Thursday, September 9, 2010

A little advice from a confirmed serial dater.

I really wrote this joint for another website, but I'm not sure if they're going to use it or not. Plus, its my shit and I doubt the two people who actually read my blog will tell. The question being posed, at least what I throught was being posed, is this:

Why do men cheat on good women?

Wow! What a nail bitter, right?

To be honest ladies, there are a lot of reasons why we become unfaithful to you all. Sometimes the reasons run together, becoming a multipronged spur that kick starts our cheating ways. And sometimes there is singular reason that stands alone, independent from any other reason. For instance, ladies did you know that when we get into a relationship other women find us drastically more appealing? It’s not like we do anything too different from when we were single, it just minor things that other women innately pick up on. For instance, we don’t speak with Brenda from accounting any differently than we did when we weren’t in a relationship. The only difference now is we might not take our customary extra look at Brenda’s booty when she walks away or compliment her on her new dress the same way we did before. However, Brenda loves the way we give her compliments and does Pilates to get her booty in prime condition. Brenda might’ve never considered giving us the time of day before, but now our new found relationship has us looking a little different to her. We always want what we can’t have and it seems like sometimes women take that as a personally insult. I’ve had women come up to me when I was in relationship and ask, “do you think your girl would mind if I gave you my number?” Understand that unlike women, men don’t get hollered at on a regular basis. You all might be accustom to saying “no” to advances from the opposite sex, but we’re not. So when women start coming out the woodwork because we have the scent of relationship on us, it can be somewhat overwhelming. Yes, this is probably the weakest reason why a dude cheats on his woman, that’s if it’s his only reason. Typically, the alluring influx of “new pussy” approaching us goes hand and hand with other reasons that causes us to cheat. Nonetheless, this is a very real reason and there isn’t much you ladies can do if this is the only reason.
Another, more definitive reason why men cheat is because women change up so hard once we’re committed. This change up can happen at any time in the relationship, but the best time to witness this is after the honeymoon period. During this period everything about the relationship runs smoother than a Rolex’s second hand. However, when the honeymoon period runs its course, the relationship begins to get “realer than real”. Now this transitional period can be cool when both parties in the relationship agree to make realistic compromises and changes for the other. On the other hand this period can be disastrous when unrealistic expectations and melodramatic analyses are put into the air. And to be honest, you women have a tendency to bring a lot of both to the table more so than us men. For instance, you seemingly didn’t mind kicking it with his boys when you first started talking. However, once your man makes it official, suddenly you see his boys as a detriment to your fledgling relationship. Or better yet, many women begin to harp on the supposed underlying messages being expressed in every action and statement that there men make. For instance, I remember I was getting a massage one day and told the young lady “I love when people do that”. Shorty turned to me and said, “yeah, but what about when I do it?” Needless to say, I found myself engaged in an hour long discussion about how I’m not ready to be in relationship if I’m still talking about how ‘people’ make me feel, instead of talking about how ‘she’ makes me feel. Does this sound like you ladies? Brothers, does this sound like your girlfriend or your ex? Doesn’t Brenda and her endless flirting seem so much more appeasing now? Ladies, I respect the fact that you all want us to be serious about our relationships with you all, yet that doesn't justify going off on the deep end. We don’t like being critiqued and questioned all the time, especially when you didn’t start the relationship being that way. Yes, there will be disagreements, but you all need to distinguish what issues are worthy of being brought up. If it’s something that’s really inconsequential to the stability of the relationship, leave it alone. We don’t care that your last boyfriend cheated on you, we’re not him. And if you haven’t found damning evidence to our infidelity, then you need to leave us be. Keeping knocking on the devil's door, and he will answer. In other words, chill!
And last but not least, we cheat when there’s a lack of a real connection. What I mean is that we sometimes met people and fall for the idea of them instead of falling for them. For example, we might meet a lady and like the fact that she’s beautiful, independent, strong willed, intelligent, hardworking, and whatever other good quality you could imagine. Yet, liking the qualities of somebody doesn’t equate to actually liking that person. Yeah you might be a good catch on paper, but that doesn’t mean because he’s also a good catch that everything is going work out. Our perceptions of what we like and don’t like are heavily influenced by our social interactions. From an early age, men are told that we should find a woman who’s a lot like our mothers. So we, either consciously or unconsciously, begin looking for that woman, even if it’s not what we really want. What we should want is to find someone who we have a natural, unforced connection with. But in this fast-paced world where consumerism and upward mobility reign supreme, it’s getting increasingly hard to sit back and figure out what defines what we like. So instead of doing some soul searching, we find ourselves getting with people who society dictates we should like. Unfortunatley, by the time we many of us figure out what we like, we might be 2 years committed into a relationship we’re deadly afraid to get out of. So instead of biting the bullet, we might cheat with somebody who we have more of an organic connection with. Brenda from accounting might not be half the woman that you are on paper, but she makes us laugh and she’s a huge Giants fan. And that might mean a lot more to us than your high level job, you intellect, or your beauty.
So are these the only reasons why men cheat? Well, I can’t speak for every man, but I’m pretty sure these are definite reasons why we do you all dirty. Funny thing, there are definitly others. For instance, your man might cheat because you might’ve stopped doing what you use to do sexually. In other words, there are a lot of reasons that cause us to cheat. What I hope you ladies take from my explanations is that the act of cheating for men doesn’t come easy. Often you all think we’re just mindless breathing apparatuses for our dicks and don’t care that we’re dating a “queen”. Rather, there is rhyme and reason to a lot of our madness. And believe it or not, sometimes you are the reason why we cheat. But please, don’t become disenchanted by the prospect of you being at fault. Just take my advice and try to remember it the next time you begin a relationship.
-Brother Malcolm

