, because I don't know who is who. It's not a West Coast bias. In fact, I think with the Japanese radiation, West Coast basketball will probably be better than ever, now that people will have undetectable mutant powers multiplying their natural athleticism.

p g s p c

pigs are smart creatures - not smart
enough to keep from being
treated with nitrates, but still

The Doogie Howser - 03/26/11

(daily top 10/intentions for the next day or tonight, but not necessarily "daily" nor the top nor only 10)
#1: A good Friday night, felt tight tonight, wanting to get loose as fuck, slam like 19 beers and smoke three joints, etc. etc. but five months sober so been pounding spring waters instead, trying to keep it clean. Now I see why them dudes drink non-alcoholic beers, which always seemed stupid to me. I could go for one right now, and a couple non-amphetamine lines of uncrank. #2: I wrote one time a while back about how there was no such thing as a sober revolution, which is weird because as great as drunken vikings and all seem, there's also a good chance that outlaw types are pre-programmed to get involved in substance abuse issues so as to dullard their anti-government mojo, and keep things keeping in order. #3: You know who my dude is? When they show the riot authorities shoot a tear gas canister into the edge of the assembled crowd, and the one dude who runs up, grabs the canister and does the super extended arm fling of the thing back from what which it came. That's my dude. #4: You know why baseball is stupid? Because people should be throwing tear gas canisters back at the bullshit authorities in the streets right now. Instead at a young age across America, kids are brainwashed into creating cellular memories for their growing bodies that such a physical motion is to throw a baseball, thus squashing their revolutionary spirit before it can even really ferment in their potent adolescent years. That's why it's called The American Pasttime, because it stifles change. #5: I saw the absolute most craziest thing today while in town - a Prius with an Obama bumper sticker. Can you believe that shit? #6: My kids got to see Obama speak in Charlottesville last year during the election hype cycle, and we stood around for 37 hours to see the dude talk about nothing, and this is supposed to be a great moment, to be in the physical presence of our beloved leader. They talked this week about going to the White House, and I told the oldest that she had been to the White House before, and there were men with machine guns on the lawn, and we had to leave before they started fucking people up. All of this was true. Fuck going to the White House. If I go to the White House to visit, those assholes might try to come to my house to hang out, and I ain't letting no goddamn piece of shit President - black or white, D-brand or R-brand, living or dead - hang out in my back yard. #7: We really need to get a load of sand dropped off for the kids to play in. Also so I can have a good plentiful source of sand to embezzle 5-gallon buckets from now and then to restock the horseshoe pits. I can feel my balance properly restored with my useless appendix organ removed. #8: One good thing I'll say for the first George Bush President is he put horseshoe pits in the White House. I might've visited that dude. Then again I wouldn't have, because there's nothing worse than seeing horseshoe pits and hearing some ZZ Top playing and thinking, "Hey, these are good people," and then you're hanging out with them and they are boring and sterilized whiteness personified and their idea of getting wild is wearing sandals. And even their sandals that they only wear when they feel wild like once a year are a $140 pair of Birkenstocks. Fucking rich people. #9: When I started this list, I was gonna say something derogatory about me not drinking beer anymore, like how I had some "faggot" thinking going on, except I can't say that because I'm not homophobic, and have gay friends, and really ain't trying to come across like that through just words. So then I thought it was some "pussy" thinking, but that's the same deal. My goddess ol' lady has showed me that the vagina is powerful, and I've got three daughters and want them empowered in such a manner as well. So basically I don't know how to say I'm on some stupid shit, not drinking on a Friday night, wanting to get crazy and punch holes in the night sky. And those words aren't so much a sign of prejudice on my part in using them as they are just very hollow-point projectile words. What words can you use in that situation? And why the fuck do I think so much? I'm not sure if this is an improvement or not, this sober outlaw rural lifestyle I'm trying to cultivate in an irradiated earth. #10: Such questioning of myself is also pre-programmed into us as well. We are taught to hate ourselves, to destroy ourselves, to fuck ourselves up. When you train people to commit eugenics on themselves, to trap themselves, it keeps your own hands clean. I am domesticated more than anything, regardless of momentary substance abuse stances. Motherfuckers need to get feral, not drunk. Or if I'm gonna get drunk, it's need to be off some lacto-fermented kimchi, get my gut flora going again so my intuition is right again after their antibiotic war on my innards these past two months. Feral Ferment - that's gonna be Rojonekku Spring 2011 Slogan of Intention. Feral Ferment. Cultivate your wild, not pretend "I'm SOOO drunk" wild but for-real no hangover makes the gentrified world uncomfortable wild, fermented with all that beneficial gut intuition, feeling your actual soul inside your body and from underneath the ground and not the buzz and hum from the electronic heavens and all the insidious little soldiers of electro-magnetic weaponry you've invited into your home. Feral Ferment.

Friday, March 25

Xpert whiteboYZ Video Countdown #003

(used to do this elsewhere, but that place is tumbleweeds, so I do it here now)
In case you don't know, this is my video countdown, where you smoke a bowl or crack a six-pack, sit back, and enjoy some video tomfoolery. Don't rush. Read the bullshit, watch the vids, waste 40 minutes of your life with me. Step back and soak it in, not that I'm doing anything special here by any means. This is just meant to be a meditative moment for you. I am here for you bro (and febros as well). This is a Friday tradition (that hardly ever happens).
So the song that has been boom bumping in my head out loud around the house lately the most oftenest is this song right here...

