Category Archives: Editorial

Five things I’d Rather Do than Talk on the Phone

It’s happened to us all. You’re driving down the highway after a long day of work, tired and ready to make a bad decision. Not the illegal kind of decisions, but the “this is my fourth fast food meal of the week and it’s only Tuesday” kind. You flip on the radio and that song you like to croak out in an attempt to sing is on the radio. You get about ten seconds into the song and then….

It happens.

Your phone is ringing and it’s someone you know. I’d be more likely to answer a number I didn’t recognize because I’m delusional and expect a random phone call letting me know of my impending lottery earnings. If it’s someone you know, a million questions run through your head in a 6 second span.

What do they want? How long are they going to want to talk? Is this person a talker?

You have a quick decision to make. And if you’re me, most of the time you’ll let it go to voicemail and see if they leave a message or text. If they do neither, it couldn’t have been important.

I’m not sure when we all decided text messaging was more useful, but lets face it, no one really wants to hold the phone up to their face for an hour. Especially if you own one of the trapper keeper sized IPhone 6pluses. 74% of all mobile phone users worldwide use text messaging so I can’t be alone in this thinking right?

To justify my shortcomings, here are ten things I’ve decided to do rather than talk on the phone at least once in my life:

  1. Continue watching whatever the hell was on TV

I watch a fair amount of television with an unruly amount of Cool Ranch Doritos and Salsa in front of me. Sometimes, I just want to spend a Saturday morning watching a terrible movie like Man of the House with the now with one less fan Tommy Lee Jones. If I’m going to answer the phone, you’d better hope I was suffering through an episode of The Challenge (Still won’t answer) or Justified (Won’t answer either).

  1. Absolutely Nothing

There is a certain satisfaction in doing absolutely nothing on a work-free day. The annoyances of your day job are forgotten while you sit around and contemplate a trip to Wal-Mart or heating up another Hot Pocket. There is something to be said when you avoid a phone call to do nothing for just fifteen more minutes. Think about how much sense that doesn’t make.

  1. Listen to Music

Covered in the introduction, but if I’ve decided to dance around my apartment to James Brown’s “The Payback” in my bathrobe then leave me be! It makes no sense to end my personal dance show to listen to a story about the deal Ted got on his new truck.

  1. Eat

If I’m in the middle of nice plate of barbecue and corn, please don’t expect me to answer. Eating in the privacy of my home is my time to celebrate the company of myself. Keyword: privacy. Which also means I won’t be accepting phone calls.

  1. Play Games/Facebook Scroll

Here you are, typing that incredibly witty reply to a comment on your Throwback Thursday picture and your dentist calling to remind you to make an appointment interrupts your creative genius. If you haven’t pressed ignore during the middle of an important Facebook scroll, I just don’t really know if I can trust you. We all know how that newsfeed refreshes.

The day and age we all live in has made society more reliant on their phones. Does this make me unreliable during a distant emergency? Probably. Does this make me or anyone else a bad person? Of course not. But for future reference; the next time that my house is on fire, just shoot me a text. It’ll probably reach me faster.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

7 of my favorite moments from 90’s sitcoms

I came to terms with the fact that I enjoy television more than the normal person about two years ago to this day. I had just finished a power run through four seasons of “Heroes.” Anyone who has ever watched this show beyond the first season will tell you that to complete four seasons has to be equal to some form of torture. But I somehow powered through this frustrating series because I was attracted to the central story arch. The first season allowed me to become invested in Hiro & Peter and concerned for their general safety. Hour-long dramas tend to do that to their audiences in ways that movies sometimes can’t do with 90-120 minutes of screen time.

But before I started watching shows of the hour variety, situational comedies always caught my interest. The mid-90’s Fox lineup along with TGIF were some of the most entertaining blocks of television I can remember. Go and mention details from a specific episode of Family Matters” within a group of people and watch how the conversations goes from memory after memory of the show.

While on one of my “visionary streams of consciousness,” my thoughts traveled from sitcom to sitcom before I decided that, hey…maybe I should blog about it! So without further ado, here are seven of my favorite moments from 90’s sitcoms, all chosen by if I’m still laughing at them at the close of 2013:

7) Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air – Ashley asks Will about Sex

Best Lines:

Ashley: Besides, we’ve already discussed all the technical stuff. I mean, I know all about eggs, fallopian tube-
Will(standing up): Am I gonna have to wash your mouth out with soap young lady!?

