Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Knock You Down

Keri Hilson drops the video for 'Knock You Down' to coincide with the album release. Watchin Kanye and Ne-Yo fighting over Keri is like...it might be the funniest thing ever. The tension should have come to blows and then I could have given the whole thing 4 stars. But because that's missing I give it a 'meh'. As a fan of fuckery Kanye's appearance in anything is welcome from me but aside from that and Ne-Yo's face, not a whole lot going on. I did peep her MJ move at Ye's line but she didn't even act out Joe Jackson's part. Now be fair, Keri!

In A Perfect World

After producing hits for an endless list of pop and R&B artists, songwriter and Clutch production team graduate, Keri Hilson's album In A Perfect World will be in stores soon. I've been trying to give myself a little bit of time to let it sink in instead of making a snap judgment because a snap judgment on this from me may not have given her her due. Keri is a talented singer and writer but her voice falls into a range where it isn't immediately interesting like some other popular R&B singers out at the moment. It isn't soulful and pleading like Jazmine Sullivan's, or taunting and bizzare like Rihanna's...I could go on but the reality is that on first listen her voice is almost boring and it tends to get lost in her precision beats. Like it's an album full of great songs that sound like they were recorded for other artists to select and re-record. However, you simply can't deny the production of the music and thankfully she has guests to fill out the roster so I find myself nodding along. So it's okay Keri, I forgive you.

The Breakdown

Intro - She reps her state, city, click The Clutch, and body. It's the same kinda shit talkin, slick talkin that got her in trouble with Beyonce and Ciara, allegedly. But it sounds nice.

Turnin Me On - The single that I hear 8 times a day at work. I'm sick of it but I guess that's just an indicator of success. Lil Wayne babbles at the end of it also but i'm not surprised to hear him anywhere. I become alarmed when I don't hear Weezy on a track, I wonder what happened and whether he's sick.

Set Your Money Up - It's nice to hear Keyshia Cole talkin slick on a fast track and Trina's on it too but this pretty much sounds like a gold diggers anthem. "We don't like them broke boys, we don't like them broke boys!"

Return the Favor - The melody reminds me of Timbaland and Keri's 'The Way I Are"...Timbo's also on the track and the two of them talkin about sexin each other is not my favorite thing at all.

Knock You Down - Great pop song. Yeezy and Ne-Yo really fill out the track and it sounds good and feels good. Kanye's back doing what made him a star...talkin bout Michael Jackson's crazy ass.

Slow Dance - Sexy, synth track. It sounds like something I would absolutely love to hear Tweet sing on but Keri does it justice.

Make Love - Whenever I hear this vocal arrangement I think 4 NonBlondes 'What's Up" But barring that (or because of it), I think it's a decent song. She manages to do this thing with her voice that gives it a raspy quality. It's still clean but this is one of the better vocalizations on the album. Kanye was obviously in the video to upset everyone.

Intuition - This track is about assuming your man ain't shit from before you get in the relationship. Even though I don't condone that way of thinking it's pretty relate-able and listenable. It uses eastern instruments and sounds like the things Timbo and Missy used to do three or four albums back but warmed over. Remember them days? Good times.

How Does it Feel? - Come to find out she was right about dude and this song is about tellin him she can leave. It's also a hit, but kind of repetitive. Production is nothing new but its executed well, steady drums, triumphant horns, Polow tha Don, etc.

Alienated - Awesome song. It has a delicate strange, futuristic, quality which is spot on for a song about feeling alone and alienated. Feels like cruising through bizzare, lifeless landscapes in a spaceship. So when you hear 'You're the reason I don't change my number/ want you to know it's still the same.." you feel the longing. There's pleading, reaching, feeling. This is one of the best on the album.

Tell Him The Truth - Slow somber song about having to confess a secret but not wanting to. The beat is simple, synth guitar over slow rhythmic drum beats and clicks with a repetitious hook. But, she recognizes the negative space is an opportunity to stretch the vocal chords and she does.

Change Me - That song that sounds like that other song and it has Akon on it like every other song on the radio. It's not bad but it's just not interesting and listening to Akon doing his best Seal impression and sounding like Wyclef is just not something I would prefer to subject myself to.

Energy - Another dope song. You've heard the single. And seen the sexy ass video (I gotta get cut like that one day).

Where Did He Go? - Warm synths and vocal layering that makes a pretty song about getting over a break up.

