Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear Meg Whitman

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The Kanye Shrug doesn't work all the time, Meg. We know what you did...

via ABCNews:
California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman today found herself battling allegations that she knowingly employed an undocumented immigrant housekeeper, failed to pay a portion of her wages and then fired her in an act of political damage control. The charges come a little over a month before the November election.

At a news conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday organized by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, Whitman's former housekeeper and nanny, Nicky Diaz, tearfully recounted how in June 2009 she was suddenly terminated by Whitman and her husband, Griffith Harsh, after she said she asked the couple for legal help to obtain U.S. citizenship. Allred also alleged that Whitman became aware of Diaz's undocumented status years earlier, but took no action. Whitman said the "charges are without merit."

Diaz told reporters that just a few months before Whitman announced she was running for governor as a Republican, the former eBay CEO fired her after nine years spent cleaning the couple's 3,700-square-foot home in an upscale Northern California suburb and shuttling their children to and from school and appointments.

"From now on you don't know me and I don't know you," Diaz said Whitman told her in the summer of 2009. "I was shocked and hurt that Ms. Whitman would treat me this way after nine years. I realized at that moment that she didn't appreciate my work. I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage."

At the current juncture of politics in the United States, the word politician and hypocrite are damn near synonymous. Especially with the emergence of the Tea Party and the so-called 'bipartisan' nature that the government is trying to engender, it's obvious that not everyone can be on the right side at all times. When it comes to election time, there ends up being a mad rush to clean up whatever muck can be raked up against a particular politician, most of it going on behind closed door meetings at the expense of lobbyists and donated dollars. That said, what happens when the political damage control just so happens to coincide with an issue at the forefront of that particular candidate's jurisdiction? Such is your case, Meg Whitman. As you prepare for election day in California, it's obvious your stake in the illegal immigration issue was much deeper than you wanted it to be.

Meg, I won't mince words: Illegal immigrants are everywhere. You know it. I know it. The American people know it. Yet, the major contention against allowing these people amnesty and asylum is that their place in American is more deeply rooted than most would like to admit. Meg, you knowingly hired an illegal immigrant in Nicky Diaz and had her in your employ for well over 9 years. By most employment standards, that's grounds for the job security AND respect that such a tenure warrants. Think about it Meg. If you had been working at a law office for 9 years and they tried to cut YOU off and disavow all knowledge of your existence for superficial political purposes, how would you feel? My guess is you'd probably file suit, go to the media and make a huge deal about it, much like your former housekeeper is doing now.

See the thing is, Meg, as a Republican candidate, you're walking a thin line here. Do you continue the status quo of using your power to manipulate other lives as you see fit, or do you stand by your party's platform of 'kicking all of the wetbacks illegal immigrants out'? They say no slave can serve two masters. Well, no political candidate can stand by two contradictory doctrines, especially on such a polarizing issue. Why try and hide the obvious, Meg? The role of illegal immigrants is as cemented in this country as is apple pie and fried chicken. You've got 9 years of faithful service to prove that, and I'm sure half of your party and cabinet have just as much if not more. I shudder to think how long it would've taken for this to get out in the open had Ms. Diaz not opened her flap.
SIDENOTE: Since TMZ is the one who reported Ms. Diaz's gripes, albeit in a professional manner, can we finally admit that, while cutthroat in their research, blogs are a legitimate source of breaking news?
Look, Meg, it sucks that you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar that your party's been trying to put on the high shelf for years now. Don't try to deny it, now that your candidacy is at stake, and certainly don't do it as a last ditch effort to cover your party's ass. That, in and of itself, would be just as hypocritical...

Mikey Rocks - S.S. (ft. Latif) (Music Video)



I've been quoted as being a huge Mikey Rocks fan. That's not without reason, though. Mikey, as a solo artist, has as much charisma as he needs to be successful, as evidenced by random tracks and guest spots scattered throughout the blogosphere. No, we don't have a timetable for any solo releases for the rapping half of the Cool Kids. No, this track isn't well placed, by any means. Summer is well over, though the humidity outside belies that fact. Even so, Mikey decided to give the idea of summer solstice one more spin on this track with Chi-town vocalist Latif. The result is a breezy, mid-tempo song that shows Mikey's versatility, considering the trademark bass-heavy Cool Kids productions. Also, can anyone cosign this for me? Mikey would probably be the man in 1995, even though he's got 2010 bars. If you agree, hit the Digg, Retweet or Like buttons below this post. Mikey needs to be on your radar. If he's not, check the video out and decide for yourself...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Kid Daytona - The Champ (Remix) (ft. N.O.R.E.)

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The Kid Daytona - The Champ (Remix) (ft. N.O.R.E.)

While I've been high on The Kid Daytona's work over the past year, he's always been one of the slower ones in terms of releasing his work to the public. I suppose with collabs like this the wait is well worth it. Daytona's 'The Interlude LP' is still slated to drop during the Fall, so I'm at a fever pitch when it comes to waiting for more leaks. This particular one brings the Goya monster N.O.R.E. along for the remix to a track I threw up a few weeks back. He's got an old-school beat (10 e-points to anyone who can name the two beats interpolated in the track) and some slick and quick lyrics that go perfectly with it. Daytona might not be on your list right now, but he deserves to be considered next up. Check the track out...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vado - Goodfellas

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Vado - Goodfellas

Remember back in the mid-90s when hip-hop was obsessed with the Mafia, Mafioso style and the like? Acts like Biggie and the Firm drew inspiration from old mobster movies like The Godfathter series, Donnie Brasco, Reservoir Dogs and of course, Goodfellas. Vado was probably wee little slime back when Frank White and his hip-hop conglomerates were doing their dirt among the backdrop of New York City, but that doesn't mean he can't try his hand at a mobster mentality on wax. On this cut from his upcoming album Slime Flu, the Harlem MC doles out some verbal ethers to a luxurious instrumental. Vado doesn't skip a beat lyrically, either, dropping rhymes about the roundtable of Goodfellas he's got on tap, and the wares they distribute Uptown. Check out Vado's stab at the Mafioso lifestyle...

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/28)


Neo-Nazi Couple Discovers They're Jewish

Feds Want to Make It Easier to Eavesdrop Online

Obama to sign $42 billion bill aimed at helping small businesses

The GOP broke their "Pledge to America" just hours after making it.

Since 2000, 7,454 Israelis, Palestinians killed

The Next Big Crash: Japan

Why Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

10 Things It Makes Sense to Splurge On

Lessons Learned From Boardwalk Empire

Sarcos XOS-2 Exoskeleton



The reason a comic like Iron Man is so successful is because of the premise of strengthening the human body through machinery. Now, we sure as hell aren't on the level of Stark Industries as of yet, but our military expenditures aren't being used in vain these days. The engineers at Raytheon have revamped their XOS Exoskeleton to create a 2nd version of the armor that is not only lighter, but stronger than its predecessor. The new version, which uses a high-pressure hydraulic frame to move in conjunction with the user, also boasts less power usage than the first, although this one still has to be connected to a power source to work. The applications for such an invention are endless. All you've got to do is crack open a comic book to pique your imagination as to the possibilities for the XOS-2 Exoskeleton. Raytheon says that the XOS-2 can do the work of 2 or 3 soldiers without the wear and tear that the human body would go through. If that isn't reason enough to want to see the XOS-2 in action, then nothing is. Check the video out...

