Thursday, March 31, 2005
"The presidential commission reviewing American intelligence agencies said they were "dead wrong" about Iraq's weapons arsenal and the erroneous assumption they made that Saddam Hussein possessed deadly chemical and biological weapons had damaged American credibility before a world audience, and that the damage would take years to undo." (full article "Panel Says 'Dead Wrong' Data on Prewar Iraq Demands Overhaul" The New York Times)
Under The Same Sun on the media and the Iraqi detainee/torture situation: "The worse it gets, the less we hear of it from them...."
"Extended operations in Iraq are taking their toll on U.S. soldiers. A new study by the New England Journal of Medicine reveals "as many as one out of four veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals in the past 16 months were diagnosed with mental disorders." Though VA hospitals are currently able to provide mental health care for these soldiers, the numbers are steadily on the rise and hospitals may soon be "overwhelmed" if they come in the numbers predicted." (via The Progress Report)
Democracy Arsenal - where the Left attempts to get back into the one-sided dialogue on foreign policy/national security issues. (spotted via Political Animal)
"Three Denver residents yesterday charged that they were forcibly removed from one of President Bush's town meetings on Social Security because they displayed a bumper sticker on their car condemning the administration's Middle East policies." (full article "Three Were Told to Leave Bush Town Meeting" from The Washington Post)
"In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided."
The Bush administration is jeopardizing our security by excluding violent right-wing groups from terrorist threat lists.
Traveling While Muslim = the new Driving While Black
If this was the reverse situation, wouldn't it be just called regular life?
Terry Schiavo's Blog - in extremely bad taste but extremely funny. I hope I'm not going to hell for linking to that. In all seriousness though, R.I.P. (finally), girl. (via Article Online)
SEE THE FUTURE IN CANADIAN BASKETBALL
2005 Adidas All Canadian Basketball
at the Hershey Centre - Mississauga
Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 2pm
Featuring the Top 20 High School
Basketball Players in Canada
Tickets are starting at only $10
Click Here to buy your tickets online.
3 Point shootout, Dunk Off,
“Forza Motorsport Pit Stop Gaming Center”,
Over $5,000 worth of giveaways and contest prizing.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Image courtsey Newsweek
"The final report of a presidential commission studying American intelligence failures regarding illicit weapons includes a searing critique of how the C.I.A. and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein's political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapon stockpiles, according to officials who have seen the report's executive summary." (full article "Panel's Report Assails C.I.A. for Failure on Iraq Weapons" from The New York Times)
"A new report says U.S. intelligence agencies still haven't learned to share information, despite the lessons of 9/11." (Newsweek)
Watchdogs are warning that the contractor corruption in Iraq is out of control:
By many accounts, Custer Battles was a nightmare contractor in Iraq. The company's two principals, Mike Battles and Scott Custer, overcharged occupation authorities by millions of dollars, according to a complaint from two former employees. In the fall of 2004, Deputy General Counsel Steven Shaw of the Air Force asked that the firm be banned from future U.S. contracts, saying Custer Battles had also "created sham companies, whereby [it] fraudulently increased profits by inflating its claimed costs."
Yet when two whistle-blowers sued Custer Battles on behalf of the U.S. government—under a U.S. law intended to punish war profiteering and fraud—the Bush administration declined to take part. [emphasis added] "The government has not lifted a finger to get back the $50 million Custer Battles defrauded it of," says Alan Grayson, a lawyer for the two whistle-blowers, Pete Baldwin and Robert Isakson.
Full article "Follow the Money" from Newsweek.
Bush faces decline in approval ratings.
The Fox Blocker - is this for real? Cute idea but doesn't a remote control (with or without a channel blocker function) work just as well?!
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
I may have naysayed its commercial prospects on Tego's site but, ladies and gentlemen, we have another early contender for album of the year.
Beanie Sigel's The B.Coming album is, frankly, incredible - not quite Blueprint, Ready to Die, Illmatic level classic-ness but it's not that far off. Believe it. This is a GREAT hardcore New York hip hop album which anyone who loves that sound needs to own and I say that as someone who has never quite fully bought into the Beanie Sigel hype.
In a similar scenario as with Cam's Purple Haze album, I wasn't digging the singles Def Jam was dropping until hearing them all together as part of the album. This is easily Beanie Mac's best album overall from where I'm sitting. (related: State Prop's Peeti Crack puts Dame Dash on blast.)
Foxy lady indeed! Just Blaze laces Fox Brown with a crazy heat rock "Art of War" on some Hov-style "Takeover"-meets-"U Don't Know" ish. (spotted via the mighty Spine mag)
45 King livin' up to his name by killin' it on the portable turntables. (Quicktime video file may take a while to load, spotted via them KatKlaw er... cats out of New Jeruze)
While The Rap Nerd has a good post on fellow (kind of) slept-on producer from the same era, Prince Paul.
Do you need more hip hop?
Or has hip hop "jumped the shark"?
If the answer's yeah, then make your own punk rock song. (spotted via the Skrufff newsletter)
More Hot Hot Heat er... heat:
- "Goodnight Goodnight" video: lo | med | hi | sky-hi | quicktime
But did these cats miss their window to blow? Them and The Rapture were like about 6 to 12 months too early on their last albums but opened the door just wide enough for The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, The Bravery, Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads to come through and eat their retro, post-punk, new wave lunch. Damn....
Props to Brian, Courtney and the crew at Noir Movement for syndicating my site now.
And to Shotgun Reviews for the link love too.
