411 Music's Friday News Bootleg 12.19.03

Welcome back to The Bootleg. For three decades, I’ve been a staunch opponent of Black-on-Black crime…but, I’m willing to look the other way if another brutha were to kick Nick Cannon’s sweet ass right out of Hollywood. Although, if we wait long enough, he’ll start hittin’ the gym hard like other aspiring “Blactors” before him (Damon Wayans comes to mind) and his career will be over faster than you can say Blankman…or Bulletproof…or Mo’ Money.

It’s Moving Weekend for The Bootleg Family, kids. Our base of operations is shifting about 10 miles north to a quiet little community called Rancho Bernardo. You know that 80-year-old blue-haired hag that drives the Oldsmobile at 20 mph with the left turn signal constantly on? Well, RB is where her parents go to retire. There are actual street names like Matlock Blvd. and Murder She Wrote Place.

The move itself takes place on Saturday and, as I type this, our current home is about 20% packed. Mrs. Bootleg has been felled by this 2003 F.U. flu that’s goin’ around and combine that with the fact that I’m pretty much the epitome of the lazy, shiftless Black man that your Grandfather used to go on and on about…well, let’s just say some last-minute packing might require me to be awake past 10:00 PM on a Friday night for the first time since sitting through Princess Diana’s early morning funeral in 1997.

C’mon…I couldn’t have been the only one hoping that she’d appear on the big video screen from inside the coffin, a la The Undertaker at the 1994 Royal Rumble, right? She’d cut a promo, there’d be lots of fake thunder and lightning and then she’d rise to the rafters vowing to never rest…in…peace. OK, I’m goin’ to hell…

I doubt even The Goodness can save me…

Take That, Take That…uh…line?

Bootleg Punching Bag, P. Diddy, continues his never-ending quest to be everywhere at all times. He’ll make his stage debut next spring in the Broadway revival of the classic African-American play, A Raisin in the Sun. He’ll be playing the role of “Walter Lee”, a character who was originally portrayed by Sidney Poitier. Puff Daddy…Sidney Poitier…a seamless transition in an acting legacy.

Puffy’s most notable role to date was a small part as Halle Berry’s condemned husband in Monster’s Ball. Most people immediately remember the intense love scenes between Berry and Billy Bob Thornton, but for my money, the best acting comes before Halle gets the hot beef injection. Particularly the scene where Halle’s character mourns the death of her pet buffalo. I didn’t even know it was legal to keep them in your apartment, but…wait a minute, that was her son? Well, I guess that explains how it could talk…

Sometimes, When You Lose, You Really Win

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken was just named the “Best-Mannered Person of 2003” by the National League of Junior Cotillions. Now, I’ve got nothing against the gay populace, but come the f*ck on. “Best Manners”? Christ, where did he place in the rankings for “Nap Time” and “Classroom Helper”? If anything, I would think that Ruben Studdard should’ve been mentioned on this ridiculous list. He’s pretty much played second fiddle to Yokel Homo since actually winning the Idol competition earlier this year. As far as I can tell, Ruben has taken the whole thing in stride and hasn’t tried to eat Clay in weeks…despite his “Son of Kamala” taunts.

Mommy Dearest

There’s nothing like a real-life heel turn to make the holiday season seem extra special. Falsetto Nancy Boy, Aaron Carter, has fired his co-manager and is claiming she did bad, bad things to his money. Did I mention that the thief in question is his own mother? Yep, Aaron says that $100,000 of his major coin was lifted by the woman that brought him into this world and bought him his first pair of panties.

I’m reminded of the episode of Family Ties when Alex blatantly defies his mother by going to an out-of-state bar to celebrate his 18th birthday. Hilarity ensues when his mother shows up to bring him home. Now, if memory serves, that was not a two-part episode, so there’s still hope that Carter and his mom can have this whole mess resolved in 30 minutes.

