Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm the operator with my pocket calculator

Why you gotta give me shit for liking that Kraftwerk song, man? Kraftwerk is serious (and isn't their website precisely how you envisioned it?).

Some retards poached the shit out of my car last night. Michelle and I spent a good half hour scrubbing dried yolks off my windshield earlier. I'm not a violent person by any means, but if I ever catch anyone egging my shit again, I'm going to have to murk them with the Little League-size Louisville Slugger I brought up to school for this precise reason. Bitches.

I wrote up Late Registration for my college paper this week. Wrote it in pretty general terms just for the sake of the article (probably would've talked about Paul Wall more otherwise, just because). Feel free to tell me how out of touch I am.

In hip-hop, hype breeds hate. And there has been no artist more hyped in the past few years than Roc-A-Fella’s golden boy Kanye West. The music media branded the producer-turned-MC the savior of mainstream hip-hop upon the release of his acclaimed 2004 debut The College Dropout. Stellar reviews notwithstanding, enormous expectations fostered an unprecedented backlash from both hip-hop bloggers and fans in general. In other words, a lot of people hate this guy’s surgically-reconstructed face. Lucky for him, even more love it (now that the swelling’s gone down). West’s feverishly anticipated sophomore record Late Registration is sure to create just as many polarized opinions and hateful online diatribes.

While Jesus-piece-bearing Kanye was first lauded as the guy that could close the chasm between popular and underground, his preppy, marketable image, outspoken opinions and tiny backpack jacked him into the mainstream stratosphere. Some fans worried that Late Registration would be too weighed down with high school girl singalongs (a la “The New Workout Plan”) to catch any discerning critical acclaim. Said fans are dummies. This album is good good.

Late Registration extends the autobiographical anti-college narrative West began with his debut. This time, he replaces Dropout’s sardonic-but-annoying Lil’ Jimmy skits with less sardonic, more annoying chants from the Broke Phi Broke fraternity. Thankfully, these unnerving asides are easy to dismiss; it’s pleasing enough to soak in Kanye’s now-signature soul samples paired with his intricate but palatable drums.

Kanye opens with “Heard ‘Em Say,” an unremarkable ditty featuring Maroon 5 crooner Adam Levine trying really hard to sound like Stevie Wonder. “Touch the Sky” marks the start of the real album; boisterous bongos and a cheerful horn sample back Kanye’s boastful but undeniably positive lyrics. West is quickly growing into his potential as a writer; while he still drops the occasional groaner (“…and her fat friend, her nickname is minivan” on “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” etc.), his smarmy-charming diction and off-kilter flow seem to work as a seasoned team here (“The doors were closed/I felt like Bad Boy’s street team/I couldn’t work the Lox”). The song also features a decent verse from protégé Lupe Fiasco, which is probably the daintiest rap name since Prince Markie Dee.

This summer, radio stations and clubs have been spinning the crap out of “Diamonds” and the Jamie Foxx-accompanied “Golddigger” single. Skeptics will be happy to know that Late Registration is not reliant on these commercial hits to exist as an excellent effort. Other surefire singles include “Drive Slow,” which features a syrupy, candy paint-coated verse from Houston’s Paul Wall (the gutterest white dude of them all) and the anthemic “Bring Me Down,” driven by an impeccable cameo by a no-longer-preggers Brandy.

The best non-West verse on Registration belongs to none other than Jay-Z on the “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” remix. Everyone knows that if S. Dot contributes his renowned laissez-faire bars to your song, you will automatically sound better by association (ask Young Jeezy). Other solid contributors include Cam’ron on some loveable dovetailed nonsense (“Gone”), a solo Common on “My Way Home” (West just provides the beat) and Nas on the slightly long “We Major.”

Despite the album’s overall quality, several songs on Late Registration are far too preachy to enjoy. “Crack Music” finds Kanye and a non-existent Game complaining that Ronald Reagan planted government-produced drugs in the ghetto. “Hey Mama” has the artist telling the world how great his college professor mother is (“You’re like a book of poetry/Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni/turn one page and there’s my mommy”). Everyone loves their mom, but that’s a little Oedipus weird; plus, he’s an only child. Perhaps West was just trying to make up for the fact that his mom is a source of vitriolic online criticism (hip-hop blogger Byron Crawford once wrote an infamous post entitled “Let’s hunt and kill Kanye West’s mother”).

It might be difficult to discern accurate public opinion on Late Registration since Kanye haters will hate it and Kanye lovers will probably play the record until it starts skipping. Save for a few weak tracks, his content is overwhelmingly sturdy. From a musical standpoint, West is such a flawless producer that he can sometimes spit mundane verses and get away with it. Don’t be surprised if everyone from your history teacher to your nine-year-old sister buys a copy; this dude’s so popular that Suge Knight got shot at his VMA after party on Sunday. This album is going to be huge.

Speaking of the dude, anyone know anything about this Kanye/Beach Boys shit? I didn't have the patience to download very many songs; "All Falls Down" sounded alright (somewhat Muzak-ish), but the "Through The Wire" track was just the same Kanye beat sped up with this Lushlife guy rapping his own verse over it. I guess this guy is just capitalizing on the Late Reg hype and trying to get his name out. "Get 'Em High" is terrible, dude doesn't even match the verse to the beat at all. I think people stretch this shit too far sometimes; I mean, the hugest mash-up records usually work pretty well because the source material is chock-full of crazy sounds like the motherfuckin' White Album or something. In my opinion, Pet Sounds is definitely the Beach Boys' best album, but this doesn't automatically make it a good idea to use it. The Beach Boys are good (but, not solely good) because of their melodies; when you take them out completely, it's really unfair to rely on their instrumentation alone to make an interesting beat. It just gets derivative and repetitive. Oh well, I guess this guy succeeded in getting me to talk about him though.

Craigslist post entitled "Things I'd like to tell students that would probably get me fired." This teacher is so bitter. I think the best is "I don’t really like it when I see you guys in the bathroom. I’m always afraid I’ll fart or something, and then it’ll be around the department and I’ll get some lame nickname like Dr. Farts. On a similar topic, how do you know when I fart in my office? Invariably, there’s a knock on my door immediately afterwards, and I have to answer it while trying to position my body for maximal obstruction of air. And, it’s kind of a catch 22. It’s not like I can go to the bathroom and fart, because of the above issue."

Could've watched Fire Walk With Me earlier tonight but instead opted to play MVP Baseball. I can only win when I'm playing as the Orioles/against my one roommate Taylor. I've only won twice. Ever. I caught the end of FWWM, though, and my god is it disturbing. I'll have to watch the first half tomorrow, but I probably won't because I'll be stuck in the damn Collegian office for two days trying to lay out pages on Quark, which kinda eludes me sometimes.