Bored at work? Brooke Valentine's Celebrity Girl Fight.
When I asked about the Faith Evans album, Del said it was pretty good and I believe him based on this "Again" single. Did Kanye do that beat?
Kellie Sae live at Suite 16 (corner of 16th & 8th) tomorrow night at 8pm for $12 (seems like a lot of paper for some chick I never heard of even if it is my man Guy's artist, no?).
The Inner Monolgue's 100 worst songs from 1990 til today.
Junichi's "50 things that are difficult for [him] to accept."
But finally, Johnny Cochran - R.I.P.
(Site note: I'm getting a little burned out on the daily blogging thing but I won't be going "group style" like Hashim recommends. Keep checking for posts but if things start getting erratic or irregular, please bear with me through it.)
Monday, March 28, 2005
"There is no excuse for letting the children of this country suffer without trying to find solutions to help them...."
Years Ago, DeLay's Father Was Taken Off Life Support
Myths About Theresa [Terry] Schiavo Debunked (spotted via BartCop)
Meanwhile in Bush's "Culture of life"/"Err on the side of life" America: As Health Care in Jails Goes Private, 10 Days Can Be a Death Sentence.
And Bush Abstinence Sexual "Education" Plan Pushes the concept of 'Virgin Birth.'
And even more "Red State" madness - "Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures." (full article "A New Screen Test for Imax: It's the Bible vs. the Volcano" from The New York Times)
Forget the so-called Social Security "crisis," the real imminent problem is Medicare. (Related: full article)
I missed the premiere last night but I gotta check Idris Elba (bets known as Stringer Bell from The Wire) in the HBO Rwandan genocide drama Sometime In April.
Another film about modern African history - Darwin's Nightmare.
And are people gonna pay attention to Zimbabwe’s forgotten children or will this be the topic of another movie years from now?
Canadian immigration board denies refugee status to U.S. Army paratrooper.
Finally, Bush has been taking the accolades for starting the "Democracy trend" in the Middle East. Now let's see how he handles the reality of an increasingly nuanced, shades of gray world there:
Hizbullah's popularity at home puts the Bush administration in a delicate spot. Not so long ago, George W. Bush vowed to hunt down terrorists and anyone who supports them. But the president's ambitious plan to spread democracy in the Middle East requires a far more nuanced approach than he, or his aides, are used to. Rule one: sometimes the best diplomacy is to hold your tongue.
The White House is giving the United Nations a leading role in pushing for a Syrian pullout. Administration officials even admit they are following the advice of the French(!), who warn against focusing too much attention on Hizbullah. Still, it's a tricky job; some analysts worry that without Syria, Hizbullah may move closer to its other major sponsor, Iran. (full article "The Riddle of Hizbullah" Newsweek)
Sometimes sh-t isn't as black and white as he views it....
Thursday, March 24, 2005
"Malaria kills so many people because they can't get simple medicine or a net to cover their beds...."
Where are Jeb, George, Delay and crew on this issue of life and death? (related: Support The Roll Back Malaria Partnership)
I've been on a throwback music kick playing a lot of my "old" CD's since I finally sorted and filed them all away, five years after moving into my apartment. Specials has been getting the most rotation recently but Eazy Duz It is up there too which is apropos with the anniversary of Eric "Eazy E" Wright's untimely passing coming up on Saturday.
I've always rated Straight Outta Compton in my top 10 albums of all time but, on reappraisal, Eazy Duz It, the Eazy solo album that preceeded it, is an incredible album in its own right. Yeah, he's no super MC on the mic, but his voice was one-of-a-kind and he sounds good enough spittin' lyrics (courtesy of Ren, Cube and D.O.C. I believe). The real standout is Dr. Dre's amazing production and some really creative song concepts from the cinematic heist rhyme "Nobody Moves", the reverse tape lopp beat that kicks in halfway through "Still Talkin'," the live drum breaks on "2 hard Mutha's", Ren killin' it on "Ruthless Villain," the faux interview format used on "No More ?'s" and "Boyz-N-The-Hood," the original track that inspired a classic John Singleton movie as well a cover by Jim Jones which formally introduced The Game 6 years later.
It's funny to think, that while Dre & crew were shocking the public (and even a few hip hop heads) with their lyrically profane gangsta sh-t, they were actually doing some really next level ish songwriting and production-wise back then too. R.I.P., Eazy.
I also played A Tribe Called Quest's classic Low End Theory, er... Low End Theory album yesterday which, after hearing Phife kick the immortal opening lines in "Scenario," prompts me to ask the question: whatever happened to Bo Jackson? He went from modern sports icon/god to completely disappering off the face of the earth. I never hear, see or read anything about duke nowadays. Sports heads, what's really good?
The Nike Air Classic SB's are looking kind of right.
USA Today has been on some Hip Hop ish this week:
- Ex-child soldier now Kenya's hottest rapper - makes 50's drug dealer come-up story seem kind of lame, no? (spotted via Mr. Kamoji)
- 'Hick-hop' pioneer Cowboy Troy wields a unique brand.
Is DC hip hop finally gonna get some respect? Ecks from New Regime Records is in the building. Shout to Mr. 730.
Newsweek jumps on the M.I.A. bandwagon.
But let me get on some R&B/soul sh-t real quick:
- This might be tey ghey of me but I have to say I am feeling that "Slow Down" jawn by Bobby Valentino. Luda might have one with that there.