Keri does a damn good job with this album. It's not good enough to warrant her making diss tracks about anybody really but I suppose she eventually remembered that and corrected herself. I don't see her becoming a close to my heart favorite of mine like the Wino but this is a solid album with, as expected, excellent production. Even the throwaways could be singles for more popular artists and we'd have to listen to them at the club and on the way too and from everywhere on earth unless we turn off the car radio. Anyways, you should go check it out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Love and Sex and Magic

Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake - Love Sex Magic

So this highly anticipated Ciara and JT video has dropped. I don't know if the star power is what created the anticipation but from the looks of this silly ass 60 second trailer I knew that fuckery was in store. I never really found Justin Timberlake to be able to convey sexy that well but if he can have half a chance at faking it, it's at the hands of a sexpot energy from his co star. Ciara is pullin out the stops but she ends up lookin like the stripper with no ass at the club, workin her little heart out for your dollars. Please Mister, have a heart. All the ropes and heels and fishnets are just not bringing the sexy. But I do give Ciara a gold star for trying, and for looking damn good while trying. But let's face it Promise was the sexiest video that I've seen from her and she was in sweatpants. Stop forcing it people! Let it move through you...niiiice and sloooww..mmm, thats it...
Anyway back to the song itself. The video does help me stomach the song a bit because it basically sounds like a track that J Lo would have stole from Christina Milian back in the day and then decide not to use anyway. But in all I don't know how I feel about this direction. I hate it when artists twist themselves into bizzare situations, I'm all for evolution but it ought to be a natural evolution. Ciara is sexier doing the stanky-leg with Snoop Dogg than she is in bondage gear and selling ass in heels. But it's a recession so I can feel her, just not the music.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Like Sex and I'm Good At It

The irascible John Mayer and his foray into hip-hop.
Source via the internet

Do you believe him?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lil Wayne - Prom Queen

Prom Queen

So the video for Lil' Wayne's 'Prom Queen' premiered recently and I found it a lot easier to watch when I left the sound off. This song is one of Weezy's latest "eclectic" efforts and I really can't do it with him this round. But I also know that there are lots of things I can't fucking stand that get inexplicable love from the masses and this I presume shall be no different.

- O Hai Thar! Is that Ms. Katrina LaVerne?
- The moshpit scene is the most staged and confused moshpit scene I have ever observed. Hannah Montana and them can go harder than that!
- I never see this many black women in rock videos. I'll tentatively drop that in the positive box for safe keeping.
- Ron Howard passed on the cameo because the set was not trill enough for his liking.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009 Oscars

I'm sure you know the drill. Tonight is the Academy's 51st Motion Picture Awards Ceremony and I will be liveblogging it. Check back during the show and/or follow me on twitter.

8:29 - Sippity sip sip.
8:30 - SHOW STARTS. A brilliant crystal set design. It's got old world glam and I love that stuff
8:31 - Hugh Jackman takes the stage.
8:32 - He takes a dig at New Zealand. Ouch, can't you guys get along?
8:33 - Now he's performing a music number...I'm gonna throw my remote somewhere with my eyes closed so that I don't change the channel.
8:34 - He busted an ill move with the "Craigslist?" dancers
8:35 - Performing Frost/Nixon with Anne Hathaway
8:36 - Now he's a performing a hot ass mess with some people in silver suits
8:40 - Hugh's gonna be a decent host. he's quite the showman
8:43 - Tilda Swinton looks alien and sexy.
8:44 - Whoopi's dress says 'So you want me to wear a dress huh? I'll show you a dress alright, i'm gonna wear some bullshit, and ima wear it to the Oscars."
8:47 - The Best Supporting Actress goes to Penelope Cruz. She looks kinda platinum quincenera but she actually looks great
8:52 - Tina Fey and Steve Martin take the stage in a comedy bit. "to write is to live forever, the man who wrote that is dead." Then they take a dig at Scientology.
8:57 - Dustin Lance Black wins the Best Screenplay award for 'Milk' gives a pretty equal rights speech.
8:59 - Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Simon Beufoy for Slumdog Millionaire. I didn't love this movie but I didn't see the other ones so maybe it deserved it. Good for him/them/everyone/whatever
9:02 - Jack Black and Jen Aniston present the nominees for Best Animated Feature. Jack Black's muggung is amusing/tolerable but the montage makes zero sense. Camera cuts away to Angelina who giggles knowingly.
9:06 - Wall-E wins it.
9:08 - The Best Animated Short award goes to a polite asian man who says Sank You like a dozen times and then ends w Domo Arigato and scurries of stage. I laugh because I am culturally deficient in many ways.
9:15 - Daniel Graig's sexy ass saunters onstage with Sarah Jessica Parker whose dress I hate. They present nominees for Best Art Direction.
9:17 - Goes to Benjamin Button..yawning
9:31 - Okay Natalie Portman takes the stage and Ben Stiller comes out doin a disheveled insane Joaquin Phoenix impression complete w beard and sunglasses. Natalie kills him and says "you look like you work at a Hassidic meth lab"
9:35 - Slumdog takes it for best cinematography
9:39 - Jessica Biel comes out lookin like she rolled out of bed,wrapped the silksheets around her toga style and pulled her hair back. She presents some technical award and proceeds to bore the sht outta me with a category that would be interesting had it been presented on the Discovery Channel
9:41 - A commercial airs for what looks like a hilarious tragedy starring Jamie Foxx as an insane musician
9:42 - Seth Rogen and James Franco reprise their Pineapple Express roles and remind me how I should be watching this award show. High as shit! This interlude is pretty funny, Franco kinda confuses Robert Downey Jr. for Barack Obama
9:47 - Oscar goes to some folks with thoroughly unpronounceable names, Seth and Franco Present the award and giggle at the names like school children. I love it.
9:52 - Hugh comes back go do another fancy dandy musical number. Then he's joined by Beyonce in a red sequin Shug Avery getup. They perform some musical numbers while my blood pressure rises.
9:56 - The HighSchool Musical kids join them and I will never forgive the Academy.
10:04 - Cuba is trying to bu funny... embarassing himself though.
10:06 - Ledger gets the Oscar for the Joker. Amazing performance. He totally deserved it, His performance was amazing
10:09 - His family accepts the award for him and gives a polite and moving speech honoring his memory. It's nice.
10:13 - Documentary montage pops on screen, this dude with the most unruly set of teeth i've seen in some time says something. I lol.
10:14 - Bill Mahr plugs Religulous and the award goes to Man on a Wire, this little frenchman is adorable, and then he balances the Oscar on his face! *clapping*
10:25 - Will Smith comes onstage to present for Outstanding Visual Effects...tries to be funny...fading
10:26 - All the action movies get shtted on and it goes to Benjamin Button...yay
10:30 - Nominees for soundmixing are...Oscar goes to Slumdog...
10:35 - Nominees for editing are...Oscar goes to Slumdog...headache again, tired..will smith acknowledges he is inexplicably still on stage tryna make this borin sht sound interesting
10:40 - I QUIT THIS BITCH. Gonna lay down I can't make it through. Sorry people but if you are watching this then you have my sympathy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So Far Gone