I submitted an article I wrote about avoiding political arguments to that College Living magazine and the guy liked it. Hooray, now I can get 50 bucks to pay my water bill. I can't really remember what I wrote about off the top of my head other than the vacuous phrase I usually drop to diffuse any and all political conversations: "I pretty much respect Michael Moore as a filmmaker, but I don't necessarily agree with some of his opinions." It's vague and meaningless enough to get a Republican to buy a hippie a drink. God bless feigned indifference.

I always enjoy the posts on Razorblade Runner. Check the link there for the Kanye list. Pretty exhaustive.

I didn't catch the VMAs last night, but Siwek told me that Kelly Clarkson's performance was truly disturbing (something about how she was screaming like a maniac, then doused herself with water and messed up her microphone and preceded to scream some more). I'm trying to find some video for this. I went to the MTV site to try and see if it was on there, but I was so bombarded with license acquisitions, Diet Pepsi with lime ads and Suchin Pak's face that I got scared and Xed out of it. Maybe someone who's braver can watch and tell me what happened.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Every topic has been covered but cookie-cuttered

Love this album all day.

Today I was on the subway reading a book, and when I looked up to see if my stop was up yet, I realized I was completely alone in a subway car. At face value, this doesn't sound weird at all, but it really is. I'm just so used to be crammed into the train with a crapload of people that the car being completely vacant struck me as really, really
Vanilla Sky weird. Gone were all the archetypes that I'm usually surrounded by when I commute downtown: the single parent with the face-meltingly cute baby, the clan of annoying girls who screech ridiculously loud (today they were all wearing Scream Tour 4 tees and singing Silk [the fuck?]; thankfully, they got off at Susquehanna-Dauphin), the weird white guy, the incense/DVD/candy man and the unassuming yet somehow out of place student (which I guess is usually me).

The slightly sketch corner store down the street from my house was recently revamped and renamed. Now, it's called Steve's Cafe and Mini Market. That's awesome. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it was named after
this Steve. Isn't that an amazing picture? I wonder how old he was there. Point guards grow up so fast these days.

Good piece by General Wesley Clark about the current state of the war. Also, I don't think Outkast is breaking up, Andre and Big Boi just cut solo records, that's all. Man, dated humor my humor isn't that funny.

Of course, Rick Reilly didn't print my stupid e-mail in
SI, but be on the lookout for my dinky and poorly written "Feeding Frenzy" column in next week's City Paper. Also, I got my own business card but not really because they're blank and you have to write your name and number in. Hilarious!

Will Ferrell as Neil Diamond skit. Amazing, even though it would be a lot better sans the Lorne Michaels commentary.

So this guy I'm working with for
this magazine wanted me to write an article about a kid who got busted stealing thousands of dollars of computers from area schools. Although I concede that it's an interesting and slightly hilarious story, it happened eight months ago in December, which is not even close to timely. I suggested that I might write a slightly less serious piece about how to avoid getting into political conversations with college students. I have a lot of experience with this topic and I think it'd be way more up my crack alley.

I thought my Honda Civic was pretty tiny, but
these are some of the smallest whips I've ever seen. Goddamn they're small.

So the mail chute on my door (which is metal) is somehow bent out at a 45 degree angle on the inside of the house. I have no idea how this happened, and I don't think it was any of the cats unless they have superfeline strength that I am just not aware of. Lou's theory was that somebody tried to shove a too-big package through the mail chute and it fucked the metal up, but my other roommate maintains that it was not bent when he got the mail off the floor earlier (although he admits he is only 20% sure of this). The only other theory we came up with was that our house was targeted for burglary by gnomes or primordial dwarves (who can hide behind coffee makers...saw it on Maury). Freaking mystery!

I'm pretty sure my cousin
Connie is going to save the world. She goes to Georgetown and is ridiculously smart. She made a social justice documentary. So, go ahead and watch Connie save the world, but please disregard the Carrot Top picture. I didn't need to see that shit, Maria Constance.

"Nearly all of them had this special motif," the police spokesman said. "He said he did it because he was mentally disturbed. I don't know if that was just a pretext."

Have a great weekend. I'll be laying facedown on the floor in my room if you need me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Disco ball in my mouth insinuates I'm ballin


Ah, so my guy Jin/The Emcee totally lost to some other guy named Serius Jones at a $10k Fight Klub battle. Must've been a legitimate win though, because the judges were Miss Info ("They both had daggers, Serius' were just sharper"...haha), Sheek Louch and Just Blaze. Sheek Louch kinda stinks though.

50 Cent is suing local car dealer Gary Barbera for using his likeness in an ad or something. He's only suing him for a million though, and I feel like 50 doesn't really need a million from this dude. He's the guy who has those "Is Barbera the best? BOY I GUESS!" ads that pervade pretty much every aspect of my life. Also, I think 50 mentions him in "Piggy Bank."

Catchdubs had this exhaustive old-school toy retrospective linked. Chuck Norris toys are hilarious."Yeah, this is what every kid wanted for Christmas. Action figures based on the exploits of fucking Chuck Norris. Why not just give your kid a milkbone or spiral-bound notebooks?"

I know no one (including me) cares about
Blood of Abraham, but I wrote it up for Okayplayer anyway.

I've decided that going to community meetings sucks, especially if you're not from the community in question. I had to attend one last week to discuss a proposed development deal in Mt. Airy. These two developers wanted to share some of their ideas (which were super-early like) and get some feedback. For some reason, though, the entire meeting consisted of a bunch of annoying people (namely one really annoying guy in short-shorts) asking all these hyper-specific questions that could not be even close to answered due to how preliminary the proposal was.

It's good to care about what goes on in your community but these people seemed like they went to the meeting with a specific shit-starting agenda. The project seems like it would be really beneficial to the community in terms of attracting renters (which would boost the local economy), but short-shorts kept insisting that housing costs might go up so high that locals would no longer be able to live in their homes. This guy obviously doesn't understand what the hell he's talking about. Sure, housing inflation is a tangible phenomenon, but the guy's acting like every single landlord in the entire vicinity of Mt. Airy is referencing some economic textbook to ensure his/her rent charge matches the area average. I feel like most landlords are far more laissez-faire than that, my landlord for example. Dude hasn't had me sign a lease or anything since I moved into this place two years ago; I just send him a rent check every month and he's cool with it. Actually haven't spoken on the phone to the guy since December now that I think about it.