Blackberry Playbook



Remember about a week and change ago when I said the first round of 'iPad killers' would be making their way into the mainstream in the coming months? The first one was the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the first one to hit the market, and now, the good people over at RIM have prepared their answer to the iPad: the Blackberry Playbook. Billed as the first 'Professional tablet,' ironically the Playbook is going to be an 'amazing gaming platform' according to Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. That's a big departure from the usually business-oriented Blackberry mantra, but I'm interested to see how they pull it off. The Playbook will have Flash out of the box, so that immediately puts it at an advantage over the iPad. In addition, the Playbook has an impressive spec list that clearly outdoes the iPad, with a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a bigger screen. The Playbook also features a front-facing camera for video chatting over either a 3G or 4G network. The introduction of the Playbook might be a lost cause considering the iPad's hold on the market, but then again, what's a market without options? Not to mention, the Playbook looks pretty and polished. Check out some flicktures and rendering in the video...

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Waka Flocka



Happenings like this have me worried about the future of Black America. As for the N*igga Moment Hall of Fame, this exchange qualifies as an automatic entry. Along with your less than masterful handle of the English language, to the dumbfounded look plastered on your face when you couldn't answer the simplest of questions, to Rocsi and Terrence's fumbling of your faux pas and idiotic statements, Flocka, you really don't have much to laugh about. No, I didn't think you'd have much to say anyway, but you couldn't even piece together a coherent sentence!
SIDENOTE: Why do Terrence and Rocsi allow this fool to get off the hook so easily? BET is really just condoning ignorance by letting that slide.
Seriously. While I don't think everyone is suitable to be an expert on the US political system, it stands to say you should have some idea as to how to respond to that question. It's bad enough that your music is like Teletubbies for rap, Waka. That you perpetuated an age old stereotype that black people are is secondary to the effect this has on young people. We're already living in a day and age where involvement in the political cycle is not a priority. You're setting such a good example for the 15 and 16 year-olds out there who'll be voting in the next few years. That's what the future of the nation needs: lack of speaking skills and political apathy. I guess a career of shaking your dreads does much more than get you stage time. Brain damage is looking like a serious side effect of listening to you, Mr. Flocka...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Freestyle Friday on Saturday (9/25)



What's up Dear Whoever faithful? Saturday would be the day for Freestyle Friday wouldn't it? Even though I've been missing with these the past two weeks I've got two for the killing today, albeit a day late. The first one is from Yelawolf, whose freestyles have been getting better and better as of late. The Alabama MC puts his unique spin on Snoop's 'I Wanna Rock', and he has me rocking my head to the way he uses inflections and his voice. Yelawolf definitely needs to get some more music out there, because I was sleeping on that man. The second cipher is with those good fellows from Yonkers, D- Block. Sheek Louch and Styles P bring Bully along to Funk Flex's show (I wish Jada was there) and go off on Drake's 'Light Up'. The result is almost 8 minutes of raw, unadulterated hip-hop. The third one is by the rapping half of Chiddy Bang. Chiddy spits a verse off the dome that trumps most dudes writtens, even though the man stumbled over some of his lyrics. I wasn't a fan before, but the duo is really opening my eyes to how vast the spectrum of hip-hop can be. Check out all three freestyles and have a safe, fun weekend, people!!!



Friday, September 24, 2010

Kanye West - So Appalled (ft. RZA, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz & Cyhi The Prince)

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Kanye West - So Appalled (ft. Rza, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz & Cyhi The Prince)

Another Friday, and another Kanye track for the fans. This week, Ye brings Jay, Swizz, Pusha T, the RZA and newcomer Cyhi the Prynce for a whack at a darker type of beat. The song 'So Appalled' made its first appearance on a Big Mike mixtape, then was unleashed on Hot 97 by DJ Camilo. Kanye makes a few jabs at MTV, as well as some slick punchlines and braggodocious verse with some introspective thoughts too. The premise of the song is the things in life that just make one 'appalled' or just completely offend each of the MC's featured. If I had to pick one verse, it would definitely be Pusha, though. The younger Thornton needs to be on your radar if you weren't already a fan of the Clipse MC's work already. He has a way with words that belies his persona as your average coke-pusher. If there was any GOOD Friday track I've dug, it's this one. Check it out and keep a lookout for 'Watch For the Throne'...

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/24)

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USA is World's Fattest Nation

Mapping the Segregation of U.S. Cities

Health Care Reform Goes into Effect

The 20 Best Cartoon Intros Of All Time

Size Matters: How Male, Female Brains Compare

Blockbuster Files for Bankruptcy

Zuckerberg Now Richer Than Steve Jobs

Zombie Research Society, Phoenix Chapter Meeting

10 Things Filmmakers Need To Stop Doing

Looxcie Bluetooth Camera

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Think someone's just on a Bluetooth idly chatting with what seems to be themselves? Think again. For those moments that you want to record, but can't see yourself lugging around a video camera, there's the Looxcie personal video recorder. You wear the Looxcie just like you would a Bluetooth earpiece, and when you want to record, you just turn on the camera to get 30 seconds of video. The idea looks interesting, especially because you can instantly upload those videos to Youtube, Facebook or Twitter from your phone. Speaking of phones, the Looxcie functions as a regular Bluetooth headset. The video quality is mediocre, but the possible applications for the Looxcie are attractive. Live video blogging and World Star Hip-Hop can definitely make use of this. Check out the Looxcie in action...

Asher Roth - G.R.I.N.D. (Get Ready It's a New Day) [Music Video]



Hip-hop can seriously get depressing and upsetting at times. Even with so-called uplifting rappers, you get the sense that they're complaining about the wrongs of the world instead of being happy for the good in life. I suppose that's just the way the music, and essentially society is. That said, it's great to hear a rapper saying something truly positive, not in the Rev Run mold. Asher favors Matthew McConaughey in 'Dazed and Confused', but I suppose the look fits the track. Asher is working on his new album 'The Spaghetti Tree', slated to drop later this year. From the album title, it sounds like he's on another planet these days, but that's not even a bad thing. Check the video...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sesame Street x True Blood = True Mud



If you don't watch True Blood, then this clip might make little, if any sense to you. Even so, you can't deny the hilarity and charm that Jim Henson's pet child has when taking on the big people's television shows. In this round of kids' parodies we've got the Sesame Street characters playing out a scene in a fictional bar, where the delicacy isn't blood, but mud. No fangs, grotesque rituals, supernatural entities or political undertones here. It's just pure fun and a nice mudbath for one of the Grouches. I can't say that I wouldn't watch another episode of this or that the fake Sookie isn't spot on with her mannerisms. Whatever the case, check out the Sesame Street spoof....