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” makes my short list of favorite tv shows I’ve ever watched and this was one of the funniest scenes for me. Young Ashley and her new boyfriend debate taking their relationship to another level but the thought scares the both of them. Ashley decides to confide in her hip, older cousin Will. Not only is the scene hilarious but also ironic because Will tries to talk Ashley out of sex, the younger cousin reminds him that he the kind of girls he likes do the exact opposite of what he’s telling her. It was one of the earliest moments of watching a kid from Philadelphia grow into a mature man.

Watch for: Will’s terrible early-mid nineties fashion sense and his attempts at inserting himself into Ashley’s date.

6) My Brother & Me – Alfie & Goo confront Big Lou

Best Lines:

Alfie: Which one of you is Lou?
Big Lou: Who wants to know?

How did this show only last thirteen episodes?!? Anyone who watches this show feels like it was at least three seasons probably because of how long it ran in syndication. This was my favorite episode, “The Big Bully.” Dee-Dee is getting beat up by a bully at school and comes to Alfie & Goo for help. After a failed attempt at teaching him to fight, Alfie & Goo decides to confront Big Lou themselves….only to find Big Lou is a she. Almost 20 years after this episode premiered, I still quote it around my brothers and Lou is a nickname we use for my sister.

Watch For: The conversation between Dee-Dee and his friends about comic books. The child acting is hilarious.

5) Kenan & Kel(Two Heads are better than None) – Kel needs Water

Best Lines:

Roger: I promise you, everything is going to be fine. I wouldn’t let you go if there was any danger.
Kel: That’s easy for you to say, Mr. I Want to Stay with the Car!
Roger: Will you be quiet?!

I’m starting this off with another question, who is surprised Kenan made it big and Kel didn’t? As a kid, I always found Kel hilarious but as an adult, Kenan was obviously more funny. But in the television movie, “Kenan & Kel: Two Heads are Better than None,” Kel steals the show. The family car breaks down in the desert and our heroes decide to go search for help. Moments later, Kel seems to be struggling with the heat and on the verge of death. Just when you think you’ve lost Kel, Kenan turns around as the camera pans to his parents standing maybe 50 feet away and asks for some water.

Watch For: After only packing an umbrella and some underwear for the trip, watch who boasts after it begins raining.

4)  Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Nicky’s new Boxing Coach

Best Lines:
Will: Momma said knock you out!

Will picks up Phil & Vivian’s youngest son Nicky from his boxing lessons with his coach, Helena. Will teases Helena about her sex, insinuating that women shouldn’t be boxing. The part most people remember from this episode is either Will getting knocked out or getting his comeuppance at the end. But my favorite part is the initial fight challenge. If you’ve ever been hit in the stomach, Will’s reaction to Helena’s punch is hilarious. It’s exactly how anyone would react.

Watch For: Will’s reaction after Helena punches him in the gut.

3) The Jamie Foxx Show – Westside Connection makes an appearance

Best Line:

Ice Cube: You need to check out the party later, it’s gonna be off the hook.
Fancy:
I’d love to!
Jamie: Uhhh Uhhh…Fancy what the hell?

As much as I enjoyed the “Jamie Foxx Show,” the most memorable moment of the show  for me was when Westside Connection made an appearance. For those who don’t know, Westside Connection is a popular gangsta rap group composed of Ice Cube, Mack-10 & WC. Jamie Foxx was at his finest in this episode as he managed to mix excitement, jealousy and confusion into one emotion. Anybody would be excited to see your favorite celebs, but after switching up his accent and claiming he should sagged his pants for the occasion, Jamie telling Fancy to “act like she’s seen someone before” is classic.

Watch For: Everybody but Ice Cube and Mack-10 lose their minds when WC rises to pay the hotel bill. “Don’t set it off, Don’t..set..it..off!”

2) Boy Meets World – And Then There was Shawn

Best Line: 

Shawn: Our soon-to-be first victom….
(Main cast looks at Kenny)
Kenny: Me? Why me?
Corey: Well Kenny it’s certainly not going to be any of us!

Most shows do some sort of holiday-themed episodes but there was none that stuck with me more than the Halloween special of “Boy Meets World.” The episode was built like the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and even featured an appearance by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Eric was up to his usual tricks as the gang tried to figure out who was killing everyone off. If I had to explain what I liked about the show, this episode would sum it up in one swoop. NOTE: I had to use myspace video as Youtube doesn’t have the episode thanks to Disney.

Watch For: Will Friedle’s character Eric’s facial expressions throughout the entire episodes

https://myspace.com/damien_roads/video/boy-meets-world-and-then-there-was-shawn/62600420

1) Martin – TITO!!