I think Suresh Joachim has the ability and drive to move Canada (and the US) into an undeniably utopian period of peace and understanding, end the Israel/Palestine conflict, free all political prisoners and eventually unite the entire world with the common cause of the advancement of mankind. For some reason, he's chosen to squander this gift and set 30 (soon to be 31) fucking pointless world records. I still respect him, though- a 400-hour dance marathon?! Shit, Suresh, that's nuts.

There's a beautifully written piece about the Israeli soccer team's two Arab stars in this week's Sports Illustrated. No one expected this team to be good, but (thanks to a clutch goal by one of the Arab players) they earned a surprise tie against the Irish national team in a recent match. This puts them into contention for a World Cup spot if they beat Switzerland coming up. I know it's quite cliche, but sports can often be more than just sports, and this is touched upon by the writer. These two guys play on an all-Jew squad and experience racist and murderous taunting from crowds in pretty much every game; many surrounding Arab countries refuse to take the field against Israel due to the deep-seeded problems there. Yet, instead of lash out against their naysayers, the two players speak of unity and equality in their country. The writer expressed their sentiments very eloquently when he said (paraphrased) "If there is a team called Manchester United, why can't there be a team called Israel United?" Amazing article. Even if you don't like soccer or sports in general, read it.

So I posted the other day about how my roommate and I were trying to get a ghetto zombie flick entitled Zombiez, but they didn't have it. When another customer overheard what we were trying to find, he offered to go up to the counter and get it for us (he also asked if we were looking for the "American or European version," to which we replied "Um, it's a ghetto zombie movie"). We appreciated his kindness even if it was slightly strange and forward. So we checked out some other flicks and got the shit up front, which actually ended up being called Zombies. Figuring it was just another low-budget gore flick, we went back.

Last night, Taylor puts the DVD into the player, watches for about three minutes and mumbles something about how shit looks low-budget as hell. Suddenly, I hear a gasp of horror from the living room. Now, Taylor isn't really one to be shocked by shitty zombie movies, so I knew something was up. It was a gay porno. A gay porno entitled Zombies. There was no indiciation of its gay porno status on the case or the DVD itself; Taylor just put it in and was treated to two shirtless fellows, one all bloody, dry humping each other in the opening scene. Suddenly, it became all too clear to me that the mysterious stranger at TLA was thinking of a completely different movie (and genre) than we were. It was really just not what I was expecting. Wow. Well, time to slap myself in the face now.

Well padre, I don't wanna keep you up all night, but this is the best Sin City trivia/info page I've ever seen (drinking game is so stupid though).

Copping that DangerDoom tomorrow hopefully. People don't really seem to like this thing that much, but I think it sounds interesting enough to at least give it a shot.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Run to the hills

Rented House of Flying Daggers even though I saw it in theaters already. It's ridiculously melodramatic, and I don't care. I love this freaking movie. One of my current faves. The effects and storyline are original, imaginative and breathtaking. Zhang Ziyi shit, Ziyi Zhang makes some really annoying faces in most of her movies, and it's no different here. Even though the movie seems to mostly concentrate on how she's a "delicate flower" or some shit, it's not all about her. The political intrigue/clash between gov't and rebels storyline is much more interesting. Action scenes are spine-crushingly crazy as well. Not gonna lie: overall, this flick is depressing and sad as hell but I can deal in exchange for some of the nutso fights. Zhang Yimou does good.

What is with yesterday's comment section getting blown up by weird spam blog message shit? I got links to health products, some sort of advertising blog, horoscope readings and Rocketdog brand shoes. I'm relatively healthy despite my sometimes poor diet. Ad dude robot couldn't even link his shit blog correctly. I'm a Pisces, meaning I have a strong connection with water but sometimes I avoid confrontations. And finally, as far as I know, Rocketdog shoes are for ladies. As you can see, got no need for your ish. Stop it, turkeys!

Few days back Fluxblog put up a link to the Fiery Furnaces' cover of "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," off a Rubber Soul anniversary cover album coming sometime in October. The album itself sounds promising but this cover was freaking terrible. I don't know much about these Furnace characters, but they took way too many liberties and turned what I consider one of the Beatles' most beautiful songs into a acid trip mindfuck SNL skit. Bastards.

I spent nearly an hour downloading and installing RealPlayer onto my computer just so I could play Ben Harper's reggae-tinged cover of "Michelle" for Michelle. I'm not a fan of Ben's music (it's a bit too somber and "Burn One Down" should just leave) but Laura Dern's husband can definitely cover the shit out of a Beatles tune. His soulful "Strawberry Fields Forever" from I Am Sam soundtrack is a welcome take on the original, unlike Furnace Fuckfaces. Anyway, I''m glad she liked it, because it took me forever to get this stupid program off my computer. All sorts of pop-ups and everything coming from everywhere and stupid format/layout too. I'll stick to mostly iTunes/sometimes Windows Media.

Hey, those in need of a digital/graphic design dude- rap at my guy Mike Finnegan. Guy is talented.

Radiohead's started a blog to chronicle the making of their new record. Thom Yorke's bizarre ramblings are everything I ever expected them to be and more:

rethinking ' suit dont fit'
like a fast bad dream

morrissey stayed in the room im in

ooooo he was here for three months were here for six days

going out on bikes up hill with no gears

talking a lot about The Beat

Thom, you're bent. If there was a movie about Radiohead, I think the New Guy could definitely play you.

So Joe Pelone (who apparently loves Maryland- good taste in states) traded his cousin some Jawbreaker CD for my copy of
Late Registration. Bless you, Joe. I'll be writing this up for the first issue of The Collegian which comes out next Wednesday. The only song I've heard so far is the Kanye and Paul Wall "Drive Slow" shit which you can cop here. Prof. West and People Champ do well with things ("I'm leaning on the switch sitting crooked in my slab, but I could still catch boppers if I drove a cab"...bet you can't guess which one said that), but other dude isn't really anything to get excited about. The beat is crazy- nodding jazz shit with some muted percussion sections and a prominent clarinet rip (think it's a clarinet, anyway). If this song is any indication of the album, I'll like it. Reviews are mixed ("this sounds like something gay dudes listen to while they give each other whirly birds") from what I've read ("sure, he’s probably not a dude you’d really want to hang out with, but this record is pretty fucking flawless as far as I’m concerned").

If you happen to live in or around Vermont (and don't we all?), visit my uncle. He makes all-organic dairy products that are infinitely delicious and more than likely good for you. I wish I could get them down here.

It's really a great feeling when you finally find what you're looking for on the Internet. If I could only decide what style to get. Batman, perhaps.

