411 Music's Friday News Bootleg

Welcome back to The Bootleg. Quick question: Is there anything more painful than going back to work after two weeks off? It’s been one helluva grind trying to find the motivation to stay focused at the office for eight hours a day since our holiday break ended.

All week, I’ve only had enough juice to get me to lunchtime. Immediately afterward, I turn into former WWF jobber Sivi Afi. Remember how he would get about 30 seconds of offense against whichever heel he was rasslin’? Then, he’d go for some off-the-top-rope move and miss by a mile, at which time he would sit up, wobble his head and pass out into pretend unconsciousness. Welcome to my life.

Complicating things even further…now that I’m a homeowner, it seems that I have even more work to do at home once I leave the office. Nothing too major, so far…just some minor improvements here and there. The replacement of the toilet seats is currently at the top of my list. Right now, we’re forced to use cushioned seats with an embroidered flowery pattern. It’s like takin’ a shit in Grandma’s lap.

Toilet seats should be cold and hard, dammit. Like those old school WWF Ice Cream Bars I used to get when I was a good boy or like Brigitte Nielsen’s breasts.

The Goodness is like a box of chocolates…well, not the whole box…more like that one nasty chocolate covered orange-flavored nougat turd that hides in every box of See’s you buy. Who eats those?

But, Before We Begin…

There’s not much time left to vote in the annual 411 Music Awards. Try to forget those inane student body elections from high school and know that your vote does count. And if I can be serious for a minute, your vote for favorite Music Writer should go to Captain Sabado, Jeff Fernandez. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the glaring omission of Mathan Erhardt from this year’s ballot. He’s the best writer on this site and I curse the “Voting Executive Committee” with a scabby cold sore that burns when they drink orange juice and everyone stares at…but pretends not to notice…but they do.

Oops…Come and Knock on our Door

For 55 hours this week, Britney Spears was a married woman. Her record label says the marriage was the result of “a joke gone too far”. The Bootleg says it was the result of “too many Jack & Cokes at the bar”. No harm, no foul, I guess…as the marriage was annulled earlier this week. Why is it that all these entertainers have such a cavalier attitude about the significance of marriage? Weddings shouldn’t take place at a seedy “chapel” in Sin City. They should be held in the tiny living room of a Santa Monica apartment like when Janet got married off on the final episode of Three’s Company.

Hey, did I ever tell y’all that I once served Jennilee Harrison (the dumb blonde between Chrissy and Terri) a refreshing dessert treat while I was manager of a frozen yogurt shoppe in Long Beach? This was years before she started doing those creepy infomercials with Chef Boyardee.

First, The Fat Boys Break Up, Now This…

Radio station KPWR (Power 106 in Los Angeles) is reporting that the Westside Connection has broken up, effective immediately. The trio (comprised of Craig from the Friday movies, T-Boz’s husband and…another guy) released their second album, Terrorist Threats, last month and debuted at a lukewarm #16 on the Billboard charts. Color me…”indifferent”. Two albums in eight years does not a rap group make.

In fact, as breakups go…this one ranks around the level of the “very special episode” of Family Ties where Ellen leaves Alex for a dancing gig in Paris. By the fifth or sixth playing of that At This Moment song, I was ready to pay for the bitch’s plane ticket, my damn self.

And Don’t Forget Greedo, Destro and Fisto

Todd McFarlane, the man that gave us Spawn and paid $3,000,000 for Mark McGwire’s 70th andro-ball of the 1998 season has reached a deal with the geriatric minstrels of KISS. McFarlane will be releasing a limited edition line of Gene Simmons action figures based on the cover of the Destroyer album. The suggested retail price will be $29.99, which is a pretty clear indication that this isn’t an action figure, at all. What is an action figure, you ask?

An action figure is something that fits easily into the Darth Vader Carrying Case. It’s something that you lost the gun, cape or other accessory to, mere minutes after you first played with it. Dammit, action figures are “Battle Armor” He-Man and Shipwreck. IG-88 and Ironhide. “Super Powers” Green Lantern and Prowl. You didn’t pay $30 for the action figures…back in the day, that kinda coin coulda got you the Millennium Falcon and the Dagobah Playset (with Styrofoam quicksand).

Mama Said Gatorade

Quick…what do you think of when I say “deliciously salty orange drink”? If you said “LL Cool J”, you’d be correct. Yes, it’s true…the rapper who paved the way for all these pussy-whipped “rappin’ thugs in love” is the new spokes-brutha for Gatorade. His 30-second spots began airing during the New Year’s Day Bowl games and can be seen throughout the NFL playoffs, as well. Eh…it’s kinda hard for me to get too excited about a commercial after what those bastards at Reebok did to their “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker” campaign.