- I shouted out Jahah a few days back but let me go back to him again - this kid is NICE: soul singer and a decent MC to boot (with an all hip hop album called No Gray Areas coming soon). But check out the "Oohhh" video from his MamasOnlySon album. If you're fccking with Dwele, Musiq Soulchild, Donnell Jones, John Legend etc., GET AT THIS KID now.
- And, for those who've heard it, how's the new Faith Evans album?
Shout to my cousin Chris, the actor. I didn't know he'd been on Oz and Sex and the City (and thanks for the
Peace to A to the L of Altrap.net.
And finally, since my parents are coming into town, I probably won't post again this week so let me end by wishing those who celebrate a Happy Easter. (link via Pricelicious | BTW: almost forgot, catch me on the 1's and 2's at The Village Lantern Sat. night from 10-4 filling in for my man DJ Morsy. It's strictly a top 40 hip hop/80's type spot so, between that and me being out of practice from not having spun a big club/lounge spot in a minute, don't expect nothin' too exciting but come through if you need something to do this weekend.)
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Elaine Riddick and Nial Ramirez: Survivors of the North Carolina's state sanctioned sterilization program
Forget all those arguments about "the most fundamental of human values and virtues: the sanctity of human life", for the Republicans, the Terri Schiavo case was a "A Great Political Issue".
"The federal law that President Bush signed early Monday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists." (full article from "Law Bush signed as Texas governor prompts cries of hypocrisy" from Knight Ridder Newspapers)
And Bush says he believes in "defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities" but the Center for American Progress runs down the real deal.
As for that fccking sleazebag House Majority Leader, this is a straight "delaying" tactic to deflect attention away from what seems to be this guys' true purpose in government - being thoroughly corrupt and craven.
Does "taking away [Schiavo's] feeding tube count as killing while taking away Sun Hudson's breathing tube doesn't" Or is the distinction "utterly arbitrary"? from "Schiavo, Hudson, and Nikolouzos." (Mark A. R. Kleiman).
CNN.com posts misleading graph showing poll results on the Schiavo case. The sooner people disavow themselves of the notion that CNN is a non-partisan news source, the better.
A Shameful Little Secret - North Carolina confronts its history of forced sterilization.
"When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.
What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion." (Full article "New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data" from The Washington Post)
Nearly three-quarters of workers who opt for Social Security personal accounts under President Bush's "default" investment option are likely to earn less in benefits than those who stay with the traditional Social Security system, a prominent finance economist has concluded. (full article "Retirement Accounts Questioned" from The Washington Post)
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
But what is Shay gonna do now?! N*E*R*D Split
"Mr Nice Guy" - Will Smith's Eminem dis record. I'm a fan of Will Smith the entertainer (more so than as just an MC) but I don't think Marshall will be losing any sleep over this one. Here's a phrase I never thought I'd be using on this site: worse.than.Benzino.
Lebron = sick! (or is the CGI on this just crazy?) (via Malcolm F.)
"The Most Dangerous Gang in America"
Just in time for March Madness - 15 Reasons Why I hate Duke.
I'm feeling the concept of a black Kojak (complete with "In Da Club"-esque drum breaks lacing the official website splash page and a Tweet theme song - whoa!), but is Ving Rhames that hard up for work that he has to do a TV series?
Speaking of TV though, The Wire is a go for another season which is reason enough to keep my HBO subscription and continue over paying for digital cable very month.
Help defend bloggers' rights to keep their sources confidential .
Femmixx.com - an online community for female hip hop producers. (spotted via Can I Bring my Gat?)
"Why do schools care about your son's braids more than they care for his grades?" - evidence that Black and hip hop culture will always be a threat to mainstream society no matter how successful hip hop becomes. (via Straight Bangin')
Cassidy's album cover?
Nerve-ana - Your worst "I Love the 90's" VH1 nightmare come to life.
"Jesus on the Half-Pipe" - kind of apropos with Easter coming and Spring already here.
Finally, fcck the MTA for going after the new bagel shop (above) that recently opened up just down the block from my crib. They need to stay focused on getting a fair market price for the West Side Train Yard rather than giving it away to the NY Jets in a sweetheart deal. That way they wouldn't have to keep jacking up the subway fare every year. Plus I can't tell you how heated I am looking at those cornball "Candidate City" NYC olympic bid decals that Bloomberg has slapped on all the subway cars recently. I'm riding with Lance on this one if that West Side stadium is a deal-breaker. (bagel shop link via Nadine S.)
Monday, March 21, 2005
Some links below are active - click to hear mp3's of tracks or for more info.
Scroll down the sidebar for links to old lists in "The Hot Ish Archives" section.
1. Ying Yang Twins "Wait" (TVT)
2. Beanie Sigel feat. Snoop Dogg "Don't Stop" (Dash Music Group)
3. Hot Hot Heat "Island of the Honest Man" (Sire/Warners)
4. The Killers "Smile Like You Mean It"" (Island Def Jam)
5. Danko Jones "Lovercall" (Razor & Tie)
6. M.I.A. Arular (XL)
7. LCD Soundsystem LCD Soundsystem (DFA)
8. Nas "Talk of N.Y." (Promo)
9. Balance The Bay Area Mixtape King (Avinde Music)
10. Asheru (Unspoken Heard) "Insomnia Vol. 1" (Guerilla Arts Ink)
11. 50 cent feat. Game & G-Unit "Love It or Hate It (remix)" (G-Unit/Shady/Interscope)
12. Roots Manuva "Colossal Insight" (Big Dada)
13. Janet Jackson "Pops Up” (White Label)
14. Deemi feat. Fabolous "Move" (Dangerous LLC)
15. Jennifer Johns "Ghetto Stories" (Nayo Movement Music)
16. Gerald Levert "Crucify Me" (Atlantic)
17. Maxïmo Park "Apply Some Pressure" (Warp)
18. Dirtbag "Ladies Luv Me" (Jive)
19. J*Davey "Mr. Mister" (Unreleased)
20. Prefuse 73 feat. Ghostface & El-pee "Hideyaface" (Def Juxx)
21. Bathgate "Everything's A Go"/"Badside" (Supreme Clientele)
The Bonus Ish:
Here's some tracks that would have been on the "Hot Ish" charts If I'd done one for April-May:
- Alchemist feat. Prodigy "We Got This" (ALC?)
