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Posts from May 2005

Trapped In A Sitcom Dream

Blushin' in this 40 ounce
Lettin' the ink from my pen bleed
Cuz Martin Luther King had a dream
Aaliyah had a dream
Left Eye had a dream
So I reached out to Kanye and ("brought you all my dream") . . .

"Dreams" -- The Game

Either I need to change my diet or stop watching television, because I have been having the craziest dreams lately. I mean the shit is getting ridonkulous.

Recently, I dreamt that actress Countess Vaughn James (from the defunct sitcom The Parkers) was my baby mama. Why? I don't know. Apparently, Countess found a box of condoms and decided to confront me on her recent discovery.

"Whose box of condoms are these?!?" Countess screamed.
"I don't know, they are not mines," I shouted back.
"Well, they are not mines," she responded. And then she looked at me with her blue-colored eyeballs bulging out of her big-ass head and she pouted her lips.
"I want an answer, dammit!" she commands.

"I'm going over my mom's house," I said, tired of Countess' constant nagging.
"Go to your mom's house, then," she yelled. "You are always running to your mamas."

So I get to my mom's house and guess who answers the door?

Model/video chick/hot-piece-of-ass/actress LisaRaye (of the UPN sitcom All of Us).

"You are my mom?" I asked, bewildered yet kind of happy to see her.
"Of course, come on in," she greets me.

I was like, Yeeesss, I'm going to bang LisaRaye in her butt. Yippee!
But then I thought to myself, "Wait a minute . . . she's my mom?!?"

Meanwhile, LisaRaye starts offering me advice on how I can mend my relationship with Countess. And in my mind I'm like, "Woman, I don't want to hear any suggestions from you, I want to see you bucket nekkid."

But then I was like, "Whoa, wait a minute, I want to fuck my moms?"

That's when I woke up. The dream was getting too crazy. And then I took a long cold shower and I tried to wash the images of my dream away.

But occasionally, I sit and I wondered: What was that dream all about?

Folks, I need some help.

These dreams have got to mean something.

I think I'm going to have to consult a dream psychic.


Livin' In The Lap Of Luxury

I hate Mondays.
Mondays always suck.

But I love Tuesday.
Anyway, there are some new albums that are in stores right now that I think you should cop -- immediately!

Mint Condition
Livin' the Luxury Brown
(Cage Bird Records/ Image Entertainment Group)

Mint Condition's bad-ass CD Livin' the Luxury Brown, is truly one of the most unconventional R&B albums -- in a good Slave/Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame kind of way -- of 2005. And it's also absolutely wonderful -- great musicianship, great songwriting and great singing. There aren't any joints on here that live up to their classic "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" but "Half Hour" is pretty close. M.C.'s first single, "I'm Ready" is also a cool cut. Another interesting track is "It's Hard," which was written and co-produced by OutKast (yes, by the stankilicious duo) and features background vocals by what sounds like T-Boz of TLC (but not confirmed). If you are looking for a great R&B album by a band or group -- look no further than Mint Condition's Livin the Luxury Brown. The CD also includes a bonus DVD of Mint Condition live in concert. This is a hot commodity -- go cop it!

Album II

I love Kem last CD (double no homo). But dude, what's up with the new title? Album II, that's it? Damn. Nevertheless, Kem's sophmore CD (which is in stores now) is great. I don't have time to get into a deep review, I just copped the disc on Monday (shhh) and I'm still letting the music marinate in the ears. So far, I like what I'm hearing. Kem is undoubtedly our finest love crooner -- and dare I say, in comparsion, Kem is the new Luther Vandross.

Hot Single I'm Feeling This Week:

Stephen Marley's "My Baby." (Click to second song)

Yo, this track has got me wiiiiiide open.
No question, I'm a big fan of Stephen's father -- the late reggae God Bob Marley -- and this single follows in Bob's traditional footsteps of melodic, tender ballads with a little reggae-tinged to it. This song is in heavy rotation in my ipod.

Music Blogs To Checkout:

Stop sleeping and check out Honey Soul's blog -- she has more music for your aural pleasure.

Also, peep Ian's blog A Different Kitchen on the daily for the latest and greatest in indie rap and R&B music/news. He just recently spotted a new joint from Yummy (Feat. Jadakiss) called "Come Get It." He also has a new Kanye West joint. Ian is the man. Stop frontin' and link him up.

And finally . . .