That is Action Bronson, who I'm pretty sure is white but it's hard to tell (unlike that old Nas song) because he's claming Queens so hard and sounds like Ghostface Killah on ephedrine. Seriously though, as a Deepwater Boom Baptist, I can not find fault in music such as this, regardless of dude being a whitey or not. What usually ends up ruining an awesome guy like Action Bronson for me is looking too hard and finding posse cuts featuring four other guys I never heard of, who are okay but kinda the same, and it's a whole movement, but a tiny movement, and there's like 9 different mixtapes out by these four guys, with seven good songs, and then one of them does a mixtape with like two guys from some other group and Vinnie Paz from Jedi Mind Tricks and a guy that used to live in DJ Premier's mom's garage did some of the beats, and that's supposed to be a super-group, except the name will end up being something that sounds like an ultra-scientific cat litter brand from the future (which is stupid because everybody knows that in the future all domestic pets will be genetically modified to not shit).
But I digress because what I'd like to ramble through on this Xpert whiteboYZ video countdown today is the white rapper, because I have been a white rapper, and I guess I still am because I scribble words into dollar store composition notebooks and still make half-assed attempts at making perhaps the most lo-fi-tastic music there ever was. I wrote rhymes in high school, and could freestyle, but kept it quiet because there weren't that many people I hung with thinking like that. We mostly used our creativity to figure out ways to get fucked up without getting caught. In college, I found people I could do music with, and there was the unfortunate wack ass era of early Prolo stuff, but we settled into some decent white rapper boom bap music back in the day. I wish I still had some of that shit. But the few shows we played, there was always immense heat with people, because you know, white rappers. Actually, I think this helped me become a much better freestyler because I was always afraid some dude was gonna embarrass the fuck out of me.
Oddly enough, the most hateful haters were usually other white dudes, who somehow were protecting the essence of hip hop by hating other white guys. This happened a ton, and I was guilty of it as well. Early '90s, you could not be a white rapper without being a guilty as fuck dude. For example, Milkbone came along as a prodigy of Naughty by Nature, and really there's nothing wrong with this dude really. Not to get all "back in my day things were better because we did things better back in my day" on you, but lyrically, he's better than your Drakes and Kanyes and Rawses and all those dudes of today who do the simplistic rhyme style thing. Granted he had no charisma to set him apart from anything else from this era, but still, he's like a solid ass whiteboy who can make 20 foot jump shots in the NBA - nothing spectacular but solid. He shouldn't have become the long-time symbol of lulz about white rappers that he has become, and all because of this one video...

At the same time, a white rapper had to try so fucking hard to be down that he had to shun his whiteness. "I always get the pussy 'cause I tell them that I'm Spanish" aka the Dru Ha (of Boot Camp Clique) effect. And the hilarious effect of this was the educated white dudes, lots of times with dreadlocks, who were so down with black culture that they actually felt it their duty to spread the knowledge of black culture to other people, including black folks. I saw this firsthand with an old friend who I've had falling outs with multiple times (currently on the outs, for good), who now sells houses or some shit. But that mentality would lead to things like this...

That's like 15 to 20 years ago, and it's not bad for that era, but I might just be tweaking a bit in nostalgia mode. I do love how that whistle sample makes me want to be really happy about my migraine headache. It's also got me nostalgiac as fuck for some forties. Since that time Eminem came along and made white rapping people acceptable enough to be accepted, and I'm not sure how that actually happened. I mean he had some great punchline material early on when I was first hearing him as a guest rapper on obscure Rawkus Records joints, and when I read an interview where Thirstn Howl III vouched for Eminem, I laid off my natural white guy questioning the validity of a white rapper thing forever at that point. But most of Eminem's music is indistinguishable from itself, and he's become that massive music industry icon type person like Aerosmith or Metallica or U2 that doesn't really do anything so much as there's a formula for a song by them that a computer has buttons pushed by an entertainment exec who adjusts knobs according to recent demographic data and a song spits out the other side. That's what Eminem is. It was interesting seeing him market himself this past Super Bowl in more than one commercial as a dude who doesn't do commercials. Very odd, and it slips through.
But the white rapper has become so commonly accepted that this whole list of douchebag dudes like Mac Mill and Chris Webby and man there was a ton of them that I read earlier this week now exists, touring college campuses and fraternity parties nationwide. I don't think I have enough empty bottles laying around to smash them all. But it was interesting the effect of having white rappers no longer be something that other white people are like, "Hahahaha, this guy sucks, BECAUSE HE'S NOT BLACK AND HE'S RAPPING!" I'm not even gonna address that whole college date rape rap scene, because man, I can't stomach it at all. But look at this other Action Jackson video, because he's obviously from that same 1990s era, at least from a nostalgia point, and is bringing that style...

And another white rapper that I've been enjoying lately, for completely different reasons, is Rittz. There's a tie-in there to Eminem because Eminem is now a music industry big shot with his Shady Records, and just signed Yelawolf to a record deal, but before I get into all that, just enjoy this wacky "White Jesus" video by Rittz, with weird sort of Satanic imagery and a magical floating PBR can. Rittz was signed to Slumerican, which is some sort of kinda label that Yelawolf runs, right around the time Yelawolf got signed to Shady/Aftermath, so I guess the thinking is the shine will rub off on Rittz, who completely mastered the best track off of Yelawolf's buzz-getting mixtape ("Box Chevy- Pt. 3"). Yelawolf is the dude in the priest outfit mouthing the gospel from the pulpit sample at the end...

