Friday, January 29, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/29)


Stupid is as stupid does...

Economy in U.S. Grew at 5.7% Pace, Biggest Gain in Six Years

Why Grown Ups Play Super Mario

70% of Employers Have Rejected Applicants Over Online Info

How to Fall 35,000 Feet.....And Survive

LeBron Signs Multiyear Deal with McDonald’s

Police Officer Accidentally Used Pepper Spray on Burning Man

Google Economist Explains Why You Won't Pay For Online News

$10,000 High-Tech Gun Won't Shoot Unless Near an Ugly Watch

Freestyle Friday (1/29)



What's up people? I know I've been slacking on these, but you know since it's Friday, the freestyles must flow. The first one is from Big Sean. Normally I wouldn't bat an eyelash at the mention of Big Sean. Then I saw the beat he was going over, Gucci's 'Supa Dupa Lemonade' (guilty pleasure), and decided to give it a listen. No, Big Sean isn't the 2nd coming of lyricism, but he did the beat justice. He actually surprised me. The second cypher is from Juelz Santana and his Skull Gang crew. Un Kasa puts together some bars, and then a bunch of cronies friends put something on wax, before Juelz (4:10) spits a nice little verse about his conquests. I hate when songs and freestyles put a bunch of wack people between the good rappers. It's a waste of time. Regardless of the crew, Bandana Santana does his thing. Check the freestyles and keep it locked to Dear Whoever...

Air Jordan Cool Grey XI & White/Cement III

Photobucket

I can't even lie. When I got wind of this news, I was conflicted. About a month ago, I got on Jordan Brand and Nike for rehashing a most of their great sneakers and lacking in new releases. I'm eating my words now because I'm actually hyped for both of these. The Cool Grey XI's and White/Cement III's are two of the cleanest releases from Jordan Brand EVER. According to Sneakernews the XI's are looking at a holiday 2010 release. The III's are just confirmed for this year as part of the 'Slam Dunk' package (the kicks that Jordan wore in both of his Slam Dunk contests) with some II's. Better get your connects ready or start lining up now. And call me a hypocrite, but I slept on both of these, so not copping is NOT an option. Check the flicktures...

Photobucket

Dear JD Salinger

Photobucket

It's a rarity that one book can define the mindset of an entire progeny (look it up), and even more rare that the author lives to see the generation touched by his work. Mr. Salinger, 'Catcher in the Rye' is one of my favorite books, not only because of the main character, Holden Caulfied, but because of the vivid explication of the society that he lived in. The vapid, underwhelming world around the high school dropout only served to harden Holden even more. Not to say that I'm the spitting image of Caulfield, but as a person of the same age, I notice the one similarity in our mindsets: cynicism. Mr. Salinger, your book solidified that it is quite okay to be disillusioned with the way everything is going so long as your values and ideologies are kept pure. Also, the work showed how precious youth is, in that innocence lost too quickly is worse than not having innocence in the first place. This is more of my own personal obituary than a letter, JD. And I suppose that because your protagonist was okay with delving into the personal in different forums, such a post is warranted. JD, your memory will not be in vain. There's a whole new generation of Holdens, ready to catch the children in the rye if they venture too near to the cliff. Hopefully you're guarding us as well...

RIP Jerome David Salinger

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wale & Fat Trel - Oh Let's Do It (Freestyle)



Wale Feat. Fat Trel – “Oh Let’s Do It” Freestyle

Wale hasn't blessed the interwebs with a freestyle or new track in a minute. I'm glad he's back to his lyrical, slightly cocky ways. Dude dropped his tired trademark flow to suit the beat. My boy AKZionz was hating on this, but I couldn't even front on the track. Check out Wale and his mate Fat Trel rip the Waka beat (how is Flocka Flame, by the way??)...

Neako - Junk Food

Photobucket

2DopeBoyz Presents: Neako - Junk Food

Mixtapes (or good ones) have been slow to come so far this year. I suppose most rappers are being studio rats right now, but it comes at a time when hip-hop needs to keep ascending. My pipe dreams aside, I listened to Neako's mixtape strictly out of boredom and the necessity to not hear silence in the library. The resulting sounds made me a fan. Neako reps North New Jersey (the first since Redman??) and does the Garden State right with his latest offering 'Junk Food', a collab with 2DopeBoys (probably my favorite music blog). Neako isn't one for the swagger raps or the drug rhymes. He just spits what he knows and does it well. Of course there are punchlines and metaphors and wordplay, but Neako actually has a veritable sound to him. The mixtape is pretty well produced, and has really good features, including Wiz Khalifa and two of Neako's boys, Young Jerz and Young Gibbs. The one thing about the tape is that the ending gets pretty slow. It seemed like he was trying to be on the deep side, but it really sounded like he was going off the deep end. Regardless, I really want to know where this man came from, because Neako was nowhere near on my radar before today. He's a pretty good producer and an improving MC. Whatever the case, he should be here to stay. Check the link, tracklist, #dopetracks, loosies and videos...

Photobucket

#dopetracks:
Exhibit N
Neako x Young Jerz
2 Seater
Back to the Set
Angels & Demons
I Love NJ

Loosies:
Neako – Angels & Demons
Neako – Back To The Set f. Wiz Khalifa
Neako – Ready to Go



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear Diggy Simmons

Photobucket

Okay, so it's not a letter (sue me). I got a chance to talk to Diggy Simmons over the phone about two weeks ago. As you may or may not know, he dropped a mixtape a month ago entitled 'The First Flight' (didn't post it in December because I wanted it to coincide with the interview; check the post right under this). If you take a listen, you can definitely see the young man going places. Look what he's got to say about his intro to music, what's driving him, whether he loves music or fashion more, and more. Oh yeah, and check some audio of me talking Diggy and sounding really, really, REALLY corny...



DW: Okay, Diggy, I checked out 'The First Flight' mixtape and I have to say I didn't expect this from you. What made you want to get into music?

DS: A lot of people thought it was an 'all of a sudden' type thing. And it's funny that people say that because I'm young still. They're like 'Why is this kid from Run's House rapping?' At the same time, the only thing they think I'm capable of doing is running around my house on a camera.

