411 Music's Friday News Bootleg 12.12.03

Welcome back to The Bootleg. I think I’m the only brutha in America who has no idea what the hell Ralph Wiley is talkin’ about in his ESPN Page 2 column. Now, please help yourselves to plenty of Kool-Aid and chili-cheese Fritos. What’s the deal with the ghetto refreshments…? Well, this week we celebrate my one-year anniversary as a member of the 411 Family!

Back on December 9 of last year, my first review was posted and finally…my wife could be proud of her man. It was a very heated competition for one of the few spots on the music staff, but somehow I made the cut. Of course, so did this guy, which I assume was Widro’s way of telling me that there would always be someone worse than me on the team.

I promise not to turn this into a self-serving Ain’t I Great remix album, so if I can be serious for a moment…I’d like to take this time to thank Widro and Ashish for giving me a stage to bring together two of my favorite pastimes: hip hop and writing. I’d like to thank the entire music staff, as well as the whole damn 411 fam, too. Thanks for the cheap plugs via links, thanks for the emails and thanks for entertaining me with your material over the last year.

Finally…and you knew this was coming…a sincere THANK YOU to all y’all who read my ‘ish. I’m about a month behind in answering my mail, so please don’t think I’m unappreciative of the praise…or the flames…that y’all pass along to me. And remember…when Mrs. Bootleg is complaining that I don’t spend enough time with her, chances are I’m cheatin’ on her with you. Or the Asian chick that just hired into our accounting department…yeah, more often than not it’s her.

This holiday season…give the gift of Goodness…

Act A Fool…Get It?

Atlanta rapper Ludacris has agreed to join the cast of a new independent movie called Crash. It’s one of those smarmy and pretentious flicks that describes its plot thusly: “a movie following the interactions of several people in urban Los Angeles”. Think of it as the big screen version of Fox’s O.C., except with one or two cameos by (gasp) minorities and fewer characters called “Heather”, “Amber”, “Becky” and “Brad”.

It also stars Sandra Bullock, which should be the bright, shiny bow on the gift-wrapped box of nothing her career has become. Just 10 years ago, she was riding the wave of back-to-back blockbusters with Demolition Man and Speed. In the years since, it’s been an assload of unfunny romantic comedies and one horribly unconvincing turn as a recovering alcoholic in 28 Days. How bad was she? About halfway through, I was rooting for Droz to show up and push her off the Titan-Tron.

Florida Is America’s Wang

One of funk music’s greatest icons has run afoul of the law. George Clinton was nabbed in Tallahassee, Florida on drug possession charges after the cops allegedly witnessed him drop a crack pipe while sitting in a parking lot. I gotta say I’m shocked…shocked, I tells ya. Can you believe a man who goes out in public like this is on crack? And what the hell was Clinton doin’ in a one-horse backwater town like Tallahassee, anyways?

As far as I can tell, that city’s greatest contribution to our culture is former WCW diva Missy Hyatt. And really…how great an honor is it to be associated with the woman who f*cked “Wayne” from The Wonder Years? For those of you who don’t remember either Hyatt or Hervey, try to picture Trish Stratus dating Bud from Married with Children or Janet Jackson getting poked by Jermaine Dupri. It’s that gross.

There’s A Threat In The World Today

In this day and age of terrorist threats and national “alerts” based on the marshmallow colors from a box of Lucky Charms, it’s good to know that our government has refocused their efforts to where they’re most needed. Of course I’m talkin’ about bootlegged Eminem CDs. The Secret Service gave brief consideration to pursuing action against Slim Shady for his lyrics on the unreleased We As Americans:

“Fuck money, I don’t rap for dead presidents…I’d rather see the President dead.”

Fortunately, President G-Dub’s Gestapo decided against going after Eminem. The whole thing is ridiculous when you think about it. For all we know, Slim could’ve been talkin’ about Kevin Kline from the 1993 movie Dave. That’s the one where he plays a look-alike who fills in for the President. While I certainly enjoyed the movie, it couldn’t hold a candle to the compelling “evil twin referee” storyline that rocked the WWF in 1988. I don’t know what was more enjoyable…watching Hogan lose his title to Andre or listening to Hulk’s post-match promo, “How much did the plastic surgery cost, DiBiase?!”

Holla At Your Step Pops

Now, I’ve heard everything. The mother of Snoop Dogg is suing Suge Knight. Beverly Green is going after rap’s Fat Bastard because of the lyrics in one of Death Row’s endless shit streams of diss tracks to Snoop Dogg. On this one, called Tha Row, one of Suge’s rappers (who will likely be trying to sell you imitation fragrances in a mall parking lot real soon) implies that he’s layin’ the milkbone to Snoop’s mom.

