411 Music's Friday News Bootleg 01.16.04

Welcome back to The Bootleg. It’s been one of those weeks behind-the-scenes at 411. All kinds of feuds, beefs and hurt feelings have developed amongst members of our staff and most of it is over some of the most piddling-ass nonsense you could imagine.

For example, at our staff Christmas party…Ashish got a little toasted from the discount cartons of corn nog that were served at the event (way to stretch that $100 food n’ drink budget, Widro). He staggered around for a few hours, threw up on Michael Melchor (no one noticed) and then started spreading vicious rumors in the same wooden manner as those news items lifted right out of the rasslin’ dirt sheets:

“John B. Haley has some heat on him in the 411 locker room due to his boasting over his performance in the 411 Fantasy Football competition. Most feel that he should keep his boasting to himself and not rub his fellow writers the wrong way, as it looks like he is rubbing it in their faces.”

Ash finally passed out near the corner of the room where the entire 411 Movies Staff was hard at work on their in-depth February Movies Roundtable. In fact, a few days later, Ash told me that the last thing he remembers is Rex Sharpe saying,

“Well, based on the 60 seconds in previews I’ve seen so far, I’m pretty sure Barbershop 2 is gonna suck. Just like the first one…which I didn’t see, but the previews looked really bad.”

A few weeks later, Wids had some of us over for New Year’s Eve at his palatial Park Avenue apartment (which he’s leasing from Phillip Drummond and his third wife, Edna Garrett-Drummond). Claire Flynn Boyle caused quite a commotion when she was spotted leaving the get-together with none other than WWE superstar Chris Benoit. A heartbroken and stranded Scott Keith spent the rest of the evening hitting us up for bus fare back to Edmonton.

Finally, and most recently, there was the internal brouhaha over the nominations (or lack thereof) for the best music writer award:

Does anyone else think it’s f*cked up that I wasn’t nominated for best music writer? I mean seriously, no offense to Ari Berenstien (sic) or Kenny Hammond but they JUST started writing here and they can’t have half a fanbase yet. That is seriously f*cked up, and I am pissed off about it. It’s not like I haven’t written anything at all, I’ve been really consistent for a lot of 2003. So seriously, f*ck you Widro.

That was straight off our staff forum from m’man…well, out of respect, I won’t use his real name. Let’s just say it rhymes with “cryin’…please burp me”. Anyways, the good news is that all the bruised egos were assuaged and the required period of mocking him will blow over in another month or two.

Without Dr. Martin Luther King…The Goodness would just be a bunch of old news tied together with bad comedy and stories about my wife…

He Ain’t…Go-in No-where

They said he wouldn’t last. They said he exploited his fatter, more talented friend’s death into fame and fortune. Hell, they said he was an unoriginal hack who’d be lucky to make it ten minutes in this industry. No, not David Spade…we can only be talkin’ about P. Diddy. Sean Combs plans to kick off the 10th anniversary of his Bad Boy Records label with a CD/DVD on March 9…seven years to the day that Biggie Smalls pulled into that big Fatburger in the sky.

The CD is expected to be highlighted by the remix of Puff’s Victory single, with a little help from Eminem, Lloyd Banks and 50 Cent. The DVD will feature a documentary that chronicles the rise of the label and profiles on many of their past and present artists. Bonus features and deleted scenes include “10 Minute Makeovers with Craig Mack” and “The Fans…Who Will Admit To Once Owning a Mase CD”.

Pass The Dutch Apple Pie

It hasn’t been the best week on record for Missy Elliott. A few days ago, she placed seventh on Mr. Blackwell’s worst dressed list for 2003. Prior to that, Chubzilla came under fire for the supposedly insensitive-to-fat-chicks lyrics in her song Pass The Dutch. Her more festively plump fans have gone as far as to accuse Missy of “abandoning” them after her rapid weight loss, which has been credited to proper diet, exercise and the surgical removal of 220 lbs. of Timbaland from her coattails.

Missy explained that she was only trying to tell heavier gals that they should be wearing proper fitting clothes. And I’m inclined to agree. After all, we’ve all seen the tragic results of big girls and small clothes, right? Go on…you know you wanna click. That’s right…look over your right shoulder…now, the left one…pull the blinds closed…

Great Neptune!