DW: So you weren't dead set on music first? It was more fanhood than everything?

DS: I've been rapping since I was 5 years old. And when I was around 7 or 8, my brother (JoJo) and I had a group together. We had a deal on the table, but it fell through, even though there were a couple of labels interested. When you're young, and you don't have anybody to guide you, you just go on with your life. I continued writing, but didn't take it seriously. Then this summer, I started rapping again because I had a lot on my chest that I wanted to get off. I was recording on GarageBand and collabing with my boys who would do the same. I ended up doing a remix to Asher Roth and Keri Hilson's 'She Don't Want a Man' and it got crazy feedback; people saying 'this is better than the original!' That's the first song I've released as a rapper. So my boy said I should do a mixtape.

I didn't really know everything that came with it and set an early release date from my blog. I thought I was just gonna hit the studio and do track after track after track, but realized that it's a process and ended up pushing it back a few times.

DW: Who are you a fan of in music right now? What are you bumping in your iPod?

DS: Right now I'm listening to a lot of J. Cole and Jay Electronica. I'm into real hip-hop like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Andre 3000. Those are my real influences; any real lyricists out there.

DW: On your mixtape, your lead track was called 'Point to Prove'. What's setting you apart from every other rapper out there.

DS: Basically I'm trying to prove my own worth as an artist. If you didn't know, I'm an independent artist. Everyone thinks I need my father or my uncle to pull strings for me in the industry, but no one sees that I'm doing this by myself. Even on 'Point to Prove' I mentioned that my dad was probably hearing the track at the same time as the rest of y'all.


DW: So do you find yourself encountering a lot of the 'industry politics' as an independent artist? Or has it been pretty smooth getting the mixtape out and promoting it?

DS: As an independent artist, it's a gift and a curse. The gift is that people want to hear me, but the curse is that they're skeptical and would love to hate (laughter). Like 'why is this little kid in this big house rapping? What does he have to rap about?' To that I say, that I live in the riches, but they aren't mine. God willing, I will have that. But I do have things to talk about. I do hip-hop for the love of it right now so it's easier to be creative. And as far as labels go, I can't really go into that (more laughter), but everything's going good...


DW: So you're 14 years old. Do you see yourself sticking with the fashion and rapping, or going the traditional high school and college route??

DS: It all depends. The fashion and rapping is what I really want to do. At a young age a lot of people don't have a vision. Looking at the way everything is happening with the world, yes, college is important and so is education. Those will always be there. But with time, I don't know what's going happen, and it's really too early to call it.


DW: Now that 2009's out of the way and you dropped the first mixtape, what's in store for 2010?

DS: More music definitely. A lot of people are asking for a sequel to 'The First Flight'. I'm just focused on getting better and going harder. You know, I'm still young so I'm really trying to do more lyrically and in terms of wordplay. Sometimes I suprise myself with what I do (laughter). I like knowing that people are finally listening, because you can hear me grow up and learn more about me from them listening.

These days you don't learn from who you're listening to. I was talking to someone pretty important in the industry about that. A lot of people just talk about what they wear and what they have. How are you really supposed to get into an artist when they just talk about that? You can't relate to what they have. In fact, that's what's missing in the game: real content. I want to bring that to the game, in my own way.

DW: Let's get on to the fashion aspect of your career. I've seen a few shots of your brand, Chivalrous Culture. I heard it used to be called Space Cadet. Why the change?

DS: The business aspect of the name started falling through. If I wasn't on the show, most people wouldn't even know about it. A lot of people don't see how many changes go into building a brand. Pharrell, I'm sure the first name he came up with wasn't Billionaire Boys Club.


DW: Is the brand going to be more on the basic side or more on the refined side?

DS: It's going to be a mix of the couture, and the streetwear and the preppy; something that no one's ever seen before, but everyone is going to like. I've gotten inspiration from Lanvin and Ralph Lauren and of course BBC, so there are a lot of different styles going into my brand. Everybody wants a brand that they can wear for everyday, but at the same time break out the Louis V for a nice occasion. Not every label can give you that honestly.

DW: If you could write a letter to anybody, who would it be??

DS: God. Definitely God. Just asking for whatever I stand in need of.

Alright folks, there's the interview. If you want to download Diggy's mixtape, 'The First Flight', check the post directly below this one. Make sure you also follow his Twitter, his blog, Life of the Jetsetter, and keep it locked to Dear Whoever for more interviews, music, news, and of course the letters. Big shoutout to Cathryn Marie for setting the interview up...

Diggy Simmons - The First Flight (Mixtape)

Photobucket

Diggy Simmons - The First Flight (Mixtape)

Yes, this is a month late (see above), so I'm gonna keep it short. Diggy Simmons is the middle child of Rev Run's clan. He's been rapping his entire life (with his brother JoJo) and has finally ventured out on his own in the hip-hop world. His mixtape, 'The First Flight' dropped on December 2nd and has immaculate production, lyrics far beyond Diggy's age, and a theme of freedom that most works can't even hold a light to. Honestly, Diggy has a bright future ahead of him, especially if he keeps putting out heat rocks like this. Check the link, tracklist & cover, #dopetracks, loosies and some videos...