- Alchemist feat. Twin & Evidence "To The Top" (ALC?)
- Cassidy feat. Mary J. Blige "I'm A Hustler (remix)" (J/SonyBMG)
- Faith Evans "Mesmerized" (Capitol)
- The Game "Hate It Or Love It" Remix with Mary J Blige
- I-Wayne "Can't Satisfy Her" (VP Jamaica)
- Kanye West "Diamonds" (Rocafella/Island Def Jam)
- Tony Yayo "So Seductive" (G-Unit/Interscope)
You don't know how hard I had to look to find a picture of Kim where she didn't look like a bad transvestite!
Lil Kim gets smiddacked by the Feds. It's hard to say she didn't deserve it when the evidence seems so overwhelmingly against her but JustMe of I Ain't Scared to Say It! makes a good point that, even though the media is reporting that Kim and her assistant could face up to 20 years in jail, they shouldn't serve one day more than Martha Stewart since they've been found guilty of essentially the same crime (unless there are other factors that I'm not aware of?).
What is buggin' me out though is how I keep hearing about Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Capone of CNN both getting clowned by fans online calling them snitches. Based on what I've read, they were both forced to testify under Federal subpoenas and them backing up Kim's story would have meant putting themsleves in legal jeopardy since her grand jury testimony had already been discredited. Can someone give me a convincing argument as to why these cats deserve this treament that doesn't fall back on trite "Code of the Streets" and "you gotta ride for your peoples" arguments? I wonder how many of these cats yip-yapping online would deliberately perjure themselves in a federal court if put in the same circumstances?
I feel for Cease 'n them 'cos he always seemed liked a stand-up guy. I mean son was BIG's right hand man and even managed to make a few nice records and a not-bad solo album despite not even being a real MC. JM also have a new album coming out soon and, as good as it sounds based on the clips I've heard (if you like MOP or Dipset, you need to fccks with this), it seems like the streets may have already turned against them dooming this project to failure before it gets out the gate.
- Check out the DVD Chronicles of Junior M.A.F.I.A. The production values are little up and down but it's still a good overview of their take on coming up under BIG, Lil Kim leaving the crew, the 2Pac NYC shooting and more.
- Interviews with Lil Cease and Junior M.A.F.I.A. at Trickology and (conducted by Jay of Hiphopmusic.com) at SOHH.com.
Speaking of Hiphopmusic.com, Jay has been on fire recently. Besides the JM interview, check out links to a Slate article examining the formula behind the unstoppable Dr. Dre hit machine, a scary article about an alleged device that could render all the years spend practicing on 1's and 2's by DJ's around the world moot and a whole lot more.
A new "Hot Ish" list is up in the sidebar at left. Feedback, good or bad, as always is welcome in the comments section. Last month's list is also accessible in the sidebar or by clicking here.
M.I.A. (#6 on the new "Hot Ish" list) is having visa problems possibly due to her father's supposed "terrorist connections." (related: a Sri Lankan hip hop mix also via BoingBoing)
My music blogs links page has been updated as has the links page of other noteworthy music e-zines and websites. Support all these sites as they're where I get many of the links I post here.
Alex and the crew are back with a new issue of their online Designer Magazine with reviews and features on The Bravery, Razorlight etc. (related: slightly late but check out Razorlight's Up All Night album on RollingStone.com)
Shout to my man Butch Vig but, as they drop their new single "Why Do You Love Me", does anyone still care about Garbage? (mp3 spotted Liquid Generation's Music Blog)
Clinton Sparks feat. Freeway & Mully Man (from B'more) "Buck On 'Em" - very "Grindin'"-esque in style, especially with that Clipse sample on the hook, but this ish is crazy. Props to Sean.
I guess I'm not the only one who's been frothing over that Ying Yang Twinz "Wait" single (#1 on my new Hot Ish" list, natch). Sean's mp3 blog Popadopalis and 15 Minutes to Live both, unbeknownst to me, wrote about it before me. Candicissima however, is less impressed.
Unreleased Extra P heat. (via Steady Bootlegging)
OhAmerie.com (spotted via Street Dreams | Also check Lazarus's new Strictly Business site for a rundown of the product placements in the latest hip hop music videos. I think he might have too much time on his hands unless he's figured out a way to make some money out of doing this?)
Saturday, March 19, 2005
On the second anniversary of the madness beginning, at least in Europe, they are still standing up to be heard.
But two years after the invasion, few are celebrating in Iraq.
Is this some good news or wishful thinking/propaganda on the part of the US though?
CIA Director Porter Goss defends U.S.
Topdog08.com looks into Kurdistani separatism on the rise.
Was UN Ambassador nominee Bolton behind the phony Iraq uranium story?