There were so many classic moments but I picked the “Hollywood Swinging” episode as my favorite. Martin goes to Hollywood to appear on a talk show and threatens to fight at least two Michael Jackson look-a-likes. Terrible look-a-likes. “Michael” finally catches up to Martin and sucker punches him, starting a fight. I remember this episode vividly because I laughed so hard kool-aid came out of my nose. Being a fan of Michael Jackson, if you can’t laugh when Michael screams “Tito!” or when Martin claims he bought La Toya’s album then you don’t have a soul.

Watch for: The awful Michael Jackson voice that sounds more like a bad Eddie Winslow impression.

Honorable Mention:
Wayans Bros – Six Degrees of Marlon episode
Martin – Varnell Hill
Kenan & Kel – Ron Harper episode
Fresh Prince – Oprah episode
Family Matters – Carl & Urkel vs The Dragons
Home Improvement – Tim demonstrates the use of a saw

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just how good is “12 Years A Slave?” – Movie Review(with NO spoilers)

122

Slavery is a rough, evil & dark piece of world history.  Like others before him, Director Steve McQueen (Shame) tries his hand at bringing the monstrosity that was slavery in the United States to the big screen. 12 Years a Slave is not only a look of the domestic slave trade in the United States, but also a view of the great cotton boom that flooded the deep south and deepened the pockets of many a slave trader.

Although 12 Years a Slave will be compared to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained(2012), they are very different films. Django was escapism at its finest. A film focused on slavery  that managed to lean more on the cartoonish side and still remained entertaining.  12 Years is the realistic account of Solomon Northup, a free and educated black man living in New York, who gets kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. The story of Northup’s kidnapping is not totally common but is something that was documented to have actually happened to free black men.

12y

Solomon is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor best known for his work in films such as American Gangster, 2012 & Children of Men. This may be the film that propels his career to new heights. Ejiofor was amazing as Solomon, able to convey a wide range of emotion without using long-form speech. It was his large eyes and body language that told the story of what Solomon was feeling, as most of the time his mouth would earn him lashes. The thought of revealing his true identity and then being resold into further obscurity was too much for Solomon to bear. As stated more than once in the movie, a literate slave was a dangerous one. Amongst a cast full of more notable names, Ejiofor was able to stand out on his own.

Michael Fassbender, a frequent collaborator of Steve McQueen’s, gives his finest performance of his career as the cruel slavemaster Edwynn Epps. As horrible of a person Epps appears on screen, appparently this was only the tip of the iceberg as he was reportedly a much worse person in reality. The character of Edwynn Epps is McQueen’s example of a deeply flawed man somehow in charge of other human beings. It doesn’t help that his character is constantly berated by his wife, played by Sarah Paulson of American Horror Story fame. In my opinion, Paulson was the most cruel character in the movie;  she spends each minute of her on-screen time showing no positive human emotion. As a fan of Paulson’s work, it was refreshing to see her play someone totally different from her usual roles.

There are many other actors and actresses who make an appearance, including Brad Pitt, who is also one of the producers of the film.  Lipita Nyong’o may invoke some Academy Award murmuring after her astounding performance as the slave “Patsey,” the object of Epps’ desire and anger.

One of my favorite things about this movie was the imagery. There were several long and steady camera shots that really let emotion sink in with viewers. If there was a painful reaction shot of Solomon, you felt the emotional pain also.

Warning to those with simple stomachs, the movie doesn’t hold back. The reality of slavery was harsh and 12 Years doesn’t hold back on the violence or language. It also takes a look at slavery not only from the slave point-of-view but also the view from the plantation owners.

I believe in confronting problems head on, versus ignoring issues. As harsh and real as slavery was, it’s a part of history and I applaud filmmakers who attempt to tell the story without holding back.  There will be cringe-worthy moments and points where you wonder if you will remain haunted by the brutal images on screen. I urge you not to turn away or skip out on this film. If you do, you’ll miss an almost masterpiece from Steve McQueen and one of the most powerful films released this this decade.

Final Grade: A-

123

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fact: I need an ego check from time-to-time

Let’s be real, it’s not that tough being a guy.

If I want to go to the mall, I don’t stop and put on my makeup. I pick up my gym shorts, throw on some Sperry’s and glide right out my front door. Bad hair days(at least what women experience) are non-existent. I’ve never once thought about pregnancy but believe me, I’m counting my blessings every 17 minutes that I don’t have to go through with it. The only time of the month I’m thinking about is which weekend I’m going to spend $15+ at Popeye’s Chicken.

