Wednesday, May 31, 2006

might pull up in an armored truck


Saturday was like jeah. More visual evidence now available. Sparks-fueled Frayser Boy singalongs? Affirmative.

I went out to buy Killa Season today and inexplicably came home with Bad Tape Name #6 and Pick A Bigger Weapon. The latter, I just felt bad about giving my money to Cam (no small feat!) with Boots grillin me from the new release rack like that. As for the former, I think Rick Ross might actually do something worthwhile with this rapping stuff. I changed my mind about the "Hustlin" remix (how much better is this track without a Fat Joe verse?) and I been enjoying "Nike Airs and Crisp Tees" and that freestyle that's been goin around. His track on Southern Smoke 26 with Ty Cobb is yet another "Hustlin" bite (the hook is "I'm on my grind...I'm on my grind"...at least "Little Haiti" didn't use a synonym for hustlin), but Rick rips it pretty serious. He weighs 300 pounds and it's time to eat.

Note to Ty Cobb though. Naming yourself after a noted racist? Not the best of looks.

Speaking of which, Southern Smoke 26 is a little weak. Lil Jon aint doin it like he did a couple years ago, and the tape is teeming with ATL unessentials. There really is a track from one of the anonymous dudes from D4L. His name is Fabo and the track is called "Do the Gorilla." Yes, it sounds exactly like "Laffy Taffy" and its identical b-side. But that being said, the new Cube track, "Go to Church" is nasty, as is the "Gettin Some Head" remix. It apparently didn't make the store copy, but there was a track by a dude named Venny Outrageous called "Ass Cheeks On My White Tee" which I don't feel any need to speak upon further.

As ridiculous as that song name is the Evil Shriveled Old Texan Dude Alliance Competitive Enterprise Institute's new anti-global warming commercials. CO2: we call it ass cheeks on our white tees.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Don't forget to renaissance it!


With my beloved Pirates doing everything they can to build up anticipation for Steelers minicamp, I can't help but stare longingly up I-76, over to I-80 and straight north from Toledo and wonder what the fuck David Littlefield was thinking when he hired Jim Tracy instead of Jim Leyland. Not that Tracy should be expected to immediately turn the Bucs around, but has anybody noticed that Jim Leyland wins division championships while he's taking a shit? He has the Tigers sitting atop the whole AL. The cats are the AL version of the Pirates- new park, 13 years of futility, venerable, historic, terrible. With the exception of Ivan Rodriguez, who is a bona fide team leader and a guy who can really handle a staff, the teams are pretty similar. These similarities imply to me that Leyland could have probably brought the Bucs up to .500 this year.

He would have taken the Bucco job if they went after him hard right at the time they fired McClendon (who wasn't the problem, by the way). He was scouting the Pirates for St. Louis and coaching Pony League in Crafton or something, waiting for the phone to ring. Headlines started popping up in September, 2005 reading "Leyland: Pirates' job is attractive." The man wasn't exactly communicating through signs and wonders. Shit, after getting kicked hard in the balls by that franchise for the last 13 years, it doesn't even hurt anymore.
Before I move off the subject of baseball, let me lay this gem on you: Julio Franco, 48-year old pinch-hitter for the Mets, eats something like 8 egg-white omlettes a day, each possibly blessed by a witch doctor. According to BestLife magazine, he also prays compulsively and lifts weights with the former Mr. Universe for 90 minutes a day. No wonder he's had longevity not seen since Satchel Paige. A google search for "julio franco" and "diet" turns up over 88,000 hits- that should tell you something cosmic is going on here. Personally, I think Julio has been stealing the souls of younger ballplayers regularly since the late 80s. Look at this man's face and tell there's any other way to explain how he hit .257 last year. I am also deeply suspicious about the fate of Derek Bell's soul circa about 2000, oh, and I think Julio got a big boost from Daryl Strawberry somewhere in there.