Jessica Simpson has graciously agreed to hand over custody of the couples’ three remaining brain cells, so that her husband can make it through his next acting gig. Nick Lachey is slated to play Tom Jones on the March 14 airing of NBC’s insipid American Dreams show. He’ll perform (and here’s a surprise) “It’s Not Unusual”, while fending off the thrown panties of a crowd full of extras and day-players.

Now, if NBC really wants to push the envelope…they’ll use this episode to finally expose Tom Jones’ long-hidden secret…secret identity, that is. Oh sure…on land he’s a successful Vegas headliner and lounge act icon. But, on the seas…he can talk to trout, swim with stingrays and aid his mentor, Aquaman in his never-ending battle to make every can of tuna dolphin-safe. Hell, I’ll break the story right here and right now…Tom Jones…is…Aqualad.

And Weren’t We All Waiting For The Return Of…

Way back in the ’80s, a frightening trend swept the television landscape. Long cancelled shows were returning to the airwaves, as What’s Happening Now!, The New Leave It To Beaver and The Bradys found new life with the same generation of fans who stopped watching them during their initial runs. Well, we can welcome back another classic show to network TV next fall as Queen Latifah will executive produce WHOT…described in the trades as (sigh) “an updated and urban take on WKRP in Cincinnati“. Are you kidding me? No, seriously…are you f*ckin’ kidding me?

Didn’t we already do The “New” WKRP gimmick? Tawny Kitaen…before she kicked the shit outta her husband. Gordon Jump…after he inappropriately touched Dudley. Oh wait…I think I got ahead of myself, as I haven’t even shared the general premise of WHOT. It revolves around “a young white woman who is hired as the manager of a rap music station.” Unbelievable. Didn’t the whole “uncool Caucasian in the world of hip bruthas” gimmick get played out with the white cop character on Sanford and Son? It’s on all the time on Nick at Nite…and the joke hasn’t aged well. Right…off.

You Can’t Spell ‘Bootleg’ Without E.T.

Has Sesame Street really been on the air for 35 years? Indeed, it has…and to celebrate, the show will welcome a star-studded line-up for their anniversary telecast later this year. Norah Jones, Ruben Studdard, Harry Connick, Jr. and Cher are slated to appear. I can honestly say that this is the one thing about fatherhood that I’m least looking forward to. These idealistic kiddie shows seem to preach that every problem can be solved with a song about vowels and lip-synching Muppets.

Could someone ask Jim Henson what the hell I’m supposed to tell my kid when he comes running home from school in tears because the kids took one look at his genetically inherited head shape and chanted, “Phone home! Phone home!” To say nothing of the bags of Reese’s Pieces he’ll have thrown in his direction at any given time. It never stops hurting. Hey, wait…don’t ask Jim Henson…he’s dead.

When Chevy Chase Was Funny

Actress Juliette Lewis has jumped into the music game. She fronts a band called The Licks and the group appeared at the famous Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve. An EP is in the works, with an expected summer release. For my money, she peaked with her comedic turn as Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. While it wasn’t the definitive Christmas movie of my generation (1982’s A Christmas Story holds that honor), it still stands the test of time.

Couldn’t we all relate to Cousin Eddie, as he greeted a dumbfounded Clark with the line, “Merry Christmas! Shitter’s full.” While we’re on the subject, can someone tell me why European Vacation gets such a bad rap? It’s got some legendary n’ recyclable dialogue in its own right…”Look kids, Big Ben…Parliament…” Oh, and Eric Idle…it had him, too. Cough.

Bonus Points If You Remember Isis

Three quick clues that Aaron Cameron is getting old…One, dairy is no longer my friend. Two, I’ve begun making it regular practice to leave ballgames early, so I can beat the traffic. Three…the sons of famous rappers are starting to pick up mics. Kurtis Blow, Jr. has been in the studio putting the finishing touches on his debut album under the watchful eye of his legendary father. Hopefully, the next step will be getting this kid a better stage name. “Kurtis Blow, Jr.”? Worst…name…ever.

And that includes comic book hero Captain Marvel, Jr. as well. Don’t act like you don’t remember…he was the mini-me version of that guy who would say “Shazam!” and turn into Captain Marvel, who, of course had the sister/super heroine named Mary Marvel. Hmm…when you combine my comic book affection with my bus pass and baseball card collection, it kinda brings some clarity to my awkward n’ dateless youth.