I might as well touch down to let y'all know what's been rocking my world lately. So Far Gone is the latest mixtape from Drake, the Canadian rapper of Degrassi fame. Well, I'm something of a long time listener first time caller. I've enjoyed his style for a while but I never really spoke about him, because no one else (that I know) really seemed to know or care who he was but with the positive buzz surrounding his latest effort I'm comfortable enough to lean over to you and tell you with confidence that if you don't know, you need to ask somebody. As is customary with mixtapes 'Drizzy' rides over a lot of other artists beats but he's done a great job of making each track his own and not just sounding like noise over a great instrumental. He, for instance, remixes Lykke Li's 'Little Bit' and adds his own dimension to the already haunting sort-of love song. He also beasts through Santogold's 'Unstoppable' again, making you wonder how he wasn't already on the track in the first place. This mixtape is great winter music, which is something I've been on the hunt for lately. Live, but not too exuberant. Just haunting hymns and heavy shit that you can drive through dusky snow covered landscapes to. 808's type shit. 'Successful' featuring Lil Wayne and Trey Songz is the track that I would say exemplifies that.
'Drizzy' isn't a gangster and he mostly raps about his actual current life as a pseudo celebrity and yet he is lyrically compelling. I'm willing to venture that the only time he's seen shots fired was that very special episode of Degrassi when he became a cripple but hey, it's only entertainment. I would say that this mixtape has been getting attention not simply because it shows that he can rap, but that he can make an album of listenable songs. I know it's great to be able to 'spit hot fiyah' but it's pretty annoying when your favorite mixtape rapper has no concept of bridges and arrangement and just barrels down each track as if the beats were irrelevant. Do you even like music or do you just like to rap? Enough of my ranting just cop this shit.

Drake - So Far Gone

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Next Selection

Ryan Leslie - Ryan Leslie

With all the recent talk about the young prince of R&B getting slap happy and stupidly ruining his career over teenage drama there's still a lot of sympathy for the young boy. I can admit I get a sinking feeling whenever I see the young, Black and talented take a downward spiral, regardless of whose at fault. But, to the left I say, to the left. There's other talented cats out there who can't quite dance but who are better musicians and just as light skinned (I'm not saying it matters but whatever helps), they just may be lacking a bit in the charm department. Enter R. Les. The Nerd. A Weirdo. He's incredibly talented and incredibly slept on. I've discussed how his social skills or lack thereof may be holding him back but most likely forces greater than that (Diddy) are the reason this boy has had limited success because quite frankly the entertainment business is supposed to be a refuge for social deviants and he certainly isn't the first of them …or the most repulsive.