Photobucket

#dopetracks
Laid Back
Point to Prove
The Truth of Me
We Have a Problem
Make You Mine

#loosies
Diggy Simmons - Set Me Free

Dear Apple

Photobucket
#shoutout to Engadget for the flicktures

Okay, first it was the Mac, then the iPod, then the iPhone. Now it's the iPad?? Yeah, I'm not buying it, guys. And I mean that in every sense of that euphemism. Apple, to tell you the truth, the iPad looks impressive. If anyone walked up to me with it in hand, here would be the conversation:

DRAMATIZATION (because I clearly don't speak this way)

Me: WOW!! What's that??
Friend: It's the iPad!! It's really neat, isn't it?
Me: Yeah, it looks like a winner!! What does it do??
Friend: It goes on the internet and does e-mail and you can put music on it and take pictures and do word processing and has a wicked awesome touchscreen and...
Me: (interrupting) So it's a computer?
Friend: Noooo, it's an iPad! Check out how good the 3G coverage is!
Me: So it's a phone then?
Friend: Noooo, it's an iPad!
Me: (blank stare) So it's a phone and a tablet computer at the same time?
Friend: Noooo, it's an i... Well, yeah. I guess it is a phone and tablet computer.
Me: That's pretty cool... What are you going to do with your iPhone and your Macbook?
Friend: (blank stare)

END

Therein lies the problem, Apple. Most people are probably not going to drop $499 (Why don't companies just say $500?) on a second computer with no keyboard, much less one that costs another $30 a month to use (via AT&T's data plan). You guys at Apple have gotten so smitten with innovation and finding ways to meld every device together, that you've made something useless to 90% of the market. Sure, someone that has neither computer, phone or MP3 player will piss his pants when he sees this. But how many people do you guys know who DON'T have a computer, phone or MP3 player? In fact, I dare you to find ONE person who doesn't have any of the three. If and when you do, you need to sell that iPad to each and every friend and relative that that person has.

Apple, I've long been a Mac, and will probably continue to be a Mac after this post (given my Macbook doesn't shit itself again). That said, it's pretty funny to see the entire internet on hold just to see something that we already knew was going down. I laughed when I saw the iPad because I was expecting something out of this world and saw a product that most likely could have been made 2 years ago. Kudos Steve Jobs and Apple. You guys have successfully duped Americans into believing that anything Apple-branded is made by God. I hope the iPad does the numbers you thought it was, because somehow I don't see it happening. But who am I to judge? I'm just another Mac user. The iPad still looks cool...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/27)


If it happened to Tahj Mowry, then I believe it.. I got the Saints in the Super Bowl

Rape victim receives 101 lashes for becoming pregnant

1/3rd of Women in US Military Raped

Fed Strove To Keep America In Dark On AIG

Has Twitter peaked?

Research: Gaming helps military personnel to better focus

How to Use Proper Job Interview Etiquette

The Cold Hard Facts on Freezing to Death

Uncovering secrets to a longer life

The 2010 State of the Union



It's that time of year again: the point when half of the US is reconsidering their votes and the other half is trying to convince everyone else that the current President is either amazing or the Devil. That's right, kids... The State of the Union Address. Our boy Barack Obama is going to speak to Congress tonight at 8PM about everything from the looming health care bill, freezing spending by the government and how in the world we're going to get out of this recession. To those watching, I'd say to watch with an open mind instead of bringing your misconceptions to the TV. People are too quick to find something wrong with what's being said instead of actually learning about what the speaker is pushing. Whatever your stance on Barry (#shoutout to AverageBro for putting me on to the nickname), make sure you fulfill your civic duty. There's no excuse for Apple's tablet (which most of you won't buy) to be breaking news when our country is at an impasse on a number of issues. The SOTU speech is being televised on all of the major networks as well as being broadcast on Youtube. Check out what Barry's up to these days...

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE STATE OF THE UNION TONIGHT!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

KiD CuDi - cudderisback



KiD CuDi's been laying low as of late on the blogosphere, mostly touring and recording and from his video for cudderisback, you can tell he's been staying high. Maybe it's just me, but having a video for this makes the words stick harder. Isn't that the point of the music video anyway?? I guess that's a whole different discussion. Check the video...

Dear Glen Davis

Photobucket
No new nickname can fix a pose like that...

via ESPN:
Declaring himself fit for a change, Glen Davis said before Monday's Boston Celtics game that he's dropping the "Big Baby" moniker and is searching for a new nickname. When a reporter suggested the Chad Ochocinco-like "Uno Uno" to match Davis' No. 11 jersey, he instantly fell in love with it.

"'Uno Uno,'" Davis erupted in delight. "I like that, I like that. I'll be 'Uno Uno,' that's my new name." Davis, who has had his maturity questioned through a series of events over the past year-plus, including an off-court fight that forced him to miss the first 27 games of the 2009-10 season, and last week's run-in with a fan where he was fined $25,000 for shouting an obscene phrase, is trying to distance himself from all that as he takes the next step in his maturation.

"I've been called 'Big Baby' all through my life," said Davis. "But I'm going through changes. I'm in a cocoon and I'm coming out a different player, a different person. Basically, the new person is growth. I'm shedding that 'Big Baby' and you can see something else, not the past."

Glen, Glen, Glen. It's been a while since you've been relevant on the Celtics. Rajon Rondo's developed into an All-Star, KG and Paul are doing their thing (kinda) and Rasheed Wallace, Brian Scalibrine and Shelden Williams have taken any PT you would have seen away. Now, after getting fined $25,000 (that DEFINITELY hurts your pockets), you decided it was time for a change, a new moniker. You're tired of being called 'Big Baby' and want to sit at the big boys' table at Thanksgiving and want your own room on road trips. Well, Glen, as most big boys know, you can't have everything you want, especially when what you don't want was given to you. Big boys don't cry, but big babies do. Your nickname 'Big Baby' is going to be your nickname until you retire or get waived. Yes, you can demand that you be called 'Uno-Uno' (that nickname sucks by the way), but who's really going to take you seriously at this point? That's like having a tall, bald-headed muscle-bound friend with a cock-eye and NOT calling him Debo. Then again, I suppose it's not serious. You can call yourself whatever you want. Just know that most people are going to be basing their opinions of you off moments like this:

Dear Charles Hamilton



Charles Hamilton - Hockey Kitty

It's always a sad day when you realize a rapper you think is (or was) good has fallen off and probably won't be back on any time soon. Charles, when I saw you and Yung Nate perform 'Stutter' in 2006, I had no clue that you'd be the quintessential Moses of hip-hop, making it to the promised land, but not making it in. With this latest track off 'The Binge Vol. 3: Charles Hamilton’s Last Mixtape,' it seems like a late, ill-fated attempt to get back into the limelight after a year and a half of PR disasters. Yes, the sample is funny, but the beat is overused in the blogosphere and you didn't spit anything vicious. It's not like this is a new thing. 'The Normalcy Project' didn't come hard enough and was essentially a bust (yeah, I'm calling that). And of course last year you got cast as a liar on wax (re: the Dilla fiasco) and were thoroughly emasculated with video evidence (I hope you're not still friends with Brianna).