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stress, Pain, and Agony: Tor'cha book review

This book right here is very, very, very awesome. It was written by my man Todd Craig who, since I met him last year, has been both a mentor and good friend of mine. Don't get it twisted, friendship or no friendship, if this book was wack I would say so. Luckily, for Todd Tor'cha is as far away from wack as you can get. Dude is a masterful writer who possess an insight of the human condition that I wish most black writers in the genre of contemporary urban literature possessed. So if you get the opportunity, please check him out at


By Todd Craig

To grow up in Hip-Hop means more than just listening to the music or throwing up some aimless tag on a subway car. Rather, it means growing up in an environment where people are often filled with the same kind of abysmal introspection Ghostface Killah is imbued with on the track Can It All Be So Simple. It’s a place where the kids no longer pitch pennies or play ding dong ditch, where beef is truly inevitable, and letters to incarcerated brethren are often ended with two simple words: one love. Unfortunately, many books within the genre of contemporary urban literature typically paint a melodramatic picture of this world. Luckily, there are writers within the genre who keep with James Baldwin’s assertion that “all art is a kind of confession” in which all artists have an obligation to themselves and their craft to “vomit” up the truth. Todd Craig is one such writer who has placed a lifetime of his experiences between the lines of his aptly named book, Tor’cha (Swank Books).

With a storyline chronologically set out of order, Tor’cha’s dutifully follows three childhood friends, eM, Christian, and Deem, as they struggle to keep from drowning in a world beset with amorality. To better illuminate this struggle, each chapter’s central conflict is cumulated with a character being forced to make a decision to either uphold or to break one of the Bible’s 10 commandments. Along with this, each chapter’s moral subtext is based on The Nation of Gods and Earths’ numerological mediations known as Supreme Mathematics. With this infusion the similarities which exist between the ethos of Christianity and The Nation of Gods and Earths are made clear. For instance, the chapter which references the 8th commandment, Thou Shalt Not Steal, has the character eM placed into a position where he must decide whether or not to proceed with a robbery of a friend. At the same time, the number 8, as defined by Supreme Mathematics, represents the concept of build or destroy. Therefore the chapter’s moral is expressed through the impact which eM’s actions have in either “building” or “destroying” the harmony which exist within him and those around him.

But what makes Tor’cha such an enthralling book is the degree of detail which is used in the development of each character. This is facilitated in large part to the fact that all three characters are based on people that Todd knew growing up in the storied Queensbridge housing projects. For instance, the character Deem is based on the late Killer Black, Todd’s close friend and brother to Mobb Deep’s Havoc. Through his intimate experiences with his fallen brethren, Todd is able to detail for the reader the agonizing private moments which undoubtedly Killer Black went through as he struggled to ward off the specter of his violent past. This level of insight afforded to Todd is what truly makes Tor’cha a refreshing addition to the often sensationalized genre of contemporary urban literature. Neither Deem nor the other two main characters are aimless provocateurs of their far too often stereotyped roles in urban America. Todd is able to show, for lack of a better word, the mundane existence which many young Black males face as they traverse the urban landscape. As the story progresses, the quite moments of introspection and the public interactions of each character grab the readers and places them on the hardhearted streets with the characters. By engaging his readers with a realistic portrayal of three black youths, Todd is able to make Tor’cha a book which not only speaks to the Hip Hop generation, but to a much wider audience.