This brings me to Ryan Leslie's self titled album, the follow up to the 2005 release, Just Right which apparently never reached stateside. The album has all the innovative funk balanced at just the right hit-making tempo's that we've come to expect from R. Les. He makes music that suits his nasal vocals and even when he raps you don't quite cringe as much as you thought you would. Clever and self deprecating lines like "If my record don't sell, we'll still go diamond" only endear me to Mr. Leslie further. His album has an electric mellow sound that calls upon his skills as a producer. The tracks don't ever exceed the almost spastic energy of 'Diamond Girl' nor do they sink lower than the sparing synth intensity of Addiction but this isn't a criticism, he simply has an even center he remains in for most of the album. He utilizes the electric guitars on 'Quicksand' and any number of sound FX kits on the track and croons about some pretty girl that he's pining after yet again, but it's really one of my favorite joints on the album in spite of his rhyming emotional with emotional over and over again. You can actually listen to the whole album through and not really be conscious of anything he's said. It's not that his lyrics are awful, they just aren't really important. Leslie seems to layer the vocals over the track as if they were any other instrument, using whatever words sound right. As if to make a point about the irrelevance of the lyrics in his song making process he includes a track titled ' Gibberish' where he basically talks out of his ass about 'lust' 'love' and 'moonlight' and 'ghosts?' There really aren't any words and yes I sat there like an ass for 1:12 trying to figure out if he actually was saying something relevant, but he wasn't. The point is the track was aight in spite of that and I'll give him his props for that, and for tricking me. Honestly, I could attempt to describe how there's comfort in the complexity and the simplicity of the music of R. Les but you really should just cop the album.

Favorite Tracks

Diamond Girl, Addiction, Quicksand



It's a Thief In The Night To Come and Grab You

What the fuck?

...Yeah, it's been a few days and that's all I got left. I'm not picking sides and I'm not calling him a monster or saying she provoked him but I will say whatever it was, was it really worth it? The night before the Grammy's of all nights? Not that it's appropriate at any time but just the sheer ease with which some folks can see fit to throw their lives away is nothing if not disturbing. These dumb assed kids are our future, America! It would be awesome if they knew that violence isn't an appropriate response to whatever relationship conflicts they may be having.

Some links and gossip and information on the saga...cause I damn sure ain't a source.

Pop Culture Fix

Necole Bitchie

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grammy Awards 2009

Here we go again. It's the 51st annual Grammy Awards and i'm going to liveblog it. Mostly because that's the only way I can sit and watch the whole thing. I'm going to be drinking tonight. Which was my mistake last time I tried to liveblog. I was stone sober. Big Mistake. But let's go...As we proceed!

