Friday, April 30, 2010

Dear Reality TV



Is this what we've come to? Really?? Come on TV networks. This is lame. It's lamer than lame. It's not even funny. Let's get this straight. I hate reality television. The idea of people essentially putting their dirty laundry out for people to ogle is ridiculous to me. The private lives of celebrities and wanna-be celebrities probably shouldn't be fodder for our viewing pleasure. That said, I understand why people watch some shows. They like the scripts storylines and get personally drawn in by the actors casts. If that's the case, then why do shows like 'What Chilli Wants' even exist? I feel like damn near every reality tv show nowadays follows one script now:

EVERY REALITY SHOW SCRIPT:
- Has-been celebrity/C-celebrity/wannabe celebrity has some problem that would be trivial to most people (ie: finding a mate, a drug problem, pursuing new work after a fizzling career).
- Enter a 'friend' (aka hired actor) to help counsel the celebrity in their matters.
- The two stumble over the problems and (hopefully) find out the problem isn't even that serious.
- The season ends with the problem unresolved and a whole new season of trivial problems on deck.
- Season 2 comes back with a new problem and new friends.

Now you guys aren't even hiring the actual stars!! It's their bird-brained wives!!
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That's a pretty simple premise. Think about all the shows like that: Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business, Salt-N-Pepa Show, What Chilli Wants, Breaking Bonaduce, and numerous other shows that follow the exact same script. You guys don't even try to hide it with different locales!! It's always in Atlanta, NYC, or Los Angeles, in the most artificial of environments. All of the themes are the same. All of the ideas are the same. Hell, some reality TV stars have more than one show (coughcoughthecoughKardashianscoughcough), and if it wasn't for extended casts, they'd be the same show!! Seriously though, clean up these shows. Either head back to the drawing board and find something better to point your cameras at, or at least find some celebrities with something of worth to bring to the telly. If this is what we're raising our kids on, I might just deem myself infertile at age 30...

ONLY NY Spring 2010 Collection

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Haven't posted any clothes in a minute, since nothing's really caught my eye as of late. As a matter of fact, I'd say that most of the brands I used to bang with have put out sub-par Spring collections. Maybe it's a shift in their M.O.'s or maybe it's me getting older and less cool with over-the-top designs. I suppose that's why I dig ONLY NY's Spring 2010 Collection. It's very simplistic in their t-shirts, hoodies and caps. The collection rocks with quality vintage cotton with simple logos. In fact, ONLY has extremely good branding. You never find yourself wondering 'Why'd they put that out?' or 'That doesn't fit with the rest.' It's just apparel. Well made and well designed in the mold of NYC street culture. Check out some more choice flicktures and the rest of the collection at ONLY NY...

If you don't know what that is behind the dude, I revoke your hood pass...
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Neighborhood Newsletter (4/30)

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My grandmother said it best: Time changes EVERYTHING

Magnum Condoms Embrace Hip-Hop, Hire Ludacris As Spokesman

Hugo Chavez Invites Fidel Castro to Join Twitter

Arizona Rewrites Immigration Law to Prevent Racial Profiling

15 Greatest Foods for When You're Hungover

This is Why You Still Live With Your Parents

McDonalds Happy Meals Banned in Santa Clara County, CA

Blind boy learns how to 'see' using dolphin technique

BMW knocks Toyota out of top spot in brand value survey

Jay Electronica - The Ghost of Christopher Wallace (ft. Diddy)

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As an artist, saying 'CHEESE' with Diddy are some famous last words...


Jay Electronica - The Ghost of Christopher Wallace (ft. Diddy)

I can't honestly say that I commend Jay Elec's pick of Puff Daddy P. Diddy Puffy as a hip-hop affiliate, but you can't knock the man for getting a good co-sign. That co-sign also happens to come with the permission to say the name of the late, great Notorious BIG (think about it; no one writes songs about or concerning him). 'The Ghost of Christopher Wallace' is a lyrical journey through hip-hop of the last 15 years. Jay tells the rap world to stop trying to compare everyone to Biggie and work on their own damn raps, which I can't agree with any more wholeheartedly. Of course you've got Diddy in the background with the finest of ad-libs (only he can claim that), and the beat kinda grows on you. Check out what's hopefully the start of a beautiful friendship business partnership. RIP to every other artist that Diddy has ever laid eyes on...

Stalley - Pressure (Produced by Michael Sterling Eaton)

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Stalley - Pressure (Produced by Michael Sterling Eaton)

Got this in my e-mail yesterday and was bumping it all night. Stalley has been hitting the tour circuit and working with Ski Beatz for 24 Hour Karate School (which has lost damn near ALL buzz). That doesn't mean he doesn't have time to do a few side projects. This latest one is a collab with filmmaker Michael Sterling Eaton, who is working on a short film called "Pressure". Eaton produced the smooth, relaxing title track for the movie, with Stalley tossing out uplifting lyrics about persevering and staying with a struggle no matter how much pressure is on you. Hopefully the album is just as dope as the song. Check the download...

Freestyle Friday (4/30)



If it's Friday, you know we've got freestyles. Both of these freestyles show that there's a changing of the guards going on in hip-hop. The first one is from Vado, and it's official: Vado is legit! That's by Jadakiss's standards though. The Harlem MC stopped by DJ Green Lantern's Sirius radio show with Cam'ron and got the chance to spit some freestyle bars in front of Mr. Al-Queada. By the time the beat was done, Vado had one of the meanest co-signs in hip-hop. The second freestyle is from Curren$y. The premise here is simple. He rolls in in the flyest of whips, lets his bass bump and drops off a verse that sounds like it was off the dome. The craziest part of the freestyle was the fact that Spitta was rocking the Roc-a-Fella chain and the Camaro he was riding had the BlackRoc (Dame Dash's new initiative) imprint on it. Dame x Spitta might damn well equal FIRE, especially with Curren$y's new album 'Pilot Talk' dropping soon. Whatever the case, check out both freestyles and keep it locked to Dear Whoever...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Drake - Find Your Love (Produced by Kanye West)

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What's with these single artworks looking the same?? Drake, hire new photo people...