Funding Scarce for Export of Democracy - classic case of put your money where your mouth is, does Bush really believe in this or not?
Poll Shows Bush Popularity on Iraq Plummeting.
Image from Chickenhawkcards.com
Bush cites Wolfowitz's Pentagon experience in choosing him to head the World Bank. Considering his atrocious track record at Defense, the Bank should get ready for an epidemic of waste, fraud and corruption. (full article "Head scratcher" by Joe Conason at Salon.com)
The problem with Paul Wolfowitz isn't that he's an evil genius. It's that he has been consistently, astonishingly, unswervingly wrong about foreign policy for 30 years. (full article "Mr. Magoo goes to the World Bank" by Micheal Lind at Salon.com)
Related: Europeans Resist Wolfowitz for World Bank (Washington Post)
Enron: Patron Saint of Bush's Fake News - Frank Rich kills 'em again.
Private Accounts are the social security "lockbox"?! Alan, is you fccking crazy? I definitely can't ride with you on that redonkolous idea especially after you got it so wrong in a very major way at least once before.
Despite having a pretty good run as a capable and seemingly impartial Federal Reserve chairman, I think duke needs to hang it up and go schtupp his wife who y'all know I'm not a fan of either. Greenspan seems to be getting increasingly partisan about the policy positions he endorses with an inverse relationship to how on point he ends up being the result we all have to suffer and live with. (reg' or log-in may be req'd for The Sydney Morning Herald link)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
These guys are responsible for the best single of 2005 already?
Acclaimed Fela Kuti biopic Music is the Weapon is screening at Rich Medina's Jump N Funk party TONIGHT.
I link to his Village Voice articles all the time so, for those who can, I recommend you go meet Rick Perlstein in person at a panel discussion on book reviewing and politics being held tomorrow by the National Book Critics Circle.
I think I already fulfilled my requisite T-dot content quotient for the week, but here's a couple things I need to rep real quick:
- His mother calls him Alex but he's better known as Don Cash and his new album AntiHero is now available for sale as a low-price download at Zunior.com.
- Shout to my man Rishi - his band Danko Jones' exclusive limited edition DVD featuring videos, live concert footage, promos and more is available at Music Monitor Network, CIMS and all AIMS stores now. Peep the "Lovercall" video on Real: hi lo | Windows: hi lo. Their We Sweat Blood album is in-stores April 19 so check 'em out. Better than The Hives and did it before them too - believe it!
"Hip-Hop Doesn't Live Here Anymore" - The Nation on Hot 97 WQHT's recent woes.
And not liking hip hop is now grounds for divorce?!
The Massacre - The Guardian on the new Daft Punk album.
"The Kufi Slapper"
Sway Dasafo - the next Dizzee Rascal? (sorry, Kano - shout to Fiona)
Music industry insiders may have all converged on Austin this week, but fcck a SXSW, you can find me at Gutfest.
The Z-Trip player has some updated content. I have a copy of the album which I haven't peeped yet. I've also been sitting on The Gorillaz album for a minute and it's pretty good based on the passing first listen I gave it. More thoughts on it if I get some free time to really critique it.
I really don't have the paper for it, but I might have to cop one of those Biz
So a couple days ago I'm in Beat Street in Brooklyn and hear this incredible minimalist hip hop track that's part crunk, part electro, part B-more house/breaks and even part grime with an incredible-but-filthy whispered lyric. I don't have time to find out what it is from any of the store clerks so write down the hook and google it later that night which is how I find out it's the new Ying Yang Twinz single "Wait":
windows: hi lo | quicktime hi lo
Seriously, this record is incredible - hip hop single of the year so far by far and I say that without any shame or sense of irony whatsoever.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Kwesi in 2006 - Maryland, stand up!
This is a step foward in trying to mend the strained relations between the US and allies in Europe?!
Bush & co. say "f-ck y'all, we gon' keep making fake news" while at the same time trying to further restrict the public's access to government information:
"A rather obscure U.S. government agency, the Government Printing Office, is proposing a new set of policies that will drastically reduce free access to government information. Three librarians from the University of California San Diego have written an article about the details."
from the article "Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program" via BoingBoing.
And also declares, "Fcck an Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - let's get that oil!"
But his Social Security privatization sales campaign is going down the tubes. Frankly, I'm shocked (but happy).
Meanwhile In Iraq:
- Irritated Iraqis Wait for Change - Nearly six weeks after a landmark election, no new government has formed and people who risked their lives to vote wonder why they did. (LA Times reg may be req'd)
- Human Rights First, Military Leaders and ACLU Sue Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Over U.S. Torture Policies (via Les C)
- Halliburton - war profiteers par excellence.
- U.S. Military Says 26 Inmate Deaths May Be Homicide
- Abu Ghraiby Baby, baby!
Brad Plumer on "Intelligent" Design at Washington Monthly.
And get your weight up because this is the future of conservatism and they are focused.
But does John Avlon have a solution for a way out of this inane so-called Blue State-Red State paradigm the US is caught up in currently?
Finally - Kwesi for Senator in 2006!
If you’re missing, it helps to be young, white and female - MSNBC examines the case of Shelton Sanders, a magistrate’s son who worked at the University of South Carolina medical school, who disappeared in June 2001. To date, no metropolitan newspaper outside his hometown has written an article about him. [emphasis added]
- Shelton Sanders' missing persons page on Rinokids.com.
- Shelton Sanders' missing persons page on the North American Missing Persons Network.