A quick list of words/phrases that should be never be spoken by anyone under penalty of losing a sense (except touch, which I don't think you can lose) via a disgruntled samurai:
  • "Killer app." NERD ALERT. Just say "good video game."
  • Any comedy bit/show/anything that suggests it's funny to insist that stereotypical black people say "fool" or "foo" all the time. Shit's not even remotely funny and quite out of touch. Shut up.
  • "Ain't no thing but a chicken wing." I didn't even know people said this shit outside of House Party movies. Still, unacceptable.
That's all.

Michelle confided in me the other day that when she was younger she totally owned the Lord Tariq/Peter Gunz "Deja Vu" single. She even knew what the B-side was called. God bless this girl.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Say something colloquial

Even Tommy the cat insists that 9th Wonder
is the next big thing

Kenneth Masters review up on Okayplayer (not this Ken Masters, though). This record was pretty okay, but fell victim to typical indie/hip-hop release shortcomings, namely really crappy drums/general production on a lot of songs. The dude Lowbudget produced two tracks on it that I think are dope though (I think it's this dude anyway...despite not finding much jack shit on the Internet about his involvement with the record, how many other Lowbudgets can there be? It's gotta be him...I think). Shit's good.

(Unrelated, but look at this picture. Good god. Those are some ridiculously liberal interpretations of Ken and Ryu.)

Anyone fond of criticizing the Catholic church for being completely out of touch with relevant times just got some A+ material. Seriously, what is going on there? It reminds of those painful attempts by adults to connect with kids by using words like "phat" and shit. I remember when I was in middle school, some guy came to talk at an assembly about STD's and shit, and instead of just explaining what they were and what they did to you, he insisted on conveying all his points by using phrases like "on the down low" and "do it put your back into it" that were corny and dated even when I was like 14. Why do people think this is the only way to talk to children about adult issues? I think they expect it to put kids at ease or something ("Man, that guy was so COOL! He even knew what hooking up was!") when in reality they just end up sounding pitiful and painfully out of touch. I think just being honest and up front with kids about this kinda stuff works best. Also, be on the lookout for colored rubber bracelets because any girl who wears them is obviously a complete tramp.

What's the difference between a sheath and a scabbard? Is there a difference?

I was reading the trivia section for Sin City the other day and it noted that a scene included something called "The Wilhelm Scream." I read up on it and it's kinda crazy how many movies it's been in. I still have to go back to the DVD to actually hear it though, but I have an idea of what it sounds like (probably like this). The Wilhelm Scream is apparently some hardcore band too.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the current Israel/Palestine situation from Chris Schwartz over at Thinking East. This dude went to my school and now works down at City Paper and knows more about the Middle East than probably anyone I've ever met. Some interesting shit over there.

Fellows over at Razorblade Runner came with some incredible music these past few days. Check the Kanye/Paul Wall (yes!), Freeway (best I heard from Free in awhile), Damien Marley/BIG remix and Aesop Rock bonus track. Site's good good. Shrimp also good.

We all went over to TLA the other day in hopes that we could find this flick. Unfortunately, they didn't have it (but, thanks to some bizarrely friendly customer carrying around a skateboard, received a correctly spelled film of the same name). According to one of the user reviews, "hip-hop horror has become a genre." The only shit I can think of off the top of my head is Tales From The Hood and Leprechaun In The Hood. Can you even believe that Leprechaun in the Hood is a movie? Jesus. We did rent Enduring Love though on the strength of the million times I've seen the damn trailer on other DVDs. Flick was pretty good; bastard guy from Road to Perdition is going out with bald pre-cog jawn from Minority Report and gets scary-stalked by skinny comic relief guy from Notting Hill. Also he's friends with Shaun's stepdad from Shaun of the Dead. Sorry Philip. Yeah, this movie was pretty good. The ending was effing insane though, kinda wished it was more realistic.

Neverending "Choose Your Own Adventure" website where you can actually write in your own options. Really funny. I keep picking options involving ninjas but end up getting my ass kicked by 12 pirates. Dammit.

Depressing story.
"We came back in the second half. We only took 23 goals and we even made one at the end. They let us score, that was nice," the teenager said. Sigh.

Blood of Abraham review up tomorrow, I think.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Navy blue hoodies and khakis

I'm very observant. No, not really. I just noticed that Firefox totally displays this blog correctly, whereas IE effs it up what with all the disappearing sidebar links and such. I feel that Firefox is a much better browser anyway (do it!); I really don't know what I did before the "open in new tab" feature. Plus, my college newspaper's online messageboard apparently got destroyed by Russian hackers recently, but the virus only affected IE users. Gyeah!

My buddy Gerard has been in San Diego for a week, and he's staying for another. He says it's 72 degrees with no humidity. He also says that he is a block from the beach. Right now, I'm typing this on a desk so riddled with empty coffee cups, random scraps of paper with indecipherable writing and not-yet-reviewed CDs that even my cat doesn't want to sit near it. What a bastard (Gerard).

In a bizarre turn of events,
some music site has my name on it. I guess peoples over there happened across my Concretes review from awhile back and decided to write their own review. I'm really not trying to be an jerk here, but I feel like they kinda ripped off many things I said.

Me: Layyourbattleaxedown is more or less a collection of B-sides released to capitalize on their stateside popularity.

Them: Layyourbattleaxedown is pretty much just a collection of B-Sides to capitalize on [sic] they’re previous self titled release (also on the Astralwerks label).

Unfortunately, the only discernable benefit of listening for an extended period of time is getting the opportunity to measure your heart rate at rest.

Them: You can tell someone is alive by monitoring their heart beat...this album is dead.

Me: Once in awhile, they exhibit signs of life: “Shuffle,” the album’s closer, finds the crazy Swedes trying their damnedest to convince you that they’re more than just good background music.

Them: Seems Fine Shuffle, the last track on the album, is the only song that even scratches the surface of (what I like to call) “music with soul”. [that's the stupidest shit I've ever read] AND Layyourbattleaxedown doesn’t even have grounds to stand as good background music.

Me: I think the problem is that there are just far too many people in the band. In addition to Vicki, there’s Maria, Martin, Ulrik, Lisa, Per, Daniel and Ludvig.

Them: This is a pretty big fuckin’ line up. In addition to Vicki, there’s Maria, Martin, Ulrik, Lisa, Per, Daniel and Ludvig.

The fuck, man? I mean, I don't really care, I just think it's kinda weird.

I know it's almost too obvious to say that I think Family Guy is funny, but this is pure genius.