J. Cole - The Plan

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J. Cole - The Plan

NBA Elite will never be played in my XBox 360, but that doesn't mean the soundtrack can't be somewhat good. Of the tracks destined to litter EA Sports' latest foray into NBA basketball, this is the first to hit the interwebs. That it is by one of my favorite artists, J. Cole, is why it made it ont the blog of an NBA 2K player. Regardless of my affiliations, Cole does his thing on this track, which he apparently produced. I think the appeal of J. Cole on so many of his songs is how much he says while saying so little. I wouldn't call it simplicity, but more austerity that drives how good an MC this man is. His words do so much work, that when he adds what the masses would call 'swagger' he's one of the best in the game. Check out the track and start sending out smoke signals for Cole World. Lord knows I am...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Catfish (2010)



Everyone, their mom, aunt, cousin, and dog are clamoring about the Aaron Sorkin-directed 'The Social Network', which is improperly being dubbed the 'Facebook movie', when in all actuality, that movie is about Facebook's creation, not the phenomena stemming from it. I stumbled upon the trailer for 'Catfish' while watching 'The Last Exorcism' (terrible movie; don't waste the $12.50), and was immediately drawn to the movie's portrayal of what would be called 'computer love' these days. 'Catfish' follows a young New York City photographer who begins an online relationship with a woman he's never met, after her younger sister sends him a moving piece of art. The woman turns out to be everything short of a perfect dream, until he decides to try and meet his online love, with mysterious results. Apparently, the ending is nothing short of a mind-bending, heart-crushing revelation, indicative of society's obsession with online interaction. This movie looks to be one hell of a thriller. Maybe I'll check it out before I see 'The Social Network'...

Europe, According to the United States

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Outward perceptions when it comes to interpersonal relationships usually don't mean much considering that no one can truly tell what another person is like unless they... know. On a much grander scale, such as national perception, it's easier to let one's perceptions turn into full blown stereotypes. Such is the case with Yanko Tsvetkov's maps of international perceptions of Europe, starting with the stigmas attached to the old world by us, the United States. The results are hilarious, if not hurtfully true to what a hefty amount of Americans really think of our neighbors across the pond. Tsvetkov did 'stereotype maps' for Great Britain, France, Italy and a few other European countries (see them here), but the US one really was an eye-opener. See if your preconceived notions match up with the map...

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/22)


Every time the camera looked down, my heart jumped up to my throat... Sheesh!!!

Record 50.7M Americans Have No Insurance

Top 10 Brain Foods

Signs That You're Poor: City Dweller Edition

Murder Suspect: Excessive Caffeine Made Me Kill Wife

Lady Gaga going to Maine to rally against 'don't ask, don't tell'

Recession Ended Last June, Analysts Say

Prominent Pastor Faces Sexual Coercion Claims

Broken Bat Impales Cubs' Outfielder

US Poverty Rate Hits Record 14.3%

Drug Use Hits 8-Year High

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vado - Celebration

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Vado - Celebration

Late on this one, so sue me. I've been telling cats about Vado since I heard him on Fabolous' remix for 'Body Bag' and the Slime Flu has been infiltrating the interwebs slowly but surely. After being pushed back from a July 6th (my birthday wasn't the same) to and October 12th release date, Slime Flu will finally hit the shelves as the hip-hop world turns to Harlem once again. I won't be cliche and call it a Harlem Rennaissance or a New York resurgence, though it would seem as though NYC hip-hop's chances have been few and far between. Whatever your stance on the status of the Empire State's rap scene, you've got to admit that Vado is quite the MC. Check the track...
SIDENOTE: If I see another piece of cover art in the Kanye West mold, I will stab myself with a soldering iron...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Floyd Mayweather

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Yeah, we hear it too, Floyd.. It's your legacy going down the toilet.

I've only followed boxing for the past 3 years, but in my studies of the sweet science, I've noticed a disturbing trend: Boxing has no greats right now. By that, I mean there are no fighters that transcend the sport anymore. We don't have Ali's, who go against the grain by resisting the law of the land. We don't have Jack Johnson's, who break the color barrier in different facets of the sport. We don't even have George Foreman's who eschew the sport during retirement to start successful cooking appliance businesses. Instead, we have you: Floyd 'Money' Mayweather. Now, Floyd, I'll admit, I wasn't your biggest fan, nor will I ever be. Yet, up until now, I respected your work in the ring. You, to my chagrin, are a force to be reckoned with when you put the gloves on and step into the squared circle. No one can take that away from you. But Floyd, when you get out of the ring, I can honestly say that I can't stand you. Let's start with an issue I wish you would have resolved months ago: your Detox-esque fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Boxing is one of the biggest teases in the sports world. Fighters talk tough constantly, and sometimes never get into the ring to put fists behind their words. Floyd, you've basically set a new precedent for ducking a fight. First of all, you more or less tried to make Manny Pacquiao look like a juicer, which to my estimation, couldn't be further from the truth. From slander in the press to slick talk during your show (for a fight that should have been with Pacquiao), you ran your mouth faster than Bolt's 100-meter dash. You droned on and on about Pac's unwillingness to commit to your Olympic-style drug testing. Second of all, when Pacquiao finally bit the bullet, put the money up and agreed to your stipulations, you declined comment, and didn't even attempt to sign for the fight. After all of that jibber-jabber, in which you defamed the man as a steroid user, and after he agreed to your cockamamie testing, you In my eyes, that is easily the most cowardly move I've ever seen committed in boxing. Pac-Man was ready. He was ready to fight you and prove he was the best in the world, a claim that you vehemently give yourself, yet are now unwilling to defend. What does that say about you, Money, if you don't put your money where your mouth is?



Thirdly, Floyd, where in tarnation did you get off coming out with that racist, small-minded, inanely cocky rant about Manny Pacquiao? You sounded like a Grade A COON (I believe I'm well within my rights in saying that, given the situation) and pretty much made yourself out to be dumber than a rock with those 2nd grade insults. Pac isn't even Chinese, nor does he look like he can cook. That you felt it necessary to mock the man on his heritage (albeit in an ignorant, misinformed manner) is beyond detestable, Floyd. Either you were on the same cocaine Soulja Boy and KiD CuDi are on, or you seriously need a new PR man. Your staffing is neither here nor there, though. The point is, if you're going to be an arrogant prick out of the ring, at least prove your worth in the ring. Note that Pacquiao hasn't uttered a peep about you, much less about the fight between you. My guess is that he's biding his time, waiting for you to finally get in the ring with you. Though I might be alone in this opinion, I seriously believe he will wipe the canvas with your carcass, if you ever muster up the cojones to fight him.