The only reason I bring this up is that Big J's career, which began in 1982 with the Phillies, has spanned the entire video game era. The boys over at progressiveboink.com give us a touching visual retrospective.
And now for something hrrrr-tastic in a Philly stylee, Pat's Steaks couldn't have asked for a better ad campaign than the one they got courtesy of Joe Vento's big mouth across the street at Geno's. Now, to add to all the Freedom Fries regalia, Daniel Faulkner totems and (not making this up) Hummer with a PA system that he uses to blast anti-Mexican propaganda through South Philly, Joe, grandson of Italian immigrants, has taken it upon himself to frame the immigration debate. At least he doesn't say "moolie" in the newspaper.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Everybody get off the porch!



Philadelphyinz flicks are up courtesy of YapSnaps.com. They're not on the main site yet, so peep 'em hrrrr. I think MC OrangeBriefs will have some flicks of his own once he returns to NewYuck.

Various dispatches from the Just Sayin' newsdesk:

Just Sayin' Meat Watch:
The New York Times says: Pimp Your Grill. Yeah, they actually said "Pimp" it.

Just Sayin' Playground Battle Watch:
Watch Reed Dollaz from Southwest Philly
paint a picture of carnage.

Just Sayin' Conservative Watch:
The National Review has a list of the
50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs, complete with explanations. Not only are most of the selections dumb as fuck (how could John Lennon or The Clash have ever written a "conservative rock song?"), but the little preamble cites such recent anti-Bush releases as the Stones' "Sweet Neo-Con" as a reason for creating the list, yet "Sympathy for the Devil" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" manage to show up. Half the songs are from the 80s- tracks that merely make commentary about the fall of Communism.
Way to stick it to the liberal establishment by making a top 50 list consisting of misinterpretations of 49 songs written by known or likely liberals...and "Sweet Home Alabama," which, might I remind you, is a paean about the days those good ole days in Alabama when you could lynch somebody on your lunch break. If that's what you want to stand on, OK. Look, I don't really need to keep explaining myself here. All I need to say is: "Does this dude look like a conservative?"

Just Sayin' NFL Watch:
My main man, former Pitt and NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward died this weekend from a brain tumor. Dude was to linebackers what the Kool Aid Guy is to walls. ESPN's resident yinzer Len Pasquarelli has an obit
here.

Just Sayin' Rapper Shooting Watch:
Beanie Sigel
survived his weekly shooting on Thursday night. Poignantly, he got shot on 22nd and Sigel St. The Inquirer really filled out the article by getting a load of candid quotes from Bean, including "I'm shot," "I'm cool," "Want to see it," Somebody robbin' me," and "They missed."

P.S. Ayyyy yo?!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The "real" maple syrup everyone "grew up with."


So we've been letting down our small but loyal readership. Personally, I have been spending too much time making waffles and reading poetry. I promise to post more often.
Before I take the time to conjure up a fancy new piece of wordsmithing for yinz, let me take this opportunity to detail your weekend activities, gentle reader:

Thursday: The venerable Paradise at Key West nite with ye olde Mike Trombley and the return of evil supervillain Ron Morelli. 207 Juniper betwixt Walnut and Locust.

Friday: Wolfenschnitzletronwith Pony Pants, Count Robocula and the Rock Tits DJs at 1208 S.46th Street. If W'tron has not been made manifest all up in your grill, you should know that this is a band which plays toy instruments. Dat jawn is free, bring your own booze and a tire iron.

Saturday: The long awaited, highly anticipated DJ Apt One Birthday Classic Extravaganza 500 at Philadelphyinz sponsored by
Log Cabin syrup*. Skinny Friedman will be down from NYC, Burnso and I will press our magic stone amulets together to reformulate the powerful benevolent robot spirit the Myron Cope Experience. James Hart may attempt to cook something. Shit pops off at the Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St. (Between Market and Chestnut) from 9-2. $1 PBR until 11. There will be cake.

*Peep how Log Cabin's website contains a bullet point with the following sentence:
Log Cabin’s® strong heritage dates back to 1888, and is widely recognized as the "real" maple syrup everyone "grew up with."

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fronteth not lest ye be fronted upon


I understand that the links to my mixtape are all fucked up in the game. I heard you coulndn't download more than one part in a 24 hour period. Hence, I got some new hosting.