It's even more messed up considering you had a damn good lead single to cap off 2009, which most new artists can't hold a candle to. Ahh well, Charles, I suppose we can all remember the good times, and the quirky Sonic- addicted music we grew to love. This is needless to say at this point, but your demise could have been prevented with a lot more good counsel and earlier intervention (that mixtape of yours was fire, by the way) in terms of your drug problem. I wish you nothing but the best, Chuck. This isn't saying goodbye to your career, because honestly you've come a hell of a long way since last year. It is, however, an admission that your career is fizzling Charles. Either you need to get on a SERIOUSLY dope feature or back on your mixtape grind HARD. Then again, with the title of your upcoming work, it will have to be the former. Good luck, Chuck...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Curren$y - Breakfast (Music Video)



I love videos and media that deal with the fantastical, whether it be realistic fantasies or blue aliens doing Richard Pryor jokes while driving a car backwards underwater. Curren$y has a knack for getting those visualizations down pat. The video for 'Breakfast' (who can tell me what tape/album/compilation the track came off??) is no different, with the Hot Spitta waking up in a paradise of palm trees, beautiful women, and good herb. Check the visuals and look out for 'Smokee Robinson' dropping on Super Bowl Sunday...

Dear John Edwards

Photobucket

via MSNBC:
For the first time, John Edwards is publicly admitting that he is indeed the father of a 2-year-old daughter conceived with Rielle Hunter, a campaign videographer with whom he had an affair. In a written statement provided exclusively to NBC News, the former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate says he’s taking responsibility for the child, Frances Quinn Hunter:

“I am Quinn’s father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.

It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and have reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future. To all those I have disappointed and hurt these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.”

John, I am soooooo disappointed in you. Not only did you lose a vicious Presidential race a few years ago, but now you're coming out of the wood work with a love child? To tell you the truth, I was ready to just overlook this entire story and chalk it up to the political bullshit that we see every day. But after seeing your nice little statement sent exclusively to NBC, I couldn't help but make light of your plight.

So John, you more or less disavowed any knowledge or responsibility for your love child a few months back, which is detestable in and of itself. You did a pretty good job of hiding it. The problem is, being a politician (or any public figure), you have a team around you working 24/7 to keep all of your dirty laundry from falling out of the hamper. When you do these people wrong or simply aren't on the same terms as them anymore, they have all the more incentive to break out that pair of drawers that aren't your wife's. That's exactly what happened here, John. The only reason you're coming out with this statement is because your former campaign manager is coming out with a book telling everyone what you just admitted. It's pretty sad actually, that you're coming out more to save your own ass than to stand up for your own seed, whom you vehemently denied up to this point. It's also funny that no one is really talking about your fuck-up. I guess when you're black or poor, it's called being a bad father, but when you're a politician, it's just another day of PR. I hope you've listened to Confessions Part 2 a few times, because you're about to be feeling the same way soon...

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/25)


Not that your actual business matters, if you have kick-ass business cards...

Alleged Bin Laden Tape Warns U.S. of More Attacks

This Season’s 25 Richest NFL Players

Crazy Man Tries to Open Door of Plane During Flight

New 5-Day 'Morning-After' Pill Tested For U.S. Approval

The Man Who Could Beat AIDS with a Cure

21 Things We're Learning to Live Without in the Recession

Why Haiti is So Poor

Study Shows One in Five U.S. Teenagers Has High Cholesterol

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dear Kobe Bryant

Photobucket

Remember the second after the 4th quarter in last year's Finals, when you first relished in winning the NBA Championship? Do you remember getting your ring at the beginning of this season? Great, because you should definitely hold on to that feeling. Kobe, I will say it, since no one else is saying it: The torch has been passed. Not only has LeBron beaten you three times this season, but he's also taken over the scoring lead from you. Kobe, you're 31. In basketball years, that's still relatively young, and you'll most likely be able to dominate based solely off your skills. That's all well and good. But do realize, the torch has been passed.



LeBron is averaging just over 30 in January, while you've been having trouble with those fingers. Yeah, you willed yourself to two wins, but how much can you do? Pau, Ron and Lamar have been pretty ordinary this year, so it's looking like you'll be carrying most of the load. Not to say you'll crumble, but you're looking just a bit more mortal this year. Let's face it, no one is meant to play basketball forever, and if there's someone to carry on tradition as the best player in basketball, LeBron is the one to do it. He's been doing this all year, and has the wins and stats to prove it:


If Anthony Parker didn't get in the way, LeBron would have eaten that shot alive...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Exit Through The Gift Shop - A Banksy Film



You Banksy fans out there should be in for a treat. He's releasing a movie at the Sundance Film Festival this year, chronicling his newest works and the trouble he gets into along the way. The film, entitled Exit Through the Gift Shop, is billed as "the world's first street art disaster movie". Whatever that means, you know the cinematography is going to be great. Check the trailer...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ludacris - Conjure: A Hustler's Spirit

Photobucket

Ludacris - Conjure: A Hustler's Spirit

If you follow Ludacris on Twitter, in addition to his Battle of the Sexes Question, you know that he's coming out with an album called 'Battle of the Sexes'. Before we get treated to that, Luda hit the blogosphere with the mixtape, 'Conjure: A Hustler's Spirit'. Along with going in over every top 20 rap song today, he does a lot of shameless promotion for his new cognac, Conjure. Can't say that I've had a sip of the potion, but from the mixtape, I just might have to. Luda shows that he needs to be on your top 10 list with a bunch of vicious punchlines & flows. The one thing I'd say about the tape is that it reminds me a lot of No Ceilings. Luda pulled a Weezy and put himself on every track out so you automatically want to listen to it. Not saying much more than that. Judge the tape for yourself after you check the tracklist, my #dopetracks, loosies and videos...