Now on to different matters. Floyd, the recent news of your criminal charges for apparently roughing up your child's mother and former girlfriend, Josie Harris, made me sick. Though I'm never quick to believe gossip sites and the banter they broadcast daily, something about the words 'I'll beat your asses if you call 911 and/or leave the residence' sound very Mayweather-esque, don't you think? Now, I'm no legal counsel, but it would seem as if you've gotten yourself into a bit of a rough patch. Come on, Floyd... Eight criminal charges, four felonies and four misdemeanors? You easily broke Tyson's record of run-ins with the law, simply because you thought the woman was dating an NBA player. What were you thinking? No amount of money, championship belts or cameos in 50 Cent videos will ever be able to erase this from your board. It's because of incidents like that, that I believe boxing doesn't have any greats. If you're the best that American boxing has to offer, then I shudder to think who the worst are. It's not enough to gain success in the ring. You've got to perpetuate it outside of the ring in your manners, your affect and the way you carry yourself. Money can't buy class, and that goes for nicknames and wallets, Floyd...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ken Block = The Truth



Honestly, not much can be said about this video, aside from stating that Ken Block is the best driver I have ever had the pleasure of watching. The man simply maneuvers a rally car in ways that are unfathomable. In this particular video, Ken is in Paris at a 1.58 mile oval track with 51-degree banks (much higher than NASCAR) and a number of obstacles that he performs mind-blowing Gymkhana tricks around. To say Ken Block is ridiculous is an understatement. Just watch the video and get ready to put your OH face on...

Kanye West - Lord, Lord, Lord (ft. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson)

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Kanye West - Lord, Lord, Lord (ft. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson)

Didn't post last week's GOOD Friday track (or the week before that, I think), but this week I'm on my job. Kanye waited until the wee hours of the night to release this cut. Mos Def, Swizzy, Raekwon and Charlie Wilson joined him for this smooth, jazzy cut. I'm not sure what Swizz was thinking with this verse, or what he was talking about, nor am I clear about what the song was about, but it sure sounds good. I think this track just deserves a few more listens. I suppose Yeezy has calmed down a bit with his original fervor. Whatever the case, this is definitely a track to vibe out to and relax. Check it out and stay tuned for more GOOD Friday tracks...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dear DJ Khaled



Khaled, let me say this: I've never liked you. I never thought you had an inkling of talent, though everywhere I turn people are lauding your additions to the hip-hop game. I don't see them. Even so, I'm not here to debate your credentials as a hip-hop personality (there are no credentials for that, at this point), nor am I here to trash your musicality (as if you really had much to begin with). Today, I'm going to talk about your ridiculous assertion, that, among the masses of talented MC's out there today, Rick Ross is a great. A great??? Look Khaled, Ross' album was, in fact, very good. The man has a penchant for making good music that one can not only nod their head to while sipping fine wine, but shake their metaphorical dreads while riding with the top down in the 305. That said, we have to draw a line. You said Ricky Rawse should be up there with Jay-Z, Biggie and, most baffling of all, Bob Marley??? *Bob Marley's spirit gets bit by a truck* Bob Marley?? Khaled, as a Jamaican-American, and as a hip-hop fan, I want to give you the People's Elbow for that one. You might as well have said Al Green, Luther Vandross and Earth, Wind and Fire while you were at it. C'Mon son. Rozay is nice, but not nice enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Robert Nesta Marley or Biggie or Tupac. When Rawse decides to address his life as a federale, as well as make some music that talks about social ills and progression, maybe we can start the conversation. But as long as his inspirations for his verses are Big Meech and Larry Hoover, you, Khaled need to stick to screaming on tracks and being rowdy at award shows...

Dear Tyler Perry (re: For Colored Girls)



If you've read Dear Whoever or followed me on Twitter at all (@elektrik788 for those of you not in the loop; SHEESH!!), then you know how I feel about the coonfest that Tyler Perry movies tend to be. That, however, doesn't mean I'm adverse to you, Mr. Perry, switching up his normal methods and perhaps trying your hand at making an accurate cinematic portrayal of black culture. For your newest work, you've decided to take on a subject that has been debated in African-American circles since we knew what an African-American was: Black women. Now, for the past 5 years or so, there's been this current bubbling about the role of Black women in our society and the ills that create the situations they get into. From the trailer for your movie 'For Colored Girls', which is apparently adapted from a critically-renown stage play, I can honestly see a bit more attention to detail in your work. I'm not going to sit here and place a crown on your head, Mr. Perry. Yet, this seems to be a valiant attempt at telling some sort of story sans ridiculously outmoded stereotypes and transparent characters. There seems to be a lot of depth to the characters that can't be seen through the trailer, unlike most of your movies.

Tyler, this might be your last opportunity, in my eyes, to put together something that sheds some type of light. I realize that may be unfair, but when looking at the dire lack of black directors and producers in Hollywood, juxtaposed with your gigantic stake in black cinema, you HAVE to deliver. I say that because you're the only director with the clout to deliver. What is black cinema left with after your legacy? Stomp the Yard 3D? Soul Plane 2? Tyler, I've vilified your work for the longest, yet I'm still willing to give it a chance in the hopes that it will open doors for other blacks in film. It has been so long since there has been a veritable face in African-American cinema. And though I disagree with a lot of your views and portrayals as they take place in film, I can't help but support you. Aaron McGruder made me laugh at your expense, but 'For Colored Girls' may very well bring you up to the standard that you deserve as a director willing to take risks with all-black casts and traditionally 'urban' (the use of that word makes me cringe) plots. Mr. Perry, I will be watching, as will the rest of Black America. Please don't do us dirty and make another dry, predictable movie that will have me wanting my $12.50 and 3 hours back...

Samsung Galaxy Tab



Now that the iPad has officially taken hold of American consumers and virtually made people into walking zombies viewing their huge telescreens (word to dystopian futures and George Orwell), it's time for the fleet of 'iPad killers' to hit the stores and slowly try to whittle away at Apple's heels while Steve Jobs takes over the world. The first attempt at such a device is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy is on Orion's belt powered by Google's Android operating system, which I'm quite partial to. It features a 7-inch LCD screen, a 1 GHz processor and can be used on both a 3G and 4G networks (unlike the iPad). Add to that, the Galaxy Tab also has Flash, something the iPad faithful have been salty about since day 1. Will the Samsung Galaxy Tab be able to dethrone the iPad? Absolutely not. Will it be able to grab some of the market from Apple, and simultaneously open the floodgates for other 'iPad Killers'? By all means. I see a Christmas season dominated by tablets. Cue up the Big Brother conspiracy theories at once. We're entering dystopia, and Apple is holding the door open...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Emilio Rojas - Ex-Girl (ft. Mickey Factz)

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DOWNLOAD - Emilio Rojas - Ex-Girl (ft. Mickey Factz)

Everyone has an ex that makes them want to hurl at the drop of their name. It's just a fact. The anger we feel towards them isn't always at them, necessarily. It can be against things they did, or just the sour taste that the whole experience left in your mouth. Of course, it can also be that the ex is a conniving, wicked wench or a scheming, dirty dog, but I suppose there are two sides to every story. On the male side, the backlash can get downright disrespectful. Emilio Rojas and brought Mickey Factz with him to write about the ladies in their lives who should have just ended it at 'Hello'. Emilio's dropping a new mixtape in October with Green Lantern, and this is one of the first tracks. Enjoy, and try not to be mad at your exes, though I can't like I'd readily do the same...