Rittz definitely looks like a dude I'd hang out with. Hasn't been nearly enough longhaired whiteboy rappers over the years. So Yelawolf had a buzz early last year with his Trunk Muzik mixtape, which was free. Then he got signed to Shady Records, and Interscope also re-released the mixtape, but as a store-bought CD. I wrote about one of the songs on the rap blog the video countdown used to be on, and got a cease-and-desist copyright infringement warning for using the song, even though it was on a freely downloadable mixtape from the previous spring. Not to mention the fact it was just a single song download that was giving attention to a dude who probably would've wanted attention. All this happened because Yelawolf signed to a major label, and major labels have major money to pay people to scour the internet for links. This is why country music is still selling millions because those fuckers in Nashville don't fuck around with the internet. They lock you down.
The thing is, you can't find a download link for Action Bronson's new tape anywhere either, because he made friends with the hip hop blogosphere, and now no one wants to steal his shit from him.
Anyways, I really dug Yelawolf, but he was coming with that southern white rapper proud of his underclass rural dirtbagness, which is, to an extent, portraying a stereotype to the larger rap audience - also white people - but not really any different than studio gangsta rappers of the past. It's just this style is to be a hard ass country dude. Yelawolf did it good, but between the evil lawyer warning to me (my first) and finding Yelawolf's mom on Twitter, I had to detach myself from every co-signing on that dude again. Plus, that southern white country rapper thing, it was done well by Bubba Sparxxx before he went all strip club anthem and Timbaland stopped bankrolling him. And the master of that style is Haystak, who has constantly challenged Eminem to rap battles/fistfights/duels to the death/whatever for a long ass time. Haystak is basically this giant ugly Tennessee dude, who looks like every fucking dude ever that you see at the gas station in more rural areas bumping rap music and filling up his souped out Honda with premium gas while his homeboy is going inside for a couple peach blunt wrappers and some Bud Light double deuces. It's perfect. And because of the traditional white dudes into rap hating on white rappers, and Haystak having been around forever, he gets nothing but hate from most corners of rap fandom. But I will tell you, I bump some fucking Haystak. The dude makes country anthems for the fucked up kids who grew up in the country inside ragged houses and rundown trailers that flew confederate flags but had nothing but hip hop in their headsets from day one. That's a whole underclass right there that gets overlooked, or I guess laughed at. I think when regular folks had to stop making fun of the negroes they decided to just make fun of the broke ass white people, because it's not really prejudice if it's your own kind, is it? (Answer: fuck you whitey!) I wish there was an actual video proper for "The Bottom" but in lieu of that here is another introspective, proud as fuck, hanging out in a pool hall with a bunch of white trash people who have awesomely economical tattoos...

T-shirts cut off at the sleeves, fatboy polos... man, I think I've worked with Haystak. He looks like a volunteer firefighter, and like about 19 dudes I'd pass in the Food Lion in town on a Friday night about 9:30 pm. Because of that, I will always dig on some Haystak. It's country.
So it comes across - white or black - if you just don't give a fuck, carve out your own little corner of the world, you'll have your thing going on. But when it comes to the best white rapper ever - I mean EVER! - I get hung up on this all the time, because most people are just automatically gonna say Eminem, out of his sheer popularity, which is really just a code word for merchandising, because I'm not sure if he's really so popular with the world or just a bunch of people have bought a bunch of things by him. If they can engineer the weather to make earthquakes and grow watermelons without seeds, they can manipulate the media to get 13-year-old girls and boys to buy Eminem CDs.
After him, if you go old school, and because of the self-hype he's always done for himself, people will say Serch from 3rd Bass. Fuck that. Serch is one of those chumps who has to show how down he is with black culture by dogging every other white person in the room. Hence The White Rapper Show. Serch wasn't even the best rapper in his own group - that was Prime Minister Pete Nice, who got the DJ in their divorce, and now coaches little league baseball somewhere or some shit like that.
But hands down, the greatest white rapper that ever was and still is is a dude you never heard of called R.A. the Rugged Man. I'm not sure if he even does music that much anymore, but he made a cut-rate B-grade movie last year. This isn't the best song in the world, but it's the true tale of R.A.'s entry, blacklisting, and exit from the music industry. He's more of a writer now (has a book on boxing coming out soon) than a rapper, and like I said, he did his own movie, and I am not sure if this song was part of that or not, but it is his tale of persevering in the rap world...

R.A. is the real deal shit, who once impressed Biggie in the sound booth so immensely that Biggie co-signed on R.A. as one of the best MCs he's ever worked with - black, white, albino, or P. Diddy created cyborg. But he always represented himself as a white dude, just a gully ass piece of shit white dude.
Brother Ali, who came from the underground Rhymesayers movement in Minnesota, kind of ignored the question for the most part about whether he was white or not, and could play it off, being an albino and being a Muslim. I'm sure this came from him coming from that same era where you pretty much clowned on white dudes into hip hop, and he was trying to avoid that. I will tell you, I saw him perform live a few years back, and really out of all the hip hop I've seen live over the course of my life, the only person who was better on the stage at controlling the whole fucking energy of every fucking person in the room was Ghostface Killah. Brother Ali is amazing, so much so that I had never owned his music before seeing him live, and got most of it, and feel like his studio shit actually is not as good as he is live. That's almost unheard of for a rapper. Generally it's way way WAY the other way around. Here is Brother Ali displaying this to you, in a leisurely manner...

Ahh... good timey one worldliness. I'm not always in the mood to be tolerant and hopeful, especially with hip hop as the soundtrack, but when I am, he fits the bill like no one else. If it's Friday and warm and you just want to get fucked the fuck up until you're seeing slurry doubles, he won't work. But if you want to keep your head about you and conjure up strange 5% philosophies but applied to the white underclass, and poor people in general, sitting around by your homegrown pigs who are fed absconded dumpster produce, then he's the best. In fact, being homeschoolers, my oldest daughter's basic sense of American history comes from three things - the Joy Hakim collection History of Us, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and this song...

