Archive for June, 2007

20/20Proof Podcast Episode 6

June 24, 2007

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For the 6th episode of the 20/20Proof Podcast I discuss the hip-hop bloggers fantasy baseball league, upcoming DVD’s, 1408, Common, The Bigs, my arm injury and bowling.

Playlist:

Common-The People
OC & Sadat X-Yes Sir
Abstract Rude-Rebel
Cocoa Brovaz-Still Standin Strong
Cormega & Tragedy-They Forced My Hand
John Forte-Poli Sci
Kurious- Leave Ya’ With This
LONS- A Quarter To Cutthroat
RBX-Mom’s Are Cryin
Souls Of Mischief- Never No More (76 Seville Remix)
Marco Polo feat Sadat X, JuJu, & A.G.- Rollin’

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T.R.O.Y. – Jose “Chico” Lind

June 19, 2007

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Before the Pirates went on the road to hell, they had a lot of really amazing players and personalities. Just like hip-hop, the Pirates were wayyyyy better in the 90’s. Bland cats like Jason Bay, Ian Snell, and Freddy Sanchez can’t match the likes of Andy Van Slyke, Barry Bonds, Bob Walk or Zane Smith. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Some of my best memories as a kid are going to the Bucs games with my mom. We would take the trolley to station square and then ride the ferry across the river to Three Rivers Stadium (RIP) for a night game . While PNC Park is the Angelina Jolie of stadiums, Three Rivers was def the Rosie O’ Donnell. A big bowl of concrete that was suited for Steelers games with an attendance of 55,000, but not so hot for baseball.

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While talking with a contributor over cards last night he discussed recent freestyle raps regarding former Pirates players. I had to bust out with the line “riding naked in the truck like ‘Chico’ Lind.” Before he was caught in Kansas City riding drunk with his pants off and high on coke, Chico was a gold glover on the great Pirates teams of the 90’s. His enthusiasm and reckless play made Chico a joy to watch. A game that I still remember over 15 years later is when Jose Lind had a large lead off of third and made like he was going to steal home, taunting the pitcher. My mom went crazy and started pointing at his wild style.

Shortly after their loss to the Braves in game 7 Jose was traded and the Pirates went on their 14 year losing streak, which will soon extend to 15 years. Unfortunately, that began Chico’s downhill spiral which resulted in a year in prison. Last I hear he turned his life around and was coaching in the minor leagues, but according to Wiki he was replaced in that position.

Fantastic Four 2- Rise Of The RZA

June 13, 2007

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Remember back after 9/11 and RZA’s crazy ass was taking colloidal silver? He was trying to say that it would protect ya neck from anthrax attacks and that the real reason rich folks wouldn’t become sick during the days of the plague was because they ate off of silver. Yes, totally ridiculous off the wall shit like that. Forget the fact that rich individuals didn’t have to eat rat shit for dinner, but hey, I ain’t a Shaolin monk.

Little did we know that the RZA pulled a fast one. He knew all along that colloidal silver would not save you from a package of that Arab white. Colloidal silver allegedly has no real health benefits whatsoever and is dangerous because it can turn your ass a grayish color, making you resemble the Silver Surfer a la Stan Jones. Unfortunately, the look does not work for good ol’ Stan.

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The RZA may have tried to drop some crazy ol mumbo jumbo science back in the day but the fact is he was really preparing himself for the role of a lifetime, which he was unable to land due to his lack of dedication towards making himself look like a piece of jewelry wearing jewelry. So when you go to see Fantastic Four 2 (I won’t be) and see the Silver Surfer gazing at Alba’s ass and bringing cosmic ruckus, think about what could have been.

1 Hot Album Every 8 Year Average

June 6, 2007

I am probably one of the biggest Pharoahe Monch fans on the planet. I listed Organized Konfusion’s Stress: The Extinction Agenda as my favorite album of all time in the recent blogger poll and have long considered Monch to be my favorite MC. I have gone on and on about him to various people who stare at me like I am fucking Chris Burke because according to them Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and their grandma are all better than Monch.

This is why I am so upset with his new album, Desire. Eight years for this? I was in college when Internal Affairs came out. I finished college, went back to college, worked a few years and Pharoahe still didn’t have a new album. Little did I know I would have to wait even longer to get a twelve track record with a cover song on it, which infuriates me to no end. More on that later.

Desire is a huge shift in style for Monch, who on previous albums displayed his ability to do more than rap, but the soul/R&B vibe goes wayyyy overboard for my tastes. The album’s leadoff track, “Free”, displays an excellent balance as Pharoahe rips tight lyrics over a track that still has an edge to it. “Desire” suffers from a weak hook by a singer that tries too hard, while “Push” just wanders around aimlessly dying to find its way. It comes off as something that would serve as a break in a live set, not an album cut.