C’mon…when it gets right down to it…how many MILFs do any of us really know? Well, except for Ilene Graff…the mother from Mr. Belvedere. Remember the episode where Jason Bateman walked in on her while she was changing? I’m tellin’ ya…ass like a 10-year-old boy and titties that would make you stand up and beg for buttermilk. Sadly, it’s obvious that she didn’t save her money.

U Can’t Touch This…Dial!

MC Hammer and The WB Network are in talks to develop a prime time sitcom loosely based on the life and times of the Oakland rapper. And we all know that everything The WB puts its muscle behind becomes an instant success…or have y’all already forgotten Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher? Actually, the network is a few years too late with a comedy based on Hammer. Did anyone catch the laughably horrendous VH1 biopic Too Legit?

MTV’s dateless, middle-aged sister station threw a bunch of no name actors together, played fast and loose with the facts and timeline…and cast Ahmed Johnson in the role of Suge Knight. Yes, that Ahmed Johnson…the former WWF Intercontinental Champion. A recent 411 Movies roundtable voted his performance as the third worst ever by a big, scary Black guy. It finished behind Tiny Lister, Jr. in No Holds Barred and Ving Rhames in Everything He’s Done Since Pulp Fiction.

Put This Dog To Sleep

Here’s something for us old-timers (i.e. born in the ’70s), radio legend Casey Kasem has been replaced as the voice of the syndicated “American Top 40” countdown show. Your new DJ will be American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. Most of you probably know Kasem better as the voice of “Shaggy”, the pot smoking and dog-food eating sidekick of Scooby-Doo.

I was a huge fan of Scooby in its early years, even though I had no idea who guest stars like Jerry Reed and Cass Elliott were. Fortunately, they talked funny or were morbidly obese, so it was easy to laugh at them. Then, as the ’70s turned into the ’80s, the show took a turn for the worse. First, Scooby’s autistic albino cousin, Scooby-Dum joined the cast. Then, the show capitalized on the Gary Coleman fad that was sweeping the country by bringing in Scrappy-Doo as the adopted son of Daphne and Fred Papadapolis. Ever wonder why Gary Coleman jokes are funny and Webster jokes aren’t? Yeah, me too.

Boom Shakalaka!

If the cornrows, tattoos and Latrell Sprewells weren’t enough to chase white fans away from the NBA…this item should be the last straw. It seems the Dallas Mavericks have teamed with the quietly dignified P. Diddy for the design of a new “alternate” jersey for next season. The overpriced wifebeater is expected to be available for retail sale by the summer. Sorry, kids, but my love for the NBA died around 1993, when I first discovered NBA Jam in the arcade.

The league was beginning to devolve into a plodding shell of itself, so fans turned to the exciting two-on-two action, high-flying dunks and Wayman Tisdales of the classic Midway diversion. Now that I think about it…Jam was probably the last arcade game that I ever loved, as I got out right before the Mortal Kombat craze took over the country. I’m not sure how many arcades are still out there, but can y’all do me a favor? If you go into one this weekend, put a quarter up on the panel and let ’em know that I got next. Please kick your own ass if you don’t get that reference.

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

Bobby Brown turned himself into authorities on Wednesday and was formally charged with misdemeanor battery. He allegedly slapped his wife, Whitney Houston, during a domestic dispute at the couple’s Atlanta home. Of course, violence against women is not cool in any way, shape or form…unless it’s girl-on-girl. And I don’t mean that staged WWE nonsense, either. I’m talkin’ one of those territorial battles for hooker supremacy that occasionally breaks out on an inner city street corner. Speakin’ of prostitutes, is there anything more awkward than every moment spent with a hooker that doesn’t involve sex?

First, there’s “the approach”…and you have to be careful that “Cinnamon” ain’t vice squad. Second, there’s “the ride”. You’ve just picked up a freakin’ prostitute, so you hope and pray that no one you know (or don’t know) looks over at a red light and sees this six-tooth crack fiend in suede boots and blonde wig riding shotgun. Next, there’s “the negotiation”. Determine your ceiling beforehand and don’t go over. Remember, every dollar past your max could’ve gone towards the inevitable prescription of penicillin. Finally, there’s the “afterglow”. After your wad is shot, do you shake hands…hold each other…or what? These are the things they don’t teach you in school, kids.

Nick’a Please…!

conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Nick couldn’t be here this week…however, he’s left behind a little classic Nick’a. This piece was originally published in The Luke Report about two years ago. I think you’ll find that it holds up well.

Chuck Finley was scratched from his first start of the season Wednesday. He has yet to take the mound, but his record is already 0-1 and the quality of his performance has made those of Roger and Pedro look downright stellar. According to multiple news reports (we’re talking thousands here), the 6-foot, 7-inch Finley missed his scheduled start after allegedly being assaulted by his wife, “actress” Tawny Kitaen.

