12/31/08

The Historical American Assumption

WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS?
STAY TUNED!!!!

Chocolate News

MAN, if you dont watch the comedy central TV show Chocolate News, you are doing yourself an Injustice to good humor. This show make me remember how funny David Alan Grier was. It him at his best, sketch comedy.




Couple sketches



12/29/08

Word of the Week: Sophomoric

Sophomoric

Definition
1. Of or characteristic of a sophomore.
2. Exhibiting great immaturity and lack of judgment

I'll even use it in a sentence:

After being president for eight years, George W. Bush's decisions were still of sophomoric behavior.

12/24/08

What Happen to 1 Hit Wonders???

Call me Crazy... Nah, go ahead... DO IT!

I'm looking for 1 hit wonders. Think about it...

Isn't that just what half of the artist out right now are?

The bigger example is Soulja Boy. Look, I actually like that superman song. Did I buy his album? Hell 2da Nah. I look at it this way, we always have had those type songs, the only difference is that the artist who made those type of songs before, thats right...

THEY WERE 1 HIT WONDERS

Sir-mix-alot, Baby got back - 1 Hit Wonder

Rex-n-effects, Rump shaker, "all I wanna do is Zoom Zoom Zoom in ya Boom Boom" - 1 Hit Wonder

Tag Team & 95 South, Whoomp There it is & Hoot There it is, both versions - 1 Hit WonderS

Tone Loc, Wild Thang & Funky Cold Madina (they both used the same sounding guitar and drums so its the same song to me) - 1 Hit Wonder

D.R.S., Gansta Lean, I drink my forty to THEIR memory - 1 Hit Wonders

Digable Planets, Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) - 1 Hit Wonder (Like Dat)

69 Boyz, Tootsie Roll, "cotton candy sweet as gold" - 1 Hit Wonders

Ghost Town DJ's, My Boo, "last night I dreamed of you" I liked the song - 1 Hit Wonders


Quad City DJ's, C'mon Ride it(The Train), yall know was was doin that Choo Choo dance just like kids now "super man that ho" - 1 Hit Wonders


Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby, Alright stop ____(yall know the words) - 1 Hit Wonder




NOW-A-DAYS

SOulja Boy, Plies, D4L, Joe Budden, Nick Cannon, PitBull, Rich Boy, Jim Jones, and the list goes on and on.

They all want to stay around like the really have something to offer. Take your 1 hit and milk it for what its worth. You know you have no real skill, you know you just got lucky and hit 1 out the park. You can tour for 2 years off that 1 hit, it may end up being used in a popular movie, it may get played at all the sports arenas, hell, these days it can be a platinum ring tone. Whatever you do, DO NOT try to pretend you a legitament artist.

Y'know who I blames. ASHANTI! Foolish, it was a foolish song, to me, but I know yall ladies loved it. THAT should have been it. BUT NO, not Ashanti. Lets remake songs from 2 other popular beats(Happy, Baby), Lets keep saying the word baby over and over (awe baby). I know that she acheived platinum status, a shocking, 3 times, but she caint sang. I cant prove it but I bet Irv Gotti used an auto dialer to get those videos played. Its possible that she has other talents, which may be the reason to her being around so long -

BUT IT AINT IN SINGING.

She open the flood gates for all one hit wonders. Thanks to her all one hit wonders try to make a 2nd album. WHich brings me back to Soulja Boy. His new song is gawbidge, he needs to flop so that 1 hit wonders can be put back in ther place; And thats accepting that they are lucky to make 1 hit. Dont get me wrong, soulja boy, keep making youtube videos, beats and even try to get a TV show or a movie deal - just no more albums for 5 year AT LEAST.


SO PLEASE CAN WE BRING BACK THE 1 HIT WONDERS!!!!

12/22/08

Miseducation 101: Swag & Swagger

It never ceases to amaze me how miseducated people tend to be. I'm never surprise when being cool, "with it" or "in" overshadows the desire for proprietary knowledge. It seems now-a-days every one has a penchant to have SWAGGER or poses SWAG but I doubt they really know what it means.

When I think of the word swagger, what immediately comes to mind is P.Diddy. I remember when Diddy did the "Making The Band 2" show and selected the members his reason for choosing Dylan(pictured left) was, "(he) has that swagger".

Looking into that, Diddy did not particularly care for Dylan, and I'm pretty sure that people, who viewed the show, perceived Dylan as thinking he was better than he actually was - Dylan was only great IN HIS MIND.

The word swagger is derived from the word swag. Swag has several meanings, i.e. sway, sink, sag, stolen property, loot, or to walk in an uncontrollable drunken like manner. When the word swagger was began to be used it was to describe the actions of a bully or person that was arrogant.