8:01 - U2 doin their U2 sht. I wanna like then more than I do but only some of their songs are jams to me. Maybe I lack culture.
8:03 - However this 'let me in the sound' breakdown is kinda dope. This song might be winning me over.
8:04 - Whitney looks ...she looks pretty good considering. Still sounds crazy.
8:06 - Awwe, it seems like Whitney's lost her voice. I heard that show she did a few months back where she sounded a mess but I was hoping it wasn't permanent.
8:07 - J. Hud accepts the award for best R&B. I think i'm gonna tear up with her on this one. I love her.
8:08 - Duane Johnson..remember when he was the Rock? Also..remember when he was too sexy for words? Now he's treading in Shemar Moore territory.
8:10 - Justin Timberlake is on already, filling in for Chris Brown's assault and battery punk ass. Yeesh, the day before the Grammy's Chris? You couldn't wait? Let me stop. That type of sht is never appropriate. I knew somethin was wrong with him...remember??
8:21 - Mmm Simon Baker. introducing Coldplay performing Lost! which is a pretty hot banger from Coldplay of all people.
8:23 - Aaannd they proceed to destroy any love for this song I had while on stage. Jay puts on this dumb drunk flow that only sounded hot under the congo drums and guitar production of the album recording.
8:25 - Their performing the Ipod commercial song. It sounds good but the performance looks mad goofy.
8:28 - I kinda like Carrie Underwood's white trash steez even if its made up. Her getup is kinda Mad Max though, and not in a good way.
8:32 - Sheryl Crow and Leanne Rhimes. I like Leeanne's dress but thas the only positive thing I'll say right about now. I only ever think about Country music when watching the Grammy's and then I remind myself to listen to it more and forget again. Maybe next year.
8:42 - Wow Al Green again. He ain't even know he was going on stage tonight
8:42 - Coldplay wins for Viva La Vida. They gon let purple coat talk. He acknowledges the Sgt. Pepper look. Thank the Lord for the self aware
8:45 - Kid Rock takes the stage...I don't know how he's still around. That 'Sweet Home Alabama' riff moves units though. It sells records, pizza, KFC. You can't beat it.
8:54 - the Cyrus is on with Taylor Swift. This is cute cause I don't think I could deal with Miley on her own.
8:58 - The two least known people in the running win it. I knew it! I'm happy for them though. I hope they get off the stage in a timely manner.
9:00 - Jennifer Hudson takes the stage, acapella at that. She looks very nice in this sequined black dress. Her wig is wiggy though, but we're not gonna talk about that because her vocals are killing it.
9:09 - This lady just compare the Jonas Brothers to Cain and Abel. Aaaaallriight.
9:10 - Why do they get to perform with Stevie Wonder? This is my jam though I must admit. I guess this is my punishment for being an Nsync fan back in the day..
9:12 - This must be mashup night. They are performing superstitious..they all sound constipated. I can't tell if Stevie is constipated as well or making fun of them. Probably both..
9:15 - Wow time warp, Blink 182 comes back on stage to announce they're getting back together. They get points for mocking the fuckery that was just onstage.
9:16 - Coldplay gets the award. called themselves a limestone rockband...wock wocka...
9:23 - Craig Ferguson is funny tonight. But I will never forgive him for seguing to Katy Perry. I'm not a fan.
9:26 - She's finally off the stage and now its Kaye and Estelle and Ye's fro mullet. This performance looks cheap and tacky and underproduced. Shiny suits on a red circle. The recession is really getting to people. "Look at this pea coat tell me he's broke" BROKE!
9:29 - Then they gotta turn around and present the next award for best New Artist. Yayy Adele won. I dig her but I was rooting for Jasmine. She's got one of those working class Brit accents like some of my fam (we international, yo!)
9:36 - Morgan Freeman takes the stage. Now theres a man that knows how to put his shoe on a woman and get away with it. That wasnt tasteful at all but I won't delete it.
9:39 - Kenny Chesney...taking a big sip out my cup right now.
9:40 - Diddy does not give a shit. White tee, shiny shirt, sad gold chain. He looks like he's dressed to get the laundry.
9:41 - Robert Plant and them is winnin again, just to piss everyone off i'm sure.
9:48 - Gueen Latifah looks sexy tonight. Blinking at this segue from the Rat Pack to the Rap Pack
9:50 - Wowww at M.I.A. being gigantic in a polkadot bathing suit. This black and white filter is killing me though. FAIL!!
9:54 - Kate Beckinsale saying something...introduces Sir Paul McCartney who won't go away for some reason.
10:04 - Jack Black ...we've reached MTV VMA award status. Jazz musician Hank Jones gets a Lifetime Achievement Award
10:05 - John Mayer gets the award. Talks short and fast, but he has anxiety issues so he gets a pass. The Grammy's nominated Kid Rock for some reason.
10:07 - LL Cool J and Jay Mohr come out together cause they both got J's in their names. Jay proceeds to amuse himself and no one else.
10:07 - Sugarland and Adele take the stage. Performing a song about being the 'other woman' I love those kinds of songs. I like anything that explores the complications of love.
10:11 - Adele takes the stage. Repping for white Team Chunk in a positive way. Finally a representative that isn't a horrid mess. w00t! Also the two sounded beautiful. I gotta look into Sugarland.
10:19 - Gwyneth Bland Paltrow introduces Radiohead who apparently are still on some other shit. I enjoy when they are on some other shit. Listening.
10:22 - Radiohead is rockin the shit tonight. I love it.
10:28 - Samuel L. Jackson takes the stage in his Do the Right thing steez and starts yelling at the audience immediately.
10:29 - T.I. and Justin Timberlake take the stage. Meh.
10:33 - Wolf Blitzers hippie brother takes the stage and mentions that Obama won two Grammy's. GoBama.
10:37 - Now he reveals hes just kissing Obama's nuts to get a Secretary of the Arts position instated in the White House. Politricks.
10:38 - Sweet sweet Smokey Robinson takes the stage to give the Four Tops the Lifetime Achievement award.
10:39 - Fake Four Tops come out consisting of the remaining member, Smokey, Jamie Foxx, and Ne-Yo. This is my song and they not ruinin it.
10:47 - Josh Groban comes on..thank God he's not singing tv show theme songs again. Introduces Neil Diamand
10:48 - Neil Diamond looks better than he did the last time I seent him. My mother is somewhere throwin her panties at the tv.
10:55- My bad I tuned out for a bit there. They did the Memoriam dead faces reel. Then BB King and John Mayer performed a tribute to Bo Diddley
11:02 - Gary Sinese ...still looks like a robot clone. He's about to introduce Weezy and Robin Thicke and friends
11:03 - They doin 'Tie My Hands'.
11:07 - They follow it up by bringing out some New Orleans greats. Well performed and well orchestrated. A thousand brownie points to Weezy
11:09 - T. pain and Will.I.Am present the nominees for best rap album. Embarrass themselves.
11:10 - Lil Wayne done won his ass a Grammy award.
11:10 - There's a good boy. Keep it simple. His family looks nice.
11:18 - Blah blah blah Zoe Deschanel..so that's how you pronounce her name.
11:18 - Robert Plant and 'em are performing. Let's hear if this is actually what it is and nobody knew. This song would go well with a nervous breakdown and some LSD.
11:23 - Green Day shows up promising tobring sweet release in the form of the final Grammy and the end of the show.
11:24 - HA! Grammy of the year goes to Robert Plant and friends. Well hell. Goodnight everybody.
11:27 - Stevie gets on again to close the show down.