-Brother Malcolm

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Missing Link has been found: an interview with Raekwon

I'm sorry for the 6 month delay(damn, time moves fast when working at a meaningless job), but I'm back like the second coming of Christ. My new mission is simple: bless the world with some fly and wonderful articles. But before I hit you with the new, I got to catch you up on what I've been doing since the last time We've spoke. Below is an interview I conducted with Raekwon in mid July of 09'. Read and enjoy.

Lost amid my collection of colorless audio cassette tapes is an island of rectangular purple. Battle scared and missing some of its track listings due to years of wear, this cassette lies quietly within my shoe box awaiting its day to be played once again. And while this ominous “Purple Tape”, better known to the world as Only Built for Cuban Linx, will probably continue to drift aimlessly amidst this sea of hardened plastic, the music which once played from its reels will forever be a quintessential example of raw, unadulterated Hip Hop. Yet for Raekwon, the man behind the creation of this landmark album, the prestige which continues to follow Cuban Linx hasn’t necessarily followed him. Like so many artist before him, Raekwon’s subsequent albums, Immorbilarity and The Lex Diamond Story, were unfortunate victims of the monolithic shadow cast by his classic freshmen effort. This, coupled with the Wu-Tang Clan’s diminished mainstream popularity, has put both Raekwon’s career and legacy in question. Yet, in the wake of controversy that followed the Wu-Tang Clan’s last album, 8 Diagrams, Raekwon was seemingly filled with a new zeal of artistic creativity. Now imbued with a reserved, yet acute awareness of his craft, Raekwon has successfully put the Pyrex pot back on the kitchen stove with his 4th solo album, Only Built for Cuban Linx II. Set as the sequel to his first album, Cuban Linx II boasts production from the likes of The Rza, Dr.Dre, and J-Dilla and will also feature such artists as Ghostface Killah, Nas and The Game. Recently, Yo!Raps got the opportunity to speak to Raekwon about his new album, his goals in life, and why Hip Hop desperately needs his brand of lyrical cook up.

Yo!Raps: You just got back from an European tour, right?

Raekwon: Naw its real I just got back. Those motherfucking rides ain’t no joke. Shout out to all those people who were on that plane coming from Brazil to Paris. I got back in the day before and that shit was bothering me man. Shit like that is what we as people are subjected to when we fly to these places.

Yo!Raps: You’re definitely right about that.

Raekwon: And the shit makes me mad because it doesn’t feel like anybody fucking cares. I didn’t hear anything in the fucking press about it. And I’m like, ‘Come on man, a plane just disappeared in the ocean ’, know what I mean? I think we need be more attentive to people losing their loved ones and shit like that.

Yo!Raps: I agree.

Raekwon: But it’s all good because [the victims of the plane crash] are in good hands now.

Yo!Raps: You’re right about that. So, how were you received out in Europe?

Raekwon: Oh it was a lot of love man. One thing about Wu-Tang is that we have built a super fan base outside of the country. And it’s not like we built it, but it’s like they really respect us for what we’ve done. They respect our Hip Hop and they’ve really been supporting us for like the last 15 years strong. So they’re like to me people who I have to go see regardless of what.

Yo!Raps: So do you feel that you and the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan get better reception outside of America than you do in America?

Raekwon: I would say that we defiantly get better response because [our international audiences] are fortunate to even have an American rapper make it over to their country. So that’s almost like a blessing to be able to see dudes from the states come over and give them a performance. So it’s always love whenever we go out there because they appreciate us more.

Yo!Raps: Do you feel that a group just talented as the Wu-Tang Clan could debut in this current era of music and have the same that you and your brothers had during the 90’s?

Raekwon: I think that at the end of the day people are going to like anything that’s creative and real. People got to understand that there are a lot of people out there who are still nice that aren’t getting their shot because they don’t know somebody at Def Jam. But yeah, if a group came out of nowhere, 8 dudes, and their production is nasty hell yeah their going to blow up.

Yo!Raps: So, when can we expect to see Cuban Linx II in stores?