Little Brother album must be really good or something, because EIC of The Source quit over a rating dispute. It says that the guy had only been EIC since June. Is this album really this good? Also, is 9th Wonder (who looks like my cat Riley if Riley was a human producer) really that great? I understand that EIC dude is trying to make it into an integrity, not-going-back-on-one's-word issue, but it seems a bit extreme. He apparently quit because he had already told Little Brother they were going to receive a 4.5 mic rating but the higher-ups refused to let it happen. What are you doing telling people they're going to get a certain rating before the final product goes to print? That's a dumb move. Maybe dude just didn't want to be in the position in the first place and saw this as a good way out of it. Maybe I'll apply.

Sean Price "Boom Bye Yeah" video is pretty dope. Always liked this guy. The sound quality on it is really bad though; it sounds all lo-fi for some reason, nothing like the actual album track.

Saw this Stuff On My Cat site via Emil. Shit is funny. Cats simply don't care when they're sleeping and you can put pretty much whatever you want on them with hilarious results (except water).

Ever wondered how much soda it would take to kill you? I weigh approximately 155 pounds, and my normal soda is usually a Diet Coke (235.08 cans)
or a Diet Pepsi (293.85 cans). Does this discrepancy mean that Diet Pepsi is better for me? I must say, though, that I was seriously disturbed that it would only take 192.34 Mountain Dews to take me out. Check the explanations of energy drink ingredients too. I didn't know about any of that stuff.

Back in April, an LA Times article said that the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit claimed that "of the more than 100 offenders the unit has arrested over the last four years, all but one has been a hard-core Trekkie." Although many people have questioned these alleged "facts," I find this article's correlation between pedophilia and Star Trek to be interesting, even if it's a Simpsons-and-philosophy type stretch. Good ol' pop psychoanalysis. Funny excerpt from that blog post:

Despite this apparent promiscuity, Kirk's sexuality is anything but clear. His relationships are certainly never based on his own wants or desires. If he seduces a woman, it's usually in order to escape danger on behalf of his crew, or else he's overtaken by some alien power that makes him behave like a sex fiend. (e.g., a woman's tears contain a love potion that causes Kirk to become amorous).

There's a pervasive message that women are toxic. In an episode called Cat's Paw, there is an evil sorceress who separates the crew from each other and from the starship. The perpetually indignant Dr. McCoy cautions Kirk, "Don't let her touch your wand Jim, or you'll lose all your power! On the very rare occasions where Kirk seems to find love, his partners quickly die off. After one of his loves has croaked, Kirk admonishes Spock "Love, you're better off without it."

I haven't really listened to all that many Anticon people lately, but Why? is catching my attention. The Elephant Eyelash full-length is pretty damn good and contains way less white college intellectual dude posturing than I expected. Review up on OK sometime soon.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Chop 'em down

I do this to Michelle sometimes, for laughs (credit)

It's been a great weekend. Got a bit sloshed, got an internship for the fall, and started working with a new magazine. Hooray.

I haven't came with the update for a few days, mostly because I've been busy I've rediscovered my love for Super Monkey Ball 2 for Gamecube. I played the shit out of this game on my roommate's girlfriend's Gamecube for awhile this past year then I just stopped. SMB (no Mario) is definitely one of the most bizarre video games I've ever played, and yet it is ridiculously addictive (but not as mind-numbingly addictive as Animal Crossing, which I'm still slightly embarassed about). Basically, you can choose one of four monkey characters to play either mini games or story mode. This sounds innocent enough, yes? The weird part is that all the monkeys are trapped inside colored spheres in which they do pretty much everything and they're not even upset about it. They actually seem to like being inside balls (you have the ability to open up your ball when you fly off a giant ramp in the game "Monkey Target," legitimizing the possibility that the monkeys could escape these bizarre pastel prisons but actively choose not to). The reasoning behind the balls is never addressed in the game; in fact, the only time the monkeys actually talk is during cut scenes where they engage in synchronized flying/creepy Japanese pop song singing. Shit's weird.

A few posts back I jokingly wrote that I hoped the NCAA wouldn't crack down on the University of Illinois and deem their Illini mascot offensive. Spoke too soon.

An insanely creepy
history of rock music by L. Ron Hubbard.

I was online the other day and I saw an ad for a free Cuban Link
mixtape download. As much as I find Cuban Link to be the Mr. Irrelevant of rap (plus, dude is getting kinda fat), I couldn't resist the free-ness of it. I also wanted to see if there was any truth to the long-standing Cuban Link joining G-Unit rumor (if dudes are just trying to recruit anyone that doesn't like Fat Joe, my little sister and I are definite contenders). Anyway, this shit is riddled with G-Unit beats, and most of it is pure garbage. Cuban did happen to surprise me on a few songs though, believe it or not. The titular "Man On Fire" finds dude spitting all sorts of anti-Fat Joe rhetoric over "So Seductive" beat with some guy named J Benjamin (?). He also displays some fairly solid hyperactive-flow stuff on "Time," which is listenable despite the terrible hook. Based just on the tape, I don't really think dude is going to do any damage with his upcoming album. At least he's eating well (before/after).

Great review of the Young Jeezy album over at
The Shrimp.

Reef The Lost Cauze Feast Or Famine sampler over here. I'm really looking forward to this album; Reef kills beats bad. Emil produced joints on it. What's up with the advance copy look anyway?

Boxing out is a rudimentary skill. Boxing out
effing gigantic Polish women probably sucks

I watched two creepy movies tonight- The Tenant and The Omen. The former is a freaking bizarre and weird film that involves Roman Polanski crossdressing a lot. The latter is one of those classic flicks I had never seen. I wasn't really familiar with the plot so I checked the IMDB page and was treated to the stupidest summary ever: "Gregory Peck is the ambassador to the United States who's wife has a stillborn child. Without her knowledge, he substitutes another baby as theirs. A few years go by, and then grisly deaths begin to happen. The child's nanny hangs herself and a priest is speared to death in a freak accident. It turns out the child is the son of Satan and can only be killed with the seven daggers of Meggado." The last two sentences are completely unnecessary; it's true that these things happened in the movie, but they are really inconsequential and slightly spoiler-esque to anyone who just wants to get the jist of things. It'd be like if the summary for Dumb & Dumber read something like "Two friends embark on a trip to Aspen. They give a dead headless bird to a blind child. Cam Neely's in it."

I like how this article is more about the dangers of children using the Internet and text messaging and less about how the police let a naked pedophile just run away.

Surprisingly, Rick Reilly responded to my e-mail.