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

Here’s one that fell through the cracks…card-carrying Backstreet Boy AJ McLean helped nab a jewel thief in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Sources say the former star of New Kids on the Block was trying on watches at an exclusive boutique, when another man, who was sampling a $40,000 diamond ring, made a break for the door. In a flash, AJ was in hot pursuit. Using the skills he acquired during his brief time with the group 3 Count, AJ caught up with the crook and recovered the stolen property.

Ah, but that’s not the best part of our tale. AJ was assisted in his crime-fighting escapades by a security guard. A bicycle security guard. How in the hell can you walk the prison yard knowing that you were captured by a Backstreet Boy and Mario Fuckin’ Lopez from Pacific Blue? Am I the only one that can hear Augustus Hill deep from the bowels of Oz…Prisoner Number 04G953…convicted March 30, 2004…grand theft…the sentence: 30 days, while we all point and laugh.

Nick’a Please…!

conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Cold enough for you, New England? Is it wicked cold? Well, Bigg Nick feels your pain through his frostbitten appendages and has something to say…warmed only by the glow of his monitor from somewhere in Connecticut.

I realize this is like a 411 Black rant in the middle of Aaron’s column because it has nothing to do with music. But he is out there livin’ the fun and sun life of Californication. And he must pay…

As I sit here, it’s 1 degree out. Not exaggerating. It’s 1. It’s cold enough to kill people. For those who feel the pain of the north and northeast, this is for you. For those enjoying warmth and sunshine on the west or in the south, your day is coming.

A word on the northeast. The weather effects EVERYTHING here. Weather is news. The TV “on the scene” reporters live for this as they get to unleash; “Coming up, our 5 day forecast and it looks like old man winter will rear his ugly head again” and my personal favorite, “If you’re planning on going out, remember to bundle up!”

Thanks, asshole. Should I pack a PB&J, Capri Sun and some animal crackers, too?

Then it turns into Safety 101. I actually saw a “mobile newsroom” weather reporter say that you should wear gloves, coat and a scarf tonight and if you have to drive, please do so slowly”.

You have to love the fact that the guy standing on the roof of a building during a snowstorm with 20 mile an hour winds with expensive electronic equipment is tossing out safety tips.

In addition to the sad fact that weather becomes news, it also affects attitudes. As if the fast paced, self-absorbed, hyperactive, northeast isn’t enough to make everyone irritable, on top of it you get bad weather…which is unbelievably woven into the fabric of people’s demeanor. Have you picked up the tone of these paragraphs yet? What a miserable prick!

Who likes to hear these phrases several times a day?

“Stay warm.”
“Been out there? Freezing.”
“I don’t remember it ever being this cold.”

I don’t even know what good weather is anymore. It’s the worst of both worlds. At least Alaska is almost always cold and Arizona is always hot. All this stuff about there being seasons is absolute bullshit. You can have your “leaves turning pretty colors”. There hasn’t been a full-fledged spring or fall here in 5 years. It goes directly from sub-zero to muggy, humid and hot.

Anyway, as bad as this cold is, I’m trying to bring some humor out of it for my north/northeastern brethren. And now, back to your regularly scheduled goodness, probably written on a laptop out by a pool somewhere. Damn you Cameron. Damn you.

For live, up-to-the-minute updates on the weather in Nick’s hood, click here. Curious about the weather out here in San Doggy Dogg? Click here.

General Haberdashery

One of my all time favorite bad movies was on HBO the other night. The Late Shift is a campy and intentionally over-the-top reenactment of the so-called “late night wars” of the early ’90s. At its heart, is a battle for Johnny Carson’s 11:30 PM weeknight spot with Jay Leno and David Letterman as our protagonists.

This is a roundabout way of addressing the rumors that Captain Sabado might be making the move from the Saturday wasteland to the heavy hits territory of Mondays, where the internet gathers to read Ashish’s Raw Preview and Matt Nute’s detailed analysis of the stepover toehold.

Well, you don’t need me to tell you how excellenté Fernandez’s column is, do you? Think of him as the Elizabeth Peña to my Chris Tucker. Plus, find out how you can win a date with him! Although, Captain Lunes just doesn’t sound the same…

EM’s first two paragraphs are worth the price of your internet service this month. And if you’re reading this in the computer lab at school…why don’t you get the hell off, so someone who has real work to do can use the computer?