Drake - Find Your Love (Produced by Kanye West)

The 2nd leak I posted off 'Thank Me Later', called 'Fall For Your Type' was a silky, sultry ode to loving a person who doesn't fit your mold. This 3rd leak, entitled 'Find Your Love', is just the opposite of that, talking about the hardhsips of finding that right person. The result is just as smooth and comes out sounding great. I always rag on Drake for his singing, but he always seems to sing just well enough over a beat just hot enough to draw people in. I hope the whole album sounds as good as this. Then again, with Kanye West among others on the boards, it's hard not to blow. Whatever the case, check out that new Drake...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (4/28)

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Something tells me they don't have too many customers...

Boy Scouts introduce videogame badge, other badges ask 'Really?'

Bad habits (bad diet, smoking, drinking) can age you by 12 years, study suggests

The 9 Most Annoying People at Starbucks

Ibogaine -- The Magic Plant That Could Cure Addiction, Still Banned in the U.S.

The Arizona of 2010 is the Alabama of 1963

Philidelphia Pushing to Pacify Pot Prosecutions

Brazil's Health Minister Prescribes More Sex

Survey: 72% of Millennials 'more spiritual than religious'

Convicted Pedo Priest Found Working w/ Children in Holland

Dear Al Davis


Only a true bust could do that...

via The Associated Press:
As JaMarcus Russell(notes) struggled through the worst statistical season for an NFL quarterback in more than a decade, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis preached patience.

It appears that even Davis may have finally given up on his young quarterback.

With last weekend’s trade for Jason Campbell(notes), the Raiders seem ready to close the door on the exorbitantly expensive and unproductive Russell era in Oakland.

The only remaining question looks to be if they cut ties with the former No. 1 overall pick before this weekend’s mandatory minicamp begins, wait until training camp, drag it out until final roster cuts or even keep Russell on the roster for another season as a backup. But his days as a starter are likely over.

Al, you've always been one of my favorite owners for two things: your legacy and your catchphrase. Just Win Baby. In the last decade though, it seems like you've traded that in for either a dunce cap or a bet gone bad. The way the Raiders have played for the past 7 years (worst winning % of all time in the NFL) has been atrocious. It's been laughable. It's been ridiculous. And you were always the lynchpin making all the decisions. It was always you. From Jon Gruden to Norv Turner to Bill Callahan to Art Shell to Lane Kiffin and now to Tom Cable (that's 6 coaches in 7 years), you've never let anyone take the reins. And that's even with your health getting worse (knock on wood) and your team getting even worse than that. You watched raggedy games, penalties, blowouts, insubordination, and worst, players who don't care.

Al, let's cut to the chase. JaMarcus Russell is a bust. A tremendous bust. No he's the 2nd worst NFL draft bust of all time. Ryan Leaf was a jack*ass, on top of being a bad QB. Then again, J-Rock wasn't any angel himself. The man is constantly teetering to the wrong side of 300 lbs, held out his rookie season for a bigger contract, comes to training camp and practice late and doesn't know half of the plays. Russell overthrows people constantly. He can't even control the huddle and makes stupid videos like this:

Who know JaMarcus was a rapper too??


Al, please don't deny the fact that Russell wasn't the right QB for the Raiders. He brought the team down and probably cost them a few wins last season. The most shine he got was on the bench showing off his earrings. Do yourself, your legacy, the Raiders, and their fans a favor. Release JaMarcus Russell and send him to the waiver wire, where some hopeless team will pick him up, hoping they can develop him. You signed Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller to go along with Gradkowski. The draft was a success, and you have more young, talented players on defense. Let the fat man sing and move forward with your organization. If your team doesn't improve next year, then maybe JaMarcus really did come out on top...

Lupe Fiasco - I'm Beamin' (Music Video)


#allblackeverything now, Lupe??

People always seem to have one major point of hatred about Lupe Fiasco: that he's too convoluted, archaic, confusing or 'smart' in his rhymes. Waka Flocka would call that 'dictionary rap'. Lupe, however, never is unwilling to try something different. The video for the first single off Lasers takes the advice of every critic that Lupe's had, and dumbs down the video completely. There are kids with cardboard cutouts acting out Lu's bars and bright, multi-colored lights flashing around him as he raps. Hell, it's like a show on Nick Jr. Whatever the case, it still turns out brilliantly. Lasers is coming closer. I wish he would hit us with a release date though. Enjoy the video....