OK, so for the second time, the Beer Money Mix is out, it's hot and you need it to avoid being deported by the INS. It's in 3 parts:

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

Friday, May 19, 2006

reporting from the internet

yeah.

-Our blue nation.
Speechless, proud, but not particularly optimistic.

-Bush dispatches the National Guard to defend the border with reality
"In last night’s address, the president took his case to the American people that Reality is “out of control,” and as a result he is dispatching “five schmillion” National Guard troops to patrol its border."

-Eugenics, here we come.
Ugh.

-smuggling a russian girl from Dubai to Riyahd
In the dashboard of a small car. Beats the backseat of a Volkswagon.

-live reenactment of the first level of Super Mario Bros
Glitch included.

-Dr. McNinja
When you need a doctor, or a ninja.

-Famous Sounds
Staples of modern pop music. Via catchdubs.

and, finally...

-"Husslin (remix)" - Rick Ross f/ Young Jeezy and Jay-Z
Underwhelming, but required listening.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

been on that new york shit

editor's note: it's in bad taste to double-post like this, so go check GW9K's latest ramblings after you peep game thusly. and now, on with the Just Sayin.


not particularly icey

I have a philosophical dissection of Dipset that is half done right now sitting on draft status, but I decided I should actually listen to Killa Season before I say anything further about Cam and friends. If you need smarmy Dip critique, there are other places for your fix. But here's a lil sneak peak of what I been thinking about:

Wasn't there a time where being the most popular rapper in New York made you an international star?

Please distinguish between being the most popular rapper in New York from being the most popular rapper from New York. Yeah 50 reps Queens, but 50 really reps pop radio, vitamin water, the cream and the clear. Dude's a rapper from New York, but his style is from down south, long drawn-out bars sliding at about 82 bpm. He's a pop icon, and G-Unit is literally a brand. So while 50 may have dissembled New York, it was globalization that destroyed it. Rap will eat itself. It already has.

There been no shortage of ruminating on New York's irrelevance, and nothing sums it up like Jon Caramanica's comment that New York rap has "...been reduced to the category us hard-liners used to viciously malign—regional rap." But part of the problem is New York's refusal to do anything but pout about their fall from the top and continue to trudge along at the same pace. "New York" was stupid rallying cry because Fat Joe and Jada, while two of the bigger wheels in New York rap, don't represent New York. They do what all other New York rappers do these days: drop generic but likeable singles, push their untalented crews, and do guest spots for more famous "regional" rappers.

New York is taking steps towards getting its shit together and acting like the modern regional rap scene. Busta has stood up and shouted "New York" repeatedly. Not "flipmode," "TS," "BX," "BK," or any other self-serving battle cry, but "New York." He doesn't want to rule the city, he wants to represent it. The city wants and needs this, as emphasized by the excitement about "New York Shit". Even KRS sounds rejuvinated on the remix. Even if The jury is already out on The Big Bang, and Busta is kind of like the Hillary Clinton of rap, it's good to see the city moving again.

But it might be too little too late for New York. Today's quality hip-hop grows out of movements, and a good rap album is an iceberg*, the most visible tip of a gigantic force, its formidible stability hinting at its foundation. The sound is specific and congruent across producers. The slang is, at times, impenetrable, and the extensive shouts hint at a large network moving behind the man on the mic**. But every rapper on earth is, in some way, building on the long tradition of New York. It's been the norm for so long, that it's just rap***. Hip-hop music in the absence of local color, risk-taking, charisma or originality. Even the places and names are incredibly well-documented. The city has no secrets left, and thus no intrigue. When vets put out albums like Street's Disciple and All Or Nothing, they aren't terrible but lack that context. "Ghetto Quran" was brilliant because it laid bare what was left to learn about selling crack in New York: the names. Anybody who had been paying attention for 10 years knew the where, the what, the why and the how. 50 got everyone's attention by exposing the who****. All this why I say Busta and friends are not going to help anything.