Raekwon: The album is coming out August 11th. That’s the set date right now, but anything can happen because you know how the music business can be. But right off top I’m letting you know that it’s definitely here though. The wait is over and now we can give yall a piece of what we’ve been doing.

Yo!Raps: So in speaking about Cuban Linx II I’ve got to ask you about the 2006 interview Rza did for Scratch Magazine. In the interview Rza was talking about how he and Dr. Dre were working on Cuban Linx II. I know some things have changed since that interview, but is this version of Cuban Linx II that Rza was speaking about in 2006 the same album that will be coming out August 11th?

Raekwon: Well this is defiantly the album that he was talking about and yes things did go on another course, but only for the better. I feel that at the end of the day we have made a classic. Everybody wants us to go back to that vintage Wu-Tang sound and we did that by a landslide. You’ve heard the new Wu that’s out right now?

Yo! Raps: Yeah.

Raekwon: Well that’s Rza’s flavor. And I think that me and him really know what we got to on this shit. He trusted me like I trusted him to do his job and we ended up putting together some mean shit. At the end of the day we both feel comfortable that this new album didn’t take away from the first one and it’s a classic. So when you got brothers like J-Dilla, Rza, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Scram Jones, and The Alchemist all coming together to compete with Rza’s first Cuban Linx, it’s like yo that’s serious right there. So it was serious that we hold it down lyrically. Anytime you get the Clan to really get on some shit that everybody knows that they’re good for, it’s like almost introducing back to game on a bigger level again.

Yo!Raps: That’s what’s up. I think a lot people don’t know that the first Cuban Linx is a conceptually based album. It’s brilliant and I’m just saying that because you and I are sitting here speaking. For instance, I tell a lot of people to watch the John Woo’s movie The Killer because scenes of that movie are all over Cuban Linx…

Raekwon: Exactly and I’m glad you brought that up. If you look at the title of the album it begins with the word “only” because we want people to be able to relate to our story and our visions. Other people that really don’t relate, they’re looking for party music, know that this is not the album for them. But, at the end of the day, this is defiantly an album that will pick your mind and make you feel that Hip Hop is still here. It’s my job to make sure that I keep a certain kind of way and don’t go outside of my lane. I mean want to keep up to date with what’s going on, but I got to make sure that I don’t sacrifice what I have already created because I’m a leader in this business. So they always look at us to bring the creation back to the table and that’s what we’ve done with this album.

Yo!Raps: I think what many people don’t realize about the first Cuban Linx is that there is moral subtext which questions our understanding of what defines a man as either good or evil. Will Only Built for Cuban Linx II contain the same subtext or will the album be focusing on something else?

Raekwon: I’m going to keep it real, this one right here is going back to when there was no record deal. We’re going get back to strong lyrics, strong content, stories, classic Wu interludes and cuts. We just back on that cocaine rap type shit because that how we made the first [Cuban Linx]. That’s when we were expressing the lifestyle that was only built for curtain people. But, at the end of the day, you know I got a little bit of consciousness on there for the audience to let them know that we got heart. But this one is back to the projects, know what I mean?

Yo!Raps: Cool, so I heard that you credited Busta Rhymes for helping get back into your Cuban Linx state of mind. Explain what the Cuban Linx mindset is and how did Busta help you get there?

Raekwon: That Cuban Linx mindset is having the opportunity to really make the right decisions and the moves when it comes to dropping a classic behind another classic. So I always have to be focused and surround myself with the right energy. As for Busta, he’s a good friend of mine and he’s definitely somebody who I could say who’s work ethic is bananas. He speaks from the heart; he’s not on no rapper shit. He ain’t somebody who’s just trying to get in my pocket. Rather, with me and him its real friendship. I admire brothers who think like that because I’ve thought like that to with other niggas that I’ve dealt with too. Because when you got love for a nigga you do anything that you can to help him win and that’s what he’s been doing. He’s was able to help me establish a relationship with J-Dilla before he past; he was able to get me in with [Dr.]Dre and get him involved with the project. I’m truly blessed to have a friend like him.

Yo!Raps: I know you’ve probably already heard Jay-Z’s new song, D.O.A(Death of Autotune). As a veturen in the game, I love to know what is your opinion of this whole autotune debate?