Pac Div - Don't Mention It

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Pac Div - Don't Mention It

Monday, I threw out a loosie from Pac Div called 'Shine'. Today (or yesterday) I got a chance to listen to their new mixtape 'Don't Mention It', and I must say, I'm impressed by the boys from the 'new' left coast. First and foremost, the first few tracks on this mixtape are CRACK. 'Underdogs II' sounded entirely too smooth, 'Birds' was a cheeky ode to dumb and fast women, and 'Broccoli' showed the group's knack for punchlines. Pac Div show a lot of charisma on this mixtape, which shows up in how much more pop-oriented it sounds. Tracks like 'Waves at the Prom' show that they're still catering to a younger audience. Some of their wordplay is a little bit dumbed down from the classic level of 'Church League Champions', but not to a fault. It's just an indication that these guys are ready to blow. Now, do I think it's the best way to go? Not necessarily. You can still keep your content up while making your music more palatable. I just think Pac Div wanted to put something out. Regardless, the production on this mixtape is album-quality and the beats (all original) were a pleasure to hear. I said on Twitter that 5 tracks in, this mixtape was my favorite of the year. It didn't finish with that billing, but rocked enough to make it worth the listen. Pac Div, as well as the rest of the left coast, need to be heard. Check out the download, tracklist/back cover, #dopetracks, loosies and videos...

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#dopetracks:
Underdogs II
Birds
Broccoli
Here We Go
Waves at the Prom

Loosies:
Pac Div - Shine (ft. Marz Lovejoy)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

J. Cole - Who Dat

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I already like where J. Cole's mainstream debut is heading... This artwork is FIRE


J. Cole - Who Dat

Ummmmmm.... If you didn't know by now, J. Cole is on Jay-Z's Roc Nation imprint, and is set to release his debut album 'Cole World' later this year. Everyone's sitting behind their computers comparing him to Drake, but if you've listened to both, there really is no comparison. Whereas Drake has gotten watered down and Weezy-fied, J. Cole has gotten a lot better and has been spitting fire over the last few leaks. I'm going to spare you the talk about those, though. Please, please, please give 'Who Dat' a listen, and tell me that J. Cole isn't the #1 draft pick in hip-hop right now. The beat is crazy, and Cole doles out pure heat rocks. Seriously, download this NOW...

Kanye West x The Cleveland Show



This Sunday night should be an epic one in television history... Well, not that serious. But still, along with the third and final season of the Boondocks beginning, we'll get treated to Kanyeezy making a nice little guest spot on the Cleveland Show. For someone who's been known to at times take himself and his opinion way too seriously, it's going to be interesting to see what kind of jokes Mr. West is a part of, or better yet, the butt of. Also, the rap and hip-hop references in this episode should be crazy. Hopefully there's some action with Rallo and Cleveland Jr., too. Check out the sneak preview of the episode airing Sunday, May 2nd...

Dear GOP

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Truer words have never come out of an elephant's mouth...

via The New York Times:
Senate Republicans, united in opposition to the Democrats’ legislation to tighten regulation of the financial system, voted on Monday to block the bill from reaching the floor for debate. As both sides dug in, the battle has huge ramifications for the economy and for their political prospects in this year’s midterm elections. Republicans said they were intent on winning substantive changes to the bill and accused the Democrats of rushing the most far-reaching overhaul of the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. Both sides say they expect the overhaul eventually will be approved.

Democrats charged that Republicans were leaving the country at risk of another financial calamity and siding with wealthy corporate interests. The chief executive of one such firm, Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse accused of fraud by federal regulators, is to testify Tuesday before a Senate committee. Sensing political momentum at a time of deep public anger at Wall Street, Democratic leaders said they would keep the regulatory bill on the floor — and delay the rest of their busy legislative agenda — to ratchet up the pressure on the Republicans.

Democrats said they believed the fight over financial regulation — and signs of economic recovery in many parts of the country — could help turn the tide of anti-incumbent sentiment that has them bracing for substantial losses in November. President Obama joined in criticizing Republicans for refusing to begin debate, and urged them to “put the interests of the country ahead of party.”

There is nothing worse than when an entity just can't admit when it is wrong. Actually, I rescind that statement. It's even worse when that same entity knows it's wrong, tries every method in the book to keep those wrongs from being exposed, and blocks every attempt to right those wrongs. I couldn't be talking about anyone, but you, oh great GOP. You see, over the past 10 years, America has gone from a surplus, to a crippling deficit, to a full blown recession. As a matter of fact, the surplus Clinton left you guys with left faster than it came. That said, rather than change your clearly errant ways when Obama took office, you guys have been more stagnant than a turtle sipping sizzurp. When it came for the health care bill, you as a party made it your prerogative to block the bill, no matter how much the facts and national support stacked up against you. And the same thing is happening again with this financial regulation debate.

You see, I wouldn't be so mad if you guys weren't so adverse to even talking about reforming the regulatory standards of the financial industry. Truth be told, if you guys were open to debate, came with points that were valid and more complementary to the country's financial health than the Dems, what could I or anyone else say? That would be retarded. If something is clearly beneficial to the country, opposing it is hindering not only the country, but the entity opposing it. It's as if as soon as Bush was out of office, someone in the GOP sent a party-wide memo entitled 'NO'. The memo was simple: say no to everything. How can you build any type of following or make any progress when anything not from your party is met with unanimous opposition? How can you claim to want to 'take back America' when you don't even listen to America? Hell, how can you watch the American economy crumble, and then say no to debating (not even legislating) a solution? What sense does that make??

GOP, I've had a revelation about you, especially after you trying to block this financial debate. You're like the parent that says no to everything. You don't even look at the permission slip for the field trip before you say no. You have your no's cocked and loaded like an American soldier lost in hostile territory. It's actually sick how readily you reject things thrown your way. Perhaps, after the financial debate does go through (there's no way the public or Obama will let them live the block down), you should watch this movie, and take notes. It'd definitely make your options a little more diverse...