Of course, it doesn't help that Papoose, the great young hope of the Big Apple, raps like its 1998. Or, he raps like a rapper. Who raps. The brilliance of Dipset is their absurdity, but that's another post.

*this is a fucking cheesy analogy, but you know what I mean.
**how many Texas rappers dip into "I got a partner named..." when they need a line?
***it's worth noting that Atlanta has a similar issue with generic southern rap...I mean, Young Joc? really?
****by that thinking, "How to Rob" marks when 50 stopped reppin NY started reppin the generic rap world.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The belly of the beast smells like fishsticks



So
Ira Einhorn has a blog. I'm not sure if this elevates or decreases the value of blogging, but it sure makes it a little weirder. For those of you who aren't from West Philly, Ira Einhorn was a loudmouth with a generally scatterbrained lefty philosophy (according to Drahosh's co-worker Bob, who used to drink beer on the porch with him). He is popularly described as being a contemporary of all these famous radicals, but Einhorn's activist clout was pretty poor, it's just that he, erm, uh... murdered his Bryn Mawr girlfriend in '77, stuffed her in a trunk at his crib on Race St. in Powelton Village and then fled to France, where he chilled for 20-odd years awaiting extridition on account of France's death penalty opposition. If you're interested, you can read CourtTV's excessively dramatic rendition of that story here.

His blog consists largely of him reading books in prison and then writing extensive reviews. For the most part, the books he chooses are good ones. Besides, where else can you find a book review that starts out like this:

When I lived in Ireland (1981-1986) my closest male associate was a former terrorist leader who had been trained by the Syrians and as a result had been on call for a number of years, if needed on a mission.

There are very few males in a life richly adorned with friendship with whom I have bonded more deeply. After Eugene moved out of Dublin, I opened my apartment to him as a second home, and he came to treat it that way. When I fell into difficulties toward the end of my Irish stay, I was given duplicate
identity papers and for ten years became an identity duplicate of my friend. Our mutual trust was absolute.

That is not really what I drew from "Harold and the Purple Crayon," but hey, I don't have quite the same sense of perspective. I have not been to Dublin. No entries as of yet detailing what happens to a guy in prison who goes around calling himself "The Unicorn."


For those of you not attuned to such provincial matters, I will spare you any further such ramblings. Instead I'll focus more on ego and self promotion- something geographically transcendant.

So the sequel to last year's "Food Money Mixtape" is done, dun. Cleverly, I entitled it the "Beer Money Mixtape." (My mixtape nomenclature describes my progression towards luxury and/or sixes of Rogue) As I informed you a few weeks back, this tape is indeed a mashup heavy affair. The whole joint is pretty much straight electro, electro-disco and electro rap all the way through except for a Black Sheep track. Nobody in good conscience can keep Strobelite Honey off a mixtape if it fits- fuckavibe.

You can find the tape here (part1), here (part2) and here (part3).

If the download limit is exausted by the time you get here, feel free to hit me up and I'll get you a copy. West Philly distro is being handled by Abdul, so if you see him on his bike, skip through the handi-cam DaVinci Code knockoffs straight to the real shit. 5 beans American.

By the way, Noixe isn't dead, he's just sleeping.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

She must be a special lady, and a very exciting girl.



The new CBS/New York Times poll just came out. The prognosis for the oligarchy: not icy. It appears that Keven Federline has better approval ratings than Bush and the Republican congress. Shit, when was the last time Bush knocked up Brittney twice in two years? In pretty much every category (national defense excepted, as per usual), people seem to have more faith in the Dems to solve the country's problems. Now all the Dems need to do in the midterm elections is not say anything and risk fucking it all up. I didn't say "not say anything stupid," I said "not say anything." I am full of dread waiting to see how they're gonna fuck this up. Two years ago, a Red Sox analogy would have been perfect here.