Photobucket

#dopetracks
Don't Trust Her
Sex Therapy
Addicted to Money
ATL, GA
Pennies (this is a bonus track that he did with the Cool Kids)

Loosies:
Ludacris – I Wanna Rock (Remix)
Ludacris – O Let’s Do It Freestyle



Rick Ross - Mafia Music 2

Photobucket



Rick Ross - Mafia Music 2

Rawse the bawse is cooking up another album entitled 'The Teflon Don,' and popped up at DJ Envy's radio show to promote, dropping off this track. Ricky's become one of my favorites in the past 2 years, with his lyrics getting a lot more refined and the music behind the words smoother than ever. I'd go as far as to say *gasp* Ross may be easy listening for hip-hop. Whatever the case, the man has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. Check the new track out...

Dear 'Whites Only' Basketball League

Photobucket
Have no fear, Shawn Bradley. Your league is here...

via The Augusta Chronicle:
A new professional basketball league boasting rosters made up exclusively of white Americans has its eyes set on Augusta, but the team isn't receiving a warm welcome. The All-American Basketball Alliance announced in a news release Sunday evening that it intends to start its inaugural season in June and hopes Augusta will be one of 12 cities with a team. "Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league," the statement said.

Don "Moose" Lewis, the commissioner of the AABA, said the reasoning behind the league's roster restrictions is not racism. Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of "street-ball" played by "people of color." He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas' indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans' dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.

White Men Can't Jump is one of my favorite movies. Along with the regular aspects of sports movies, the Snipes & Harrelson masterpiece stirs up the everlasting dialogue of the changing (or already changed) racial dynamic in basketball. It's no secret that over the past 30 years, the NBA has been dominated by African-American players. There's no real reason for that other than the players in the NBA being better. It's not racial makeup or an inherent racial advantage. That said, AABA (All-American Basketball Alliance), what is the deal with starting a racially-exclusive basketball league?? Or better yet, since when has being black been the impetus for one's affinity for 'street-ball' (as you call it)? While it does stand to say that the NBA has had a few legal issues coming from black players, you're trying to highlight a different issue instead of just being honest.

You're saying that you want to emphasize the fundamental aspect of the game. Since when has the NBA not been fundamental?? It's not as if these players are coming from Rucker Park or the Cage and doing Hot Sauce crossovers while a man in an afro is screaming 'OOOOOHHHH BAYBEEEE!!'. It's not as if there are egregious travels and random stops in play. You're making a drastic generalization between the streetball that everyone watches in the summer, and the NBA, where the BEST players in the world play, regardless of race or nationality. Saying that you want to eradicate the NBA-esque play that isn't fundamental is an oxymoron. That's like going to Taco Bell and asking for, a low-calorie meal: IMPOSSIBLE. So to the AABA and your leader Don Lewis I'd say take a look at yourselves and figure out why it is you have such a hatred for the 'black' way of playing basketball. Maybe that's the reason you've been getting dunked on...

Safe Sex - (NSFW)



If obscenity isn't your thing, scroll down or click next post..

Yes, this French sex education commercial is a bit on the lewd side. Regardless, the commercial gets a very simple point across to everyone. Protection is a necessity in today's world of loosened sexual boundaries. It's really no wonder European countries have a lesser STD (and HIV) rate than the United States, with how open and frank the dialogue on sex is. Not to say that Americans are prude (we're probably the most lewd country, actually), but we shirk at talking about and dealing with sex. If we took a less reserved attitude about it, there's no telling how many lives can be saved from better sexual education. Pass the video on, if you agree...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

21-7 Magazine Re-Launch Party

Photobucket

Got this from the homie Deadstock Ric. The good people at 21-7 Magazine are relaunching their magazine after a nice little absence and are having a shindig to celebrate. For those of you who don't know, 21-7 is an online magazine dedicated to urban culture. If you're in NYC on Wednesday the 27th, you should check out the party (complete with goodies & giveaways). The jawn (yeah, I said jawn) is at 55 East 21 Street between 5th and 6th. Take pictures if you go...

iTrust - Spy on Your Spying Significant Other



For those of you unfortunate lucky enough to have an iPhone, the apps that you have at your disposal are phenomenal. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who likes to snoop on your phone for text messages, then this is the app for you. iTrust simulates the iPhone welcome screen so that it looks like everything is peachy. However, while iTrust is open, the app is actually recording everything that the snooper does on the phone. Hopefully you don't have any sneaky hands on your iPhone, but if you do, here's the chance to catch them red-handed. Check the video...

Dear LA Gang Tours


Shouts to AverageBro for the video...

'And on the right, you'll see a drive-by at a corner store... And if you look to your left, check out the weed spot being heavily surveyed by the police!" What the hell? That doesn't sound like your a typical tour, until now. LA Gang Tours, you might be the most controversial business idea I've ever heard. Your premise is taking people from Bumblef*ck, Idaho to what they think is 'da hood', squeezing $65 out of them and then showing them the Cholos, Locs, Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings and whatever other Californian hood phenomenon that can fit in 3 hours. Something about that sounds wrong. You guys are more or less commercializing the sight of black and Hispanic people in a 'controlled environment'. So what if you guys are 'giving back' or donating whatever minuscule percentage of your profits to providing former gang members jobs? The fact of the matter is that you guys are making South Central into a zoo tour. And if you want to really help people by exposing their quality of life, why not go to Haiti, or Detroit, or Africa and do a documentary? Why be so conspicuously elitist and place it under the guise of charity? I mean damn, nobody does a tour of Bumblef*ck, Idaho and takes pictures of its white more affluent inhabitants, as if they were a lion in a cage. Why should South Central be any different???

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Clipse - Freedom (Video)



I love that the Clipse have embraced the art of releasing their material to the blogosphere, because videos like this are undeniably dope. I suppose when an artist or group gets older, like the Clipse, its harder to release videos that not only embody the music, but also the artists and the aesthetic they're going for. "Freedom" does that perfectly. In fact, it reminds me a lot of 'On to the Next One' in terms of the avant-garde black and white hip-hop video (how many of those are there??). Whatever the case, check out the video for 'Freedom'...