Madlib must be wanted by the FBI because this dude has got more "aliases" then Jennifer Gardner. The rave reviews for the eclectic beatmaker's CD under his moniker Quasimoto called The Further Adventures of Lord Quas are off the chain. I haven't seen so much praise for 'Lib since, well, since Madvilliany. I will cop the disc later this week. I never doubted Madlib's talent behind the boards -- he is fuckin' bananas on the knobs. So I'm quite sure the Quasimoto CD is crazy with beats, rhymes and life. From the looks of things, Madlib has got another winner on his hands. But is it The Best Album of the Year? What about Common's CD Be? Did the critics forget about Common?

In any case, go get Quasi.

Music is everything to me . . .


Dave Is Not Crazy, Bitches!

Dave Chappelle is not crazy; He just went to South Africa to find himself.

"There were some things about myself that I didn't like," he says. "People got to take inventory from time to time. That's what this [coming to South Africa] is for."

TIME magazine has nabbed an exclusive interview with the comedian who is resting in Durban, South Africa. Dave tells TIME's Johannesburg bureau chief Simon Robinson (with additional reporting by Christopher John Farley?) that he's not in a mental hospital or in drug rehab, debunking earlier reports in Entertainment Weekly. Dave, who just recently converted to Islam, is in the motherland on a spiritual retreat with family friend Salim Domar. "Let me tell you the things I can do here which I can't at home: think, eat, sleep, laugh," he says. "I'm an introspective dude. I enjoy my own thoughts sometimes. And I've been doing a lot of thinking here."

While it's great to hear that Dave is in good spirits, the bad news is that the third season of Chappelle Show has been postponed indefinitely. Fans will have to get their laughs from the comedian's upcoming DVD of the second season, which is due to hit stores on May 24.

The full story, as well as exclusive photos of Dave in South Africa, will appear in TIME magazine, which hits newsstands Monday.

I believed that the online article won't be up for long, so I posted the story in its entirety below:

On the Beach With Dave Chappelle

In South Africa, TIME's Simon Robinson talks with the comic about his sudden disappearance from Chappelle's Show

Posted Sunday, May. 15, 2005

In this week's TIME, Christopher John Farley reveals why Dave Chappelle decided to leave his hit show and what he's been up to since he disappeared to South Africa two weeks ago. Last Friday night, TIME Johannesburg bureau chief Simon Robinson met with the comic at uShaka Marine World on the beach in the South African port of Durban. In a ninety minute conversation, Chappelle was eager to set the record straight on why he suddenly left the U.S. and what he's doing in South Africa. Here's Robinson's account:

Dave Chappelle shows up to our interview in a red t-shirt, blue jeans and shiny white sneakers. He lopes around in his usual style, pacing a lot, but does not seem like a man struggling to speak or to order his thoughts at all. He's lucid and thoughtful and a couple of times asks me to give him some time to think about answers. He concedes that he is dealing with a lot of issues and mentions that he had consulted a psychiatrist about a week ago for a forty minute session. He is also quite fastidious about keeping his new sneakers clean and stops at least twice to wipe smudges off their toes.

The first thing Chappelle wants is to dispel rumors—that he's got a drug problem, that he's checked into a mental institution in Durban—that have been flying around the U.S. for the past week. He says he is staying with a friend, Salim Domar, and not in a mental institution, as has been widely reported in America. Chappelle says he is in South Africa to find "a quiet place" for a while. "Let me tell you the things I can do here which I can't at home: think, eat, sleep, laugh. I'm an introspective dude. I enjoy my own thoughts sometimes. And I've been doing a lot of thinking here."

The picture he paints—and it seems a fairly honest and frank assessment— is of someone struggling to come to terms with a new position and power who's still figuring out how to come to grips with how people around him are reacting to the $50 million deal he signed last year with Comedy Central. Without naming specific characters, he seems to blame both some of his inner circle (not his family) and himself for the stresses created by last year's deal.

"There were things that overwhelmed me," he says. "But not in the way that people are saying. I haven't spent any of the money. All that stuff about partying and taking crack is not true. Why do I live on a farm in Ohio? To support my partying lifestyle?"

The problems, he says, started with his inner circle."If you don't have the right people around you and you're moving at a million miles an hour you can lose yourself," he says. "Everyone around me says, 'You're a genius!'; 'You're great!'; 'That's your voice!' But I'm not sure that they're right." And he stresses that Comedy Central was not part of the problem and put no more than normal television restrictions on what he could do.

"You got to be careful of the company you keep," Chappelle says. "It's hard to know how much to say. One of the things that happens when people make the leap from a certain amount of money to tens of millions of dollars is that the people around you dramatically change.