Definition:
Swagger - To walk or conduct oneself in a boldly rude, disrespectful, arrogant air; To brag; boast;

or simply put CONCEITED...

Don't get me wrong, I know the way those words are used now is slang. The problem is slang does not redefine words. Like the word HATER, the definition is relatively the same (one who hates), its just a blown out of proportion view, and an overly used term. Even in the case of the slang use of "HOT" or relative words like "fiyah" (fire) or flame. The slang use of those words are based off the literal definition of "giving off heat". When something is "HOT" its catchy, it spreads. When you say something is hot, it means it has the characteristics of fire, heat, spice.

SO WHAT AM I GETTING AT?

The "urban"/slang definition of swagger is, how one presents him or her self to the world, how the person handles a situation. An appearance of self-confidence. Prideful, Arrogant walk or stride. Right away I notice the words self-confidence and pride. That gives the word a whole new definition. I mean, can you be confident AND conceited AT THE SAME TIME? There is also an "urban" definition of the word swag, which simply means style. Now that's more correct in meaning. The only unimposed question to this definition is, what king of style?

I guess, if I had no immediate correlation of the word swag/swagger being connected to the word conceited, then maybe, I too, would exclaim my swagger to the world; Or maybe this is the direction of our society. Maybe its cool to be cocky, conceited, loud, obnoxious, self-consumed, arrogant, vain, narcissistic, and full of hot air...

but I'm straight on that.

That's why I'm forever unabashed, which means poised, brazen, and shameless - keep your swag.

Word of the Week: Ameliorant

ALRIGHTY THEN...



Y'know when people say things like, "if you look up stupid in the dictionary, your picture would be right next to it"? Well, that what I'm going to do here with these words.



AMELIORANT - to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve; meliorate.














How fitting?

12/19/08

Artist Highlight: Rachelle Farrell & Will Downing

Since we no longer get to experience real Rhythm and Blues music any more I'll highlight some artist who can "Sho'nuff Sang". I'm Starting with two artist who have amazing vocal range.



First there's Rachelle Farrell, who touts a 6 octive vocal range. If this means nothing to you, let me put it in perspective. There are 88 keys on a piano and she can sing 72 of them, she can sing Barry White and Minnie Ripleton notes.

Y'know what just check out this Live performant by her below. This was fairly recent too!


Next we have Will Downing. Another not so known singer but he has been at it for years and has a litany of albums as reference. He is most know for being able to sing any song in his baritone voice.

Here take a listen below. Will Downing singing wishing on a star(click for a better LIVE version).



and here is the two singing a duet.

12/16/08

2001: The Year R&B DIED

I recently started thinking of the changes that have occured to the music industry. I remember when rapper use to get singers on their songs to make them hot. Now its the other way around, singers look for rappers to get on their songs in order to get radio play and exposure. HOW did this happen? NOT only that, but the music itself has conformed to this. Rappers use to rap over R&B music to broaden thier audience, now that MUSIC is gone. EVERYTHING NOW IS A BEAT... not music and there is a difference. They are even singing over the beats now. Like the Beyonce song "single ladies" there is no music, its just a beat.

Is whats out there today really R&B? Why do I say R&B died in 2001?

Well thats the last year R&B dominated the charts, so lets look at the Albums of 2001. Most of these albums at least went platinum, a lot were multi-platinum.


Jennifer Lopez, J.Lo, released January 22, 2001 - I know, not the first name that comes to mind when you think of R&B but you can not deny 4 million copies was great for R&B and Pop music.

Singles:

Love Dont Cost a Thing
Play
Aint It Funny
I'm Real (both versions)


Jaheim, Ghetto Love, released February 13, 2001 - A newcommer at the time. He found the spot left by D'angelo - that sapce between R.Kelly and Luther Vandross.

Singles:

Could it Be
Just in Case



112, Part III, released March 20, 2001 - The groups last album under Bad Boy was another smash and produced one of the biggest singles of 2001.

Singles:

Its over now
Peaches and Cream
Dance With Me


Jon B, Pleasures U Like, released March 20, 2001 - I slept on this on, I'm not into Jon B, but it did dropped that year and had decent sales.

Single:

Dont Talk



India Arie, Acoustic Soul, released March 27, 2001 - Also was he 1st year on the mainstream music scene and did it without much radio play. I personally like this album the best from 2001. I guess she was widely known for being nominated for the most grammys without winning one.