Later kiddies, i'm gonna go get housed!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Na na na na


Goodbye Mr. Bush
Bush goes away from the White House... Tell him goodbye YOUR WAY (throwing boots, eggs, daisies or candies) This is a multi-highscore and cumulative-score game!

I'm not gonna lie...even I feel bad for this guy. BUT ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME!! Get in yo' choppa and GTFOH!
I think this game is a positive way to blow off some steam, and hey, maybe if the shoe thrower would've had this game he wouldn't have acted an ass (awesomely) and done what he none did. Lemme know your high score and object of choice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I went to the theatre last night to see the Biggie biopic 'Notorious'. I know I could have peeped a bootleg of it like a week ago but as schmaltzy as it sounds I figured if I was gonna watch this flick at all it was going to have to be in a crowd so that the added benefit of the community experience might make up for whatever the film lacks (and I thought it would lack a lot). A part of me wanted to go to a late showing of this in the hood but that same part of me didn't want to get shot in the name of authenticity and as of the New Year I had deleted most of my hood affiliates and tour guides from my phonebook. In reality I still wouldn't feel safe unless me and Clint Eastwood rolled up on the block in his Gran Torino so I don't even know what I was thinking about with that. I actually ended up in a showing in the 'burbs where my friend and I had to show I.D. to signify that we were 'guardians' to some underaged niglets and accompany them into the theatre just so they could see the film. I scoffed at all the extra regulations but, a half hour into the movie I and most of the audience felt like we weren't old enough to be watching what we were watching either. All I'll say is Naturi Naughton was really puttin her all into that role....and that she got some tittays on her. BTW I am not especially opposed to nudity on film but this movie made me realize that there's something really eerie about watching some porno on a big screen in a room full of strangers.

To get the complaints out of the way, its pretty plain that Diddy had his hands on this film a little too much. Almost every profound thing Big says and does in this film was inspired by, or was a suggestion from Puffy (Derek Luke). He, Voletta (Angela Bassett), and Faith Evans (Antonique Smith) appear to have no flaws and I'm sure their live counterparts working behind the scenes with the director had more than a little bit to do with that. However, that's probably for the best because it helps us focus on the main character's performance. Jamal Woolard does a great job as Biggie, encompassing the laidback bravado that we all grew up with as well as the vulnerabilities that we suspected but never really got to see. And despite my complaints about Puff's onscreen fairy godmother status Luke does surprisingly well in translating the fun and obnoxiousness of Sean Combs without channeling too much of the actual Sean Combs. I'm thankful for this because the approximations of Puffy's silly ass dances are amusing but an authentic level of Diddy realism would surely force me from the theatre.

The roles that stole the show were Smith as Faith Evans and Naughton who played a nuanced and interesting Lil' Kim. I heard that Kim wasn't consulted for her portroyal in the film but her story is pretty compelling despite or possibly because of her absence behind the scenes, otherwise she might've gotten the boring saint treatment that the other characters got. Anthony Mackie as Tupac was creating a problem for me and his being cast is one of the films bigger flaws in my opinion. He's a decent actor but he wasn't channeling Pac in a way that made me go 'Oh snap. that's Pac!' which is really what these characters are supposed to do. Not to mention the way minds work, certain actors among certain environments invoke distracting memories. For instance while watching the 2Pac scenes my brain goes: rap movie + Anthonie Mackie = 8 Mile, and now every time he appears on screen I hear 'Now everybody from the 313 get ya motherfckn hands up and follow me!' He wasn't terrible or anything, and when he remembers to bug his eyes out he almost has you fooled but they should've went with an unknown on that one.
The director also decided to go with ambiguity and neutrality with regards to the details of Biggie's death. I agree that for the type of film this is (celebratory rather than expository) that was probably the best decision. But the vagueness of it made for some bizarre dialogue.

