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Posts from January 2004

Money, Money, Money!

I'm Rich . . . Beeyootch!

(Via Friday Five and Blown Fuse)

[Disclaimer = $1 million after taxes -- which approx. is about $600,000, maybe less than that -- can go a long way with me. It's all about investing and not about the "bling-bling." It's not about living beyond your means, it's about living comfortably. It's about being money smart.]

You have just won one million dollars:

1. Who do you call first?

Nobody. No one needs to know I just got paid. I might call my brother.

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?

Well, after taxes, I'm probably holding like $600,000. Not bad, I can live off of that. So I would buy me a new house, then a nice black SUV, rolling on 24s with a nice stereo system.

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?

I would buy my mom a house. I would break my brother off with some scrilla -- just enough for him to buy a house and live comfortably.

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?

Ah, no. I might give a little cash to the Salvation Army.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how?

Most definitely I would invest. After all of my spending and cash-giving, I would be left with about $200,000. So, I would invest $150,000 in stocks, savings and IRAs -- stuff that would accumulate interest and are tax-exempt. Also, I would still keep my job. With all of my money secure, I'll just live comfortably. On occasion, I might "bling-bling" and party. The goal here is to live comfortably. I don't need to bling-bling just because I got a little bit of dough.


No Vaseline?

Now you're gettin' done without vaseline . . .

First, it was Jigga Vs. God's Son (bka Nas).
Then it was 50 Cent Vs. Ja Rule.
Now it's Jay Smooth Vs. Jessica Hopper.


Right now, there's a heated blog beef erupting between two of the hardest-working bloggers on the 'Net.

In this corner, coming in with the best hip-hop blog on the 'Net -- Jay Smooth of
And in the other corner, we have Chicagoland's luckiest diarist Jessica Hopper of the blog, tinyluckygenius aka the Unicorn's tear.

How did the beef started? Who knows? Who cares?

Jay Smooth is in the blog history book. He has recorded the first the second the third "blog dis" song ever in the blogging community titled "I Know Why The Unicorn Cries." The incendiary track is available as a downloadable mp3 and lyrics are posted. Jay is so dope, he even sampled Howard Dean's infamous yelp ("Yeeeaarrrgh!") into the song, which uses the beat from rhyme-spitter Vast Aire's "Look Mom No Hands" track. It's a brilliant song.

My favorite line:

You think your tiny sucky blog makin me feel fear?
I get more hits in a week than you get all year
You cry a tear cuz you're jealous about my fame
Talk a good one but never call me out by name
It's just a shame, I dunno why you think that you could reckon with me
I represent New York, you're in the second city . . . .

[BTW, supposedly, this verbal sparring match is all fun and games. So don't take this seriously, folks.]

Also, check out Jay Smooth's official story on the TRUE publishing history of the Source magazine. It's required reading for anyone who wants to know how the Source became such a strong presence in hip-hop journalism during the early days of rap. Today, the Source magazine is an unscrupulous publication caught up in writing nefarious articles on hip-hop and bias music reviews. It's a damn shame. In the meantime . . . Fuck the Source.


Funky Fresh Five

Journalist/editor extrodinaire Lynne d Johnson has a column @ called Fresh Friday Five. Last week, she decided to list five [hip-hop-related] DVDs she thinks should be added to your DVD collection. So, I decided to list several of my current favorites DVDs. But here's the kicker: I don't even own a DVD player.
But being the critic that I am, I'm going list my fresh five anyway. I saw these movies at my friend's house on his DVD player. Eventually, when I do get a DVD player, I'll certainly add these titles to my library.

Fresh Friday Five: The DVDs You Want To See:

I'm Your Mama, I'm Your Daddy/ I'm That Nigga In The Alley

1. Superfly Special Edition DVD

Actor Ron O' Neal, who starred as cocaine-dealer Youngblood Priest in the 1972 blaxploitation classic Superfly, died last Wednesday at a Los Angeles hospital after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 66. Hopefully, the just-released Superfly special edition DVD -- which features a "making of" documentary, theatrical trailer, commentary by hip-hop historian Todd Boyd, an interview with Ron and more -- will spark renew interest in the movie, which defined an era in black-folklore films. Superfly was more than just a great blaxiplotation film, it was a strong piece of pulp fiction. In addition, the late Curtis Mayfield's pulsating soundtrack enhanced the movie, and is undoubtedly one of the greatest recordings in popular American music. If you loved it once, you’ll now love it forever.