Conscious as fuck. But that brings me back to R.A. the Rugged Man, who would never claim to be conscious. Except R.A.'s life story as the son of a Vietnam vet, brothers and sisters born with birth defects from agent orange, fucked up childhood, outcast into rap, struggled in that. He did a verse on a song called "Uncommon Valor" a few years back with a group called Jedi Mind Tricks, and the first verse by the dude in Jedi Mind Tricks is very corny standard run-of-the-mill indy rapper who listened to a lot of Wu Tang type knee-jerk anti-war lyricism. Boring. But R.A.'s verse is reality, and his life, and the story he tells plus the way he somehow makes the human language his complete bitch in the process, repeating linguistical patterns that I'm not sure most languages would even allow you to make coherent sense with, it's fucking great. I always bounce around in my head changing opinion on this, but I have thought this the greatest rap verse ever done been made by anybody at times in my life, and I'd hold it right there at the top regardless. And luckily, in honor of his dad, R.A. clipped off the shitty part from the Jedi Mind Tricks dude and did this little video of his verse by itself...

That, motherfuckers, is a rap. I'm gonna go take some acid and sit out in the camper writing cybertron battle hyms in rhythmic patterns to some Boogie Brown beats I got in the emails last week.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - March '11 #5: "Tight Rope" by Leon Russell

Look, I have talked about Leon Russell for like nine months in a row, and judging from the contents of my 4gb gaypod, I will probably talk about him for the next nine months. Let me just tell you he has some hits and he has some misses, and you might get a CD and it suck, be like some old ass white dude doing R&B music. That's okay, that's Leon. But the album this song comes from - Carney - it is an unmistakable classic. If you get that shit (like for real buying it or just pilfering it from inside the interweb's bountiful electronic vagina). So just get that. And since it's a carney theme on that album, including the metaphor behind this song - which is a great goddamned song, perfect use of piano in a classic rock poppy format, I shall wander through the memory bank about the time I drank forties with a carney worker who had just come home on the Greyhound.
The ride started out I think in Columbus, where I had spent most of the day for some reason, with a long ass layover from right at dawn until late afternoon. First thing that morning, I was cleaning up in the bathroom, and some old dude who I think was Mexican but looked indio as fuck was brushing his teeth with an open 40 of malt liquor right beside him, and some little black kid was kind of standing beside him, and then the old indio dude just started cussing the kid out in Indian Mexican jibber jabber, and I was like, "Ahhh... my beautiful America." I slept for a while on the TV chairs, head down, face tucked into my one arm, that arm's hand holding a knife that was tucked into my second armpit. I learned while riding the Greyhounds this was usually the best way to sleep in the bus station. After a nap, I wandered around a little, got a little high, and ended up my bus headed to Charleston, West Virginia, around the dinner hour. The bus was a strange mix of black kids who were heading from up north (like Detroit and Chicago) to college down south, a couple dudes (black and white) who were fresh out of jail, me, and a quiet dude across the aisle with a couple visibly sketchy tattoos on his arm. Nothing major, but you could tell they were homemade as fuck, like not even trying to look not homemade. I respect that.
Well, once the sun went down, the conversation towards the back half of the Greyhound usually gets pretty wild. The bus already is a place that draws those with more time than money, and I have always appreciated being from that sociological tax bracket. The stories are amazing. And the white underclass and black college kids and myself who was like a college kid from the underclass or whatever the fuck I was, we all sort of agreed on a few major points: namely, fuck the government, the whole thing in general but definitely the police at an individual level; and we all loved to have sex and get fucked up. I mean, who on a bus doesn't like to fuck and get tore down? The one white dude fresh out of jail was talking and talking about how he had two chicks waiting to pick him up in Portsmouth and how they were gonna do a bunch of coke and get drunk and fuck all night. We were all like, "Okay dude, whatever," because hey, it's the bus you know. But when we got to Portsmouth, Ohio, there was this tiny S10 pick-up truck with two hefty, hefty women, who he jumped in the middle of, squeezed into the cab, and was looking through the windshield giving a double thumb's up back at us on the bus as they drove off.
After that dude got off, the bus got quieter, as you could imagine. I bet most of us were thinking about how much greater it would've been to be squeezed between those two not really attractive fat chicks, going to some run-down apartment to sleep on a pull-out couch, than pull another few hours on the bus. Shit man, one of the college dudes was going all the way to Atlanta. But me and the dude across the aisle had quiet conversation, and he was getting off in Charleston, where I was gonna have to spend the night in the bus station until the 7:30 am bus headed east to Richmond.
His story in a nut shell: got a girl pregnant, split small town West Virginia to run off with the carnival (no shit, for real), had been gone for six years, nobody knew he was coming back, so he didn't know what to expect. All he had was a backpack with some clothes in it, and this giant cardboard box holding one of those all-in-one stereo systems that he bought with his carnival money to bring home to the girl he left behind (again, no shit, for real). When we got to the bus station, he made a couple calls on the pay phones trying to find someone to come pick him up. One person had to wake up another person (it was about 11:30 at night), and then he was all, "Can't you borrow $5 to come and get me? I ain't been home in five fuckin' years." After a while, he had somebody coming, but they were gonna be a couple hours before they got there. So we went out front of the Charleston, West Virginia bus station, near midnight, and sat on our backpacks. A couple crackheads rolled up, friendly crackheads, and we shot the shit. They had two fresh 40s, which they shared with me, the other dude didn't drink, potentially a racist I guess, but the four of us talked about how weird it was the Charleston, West Virginia, capitol building was gold-plated, and the crackhead girl was like, "Shit man, make me wanna go up there and scrape some of that shit off. Know what I'm sayin'? Don't make no sense." We all agreed it didn't make no sense, and sat there in front of the bus station, and I have always remembered this scene under a dim streetlight, and it would've made a great painting. Glorious times. The Greyhound is where the underbelly of America slithers back and forth across this god damned country.
STEAL "Tight Rope"
A rap song that I did a 12-page paper on in college!