Beauty and The Beast

Erstwhile American Idol competitor Frenchie Davis has scored the lead role in Dreamgirls, a new production of the 1980s Broadway musical of the same name. This is actually a pretty big accomplishment considering her past involvement with the adult entertainment world got her booted off of the Idol show. Speaking of which, has it really been 20 years since Vanessa Williams was forced to give up her Miss America crown after posing nude in Penthouse?

Maybe Frenchie can use Vanessa as inspiration for her own career. After all, Ms. Williams recovered nicely and has crafted a stellar career in music, film and stage. Of course, Frenchie is nowhere near sexy enough to land her own NBA pretty boy like Vanessa did with the Lakers’ Rick Fox. If we’re handing out NBA husbands based solely on looks, Frenchie will likely have to settle for this guy, this guy or, most likely…this guy.

Sinead O’Hill

Fugees refugee Lauryn Hill performed at the Vatican last Saturday night. In between one of the two dozen songs about her how much she loves her kids, she stopped for a brief rant against the Catholic Church. Well, not the entire church, just the abusive priests who were caught up in the recent scandal. Now, I scanned the transcripts of Hill’s diatribe and I didn’t see one thing on an even bigger controversy involving the Lord’s Word.

Of course, I’m speaking of Willie Aames as…Bibleman. Hey, I’m sure that Big Willie is sincere in his faith and more power to him. But, people…this is still Buddy Lembeck from Charles in Charge preaching to your kids. And I’m sure my older readers will remember his role in that heartwarming coming-of-age tale of an awkward teen outcast in Zapped! Hey, anyone seen Heather Thomas lately?

Other People’s Pepper Spray

Earlier this week, Naughty by Nature performed at a concert down in Melbourne, Australia. About 30 minutes into their set, Treach began interacting with the crowd when he suddenly began coughing and frantically rubbing his eyes. It seems that someone fired a shot of pepper spray towards the stage and Treach walked right into it.

Call me crazy, but I’m kinda doubting this story. “30 minutes into a Naughty by Nature set”? Please. They’ve got two songs: O.P.P. and Hip Hop Hooray. For those of you not familiar with rap, this would be the equivalent of an A-Ha set lasting beyond Sun Always Shines On TV and Take On Me or Blind Melon performing something other than No Rain and Galaxy.

Michael X

Michael Jackson was formally charged with child molestation yesterday and the embattled white man has turned to an unusual place for support. News reports have surfaced that Jacko has enlisted the services of The Nation of Islam to serve as bodyguards and spiritual consultants for the duration of the judicial process.

It seems to me that Michael could’ve just turned to former WWF midcarder Papa Shango and covered all his bases with one man. Keep in mind, this was the guy who would go on to perform as The Supreme Fighting Machine and later, Nation of Domination member, Kama Mustafa. Hell, he could cast a voodoo spell, kick your ass eight ways to Sunday and sell you a bean pie all by himself.

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

The whirlwind romance of rocker Lenny Kravitz and alabaster Aussie Nicole Kidman has come to a sudden end. It seems that Lenny has been sneaking around with Brazilian artist Isis Arruda and finally got caught last week. A South American Woman, if you will. Sorry…moving on. Y’know, my very first girlfriend was Brazilian. We dated off and on for about three years, before she finally dumped me for good. A few years later, I heard from a mutual friend that she had dropped out of college in order to battle a substance abuse addiction. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’m sure the number of my ex-girlfriends who’ve turned to drugs is staggering. Statistics show that the rest turn to lesbianism. Eh…I had ’em first.

Nick’a Please…!

conceptualized by Nick Salemi

This week, Bigg Nick looks back on an uneven year in Hip Hop by layin’ out five of his favorite tracks

Hi, kids. As the year draws to a close, I’d like to give my thoughts on some of my favorite hip-hop songs of 2003. Not necessarily the most popular, mind you, but just ones that I really liked. I’m not assigning a number to each or ranking them in any order, and there are plenty other songs from this year, but there’s only so much space. Style-wise, we try to keep the Bootleg as far from heartwarming Entertainment Weekly as possible.