Actual Scene
*phone rings*
Biggie: Hello
Caller: Hey Nigga, you gon leave out here with a fuckin toetag on'. We gon fuckin kill you.
Biggie: Yo. who the fuck is this?
Caller: West Coast, nigga!
*dial tone*

What? Really? The 'West Coast' killed Big? Alright, whatever..moving on.

Going into it with generic to low expectations I was pleasantly surprised. It's a good movie. The cast really got into their roles and save a few exceptions it did what it was supposed to do. Tell B.I.G.'s story? Nah. I don't even think that's what it was supposed to do. You don't learn anything about Christopher Wallace that you didn't already know or presume, which in the grand scheme of things isn't all that much. But there's something emotionally satisfying about seeing glimpses of the stories behind the people who made the music you loved because it plays to your nostalgia. They could have included Kim getting an abortion after getting pregnant with Biggies child but who wants to think about depressing shit like that? We wanna recite the lyrics to the songs we can't help but know the lyrics to and feel proud of our generation for supporting an artist even in death to similar levels of iconic prestige that other generations support and mythologize their heroes (Elvis, anyone?). I'll admit that a really interesting biopic would be an authentic one, telling the sides of the story that we haven't heard or haven't heard enough of and cutting away the bullshit but I would rather see that as a documentary than a feature film. This film reminds me of a (possibly imaginary) time when we were young and rap was something you hid from your parents while you obsessed over it with your friends and older siblings. It reminds you of a time when hip hop was something you really cared about, when you were young enough to think all of the era's rap gossip and drama was really important and how you felt when you sadly realized it kind of was. Seeing it in a sold out theatre in a suburb also makes you realize how many people from all kinds of backgrounds cared about all of that stuff the same way you did. It is by no means perfect but when you hear 'Hypnotize' boom through theatre speakers at the final scene of the movie you must admit it did what it was supposed to do. In apreciation, we as an audience greeted the credits with a round of applause for the movie, for hip hop and for B.I.G. and I for one thought that was pretty dope.

Some Ad Nonsense

Skittles: Reflect The Rainbow

Here's something that you may not have known about me (or cared) but I enjoy advertisements. This is one of my new favorite ones. A white guy is at a Thai tailor getting his suit fitted. It's some alternate reality (as all skittles commercials are) where instead of your own reflection men of various races and ethnicity's mimic your every move in the reflection of the mirror. In this case there's a black guy a Mexican guy and a Filipino guy. The Black guy and the Mexican are both doing their jobs (Oh ho!) but the Filipino guy notices some skittles in his jacket and starts to eat them instead of reflecting the non skittles eating white guy. The white guy complains about it to the tailor who begins to chew this Filipino guy out. Dude gets pissed and kicks in his own reflection as a way of saying 'fuck you, I quit!' I like this ad more the more I watch it, because in it's way the whole reflect the rainbow theme is somehow a nod to diversity (why should your reflection be white too, can't you give that job to a Mexican? Welcome to post-racial America!) But it's also insane in a way that I really enjoy. I liked it even before I knew what the hell they were saying but a little research clarified that their conversation was as follows:

Tailor : Hey, Don't eat while you're working
Filipino guy: But i'm hungry
Tailor: No eating at work, you lazy bum!
Filipino guy: I'm hungry so I'm gonna eat
*insane asian arguing and swearing*
Filipino guy: Motherfucker, I'll do what I want
*kicks glass - mirror shatters - I laugh my ass off*

The craziest commercials come out of Thailand. Here's another one that I really liked. It reminded me of all the island ghost stories I used to hear when I was younger.

Sylvania Light Bulb Ad

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Golden Globes

Well, i'm sure you have noticed this but I have been M.I.A. for a while. My bad. Just to force myself back into the swing of posting my thoughts i'm going to attempt to liveblog the Golden Globes. Wish me luck