Singles:

Video
Brown Skin
Strength, Courage, and Wisdom
Ready for Love

Ginuwine, The Life, released April 3, 2001 - His first album not produced exclusively by Timberland but still was a success and the heels of that song that went, "my whole life has changed, since you came in, I knew back then, you were that special one, I'm so in love, so deep in love." That song is the ish...

Singles:

There it is
Differences

Janet Jackson, All For You, released April 23, 2001 -
Its Janet so you know what to expect. My memory from this album is the song "Would You Mind" - Janet the answer is NO, I would not mind if you, loved me touched me teased me...

Singles:

Doesn't Really Matter
All For You
Someone to call my Lover
Son of a Gun


Case, Open Letter, released April 24, 2001 - The album, itsself, was not so great but Case did get his biggest hit ever from this project.
"Like a cold Summer afternoon,Like the snow coming down in June,Like a wedding without a groom,I'm missing you..."

Single:

Missing You


Lil Mo, Based on a True Story, released April 24, 2001 - The original east coast hook singer, who gained most of her fame collaborating on Ja Rule Songs "Put it on Me" and "I Cry", also her collaborations with rapper Fabolus.

Singles:

Ta Da
Superwoman Pt II

Destiny Child, Survivor, released May 1, 2001 - This is not a personal favorite but it was/is R&B, sort of. I cant deny the success either.

Singles:

Survivor
Independant Women
Bootylicious
Emotion
Nasty Girl

Tyrese, 2000 Watts, released May 22, 2001 - The numbers for this album was modest but Tyrese has never gotten much radio play, you just have to know him and appreciate him as an artist. He usually only make 1 good radio/video song.

Singles:

I Like Them Girls
What Am I Gonna Do
Just a Baby Boy


Alicia Keys, Songs in A minor, released June 5, 2001 - This was arguably the best R&B album of 2001, this was Keys debut and she took the industry by storm.

Singles:

Fallin
A Woman's Worth
How Come You Don't Call Me
Girlfriend



Ray J, This Aint a Game, released June 5, 2001 - I was reluctant to add this to the list, seeing that this album was the "new" R&B. I can't hate though, it was/is? R&B still and it was a moderately sucessfull album, from Brandy's Brother.

Singles:

Wait a Minute
Formal Invite



Luther Vandross, Luther Vandross, released June 19, 2001 - We seen the old school crooner update himself a tad bit on this album - not vintage Luther but he showed he could still hang

Singles:

Take You Out
I'd Rather



Jagged Edge, Jagged Little Thrill, released July 3, 2001 - This album probably did well on the heels of their previous album(J.E. Heartbreak), when it debuted at number 3 on billboard charts. Yet and still it was a great R&B album.

Singles:

Where the Party at
Goodbye



IMx, IMx, released July 3, 2001 - Was not a fan of this group or album but that song "First Time" was the ish, so I'll give them a pass.

Single:

First Time





Aaliyah, Aaliyah, released July 17, 2001 - Sadly the last album she'd ever make; Even sadder he album was doing terrible until she died.

Singles:

We Need a Resolution
Rock the Boat
More Than a Woman
I care 4 U


Usher, 8701, released August 7, 2001 - This was Ushers 3rd album. It was originally to be released earlier in the year but the album was leaked, one of the first to have that happen, and was deemed "wack". They redid it, dropped "U Remind Me", then "U Got it Bad" dropped and sales sky-rocketed.

Singles:

U Remind Me
U Got It Bad
U Don't Have to Call
U-Turn


Maxwell, Now, released August 14, 2001 - This was his 3rd album and in my opinion it was far from comparison to the first 2. Thing is, by this time people knew him. This album did produce, arguably his 2 biggest hit ever.

Singles:

Get to Know Ya
Lifetime
This Womans Work

Mary J. Blige, No More Drama, released August 28, 2001 - Top 5 personal favorite from 2001. The album was pushed back from leaks(one of the 1st to have that happen). This was the transition from the old Mary J to the new Mary J and the rest is history. That song with the "Days of Our life" theme song in it, you know the name. In addition, she was one of the 1st artist to start the "re-release" thing and added new songs.



Singles:

Family Affair
No More Drama
Rainy Dayz

Brian McKnight, Superhero, released September 3, 2001 - McKnights 5th album sold over 150,000 units its first week. The Album was, "more than wonderful, more than amazing"

Singles:

Love of My Life
My Kind of Girl



Babyface, Face2Face, released September 11, 2001 - This album was not so sucessful, but we can blame that on 9-11 and Jay-Z. Babyface was vintage on his "What if" Single.