Pac Div - Shine (ft. Marz Lovejoy)

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Pac Div - Shine (ft. Marz Lovejoy)

The thing I love about some of the artists I've been introduced to in the past 2 years writing a blog, is that when some artists go underground for a while, others pop up. When one of your favorite rappers hasn't put out anything in a minute, either because they've been in the lab or on tour, another one starts releasing new music. That's the case with the boys from the Left Coast, Pac Div. Last year they rocked the mixtape circuit with their banger ' Church League Champions,' and now they're setting up shop to release a new mixtape, entitled 'Don't Mention It'. If they keep up this type of fire, then Pac Div should be damn near at the top of the game by this year's end. Check out the track & download...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lupe Fiasco - 'Love Letter to the Beat' x 'Horn Synth' (Snippet)

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Looks like the nuttiest photoshoot ever...


Lupe Fiasco - Love Letter to the Beat (ft. Alicia Keys)


Lupe Fiasco - Horn Synth (ft. Pharrell) (SNIPPET)

Can you feel it in the air? I can. Lupe Fiasco's 'Lasers' is drawing nearer. Today we got two leaks from the new album. The first one, 'Love Letter to the Beat,' is a star-studded lineup, with Alicia Keys jumping on the track, which is produced by Chad Hugo. It's a really jumpy synth beat with a lot of drums during the breakdowns. I think Alicia plays the keys along with her vocals. The second one, 'Horn Synth,' I didn't even want to post, because it was a snippet, and I HATE partial leaks and snippets. But the one minute and sixteen seconds of music that Pharrell and Lupe were so dope that I had to. The beat, the lyrics; EVERYTHING. If this is the caliber of hip-hop music that Lupe's bringing for Lasers, then I for one can't wait. Check both tracks out...

Nas & Damian Marley - As We Enter (Music Video)



As Nas and Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley prepare to release their album 'Distant Relatives,' I can't help but think about other rap & reggae combinations that did the deed. Their video for 'As We Enter' shows the darker, grittier side of both artists, while jumping over a springy beat. The black on black wardrobe with the post-apocalyptic scenery pays a little too much homage to Jay-Z, but the track is so dope, you don't pay any attention to it. Back to my original point. Rap & Reggae, especially coming from a New York perspective, was heavy back in the 90's and early 2000's. As a matter of fact, both Rap and what we call Dancehall came from the olden art of dubplating. Maybe Jr. Gong and Nasir can bring that trend back. Check out the video for 'As We Enter' and some of my favorite Rap/Reggae clashes...











A Completely Transparent Car



If you're like me and have the imaginative capacity of a 5-year-old (that's actually a really good thing), then you're always wondering how stuff works or what's on the inside of all your favorite pieces of technology. As a matter of fact, you've probably contemplated taking apart some of your stuff just to see its guts. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the technological expertise to pull that off. Even so, we're still curious. That's why projects like this are so dope. Shell, in an effort to push its new motor oil (somewhat of an afterthought), built a completely clear Nissan 370Z to show the oil going through the engine, the cylinders, piston, crankshaft, and flywheel. Mind you, the car, as well as the engine itself, is made completely out of a glass-like material called Permex. They patent cut every single, solitary part of the car, and then carefully put them together by hand. The outcome is an (almost) fully functional, clear Nissan 370Z with Shell Helix (really wack name) pulsing through its veins, which is pretty cool to look at. Riding around in this as a felon or a snitch is a death certificate, though. Check out the corporate science project...

Neighborhood Newsletter (4/26)



Real-life money mistakes you can't afford to make

Whoops: 4/20 poll actually shows record legalization support

Seven Reasons Apple Shareholders Should Be Cautious

Sony To Stop Manufacturing Floppy Discs After 30 Years

Parents: Are You Raising a Douchebag?

Stephen Hawking: alien life is out there, scientist warns

The 8 dumbest business decisions ever

Post-it Notes, the little squares that changed lives, turn 30

Dear Jan Brewer (re: Arizona Immigration Reform)

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Photoshop in an Arizona police badge and we have the same scene...

via The Washington Post:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Friday the most restrictive immigration bill in the country, setting the stage for a showdown with the Obama administration and reigniting a divisive national debate less than seven months before congressional midterm elections.

Brewer, a Republican facing a stiff primary challenge, said she had no choice but to act because Washington's failure to address the issue had effectively left border protection to the states. "We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," she said, as hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside her Phoenix office. "But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created an unacceptable situation."

Even before it was signed, President Obama criticized the Arizona law, which requires police to question anyone who appears to be in the country illegally. Obama called the effort "misguided" and directed the Justice Department to monitor its implementation, warning that it could violate citizens' civil rights. Immediate legal challenges were expected from outside groups.

There is a huge difference between protecting the interests of the many and protecting the ignorance and small-mindedness of the few. That said, in a lot of states below the Mason-Dixon line and under the influence of Republicans, the ignorance of the few seems to reign supreme. Governor Brewer, I always thought Arizona was towards the forefront of a cordial relationship with immigrants, particularly those from Mexico. However, with this new bill focused on immigration, I can see that you and your state are about as bass ackwards as Glenn Beck attending an NAACP meeting. You see, by throwing this piece of shit legislation out, you're more or less saying to every non-white immigrant 'You are not welcome,' regardless of whether they are legal or not. This new bill doesn't enforce anything other than your own insecurities that in another 20 years, whites will no longer be the majority in your state (or much of the Southwest US, for that matter). What's the matter? Afraid that the popular vote might not swing your way again? Well, with laws like these being enacted, your hold might be a lot shorter than you think.