Anderson Cooper Saves a Child from Rioters



Anderson Cooper has always been one of my favorite news personalities. He's never afraid to jump into live action, and this video was no different. Mr. Cooper sees a bunch of looters in an earthquake-ravaged Haiti throwing rocks at onlookers, including a young boy. The boy gets pelted in the head with a rock and like the action hero he is, Anderson Cooper races to the scene, picks the little boy up amid the raucous, and carries him to safety. I wonder what would happen if Bill O'Reilly was in the same situation. 9 times out of 10, I think he'd be two blocks away on a roof filming it, and shaking his head at the 'crazy black people'...

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/19)

Photobucket

Broadband Speeds Increase Around the World, Not in the US

Artificial Muscles Restore Ability to Blink, Save Eyesight

Pub offers free drinks to women based on bra size

EXCLUSIVE: Tiger Woods Plans Return to Golf in Spring

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret Jesus Bible Code

FBI Broke Law For Years In Phone Record Searches

Manchester United gives for red-cards players' Twitter and Facebook profiles

Sarcasm punctuation mark aims to put an end to email & IM confusion

Monday, January 18, 2010

The P.S. 22 Chorus



Videos like this make me not as worried and disillusioned for our youth, most notably the New York City public school system. PS 22 (check their blog here) has been cleaning up in NYC, performing for everyone from Mayor Mike Bloomberg, to local radio stations, to being featured in New York Magazine. With voices like this, you have to be hopeful for our youth. Lord knows I didn't get to do this when I was in 3rd grade. Check out some more videos of these kids KILLING your favorite pop songs...







Dear Dr. King

Photobucket
Everyone remembers the letter. Most don't remember why you were in jail in the first place...

Writing letters to the dead... Clearly losing it. Regardless, here goes.

Dr. King, it's been over 40 years since the fateful day you were murdered. In 1986, Ronald Reagan (oh, the irony) signed the bill to make your namesake into a holiday, and since then we've had the 3rd Monday in January off. There are three issues that I have with your holiday, never to take anything away from you. The first is the fact that your holiday is watered-down. Everywhere I look, instead of reverence, thoughts of action and new levels of racial equality, I see commercials for McDonalds, jokes on Twitter, and vapid school assemblies about your name. The 'I Have a Dream' and 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' are played, posted and quoted everywhere. It's not that the attention isn't deserved, it's that the holiday is a misdirected attempt at respect that's ended up as a day off for most people. We supplement that day with ceremonial (more so than sincere) reverence so that people don't think we're 'anti-MLK' or the one kid in the class who never memorized your speeches.

The second issue with your holiday is that it more or less overshadows every other black person ever associated with any type of freedom-fighting or liberal agenda. Guys like John Lewis (#shoutout to Sojourn to the Past; no, seriously) Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Medgar Evars, Stokely Carmichael and Huey Newton who all helped drive the Civil Rights movement that you are crowned king of, all get reduced to random names in a history book. Dr. King, with this holiday, your namesake has taken on a Messiah-like aura to it. You're seen as THE Civil Rights hero, rather than A Civil Rights hero. My forefathers will probably balk at this, but I don't think one person should be above a movement, especially when that movement is for an entire race. Is it your fault that you were assassinated and cast as a martyr? Probably not. That said, I don't think you'd be that hyped to have this day if you were still alive.

My last issue is the fact that literally minutes after MLK Day is over, we all pretty much just go back to living, rather than take any lessons from today. Your holiday feels like New Year's Eve all over again, with people coming up with aspirations they won't or can't hold up. Today, your name is to black people what Gasundheit is to a sneeze. For the minute, the saying and the feeling will suffice, but after the moment has passed, we don't remember the sentiment until the next time we sneeze. Dr. King, I linked the Boondocks video for the simple reason that before you died, you were telling everyone else the truth about racism. In that video, you're telling US the truth about our own race, which is ironic. Maybe it's that black people back then had enough KOS (knowledge of self) to know what was good for us. Nowadays it takes a holiday for us to remember. I can't wait till February when I get my yearly dose of Black History...

#ihaveadream that this really happened...

Touchscreen Guitar

Photobucket

Things like this make me wonder if acoustic and manual EVERYTHING is going to be replaced by touchscreens and synthesized motion. Misa Digital, an Australian manufacturer developed this guitar from a MIDI touchscreen, activated by tapping the screen where you want the note. Damn shame they haven't done a collab with Guitar Hero...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sneakers So Hot, They're a Fire Hazard



Now, I would never rock the Nike Kobe IV's, but with marketing like this, I can see why anyone would roll with these. Nike's been putting out more MVPuppet commercials (I've been late on the ones from this season) and they've been getting more and more ridiculous. These things are what I would expect Kobe and LeBron to say in my own hyperbole-laced mind, complete with random forays into rap and flaming-hot sneakers. Check out the latest two...

Dear Christian Broadcasting Network



Okay, I'm fully aware that in Christianity, God has shown himself to speak to certain individuals, in an effort to get His word out there. Now that's all well and good if what you're spewing is not only uplifting to God, but a message of love, not hatred or borderline racism. CBN, if this is your idea of uplifting, then I would hate to see anything else on your network. Pat Robertson has long been a mainstay on your channel, most notably the 700 Club (700 what?), a Christian talk show. I want to know how he's been on the air since 1966 with all of the crap he spews on the regular. From saying that 1982 was going to be the year of judgment, to claiming to be able to deflect hurricanes, to his call to assassinate Hugo Chavez, to his constant comments about other religions, homosexuality and feminism, Robertson has IDIOT and BIGOT (both in capital letters) written on his forehead.

I mean, seriously. When has natural disaster been the impetus for a human (not God, a human) to pass judgment on the spiritual sanctity of an entire country?? Or better yet, when was it ever cool to claim that black slaves couldn't defeat the French army without the help of the devil? I've always hated televangelists because they purport so many falsities while having a ton of dirty laundry themselves. Pat Robertson takes the cake though, CBN. And what's worse is the fact that you are defending his comments. My mother always said that in the End of Days (yeah, we're getting liturgical) that there would be 'false' prophets and entities spewing out iniquity under the guise of Christianity. She couldn't be more correct when it comes to the comments of Robertson or how readily you purport his idiocy. In fact, when it comes to idiocy, Pat Robertson may have written the book. Maybe you guys have forgotten. Take a look at some of Pat's other 'great' ideas, and you might see what I'm getting at...