Raekwon: With autotune it’s like everybody is on their monkey see shit right now. There’s nothing wrong with it until it starts going that way when everybody starts to rock the same hat. That’s when it starts becoming some bullshit and that’s what pisses me off about the game. It’s like everybody’s a fucking follower and it seems like we ain’t got anymore leaders. So, at the end of the day, I just look at it like people are going to get the kind of music that they want, but you’re going to have different kinds of Hip Hop that is going to touch you where you’re not going to know the difference. My thing is to go back to the realness. I’m going back to being an MC, I’m going back to trying to get myself on hard beats, and I’m doing whatever I got to do to make it. I’m not getting caught up in the hook world where everything has to be a hook. Big Daddy Kane had the world saying ‘ain’t no half steeping’ and all that fly shit. They were killing songs with just 20 bars and no hooks. Back then it was just about energy and making good music. That’s what I’m going back with this because I feel like shit is being stolen from us like the motherfucking Indians. It’s like our land is being taken from us. Niggas treat music nowadays like it’s a Maytag. It’s like hitting a broad that the whole block is hitting and you can’t even show her out because she’s not carrying herself right. Hip Hop’s not carrying herself right anymore. And to keep it real, there’s a lot of motherfuckers who claim they want Hip Hop, but they’re not making it either. You can’t keep these so called Hip Hop songs with all this R&B shit in the middle of them. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s R&B Hip Hop. But that’s not Hip Hop, it’s R&B Hip Hop. That’s my opinion and I’m going to always stand by that because I’m these niggas who really got a passion for this shit man. Let’s get back to the beats and rhymes. Raw beats, raw rhymes, being creative, and original.

Yo!Raps: Hip Hop is like the neighborhood whore. Wow, I couldn’t have said it better. So, is there anybody in your opinion who embodies the type of Hip Hop that you like to listen to? In other words, who from this generation of MCs do you feel is worthy of your respect?

Raekwon: Naw, I’m not taking anything from nobody’s hustle man. Motherfuckers got good hustle, but at the same time motherfuckers are rhyming in front of a bunch of kids. And kids are easily influenced off of image anyway. But my thing is just step it up. You don’t have to be the most lyrical nigga, but try to be creative through know what I mean? Build your own lane. I don’t want niggas thinking that I’m hating on these niggas or whoever is hot right now. I really don’t give a fuck about all that right now because at the end of the day, I’m getting my money like you’re getting yours. We can go around the world together. I just want dudes to be original and create something that people will say “yo, I’m buying this niggas album”. And not, “I’m getting the fly video from this nigga and two records” because your jerking the people if your goal is to do it like that. Don’t jerk the people, make them feel comfortable. But we haven’t been getting that lately.

Yo!Raps: In getting back to our discussion about Cuban Linx II, who will be some of the artist featured on it?

Raekwon: Well you know first and foremost the Clan will be featured on it. I can never make another Wu album without having the Clan involved with it. So you got the Clan and you also got Jadakiss up there. I got my man Beanie Sigel on it who I think came in and did a remarkable job as far as showing his skill. We got a few other folks, but we’re going to keep it moderate for right now and surprise some of these cats.

Yo!Raps: In what ways do you feel that you’ve changed since the last Cuban Linx album and how is this change reflected on Cuban Linx II?

Raekwon: I’ve changed a lot. I got stronger. I know how to really pick the right music that I’ve wanted to have. Of course when we first started, we were teenaged cats with it. So all it did was get better and learned how go after what I really want to do. It’s all about wanting to improve. I think I’ve done enough work to be at the level of comfort with the music that I put out. And you can only get better as you go on and I’ve had a lot of time to get my swords sharp. So don’t ever think it’s over because I still rhyme, I’m still delivering flows, whether it’s fast or slow, and I’m still able to get in where I can get in at.

Yo!Raps: So, when everything is said and done what do you want people to think of when they mention your name?

Raekwon: I want people to say “Yo, he got busy man. He was part of that Rap Civil Rights movement. He was a front line dude for it. He didn’t ever sell out to where he didn’t recognize the people that got him there. That’s my thing because I recognize the people who got me here so I’m forever fateful and loyal to them. So, at the end of the day, just know that he was the type of brother who came in and did like that.

Yo!Raps: Yo, that’s what’s up man.

Raekwon: Aight.

Check out Cuban Linx II in stores August 11.

-Malcolm Nelson

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye.