The long-debated double standard does exist. Amongst other men, a guy who can bed different women on a frequent basis is looked at as the man. Vice-versa, a woman who does the same gets the Scarlet Letter treatment. A man can go single for years and he’s “just looking for the right one.” A woman who can’t keep/attract a man probably has a terminal disease.
The one area where we men seem to have more problems with? Our egos.

2010-10-08-double-standard

If a guy tells you he doesn’t have an ego, he’s a liar. We all do. The biggest test most men face is whenever our manhood is challenged.  I once saw a confrontation in high school where a guy was threatened by a much bigger guy. Knowing he was outmatched, but not wanting to look weak, he attempted some verbal abuse. Paul Bunyan Jr wasn’t having it. He shoved the smaller guy to the ground….where he immediately began screaming in the highest pitch possible. It was like watching Problem Child 2 all over again. The crazy thing is, you see examples everywhere.

Ever met the guy who won’t shut up about his accomplishments in meaningless contests? I know guys who have attended parties and spent an hour arguing their proficiency in playing video games with his hand behind his back. As if that’s tough to do. One of my best friends recently showed me a bruise that looked as if he lost a fight with a hedgehog. How’d he get it? By playing intramural softball on the bruise for three weeks and refusing to treat it. I lost a piece of my pinkie toe trying to show a Michael Jackson dance move to a roommate and refused to sit out an intramural football contest three hours later. If you haven’t gotten the point yet, we can be idiots.

I experienced an ego-check about a month ago when I was challenged to a duel to the death. It was only a basketball game but when you get approached by two 17-year-old kids threatening to destroy you, you’re going to take offense.  I gave my buddy Joe the nod and let him know that I was about to put on my Michael Jordan cape. Here’s the thing though, I don’t have a Michael Jordan cape. In my own mind, I’m all-world on the basketball court and could have been the next Moochie Norris had someone worked on fundamentals when I was a young pup. In reality, I’m a rangy, athletic guy with a mean jump shot who can’t seem to drive the basketball. And while these kids, were no Lebron James & Mo Williams….one of the kids was really good. And a tad to quick for me to care to chase around all day.

After winning the first contest and losing the second, a turning point came in the third game when I realized something: I was counting my stats. Not just making mental notes. Actually counting and playing towards certain stats. The worst level of douchery you could ever hope to achieve as a basketball player.

I had risen the level of such legendary basketball players such as Javale McGee & Andray Blatche.
And of course because I was acting like a loser, Joe and I ended up losing the game and I learned a couple of hard lessons that day.

1.) I learned I’m not a professional basketball player, nor am I getting paid like one.

2.) I can be a selfish asshole sometimes.

As much as guys hate losing, we all need these ego checks. Getting snapped back into reality is how we stay grounded as men. The best move is to accept praise, but never think too deeply about it. Now if we could just figure out women and responsibility….

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Make no mistake about it, Wheelchair Jimmy can rap: The 11 Best Lines from “5 a.m. in Toronto”

 

Man, has Wheelchair Jimmy made a name for himself or what?

Ever since he hit the scene, Aubrey “Drake” Graham has been on a quest for greatness. By his carefully planned tours(notice who he invites on tours and what they have in common,) his methodical approach to his albums and the strategic releases of his singles, it’s easy to see Drake is aiming for more than just critical acclaim – He wants to be great.

Although I may question his behavior and his sometimes monotonous voice, I can’t deny his ability the rap. He’s one of the most lyrical mainstream rappers out, so when he drops a single, most will listen. “Started from the Bottom” is okay and a pretty decent single but it doesn’t do too much for me.

“5 a.m. in Toronto” though? Flames.

Over a nasty Boi-1da instrumental, Drake takes a bushido blade and slices and dices his way through the murky piano loops, taking subtle but vicious jabs at his foes. Rumored lines towards Common(!), Chris Brown(!!) and the Weeknd(!!!) may have the internet buzzing, but what caught my attention is the amount of quotables present in this track. Drake was coming for the crown when he stepped in the booth and recorded this one.

With that said, here are the 11 Best lines from “5 a.m. in Toronto.”

11. “A couple albums dropped those are still on the shelf/I bet them shits would have popped if I was willing to help/ I got a gold trophy from the committee for validation…”

Meaning: Drake’s throwing shots at The Weeknd, allegedly for falling back on signing with Drake’s label. The Weeknd’s “Trilogy” could have done better with some real Drake features, just ask the Grammy committee.

Although it’s another example of the hyper-sensitive nature of rappers, it’s still a vicious statement from Drake. Why? Because if you think about it, he’s right.