Since when does condemning other religions show God's love??


Ignorance will never be eradicated if religion continues to blind people...

Toyota G Sports Series



Remember the Lexus LF-A I had posted up from October?? Well, Toyota (Lexus's owner) isn't stopping at the luxury brands. At the Tokyo Auto Salon (I need to make a trip out to that show at least once in my lifetime) Toyota revealed the concept for their next sports car, the G Sports Series. They were pretty tight lipped about the specs, but hinted at a RWD 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed manual tranny. The car looks like sex on hot pavement, too. Check some still pictures from the show...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Freestyle Friday (1/15)



What's up people?? Haven't done a Freestyle Friday post in a while, so here y'all go. The first one is from Nipsey Hussle. He does a verse over Nas' 'One Love' then gives a visual of him recording a track called 'Chillin on the Scene'. Props to AKZionz for putting me on to the track. The second one is by Trey Songz over Rihanna's 'Hard'. Trey honestly has a knack for doing a number over other people's beats. If he was a rapper, I really think he'd be better than a lot of heads out here. Check both videos and keep it locked to Dear Whoever...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dear Washington Wizards

Photobucket
What did he really do to deserve this??

via The Washington Post:
Gilbert Arenas was charged Thursday with a single count of carrying a pistol without a licence, a felony that carries a five-year sentence, but the Washington Wizards guard has reached a plea agreement that would result in much less or even no jail time, several sources close to the case said.

Arenas is scheduled to enter his plea on Friday afternoon before D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin. Even if prosecutors agree not to seek prison for Arenas, it will be up to Morin whether to sentence Arenas to probation, community service, a fine or some combination. The judge, a former defense attorney, also could send Arenas to jail.

Regardless of whether Arenas goes to jail, the star's future in the city that once embraced his jocular personality and his ability to hit clutch jump shots is in doubt. The 28-year-old former all star, whose birthday parties made the television news, has been suspended indefinitely by the NBA, and it is unclear whether a felony conviction would give the Wizards the right to void the remaining four years of his six-year, $111 million contract.

There are certain moments when the direction of the law makes absolutely no sense. It's a sad day when the justice system completely overshoots it's boundaries and makes a move to severe for it's own good. That said, Wizards, it's an even sadder day knowing that you threw your player under the bus for something that turned out to be a joke (by some accounts). Yes, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton (who should be kissing Gilbert's ass for the rest of his life) were in the wrong for both having guns in a locker room, and for making light of it afterward. Gilbert is getting charged with an unlicensed pistol (funny, because Dick Cheney can ACTUALLY shoot some one, and not even be arrested), facing 5 years of a felony, and you guys decide to turn your back on him.

Not only is that foul ethically, but Gilbert has done soooo much more for the Wizards that Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison. Antawn is too scared to take the big shots, and Caron Butler has been playing terribly this year. In fact, the first player you should be cutting ties with is Caron. At least Gilbert is playing like a shell of himself. We could just blame it on the government's knack for knocking black athletes harder than anyone. At the end of the day, had you guys just stuck by Arenas, you might not have won a 'ship, but you wouldn't be poised to take a nosedive in the East. Too bad Javaris didn't get the long arm of the law.


Can anyone deny how ill Gil is??

Music-Making Jeep



Remember how Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids used to use every conceivable object in a garbage dump to make music?? Or the episode of Doug where they made a song called 'Bangin on a Trash Can'?? This is right down the street from them. A group of friends from Lord knows where decided to turn their old-school Jeep Grand Cherokee into a musical instrument, with everything from doors slamming, to ignition, to the jumper cables to whatever else they could come up with. I love creativity spawned from boredom. It's the purest form...

Tattooed Eyes??



If you're of faint heart, please move to the next post NOW. Then again, if you're into heavy body modification, this might be the post for you. Whatever the case, lifetime inmates in prison have begun tattooing the whites of their eyes as a 'final frontier' of body modification. The inmates will be getting disciplinary action for their tattoos, but at that point, who really cares? I'll tell you one thing: you wouldn't find any of that at OZ...

Dear Google

Photobucket

via The NY Times:
Google said Tuesday that it would stop cooperating with Chinese Internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in the country altogether, citing assaults from hackers on its computer systems and China’s attempts to “limit free speech on the Web.”

The move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million Web users.

Since arriving here in 2006 under an arrangement with the government that purged its Chinese search results of banned topics, Google has come under fire for abetting a system that increasingly restricts what citizens can read online.

It's always a great thing when corporate America stands up for what is right, in a humanitarian sense. Whether it's Nike NOT working Asian children to the bone, or GM trying not to kill their employees' pensions, companies that care about something other than their quarterly reports are always a good look. Google, you've always been groundbreaking in terms of human resources, and how your company was run. That's why you suspending operations is so dope. You're like the Gandhi of the internet age, refusing to eat unless everyone's search engines are treated equally.

Yeah, we know having China on your roster was a security risk because people were hacking your site to get access to it. Yeah, we know you'll probably have to let go of a hefty amount of Chinese workers. In the short run, this might hurt. But in the long run, this sends a message that no country should be able to censor its people. Information is a right everyone needs to be afforded, and China is trying to play hardball, for what reason I don't know. It's not as if the Chinese people are a downtrodden, poor population. China is actually losing out by not cooperating with you. Hopefully they know that. Lord knows no one of the 1.3 billion heads in China wants to lose all of their e-mails and contacts. That'd be the real tragedy...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/13)

Photobucket
If you really want to know your significant other, check their Google searches...

Fat Butts May Be Healthy

Tony Blair gave secret promise to George Bush over Iraq invasion

Congress Leader: Full Pot Legalization Can Happen Now

Mystery Object to Whizz by Earth Wednesday

Woman fired from Conde' Nast for showing off breast augmentation

Is Marketing Covering Up Danica Patricks Lack of Skills?