Cocozza always lifts with his legs. He also cheats death and cheats at Chutes and Ladders.

Joe has a big-ass Q&A column this week…with an unwanted cameo by your favorite Friday Negro Scribe.

Junk Mail

No question as to what the most frequently asked question of the week was.

Thanks for the review of Westside Connection’s new one. I always look forward to what you have to say, but I can’t believe you didn’t include a transcript of the disses to Eminem! I haven’t heard it yet, so what was it that they said about Em? – Daryl

There were two indirect jabs made at Slim Shady, without mentioning him by name. Both were spit by Ice Cube, with the first (and I’m going off of memory here) a simple line like:

“The best rapper in the world is not European”

The second is a little edgier:

“If I was white and called my momma a bitch, it wouldn’t have taken this long to get rich.”

All of which leads to the second most-asked question of the week:

Wait a minute, I thought Cube and Eminem were both on Dre’s Aftermath label, so how can they be beefin’? – Javier

While Cube has long been rumored to sign with Dre’s label, as far as I know, the deal hasn’t gone down yet. In fact, I doubt it will ever come to much as Dre has already chased off Rakim, King Tee and Dawn Robinson from Aftermath due to his methodical work ethic and questionable business acumen.

Combine that with the fact that 2004’s Aftermath releases tentatively include Eminem, 50 Cent, Eve, Xzibit and the good Doctor, himself and it’s hard to see where Cube fits in.

On a related note, it was no secret that fellow Westside Connect member Mack 10 was feuding with Dre for a minute. Mack was the executive producer on an album for a cat by the name of CJ Mac that contained numerous skits and lyrics taking shots at Dre and Em. Most people thought they had patched things up, but then we heard the absolute garbage beat that Dre made for Mack on the Hate In Yo Eyes single. Friends don’t do that to friends.

Continuing the infusion of estrogen from last week:

I know for a fact that there are other women who read your bootleg cuz I’m one of them! Who do you think is going to be the next 50 Cent for 2004? – BKG

I’ve gotten variations of this question frequently over the last few months. The short answer is “no one”. A phenomenon like that happens just once or twice a decade. As for my choice for a “breakout” star in rap, I’ll put my (safe) money on Lloyd Banks. He’s already got a huge underground following and with the right single, he could blow up the mainstream. And I don’t think Joe Budden’s grave should be dug yet. He’s rumored to be releasing an album later this year and with one or two radio-friendly singles he could achieve what everyone thought he’d get last year.

Bootleg Anniversary Contest!

On February 14, 2003…the first ever Friday News Bootleg was published. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to bring my skewed views of the music world to you each and every week and I appreciate all the feedback that my work on 411 has generated.

So, what better time to announce the first-ever contest here in The Bootleg? The prize up for grabs is a $50 Best Buy Gift Card! Buy a few CDs, some DVDs or even 7/8 of a PS2 or Xbox game. What do you have to do to win…?

In 50 words or less, tell me why you should win the card.


Provide a name for my unborn son that’s better than “Baby Bootleg”.

The only rule is that you be funny. Longtime readers of The Goodness have a good idea as to what I think is funny, so have at it. Enter as often as you like. The winner will be announced in the February 13 edition of The Bootleg and the deadline for entries is February 5 at midnight.

Sorry, but 411 staff is not eligible…you freeloading bastards.

Life With Mrs. Bootleg

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

We passed a milestone yesterday as the wife entered her seventh month of pregniosity. After two glorious trimesters in straight denial regarding the effects of this child on her body, Mrs. Bootleg made a shocking revelation.

Her shoes no longer fit.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell y’all a little about my wife’s feets. She was born without arches and there is no greater site than watching her make little wet footprints shaped exactly like a duck’s. Seriously, they look like two baked potatoes with toes.

Now, try and imagine these Idahos all bloated and swollen…and you have my wife’s feet today. I’ve suggested that she use seaweed and Fed Ex boxes as a shoe substitute (like Tom Hanks in Cast Away), but my suggestions have been met with nothing but her idle threats, like, “When I finish off this entire bag of Flaming Hot Chee-Tos, I’m gonna…zzzZZZ…”

I suppose I could take her to a blacksmith and see if he can nail a pair of horseshoes to her hoofs, but I’m sure my goodwill gesture (I’d pay for half) would go unappreciated.

It’s a three-day weekend! Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13