I mean, really.. Do we have to take it back to Nazi Germany, where any person remotely varying from the German ideal was asked 'Where are your papers?' Is that what misunderstanding and ignorance about other cultures have driven you to? Unlawful searches and unwarranted stops? By enacting this law, you're essentially giving the police the green light to racially profile people. Not that racial profiling wasn't an institution already, but I suppose having it on paper makes it all the better for you guys. Civil rights and general parity in the reach of the law don't matter when you've got a bunch of day-laborers immigrants to keep from adding to our GDP bogging down our infrastructure. You tell those wetbacks to stay on their side! And if they try to go out without identification, you arrest them and hold them for unlawful reasons! I wonder how long until they legalize racial profiling up here...

2010 NBA Playoff Commercials



If you've been watching the 2010 NBA Playoffs (I've been watching religiously), along with being bombarded with commercials, you've seen a bunch of new commercials highlighting how crazy the season and first round have been. The marketing people for the NBA used soundbytes from press conferences, post game interviews, on-court sounds and a few synths to make up Nike Battlegrounds-esque tracks for their commercials. I guess it's one more thing to add to a list of improvements the NBA gone through to bring the game back to prime relevance. And just think, this is just the first round. I can't wait to see what they come up with later on. Kudos to the NBA marketing people...





Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cam'ron & Vado - Speaking in Tungs x I Don't Believe N*ggas

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Cam'ron & Vado - Speaking in Tungs


Cam'ron - I Don't Believe Niggas (ft. Fabolous & Vado)

I may be from the Bronx, but I certainly am a fan of Harlem rappers (BX is gonna have a resurgence soon.. I can feel it!). Cam'ron and his newest protege Vado are up there on the list, though Cam has been doing it since the 90s. The thing that I like about Vado is that, unlike Juelz, it hasn't taken him 4 years and a label dispute to get his rhymes together. Vado drops a bunch of bars on both of these tracks, and compliments Cam perfectly. Even Fab drops a lyrical dime or two (why can't he do that on his own work?). Check out the Cam and Vado's odes to lying adversaries and great love-making...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NERD - Hot N' Fun (ft. Nelly Furtado)

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NERD - Hot N' Fun (ft. Nelly Furtado)

Well, I for one am hyped, because I'm seeing N.E.R.D. tonight. Chad, Pharrell and Hugo have been off the scene for about 2 years touring and doing God knows what. I suppose their first leak from the new album 'Nothing' would come straight out of left field. They recruited Nelly Furtado for some vocals and threw together a snappy, bop-your-head beat to talk about girls who just want the physical pleasures in this life. I especially love the piano breakdown. If 'Seeing Sounds' was their return to a grittier sound, then this album should be a lot more diverse musically. I'm expecting a banger. Check out the track...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Air Jordan VI 'Infrared' Pack

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PIFF. That is all I have to say about the new Jordan VI Infrared pack dropping. Well, not really. The VI is one of the more underrated silhouettes in the JB catalog, but definitely one of the richest in Jordan history. Released first in 1991, they were the shoe that MJ won his first NBA title in. They also were the first that Tinker Hatfield personally consulted Mike about, adding touches like a molded back to protect his Achilles tendon, a sturdier rubber sole than the V, and reinforced toes. Now, they're coming back out in a pack (haven't seen a good one since the DMPs) featuring a new white/infrared and the more familiar black/infrared colorway. No word yet on when they're dropping, but considering the lack of number retroes coming out lately, they'll definitely be out sooner than later. Think early summer. Check out some more pictures...

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Dear Alchemist

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I never thought I'd see the day when Twitter truly became hood. Now, I eat that thought and the naiveté behind it. Game's 400 bar freestyle to Jay Electronica's 'Exhibit C' didn't break any world records, nor did it suffice to break Jayceon out of his 2-year landslide rough patch. In fact, most people (including myself) didn't get halfway through it. I'd say 5 minutes in, I was ready to hit the spacebar. Regardless, this is about you, Alchemist. You found out today just how 'real' Twitter can get. Like most people, you used your account to voice an opinion, albeit a famous one, to the Twitterverse. Unfortunately, Game didn't take too kindly to that and had you jumped. Whether Game called that or not, it stands to say that Twitter might be gone to the wolves soon. If this is how grown men niggas act over a 20 minute freestyle, how are they going to act when something.. you know.. real happens?



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (4/22)

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Why You Don't Want to Counterfeit the Hideous New $100 Bill

The Man Who Studies Female Orgasms

Washed Up Whale Found with 50 Gallons of Our Garbage In Its Gut

Roots of Islamic funamentalism lie in Nazi propaganda

1,000 Things You Don't Know About Women

What is legal is not always right

Bacterial mat the size of Greece found on Pacific floor

Did Earth Day Sell Out to Corporations?

Joell Ortiz - YAOWA (Mixtape Trailer)



'You're Actually One World Away' from me... YAOWA... That's what Joell Ortiz decided to call his next mixtape, a collaboration with DJ Green Lantern and Don Cannon. Ridiculous acronyms aside, I'm actually pretty hyped for this one. Joell's has been the most consistent out of the Slaughterhouse crew (Budden, Royce & Crook need to come out with some hot shit) and with that 'Nissan, Honda, Chevy' cut, has the ears of hip-hop. Along with the new mixtape, he put out a song about MY WIFE, Sanaa Lathan. I couldn't help but listen to what another dude has to say about my queen. Check out the loosie track and the trailer for YAOWA...