Friday Love/Hate

I hate waiting on destiny. I had a vision/dream early on right before my appendicitis of some sort of eastern European vagrant woman, but there were no buildings and cities and stuff. I was against a barbed wire fence - an old one that was not stretched tight, but I was hanging there, and this old lady was walking with a mule pulling a two-wheeled cart, full of trunks and shit, looked like it was painted pimp as fuck in that old world way a few years back, but was faded by this point, and covered in the dust of the roads we were along. I'm not sure where they went, because I kind of fell into the dream. And it was after my fall that gave me whiplash on the side porch, because she looked over at me and said, "You are stiff." I was like, "Yeah, I fell." She said, "That is good. Rapid changes are in your face, and the stiffness will slow it down from being too overwhelming before you are ready. But prepare yourself. A tornado is in the lines around your eyes. And you seem able to ride the tornado, but embrace this stiffness, rest yourself, for the storm that will form around you in April." I was like whatever, then realized it was a dream vision type thing, so woke up. I am always mad at myself for not being able to control my subconscious better and remain in that world to ask more. I've read books I've written in that world and get so excited by the pages I'm turning that I realize it's a dream and it's my future and I wake up without trying to memorize the gist of the stories in my hand. It is the larger universe speaking at me, and I've not learned how to listen as well as I should yet. But I'm still young - only 38, and far from a Learned Elder. But I can feel it bubbling up on the periphery of my life at times now, the boil is just starting to percolate a little. It will be boiling here soon. I am excited for the journey.

I love my Bird Tribe. No doubt about it. My ol' lady is rock solid and a complement to my ways, and as crazy as me, and as tortured by visions and stifled creativity and on a similar path, just different. It is interesting over time that from an initial attraction and relationship, you really don't know how it will unfold. But we were driven together by forces larger than us - there are many instances where this was shown to us, beyond our belief at times, because I certainly did what I could to fuck it all up at one time or another - and we are supposed to be together. I've not met a woman elsewhere who could not only tolerate the whirlwind chaos of my aura, but know how beautiful it is. And the kids we are bringing up in this wacked out world where Bill Gates is secretly perpetuating eugenics programs on the poor through charitable trusts, they are going to be fucking warrior goddesses, no doubt about it. It is almost scary at times, because the powers seem to be magnified in them, at an earlier age, and we just have to try to teach them how to unlock it and not be overwhelmed by it. That's a tough lesson to teach, especially when I'm still having to learn it myself. But hey, Bird Tribe Glide with Pride, like I scribbled on the old Nissan truck hood that is strapped to two posts as the gate to my pigpen.