10. “Without me, rap is just a bunch of orphans”

Meaning: Drake’s style has birthed a lot of rappers in the game *cough*Kirko Bangz*cough*

I tend to agree with this line as it seems to me that Drake has become a very influential rapper in the game at the moment. There are some rappers who take elements of his gameplan and make it work for them, while there are others…who are clones. Once again, *cou— No I’ll just say it, KIRKO BANGZ.

9. “B*tches loving my drive, I never give it a break”

Meaning: Girls love his ambition and how he never takes a break….Can also mean his sex drive….can also be driving as in a car and braking a car.

Amongst all of the other great lines, you might have missed this gem of a triple entendre. I swear, in between the corny sweaters, poses and public incidents, I forget Drake can rap sometimes.

 

8. “Cuz I show love, never get the same out of n*ggas, guess it’s funny how money can make change out of n*ggas”

Meaning: Once people get a little money and fame, they change. A play on the word, “change.”

Is this the realest statement Drake’s ever wrote? Although I’m quite sure there are some people who will tell you the same thing about young Aubrey.

7. “Wildin, doing sh*t that’s way out of your budget, Owl sweaters inside her luggage you gotta love it”

Meaning: Drake’s treating your girl to things you could never do for her.

I like Drake as a rapper, but he’s a known hater. “Marvin’s Room” was the thirstiest song of all time and he hasn’t changed since. If your girl is so tacky that she’s leaving Drake’s Ovo sweaters in her luggage, you need to drop her immediately. The fact that she’s slipping out on you with a guy who wears Owl sweaters should be the only excuse you need.

6. “I could load every gun with bullets that fire backwards, probably wouldn’t lose a single rapper”

Meaning: No real rappers are taking shots at Drake so he’s not worried.

Drake trying to get philosophical on the fans. Once he figures out how to make bullets that fire backwards, I’m sure the U.S. government will be knocking down his door.

5. “Give these n*ggas the look, the verse and even the hook, that’s why every song sound like Drake featuring Drake”

Meaning: If you listen to most of what’s out now, Drake has had such a hand in the music industry that everything sounds like his song.

He’s got a point, he’s everywhere. Outside of 2Chainz, Drake is everywhere. Which is why I found Drake’s position at #5 on MTV’s Hottest Emcee’s List absurd.

4. “Sinatra lifestyle/ I’m just being frank with you/ I mean, where you think she at when she ain’t with you?

Meaning: Shots at Chris Brown. Frank as in Frank Ocean, another person who dislikes Chris Brown.

Drake’s hurling shots at Chris Brown like fireballs. Another hater line but if there is anyone that deserves everything coming his direction, it’s Chris Shakur himself.

3. “The part I love most is they need me more than they hate me, so they never take shots I got everybody on safety”

Meaning: As much as people hate to admit it, Drake dominates the charts. So no one ever takes real shots at him.
Like him or hate him, check the billboards, he’s EVERYWHERE. “No Lie,” “Pop That,” “Amen,” “Poetic Justice,” “F*ckin Problems”….do I need to go on?

2. “All them boys in my will, All them boys is my Wills, anything happen to pop then I got you like Uncle Phil”

Meaning: Playing on “Will.” If anything happens to Drake, his closest friends will be in his will, he’ll take care of them like Uncle Phil did Will on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Sure, I’m giving this line more props because I love Fresh Prince. But who doesn’t love Fresh Prince? Plus, the line was actually clever.

1. “You underestimated greatly, most number ones ever how long did it really take me?”

Meaning: People doubted Drake but in 2 years, he’s already achieved the most number one rap songs ever, ahead of Diddy & Jay-Z.

Very impressive. Drake is a sure thing for hit, more so than any artist in recent memory. And more so than his lesser talented boss Lil’ Wayne. The opening line of the track is it’s best line, starting off the song reminding people who really runs the rap game, despite what some people say.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Hate Sensitive Rappers

 

I hate sensitive rappers. As a fan of rap music ever since I can remember, I can say with full confidence that I like my rappers tough. You don’t need to be the toughest Joe Schmo on the block, you just need to seem like every statement you spit on the microphone could be true. I don’t find people like J. Cole sensitive because he doesn’t rap over hard-hitting Mike Will/Lex Luger/Young Chop beats. Yet I find Kanye West sensitive for crying over MTV’s Hottest Emcee’s list and bringing up how he gave Sway a TV back in the day. :facepalm:

Sad thing is, it took me 10 years to realize that this is what I like most about rappers. I had always thought it was just mainstream radio that bothered me but it turns out I’d just rather not hear Drake talking about “busting a gun out” or “catching a body.”