Dear Vince Young

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When Awards of any kind come up, whether in sports, entertainment, academics or what have you, there's always debate before and after the award is given as to who really deserves it. That's always the argument: did Person A really deserve the award or should Person B want to start a riot? In sports, the debate can be vicious and ongoing (think MVP awards, etc.), maybe never-ending. In football, but especially college football, the debate usually is a done deal, depending on how well that player is doing and how well the team is doing.

Yet, in your case Vince, you clearly were cheated by the Heisman Trophy Trust. Reggie Bush may have had an outstanding season, but when it came to the big game, you were the one who delivered, squeezing out probably the most exciting college football game I've ever seen. The look of defeat on Bush's face was laughable, considering how much of the limelight was being cast on he and USC's vaunted 2005 team. When it came time for the trophy, you were second in the voting. At the time I was neutral on the situation, but even judging from the professional careers of you two, it seems like you were the better player all along. Reggie is just a piece of New Orleans' success. You almost brought the Titans into the playoffs singlehandedly last season, winning 8 of your last 10 games, after the Titans started 0-6 with you on the bench. The way you handled the questions (below) about the Heisman shot you up about 20 points in the public eye, too. You didn't come outright and say you deserved it nor trash Reggie Bush. What Bush did was outside of the rules, and he fairly was stripped of the award. Judging from your character, and play on the field, we all know who really should've had it...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/15)

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After 9 Months, Only 2% of Haitian Rubble Cleared

How Police Get the Innocent to Confess

96% Say You Wash Hands; Only 85% Actually Do

Gay Saudi Diplomat Seeks Asylum in US

Employers Like State School Grads, Not Ivy Leaguers

'Warning Shot' Kills Teen Protester in South Africa

French Senate Bans Islamic Veils in Public

Facebook CEO Admits To Calling Users 'Dumb F*cks'

Dear Internships

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If you get assigned an internship like this, LEAVE

Monday, I tackled the teachers in the first of this week's 'Back To School' series. Today, I'm getting a little more abstract and introspective about something every student should experience or at least should explore: internships. The modern internship was created to give students the opportunity to experience their field at a (very) basic level. Sometimes it results in a rewarding duration, and other times it's a period of pure drudgery. Let's dive into that a little more...

It's funny, I've always had one of you during the summer. As a matter of fact, all of my summer jobs were internships. Working retail never suited me. Working at one of you was just a nice thing to say: (insert name here)'s working at (insert company here) for the summer, and is doing (insert tasks here). It seemed prestigious. Along with having a physical job that I had to go to, every day, rain or shine, I've grown to loathe you, in the nicest way possible. Internships, you're like training camp for the big leagues, ie: a full time position. I can't say that I don't enjoy you. Meeting new people in a professional sense, getting to experience a field first-hand and getting the perks of having a job (depending on the locale) all make you something coveted and wanted. You give students an opportunity to see an office at it's most basic level: administrative. That lends itself to dealing with office politics, professional courtesy and understanding operations, which are all beneficial. At the same time, you bring a lot of different stuff to the picture that most students don't think about.

For one, you give kids the illusion that they're actually doing something in the big picture of XYZ Company. That's not the case. Oftentimes when students embark on you, they're given the most menial of tasks, usually ones that full-time employees should do. This work, aptly titled 'grunt work' for the grunts of discontent coming from an intern, is simply given so that the intern has something to do. Next, you put students under the supervision of people, who might not be the best to be under. Oftentimes, the person that an intern works under isn't a professional in their field, but an administrator whose job it is to oversee them and make sure that they're completing what drudgery they're given. That supervisor might not have any experience in the field and sometimes might not even be open to the idea of an intern being there, leading to tension in the office. You may advertise a professional experience, but what happens usually borders on general office help at a cheap price, sometimes free. Internships, you're not all that you're cracked up to be. Overall, I'd say that you are a good look, but not for everyone. Your system lends itself to students who work well in organized, and often rigid systems, or students who are extremely proactive. If a student has a problem with authority or are slow to be motivated, you aren't the right way to spend a summer. That said, you're definitely something that students should look into. If not to know whether an office setting is right, then just to be able to tell those 'Worst Internship Ever' stories. Lord knows I have a few...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dear Kanye (re: the VMA's)



I didn't watch most of the VMA's. The Washington - Dallas game had my attention because it was as captivating as an opening game as I've ever seen (word to DC). That said, I tuned in to MTV's yearly ode to the music video late, only to catch one thing: your performance Ye. I Youtube'd Taylor Swift's performance, and it was lame at best. She tried to make an underhanded acceptance of your antics last year (which I thoroughly lambasted you for), which came off sounding preachy and quick to capitalize on a year's worth of free publicity. You rose above her by not even directing any attention to her, or allowing MTV to pan to her anorexic-looking behind. But that's neither here nor there. Taylor's performance sucked because it was bad. Your performance, on the other hand, was masterful.

Rather than come back with a Taylor Swift apology song or try to make amends for what some would perceive as an off year for you, you decided to thumb your nose at all the douchebags, *ssholes and what have you. Now, that may sound ridiculous on the surface, but when taking a look at the performance as a whole, one can't help but think you're one of the best musicians out right now. First of all, you came out there dressed in a bright red suit. At first I was clowning it, thinking about Eddie Murphy in Delirious, but then looking at the stage from the aerial view, your aim (pun intended) was obvious. Ye, you were the target, the red dot that everyone had been aiming at over the past year because of your antics. Visually, that made the 'Runaway' performance a symbolic spectacle. Ironically, the song is about you poking fun at yourself for 'finding what (you) don't like the most' in everything and broadcasting it. That message hearkens back to your town hall-esque meetings at Rolling Stone, Twitter and Facebook where you're trying to make music from a position of happiness rather than sadness. I suppose one of those positions is one where you can poke fun at yourself and the people who've been chucking darts at you over the past year. You made yourself the target for yourself and for everyone else.

The second reason the performance was dope was that you brought out Pusha T. Plus, it seems as if the younger Thornton brother has something to prove, much like you do. Of all the heads you have lined up on GOOD Music, Pusha is my favorite. He's got the charisma, attitude and BARS for a nice crossover, though most of white America let out a collective 'Who's that?' when he stepped on stage. It was one of the only highlights to what I heard (better yet, read, thanks to Twitter) was a pretty lame MTV Video Music Awards.
SIDENOTE: The VMA's are officially dead, by the way. There really was no reason for half of the show aside from the performances. Chelsea Handler (who is comedic gold on her show) fumbled through three hours of celebrity jokes and a Rick Ross ride, and still couldn't get a genuine laugh from the dead-silent crowd. MTV completely lost its appeal when she jumped into a hot-tub with the Dirty Jersey crew, and died when she came out 'pregnant'. RIP to MTV.
Your performance was trill for one more reason: it means hip-hop is the IT now. Along with Drake, Eminem and Nicki Minaj, your feature on MTV, a (canonized) world stage, was a testament to the idea that rap music is here to stay. Ye, you solidified yourself as a heavy-hitter again with the this performance and kept it oh-so-funky with Taylor Swift by not even mentioning that squeaky-clean pop martyr. While she tried to milk last year's folly again, you were looking a year ahead to a gang of awards. Regardless of America's sweetheart, Ye, you were masterful last night, putting an emphatic exclamation mark on one hell of a statement to the music industry over the past few months. Your next album is sounding damn near classical, and we have no clue what's even going to be on it. That's enough holding your pocket, though Ye. Let's hear a few more GOOD Friday's before we crown you again, though somehow we might not even need it after that performance...