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Sweet 16 Friday

It is Sweet 16 Friday, and I can tell you all of my eyes and focus is on San Antonio, Texas, where the two colleges from Richmond, VA, could pull off upsets and actually meet each other in a Cinderella showdown to go to the Final Four. VCU is my alma mater, so I am all the fuck over this year's run. I am giddy, and honestly, after the past couple years taking my daughter to the CAA tourney and seeing Eric Maynor live and enjoying Larry Sanders dunking on bitches, I can say without a doubt that the #2 sports team on my personal allegiance scale. So I am thoroughly amped the fuck up, and have been ever since last Sunday when they destroyed Purdue. But here are today's top 14 returning scorers, balling it up today. Of course the games I want to see are not on CBS, being full of double digit seeded underdogs in the Southwest regionals, so I will be listening to internet radio play-by-play (far superior to any other form) while watching the shitty big boys play in high def on the big TV in my living room that I'm still not sure how we got or why we have it...
#1: DAVID LIGHTY (Ohio State Senior guard/forward; 94 points in NCAA tournaments, 33 this year) - I cannot pull ever for an Ohio State team. They seem so hodgepodge and pulled together by wonder freshmen (like Jared Sullinger). There's no real program to it, although I guess they are populated with upper classmen like Lighty, and there's dudes galore who were banking in 3-pointers and just generally dismantling George Mason on Sunday in terrible terrible ways. Still though, I hate them.
#2: MARCUS MORRIS (Kansas Junior forward; 87 total tourney points, 33 this year) - Previous years, Marcus has been the more potent half of Kansas' twin negro combo in the paint. But Markief has picked it up this year, and really it almost doesn't seem fair to have a pair of dudes this size with this much inside presence. I don't know, I really hope Kansas loses tonight and makes the Southwest regional a Virginia pride free-for-all, but it almost seems like Kansas is on a completely different level than the other three teams in San Antonio, and they will romp easily through this weekend to go to Houston for the Final Four. I really hope the fuck not, and you tend to have that Cinderella letdown a lot of times for underdog teams that get by on adrenaline and amplified energies the first week of the NCAA tourney. But once that settles in, and they get to the regionals, they realize they have already accomplished more than anybody thought they would, and perhaps are already the high watermark for their particular college basketball program, so don't feel that same energy the second weekend. Meanwhile, for Kansas, they want another fucking national title. Anything less is not necessarily bad, but it ain't what they came for.
#3: WILLIAM BUFORD (Ohio State Junior guard; 87 total tourney points, 36 this year) - Fucking white people and Ohio. You know, in my many travels, I have to say, Ohio has been one of my least favorite states. It's not over-the-top bad to the point you kinda love it but not really like Indiana, and it's not icky white like Maryland. So it really sucks, but still somehow manages to fly under the radar, so if someone was to say, "Name the shittiest midwestern state," you'd say Indiana or Iowa probably. But really, Ohio is a terrible shithole.
#4: JON DIEBLER (Ohio State Senior guard; 79 total tourney points, 27 this year) - Yeah. More Ohio State. I guess if you listen to commentators, Kentucky is one of the teams left that matches up well with Ohio State, which is good by me. I'd like to see the Buckeyes get dropped, and you know that John Calipari will never actually win a title, unless he can start recruiting referees too. (By the way, speaking of commentators, the NBA is boring as fuck so I never watch it, but man, I'd love to see Charles Barkley on pre-game/post-game/halftime shows for college basketball. Having him on the CBS coverage has made whatever those fucking vanilla douchebags they have at CBS regularly look paltry in comparison.)
#5: TYLER ZELLER (UNC Junior forward; 66 total tourney points, 55 this year) - Followed up his 32-point second round game by dropping 23 points on Washington. A seven-foot white dude will always be welcome in Chapel Hill, and really anywhere. Zeller is so goddamned goofy looking though. It's odd... when I was a kid, I hated UNC with a passion, having grown up a Virginia fan. But in recent years, I've come to not only tolerate them but actually pull for them. It happened after Dean Smith retired, because no red-blooded Virginian could ever pull for that weasel-voiced piece of shit. But once they brought in Roy Williams, I dug them. I like Williams, and I now have somebody from the ACC who actually wins regularly that I can pull for in March. Because nobody who has a soul can root for Duke.
#6: MARKIEF MORRIS (Kansas Junior forward; 57 total tourney points, 39 this year) - He is the other twin brother tearing shit up.
#7: DARIUS MILLER (Kentucky Junior guard; 56 total tourney points, 20 this year) - In his three years at Kentucky, he has seen four head coaches and nine other guys get drafted into the NBA.
#8: KEVIN ANDERSON (Richmond Senior guard; 55 total tourney points, 39 this year) - If you watch this Richmond team, and see Kevin Anderson in action, it is impossible not to like the dude. He oozes chill ass charisma. They have a huge (nearly impossible) task ahead of them, taking on the Jayhawks of Kansas. But if catches fire, they could pull it off. And it's not like Richmond doesn't have a long history of pulling off huge upsets; it's just they've never really done it this late in the tourney.
#9: DARIUS JOHNSON-ODOM (Marquette Junior guard; 55 total tourney points, 36 this year) - Second best player left in the tourney from the Big East, which is my way of saying "Hahaha, fuck you Big East."
#10: BRADFORD BURGESS (VCU Junior guard; 54 total tourney points, 44 this year) - I could go on a three thousand word tangent about how amazing the VCU run is, not just this year but the past five, but I'm just gonna save that for the last blurb of this list. So see below if you can't wait.
#11: TYSHAWN TAYLOR (Kansas Junior guard; 50 total tourney points, 23 this year) - I honestly don't know anything about this dude and don't care to look it up to try and say something. Kansas is like Alternate Duke in my brain.
#12: TYREL REED (Kansas Senior guard; 49 total tourney points, 14 this year) - You may not know this from his name, but Tyrel Reed is a goofy looking white dude, who has chronically underachieved at Kansas, at least according to people who think everybody at Kansas should be awesome. Seriously though, this time of year there's plenty of white dudes who have grown far taller than the good lord could bless them with looks to match, so seeing an ugly ass whiteboy is nothing new. But goddamn, Tyrel Reed makes Kirk Hinrich look handsome.
#13: HARRISON BARNES (UNC Freshman forward; 46 total tourney points, all of them this year) - This would be the first sighting of a freshman on any of this year's daily lists, meaning Barnes is your super sensation. Him being here is why UNC has won so far, because once Barnes stepped up on the court this season was when the Tar Heels became a tough team to beat. They have tended to start slow the past couple weeks, and then get fired up pretty heavily, with Barnes and Tyler Zeller leading the charge. It is the regionals now though, and yeah they could probably afford one more sputtering take-off against Marquette, who will probably be outmatched, but they've got to get into do-or-die mode before Sunday, if they get there.
#14: JOEY RODRIGUEZ (VCU Senior guard; 45 total tourney points, 37 this year) - My man Boo Boo, who studied under Eric Maynor a few years back, and was a solid presence early on, who has turned into (at least last week) a point guard who will not turn the ball over and divvy it up nearly perfectly on the offensive end of things, and lead a punishing pressure-driven defense. Really, VCU's success the past five years has been wild, and all credit is due to Athletic Director Norwood Teague. Five years ago, Jeff Capel was the head coach, and he brought in Eric Maynor who was an ACC-quality kid from North Carolina who slipped through the cracks. After success at VCU, Capel - who was a hot coaching prospect when he took the Rams job - got the head coaching gig at Oklahoma, where he inherited Blake Griffin's dunky ass. Teague gets Anthony Grant from Billy Donovan's bench, who comes in and makes an immediate impact, installing a high-pressure defense, recruiting to match that (including bringing in Joey Rodriguez, who he had ties to down in Florida), and riding Eric Maynor into upsetting Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament. After that first year, Grant was already a hot commodity, and had actually gotten on a plane to take the Florida job as Billy Donovan was gonna resign briefly, but Donovan changed his mind, so Grant stayed put. After a second year, not as successful as the first, but no slouch either, Grant was at the top of every major program list that pushed basketball success over academic bullshit. That's how he landed in Alabama, even though he didn't recruit Eric Maynor, who gave him his biggest success. He did recruit Larry Sanders though, who was the future NBA first round pick that Shaka Smart inherited, VCU's third coach in five years, and the second in a row to come off of Billy Donovan's bench. Shaka basically ran with what Anthony Grant set up, maybe even turning it up another notch, and although Rodriguez was about to transfer with the coaching change, he was convinced by Grant to stay on board. Last year, with Sanders on the way out, they underachieved and I think won the stupid CBI, whichever of the lesser Division I tournaments that plays a best-of-three series to crown a champion. This year though, they got it together at times, although they sputtered at the end of the regular season. Still, getting a shocking at-large bid into the tourney, they charged in a team possessed. They have beaten every opponent by double digits, including a pair of Top 25 teams in Georgetown and Purdue. I am very amped the fuck up that they could tear up Florida State, because the one thing that can break up a tenacious defense like State's is a relentlessly aggressive offense like VCU runs, that just puts you on your heels all night long. If Richmond can somehow pull off a win in the early game tonight in San Antonio, it would set up a City of Richmond showdown to get to the Final Four. And even if Kansas wins, VCU certainly has the hodgepodge mid-major roster to pull off another shocker like George Mason did five years ago, and sneak into the Final Four. Really, that would be great if they did, on the heels of Butler doing it last year as well. College basketball may seem worse to some, because of the major conferences not being able to keep superstar players for more than a year or two. But the mid-majors are better than ever, and the early entries into the NBA has been happening enough that the mid-majors recruit with that in mind. And shit, let's not forget that current Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders could have played his senior year and be playing for VCU right now, instead of in the NBA. Fucking scary man. This is a good fucking team, and #2 in my heart behind the stupid Washington Redskins. I am fucking amped, bros. Amped.