Right now I really don't know what to say about Michael Jackson's passing. Like most kids growing up in the 80's, Micheal Jackson was my hero. I still remember me and my boy trying to bust out the moonwalk for Ms. Gash's 1st grade talent show. We failed misrably, but had a ball dressing up like Mike for the day. The man played a major role in defining both mine and countless others love for both music and the art of performing live. Say what you want about his essentric way, the man revolutionized the way we looked at R&B music and without him such performers like Bobby Brown, Usher, Ginuwine, Chris Brown, and Justin Timberlake wouldn't exist. A more eloquent eulogy is coming in due time. In the interim, I posted video of his performance at Motown's 25th anniversary. It was at this performance where Mick debuted the Moonwalk and became the star we all loved. I also posted the video of this now classic Michael Jackson track. The beat is ridiculous. I love this dude, fuck what media said about him. All I ever wished for Mike was the best and it pains me to know he's dead. THE GREATEST!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Peanut Gallery Speaks: QA with myself*.

1.How come Nas doesn't make an album with just DJ Premier, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, or Kanye West? 

Peanut Gallery's answer: If you know nothing about weed heads you should know this: they can come up with some of the deepest theoretical meditations, but will spend 5 fever pitched minutes looking for keys that end being in their right pocket. Nas is a masterful lyricist who can create some of the most imaginative and insightful stories through his words. Nonetheless, Nas is also a weed head, so we're sure that sometimes the most obvious thing in the world can go past him. Ok, we know what you're thinking, "so you guys think the quality of some of Nas’s albums have been solely affected by his weed habit?” Well of course that really can't be the full reason why; we're joking. But for someone as talented as Nas you would think he would have more classic albums, right? Unfortunately, he doesn't and the reason we fill he doesn't is due to the fact that while his lyrics are always on point, the soundscape that he flows across don’t fit him or his style. Take God's son for example. Yeah, it was straight, but not a classic or even a really good album. But if you listen to 9th Wonder's God's Stepson album, 9th wonder's remake of God's son, you'd swear you were listening to the lost tracks to Illmatic. God's Stepson is by far a better album because the 9th Wonder’s neo boom bap production style compliments both Nas's flow and the album’s overall conceptual development. So Nas, if you're reading this, please understand that as the goldenchild of the boom bap era your flow and rhyme schemes are kind of outdated in comparison to contemporary Hip Hop. This isn't a bad thing; it just means that your flow needs to be behind beats that hold onto the essence of the boom bap era(for instance, imagine Nas over the Grind’ in beat. Ridiculous). Pete Rock is still producing, DJ Premier definitely gets gigs, 9th Wonder is definitely still doing it, and judging from his work on Common's Be(classic) and Finding Forever (underrated); Kanye can do it as well. So Nas, if you really are reading this, please consider working with these producers in any combination that you desire. But do it before history really closes the books on you. Oh yeah, good luck on that whole divorce thing dun. 

2. What's up with Dick Chaney and the waterboarding controversy?

Peanut Gallery's answer: Dick Chaney is a fucking lunatic and waterboarding is torture. First, how can you say waterboarding isn't torture when the SERE training that the Bush administration used to develop its advanced interrogation techniques was actually developed so government trainees would know how it feels to be TORTURED! It's just so hilarious to us that in America there is an actual debate over whether what went down was torture. Waterboarding is torture; it was considered torture when it was first used during the Grand Inquisition, it was considered torture when the military was court-martialing soldiers for waterboarding people during the Vietnam War (peep dude sitting on top of homie’s legs in the above black and white photo), and it was torture when we did it to the detainees at Guantanamo. Shit, during the aftermath of WWII, America convicted a Japanese soldier of war crimes because he engaged in such “advanced interrogation technique” as waterboarding and ended up executing him. So it’s clear that we in America not only view waterboarding as torture, but we view it as such a heinous crime that it worth of capital punishment. Therefore, how can Dick Chaney and the rest of the Republican elite get away with this bogus nonsense that our usage of waterboarding was justified because it saved lives? That's just like saying a cop is justified in beating up a suspect because he or she might have information that could be vital to someone’s life. But in the America we know, suspect can't be tortured because our judicial system views all suspects innocent until proven guilty. For the majority of detainees being held in Guantanamo the evidence against them is insufficient and therefore makes them suspects of a crime. And in the America that we know, people who don’t have enough evidence to prove that they are wrong are let go. Yes, many of these detainees could pose a threat to national security if ever let go, but so do many criminals who are let go everyday in America. So if we hold onto our detainees indefinitely, what’s to stop us from sliding down the slippery slope of unconstitutional practices by indefinitely detaining men and women who have paid their debt to our society? Real talk. Besides, there are millions of people who want to destroy America, what’s a couple hundred extra bombers going to do. Ok, that’s not a good point. What we meant to say is that as America we have been responsible for being the moral compass for the rest of the world. That means we live by a moral code that we’ve established for ourselves and we do so even if it forces us to do something we don’t want to do.