Thinking Of A Master Plan . . .

2. Paid In Full

Lynne's list features video director Hype Williams's movie debut Belly -- which, was recently released in a special edition DVD and music CD package -- and it's a fine film. But another DVD that should get equal notice is Paid In Full (2002). The movie was the directorial debut of former music-video director Charles "Chuck" Stone III, who directed the infamous "Wassup" Budweiser commercials. Charles did a phenomenal job capturing a unique time period (circa 1986) in hip-hop and in inner-city black life. Based on a true story, the movie's story line centers on three drug kingpins named AZ (Wood Harris), Mitch (Mekhi Phifer) and Rico (rapper Cam'ron in a stellar performance) and their infamous rise and greed-driven downfall during the '80s cocaine/crack epidemic in Harlem, New York. Much like Belly, this is another great piece of hip-hoploitation with colorful characters and an interesting story.

Itchin' For A Scratch

3. Scratch

Scratch, by far, is the most entertaining movie on the art of turntablism and the ever-growing DJ movement. Filmmaker Doug Pray's documentary introduces us to the originators (DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grand Mixer DXT) and the innovators (DJ Shadow, Mix Master Mike, DJ Babu) of the scratch. Also profiled are DJ Premier, DJ Z-Trip, Cut Chemist, Rob Swift (of the X-Ecutioners) and many others. If there's one nick pick about this film, I would have to say there were some DJs overlooked on this project, particularly DJ Jazzy Jeff (among others). There also should have been turntablists from other countries profiled like Australia's DJ Dexter Fabay (of the hip-hop group the Avalanches) and Russia's DJ Vadim (among many others). Nevertheless, this DVD should be in your library. Also, check out the movie's accompanying soundtrack, which features an overblown reworking of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," with an all-star cast on the 1's and 2's: Rob Swift, DJ Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Grand Mixer DXT, DJ Faust, DJ Shortee and DJ Babu.

Where's The Beef? Here's A DVD You Can Chew On

4. Beef

When I first saw Beef, it was at the barbershop on bootleg DVD and I wasn't impressed with it. Recently, I was able to see a better copy of the movie and liked some of it. Beef is indeed a noteworthy documentary on various celebratory feuds in hip-hop -- from the BDP Vs. Juice Crew lyrical duels to 50 Cent and Ja Rule's recent verbal (and physical) sparring matches. As far as Beef being the best documentary of the year, it will have to take a backseat behind Tupac: Resurrection. Resurrection is a very powerful and informative biopic/documentary about the late rapper Tupac Shakur that, unlike Beef, had better production value and fluidity in its documentation. Beef should have been released in movie theaters, as well. Nonetheless, both films were two of the best hip-hop-related movies I've seen in 2003.

Honey Buns -- Tasty Like Kelis

5. Hip-Hop Honeys : Tasty Flavors

Yes, this is wrong. Women shouldn't have to show their tits and ass to get love from hip-hop. This is one out of many DVD/VHS products in stores that uses "hip-hop" as a marketing tool/tagline to lure consumers to buy adult entertainment -- and it's working. Is it wrong? Probably. Entertainment company Game Recordings -- headed up by the founding editor of the Source magzine Jon "Shecky Green" Shecter -- is behind these booty videos. The dime pieces featured in Tasty Flavors -- including my favorites Crystal Knight, Francine Dee, Lacey, and Chyna -- are more like quarter pieces (they are fwwwiiine). The basement beats -- provided by various up-and-coming knob-twiddlers -- keep everything poppin' like a strip club. Now I'm going to help Jon get even more paid: I think it's time for Game to release a DVD called Hip-Hop Dudes: Tasty Thugs. Yo Jon, I want a royalty check. Holla!

And finally, this from the blog world:

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