We All Die One Day – Obie Trice featuring 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Eminem: Hot song featuring Shady Records’ finest. It first made the rounds on DJ Green Lantern’s mixtapes earlier in the year and officially ended up on Obie’s debut album. Everyone spits a little somethin’ special on this, but none more so than Slim Shady himself (on the heels of a ridiculous guest verse on 50’s Patiently Waiting) who, in addition to his bananas verse, also produced the song.

Poet Laureate 2 – Canibus: The greatest hip-hop song of the year lyrically…that no one’s heard. Hit up a download, splurge on the CD, stop by his house and ask to borrow it, whatever, but definitely check out this track with off-the-charts-production from Stoupe of Jedi Mind Tricks off the Rip The Jacker album. Unbelievably on-point lyrics that mesh so well with the THREE beats on this song…it has to be heard to be believed. Canibus finally lived up to his potential from the late 90s. Although it might be too late for him to move soundscan numbers, don’t sleep on this song.

Rite Where U Stand – Gangstarr: The lead single from Gangstarr’s solid LP, The Ownerz (but nowhere near the level of Moment of Truth) Guru and Premier keep bringing the heat even now. Jadakiss stops by for the hook and a verse. While Jadakiss still rhymes about nothing, I’ll be damned if anyone else sounds better doing it. He actually compliments Guru well on this song and for the most part anything laid down by Premier is sick.

If I Can’t – 50 Cent: Dr. Dre + 50 Cent= $$$. Yeah, I know In Da Club was the big hit, but I just really like the beat and hook on this one.

If I can’t do well, homey, it can’t be done
Now I’ma let the champagne bottle pop
I’ma take it to the top
Fo sho I’ma make it hot, baby

Shit, Jigga even jacked this beat and laid down some of his own verses over it on the mixtape circuit this year. Listen to ’em both and tell me who sounds better?

4th of July – 1st Infantry featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Alchemist, Twin and produced by “Baby Premier”, the Alchemist (that’s a GOOD thing by the way!) This one was released as part of the bonus CD that came with Mobb Deep’s Free Agents album. The ALC’s production is always top-notch and this is no exception. Although much of the crew is nameless to the masses (who are always wrong) make sure you catch this one, because they all shine here.

Just a slight sampling, I know there were several other hot tracks…”just my thoughts at the time”. I hope everyone has a good holiday and let’s hope for a new year with more tracks like those mentioned and less from the Big Tymers, Lil Jons and Chingys of the
world.

General Haberdashery

Fernandez compares me to Anson Carter. I thought he was callin’ me Potsie, but it turns out I’ve scored 11 points this season (including eight goals) for the New York Rangers.

Smilo is betrayed by his own computer. On a related note, somewhere between DC and New York, there’s a recently thrown laptop layin’ beside the train tracks.

Modz makes the most of a slow news week (tell me about it) and your football team is better than his…unless yours is the Raiders.

Mathan hears voices. Yet none of them ask him “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

Junk Mail

Congrats on the first year with 411. Belated congrats on the first anniversary with the wife and the upcoming birth of your kid. Btw, thought of any names yet or will you name him “Widro” after his father…? – Derek

Bastard. Actually, the wife and I have gone back and forth over this. I’m pushing hard for “Grady”, “Mudcat”, “Fatback” or something biblical like “Deez Nuts”. If any of y’all got something better, let a brutha know.

I don’t know what’s the big deal. You’re celebrating the anniversary of your love letter/review of a shitty Snoop Dogg album? I wanna know what you’re going to do for the real anniversary…isn’t the one year of The bootleg coming up? – Jerrod J.

As a matter of fact it is, but that’s not until February. Don’t worry…I have no plans to celebrate it by posting my Amazon.com wish list in the sad hope that one of my readers buys me something from it. I’ve got, y’know…”friends n’ family” who actually like me and buy me things sometimes.

I enjoy your bootleg a lot, especially the obscene amount of wife-bashing. Since it’s the season, I was wondering if you could share what the worst Christmas gifts you ever got. And yes, this is a shameless and out of place request to get my letter printed. – Doug A.