Dear Teachers

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There is a realization that I've come to about my academic life. It took 4 years (and counting) for me to turn this realization into an actual ideology, and now that I'm a senior I still can't fathom how this goes down: Teaching college kids SUCKS. Yes, it's that simple. And the sad part is, no one knows how much it sucks. Most of you are paid less than you should for getting large groups of sleepy, rude, self-absorbed, ignorant, 18-22 year olds buried in their phones and laptops, to recall some arcane subject that either A) is too general to mean anything to them or B) too focused for those not requiring it to care. I can't tell you how many times I've mentally checked out of a class because I simply didn't care about the material, and the teacher exacerbated that. Have no fear, though, professors. As a part of Dear Whoever's 'Back to School Week' I've got a few pointers that'll have your students (myself included), not only attentive, but wanting to pay attention and participate in class. Keep it locked this week for more school-related letters..

1. Make the curriculum, syllabus and requirments as clear and as concise as possible. Too many times the classes that we students need to take have these ridiculously convoluted class policies. Whether it's a lack of gradeable material, too much material on exams or what have you, get your administrative and logistical sh*t down pat. There's nothing more annoying than a professor who's whole class is spent trying to figure out when stuff is due or when we have to cram because they don't know. I suppose that's all a matter of organization and preparation. Yet, every year there's that one teacher who's syllabus and course direction look like he/she made it up while high off some amazing shrooms, driving to class that morning. I guarantee if your requirements are clear, then your head will be too at the end of the term. Having a clear syllabus prevents you from switching it up on us after 10 weeks and it gives us an understanding of how much we can or can't afford to slack off.

2. Drop the TA's. Seriously. It's one thing to have another professor cover for you when you either don't have the time or are grading papers or something of that nature. It's another thing to completely drop your duties as a professor and hand it off to someone less than a year removed from the same position we were. Come on. We barely want to see your faces in the morning handing out exams and lecturing us for an hour and a half. What makes you think we want some extra-bubbly, brown-nosed kid with a taste for power and not enough friends doing the same thing, trying to impersonate you? Not only do most of these heads know diddly squat compared to you about the material, it's almost an insult when they try to reprimand the classroom (think having your nana as a substitute in grade school). We don't come to school for another student's expertise, we came for yours. Just suck it up and show up. We're there, and there's no reason you shouldn't be.

3. I don't know who you guys have got to talk to about this one, but someone's got to take a stand. Because it's you, the teachers, providing the material, it should be you: FIND A WAY TO GET LESS EXPENSIVE BOOKS!!! That is really one of the things that irks me about college. If I'm going to get stuck for my paper (Biggie voice), I'd rather it not be by hunks of paper and cardboard that I can eschew reading by coming to class and taking notes. For God's sakes, one of my textbooks is over $200!!!!! Do you know what I can do with that money? Is McGraw-Hill or whichever textbook company the only entity on the planet with some of this information? Or better yet, have all the textbook companies banded together with Barnes and Noble to make some kind of 'textbook Illuminati,' destined to run our pockets and come out with the same information in a different version next year? Professors, if you're going to be the ones setting the curriculum for us, at least have some sympathy and try to use older versions, or something...

4. Enough with the group projects already, teachers. I don't like groups. As a matter of fact, groups are the reason I'm glad I'm done with all of my business classes. You guys seem to think that placing a bunch of us students together for the common purpose of writing some BS paper, that we each could've written by ourselves will help us build our people skills. SIKE. This ISN'T 'The Real World', and I'm certainly not really trying to be polite with the kid who hasn't been to class all term or the kid who'll give everyone in the group a bad grade for dumb crap. The thing is, most of us already don't want to do any work, much less get graded harshly for it. What makes you think we want to let a bunch of strangers have some bearing on our grade? I'd rather mess up a project on my own and be upset with myself, than have a gang of fools I'll probably never see again have a hand in determining it...

5. I don't think I'm alone in saying that class can be more boring than watching baseball highlights, so teachers, do yourselves and us a all a favor: BE MORE ENGAGING!!! If you're going to teach about molecules and atoms, be peppy about it! If you're lecturing on economics, have some umph in your voice! Quit reading from PowerPoints and droning on about insignificant topics for half the class. Quit trying to fish for answers from us when you're not even trying to keep us interested. There's nothing worse than a teacher with no wit and no personality in their class. It's like trying to stay awake after a 3 AM trip to Waffle House, with some soothing music playing and the warmest Snuggie draped around you: it won't work. Period. Use weird voices and stupid stories if you have to. Make fun of some of the class (that's a great way to get me interested). Hell, dress up like a clown if you have to. Do something to make me feel like I'm not hearing 'Beuller.. Beuller.. Beuller' for 2 hours...

There you have it professors. We students know your job is thankless and annoying sometimes. We just wish you would try to make it easy for us. After all, you've been through the same stuff going to school. At least try and be sympathetic and hey, maybe we'll all learn something this term (corny tie-in)...

Friday, September 10, 2010

ALIFE Fall/Winter 2010 Collection



Those of you who've been following Dear Whoever for a while now might notice that I've all but curbed most fashion and sneaker posts, save a few exceptional ones. That's not because I've given up on it. It's just that most brands are melding into the same category, and, as I find myself getting a bit older, hanging on to traditional streetwear brands is a bit lame. Some however continue to surprise me, if not by the designs themselves then by the way they're presented. ALIFE is always going to be on the scene. They've got way too much pull and a lot of creative minds rocking with them at this point. I guess it's no surprise that the lookbook for this year's fall/winter collection is so dope. A series of stop-motion photography with a white backdrop is all the NYC brand needed to show off their new collection of traditional graphic tees, flannel button downs, sweaters, hoodies and of course, their sneakers. The music does the video justice too. Check the lookbook out in slower motion here...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/9)

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San Francisco Homeless Protest McDonald's Dollar Menu Price Increase

French Soccer Team Boots Gay Player

More Americans Becoming Day Laborers

US Guns Litter 90% of Mexican Crime Scenes

Rodney King to Marry his Juror

Iraqi Prank TV Show Plants Fake Car Bombs

The Best Jobs In America

The Future of Ad Agencies and Social Media

3% of Twitter Traffic Bieber-Related

Do We Have the Right to Lie?