- Shelton Sanders' missing persons page on State to State Unsolved Crimes.
- Shelton's personal website - damn, it's sad and creepy looking at something he created still online like nothing's happened!
Sick of the nonsense still? If you're in NYC, look beyond the shores of this country and support some real positive hip hop out of Africa by going to a live performance by the well-regarded Senegalese crew Daara J TONIGHT at SOB's:
- Learn more about Senegalese hip hop and African hip hop.
- Buy the Daara J album Boomerang here.
- Buy the African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-Hop Senegal compilation here.
Also, my man Ced celebrates the first anniversary of his excellent urban culture network site, The Industry-Cosign tonight at club 17 - click here for details.
R.I.P. Lyn Collins - Rock 'Em Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again up there in heaven, Lyn.
Tomorrow, my insights on and links to, hands down, the best hip hop single of the year so far and so much more....
Monday, March 14, 2005
Bloggers - don't let this be you.... (sorry about the wack resolution on this comic, anyone who knows how to jack images off of pdf's properly, holla)
You want bling? Fcck a rapper, no-one is fccking with Ralph Lauren's car game. That “Count Trossi” Mercedes-Benz SSK is some straight Batmobile sh-t, word. (Related links: MFA | The New York Times)
Better late than never - Amerie "1 Thing" Video links. This has gotta be all over BET by now though, right?
More heat from Jae Millz whose banger "Who" remains #1 on my "Hot Ish" list until I have time to update it...
At which point tracks like Beanie Sigel's "Don't Stop" feat. Snoop Dogg will appear. This track is kind of hot and got banged at the Dork party last week but I still don't think Beans' album is gonna do much. I've been having a debate about it with my man Tego over at Why Lout? (mp3 link via hiphopgame.com)
Ever wonder what Erykah Badu fronting N*e*r*d produced by Wiley would sound like? Me neither but that's what came to mind when I heard J*Davey "Mr. Mister." It's kind of a grower though.
The man who inspired The Clash's "Rock the Casbah"?
The trailers on TV for the movie Sin City make it look hot - like a PS2 video game come to life with a splash of pulp fiction (the literary genre, not the movie)-meets-film noir and a dash of comic book aesthetic (courtesy Frank Miller) to top it off. But what's with the hip hop-inspired credits? Co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Miller with "guest director" Quentin Tarantino, WTF? How does that work in a movie, did he direct one of the martial arts sequences or something? With a massive cast of stars this is either an event or, judging by the short run-up in the promo campaign and The Onion clowning it already, another Hollywood mess.
While we're on the subject of movies though - why can't a black actress play the girlfriend? Because seriously, not to get racial but I gotta go there I guess, which white or Latin actresses are hotter than Nia, Halle, Gabrielle, Lisa and Jada just to name a few off top (no disrespect to Salma, Eva etc.)?
Speaking of which, shout to my Super Soul Sistas in the T-dot.
Blow! DVD magazine
Shotgun Reviews - shout to JB.
Amazing post on the little-known proto-hip hop/funk track "Shoot the Pump" by J. Walter Negro & the Loose Jointz at Tofu Hut. This is the track that got me into hip hop even though it's not strictly an MC-over-beats thing but before I repeat myself, just check out my comments over there about it.
Speaking of mythical early 80's NYC sh-t, try to cop the latest issue of BKLYN magazine for a nice article on Basquiat by perennial hipster and Downtown 81 director Glenn O'Brien. (Related: Basquiat exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum through June 5)
You wanna hate him but you can't - a super fly adidas TV ad by Spike Jonze (spotted via 15 Minutes to Live)
Saturday, March 12, 2005
A closer look at the "Fabulous" Life of Lil' Kim:
"During cross-examination, Seibel raised the issue of Lil' Kim's tax debt of close to $1 million. She introduced a 1994 tax document, signed by the performer that shows monthly expenses of over $37,000. The same document shows her monthly income as $30,000.
"Have you cut back on your lifestyle and budgeted yourself to pay the IRS? the prosecutor asked.
"Yeah, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't," Lil' Kim said.
Seibel said that Lil' Kim had purchased a home for over $2 million in 2002 when she still owed close to $300,000 in taxes. The prosecutor also introduced as evidence a mortgage application, signed by Lil' Kim, that did not disclose her tax debt.
The prosecutor then questioned her about earlier testimony in which Lil' Kim said that she owned about $500,000 worth of jewelry.
Seibel said that Lil' Kim had reported to the IRS her jewelry was worth $49,000." (Reuters)
- Thug Radio - Beef and bullets in rap's corporate ratings war.
- Dial Straits - Life and Death at Hot 97: A Chronology.
- David Hadju asks if hip hop is strictly "Guns and Poses."
- Vindication for my stance on the the 50-Game "feud"?
Jahah - super fly soul music you will not hear on your local "urban" station but should.
Check out my man Bathgate on track 2 ("Winning") of the official debut album by Dispet-affiliates Purple City called Road to the Riches: The Best of the Purple City Mixtapes dropping March 22. These dudes have apparently sold 80,000 mixtapes on the streets proving that Long White T-shirt Rap™ never dies! Shout to their in-house producer/group member Agallah, "The Don Bishop" who I know better as the freestyle demon 8-Off The Assassin from back in the YZ days.
DirtBag - "Ladies Luv Me" (prod. by Cool & Dre) with the Rob Base "It Takes Two" interpolation in the hook might be that next club banger and the hit this dude's been looking for since Violator stole him from Shady records a couple year ago. (mp3 via Hiphophavoc.com)
Deemi featuring Fabolous "Move" is kind of fccking hot too on some hood banger R&B sh-t.