Next in my mind is the biggest misstep, the “Welcome To The Terrordome” cover. Why? Pharoahe gives us twelve tracks and wastes our time with a cover of a song he can’t possibly outdo. I have heard it Monch and I loved it the first time. Yet again another song that I would love to hear him do live, but not when I have been salivating on myself for the last 8 years as I prayed for Monch to get motivated.

“So Good” makes me think of a R&B Dilla outtake while “What It Is” features trademark Pharoahe lyrics and flow, but comes off like one of the weaker moments off Equinox due to the beat. “Hold On” features Badu. ‘Nuff said. “Bar Trap” has decent production, but is a song that any rapper could write. Pharoahe is not just any rapper.

Now to my favorite moments of the album- “Let’s Go” and “Body Baby.” At first I thought “Body Baby” was trying a bit too hard to be like Gnarls Barkley, but it has grown on me with its energy. “Let’s Go” is easily the strongest track on the album by far. It is fairly obvious that Black Milk should have produced this whole album. If Monch was looking for something that was a bit more musical and less raw, Black Milk could have come to the rescue. “Let’s Go” has scratches, a hook that doesn’t make you wince, and great flow from Pharoahe. Oh, what could have been.

What else is missing from Desire? Prince Po. Come on, Monch. It looks like you are finally going to get some shine and possibly get that Gnarls Barkley attention and you can’t let Prince shine on one track? Rather than have a fake ass K-Ci on “Desire” moaning and groaning, the track would have been better off even havin Po simply rap the hook. “When The Gun Draws” could have been greatly improved if it had the OK flavor.

When I interviewed Prince Po for the last issue of my magazine he stated that we could look forward to a Monch appearance on his album and perhaps even an Organized reunion. The second time I spoke with him he explained that Monch had great difficulty writing to the beats he had provided him and said he was not used to writing to something hard. Filling your CD deck with nothing but Badu and Jill Scott will do that ish to you.

Despite me expressing my disappointment with this album, I would still recommend it because I can imagine the trash that most people have been listening to this year. My anger most likely comes from the long wait I had to endure for a product that is not up to par with what Pharoahe has shown he is capable of putting out. Unfortunately, a new direction does not always mean a better direction. The production and structure of the material are the weakest parts of this album and will prevent a majority of Organized Konfusion and Pharoahe fans from getting into it. Unless of course they boned a chick like Badu and are into that kinda shit. Ooohhh baby I like it raw.

Blue Comet

June 3, 2007

If you have not seen the next to last episode of the Sopranos, you may not want to read any further as there are various spoilers.

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The end is near. The finale is one week away and it will only be one hour long. Can’t we get a 2 hour epic in this mofo? How will everything be finished in one hour? Will there simply be killing after killing? Will Phil Leotardo go up in a ball of flames? Will Tony and Paulie whack Phil and get caught? Will AJ whine and cry? Hopefully it meets the excellent standard that has been set by the last few episodes, all of which have been extremely satisfying.

It seems that I had it wrong about Meadow biting the dust. The case of mistaken identity was wayyyyy off course. Really thought that they would hit Tony where it hurt. However, it was the hit on Phil that went wrong, not the hit on Tony. Shoulda known something that seemed rather obvious had no way of happening. Unfortunately, Bobby Bacala bit the dust which I expected to an extent due to the crying Janice in the preview from two weeks back.

* Sil getting shot and put into a coma really sucked. He is so damn loyal and hardworking you wanted him to make it through this war. Doesn’t look like it was meant to be. Sil was a killing machine who didn’t blink when it came to danger but unfortunately wasn’t smart enough to keep his weapon on his person and not in the glovebox.

* Bobby Bacala’s character went through a drastic change this season as he was no longer the sweet and lovable Bobby who drove Junior around, broke down in tears when his dad was ordered to do a hit for Tony, and shrugged his shoulders when Janice got dissed. After his first killing this season he truly morphed into a new character. Giving Tony an ass whipping and whackin someone turned him into an assertive, aggressive guy. At least he went out doing what he loved- toy trains.

* Paulie is like the Iron Man. Fucking indestructible. Can’t kill him. Shit, Phil can’t even target him. Is there a reason for that? Hmmmmm.

* Dr. Melfi took seven years to figure out that therapy wasn’t helping Tony. Perhaps she should retire.

* Tony throwing AJ on the floor after he started bawling like a bitch over Bobby’s killing was classic material.

* I am really going to miss this show. After The Wire ends I can’t really think of any reason to watch TV anymore.

* Tony gripping his assault rifle and remembering the moment with Bobby on the boat was killer. As was the end credit music.