Woman in Tony Romo Jersey Assaulted by Eagles Fans

Printers are an invention of the devil

Baron Davis Dribbles Around NYC in Li Ning's



It's no secret that most basketball sneakers, or sneakers for that matter are made in Asia (coughNikecoughReebokcoughadidascough). That said, when is the last time you've heard of a sneaker company from Asia? That ought to change now. Baron Davis, who was previously sponsored by Reebok has taken up the offer from Li Ning, a sports apparel and footwear brand from China. I have to say that this is definitely the way to break into the market, and that the sneakers don't look half bad. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from Li Ning, especially if I get to see Baron hooping it up in NYC all day...

PS: Check out the cameos from Jim Jones, Irv Gotti, DJ Clue and Common...

Dear World (Re: Earthquake in Haiti)



It's no mystery that the poorest country in the Western hemisphere is Haiti. From widespread corruption to rampant hunger and crime to a deteriorating landscape, the status of the other half of Hispaniola has been in shambles for years. Yesterday, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that 'leveled a hospital', buried thousands of people, and caused destruction right outside of the capital of Port-au-Prince cast Haiti into the spotlight, finally. That said, the world community needs to put their own needs aside if even for a few days to aid the country. It's one thing for the your country's leader to make a statement saying something to this effect:

'Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and country of Haiti.'

It's a completely different situation for everyone to make a committed effort to send aid. Whether it's clothing, food, money, or building supplies, every bit helps. The world, over the past two years has been languishing in the fact that our financial markets have been less than stellar, ignoring the fact that most of Haiti lives below what we would call poverty. I'm not sitting here writing this as a do-gooding humanitarian, or someone who even has family in Haiti. I just know that death and disaster on such a wide scale should never go unnoticed. Let's do what we can, and make sure that Haiti can recover from this devastating happening. Check some websites that you can donate to to help Haiti:

Samaritan Purse

World Vision

Unicef

OxFam

Cam'ron x DJ Drama - Boss of All Bosses 2

Photobucket

Cam'ron x DJ Drama - Boss of All Bosses 2

Cam is back. Yes, I just said that. Killa Cam is back. There have been two phases of Cam's legacy in hip-hop; the first one was his lyrical stage when Big L was still alive and the second was his nursery rhyme phase when he was with the ROC. Cam seems to have melded the two with his new offering with DJ Drama 'Boss of All Bosses 2'. If you don't like drops, or random cronies shouting on your tracks, you might be turned off. If you want to hear the purest of cocaine raps and overall swaggnificence (yeah, I coined that) on wax, then this is the tape for you. Cam'ron seems to have dropped the bullshit and gotten back to lyrics. The beats are vintage Dip Set (shouts to Araab) and Cam makes light of everything from his label situation to the ridiculous amount of money he makes, to the frivolous women he deals with. Gone are the onomatopoeia and random rhymes, and in come wordplay and vocaublary unseen since his Children of the Corn days. Honestly, you should check this out. Harlem please take your bow. Check the link, tracklist, my #dopetracks and a promo freestyle (sorry, no loosies for this one)...

Photobucket

#dopetracks
We Back
U Right
Bezel Up
A Mafia
They Holla Ayo
Nothing Personal

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear FIFA

Photobucket
Togo being disqualified makes this man's death in vain...

via CNN:
Togo's national soccer team have been officially disqualified from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The region's governing football body for football has confirmed that the team, known as the "Hawks", will take no further part in the tournament being hosted by Angola after failing to appear for their first group game against Ghana on Monday, according to CNN affiliate ITN.

The squad flew back home to Togo after three of their traveling party were killed and two players seriously injured by a machine-gun attack which occurred as their bus crossed the border into the northern, oil-rich state of Cabinda on Friday.

Why is death an impetus for lack of understanding? Or better yet, why does the death of a comrade (only word I wanted to use; I'm not a Commie) not inspire people instead of make them fearful and contentious? The latter is your stee-lo, FIFA. Togo was eliminated from the CAF African Nations Cup after failing to show for their first match. No, they weren't on a delayed flight or getting a new pair of shin-guards for Emmanuel Adebayor. THEY WERE GETTING ATTACKED BY MACHINE GUNS! I could understand if the team was being a fist full of assholes and just not showing up, but where do sympathy and reverence come into play?

Soccer has always been one of the sports I respected because of how regal and tradition-based it is without being a bore. Now, can that really be said? And better yet, what of the security of the rest of the squads in the Nations Cup? If the Togolese team is getting shot up before they even get to the tournament, then I shudder to think what could happen when all of the teams are together. And to that same effect, what's going to be the deal when the World Cup goes down in June?? Is the security going to be that loose? Whatever the case, FIFA, you guys need to both beef up your security and LET TOGO PLAY. By disqualifying them, you're letting those crazed attackers think they won, which would be the ultimate L, no matter who wins the Nations Cup...

Drake - Successful (Unreleased Verse)



Drake - Successful (Unreleased Verse)

Saw this yesterday on The Smoking Section, and then immediately wondered why this wasn't on the original. I guess when you get Weezy-fied as much as Drake has, you bow (or kneel, since Wayne is a tall midget) to the master...

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm at Work (Parody)



I saw this as I was at work today and bust out laughing at the front desk while on the phone. Needless to say, we've all had those jobs where it just seemed like we were going through the motions ala' Office Space. And you got to admit that both of these dudes rap pretty well about occupational drudgery. Check the video...

Neighborhood Newsletter (1/11)


Chad Ochocinco is the most interesting player in the NFL, by far...

A New School Teaches Students Through Videogames

It Takes 9 Hours of Sex to Burn Off 6 Chicken McNuggets

China 'overtakes Germany as world's largest exporter'

Google Earth helps find El Dorado

Whole Foods Really Is Bad for the Planet

Former Gov. Blagojevich: 'I'm blacker than Barack Obama'

Texas School Board Aims To Ban Cesar Chavez From Textbooks

Do platonic friendships between men and women really exist?