Oh Good Lord. Say it ain’t so, Chuck. You missed a start because you got your ass kicked by your wife? This HAS to be a first. Who are you, Lionel Ritchie? The Jerry Springer Show should be all over this. (Is that shit still on by the way? I’m glad I don’t know). Today’s episode: “I’m a Major League pitcher who got my ass kicked by my C-level-actress-leftover-slack-from-the-80s-hagbag-wife.” Gonna be lonely up on that stage, Chuck.

Can anyone fathom what it’s going to be like in the Indians’ clubhouse? First of all, he’s totally disqualified from EVER making fun of ANYONE on that team again. (Chuck: “Damn, Thome, you looked horrible on that curveball!” Thome: “Quiet down or I’ll stab you with a stiletto heel, skirt boy.”) What’s worse, imagine the things the Spanish-speaking contingent on the Indians are going to say in front of him, knowing he can’t understand a word of it?

But seriously…can Tawny Kitaen really be considered famous? Remember what passed for hot in the 1980s? Samantha Fox. Jessica Hahn. Tina Yothers. When’s the last time Tawny landed any kind of paycheck? Sure, her role as a neo-Loni Anderson on the short-lived The New WKRP in Cincinnati likely landed a sizable chunk of change in her purse, but that was twelve years ago. It’s clear she’s living off Chuck’s exorbitant salary, just as clearly as any money she made in the 80s was blown long ago on eightballs, frosted hairdos, and MC Hammer pants.

General Haberdashery

Fernandez bring 3THW into the final few weeks of the year, while crusading against trucker hats. Be sure to look out for a Melchor cameo as he weasels his way into another column.

Smilo returns with a loaded column of his own. Now that us Raider fans have no reason to live, I recommend hourly visits to Mr. Sunday’s latest.

Cocozza might bust out the lyrics for Tone-Loc’s Wild Thing if you ask him nicely.

Mathan goes mad while crossing interstate lines.

Junk Mail

The feedback for my much-maligned review of Jay-Z’s latest album pretty much balanced out with mostly positive letters this week. Since we all know that hate mail is more fun, I’ll limit the kind words to the keyboard of our own John Haley.

Some people probably thought you were too hard on Jigga for this album. Allow me to fall into the category of those who thought you weren’t hard enough. What makes this album, and Jay Z in general, a problem is that it fails to live up to expectations. Much of these expectations are set by none other than J himself. Remember, this is the guy that wanted Blueprint to sell more copies than Thriller. This time around, he has the nerve to tell us that Black Album is going to be a return to the roots of hip hop, an ode to those who laid the groundwork for the genre. The title alone has a great degree of gall behind it…instead we get Change Clothes which is about as by the numbers as you can get for a hip hop single these days. It sounds just like Excuse Me Miss in terms of both sound and content. Old school, my arse. This is why Jay Z should be called Jay ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and is the most overrated artist in hip hop today.

Pretend Football

Well, whaddaya know…? After going back and forth all week, I finally decided to start Mike Vick and he has a pretty solid game. Our playoffs start this week and I’m torn about whether or not he’s a good play against Indianapolis. Does anyone remember if Jaime Foxx was able to win the big game in Any Given Sunday? Whoops, I guess that would imply that any of y’all actually made it through to the end of that godawful movie. LL Cool J and Bill Bellamy? Is it too late to ask Santa for the DVD?

Coming Soon

Westside Connection review…the final part of the 2Pac saga…and the last Bootleg of ’03. Can I get them all out next week? God, I hope so.

Life With Mrs. Bootleg

So you’re thinkin’ about getting your girl knocked up? Here’s what you’re in store for:

There are few things more expensive than raising a child. I knew that going in and I fully expected every paycheck I earn from here till eternity to go towards Baby Bootleg’s food, clothes, shelter and eventual bail. That’s why it floored me when the wife inquired about dropping $500 on the child before it was even born.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. The money would go towards the kid while it was being born. Let me explain: Mrs. Bootleg wants a doula. What’s a doula…? Why, it’s someone we’re expected to pay to help with the delivery. Let’s ignore all the doctors and nurses who spend years in medical school…I wanna throw down five bills to have some chick holding my wife’s hand and telling her to push.

This is completely optional and you don’t need to have one, but my pregnant wife has been in contact with other, plumper pregnant wives who swear by their doulas. All of this almost makes me wanna change my mind about kickin’ it at Hooters and instead, actually showing up for the birth of my kid.

If it saves a few bucks, I’m going to strongly consider it.

Widro gave me a great recipe for fruitcake. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13

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