Joell Ortiz - Letter to Sanaa
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HANDS OFF MY LADY, ORTIZ!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Chris Brown



Ummmmm... Chris, you've truly lost it with this one. You are not Trey Songz or R. Kelly, in that you can't make the transition from singing to rapping and back; nor will you ever be. You haven't even mastered the art of singing enough to say 'Okay, let me try my hand at this.' No offense, but that sounded like the most generic of generic verses I've ever heard. Are you sure that Diddy didn't buy this verse for you? In fact, Tyga killed your verse and didn't even say anything worthwhile. Now, I'm not hating on your grind, because lord knows you have to bank on something these days. Your last album was a snorefest, even with all the features, and your credibility is at a low point. At the same time, though, shouldn't you be in the studio working on YOUR craft, not trying to come back out with a gimmick and a wack sidekick?? (Tyga can rap, but he's not a good rapper) I mean, for God's sake, you and Tyga looked (and sounded) like Kriss Kross in this video. And with a gimmick this lame, you guys might have just as short a run as Kriss Kross (even Jermaine Dupri can cosign that). Let's just hope your next move isn't wearing backwards clothes, because I will quit listening to hip-hop at that moment...

Man vs. Machine in a Field Goal Contest



Man vs. machine is one of the ideas that has always been in society's mind's eye since the Industrial Revolution. Whether the plight of John Henry vs. the steam engine, the rise of computers in the latter half of the century, or the advent of true artificial intelligence, we've always been curious as to how we stacked up against the machines of our own creation. Such is the case here, where Joe Nedney, the kicker for the San Francisco 49ers engages in the battle of his lifetime against machine. Some engineers participating in the annual Robogames, crafted a 360-pound robot capable of kicking field goals with the best of them. And that machine almost took Nedney to the wire, until Nedney his a 45-yard shot against the wind. Ziggy (aka the robot) was nowhere close. I suppose in most feats of physical prowess, humans will prevail; that is, until modern science perfects physiological function. When it's 'the Future' (with a capital F), we'll see...

Dear Solar

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Tell me Solar doesn't look like a schemin-ass nigga...

Now that we've had the chance to pay our respects to Guru, it's time to tackle the case of your involvement in Guru's pre-mortem dealings. Solar, it's been hard to find closure with Guru's death with all of the mystery and lack of communication surrounding it.

First of all, why was the entire world, with your exception, kept in secret about Guru's medical situation? I feel like you damn sure weren't overall the closest person to Guru, even at his time of death. If his son was so 'beloved,' why wasn't he the sole caretaker of Guru? Why was all of the press coming from YOU?!?! Second of all, in the letter to his fans, Guru must have mentioned your name about 10 times (actually 7). Solar, you're telling me that as a rapper and poet, and as a pioneer in hip-hop, the only person Guru cared to mention more than once was you??? I'm sorry, but that doesn't add up. What about all of the family, friends, DJ's, rappers, promoters and writers that Guru knew? What about addressing his work as a rapper? What about some sort of statement about hip-hop as an art form and the direction it's taking? Somehow I think that Guru would have had more to say about more things than just his relationship with you. Third of all, what was up with all of the hate on DJ Premier in the last letter? You mean to tell me that at the time of his death, rather than a peaceful statement, or a burying of the proverbial hatchet, Guru's last testament to Primo was a hate-filled diatribe about how he doesn't want Primo involved in his estate? Seriously, if I'm on my death bed, the last thing I'm thinking about is trivial beefs during my living years. I'm trying to make peace with the world around me and leave this life with some credits on my heaven ticket (as blasphemous as that sounds). Solar, that brings me to my conclusion.

Now, it's not a good thing to surround a dead man with this much controversy, but there is no way in heaven or hell that Guru wrote that letter (clearly subjective). It sounded nothing like what a man with his verbal prowess would have cooked up. Also, the amount of times your name was called was egregious. It sounds like you're his PR person and are trying to buy up as many rights to his namesake as possible, so you can cash out when the air clears. Either that, or you were just trying to get your name out there more. Most hip-hop fans wouldn't even mention you in the same breath as Guru or Primo, no matter how much Guru wanted you to replace him. There's no way a man, in his last breath, is going out with that much hate or that much attention to business. The diction used in the letter reminded me of a hateful being, or a general misanthrope. The way you Guru wrote that letter made him sound a lot like this guy:

#shoutout to Devin for the inspiration for this post...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guru's Letter to His Fans

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This is who really should've been at Guru's bedside...

I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options.


I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.


My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.


I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.

Today was a somber day in hip-hop. Guru, born Keith Elam, lost his battle with cancer. He's survived by his son, and leaves a legacy of innovation in rap. Regardless of his feud with Premo, or the questions surrounding his relationship with Solar, he will surely be missed...

Marvel vs. Capcom 3



It's really a great time to be an older video game fan, with classics like NBA Jam (clearly won't compare) making a return for next generation systems. The video game companies, specifically Capcom, are answering more of our prayers by releasing Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Ten years ago, the 2nd version of Marvel vs. Capcom turned my free time into ridiculous blasts of energy, huge punches and mind-numbing graphics (maybe not that serious). The characters in the new version will be mostly the same, along with a new graphics engine that allows for 3-dimensional fight scenes. All in all, MvC3 looks like it's going to be just as addicting as the 2nd. Sadly, it doesn't drop until next year. Keep your eyes peeled for more...

Dear Cam'ron & Jim Jones

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via MissInfo:
“Minya, it’s Jimmy….I’m sitting in the passenger seat of this car right now. I want you to talk to the driver real quick.”

“Ok, Jimmy.”

[brief pause] “What up, Min. It’s Cam…”

Jim Jones: “It’s 2010, and this is something I gotta get off my chest…You’ve known us from back when we didn’t have what we have now, so you remember, that above all, me and Cam, we still brothers. And we’re building on getting back on track but first, I apologize for being a rude brother, for saying things publicly without first trying to handle them privately. I apologize for not leading by example because what I didn’t realize at the time, I was venting but it wasn’t all about me. There were other people whose dreams were also part of this movement. So by not leading by example, they were left stranded too. The way I handled our business issues was with emotion, and it got totally f–ked up. That’s what selfishness does….”