Grooveline - "the originators of edutainment."
Speaking of which, the non-Lox Jada's got the PC-police on the Harvard campus going crazy. "Heteronormative"? Get the fcck outta here with that bullsh-t. I mean, c'mon....
I almost started to buy into the latest MSM campaign that has built steam over the past couple of weeks to convince we the people that, despite all the fcck-up's, Bush's Middle East policies are responsible for bringing democracy to the Arab world until I noticed the byline and realized that it was just more PR manipulation by puppet masters Rove, Cheney & co.
I've been looking for the longest time for an excuse to put Andrea Mitchell on blast and seeing that puff piece was excatly what I needed. Mitchell's got to be one of the worst flacks and Bush apologists in the Washington Press corps. Her constant lame d-ck riding of the Bush administration maquerading as real real journalism and news analysis after the presidential debates, State of the Union addresses and every week on the Sunday morning news shows routinely drives me up the wall and epitomizes what's wrong with the media today.
But if we're giving Bush the credit for winning this war, maybe he can now stop his googly eye routine with Putin and focus back on refighting the war against Russia's repressive policies that Reagan supposedly "won" almost two decades ago.
Reassuring! - "The good news for Americans concerned about post-9/11 preparedness is that 58 potential gun buyers were flagged in a nine-month period last year as positive matches on a federal watch list of terrorism suspects. The bad news is that 47 of them were cleared to go ahead anyway and buy assault rifles, ammunition or whatever else was on their firearms shopping list." (full editorial "Terror Suspects' Right to Bear Arms" from The New York Times)
Bush's real "mandate."
"Regime Change Starts at Home."
Seriously, what is it gonna take to get rid of this sleazy fcck Tom Delay? (Related: "As DeLay's Woes Mount, So Does the Money")
The Front Line - "Treason to the Patriot Act"
"For Y’all This is Just a Show, But We Live in This Movie" - Sean on the US soldiers in Iraq documentary Gunner Palace.
And reality TV, Iraqi style
While on the flipside - was the capture of Saddam staged?
"In the weeks after Baghdad fell in April 2003, looters systematically dismantled and removed tons of machinery from Saddam Hussein's most important weapons installations, including some with high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms, a senior Iraqi official said this week in the government's first extensive comments on the looting.
These types of facilities were cited by the Bush administration as a reason for invading Iraq, but they were left largely unguarded by allied forces in the chaotic months during the period." (Full article "Looting at Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says" from The New York Times)
While finally, is Rumsfeld off the hook for the torture scandals?
Friday, March 11, 2005
"A lot of sisters are too busy buying stretch pants for Big Butt Nite Out at the Drink 'N' Jook...."
"Recently, ESSENCE magazine started "Taking Back the Music," a campaign intent on exploring misogyny in hip-hop music. Hip-hop has always held a mirror to society, and society is sexist -- it was that way long before any MC ever picked up a mike. Sure, this pervasive message is problematic, but ESSENCE attacks the music while seeming to dismiss the media conglomerate behind it. And if ESSENCE burnt some shoe leather and got out into streets to get opinions from people who aren't paid to think about it, I'm sure they'd find -- yes -- a lot of anger, a lot of concern, but also a lot of sisters too busy buying stretch pants for Big Butt Nite Out at the Drink 'N' Jook to give the issue much steam at all." (full article "She Hate Me: ESSENCE's War on Hip-Hop Misses the Target by a Long Shot" by Jimi Izrael)
Two days after the anniversary of his passing, a final kick in the teeth courtesy of the FBI for the family of Christopher Wallace.
I said it weeks ago - Kelefa on how 2005 will be Rich Harrison's year.
"Guys go crazy for sneakers in the way that girls go crazy for Manolo Blahniks...."
Jadakiss "Checkmate" is a better response than 50's "Piggyback" prolly warrants. (spotted via hiphopgame.com)
Hot Hot Heat "Island Of The Honest Man" is sounding kind of nice. (via Seth of Audio Lunchbox)
Common "The Corner (Jon Doe remix)" (mp3 from Jon Doe via Kim)
Look for blogger faves Bloc Party and Kano on the cover of the new issue of Fader magazine. Why does this magazine gotta have brothers looking straight homo in their photos though? Kano looks crazy in the main shot from his feature and Kele (name right?) from Bloc Party is looking kind of sweet (no homo) in his shots too.
Chisholm '72 - finally watched this the other night. Not the best documentary ever, but recommended viewing anyway. The saddest thing was seeing how even N.O.W. wouldn't endorse her presidential bid (they went for McGovern) and neither would the Congressional Black Caucus. It was an eerie near-mirror of the 2004 campaign and how the Dems went for the "safe" candidacy of John Kerry instead of the "people's choice," Howard Dean. Also hilarious wacthing everyone trying to justify their decision 30-plus years later after McGovern's disasterous and fabled landslide loss to Nixon.
Rosie O'Donnell - Kanye West fan?!
Thursday, March 10, 2005
(Click above for more details.)
I'm trying to get my records together including a tribute to the late, great B.I. and some other treats although I'm crazy swamped work-wise right now so it might be a mess set-wise when I jump on the 1's and 2's tonight.