Which brings me to the topic at hand today..your favorite rapper is sensitive. Super sensitive. A few weeks ago, Lil’ Wayne, upset that while sitting court side at Miami Heat games the players don’t acknowledge him, decided to go postal and dismiss Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He saved his harshest words for Bosh, claiming he slept with Chris’ wife…before they were married.

Now Lil Wayne being sensitive is no surprise. Who cares if you slept with her, you’re a superstar. For someone who claims to be a G, that was definitely not a gangster move.

The bad thing about liking my rappers tough, is that they realize that most people do. And because of this, they feel a need to over-exaggerate their personality. Remember Bow Wow’s “I might be from Atlanta, I might be from Ohio” stage? Chris Brown working hard each and every day to make me like him even less?  Rappers want attention and fame so they act tough, simple as that.

Once you realize this, you’ll be much better off as a rap fan 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

2013…What I’ve liked and disliked (so far)

Personally, 2013 has been a wonderful year for me. New relationships, good times, decent money, new ideas….I can’t complain. So far this year, we’ve seen the Golden Globes, new hip-hop albums from A$ap Rocky and Joe Budden, the National Championship and the Super Bowl.

The news hasn’t disappointed either with interesting and sometimes sad stories filling our television screens.Here’s what I’ve liked so far:

 


 

Artists I support racking up Grammys:
Watching the 2013 Grammy Awards was like one triumphant fist bump after another for me. After an entire year of singing the praises of Frank Ocean, Miguel & The Black Keys, all three collected awards at this year’s show.

 

The actual Super Bowl game:
Although I could care less about either team, I was surprised to see a competitive and hard-fought game. I found myself leaning towards the Ravens but being non-committed to either team, my emotions wavered the entire game. Did Joe Flacco take that invisible next step this game?

 

Beyonce Halftime Performance:
Not the biggest fan of her music as it seems to not be catered towards my demo….but….she killed it. I even enjoyed the Destiny’s Child mini-reunion. If you hate Beyonce at this point, accept your invitation to next year’s Playa Hater’s Ball.

 

ASAP Rocky’s First Week sales:
Normally having your album leak a month before it’s due would be a death curse….not for one of Harlem’s own. Rocky sold around 140k his first week. I even bought the deluxe best buy copy as I’m a sucker for t-shirts.

 

Season Four of Justified:


One of the best shows on television continued it’s fourth season this year. If early action of the first half of the season continue, this could be the best season of the series yet. The acting is as good as you’ll see on television.

 

Watching Sloane Stephens defeat Serena Williams in the Australian Open:
As much as I support Serena, it was good to see her eventual successor as best American female tennis player get her first big victory over such a polarizing figure. More wins will come Sloane.

 

The Silver Linings Playbook; A Haunted House:
I was pleasantly surprised by the The Silver Linings Playbook; great cast, interesting story and even slight and not overbearing humor. I’ll listen more often to movies a special person recommends to me from now on. Meanwhile A Haunted House was exactly what I expected it to be: not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination but gets the job done by making me laugh. That’s all I ask from the Wayans Brothers.

 

Mixtapes keep getting better:
We are all spoiled by the hip-hop mixtape game. Rappers are putting out album quality tapes and because of the quantity of music released in this day and age, most of the music only has replay value for a week or less. Gucci Mane kept pushing with Trap God 2, Pusha T might have reignited his buzz with Wrath of Caine and Kevin Gates threw his name into the Newcomer of the Year hat with the Luca Brasi story.

 

Mike Will Made It Breakfast Club Interview:

 

This interview not only let me get a look into the mind of one of the hottest producers out at the moment, but also showed me that Mike just sees music in a different light than anyone else doing it in hip-hop.

 

JT is back:
When Justin Timberlake announced he was returning to music, I had no idea he meant so soon. He dropped “Suit & Tie” to rave reviews before releasing “Mirrors.” With artists like Frank Ocean, Miguel & The Weeknd, maybe this will be what R&B needs to return to relevance. At best, maybe it will help Trey Songz put more thought and emotion into his music.

 

 

Chris Brown:
Just when you think it’s safe to like Chris Brown, he does something to make you remember why you don’t care for him in the first place. Until further notice, Chris Brown will be referred to as “Chris Shakur” since he seems to think he’s thugging. This year so far has seen Chris Brown get into a fight with Frank Ocean over a parking spot(allegedly) and injure his hand. We don’t know who started the fight but I think I’d rather spew my venom to the woman-beating, gay-slur screaming psycho Chris Shakur.