In other news, this is the season's best weekend (so far) to catch hot DJ nights in Philly. Dave P (Making Time, NYC), Tim Sweeney (DFA/Beats in Space, NYC) and supervillians Mike Trombley and Ron Morelli do the electro/garage disco/italo thing at Key West (Juniper and Walnut) on Thursday. Tech Support with Properganda and Kenny Raw at the Bubble House (34th and Sansom) on Friday and then Reagan Disco Headache at the Khyber (2nd and Chestnut) on Saturday with Star Eyes (XLR8R/Syrup Girls), Lauren Flax vs. Ron Morelli and Dave Elliott (FearlessVampireKillers) with Justin Jarboe.

My liver is currently in training.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Whoadie got crates


GW9K's New Jawns of the day!!


Just made a flea-market binge, here's what it turned up... drumroll please:


The Monroe Brothers- Early Bluegrass Music Pretty good mid-era comp (1962) of those two wilin' bols who were so Kentucky that they decided to call the genre bluegrass. Highlights include: "No Home, No Place to Pillow My Head" and the seminal club joint "Just a Song of Old Kentucky." Skinny neckties stand up! Grade: B+

Mongo Santamaria- Soul Bag A bunch of Otis Redding and Booker T. covers. Pretty standard elevator music type latin shit. But, it contains a cover of Cold Sweat wherein lies one of the sickest breaks in all creation. One of those "Oh, you heard the break on..." type records. Grade: B

Bohannon- Keep On Dancin' Pretty consistant throughout for a Bohannon record, but it's from 72, so there aren't many disco-type breaks. "Hey Mr. DJ" is a little too low-key to be an anthem, but it's not bad. Tight grooves and one of the stupidist looking covers in my collection right now. Grade: C

Hank Crawford- Hank Crawford's Back Picked this one up because it was on Kudu and featured Fred Wesley and Steve Gadd and has a song called the Funky Pigeon. Despite all this, it's fusion jazz at its most mediocre. Grade:C-

The Circle City Band- My Place (12) This joint's on Becket, which is a pretty underrated label as far as I'm concerned (Indeep, Denroy Morgan and fam rip shit up on Becket), but after the nice filtered drums on the intro, it's forgettable. Grade: D

Check back later for more useless info about my records.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

was like hee-haw hee-haw

Blakjak f/ Project Pat - Ride'n'Swerve

I woulda called this a Three 6 beat but no it's actually Shorty (Shawty?) Red, who did all of Jeezy's shit. Pat draws attention to the yin to the spinning yang of spinners: they don't spin when you roll.

In other news, what the fuck is up with mouth blisters?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Goddamn that DJ saved my day



It's that time of the year- motivation is flagging, the weather is nice. It must be time to make a mixtape. This time, I'm not fucking around with my old headphone music steez. I'm aimin' for the streets, shootin for the jeeps. Pure electro and old-school bangalangs. I'm talkin' Cybotron, NWA and Giorgio. Uptempo gangster shit for when you need to get a mountain of snow from NYC to Philly in an hour. And all of it mashed the fuck up.

Now that I have you fantasizing about high stakes yay-yo slingin', I have to ask myself the question: Is the mashup played out? I've been mashin up styles for a couple of years now and I've never put out a mashup mixtape, with one exception (note that the "WuTang Clan Ain't Nothin to Fuck With" instro comes in under the Milkshake later than the snippet allows. Cop It!). We all know that Philly is a mash-town (tip of the cap to Hollertronix crew here). So the style has been running solid for a few years now- enough so that mashups are an expected move at Making Time, the infamous Philadelphyinz (plug plug) and other DJ-centric events.

So now that mashups are standard fare, are they slip-sliding into wackscurity, or are they just not so novel anymore? Did scratching ever become wack, or did it just become unnecessary to always show your chops? I suppose the difference between scratching and mashing is that with the exception of your Avalanches and Birdy Nam Nams, nobody ever really makes music by scratching, they just try to insinuate their claim to phallic immortality. Mashing is making a new song in and of itself.

Not to harp on an old theme, but I guess mashups may end up the victim of a backlash against hipster culture. For example, on my current tape, I throw some late Elvis over some early De La. Upon listening, you could process this in one of several ways. You could dig the musical meshing and badass styleee, you could find it quaint and ironic or you could find it wack because irony reminds you of your 25 year old neighbor with the beard who is trying to fix a zither he found in the trash.