“Nike’s Bitch” teased us all with an aggressive campaign centered on a white-collar office drone…with a linebacker’s break-yo-neck trash-talkin’ mentality. The ads were beyond hilarious, but the feedback from the couch-denting soccer moms who buy little Johnny’s $150 shoes was that Terry was too scary. The ads were banished to Reebok’s internet site, while the impact of a bunch of leathery hags in stretch pants and plastic visors was felt again.

Don’t Blame Me…I Didn’t Vote

After her brief Gigli-induced exile, Jennifer Lopez is about ready to be all over your TV screens once again. Last month, she taped a public service spot encouraging everyone to get out and vote in 2004. The ad will debut during the Super Bowl with repeat airings up to the Presidential election in November. As I take a look over the list of candidates for the highest office in the land , I’m wondering if m’man Montgomery Brewster actually had the right idea in the 1985 classic Brewster’s Millions.

He encouraged citizens to get out and vote “None of the Above” and, wouldn’t you know it, that actually won. Speaking of which, has there ever been a more abrupt end to a career than that of Richard Pryor’s? Long before he contracted MS, he was box-office gold as Master Bates’ Toy and the worst villain ever in Superman III. Then, before you knew it, he was co-starring with King Kong Freakin’ Bundy in Moving. And so it ends.

Jeri Ryan…? You Cannot Be Serious…

Beyoncé will be making a triumphant return to her hometown next month when she sings the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Houston. A fine honor, indeed…but one that pales in comparison to the 2003 AskMen.com listing of the 99 Most Desirable Women in the World. Beyoncé checks in at #10…sandwiched between swimsuit model Elsa Benitez and…Natalie Portman? M’man Nick has more on this in his weekly feature just a few inches below this item. Everyone knows how subjective these kind of lists are, so I’ll take the high road by not wasting any time debating it…except to say that Lucy Liu is way too low (#50), Michelle Pfeiffer is way too high (#41) and this is not a convincing picture for entry on to this list.

Ashanti’s Teeets

Murder Inc. “singer” Ashanti will be performing live in Nigeria this weekend at the Battle of Hope World AIDS Day Celebration. She will headline the festivities on Saturday, along with one of them “foxy boxing” matches between Muhammad Ali’s name-leeching daughter, Laila and an opponent who’s being referred to as “Glass Josephine” in the local press. There’s no word if Nigeria’s favorite son, Simon Adebisi, will return from the dead to make a cameo as guest ring announcer or something. And if anyone can tell me how in the hell he managed to keep that beanie stuck to his jug head…

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

The Ford Motor Company is looking to actively target the “urban” market with a new line of hip hop influenced vehicles. In fact, they’ve gone as far as to recruit the likes of P. Diddy, Lil’ Kim and Funkmaster Flex to serve as consultants for this project. Ford hopes to have this still-unnamed line on showroom floors by 2006. Glad to see that Ford managed to pull together such a representative cross-section of the hip hop community, too. I don’t think it’s too early to make predictions on what each of these rap ambassadors will contribute to this project.

Puff Daddy will likely just find a Jeep Grand Cherokee and superglue a Ford logo to the front. Lil’ Kim will be involved with a sporty n’ flashy drop-top of some kind…at least until the public gets tired of it after the ninth or tenth time it “shockingly” drops its top on the highway. And the Funk Flex ride will probably require the owner to siphon the fuel from a much more expensive name brand, like Lexus or Mercedes, in order for it to start.

Nick’a Please…!

conceptualized by Nick Salemi

What happens when a man’s love for phenomenally hot women meets his equally strong fondness for a certain 1992 courtroom drama? The results have to be seen to be believed. And let’s see how far he can go without using…that line. You know the one.

Lance Corporal Nick reporting for duty, sir. I was given orders by Colonel Aaron “Jessup” Cameron (that’s what the J stands for) as to explain what I thought about askmen.com’s list of the 99 most desirable women in the world…specifically the top 10. Unfortunately, askmen.com had a substandard Top 10 list and if you’re asking if I gave the order to give it a code red…”You’re goddamn right I did!” And no I’m not going for the obvious line from the movie, kids. Any no-talent hack can do that. And I like to think of myself as an
“original” no-talent hack. Each ranking is followed with what I feel is an appropriate line from the movie…

The List…

10.) Beyoncé

No argument here. Beyoncé is 10 kinds of hot. Crazy right now, fo sho. I think people also warm to the fact that looks clearly are not a prerequisite for the men she dates, so everyone’s got a shot! Maybe not.