8:01 - J.Lo comes out..mic malfuntion already.
8:02 - J.Lo's makeup is pretty good, nice and clean but idk about the rest of her dress, maybe I need a better look
8:03 - got a better look. No ty.
8:04 - Kate Winslet wins, she looks good, and i like her for some reason..hmm. But she's talkin to long already
8:06 - Sting? Why with the grizzly beard? And yet maintains glimpses of the sexy..how does he do that?
8:08 - JERSEY STAND UP! Haha, yeah I had to claim a regional victory today after the Giants lost...womp womp wooomp. :(
8:09 - Clint Eastwood will take you out back and beat you with a stick
8:10 - I love that Bruce and his wife have matching noses and that he called her strong. I love that type of shit, like really love.
8:14 - Simon Baker is still sexy. Remember Something New? That was the official 'let's investigate this swirl thing' movie.
8: 15 - Awwe look at Tom Wilkinson not knowin when to wave. Awwe and he wins.
8: 17 - I love Tom Wilkinson. Wtf was that? hahaha He forgot everyones name, like 'wutevs, Thanks, but I didn't ask you wankers to pick me'
8:25 - My heart just broke. Sexy ass Don Cheadle is in 'Hotel For Dogs'? Why does he look like that. Like a pirate, with the two earings.
8:27 - Eva Mendez is dumb sexy, especially tonite. That jewelry! swoon, and she's all about la Raza...lol well it's not my Raza but cultural empowerment is always a good thing to me
8:29 - Zac Efron doesn't do it for me but this is the most masculine I've seen him..ever. i thought it was Jared Leto
8:30 - 'Not here to talk Trek'..then why are y'all here, who are you guys?
8:31 - Awwe Anna Paquin wins it. Yay! She's like one of the few actresses that looks like a regular person, it's refreshing to me. I still dunno if i'm feelin the blonde though..
8:37 - "thats the last time I have sex with 200 middle aged journalists' O h Ricky Gervais
8:39 - Jonas Brothers?? I will never understand. Is that how everyone felt about NSYNC back when I and other teenyboppers was all on their nuts?
8:42 - Johnny Depp has on his pervert scraggle moustache again. I do not like it. And he looks tired. :(
8:46 - Wheres Savion Glover? or Sandman Simms, they need to hire them to come out w the cane and drag folks off stage.
8:52 - Jakey Gyllenhaal presents a Benjamin Button commercial
8:53 - Drew Barrymore and Sharon Stone? giggle like fools
8:54 - "Ants can't even understand what a giant's talkin about!'. look at Diddy tryna look humble. sweet.
8:57 - Tom Cruise blathers like an insane person. My bad Hanks, Tom Hanks woww
8:57 - Cute moment with Demi and Rumer, who actually doesnt look frightening tonite
8:59 - Heath Ledger *tear*
9:05 - *sigh* I'm starting to tire of this. Yayyy Frost/Nixon...w00t....
9:06 - Thank you Colin Farell, that was a stupid thing for them to ask you to say. And you actually look clean tinite, double kudos. Also kudos for tryna play it off like you don't do coke no more.
9:22 - Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock, thats a dope show. Awwe his daughter's name is Ireland. That's cute, and ghetto. Whites are not exempt.
9:28 - S. Epatha is sellin pens?
9:28 - Cot Damn! Wtf is goin on w Renee Zellweger? SWhe almost never looks good but tonight she looks like she flapped out of a cave.
9:30 - It's Baby Wipes!
9:32 - Paul Giammati is such a little hobbit. EEw did you see Marc Antony creepily rubbin down J.Lo's shoulders? Jeepers
9:34 - That 30 Rock episode was too funny
9:36 - LMAO at Tracy Morgan announcing himself as the representative for 30 Rock and the face of post-racial America, then proceeding to embarass all of us immensly. You have my heart.
9:47 - Ugly Betty looks really nice tonight.
9:53 - Lol at this commercial trying to sell me on this Spielberg show about multiple personalities...
9:54 - SMH at this other commercial trying to get me to buy lotto tickets
9:58 - w00t The Color Purple, Amistad...its dawning on me that I should have been high tonight.
10:13 - Now ole girl w Dustin Hoffman looks alright. Their schtic is cute..wow this Slumdog Millionnaire is stealin the show
10:16 - Sigourney Weaver is doin her thing for giant women, I like it.
10:18 - Grr at the award show for not showing Javier Barden
10:21 - "Curiousity is love, it's Ignorance's nemesis" an excerpt from Colin Farell's artsy fartsy poetic stream of consciousness speech
10:27 - Mmmm Selma Hayek, Viva Mexico
10:36 - This Indian actress is gorgeous.
10:37 - Cameron Diaz and Mark Wahlberg....they are bothering me.
10:40 - I never seen anyone so excited to win an award lmao awwe Kate
10:45 - ....This shit is still on!?
10:51 - I heard Mickey Rourke really wanted to win this one...and thas the last thing I heard about Mickey Rourke in some time
10:53 - WHOO 2 seconds of middle finger on national television!!
11:00 - AAAAAAND Were done! Whoo finally, I couldn't hang with it for much longer but i'm proud of myself for finishing, even though thas barely an accomplishment. The last couple minutes was a frenzy for the censors. Gooodnight everyone.

UPDATE: Highlight of the night. Tracy Morgan's 30 Rock Acceptance Speech