Chiddy Bang - The Good Life (Co-produced by Pharrell)

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Chiddy Bang - The Good Life (Produced by Pharrell)

The whole producer-MC combination somewhat throws me for a loop, especially when the producer doesn't really rap. Acts like Kidz in the Hall are dope, but without Double-O, can Naledge hold a track down? Can Mikey Rocks rock a beat that Chuck didn't bless? Was CL Smooth as good without Pete Rock? I guess those questions are more rhetorical than ones that can actually be answered, yet it's always interesting to see the MC rock over another producer's beat. In this case, Chiddy Bang hooked up with Skateboard P (he co-produced it) for this cut off their upcoming work 'The Preview', to be released in October. You can definitely tell where Pharrell left his mark (the drums for sure) and where Noah did his thing (the crescendo has his name all over it). Add some nice verses by Chiddy, and you've got a certified head knocker for the fall. Check the track out and be on the lookout for more from Chiddy Bang...

Dear XV (re: Vizzy Zone)

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DOWNLOAD: XV - Vizzy Zone

The difference between the artists that make it from blog-fame to actual fame is simple: the ones that make it can straddle the line between musicality and being palatable, while the ones that don't focus too much on one aspect more than the other. XV, you seem like you've got a decent balance in the works, but need some time developing your style. A lot of the mixtape was exceptional, but a noticeable amount of it seemed like you were keeping the listener in limbo, which we'll discuss further:

First of all, lyrically, this mixtape was one of the best I've heard in a while. The references you made were both arcane and far-fetched. Vizzy, your mixtape was a barrage of bars from start to finish. "I be eating beats like Doug Funnie be" made me literally bust out laughing. At one point you were just going punchline for punchline for punchline and it was as if one couldn't listen fast enough. I found myself rewinding this tape constantly, attempting to catch your lyrics, because some of them were beyond slick. Bar for bar Vizzy, you're one of the best out, and there is no denying that. That said, your lyrical prowess can be a gift and a curse. While heads such as myself are bar-hungry, other people aren't as receptive to these types of songs. Sometimes the listener just wants to enjoy the song and nod their head, not listen with a pen and pad and hit rewind every 30 seconds. I suppose it's trivial to mention, yet it's something that really stuck out with Vizzy Zone. Even so, this tape was like lightning in a bottle when it comes to lyricism, which is something that no one can take away from you, and everyone should take notice of.

Secondly, this tape's beats varied from FIRE to mehhhhhh. XV, I think your selection needs a bit of work. While looking at the myriad of producers on Vizzy Zone, I feel like you picked some of these guys more because they're up-and-coming than because they matched your style. Vizzy, your rhyme scheme lends itself to long bars and even longer trains of thought/metaphors. Your beats should mirror that ideology. Hip-hop has become a genre that's beat-driven, and a few producers run the top of the game. That said, not every one of them is right for every artist. At times, I wish that the beats on your tape were either slower, or less complex. It seemed like the producers were trying to fit too much into the music at the expense of simplicity and austerity. You should know that better than anyone, having been pushed back since 2005. Sometimes doing too much, especially musically, makes one less appealing. The beats weren't able to take away from your lyrics, but some of them bothered me enough to mention.

Third off, the collaborations you featured on Vizzy Zone were well-placed. A lot of artists have features because they can't populate an entire work by themselves. Every one of your features worked well with your style. The song 'She Go, I Go' with Chiddy Bang was dope, as was 'Reset Button' with Talib Kweli. I suppose talent recognizes the same and you were able to recruit some serious talent to help you on this tape. Fourth off, Vizzy, you seriously need to work on your choruses, bridges or whatever you want to call them. Too much of the time, you ended up just chanting non-rhythmically over the beat, rather than just leaving the choruses alone, or finding someone else to write or do them for you. Vizzy, you're not Wiz Khalifa. Your voice nor your style lend themselves to melody. Not that you'd be unable to string together a competent hook, but I think there were too many times during the tape where you sounded like a lost wolf with a f*cked up howl.

In closing, Vizzy, this was a valiant effort. It was good, not great. I think one of the downfalls of the blogosphere is that every week we get new work from different artists, and the hype that surrounds the work usually overshadows the truth about that work. Vizzy Zone made me realize that lyricism is alive and well, as is creativity in that realm. Also, might I say, the cover for this tape is beyond PIFF. Whoever did it either is the next Van Gogh or has been taking some of the best psychedelic drugs ever produced. In terms of replay value, some of Vizzy Zone's tracks will definitely be in rotation for a while. That's just a testament to how good an MC you have the opportunity to be. With some finetuning, I would not be surprised if you were the next cat to make that big break. Like I said before, it's all about balance when coming up in hip-hop. Can you make the stans happy while giving the radio something to play? Can you be a lyricist while still being palatable? Can you make songs with content that still make you nod your head? You're well on your way, Vizzy. Your 'Zone' is an eerie one, but one that begs to be visited more than once. Kudos on a nice tape.

#dopetracks
The Flying V
Gettin Bizzy
Reset Button
Vizzy Zone
She Go, I Go
Falling Awake

Loosies:
XV - We Zonin' (prod. Seven)
XV – Top Of the Roof (prod. Seven)
XV – Gettin’ BiZZy (prod. Seven)
XV – T.A.L.K. (prod. Seven)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear Matt Leinart

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Kurt: Coulda been you, bro... Matt: *emo sigh*

via ESPN:
The Arizona Cardinals have released Matt Leinart, parting ways with the former Heisman Trophy winner who was supposed to be the team's franchise quarterback but couldn't escape the backup role.
The team made the announcement on Saturday, shortly before the Cardinals had to reach their 53-man roster limit.

"In fairness to Matt, I think that it would be a tough position for him to be in a backup role," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Maybe a fresh start for him is what would be a good thing, for all of us."
I always find it funny when athletes go from the college game to the professional game and lose their mojos. Situations like that beg the simple question: What happened? From off-the-field trouble, to coaching and administrative changes, there's usually a veritable reason for why a player loses his stride after making a move to the pros. In the NFL, there are so many variables to a player's success, that sometimes drafting the best player is a simple game of chance. At the same time, there still exists the idea of a can't-miss prospect; a player who's on-field laurels translate perfectly from the college to pro game. You, Matt Leinart were one of those prospects, and now that you've officially been relegated to a future journeyman, it's high time to out you on the wackness that has pervaded your career.