 

Lupe Fiasco kicked off stage at an Inauguration Party for anti-Obama remarks:
Now even though the real loser in this situation is whoever invited Lupe, Lupe is going to take the blame here. Whether you like President Obama or not, the event was in support of the President. Instead, this idiot comes on stage and starts to preach his alien nonsense before being thrown off stage. Are you really going to trust a man who dressed as Whoopi Goldberg for the Grammy’s?

 

Beef in Hip-Hop:
What a sad day we live in when 2013 beef consists of Meek Mill vs. Cassidy & Drake vs. Chris Brown. Does anyone care about Meek & Cassidy? Instead of focusing so much of his attention on Cassidy, Meek Mill should focus on making a better second album after setting a new standard for mediocrity with Dreams and Nightmares. 

And I can’t be the only one who feels as if Drake vs. Chris Brown is equivalent to Letoya Luckett vs. Kelly Rowland? These are two guys arguing over the affection of Rihanna. RIHANNA. Not a good look for either of them.

 

Steve Francis sneaking into All-Star Weekend looking fresh off a 30-year bid:

 

Let’s see….we’ve got up-and-coming rapper French Montana. NBA Legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving. And what looks like Dr J’s cracked-out older brother…oh wait…that’s just Steve Francis.

I have no desire to see any of my favorite players after a certain age. After watching Mitch Richmond in the celebrity all star game last year,  I was scared for life. Steve Francis is only 35 years old.  And he already resembles a junkie. The years have not been good to Stevie Franchise.

 

Manti Teo: A Catfish Story
Whether Teo was really Catfish’d or not, one thing is clear: the guy has the IQ of a potato. How do you get duped for three years? The worst part of all this? I was all in on Teo winning the Heisman and a big reason for this was what he had to overcome during the season.

 

The Lakers sink to new lows:


Here’s your starting five: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. How can you be so bad? Old, yes. Slow, definitely. Injury-ridden, of course. But a team with three MVPs and too many all-star appearances to count shouldn’t be this terrible.

 

People complaining and arguing Kaleidoscope Dream over Channel Orange:
Do I prefer MIguel’s album to Frank’s? I do. But do I feel it was a big urban misjustice to see Frank nomimated? Not at all. Both great albums with their  individual flaws, but Frank winning more isn’t a slight to Miguel. It’s a sign of more good things to come from music.

 

Lil’ Wayne finding new lows for lyricism:
“Beat that p**** up like Emmett Till”
This is an actual line from the remix of Future’s “Karate Chop,” an otherwise great, high-energy song featuring Lil’ Wayne. This is the problem with music: too many yes men. I’m sure during the process of recording, someone  heard this lyric and hated it. Yet no one said anything because he’s Lil’ Wayne. Even Stevie Wonder had a problem with this.

 

The existence of Azealia Banks:


She makes headlines for her controversies more so than her music. You forget the chick can actually spit because she just doesn’t know when to shut up. I can’t support artists like this. If you’re going to constantly let trolls such as Perez Hilton continue to bait you, you’re never going to get anywhere.

 

Lost rappers remain lost:
Who told Master P it was a good idea to keep rapping? Oh yeah, someone with an ice cream cone on their face. Master P,trying to rekindle magic from the mid-90’s recruits Alley Boy & Fat Trel for a mixtape titled, “Louie V Mob” and no one checked for it. Kris Kross is apparently considering a comeback. For the last time, would someone let lost rappers know the truth! I’m more surprised Kris Kross are even still in contact with each other, much less considering a comeback.

 

Stay tuned for my next blog post concerning the next artists to blow….

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The 70 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of 2012 (34-1)

The first edition of this list was met with praise and also some scrutiny. Here’s the second and final installment.

34. Game – “Heaven’s Arms

game2_full

Game had a big 2012 as he managed to put together an album full of features that actually sounded pretty good. My personal favorite was this track which featured Game putting on a lyrical clinic over a smooth Michael Jackson sample.

Best Line: “He be where the summer be, I be where the winter go”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The 70 Best Hip-Hop Tracks of 2012….According to me (70-35)

A common phrase on the internet is “Nas Lost.”  The phrase is usually seen in the comments section of any article about Nas that indicates bad luck for him, and sometimes the news doesn’t even involve him.

Well I think Nas won.

In 2006, Nas’ album Hip-Hop is Dead was released to critical acclaim as well as criticism. The title was thought to be a shot at Southern Hip-Hop and many rappers such as Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne & Young Jeezy spoke out against Nas. Six years later, I think we can say Nas won as I could argue that that album was a landmark in hip-hop music. I’m crediting the release of that album as the moment that hip-hop music began an uphill climb from the fiery pit of snap-rap.