Cam’ron: “There’s nothing really Diplomats-related to show you yet. We all have our own obligations right now, our own projects. I have this Boss of All Bosses Pt. 2.5 mixtape with Vado and DJ Drama dropping soon. But yes, me and Jim have been speaking, we’re working out the mechanics of this, and looking at our options right now. If it makes sense, it can happen.”

Back in 2004, I was in high school, still somewhat young in my understanding of hip-hop and rap. That said, along that time, the movement that was moving was Dip Set. You, Cam and Jim, served as the soundtrack to basketball games, tomfoolery in hallways and homework. When the rumors came in around 2007 that you two weren't speaking, it was like seeing the Power Rangers get into an argument: slightly devastating. That said, the news relayed by Miss Info was a highlight to my day. I blasted 'I'm Ready' and 'Come Home With Me' in my room as I remembered the tall tees, jerseys, fitteds and ridiculous jewelry that you guys donned during your run at the top. Of course, the look will be different now. Even so, it's refreshing to see some unity come back. That doesn't mean the news comes without its issues.

First of all, why did it take the two of you so long to reconcile? Maybe it's the fact that both of you were too wrapped up in your own individual success to realize that your strength came as a group. I suppose both of you started feeling the dent in your sales, regardless of hot singles (would it be cliche to yell 'BALLIN' right now?) or illegal dealings outside of rap. Second of all, where's Juelz?? A Dip Set reunion wouldn't be complete without Santana on deck, and you both know it. As a matter of fact, I'd definitely say that Juelz is doing a lot better than both of you at the moment. He has a hit single out and a lot of buzz for 'Born to Lose, Built to Win' (or whatever it's called), while you two have two sub-par underselling albums under your studded belts. You guys would have to truly bury the hatchet and apologize to Juelz for doing him dirty, ALONG with offer up a few hundred stacks to get him to come on with the movement. Third of all, this is only the 3rd or 4th time that you guys have alluded to a reunion and have come up with either nothing or a new beef to squabble over. While it's great to see you guys are cool riding around town together, until I have substantial proof that Diplomatic Immunity 3 is on the way, I will continue to be the skeptic. Besides, I'm looking forward to Boss of All Bosses 2.5 and Slime Flu much more than I am anything Jim Jones-laced these days. At least we can reminisce...





Nike Dunk SB 'Skunk'

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#shouts to SneakerNews

Happy 4/20 to all my smokers out there! Nike SB did the unofficial holiday right this year, by releasing the 'Skunk' SB's at midnight. They feature a tonal green color scheme, rough suede upper, with purple and orange accents. What kills the sneaker is the hidden stash pocket on the inside of the tongue. Also, they have a 'dizzy' skunk on the insoles, just in case you were in any doubt as to the theme of these sneaker. No, I wouldn't rock them, but I would definitely have these in a collection. I know there's going to be some idiot stoner who's going to use that stash pocket and get caught. Whatever the case, the concept is dope. Check out some more pictures...

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (4/19)

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Only in America... And we wonder why other countries are shook.

Majority of Americans distrust the government

10 of the Dumbest "Educational" Programs on TV

Is Piracy Really Killing The Music Industry? No!

How the Top 5 Supermarkets Waste Food

Party drug 'Ecstasy' could help PTSD sufferers

Facebook to Create Web-Wide 'Like' Button

Toyota Agrees to $16.4 Million Fine

Butt augmentation: Dangers of a trendy new procedure

Ski Beatz - SUPER BAD (ft. Rugz D Bewler)



I've all but given up that 24 Hour Karate School will ever be released to the public with the amount of copyright troubles they're having right now. That doesn't mean Ski Beatz and his ridiculous collective of MC's have stopped chopping at something bigger. The producer inked Harlem MC Rugz D Bewler to lace this track entitled 'SUPER BAD' and the two hooked up to throw together a video for it. If I'm not mistaken, it's around 105th St. in Harlem. Regardless, the track is dope, and so is the video. Check it out...

B.o.B. - Fame x Past My Shades x Airplanes (Pt. 1 & 2)

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B.o.B. - Fame


B.o.B. - Past My Shades (ft. Lupe Fiasco)


B.o.B. - Airplanes (Pt. 1) (ft. Hayley Williams)


B.o.B. - Airplanes (Pt. 2) (ft. Eminem & Hayley Williams)

I've never been quick to eat my words, but in all honesty, I can't hold back anymore. Bobby Ray is about to blow. Point. Blank. Period. Two top 10 iTunes downloads don't lie. Neither does the crossover potential of a track like Airplanes (Pt. 2). And neither do insane collabs with Lupe Fiasco and Eminem. The thing that impresses me about B.o.B. right now is that he's mastered his flow and is rapping like himself. We can't even compare him to 3 Stacks right now because he's already distinguished himself and found a lane. No, I'm not heralding the rebirth of hip-hop, but it's a bright sign to see an artist garner so much press right now, and have so much anticipation with him. Better yet, it's a bright sign to see more than one artist like that, with Drake and J. Cole gaining steam too. I don't like quoting myself, but this tweet couldn't be truer these days:

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ItsTheReal - Def Jam Vendetta: Shyne vs. 50 Cent



ItsTheReal is at it again with their hip-hop comedy shorts. This time they take on Shyne and his ridiculous attempt to get back on by getting at 50 Cent. Now, 50 already has a problem with starting beef to boost his sales. But at least he's semi-good at it. Ja Rule hasn't been heard from since, and Fat Joe can't sell water in a desert these days. Shyne, however, comes out of the pen, puts out a few sub-par tracks with weird vocals, and goes at 50. And that's in the course of 2 weeks! By that virtue, ItsTheReal has a good call on the fight. Maybe if Shyne could put together a mixtape or something, he'd have a better chance. Otherwise, he's a 2nd round knockout. Check the video out...

