I'm in South Calackie right now attending my family reunion this weekend. This is my first time visiting Columbia, S.C., and I'm excited. I can't wait to meet the kinfolk. It's been a long time.
In the meantime, check out my other weblog, Magic Negro. The site has been updated with a new entry -- The Best Negro Music of the Year . . . So Far. It's not a definitive list, just albums that I like during the past 6 or 7 months. Also check out the blog's sidebar typelists: "Negro League," "More Negro Music" and "Negro Spots," -- they all have been updated, too.
Kanye West's debut album, The College Dropout, is a masterful piece of work that should be mentioned among the classic albums of our time. That's what West thinks. And he'll tell you so again and again and again.
"You can't judge The College Dropout. It's something completely different," the 27-year-old musician declared in a recent interview with The Associated Press. "It's definitely a classic, if I stepped aside from myself and say that . . . we'll see the results in the next six months, of whether it did change the game or whether it is it's own entity."
"And I'm very creative. I always want to do something different from what everybody else is doing, ever since I was little."
I think Kanye West's The College Dropout changed the rap game on so many levels but falls short of hip-hop classic status because of the awful skits and some lackluster productions featured on some of the songs. Six months from now, Kanye's album would be look upon as an inspiration for more Humanism in hip-hop.
And Kanye, you're a motherfuckin' genius, no matter what the critics say.
You can catch Kanye West opening up for another genius, R&B crooner Usher on his "Truth" tour, which kicks off Aug. 5 in Hampton, Va. To find out when these two music masterminds are hitting a venue near you, click HERE.
I have a deep dark secret that I want to share with you.
I'm a girl watcher.
When I'm traveling on the subway, and I see a woman's boobies -- ahem, excuse me, cleavage -- popping out of her blouse; or a woman's butt crack (or ass cleavage) peeking out of low-cut jean shorts; or see a woman's butt cheeks in boom-boom shorts . . . I can't help but stare at them.
In the morning, the ladies in New York dress so provocatively -- from wearing booty shorts, to camouflage mini-skirts, to sheer white t-shirts with no bra -- its hard for a brother to stay focus while walking to work. I see too many nipples, cheeks, cracks, and camel toes at 9 a.m. in the morning . . . it's driving me insane!
I'm not complaining, I love to girl watch -- discreetly whenever I can -- and appreciate the female body from afar.
But for syndicated columnist/noted book author Darryl James -- who is an habitual girl watcher -- looking at a scantily-dressed female put him in a very awkward situation the other day:
I'm a girl watcher and I watch women in humble appreciation of God’s finest work. Now, my girl-watching skills are keen, but sometimes a woman's indiscreet exposure can make my own discretion fail.
My discretion must have been failing the other day when I heard a woman's voice come through too loud and too clear: "That's my daughter and she's only sixteen!" Now, of course, my first reaction was embarrassment. But when I looked again at the "sixteen year old," I became a bit irritated myself.
This "sixteen year old" was no pigtail-wearing pixie, skipping through the mall in a frilly dress with biscuit-toed patent-leather shoes. This was a 5'8", 145 pound, healthily proportioned, buxom female with tight low-rise capri pants (with a pink thong and butt cleavage peeking out), four-inch pumps and a skimpy halter top pushing her breasts up. To be honest, even when she turned around, there was no way to know that she was a minor, other than the fact that her mother was verbally admonishing me.
When embarrassment gave way to irritation, I doled out my own brand of admonishment to the mother. My words for her were just as indignant. I wanted to know why she allowed her underage daughter to walk around in such revealing and overly sexual clothing. I explained to her that men's eyes don’t check identification, and that no one can tell a female’s age by looking at her. Finally, I admonished her that if she was going to allow her child to dress in such a manner, she had no right to be upset when men look at her. After all, that is the result certain clothing is designed to achieve.
And it's not just underage girls who are immodest.
I've been in conversations with women who admonish me for looking in places I guess I am not supposed to look. You know the line: "My eyes are up here, not down there!" My position is: "If you don’t want me to look, then why is it packaged like that?"
[I already know that some will brand me a sexist pig], but I am compelled to tell the truth. I must speak for men everywhere who try to be discreet when confronted with tops and pants that are too tight; bellies that are strategically exposed; thongs; butt cleavage, tattoos peeking out from jeans that are worn far below the line of decency, and shirts (if you can call them that), squeezing too much and/or concealing too little.
Ian from a Different Kitchen weblog hit me over the head with this shit -- Terror Squad "platinum" pendant via Amazon.com.
WTF? Now that's what the fuck I call a chain reaction. I hope kids ain't buying that shit.
Speaking of TS, Ian said Terror Squad's CD True Storywas a disappointment. And I think I know why the album sucked so much. When the Terror Squad crew visited MTV's Direct Effect -- with the oh-so beautiful hostess La La -- Squad leader Fat Joe said that the group recorded the CD in 9 days flat. So that might explain why True Story is straight bullshit -- it's a rushed product.
Now that's what the fuck I call a chain reaction.
In other news:
Get Rich and Do A Cartoon:
50 Cent will make a cameo on Fox's hit animated series The Simpsons next season to do a "very street" rap with Bart. No word if Fiddy is gonna bust a cap in Homer's ass.
Snoop Dogg is not wanted in Boston anymore after he dissed his fans at a meet-and-greet event.
Speaking of Boston, DJ/writer/scholar Davey D reports on how hip-hop was representing at the Democratic National Convention last week.
[The] last requirement -- that Christian hip-hoppers be humble -- is a significant sticking point. Egocentrism seems inherent to rapping, and some critics within the church argue that the very idea of Christian hip-hop is suspect, because proving oneself as an MC requires an un-Christlike amount of boasting.
[Christian rapper] Modavador G says that even well-versed Christian MCs can fall into trouble with pride while freestyling at the open mic portion of his weekly holy hip-hop services. "It's a challenge because open mic is a fleshly, 'Here's-my-skills-I'm-the-bomb' kind of thing. So you have to balance between that and what God has done for you, and you just give your testimony."
Forget J. Lo, Latin actress Mayra Veronica could be my future baby's mama.
President George Bush gets his nipples pinched and his ass violated in Agent Provocutor's new video for "She's Lost Control," which features burlesque model/S&M vixen Dita Von Teese. (Warning: Not Work Safe!)
I'm not a fan of Dip Set thug Jim Jones -- I think he's a moronic "so-called" rapper with no lyrical skills. Moreso since he called Nas a "homo."
But Jim says he doesn't consider himself a rapper but a businessman with aspirations to empower his community.
"I ain't a rapper first of all. I'm in it for more than just the money. When you get a bit of money then you're able to get power and with power, we'd probably be able to change the minds of our people and be political, which is one of my goals," Jones revealed. "We need more strong black people. They [the government] shittin' on us. We need strong, aggressive representation. The ones that's there are strong, but we need some more."
If there's anyone idiotic enough to buy Jim Jones' wack CD On My Way To Church, it drops on Aug. 24.
Finally, music historian/author Nelson George has penned the liner notes to a comprehensive Michael Jackson "greatest-hits" collection, which is set for release in the fall via Sony. The compilation will include unreleased tracks from Sony's vault (many of which date back to the '80s and early '90s), remixes of Jacko's biggest hits, a version of "We Are the World" (sung by MJ alone) and more.