“I want to tell you something Danny and listen up ’cause I mean this: You’re the luckiest man in the world. There is, believe me gentlemen, nothing sexier on earth than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote ’em all I say.”

9.) Natalie Portman

This is a joke, right? Princess Leia, Jr.? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had her on the “hot” radar for a few years but she hasn’t proven she’s there yet, especially after she showed up on the Daily Show with an attitude, talking about how she got a psych degree (luckily she’s an actress or I would wish her good luck on being a psych-retary) and most importantly, a haircut that made her look like a little boy. A few years in the minors and then the call up, and maybe then Portman…

“Either way I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!”

8.) Shania Twain

Super hot but basically just a pin up in repair shops from below the Mason Dixon line to, uh, the ocean and stopping east of the Mississippi. Hate to have a top 10 hot involving nothing but Pop-Country. I think I heard enough of that demographic the 90 times the Dixie chicks
appeared in the Bootleg last year.

“I’d like to ask the court for a little latitude….Very little”

7.) Krista Allen

Who? This pick is way outta wack. Of course she’s hot, she wouldn’t be on the list if she wasn’t, but number seven? This can’t be serious. What’s she done lately? Soap operas? Pacific Blue?

“What did we do, we did nothing wrong….Yeah we did..”

6.) Brooke Burke

Who wouldn’t want to go Wild on Brooke? Sent from another planet of hotness. And proof that something that amazing-looking can come out of Hartford! You know I’m only a few years younger and we were born in the same city, girl! I should call her.

“You know it just hit me. She outranks you.”

5.) Monica Bellucci

Once again…who? A couple of Matrix sequels propels one to number five? I think not. Put in some time first.

“Is this funny, sir? No. It’s not. It’s tragic.”

4.) Salma Hayek

Visions of the scene in From Dusk Till Dawn are still etched in my brain. Bravo for this selection. Absolute Blazer and deserving of top 10 status.

“And if you’ve gained a certain respect for me over the last three weeks that you didn’t have before, well, of course I’m happy about that, but we don’t have to make a whole big deal out of it. You like me. I won’t make you say it.”

3.) Heidi Klum

Yes, unquestionably scorching but I think it’s time for some new blood, no? I think I had pictures of her up on my wall when I was in college…

“Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You me need me on that wall.”

2.) Halle Berry

I know I’m waiting to see Halle in the Catwoman suit. Has that started production yet? Can someone please get me studio passes? Probably get a restraining order first.

“All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That’s all you did. You put people in danger. Sweet dreams, son.”

1.) Charlize Theron

Number one? It’s tough to argue against someone that looks like that. For god sakes, I experienced sheer torture agonizing through an hour of “Sweet November”. However, even she wasn’t enough for me to keep punishing myself with that flick. Supremely gorgeous, but number one may be overdoing it.

“I strenuously object? Is that how it works? Objection. Overruled. No, no, no, no, I strenuously object. Oh, well if you strenuously object, let me take a moment to reconsider.”

So that’s it folks, I’m having a hard time understanding how Angelina Jolie was left out. And as a result, I’ll leave with a quote from Lt. Kaffee that sums that up as well as this entire exercise…

“She has no point. She often has no point. It’s part of her charm. We’re outta here. Thank you.”

General Haberdashery

It’s already been a few weeks since Smilo jumped ship from the weekend music news trifecta (which was also his preference for a group name over 3 Tha Hard Way). The Sunday spot is still vacant, however it appears that there was no Elliot on Tuesday, either. Could he be having second thoughts or am I just hurtin’ for intro material this week?

Fernandez battles the flu and enlists the help of Mathan for this week’s Swindle Sheet. Think of them as our own version of the Tito Santana & Virgil tag team that lost to DiBiase n’ Repo Man at the Tuesday in Texas PPV. Oh, and when is that “greatest producers” edition of The Dirty Dozen gonna be completed?

Ask him for details.

Mathan wraps up 2003 with his thoughts…from Andrew W.K. to Jay-Z.

Cocozza does Chutes n’ Ladders with O.P.P. and B2K. And, ladies…he’s available!

Joe is our resident question answering guy. Could someone ask him if knows the lyrics to the Rougeaus’ theme, All-American Boys…? From Montreal to Memphis…

Junk Mail

Lots of responses to last week’s Year in Review segment. Most of it was bashing me for daring to select In Da Club as my choice for Mainstream Single of 2003. A sampling:

Give me a f*cking break. In The Club??? Best Single of the Year??? Did you listen to anything after February? – E_Collins1

Uhh, you do know that Outkast put out an album (last) year, right? Either of the first two singles from that one are a million times better than 50’s overrated ass – Mike A.