Easy. The worst gifts for any occasion always come from my Aunt. Over the years, she’s gotten me books on tape, one of those “wacky” baseball blooper videos and a $10 gift card to Chili’s. Ten Dollars.

“Sorry, honey, but you’re gonna hafta pay your own way…I got my cheeseburger and tap water covered, though.”

But, the all time worst was about ten years ago when she presented me with a gift-wrapped copy of Martin Lawrence’s comedy film, You So Crazy. It had the right packaging, but the tape inside was pretty beat up and said “Working Girl” on the front. Sure enough, about half way into show, Martin’s grainy image is replaced by Melanie Griffith’s. Gifts purchased from the trunk of a car are always a winner.

…One thing I was wondering is whether you plan to do something like a Hip Hop Year in Review. I know a lot of us would like to read your take on what went down. – Jon P.

Actually, I do plan to put together a little something before the end of the year that fills your request. I’m workin’ on compiling the top singles, artists and news stories from the Hip Hop world, so be on the lookout for that.

In addition, the 411 Music Year End Awards are currently in development. Y’all will have an opportunity to cast your votes to everything from Album of The Year to Favorite 411 Music Writer. Vote Quimby.

Great Moments In Pretend Football

Our 411 League Playoffs started last weekend with all eight teams qualifying. The mighty Bootleggers finished the season 8-6 and scored the #4 seed along with a date against the creatively titled New York Jets. After weeks of watching Marc Bulger throw perfect spirals to the other team and an abject lack of confidence in Mike Vick against the Colts ‘D’, I dusted off the corpse of Tampa Bay’s Brad Johnson and gave him the start.

Mistake. While Bulger wasn’t great, he put up 10 more fantasy points than Johnson. I got a lift from two huge games by my running backs, Tomlinson and Barlow, but at the end of Sunday’s action, we were only up by 2.27 points. My opponent was playing Miami’s ‘D’ on Monday Night vs. the Eagles. All they had to do was show up and I’d be banished to the consolation bracket.

Somehow, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb managed to stay a step ahead of Seau and the Dolphins and put up 34 points. The Fantasy Jets got three points from a sack and an interception…and lost a point for allowing the Eagles between 27-34 points. And the Good Guys win by .27.

Coming Soon

No Bootleg next week as the wife and I will be dedicated to getting the new Casa de Cameron organized. But, I’ll be off from work until January 5, so that should give me plenty of time to catch up on everything from music reviews to the end of the Tupac series to an entry or two on 411 Black…assuming I survive Christmas week visits from my wife’s Aunt Chele and…my very own Mother Bootleg.

Oh, and make sure y’all check back on Saturday as Fernandez and I team up to bring 3 Tha Hard Way to Jeff’s always excellent column. Find out what’s in my Late Night Jukebox, won’t you?

Life With Mrs. Bootleg

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

As stated at the top…we’re moving this weekend. As most of y’all know, there’s a serious flu epidemic goin’ around. These two current events intersected somewhere inside of my wife, to the point that nearly all of the packing and pre-move tasks have fallen on my shoulders.

Don’t get me wrong…the wife does offer to contribute, occasionally, but the results are…well, perhaps this anecdote can hammer the point home. I get a call at work from my better half (or, as my mom calls her “that woman you married”). She proudly proclaims that she’s feeling better and has enough strength to pack the linens in our bedroom.

For those keeping score at home, that equates to a box. One freakin’ box. I rub my weary brow, blurt out an insincere “don’t overexert yourself” and leave her to the task at hand. Hours later, I return home from the Office Space that is my job and find a large empty box in the bedroom and the wife sprawled out in bed.

“Did you pack the sheets?”, I asked.

“I started to, but then I got really tired all of a sudden.”, she replied.

The evidence at hand indicates that she applied two strips of packing tape to the bottom of a box…and got all tuckered out. That was on Tuesday and as I type this on Thursday night, the linens are still resting comfortably in the bedroom closet…not far from my wife.

Here’s to a great holiday season and an even better New Year for all y’all. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13

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