"During my ascent, I've seen other people go through that wall to become really big. They always said that fame didn't change them but that it changes the people around them. You always hear that but you never really understand it. But now that I'm there that makes a lot of sense and I'm learning what that means. You have to have people around you that you can trust and aren't just out for a meal ticket."

The breakdown in trust within his inner circle seems to have led him to question the material they were producing. He seems obsessed with making sure the material is good and honest and something that he will be proud. "I want to make sure I'm dancing and not shuffling," he says. "What ever decisions I make right now I'm going to have live with. Your soul is priceless." The first two seasons of his show "had a real spirit to them," he says. "I want to make sure whatever I do has spirit."

But Chappelle also says that he must share the blame for the stalled third season. "I'm admittedly a human being," he says. "I'm a difficult kind of dude." His earlier walkout during shooting "had a little psychological element to it. I have trust issues, things like that. I saw some stuff in myself that I just didn't dig. It's like when I brought a girl home to my mom and it looked as if my mom really didn't like this girl. And she told me, 'I like her just fine. I just don't like you around her.' That's how I feel in this situation. There were some things about myself that I didn't like. People got to take inventory from time to time. That's what this [coming to South Africa] is for."

This is Chappelle's second trip to South Africa. He first came to Durban, and visited Salim, in 2000. Chappelle won't tell me exactly how he met Salim but describes him as a family friend. A soft-spoken Muslim, Salim seems also to be something of a sounding board to Chappelle, who converted to Islam several years ago. While Chappelle is not doing a formal religious course in Durban, says Salim, who wore a simple cotton robe and hung back through the interview and photo shoot and only spoke when I asked him a question, "if he wants to talk religion then I'm there as someone to talk to." Says Chappelle: "This is kind of my spot where I can come to fill my spirit back up. Sometimes you neglect these things if you are running on a corporate schedule." The crux of his crisis seems to boil down to his almost obsessive need to "check my intentions." He uses the phrase a few times during the interview and explains that it means really making sure that he's doing what he's doing for the right reasons.

His family, he says, has been a huge support over the past eight months. "They've been phenomenal really, just incredible. What beautiful people. Everyone loves their family but it's good if you can like them too."

His religion is also crucial. "I don't normally talk about my religion publicly because I don't want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing. And I believe it is a beautiful religion if you learn it the right way. It's a lifelong effort. Your religion is your standard. Coming here I don't have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I'm interested in the kind of person I've got to become. I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced. I've got to check my intentions, man."

That includes planning for the future. When I ask him if he would ever buy a place of his own in South Africa, Chappelle replies, "First of all I've got to make sure I've got a job."

He says that he's only been recognized five or six times in the two weeks he's been here. "It happens so sporadically that when it does it freaks me out because I have to remember, 'Oh, yeah, I'm famous.'" At the end of our interview/photo shoot an American woman does recognize him. "Number seven," he cries. "Wow, I'm not that big in Africa. I've got to do an action film here."

During most of the hour and a half that we talk, Chappelle is serious and introspective. But he still has his sense of humor, which comes out as we near the end of our conversation: "Is that enough to prove I'm not smoking crack or hanging out in a mental institution?"


Weekend Mix It Up!

"Lonely (so lonely), I'm Mr. Lonely (Mr. Lonely) . . .
-- Akon, "Lonely"

It's Friday! I just got paid, and it's time to mix it up!

Here are rules: Shuffle your songs in your iPod, then list the first fifteen randomly selected songs. Check out what's rocking in my iPod:

01. Maktub: Daily Dosage
02. Van Hunt : Your Love
03. John Mayer : Split Screen Sadness
04. Vivian Green : Gotta Go, Gotta Leave
05. Maktub: 20 Years
06. Blueprint : Big Girls Need Love Too
07. 112 : God Knows
08. Faith Evans : Mesmerized
09. India.Arie : Purify Me
10. 50 Cent : Ski Mask Way
11. Big Pooh (Featuring Murs) : Now
12. Omarion : I Wish
13. Bobby V. : My Angel
14. Bill Withers : Use Me
15. Bruce Springsteen : Devils & Dust

Note: Maktub is a really cool Seattle-based rock band that recently released their third CD titled Say What You Mean. To check out their music and their blog, click THIS.


A Book to Read

Rakim Told Me: Wax Facts Straight from the Original Artists -- The '80s By Brian Coleman

I just copped this book so haven't dived into it, yet. But after quickly skimming through the pages, I can tell that this book is going to be a great page-turner like Jeff Chang's hardback, Can't Stop Won't Stop. You can check out two sample chapters on Schoolly D's Saturday Night -- the Album and Eric B & Rakim's Paid In Full right HERE.