In Da Club over Runnin’ from Biggie and Pac? I didn’t think you were the type to get caught up in that corporate music bullshit – James

Y’all get the idea…I stand by my choice, kids. Not so much because 50 reinvented the wheel or anything, but simply because In Da Club was the definitive rap anthem for the year and 10 years from now it will be the one track that anyone remembers from Curtis Jackson.

Oh, and please stop with the “Outkast” support. The non-threatening crossover appeal of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below has been an undeniable hit, but Hey Ya and I Like The Way You Move are low-risk, generic and forgettable by Outkast’s standards.

We welcomed a few new readers to the Flock of the Bootleg, as well…including Mr. Seth S.

Longtime reader of 411, but mostly the wrestling guys. I discovered the Bootleg after Haley linked you and you were absolutely killing me. Parker Lewis and Adrian Zmed references? You’re officially my first stop on Fridays, right after the check-cashing place.

Questions for you: What do you think of John Cena as a rapper? How do you think his album will sell? What did you think of the WWF rap album from a few years ago?

Thanks for the kind words, brutha. And thanks to John Haley for the linkage. If you’re sick of the on-line rasslin’ cynicism, do yourself a favor and read him now. On to your queries:

1.) John Cena isn’t a rapper, but he plays one on TV. He speaks in rhyme, but without a lick of cadence, charisma or flow. That ain’t rappin’…that’s Nipsey Russell (or Leapin’ Lanny Poffo, for the rest of you).

2.) The WWE has a loyal n’ built-in fan base that should guarantee a gold record for Cena’s debut. He’ll need some big name guests to push it past platinum (and carry most of the weight), though.

3.) I’m assuming you’re referring to the Aggression album. I’ll admit it was a guilty pleasure, along the lines of kitschy records by Deion Sanders and B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, but it was pretty mediocre, overall.

Aimee has something to say, as w….hold up. Aimee…?!?

Not sure how many female readers you have, but count me in. My boyfriend sent me this week’s column and I was hooked with the references to T.J. Hooker and Parker Lewis. Only another child of the ’80s can know our pain. I will need an occasional translation of your work, though, like who is “Joey from Roc”?

Holy Crap. Feedback…from a woman? Man, I feel like Comic Book Guy during his brief fling with Skinner’s mother. Thanks for readin’, Aimee and to answer your question, “Joey” was a character on the early ’90s Fox sitcom Roc. In a nutshell, the show was about a Baltimore garbageman (Roc) played by Charles S. Dutton. His freeloading ne’er do well brother (Joey) was played by Rocky Carroll.

It was a very funny show that even aired live for an entire season and ran for about three or four years.

And finally…

Did you ever get around to finishing the 2Pac: Resurrection series? And, unless I’m wrong, you’re last review was Jay-Z Black Album. Is Mrs. Bootleg restricting your internet time or what? – Sean C.

Yeesh. The final part of the Resurrection series is about 75% done. It was a lot more involved than I thought as I went through every piece of reader feedback and tried to find a way to incorporate as much of it as possible. Mostly in the form of the Top 5 Pac Songs Ever list. Look for it around the week of the 19th.

I’m also way behind on my album reviews and I hope to get caught up by the end of the month. I’ve got the new Westside Connection album in the Saturn’s CD changer, so look for a review early next week.

Finally, I’ve got about four pieces for 411 Black in the works. I hope to start getting those posted no later than next month.

Life With Mrs. Bootleg

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

The wife recently informed me that next month we begin our weekly child birthing classes. One day a week, three hours a session…for six weeks. And do you think these were scheduled for the early afternoon on a Saturday? Nope…6:30 – 9:30 PM on Tuesday nights.

Do I really need 18 total hours to learn how to say, “Push!”, “You Can Do It!” and “Almost There!”. Besides, if TV has taught me nothing else, it’s that I’ll be knee deep in some wacky, sitcom-like occurrence on the day Baby Bootleg is born, anyway.

I’m guessing I’ll get the call that “it’s time” (after numerous false alarms) and, in my haste to leave the office, I’ll get stuck in an elevator or something. Mrs. Bootleg will be “too pregnant” to drive herself to the hospital and will be forced to take the bus.

Minutes later, the bus will catch a flat tire and “Otis”, the transit worker with the heart of gold (and tooth, to match) will deliver our child somewhere between the handicapped seating and the graffiti etched emergency escape window.

It’s gonna be 78 degrees and sunny this weekend here in San Diego. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13