r r s a d

"measure twice, cut once," preaches
old dude with yankee accent,
three beer cans in lunch cooler

The Doogie Howser - 03/25/11

#1: Watching Duke lose to end their season is always such a joy and treat, especially when Coach K goes into hyperventilating basketball Hitler mode during the game and is turning red arguing with refs with that vein in his forehead, Sieg Heiling zone defense calls to his point guard. It got me to thinking about other sports things I enjoy watching other feel misery with. #2: Whenever the Yankees lose, that's always a great thing, though them making the playoffs (which they usually do since basically half of the rest of the MLB is their quadruple-A team) kinda takes the fun out of it, because they might not lose once they get there. It's better when they don't even make the playoffs, and hopefully you have to drive somewhere at night in a vehicle without new-fangled radios, for hours and hours, so you tune into AM 660 The Fan and listen to the fucking mongoloid New Yawkers talk and talk and talk about it. That shit is more fun throwing empty Mickey's bottles at the rundown office building across the street when you live in the city. #3: As a Redskins fan (my strongest non-sensical sports allegiance), I always feel good in my heart whenever the public at large is exposed to what a clueless asshole bazillionaire Dan Snyder is. Ultimately though, I realize he will outlive me, so I kinda hope now the Redskins relocate to L.A. as part of Snyder's descent into scientology, and we get an expansion team without a racist nickname, something chill like the Washington Fuck Yeahs, with black and more black uniforms with highlights of like a barely dark red black, and we play in the NFC West because the new owner is a secret investor who lets John Riggins and Dexter Manley do all the talking for him, and they are like, "Fuck it, we don't care. We'll play all road games in Mexico if we have to." #4: They do play two games in Mexico, and Dexter Manley becomes leader of the Los Zetas cartel, and being he's from Houston, in a moment of multi-culturalism, he bridges the gap between cumbia rebajadas and screwed music. #5: Except it doesn't show up on the interwebz, because you my friend, are a punk ass for being on the interweb. In fact, Dexter Manley is already leader of the Zetas Cartel, and there already is a professional football team called the Washington Fuck Yeahs, and you can get both their home black and their alternate darker black home jerseys with the holographic sanskrit on the sleeves at finer more dilapidated flea markets everywhere. #6: You can also usually get at those flea markets a framed display of the picture of Biggie and Tupac together with a toy gun framed in the bottom in a little box. Those things are classy as fuck. I have made one of the Hatfields and McCoys with a little shotgun replica in the bottom, and wanted to make one of the Morrises and Shifletts, to try to bring peace to my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, but it ain't happening. Plus, I get moonshine from a Morris, and he'd get all pissy about it. I couldn't even tell him I had a 5-year-old Shiflett kid on my soccer team two years back because he would've wanted to come to the games and fucked with the kid and his single mom. #7: Actually, as a kind of Walter Matthau-esque youth soccer coach, last year our U-8 team won the round robin on the last day of the season to be champions in our league. It was the first year they didn't give a trophy to the winning teams though. Still, my kids came through. I had a pair of twins who just straight tore it up, plus every other team had like 3 or 4 girls and I had 7, so we empowered them, and started every second half with all girls on the field, calling it our Girl Power line-up. Shit was tight. #8: Years ago, there was this chump ass born again coach dude who was way too into it for kids under 8, making them talk shit on the other teams with that 2-4-6-8 thing like the Yankees on the Bad News Bears. Our team was my usual ragtag assortment of misfits and oddballs that year as well, but we beat his team in the round robin to ruin his chance to be champion. He pulled some insider shenanigans to declare himself second place, even though we were tied in record for the day and we beat him head-to-head. He had that shit broken down to some fourth tiebreaker nonsense, even though I don't think anybody actually wrote down the scores and kept nothing more than who won/lost/or tied. #9: The kids I coached the first year I coached are all nearly teenagers now. It's weird when I see them around town. It's also weird being around a town for so long that people be knowing me like that. We have neighbors who hated us at first, the dude was a retired state troop who used to call my landlord about us not cutting the grass and having junk cars. Now we own this motherfucker, and I don't cut no goddamned grass, and got a tipi and a junk camper trailer in the back yard, plus some stank ass pigs snorting around, a dog that won't stay in the yard, chickens, Christmas lights still up in March, in fact lights wrapped around the tree in the front yard for random plugging in throughout the year as that's my Tesla Coil of Lounge. He can't tell us shit. #10: His wife bought girl scout cookies from my center child, and whenever they see us out at a restaurant, she always remarks how beautiful and well-behaved our kids are. Their daughter is long-time dating the dude down the other road who had the loud ass truck that was waking up my baby all the time, and comes from the prominent country family on our road. I tried to wave them down to tell them to stop gunning it in front of my house one time, but the daughter of the state troop wouldn't stop, so I went to his house and told him he was waking up my baby and I knew how cool it was to have a loud ass fast ass ride, but please don't cut whole shots in front of my house. And he never has ever since. #11 (BONUS!): The retired state trooper sometimes for some reason drives this giant truck that's like a tractor and trailer truck, but with a tiny little pick-up truck bed. Seriously, it's as large as a tractor and trailer but with a regular 6-foot pick-up bed, and looks ridiculous. Like not even a Southern rapper would drive something like that. I bet that dude's dick is so small.