I am a 21-year-old student from Bel Air, MD currently living in Philadelphia. I just wanted to say how much I agree with your stance on steroid abuse in the majors ( "Gutless Wonders" column in the 8/15 issue). As a lifelong O's fan, I was devastated that Palmeiro tested positive after being lauded (by SI, no less) for his performance during the congressional hearings. At first, I desperately wanted to believe his claims that he had taken banned substances unintentionally; after all, Raffy was the classy, family-friendly guy I grew up watching at Camden Yards and in local commercials for air conditioners. After reading your column, however, I have a better perspective on players who test positive and attempt to save face through ridiculous, almost comedic backpedaling. Although a player like Palmeiro statistically deserves Hall of Fame consideration, it's a damn shame that this scandal will forever tarnish his otherwise impressive career.


Thanks for writing. I haven't had time to read your mail yet, but I will. If it's about something you liked, thanks. If it's about something you didn't, it was probably not written by me, but by my evil twin. Anyway, thanks. Feedback means a lot to me.

Rick Reilly

That's awesome. Rick, do yourself a favor and delete my e-mail forever (I'm saying this like he hasn't already). On second thought, I think my letter might be stupid and generic enough to make print. Check for me.

In honor of this exceedingly vitriolic criticism of Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs, how about a Chuck question? Here goes:

You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate's collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear-for the rest of your life-sound as if it's being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it's being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it's being coveredby Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way toyou). Would you swallow the pill?

Okay, getting your collarbones broken most certainly sucks (eh, Kibby, eh?) but it's only every three years, whereas I would have to suffer with hearing Alice in Chains for the rest of my life. Also, once your collarbone is broken, I don't think it really goes back to complete normalcy without reconstructive surgery, so it's not like the collarbones in question are going to be brand new when they get smashed triannually. I realize that this statement is completely devoid of any type of compassion, but just try and imagine Alice in Chains as an omnipresence in your life (I mean, I get angry and smash the buttons on my car radio when "Rooster" comes on, even though several people have tried to convince me it's a good song since it's about a soldier in Vietnam). What do you think would happen if you legitimately heard the original rendition of "Man In The Box," though? I like to think it'd be the musical equivalent of turning a humidifer and a dehumidifier on at the same time: doomsday.

The entire Uber Team will soon be assembled for the beginning of this school year. This can only mean one thing: friendship and solidarity
fun drunken times cost- and guilt-free peer editing digital cable!

It's almost disgusting how much I used strikeout in this post I love strikeout.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mariano of the Marriott

So MySpace

I just listened to the Jeezy and Jay "Go Crazy" long version and shit's hot (Rapidshare here). Beat's reminiscent of "Encore" or something. Jeezy is being stroked more than Pai Mei's beard these days, but I guess I can understand dude's appeal. He manages to remind pretty much anyone who talks to him that he's a hustler's hustler's hustler, and he's buddies with Jay because Jay-Z is the consummate gentleman's hustler. Did I mention that Jeezy is a hustler? Anyway, Jeezy's verse is pretty alright (any rhyme referencing a game of horseshoes is fine with me), but the real gem here is Jay's 32 bars. His favorite hue is Jay-Z blue, which I picture as some sort of combination of cornflower and royal. Faz also spotted the first of many "trap or die" angry snowman tees at his work the other day. If you ever see me with a snowman tee on, be sure to punch my teeth out. I also got "Don't Get Caught," (Rapidshare here) in which Jeezy schools young cats about how to weasel your way out of trouble when you get pulled over by the police with a trunk full of yay. The more you know...

Sometimes, people come up to me and make a weird noise like "bleah!" or "yargh!" and when I look at them, they say "sorry man, I thought you were someone else." It happened to me at McGlinchey's last night. It's really weird. I can't help but think of how these noises could possibly be relevant to the person they thought I was; I usually greet friends and/or acquaintances with handshakes, hugs, awkward "pounds," high fives or other general cordialities. If I go "whoogo!" next time I see you, know that I'm performing a large-scale sociological experiment. Or that I'm wasted.

I've been reading Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs lately and it's fantastic. I haven't found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with a writer this much in awhile. I laugh out loud when I'm reading too, a phenomenon usually only reserved for Family Circus. Chuck K. has the ability to make seemingly unrelated pop culture references make sense in the context of what he's talking about (he even has a guide that makes you realize that however witty his tangents may seem, he's actually not saying anything, which is slightly brilliant). One would think that dude is such a skinny bespectacled music dork that he has no knowledge of stereotypically manlier pursuits such as professional sports, but the guy knows everything there is to know about that too- he's got a chapter about how the Celtics/Lakers rivalry of the 80's is a huge metaphor for pretty much every interpersonal conflict ever. I don't necessarily agree with 100% of Chuck's opinions (I happen to like the game of soccer, while Chuck despises it), and Billy Joel really kinda sucks (Chuck would have you believe that Joel is the only rock star in history that's neither patently cool or ironically uncool, maybe him the perfect "everyman" musician).

The best part about this book is the 23 questions he has to ask everybody he meets to decide if he can really love them. This is my one of my favorites (responses are welcomed and encouraged):

Genetic engineers at Johns Hopkins University announce that they have developed a so-called 'super gorilla.' Though the animal cannot speak, it has a sign language lexicon of over twelve thousands words, an IQ or almost 85, and--most notably--a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs 700 pounds) becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson speculates that this gorilla would be 'borderline unblockable' and would likely average six sacks a game (although Jackson concedes the beast might be susceptible to counters and misdirection plays*). Meanwhile the gorilla has made it clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent. You are commisioner of the NFL: Would you allow this gorilla to sign with the Oakland Raiders?

* This is freaking hilarious. Once I'm done I'm going to move on to his new book. Sounds promising.

Some friends of mine have been conducting intense research/imaginary scouting camps for the impending fantasy football season. The appeal of fantasy sports has always eluded me. I understand the basic concept of it all, but there just seems to be so much room for confusion. For example, say the damn Steelers are playing the Ravens, my home team. I am obviously going to root for the Ravens. But say Plaxico Burress or whatever other Steelers player happens to be on my fantasy team (like I would ever pick him...but let's just pretend he was the highest-rated WR available so I just sucked it up and went for it). If Plexiglass scores a touchdown like his beanpole ass usually does, should I get mad and throw my Milwaukee's Beast at the television like usual (exaggeration; actually Busch Light), or do I accept or maybe even celebrate it because my fantasy ranking will go up?* Participating in fantasy sports creates an inescapable conflict of interest for the average fan. I'm just going to watch on TV, I think.