Plus, like the character "Nice Guy" Eddie said in the movie Reservoir Dogs, "if you beat this prick long enough he'll tell you who started the Chicago fire. Now that doesn't necessarily make it so." Please understand that not only is torture wrong, but you're more likely to acquire felonious information from a prisoner by torturing them than you would anything else. So basically when we tortured the detainees at Guantanamo it was something that was both illegal and didn’t work. Wow! Shit, if you waterboarded us long enough you'd find out that Andre the crackhead was the second gunmen on the grassy noel that fateful morning in '63. Nonetheless, that doesn't make it so. Rather, we would be just saying that to stop from feeling like we’re drowning. So yeah, Cheney is a fucking lunatic and waterboarding is torture.


Why is Drake the most popular rapper right now?

Peanut Gallery's answer: On the real, Drake's a hybrid of Kanye West, Lil' Wayne, and Chris Brown. We think that at some point in time Trina, that chick from Harlem Heights who dated Kanye, and Rihanna pooled the respective bits of their famous ex-boyfriends' "essence" and created the genetic monstrosity called Drake. Has anyone really listened to this dude? His flow and his tone sounds like Kanye's, his lyrics have a tendency to make sound like Lil' Wayne, and when we heard him singing we thought he was Chris Brown’s left nut. And as we continue to study this Drake phenomenon even further we’ve realized that he could be the beginning of new type of Hip Hop. What we mean is that the kids love this dude and in time the kids might only want to listen to rappers who can both sing and rap. Haven’t rappers been using the auto tune machines for at least 2 years now? Therefore, doesn’t it make sense that Drake has come to game as the next evolution in Hip Hop. Crazy, right? Well, stranger things have happened. On another note, it’s kind of hilarious to us that the guy who played the physically disabled character Jimmy Brooks on the show Degrassi is a rapper nowIt’s funny because in the annals of teen television, Degrassi is just one step above Dawson's Creek and a step below from 90210. So if Drake is the biggest rapper out right now, we're guessing that the world can expect James Van Deer Beek to come out with the next great west coast gangster rap album sometime in 4th quarter (Westside!!). Also, the homie Drake looks softer than Theo Huxtable from the first season of The Cosby Show (drugstore cotton doesn’t even come close to describing how soft that is). He looks like this dude we went to high school with who never played any sports, gossiped with the other girls in our grade, and wore eyeliner. But our real problem with Drake is that he’s like the realization of the perfect marketing scheme. Think about it: he has an established fan base through his role on Degrassi, He’s light-skinned (trust me, it makes a marketing him that much easier), he rhymes like the 2nd most popular mainstream rapper, he sings like one of the most popular teen heartthrobs, and he is co-signed by the most popular mainstream rapper out right now. It’s like the perfect storm and everybody is being caught in its inescapable vortex. Sorry, but we for one are not impressed and it is our feeling that artists like Drake and Asher Roth are examples of why Hip Hop is turning into the most sugary sweet substance in the world. Where the fuck is M.O.P when you need them? How about some hardcore? Indeed!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

*The Anatomy of Anger: Dame Goes Off

*Before you read this, please take a minute to read my ode to Ol’ Dirty Bastard. 

Dame Dash vs. Def Jam part 2 (from This is Choke No Joke) from Miss Info on Vimeo.

Choke No Jokes: Dame Dash's outburst Pt 3 and Jay-Z in Puerto Rico from Miss Info on Vimeo.