At this point, we should be proud of this past year’s crop of hip-hop songs. The year started off with a excitement and ended with new hope for a better 2013. I’d like to present the 70 best hip-hop songs of the past year according to me.

I ranked these songs according to how much I enjoyed the songs, not lyricism or the quality of the artist. If I thoroughly enjoy a song so much that I expect to be listening to it two years from now, it made this list.

Here we go.

70. Kirko Bangz – “Walk on Green

Labeled a Drake clone by some, this feel-good single for the summer shows Kirko just might be closer to killing all of those comparisons to his Canadian contemporary.

Best line: “Throw about twenty grand in the air / Told her walk up on that green”

69. Action Bronson – “Hookers at the Point

There might not be a better rapper in the game at the moment who could craft together the world of a hooker so effortlessly. A take on the HBO documentary of the same name, the second verse features Bronson doing his best Ghostface Killah impersonation as he raps as the vicious pimp Silk aka Montel.

Best Line: “The name Silk but all my bitches call me Montel / spit the marvel with the soft top not the hard shell.”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Do Guys really take 10 minutes to get ready?

Girls take more time to get ready than guys.

Well, most guys at least. Conventional wisdom says girls have to shower. They have to do six different activities all compiled into the blanket statement of “do makeup.” They have their hair to do. They have to spend an extra 45 minutes picking out an outfit. And then another 15 minutes changing their mind and going for the more conservative dress. Meanwhile, guys? Well we just shower, toss on a Polo and call it a night.

Wrong.

At least that isn’t true for about the 40% of men who actually care about looking like a respectable citizen. If you’re between the ages of 22-35 and you’re single, chances are you’ve probably attempted to dress decent on a night out. If you haven’t and don’t care that you haven’t, just go ahead and start picking out cats to prepare for the rest of your life as the single, creepy and possible pedophile neighbor. If you can’t respect yourself and the way you look, what makes you think anyone else will?

So ladies, what d0 we guys do to get ready for a night on the prowl? I’m here to explain. It’s a long process that begins days in advance and doesn’t just take ten minutes. And it starts with the haircut.

A. The Haircut

Most guys plan the haircut at most, two days before. The process is tedious, but must be done. We do two days so we don’t come out looking as if we tried too hard.

B. Picking the outfit

Guys divide their wardrobes into two categories before we go out: “Clothes I’d wear out” and “Clothes I’d wear to check the mail.” I’ve probably got 17 shirts in my closet that I’d wear when I needed to throw on something to go nowhere.  Would I ever wear any of those shirts to the latest nightspot? Not a chance.

Now the shirts we would wear, we’re thinking about the message it sends(Unless it’s a new shirt, in which case we’re wearing regardless). And we also have to iron the shirt. This day and age you can’t just grab the wrinkled Polo in the back without looking like an amateur.

C. The Right Shoes

26_higham_97_6

Take a look at the dirty Nike’s all of your male friends have sitting in the corner. We love those shoes. They get us through workouts, perfect to grocery shop in and they keep your feet comfortable at the company picnic. But when it’s time to go out, lets leave those in the corner. Hopefully most guys have a decent pair of loafers or nice sneakers. This part of the process doesn’t take as long, but is very important to the night.

D. Shave!!

Black Man shaving!

We have to shave! It’s necessary. Even men like myself with Tommy Pickles syndrome aka The Baby Face have some kind of noticeable hair that we need to shave. The Wolfman gets no love so why even attempt to look like him? This usually comes after the shower but some guys love to skip shaving. And then they get angry when that unsightly neck hair starts itching three hours later.

E. Cologne

man spraying aftershave

Among the basics is selecting the right cologne. Most men I know have at least two bottles of cologne: One for regular nights and One for special nights. You have to smell good anytime you step out the house. You can be dressed like the flyest guy on planet earth but if your breath smells like horse hiccups, no one is going to want to be around you. The conscious man knows this and takes care of his mouth and his body odor. Be aware because other people are.

Now whether this takes you 30 minutes or two hours, guys have to make sure these things are done. Women may have more to get done but don’t underestimate the process that a guy goes through and how much time it might take him. Hopefully this opens women into our world just a bit. Or at any rate, inspires that smelly guy at the end of the bar to hop in the shower once a day.

“I mean, look, dude. You think this, all of this, was an accident?  All of this right here? Premeditated, partner. You gotta highlight your attributes, like a diamond in the rough.” — Romany Malco, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Tagged , , , , , , , ,