*(Note to self: Stop basing blog thoughts on Best Buy commercials, as they are not an accurate reflection of reality)

One question: why not Yayo? Yayo is superfluosity personified. That's definitely not a real word. Why the hell was G-Unit travelling in a van anyway?

Here's a board debate that I found quite relevant. I always raise an eyebrow when I hear a non-black person using the n-word, and I really don't think it's appropriate. At the same time, I've been wondering why it's perfectly fine for Latino MCs like Fat Joe to drop it in their verses all the time. Crack ain't black, but I've never heard one scrap of criticism about him saying it, which leads me to believe that maybe its usage is based not so much on skin color than it is on background/legitimacy (Joe hails from the Bronx, therefore it's acceptable for him, etc.). At the same same time, I know that Eminem vehemently opposes using the word in his lyrics, and I've never heard Paul Wall (who reps Houston just like Slim Thug or Mike Jones reps Houston) drop it once. Who knows.

Stop the presses: Jeb Bush and I agree on something.

Today at work I wrote an e-mail to Rick Reilly about his column in this week's SI. He pointed out how ridiculous it sounds when positive-testing players claim they took banned substances unintentionally. As much as I love Palmeiro as a player, I couldn't help but cringe when he restated his now-famous "I have never taken steroids, period" quote as "I have never intentionally taken steroids." Come on, man.

Today I saw a Texas A&M sticker on a car and I said I thought the "M" stood for "mining." I know, I'm a moron, and I had no idea why I thought this, but I did. Michelle said I was stupid and that it stood for "mechanical." In classic "Drew neither wins nor loses argument based on a cheap technicality" style, I found this:

Texas A&M, the state’s first public institution of higher education, was opened on Oct. 4, 1876 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The school owes its origin to the Morrill Act of 1862, which established the nation’s land-grant college system. In 1963, the name of the institution was changed to Texas A&M University to more accurately reflect its expanding role as a leader in teaching, research, and public service for the state, nation and world. The initials "A" and "M" are a link to the university’s past; they no longer represent any specific words as the school’s curriculum has grown to include not only agriculture and engineering, but architecture, business, education, geosciences, liberal arts, medicine, science, and veterinary medicine.

It's a draw! My record of 0-6835 remains intact.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Drew died of dysentery

I killed nearly 1300 pounds of live game this weekend,

but was only able to bring a measly 30 back to my
Honda Civic

A little like the Italian flag, if the white portion of
the tricolor was splattered with goretastic GORE

I went to a GORE party at Kibby's on Saturday. Kids such as the dead Patrick above were gored out of their gourds. I kinda wish I had gored out, but I didn't really have any gore-tastic resources. I had a gleefully gorefied time. GORE! Hunting bison also involves gore, you know. Luckily no one in my party died of yellow fever or was bitten fatally by a snake.

Go to this site and look at my dude Ryan Beck's work. Stuff is quite ridiculously good. Visiting this site is much safer than caulking your wagon to ford a river and much cheaper than paying for an effin' shifty Indian ferry.

If anyone has a link/knows where to cop the Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy tracks, I'd appreciate it. I have one that I got off some blog and shit is crazy. I'd really like to hear more. I'm willing to trade three oxen and two wagon tongues.

Big money, no whammy no whammy no savages

So today I'm officially sending in my application for the arts & entertainment internship over at the City Paper. Who knows if I'll get it, but here's hoping. In the meantime, I might peruse the EIC's funny blog. I included some pretty solid clips, I believe; the old standby Zhang Yimou and Death of a Dynasty jawns, a Collegian play review and that Prefuse review I did a little while ago for the OK Corral. Hopefully I'll hear from them before I reach the Platte River trading post.

This guy's photography is a little insane, especially the bullet pictures. I have no such artistic ability, seeing that I am a banker from Boston and most of my friends are either carpenters from Ohio or farmers from Illinois.

(from left) Me, oxen Artesian and Prothero,
son Daedalus, wife Constance of Cleaves,

I've been cooking more lately, which is always good. Yesterday I made fried tilapia, curried chicken, mixed vegetables and some rice. Food you make yourself is always so much better than anything you get when you're out. Hopefully my lackluster financial situation won't necessitate Michelle and I going on "bare bones" rations.

Listen, I'm really sorry about all this. I was just feeling a bit nostalgic for the Apple II this morning.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Don't stop get it get it

This picture of Graham and I at the bar reminds me of one of those mud imprint pictures that you have to stare at for awhile before realizing it's a picture of Christ's face. Not that Graham or I are Christ.

I found
this site awhile back. Check the thing about Napoleon and the bar exam; apparently whoever wrote the exam had a well-intentioned sense of humor despite being a bit slow on the uptake. I also really enjoyed "The Passing of an NBA Legend." Hilarious, especially the graphic at the bottom.

I finally listened to the Gorillaz album in its entirety yesterday. It's really good.

Type "(your name) is" (with the quotes) into a Google search then pick out your favorite 5 responses.

1. Drew is very much afraid it's doing it to Lindsay Lohan.
2. Drew is 3 today!
3. Drew is approximately one hour from the Jersey shore. (so true! weird)
4. Drew is wearing a Christian Lacroix Haute Couture barely blushed crepeline, organza, and tulle dress embroidered with a crystal branch and knotted in blackberry velvet.
5. Drew is back in the crease!

I'm consistenly amazed by the prowess of white girls rapping along to songs at the bar. Last night, I was just sitting with my friends minding my own business, when "I Just Wanna Love U" came on. High-pitched squeals emanated off the ceiling and the $2.50 Molson Canadian banner. Girls formed these strange tribal circles or half-circles, their Miller Lites and flourescent-colored mixed drinks raised up in the air as they danced awkwardly and spit every fucking word verbatim. I don't really know how I feel about said girls screaming shit like "I'm a pimp by blood, not relation" while some vaguely ethnic dude is attempting to grind on them from behind. Shit's really weird. Funny though. They did the same thing with "Juicy" too. It's really weird to see two blondes whose names are both probably Halsey saying shit like "I was too used to packin' gats and stuff." The best part about it was right before the chorus when Biggie goes "And if you don't know, now you know, nigga," the Halseys were aware of the presence of black people in the bar so they did one of those things where they start to mouth the N, then realize their faux pas and try to play it off by putting their hands up in the air or something. That always solves everything, doesn't it?

Has anyone heard of dude named Infinito 2017? Apparently cat is from Chicago that's down with the Molemen or whatever. Anyway, I got his CD from Okayplayer the other day and it's so so bad. When I first looked at it, I noticed the CD was a burned disc and the cover/liner notes were photocopied. I can respect that especially if the guy is just trying to come up and really doesn't have any resources yet or anything. Once I started listening to it, I realized why he doesn't. This shit was just really bad, no bones. The beats were almost unlistenable and the guy just mutters incoherent shit over them. Dammit Infinito 2017.