Furthermore, there has been a rash of mediocre mash-tapes recently. After the Grey Album, everybody else thinks they are entitled to sire some sort of palsy-ridden beast begat from stoned pontification like "Dude, what if RAPPER spit over DEAD SINGER??" Among these are the G-Unit/Queen jawn and the Biggie/Sinatra escapade. I have to admire the effort and dedication, but the final products are pretty uninspiring. There are hot tracks without a doubt, but a whole album is a fucking stretch.

While you're puzzling over all this, peep the best mashup tape I've ever heard- Z-Trip and DJ P's "Uneasy Listening."

wreck ya whole hood like a head-on collision

I can't make this any better than it actually is: Ya Boy working with Kevin Federline.

Thank you, Nation of Thizzlam for making my morning. Since I last wrote about him, he joined up with Game's Black Wall Street label and, according to an article in XXL, moved to LA. Not exactly welcome in the Bay anymore, probably no longer down with San Quinn and Done Deal. But it's not like his super-slick stupid punchline-filled style was fitting with Quinn's grit. I don't know if you can call him a sell-out when his breakout single was over some Darth Vader shit. Dude has a shine to him that smells like commercial success and it makes a lot of sense that he'd be collabing with Mr. Popozao himself (REMIX!). According to his website, he's showin up in Star and US Weekly. I give him maybe 9 months before he's guesting on Christina Milan tracks. Might need a name change though.

Speaking of name changes, Peedi Crakk aka Peedi Peedi is credited on the new Freeway tape as Peedi Crazy. For what it's worth, I like the tape better than some people. It's not great and I'd still just rather hear "All My Life" and "What We Do" back to back for an hour, but rappers are sharks and it's good to see motion. Oh boy!

3xW gives the run-down on A-Trak's show at the Knitting Factory this weekend. As much as Trizzy talked a big game about integrating turntablism and party music, it wasn't that effective, but that had a lot to do with the number of people that clearly came to see a show, not to dance. GLC and Cuizinier did their respective things though. Cuizinier rocked a lot of hazard light orange and rapped in French over "Simply the Best" and "I Like to Move It Move It" (quoth this dude: "this shit was wack in high school!"). GLC was good, not great, but if you don't have this yet, you are sleepin (if only for the Three 6 collab, "Clap Your Hands"...even in abbreviated form, its brilliance makes me want to buy GLC's entire album.) Much to my surprise, I got to meet one of the Osirises of this blog shit, but attempts to get flix of him and Dave1 from Chromeo leaning with it and rocking with it were foiled.

And finally, all this hoopla about Stephen Colbert puttin a backhand on the president (video inside) is overblown. Last night, Colbert gave a speech at the White House Press Correspondent's Dinner and left the gloves off. Selected, paraphrased lines included, on Dubya's 32% approval rating, "the glass isn't half empty, Mr. President, it's two-thirds empty" and "if the government that governs best governs least, the government in Iraq is the finest in the world." Those on the left are high-fiving each other for putting this shit in Dub's face, amazed that he got away with it. But he gets away with it every night on national TV.

This weekend, I saw Hammer and Tickle, a documentary on the history of the joke in the Soviet Bloc. At first, citizens are regularly imprisoned for telling jokes, shipped off to die in Siberia. After the 1956 rebellion in Hungary, imprisonments for jokes dropped markedly; the government decided that citizens that vent frustration through a joke are less likely to do so with actual rebellion. Here in America, we've been bitching for six years now, yet we're still in Iraq, still ruining the budget and still insisting trickle-down works. Freedom of speech is important, but the Cheney/Rove regime is fully aware of the relationship between actual dissent and expressions of dissent. Colbert and Stewart are funny, but they don't accomplish a damn thing. No matter how many zingers Colbert gets in on Bush, he's still the President, and he's still ruining our country. Americans need to realize that accurate criticism is not a functional way to provoke change.

(Of course, you don't need to tell non-Americans that.)