Two CDs You Must Check Out

Blueprint -- 1988

Who said underground hip-hop was dead? Y'all better stop trippin'. Versatile rhyme-slinger/beatmaker Blueprint recently released his solo joint 1988. The Ohio-based rapper (and Soul Position member) pays homage to that year, which saw the prominence of rap with groups like Public Enemy, De La Soul, EPMD and N.W.A. Almost every song on the disc is a nod to artists of that year. On "Trouble On My Mind" -- a wink to Public Enemy -- Blueprint speaks on the urgency of trying to stay on top in the rap game without selling out. On "Tramp" -- a wink to Salt-N-Pepa -- 'Print disses gold-diggin hoochies who are after his paper. On the beat-boxing "Fresh" -- a wink to Doug E. Fresh -- he spits venom at weak rappers who are biting his style. One of the most interesting track is "Boombox," in which 'Print pays tribute to his radio (probably a nod to LL), and -- in some respects -- to Radio Raheem from Do the Right Thing. All and all, Blueprint's CD is not only fresh for '88 but also live for the '05 -- you suckas.

Bobby Valentino -- Bobby Valentino

This is not the greatest R&B album in the world, but it's an impressive debut CD from Bobby V. -- a talented young man who was once a member of the very short-lived 90's R&B group Mista. I wouldn't buy the CD; your best bet is to go to iTunes, survey the tracks and pick your favorite(s). I'm quite sure there's at least two songs you'll like.

Two Shows to Watch

Grey's Antamony (ABC, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET)

I used to watch NBC's ER religiously every Thursday night. But once Eric LaSalle left the show, I stopped watching the series. Now I'm tuning in to ABC's new medical drama Grey's Antamony every Sunday and it's pretty good. I'm a big fan of Isiah Washington and actress Sandra Oh is a hottie.

Forget about Making the Band 3, if you have BET, you should check out this reality series called Blowin' Up: Fatty Koo. The half-hour series airs every Thursday at 9:30 p..m. ET. I have to admit, I don't know why Columbia Records signed Fatty Koo because I haven't heard or seen anything from them that impressed me. However, the series is an interesting look at how this record label (and the industry at large) discovers and builds their artists. Fatty Koo -- a quintet from Columbus, Ohio that blends R&B, hip-hop, jazz and pop into a musical pot of well-harmonized songs -- are set to dropped their debut CD House of Fatty Koo on July 12. The group's first single, "Bounce," is okay, but it's nothing spectacular.

A Blog to Visit

Jesus Piece -- From the Polo Fleece to the Jesus Piece

This is a way-cool hip-hop blog from rap head Mike from Virigina Beach, Va. Check out his "Top Ten Greatest [Hip-Hop] Albums Copped With Cash" list, which is a flipside to MTV's atrocious "Top Ten Greatest Hip-Hop Albums" list. Also, peep his post on new music from Slum Village's member Elzhi (on the solo tip) and London's grime spitter Kano. LINK IT UP!

*** Bonus Reco-MEME-dations:

Hot Chick To Oogle At

Ooowww! Check out model Rita G HERE

Videos/Songs To Watch

Check out this female rhyme-spitter out in Minni-Apple (aka Minneapolis) named Protegee. She kind of reminds me of '90s rapstress N-Tyce (remember her on the "Hush Hush Tip") with a Jay-Z rhyme flow. She's not that bad. To check out her songs, click THIS.

Speaking of hush hush, the Ying Yang Twins' "Wait" (aka "Whisper Song") has become the hottest song of the year since Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot." And now there's a response track to the "Wait" song by Spoiled Rotten. (shaken my head)

Peep Snoop Dogg's new video "Ups and Downs/Bang Out" HERE

Peep Usher's video for "Red Light" right HERE

Peep The Game's video for "Dreams" right HERE

Man, that is it for me.

Have a great weekend!


I'm In South Africa, Bitch!

Awww, damn!

Say it isn't so. It looks like Dave Chappelle is literally out of his mind.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the comedian reportedly has checked himself into a mental institution in South Africa. Dave's whereabouts and condition have been unknown since Comedy Central announced last week that they were shutting down production on Chappelle's Show. The laugh network still doesn't have a clue what the heck is going on with Dave. "We don't know where he is," Comedy Central rep Tony Fox told The Associated Press. "We've heard about South Africa. We don't know. We haven't talked to Dave." Sources close to the situation say that the show's future is in doubt. Dave's publicist had no comment on the matter.

Get well, Dave.