Singles:

What If
There She Goes



Angie Stone, Mahogany Soul, released October 16, 2001 - what can I say about this album? I remember the strong attemps that J Records put into this album, to try and get it accepted by the mainstream. Nonetheless, it was accepted by fans of her 1st album and all grown folk, nahmean. This is another personal top 5, Ms. Stone is gangsta, just check these lyrics... "green grass vapors running through my head, I'm feeling higher than the thunder dome" WHAT!

Singles:

Brotha
Brotha II
I Wish I Didn't Miss you
More Than a Woman
Bottles and Cans

<- The after Celbrity Fat Camp Version


Michael Jackson, Invincible, released October 30, 2001 -
this was not a typical Michael Jackson album as far as hype is concerned.This was his 1st album in 5 years and did eventually sale 10 million copies but with record label concerns and such, its was pretty much under the radar. It was still a great album and even though he only made 2 official single other songs also got radio play
Singles:

You Rock My World
Cry
Butterflies
Heaven Can Wait



Faith Evans, Faithfully, released November 6, 2006 - another sleeper but this was classic to true R&B fans, this is definately top 5 on my personal list for the 2001 albums. I love you is probably the last REAL song I heard. y'know having a chorus, verse, bridge and vamp. Those are all missing elements of today. Side Note: I just know she naked under that fur coat on the album cover...

Singles:

I love You
You Gets No Love
Burnin' Up

Keke Wyatt, Soul Sista, released November 13, 2001 - Not a great album ,I can admit, this is only on here for the Hit single"nothing in this world"

Single:

Nothing in This World





Jill Scott, Experience: Jill Scott 826+, released November 20, 2001 - Jilly from Philly wasted no time going on tour after her debut album, "Who is Jill Scott". That touring produced this album, which gave us the EXPERIENCE.

Singles:

He Loves Me
Gimme



Joe, Better Days, released December 11, 2001 - This was another album that rode the coat tails of previous success by the artist. Joe's previous album(My Name is Joe) was multi-platinum, this one was not so hot but the two singles were.

Singles:

Lets Stay Home Tonight
What If a Women

12/15/08

True Story: Til you do right by me

So peep...


This was one cold snowy winter afternoon. I remember quite vividly. I was a new dad, my son was just a month or two and I was working "three job!", so I was very busy. On this particular day I had an appointment, so I had took my lunch break to make it. I was taking the city bus but I had NO CHANGE! - dont you hate that - I didnt even have any single dollars. The city bus should invest in taking debit and credit cards, I mean, every one else does.


Any way, since I needed change, and I knew the bus was coming soon, I went to the gas station that was like 10 feet from the bus stop. I took my $5 dollar bill and bought something for $1 dollar. The asian clerk/owner gave me a penny for change.
NOW, I had a delayed reaction...
Being in such a hurry I started out the door... I took one step out then it hits me...

BAM! THIS FOOL JUST SHORT CHANGED ME !

It was a lady who was in line behind me, when I made the purchase, I waited 'til she was done. Then I explain to the clerk that I was just before this lady I gave you a $5 dollar bill and you gave me a penny in change for something that cost $1 dollar. First the guy starts saying, "you were not here", then he says, "why you wait", then he was like, "you guys do this all time".

I'm HEATED, you could fry an egg on my head like I was a Looney Toon.

I reach in my pocket and pull out my money. I had like $500 dollars. I'm like, "why would I need to steal $4 dollars from you!"
SO THAT WAS THE ONLY $5 I HAD! the rest was in 20's SO I'M EXRTA HEATED.
Arguing with the china man made me miss the bus, thus, miss my appointment.

now I'm SUPER HEATED!

So when I left the store I put the Karma Curse on him. Like Ceily from the color purple I told the china man, "til you do right by me..." ya'll know the rest.

So I actually worked across the street from this particular gas station and I made it my business to tell everyone of my customers and any one else who would listen...

NOT TO BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT GAS STATION

Yup a boycott.



Slowly but Surely the gas station went out of business some 2 years later.

12/12/08

UPDATE: Pyramidwest Interview with DL Hughley

A few weeks back I did a post about Connects from Twitter and I talked about my friend Pyramidwest. He does, what he describes as, guerrilla interviews. These interview are excellent. This recent one is with DL Hughley and they discuss Bernie Mac, his new show - DL breaks the news, and more.

There are also many more interview with the likes of: Sheryl Underwood, Lavelle Crawford, Don "DC" Curry, Earthquake, Keith Murray, Common, Chuch D, Mc Lyte, Dick Gregory and so many more.

Check out DL interview below...

Insomnia: House of Saddam Part 2

I was up 'til about 4am this morning, drinking warm milk, trying to get to sleep, and watching the Part 2 of House of Saddam.