I'm not going to lie. I despise USC as a football program. I don't even think I have a good reason (guess that makes me a hater), aside from the fact that most, if not all of their players, including yourself are what we sports pundits like to call 'system players'. Be real, Matt. Do you honestly think you would've put up the numbers you did at a different school. When one checks out your track record, a lot of your success was because of the players around you. The college game, to me, is much more team-oriented than the pro game. Schools that constantly recruit full classes of blue-chips are always going to be at the top, because their entire squad gets an injection of new blood on both sides of the ball. Matt, you had one doozy of a team around you. Reggie Bush, Lendale White, Sam Baker, Darnell Bing, Brian Cushing, Fred Davis, Rey Maualuga, to name a few, were all on the team with you. Those dudes all went pro and are playing at a high level now. That said, how can anyone debate that your success wasn't (in part) due to your surroundings. For God's sakes, your coach Pete Carrol practically made it impossible for you to not light up the scoreboard! When you got to the NFL, I knew you were doomed, but tried to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Kurt Warner is one of the best QB's of the past decade. The man is a consummate professional and is easily one of the most knowledgeable players in recent history. That the Cardinals would draft you to back him up was literally, the PERFECT situation for you. Denny Green, and (the next head coach) Ken Whisenhunt laid out a red carpet for you. You had two top-5 receivers lining up at your sides, a competent defense on the other side of the ball, and a dedicated coaching staff. As far as I'm concerned, there was no reason for you to not excel once Kurt decided to call it quits after the 2009 season. In fact, Matt, you should've been starting from 2008, but just kept handing the position back over to Warner. Enter this season, and the atmosphere around the Cardinals was tense. Add to the fact that you were complaining about your role, and the world knew you were on thin ice in regards to your standing with the Cardinals. Tack on a lousy preseason (when I say lousy, I mean I probably could have done better) and it was curtains for you. No wonder they released you. All you can really hope for now is a good seat on the bench in Houston. Matt Schaub is actually nice, and unless he loses an arm in a freak accident, you won't be seeing the field anytime soon. What's interesting about football is how much influence the quarterback has on the game at large. When one looks at you play (professionally) you get the the sense that you're not even in control of yourself, much less the game. I suppose this stop with the Texans might yield a second chance, but how many chances should a Heisman winner really get?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chip Tha Ripper – From Me To You: The Prelude To Gift Raps

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Chip Tha Ripper – From Me To You: The Prelude To Gift Raps

Sometimes you have to ease into liking a rapper. It's not everyday that you hear an artist's work and are immediately drawn to their flow, lyrics or attitude on the mic. At the same time, one can recognize when an artist does have talent as a rapper. That's been my opinion on Chip Tha Ripper for the past year. I've always thought him to be a decent lyricist as well as having a good presence on the mic, but had qualms about his ability to make an actual 'song'. Also, I debate his content. I guess it's only right that my frustration with him come to an end in time for his newest release 'From Me To You: The Prelude To Gift Raps'. Chip, on this 6-track EP shows the listener why he's worth a listen: pure zoning, relaxation and easy-going rhymes. Chip is so Cleveland that it's a problem. Whereas most MC's would have trouble with slowed down beats, Chip has a penchant for adjusting his rhymes to match the track, without losing words or becoming short-winded. What surprised me was how comfortable he seemed talking much grimier on wax. Usually blog-age rappers tend to shy away from those themes (word to Gangsta Gibbs) in lieu of the partying lifestyle and swag raps. Chip, however was able to paint a picture of both with hazed-out bars and syrupy-smooth delivery over even smoother beats. He didn't try to hide his new-ageism, but still kept it funky about the state of his city. Overall, Chip may not have made a fan of me, but certainly kept my attention for all six tracks. I'm definitely hoping some Chuck Inglish production will be able to bring out more of the same. Until then, I'm just gonna vibe out to 'From Me to You'. Check out the d/l link...

Touchscreens of the Future



If I told you that the old ideas about 'the Future' from movies would come true in the next decade, would you believe me? Now that I think of it, I might not believe you either. The fascinating technological concepts of movies such as Minority Report, the Matrix and the latest Star Trek, always seemed farfetched, considering how slowly companies are to unveil their future plans. However, that doesn't mean those pipe-dreams can't or won't be achieved in time for my generation to care or take advantage. Swedish tech startup, TAT, commissioned a bunch of designers, tech people and computing engineers to design a realistic and aesthetically-captivating model of the future of the touch screen, called Open Initiative. The result is quite astonishing, to say the least. The video above shows a rendering of what the future holds for us, computing-wise. From alarm clocks you don't have to fumble around the snooze button for, to mirrors that show news headlines, to wireless collaboration and sharing over touch-friendly user interfaces, it seems as if the sky is the limit. It will be interesting to see if companies pick up this model or can run with it at all, because this simply looks cool. The fact that it's integrated in regular life, but not hindering it by being too (there is such a thing; think robot vacuums) has me thinking the future won't be as automated as we think. My only concern is how integrating all of the networks we have will work out. That's neither here nor there at the design point, though. Check out the video, and see what the next generation is looking like...

J. Cole - Villematic

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J. Cole - Villematic

Cole has never been one to mince words on a track. Rather than going for inane wordplay and punchlines on his tracks, the Fayetteville MC has a penchant for telling stories, making points and having a reason and idea for every song he makes. J. Cole's 'Cole World' still is slated to drop on October 26th, with this track, "Villematic" as one of the next up. He responds to the comparisons between himself and Nas, while chucking verbal salt at those who question his 'realness', for lack of a better term. Claiming that he knows his "debut gon ship, but is it gon' sell?", it's refreshing to see an artist be vulnerable on wax while still keeping his confidence at an all-time high. It just seems like everything that J. Cole puts his voice on is gold. Like I said, he doesn't mince words, and his work comes off as both genuine and exceptional because of that. Enjoy the track, people...

EDIT: Forgot about this. Apparently Cole is also prepping a new mixtape, as he tweeted here. Should be a great fall for hip-hop...

Kardi - Black Ferris Beuller

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Kardi - Black Ferris Beuller

Kardi is for real. Let that sink in for a little... Seriously. I'm not bigging the man up because the Prep circle is up on the man. I'm basing this off tracks like 'Black Ferris Beuller', that showcase the Bronx-bred, Middlesex-grown MC in his braggadocious element. His new work, 'The Valedictorian' is looking like it's going to be an ode to a lifestyle I know well, so it's quite easy to resonate, yet the amount of bars this young man has is ridiculous. Add to that a dedicated production team (#shoutout to MC's that have original production, instead of going on other n*ggas' beats constantly), and you've got gold. I'm interested to see what the reaction to the tape is though. Many times, heads are reluctant to try a new artist until they get a huge cosign. I know XV and Chiddy Bang are already on the Kardi bandwagon, but when's this guy gonna get his break? I guess we'll wait and see while bumping this track.
I'm living like a Monstarr, got a team of freaks / Cause I went from poor to rich like Cream of Wheat / See, I'm something like a Black Ferris Beuller / Getting medulla, from my tutor, while I'm rollin Buddha / This'll prolly be the track that you threw up, to tell your friends that you knew me before I blew up
C'Mon Son....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Neighborhood Newsletter (9/3)


I wish this song was released when I broke up with my last ex...

Troy Polamalu's Hair Insured for $1 Million

Amazon River at 40-Year Low

Getting High on Ecstasy May Help Soldiers' PTSD

Young, Single Women Out-Earn Men

America is Fat as FUCK

7 Traits of Real Men

7 Ways To Ruin Your Relationship Without Realizing You’re Doing It

Why McDonald's Food Never Decays

Indian woman breastfeeds calf

6' 9" teenager quits school because she can't fit on school bus