I know it’s been a minute since Rocafella parted ways with Dame Dash, but once I saw these videos I was somewhat missing his presence.I can't help it, the arrogant son of bitch in me loves Dame in this video right now. Yeah he was bullish, but are so many people in the industry. If anything Dame's aggressive demeanor is somewhat justified in this situation. I mean why are Def Jam staff members having a meeting about Jay-Z without having Rocafella staff on hand? Why didn't Def Jam go through the customary channels of communication with Dame? Granted, sending an email is the universal way of communicating nowadays, but it seems that the customary means of communication between Dame and Def Jam wasn't through emails. Then again, the music industry is fast paced world where the train doesn't stop for personal hardships like a funeral.Regardless of what happened in this particular situation, I just hate the fact that Dame and Jay, two men who proved that through hard work you could accomplish anything, ended up severing all ties to one another. I also think it's interesting that this videographer, Choke No Joke, probably caught the moment when Dame realized that their was a conspiracy to kick him to the curve (if their was a conspiracy to begin with). I also think its funny that if you watch the documentary, Backstage, Dame talks about how crews get destroyed and has a premonition of the Roc's own destruction. By the way, where the Hell is Dame? 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Look At His Disposition: A Belated Ode To Ol' Dirty Bastard

Ol’ Dirty Bastard was one crazy ass dude! Granted, that might be the understatement of the year, but I can’t help but reintegrate this as my speakers pump the sonic equivalent to an acid trip, Return to the 36 Chambers (The Dirty Version). But as I sit here and marvel at Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s off kilter personality, I’m also attentively appreciating the depths of Ol’ Dirty Bastard's lyrical ingenuity. For instance, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s lyrical brilliance can be heard on the Brooklyn Zoo when he states that his “Hip Hop drops on your head like rain/ and when it rains it pours.”  Doesn’t sound too complex, right? Shit, you might even consider it be a rudimentary rhyme if you didn’t know that his voice stutters and drops in tone on the word ‘rain’ in order to mimic the fading of sound rain makes as it moves away from a listening body. Please, name one MC before Ol’ Dirty Bastard that ever did something like that? Or better yet, name an MC that came out before Ol’ Dirty Bastard who was known to use the rhetorical device of onomatopoeia to create a rhymes (i.e.: cherry bombing shit,‘boom’/just warming up a little bit, ‘vroom, vroom’)?

Yet, regardless of what you might think of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s skills as a lyricist, I think we can all agree that he will probably go down as one of most loved personalities in Hip Hop. I mean who else do you know would take MTV on trip to the welfare office in a limousine besides Ol Dirty Bastard? Yet, the reason we really loved Ol’ Dirty Bastard wasn’t because he had a propensity to make us laugh, but because throughout his life he lived by a credo of transparency. For instance, remember the time that he interrupted the ‘98 Grammy Awards show by proclaiming to the world that the Wu-Tang Clan was for the children? On the onset that shit was a hilarious moment in TV history. But what many people don’t realize is that for Ol’ Dirty Bastard it didn’t matter if he was speaking his mind on a corner in Brooklyn or at a prestigious venue like the Grammy Awards, if he felt he had something to say he said it. Yeah, he might have been a little off, but we trusted and respected Ol' Dirty Bastard because he always kept it real. I can't imagine how TV producers must’ve felt whenever Ol' Dirty Bastard was on set because with Dirt anything was possible. They knew, like all of us knew, that Dirt walked with an unabashed sense of self which feed his oozing aura of unpredictability. Yet, it wasn’t as if Dirt lacked shame; it was just that his idea of shame was being anything other than his true self. In life our identities are molded by our past experiences. And no matter what happens to us at the present time or in the future, we are execrably the sum of all our experiences. I think Dirt understood this fact and embraced the multitude of experiences he undoubtedly had while growing up in the abject world of black urban America. Yet, unlike many people who grew up in similar conditions as he did, Dirt didn’t just embrace his experiences but also reveled in the beauty of their imperfections. I say revel because I think Dirt understood that when someone comes from the bottom they experience and witness all of the extremes of the human condition. In witnessing the unadulterated reality of the human experience you gain an understanding that the differences that exist between yourself and the next man cowers in comparison to the similarities both of you have. I think Ol' Dirty Bastard lacked the same sense of self consciousness that the majority of us possess because he knew that at the end of the day we all had a little bit of Dirt in our souls. From this understanding, Ol' Dirty Bastard went onto express the unrelenting, horrifyingly stark, yet audaciously beautiful reality of his world. He was the embodiment of the enigmatic spirit of Hip Hop; in his voice you can hear the subterfuge of happiness, anger, and fear that ran, and continues to run, through all those who subsist on the outskirts of Babylon. Dirt was truly A sun unique and will be forever missed. Peace to the god.