But for those too shook to come out to BK (c'mon, it's DUMBO!), there's always this. But why be shook when folks like this will be in the building at Low spreading those good Dork Mag vibes. Related odd hip hop fact: WTF was N.O.R.E., then known as Noreaga still, doing guesting on the track "Give Me" from Tribe's underrated The Love Movement album? Not that the track is bad but, if there was ever an artist who was the antithesis of the Love Movement ethos.... (mp3 courtesy: cdzlimited.org)
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
I kid, of course. I guess it was only fitting on the anniversary of B.I.G.'s passing or, now that 50's safely done his numbers, was it time to rewrite the next chapter of this soap opera's script?
The Game And 50 Hold Press Conference Today To End Dispute
I'm officially back to thinking this whole thing was rigged again now. In case it wasn't, I'm sure 50's new non-profit, the G-Unity Foundation Inc. (!) will be an insititution that ensures this kind of senseless hip hop beefing and fcckery never happens again.
The genie is out the bottle though 'cos Jada's already got some fire for that ass that Flex has been sitting on for the past couple of hours. Update with a link later when the inevitable mp3 of his response track shows up online.
More 50-Game news links here.
B.I.G. - R.I.P. but have we learned nothing in the eight years since the Black Frank White passed on? Hopefully this is a sign of cooler heads prevailing though. Meanwhile the MSM is having a field day.
Biggie biographer Cheo Hodari Coker remembers his time with the late great Christopher Wallace shortly before his death.
B.I.G. photo gallery.
EvBoogie's ridiculously incredible B.I.G. tribute.
Info on tonight's B.I.G. tribute parties in NYC and the newly-announced B.I.G. biopic here.
"Hip-Hop Problems? Who's Responsible?" - an op-ed by Paul Porter, founder of the media-related think-tank Industryears.com which, despite being an organization I discovered while skimming by Paul being interviewed on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, seems to be worth spotlighting anyway.
But they've got their work cut out for them. Metro newspaper dissed UK garage MC Dizzee Rascal in their gossip pages last week as being a "wussie," "a kinder, gentler breed [of rapper than his American counterparts]" and having his "street cred ruined" because he was arrested for allegedly carrying pepper spray. WTF, now you have to be thugged out and strapped to be a credible rapper?
Speaking of which... 'Crip City' in the Bronx - more real life Nino Browns get clipped following the story I posted a couple weeks back. Funny how the number of drug gangs always seems to grow during Republican administrations. NYC 2005 = New Wack City. I'm sure Dame Dash is keeping busy securing film rights from all these cats (probably).
"I am curious (Black)!" Eh yo - discovered that one indirectly via Funkdigi who actually had something else from this site linked up. As the site author put it: "Damn, this is just... damn...."
Speaking of Dame Dash though, peep this brand new blog the swift chancellor report by my man Wes Jackson. Underground heads will know him as the man behind the Seven Heads record label and artist J-Live, but check his site and you'll realize he's got a lot more than just that on his mind. Recommended for those of you who've been looking for more perspectives on hip hop from the industry side of things (besides D-Nice and Fat Beat's DJ Jab) while avid readers of Jay, Panama Jackson and O-Deezy's Pop Life are gonna soon find themselves spending even more time in blogville lighting up his comment sections too because he likes to get provocative. Check this op-ed about Jay-Z becoming president of Def Jam that was originally published on allhiphop.com for a taste of what's to come.
She's recording an album?! Just make sure there's a poster-sized CD booklet of Vida enclosed and oh yeah, you can throw a CD of music in there too if you'd like.
The monthly Dork Mag Party at Low is a go yet again TOMORROW NIGHT with James & Taj on the decks along with special guests Metalface and yours truly. Need convincing to come through? Check out these photos from the last party - don't front, you know that got cha open.
Monday, March 07, 2005
"Gentlemen: I didn't realize how little faith you had in your candidate. To give so much power to folks like myself is amazing. I thought you all said that the President won because of what he stood for, and now I come to find out that the only reason he got elected was because of people like me. This doesn't say much for your candidate. Enjoy the chocolate."
Message accompanying some chocolates sent to the right wing "Citizens United" group by Whoopi Goldberg in response to their cornball "4 more years. Thank you, Hollywood!" billboards. (Daily News)
1500 dead (and counting) but, good grief, could this jackass' redonkolous mideast policy actually be working?
No wonder dude still feels like he can pull provocative sh-t like this - Bush Picks Critic of U.N. to Serve as Ambassador to It.
Even though it's pretty clear at this point that he's a pretty mediocre H/R person (to point out just one of his many mediocre abilities).
While in Iraq, the troops still ain't get no body armor?! No wonder they're so trigger happy.
And is offshoring tyranny the best way to fight it around the world? (Related: Newsweek's Aboard Air CIA - was the agency's secret charter service, shuttling detainees to interrogation facilities worldwide legal?)
But back home: Black clergy being down with Bush's distinctly minority-unfriendly agenda is bad enough in itself. Selling out homosexuals and a women's right to choose in exchange for a shot at some of that "faith-based" paper makes it even worse.
How can they (or anyone) even be focused on these non-issues when the Congo is a horrendous mess and terrible tragedies are occuring there right now. (related" Human Rights Watch "Seeking Justice -- The Prosecution of Sexual Violence in the Congo War" report)
Speaking of right wing jigaboo's though, Armstrong Williams is back.
Props to Canada's PM Paul Martin but (and I'm not sure of the chronology on these events) did he receive a full American slapdown in response?
Finally, y'all know I think old girl is the worst ever but I'm not gonna knock her for her fashion choices although all the knee-high boots in the world couldn't convince me she was sexy.