Thursday, March 24

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - March '11 #6: "Methamphetamine" by Old Crow Medicine Show

This is a different "Methamphetamine" song than the Son Volt one I wrote about a month or two back, and I did not give it a proper listen for a while because O.C.M.S. tend to do a lot of covers, which is not a bad thing at all, but I was in my head all like, "Why would you do a cover of a song that's not that old? That seems kinda triflin'." Turns out it's not a cover but an original, a completely separate alt.country warbler about the wonders and consequences of speed. Where I'm from, it was always called crank, and much like religion and opinions on the effects of Mexican people in our town, the drug jargon I learned from my parents is what I still speak. In fact, there's a few things I say from growing up in Farmville, Virginia, that my wife and now daughters make fun of. For example, I call a purse a "pocketbook". They find this endlessly amusing because I guess wherever my wife was raised, pocketbooks did not exist at all. We were watching some show, all of us together at some point, and one of the characters said she was going to buy a new pocketbook, and my wife and the two oldest kids all just turned and stared at me incredulously, like they couldn't believe somebody not in the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Farmville would ever say that word. I just smiled a "told-you-so" smile, stuck my paws in my dungarees, and walked into the kitchen to finish cooking supper.
Old Crow Medicine Show is a weird band. They can be really enjoyable and you dig it a lot, but then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you'll realize it's 2011 and you'll think, "What is wrong with these guys?" But I will dig on them, if for no other reason than I'm still convinced that you could book these guys to play a bonfire party. I guess they are in that whole jam band festival concert loop now, but I just refuse to believe if I told them they could sleep in the camper and we'd be cooking a hog that we raised ourselves and we had a tent set up with a P.A. and everything, that we could get them to play in our back yard for a cheap enough price that I could convince like two people I know who might have money to throw in on to make it happen. It wouldn't be like singing for Qaddhafi or anything, but hey, it'd be a fun gig.
Speaking of those famous types who played for Qaddhafi and now caught flack for it, I feel the worst for Nelly Furtado. When my oldest kid was like five, I took her to the record store (back when those places still existed - Rest In Peace record stores) to pick out a CD of her choice, to encourage music appreciation. She loved that "I'm Like A Bird" song by Nelly Furtado, so that's what she got, so through that CD purchase for my firstborn, I've haphazardly followed Furtado from afar. When she made that "Promiscuous" song, I felt personally betrayed to be honest, because I didn't want my sweet daughter who knew all the words to "I'm Like A Bird" to be listening to shit like "Promiscuous" at a still tender age. Anyways, Furtado was one of the first musicians to be outed for performing for Qaddhafi, pulling in a cool million bucks for the gig. Furtado said she would donate the money to charity once the story was broke, but I couldn't help but wonder if somebody like a Nelly Furtado actually has a million dollars still around to just get rid of to charity, cushy gigs for Libyan leaders aside. I mean, I think we tend to exaggerate how wealthy the entertainment elite end up being. Every one- or two-hit wonder from the past twenty years is not a multi-millionaire, and usually they only become financially successful by moving into the management/industry side of things, learning from their own exploitation how to exploit others. I have a hard time believing Nelly Furtado is sitting on an eight-digit bank account where scribbling out a million-dollar check to Africa Got AIDS Let's All Wear Red Shit To Help or some other charity is really that easy for her. Although sending out a press release saying she would do so is probably not that hard. And with the internet, journalism now is basically just retyping the bullshit people email to you anyways, and pretending you researched it afterwards.
STEAL "Methamphetamine"
A carnival anthem, applied metaphorically to a shitty relationship with a crazy bitch!

S14: NCAA Tournament Top Returning Scorers - Sweet 16 Thursday

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