God bless eBay for stuff like this. Really though, what is a personalized diss track against your bully going to accomplish, other than you just getting you ass kicked again?

The Native American sports nickname issue is quite early 90's. What exactly motivated this then? The NCAA just makes these decisions based on nothing; it even says in the article that the Seminoles in Florida support Florida State keeping the name. How can you really deem something offensive when the group that is supposedly being offended simply isn't? The term "Seminoles" isn't even patently offensive to begin with; it's just the name of a tribe, and can't really be compared to the controversy over names like Redskins or Indians. I hope they target the Illini next for being offensive towards people in Illinois. NCAA is dumb.

You know, Quiz Show is a pretty damn good movie. John Turturro is amazing. Michelle rented it the other day, mostly because The Golden Child has yet to make its DVD debut. When will this happen? It needs to happen soon.

Are you Chrysler? Are your sales sluggish? Afraid that Iacocca won't be able to connect with today's "hip-hop generation"? Shit, just throw Snoop in there with OG Lee. "Iacocca is proving once again that the art of the deal never gets old -- even when he's sharing the stage with the lanky, diamond-studded, "gangsta"-rapping Snoop Dogg" (you can watch the ads there too). Um, Snoop really hasn't been all that "gangsta" for quite some time now. In fact, I think he's got more in common with Lee Iacocca than you think. They're both getting old and they're both marginally relevant. Did they really need to bug old head Iacocca out of retirement to do these commercials? This "employee discount" promotional thing has been a major cash cow for GM and now Chrysler is hopping on the bandwagon I guess.

For some people, having kids just isn't a very good idea.

Have you ever heard of this thing called "the culture of fear"? I haven't, but it seems fun.

In the last of the bizarre kindergarten renditions of myself, here's me wearing a belly shirt and cavorting with some blonde jawn.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Came to break bread

I always hear about the Philly sports curse and how Philly teams are always just one step away from glory before choking. At least you guys get close. Dammit.

Is my computer the only one that displays the sidebar here correctly? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Last night I went to the Drake Tavern up in Jenkintown. It's one of those places I drive by on a very regular basis but have never visited, mostly due to the fact that during football season they have one of those inflatable Eagles players outside that freak me out. We were originally planning on going to the Whistle, but when we got there it was packed full of dudes (not just dudes, but dudes) jamming out to a Sublime cover band. I was out real quick. Speaking in terms of music, the Drake wasn't that much better; some girl was performing the worst rendition of "Hey Jude" I've ever heard when we walked in, and later we were treated to a lackluster "Pinball Wizard." Thanks, I guess. Regardless, I had a good time and drank my fair share of non-Jager beverages. That stuff is disgusting.

Adidas/Reebok merger is crazy.

This Aesop video for "Fast Cars, Danger, Fire & Knives" is murder. Shit kinda reminds me of the Modest Mouse "Float On" video if it was directed by Edward Gorey in a K-hole or something (if he happened to squander all his Gashlycrumb Tinies money on booze and prostitutes and had to turn to video-directing to subsist.)

Black man in a little coat. Man, Byron Crawford hates Kanye so hard. Speaking of that guy, the plight of the Sierra Leonians seems like the new Tibet lately. Article talks about BLING: A Planet Rock, a movie about the subject coming out this winter. I like how Kanye got "his initial information from Q-Tip." I bet they met at Jamba Juice or something. After complimenting each other on their alternative clothing choices, I bet Tip slipped Kanye a bulky manila folder of armless shorty pictures under the table, which Kanye promptly stored in his Burberry carry-all. Dude also says that “When the song first came out, people thought [I] was making a song glorifying diamonds,” he says, “which is so anti-Kanye West.” Jesus man, you really want me to hate you. I still like dude though.

Joe Pelone on the video for the "Diamonds" remix: "It's pretty sweet. This white guy gives his white girlfriend a diamond ring, courtesy of the suffering black folks over in Sierra Leone, and the ring starts oozing this weird liquid up her arm. I think its supposed to be blood, but its a black and white video. It kind of reminds me of this one scene from the first Wishmaster. I'm totally serious too. The party scene where the Wishmaster is all like, "Don't you wish people would remember this party forever?" and then this one chick's arm turns silvery in a crappy CGI way and then EXPLODES."

I was reading this article by the Asian hip-hop writer Jeff Chang about Jin and his importance as a hip-hop iconoclast (not sure how old it is). Chang is an amazing writer, but I feel like he's trumping Jin up just a little too much ("But as the first to break from the underground into the big leagues, Jin becomes the thing most of us were incapable of becoming or unwilling to become. Through marketing, sociology, and a vast audience's unfulfilled desire, he appears as the great yellow hope"). It's true that dude can rap, pretty damn good at that, but he fell victim to the can-freestyle can't-do-album trap that seems to negatively affect a lot of up-and-comers. The fact that he was more or less the first Asian MC to get a lot of mainstream attention is significant; however, I don't think people should act like the entire movement rests on this kid's shoulders alone. These expectations are just too steep for one dude (some might argue that Eminem paved the way for white MCs, but these people are fucking idiots and don't know anything).

The Asian factor was sweated to drum up publicity (people calling him the Asian Eminem, etc.), but for dude to be successful he needs to live outside of that (which he definitely has the talent to do). Jin's hype-motivated commercial failure shouldn't be heralded as a death blow (dim mak!) to the future of Asians in hip-hop, though; in fact, there are several guys that have been doing it for years, like Lyrics Born or Dan the Automator (not an MC, I know). Jin is trying to do some sort of underground comeback jawn after he announced his retirement. I guess we'll find out whether or not he's in it for real.

I got the new Blood of Abraham LP today. I had no idea, but OG dude has directed videos for TI, Nas, Young Gunz and others. I haven't listened to it just yet but I think it sounds interesting at least.

Papa woulda shot him if he
knew what he'd doneeeee

Dipset's sampled Journey, Jefferson Starship, Cyndi Lauper and the "Hill Street Blues" theme song. How long do you think it will be until they use Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves"? I feel like that's the next logical step. Every time I hear this song (okay, so I have it on a mix CD for some reason), I can't help but picture Juelz spitting shit like "She was born on the wagon of a travellin' show/I'm like Jim Thorpe in the fucking javelin throw/AY!" Please Jim Jones, make this about to happen.

I wish I could get in touch with Katherine Loch so I could tell her that she sucks at drawing arms.