After watching this part I came to realize that this was not a biography of any kind, really. I'm not saying that this series is portraying false images but this is not about Saddams life or about Iraq. I realized that this is one of those "loosely" based stories - where they take real people and real events and fill in whats missing with dramatization. The focus is really on the family and how Saddam controled them by fear.

Again I will not spoil the story for you but I do want to talk about the family member that stole this part of the series - Uday. Uday is/was Saddams first born son and the one to inherit the presidency; But Uday is a nut case! This Part starts out with Uday in a night club in Baghdad. First he just starts gropping some random lady, then he jumps on the stage, pulls out his guns and starts shooting. He did not shoot in the air either, he pointed at the crowd and fired away. There are also other instances: one where he pulls a gun out on a guy and another where he beats, that same guy, to death with a pool cue.

Tsk tsk... Good stuff!


Check out Uday below...

12/11/08

Insomnia: House of Saddam Part 1

Lately, I've been having my episode of insomnia. I think its a holiday thing but thats another story for another day. Anyway, in the wee hours of the morning/night while channel surfing my cables "on demand" service I discovered this four part series that currently airing called House of Saddam(click), which airs on HBO. I immediately started thinking, who is telling this story about Saddam Hussein? I mean, they killed the guy and his version of the story is one that no country is interested in letting come forth - at least not just 3-4 years after his death. Then I asked myself, what picture will Saddam be painted in?, in what light will he be shown. Also I was like, Is this going to be in english or will it have subtitles? Needles to say, that was enough to spark my interest.

This story is broken down in 4 parts, the 1st part is about how Saddam came into power. The series begans with Saddam watch President GW Bush making his declaration to invade Iraq on the TV. Every one in Saddam's Palace begins to evacuate in a frantic scuffle and getting into vehicles to retreat into hiding, with a nice back drop of bombs and missles exploding - of course this is all a prelude to the 4th part of the series.

The actual timeline begins in 1979, with Saddam doing a hostile takeover and overthowing the current President. He did it all gansta too. Saddam was Vice President and he had invited the President to his daughters birthday party. After they sang, happy birthday, they went into Saddams office. At that point Saddam told the current president, his time in power is over. This was a shock to the current president, as for none of his officers or security would stand by him, they had all backed Saddam.

Now I do not want spoil the whole episode but there so cool and greusome scenes. The most chilling one, for me, was when shortly after he came into power. The scene starts with several men lined up in an alley, hands tied behand their back, face another line of men. Saddam is over seeing the events to transpire. A close up of a man is shown holding up a shakey hand holding a pistol, he is ordered to shoot the "traitor" that stands before him, at the command of "FIRE!". This action was repeated down the line of men.

What I want to add, though, is a few points. I understand why the story would begin with Saddam actually in power; And that this is not a biography, so they would not show his childhood. What I do not get is why they did not show that Saddam was very instrumental in the modernization of Iraq. During the 1970's Saddam also had heavy support from the United Nations. He did a lot for Iraq like, dramatically emprove their education and literacy - which is why, even to this day, their are quite a few Iraqis that support/supported him.

Here is a preview of the series

12/10/08

Resourceful Recyclers

So like I do, just about everyday, I was searching the internet for weird and/or interesting things. Thats when I stumbled upon a Ramen Noodle coin purse(shown on the left). Personally, I do not have a need for a purse, but the product did fit the wierd and/or interesting purpose. So my interest switched to which creative mind(s) thought to create such a product, during which I found several other Ramen Noodle accesories.


So I came to find that these are the creations of OhNoUDidntDesigns. The creator has been at it since 2004 and these products are actually made from discarded food packagings. They are then cleaned and later used to create fashionable items, which extend beyond my Ramen Noodle infatuation.








Ramen Noodle Baby Booties, available in all flavors








Not only is there a coin purse...



This is a check book cover




Sadly, as much as I like Ramen Noodles there was no item that I could get for myself that was made from the Ramen Noodle wrapper - I do not where purses, I do not have any little babies and I do not write checks - DAMN.

Other than Ramen Noodle they have plenty of other designs. here is another good one...







Well this is mostly for the ladies because they offer various styles of purses, but they do have other I tems like key chains, belts and tote bags. They also use just about every wrapper imaginable: Cheetos, Sprite, Disani, Doritos, Lays, Ruffles, Pepsi, Fanta Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Coca-Cola, Resses, and they do custom items too.

For the Holiday they are offering Christmas Stockings.
Looks like the recycled wrapper market is cornered.
So if your a candy wrapper enthusiest, or all about going green, then OhNoUDidntDesigns has you covered.


This definately is a business "dedicated to renewal, revival and of course RECYCLING!"