Greetings From: Philadelphia, PA

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via NBC Philadelphia:
Clemmens, 21, positioned himself behind the 11-year-old's chair, stuck his fingers down his throat and vomited on the girl and her father, police said.
"He leaned forward, he projectile vomited all over me and my daughter," Vangelo said with a look of hurt splashed across his face.
Clemmens then began wailing on Vangelo after he pushed him away from the girl -- hitting the off-duty officer in the head and neck, causing his ear to bleed, police said.
Surrounding fans jumped in to help subdue Clemmens before he was arrested.
"He was still vomiting on the other fans that were holding him down," Vangelo said.
I realize that Philadelphia's been getting a bad wrap in the past few weeks with a bit of negative press on the blog, but with shit like this happening, how can you blame me? Greetings from Philly... again. This time, we see that fanhood and regurgitation are much closer than we think. Is that really what heads do at baseball games? You know, instead of have a hot dog and a beer and have a relaxing afternoon at the ballpark, it's much more fun to vomit all over a little girl and snuff her father... I'd much rather get into a brawl with angry Phillies fans than leave the game and go watch the Office or something. What's even worse is the fact that the dude kept throwing up even while he was getting beat up by the fans around him. Oh well... I guess leaving with a black eye and looking like that are punishment enough...

The Expendables (2010)



It's a rarity that I would post a movie that's simply pointless and mindless action and violence, because you can see explosions and insurgents getting killed on CNN every day. However, when an action movie stars virtually every action star from the past 20 years in a super-movie of sorts, it somehow becomes blog-worthy. Such is the case with the movie 'The Expendables'. Yes, the movie looks to have the depth of a puddle, but where else will you see (breath) Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, and Stone-Cold Steve Austin on the same screen in a flurry of fire, bullets and terrorist scalps?? Nowhere. The Expendables' premise is that of every war action movie lately, a group of rad-tad foreigners go to a 3rd world country and try to overthrow their oppressive leader. Nothing more, nothing less. I suppose there won't be an ounce of estrogen in the theater, but who cares? It's summer blockbuster season...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (4/17)

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Air Travel Crisis Deepens as Europe Fears Wider Impact of Volcanic Ash

Obama: Rules needed to avoid new financial crisis

Pope Benedict Accused of Masterminding Sex Abuse Cover-Up

What Kind of Tweeter R U? The 13 Types on Twitter

U.S. Accuses Goldman Sachs of Fraud

Women 'have inbuilt fear of being fat'

Scientists taking a new look at hallucinogens for mental illness

3-year-old girl set to become world's youngest tattoo artist

Poverty: Half The World Lives On Less Than $2.50 A Day

Nike Trainer 1 – Vintage Box Edition

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The sneaker box is one of the most overlooked pieces of sneakerhead memorabilia out there. Everyone loves what is inside the box, but the actual boxes often times get tossed out, used for female memories or in extreme cases, used for Myspace and Facebook pictures. Nike decided to pay homage to their iconic sneaker box by releasing an Air Trainer one in the classic orange colorway with a grey and white stripe on the midsole. Also, they featured materials like nubuck and ballistic mesh on the upper. While these might not be the sneakers you wear everywhere, they're definitely a must have for those die-hard collectors out there. Check out some more pictures...

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Freestyle Friday (4/16)



What's up people?! Friday means freestyles and we got 2dope ones coming today. The first one is by LLoyd Banks at Hot 97's studios. Everyone knows Banks is a freestyle bully (and championship recycler) coming with punchlines. Hopefully Hunger for More 2 doesn't disappoint. One question: why doesn't anything but his mouth move? He looks like he's gotten some Botox done or something. The second freestyle is from Charles Hamilton during his show at SOB's. People wonder why Charles Hamilton has a following. It's because of things like this that I believe Chuck should get more love than he does. The man freestyles, literally off the top, for 8 minutes. Not many other rappers can say that they do that. Whatever the case, check out the freestyles and happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear 'The Boondocks'



Let's just get it out of the way: people have indeed been d*ckriding Obama. It's not a bad or good thing. Politicians (and more so celebrities) carry cult-like followings that sometimes supersede all understanding, whether the person being followed is a good person or not. As a matter of fact, people tend to follow the bad ones more than the good (coughcoughKimgoughKardashiancoughcough). Regardless, Barack Obama, while (in my humble opinion) has been a good president and done right by the nation, has had some pretty rough times. He's been soft against the Republicans at times and had been too wavering occasionally. There are tons (and I mean tons) of people out there who see no wrong in the man. Boondocks, you just solidified yourself as the best show by poking fun at it. Grabbing Will.i.am, who did the song below, for the track was classic. Even Gangstalicious had some jewels dropping on the track. As a show, you really are unafraid to take on issues that are invading the minds of black folk. The trailer for your final season was an overload of satirical n*gga sh*t. And if this ode to folks forgetting that Obama is human too is any indication, the 3rd final season should be classic, to say the least. My calendars are set. Hurry up and give people something to laugh at without knowing the true meaning...

Whoever produces music for Aaron McGruder is a genius, because that interpolation is INSANE...