Welcome back to The Bootleg. As you read this, I’m s-l-o-w-l-y making my way north up I-5 to see America’s Team, The Oakland A’s take on those baby seal killing Anaheim Angels. It’s been a tradition for 15 years, as my friend and I first started attending these April contests back when Luis Polonia hadn’t yet discovered the yielding flesh of underage girls.
Of course, back then, tickets to a game were $5 and very easy to come by. That was before the Halos lucked into their World Series win a few years ago. Now, it’s next to impossible to get good seats and the ones that are available are up in the third deck, four miles away and five rows behind God.
Last year, for the first time, we turned to scalpers. My boy and I drove down the main drag, until we found someone who was obviously selling. We pulled over?he came to the passenger’s window and asked us what we wanted. I, in turn, asked him what he’s offering. The whole thing sounded like a slice of gay solicitation. All we needed was Dirk Diggler in the back seat getting his ass kicked for showing his schlong to the wrong person.
We ended up overpaying for shitty seats, so this year, I turned to my friends at ebay. I found some great seats on the first level behind home plate. OK?we would be in the back row of the section, but at least the price was right. I won the auction and got the tickets for about five bucks less than face value.
Too good to be true?? You bet’cha!
It turns out I had won tickets in Row “WC”. I thought they might be near the Maad Circle, but it turns out it stands for “wheelchair”?as in wheelchair accessible. Yep, my friend and I had scored two seats at the top of the friggin’ concourse in the
handicapped handi-capable section.
Despite the reassurances of the seller (“there’s plenty of extra leg room!”) and the ticket agent at Angel Stadium (“We have folding chairs for you if you’re not disabled.”), I opted to put the tickets back on the auction block and buy two more seats that wouldn’t elicit dirty looks from surrounding fans and force me and my friend to perform our best fake limps.
Don’t get me wrong?I enjoy the extra space and leaning bars provided in your typical handicapped bathroom stalls. But, there are doors on those sh*tters for a reason?not only do they provide a modicum of privacy, but they also create an airtight blockade that keeps out the shame and guilt we should feel for exploiting the double-wide acre and a half of real estate that the handicapped are afforded in there.
Let the Goodness begin?again!
Karma can be a syphilitic bitch goddess sometimes. David Mays and Ray “Benzino” Scott, who co-own The Source magazine, have been hit with no less than four lawsuits in the past month. The two have been named in suits filed in New York Supreme Court totaling approximately $1.35 million. Almost that entire amount is believed to be owed to a paper company that The Source uses to print its 200 pages of ads, 49 pages of Eminem
envy bashing and 1 page of Benzino’s “exclusive” interviews with himself each month.
Other suits include those filed by a travel agency, a lithographer and a 5th Avenue jeweler, who claims a pair of $36,000 earrings turned up missing after a Benzino photo shoot last year. Missing? C’mon?all you have to do is ask residents of the greater Boston area to be on the lookout for a 45-year-old half-Black/half-Italian man with receding corn rows, one orthopedic Timberland boot, a case of gout and a pair of golf ball sized rocks hanging from each lobe. Hey, except for the whole Black and Italian thing, doesn’t that sound a lot like Manny Ramirez?
Back in the late ’90s, a grief-stricken Sean “Puffy” Combs turned to the one person who could carry him through the tragic loss of his friend, The Notorious B.I.G. Was it God? No, you fool?it was, dare I say?a man called Sting. With an assist from the archives of The Police, Puffy spit ghost-written lyrics over the recycled beat from Every Breath You Take right into Hip Hop history.
Proving that lightning can strike twice in the rap game, Sting has found yet another flavor-of-the-month talent to hook up with. This time around, it’s platinum selling rapper Twista who will join forces with him on wax. The two are teaming up for the remix of Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing) off of Sting’s latest album, Sacred Love. A video was even shot in Brooklyn earlier this month.
Now, shouldn’t influential forces like Sting and PS2’s Grand Theft Auto be teaching us how to drive cars and not jack ’em? I’m reminded of the two-fisted, gear-shiftin’ goodness of Rad Racer and R.C. Pro Am for the original Nintendo system. For those of you too young to remember, just think Excitebike, with two extra wheels. Wait, that probably didn’t help much at all.
I Got?No Time for Fake Testimony
Longtime readers of this column know that I have my favorite targets and Lil’ Kim is right near the top of the list. News broke this week that Kim has been charged with lying to a grand jury in regards to her connection with a 2001 shootout involving her entourage. It seems that the feud between Kim and fellow ho-with-flow Foxy Brown almost turned deadly as Kim’s crew left a New York radio station while Foxy’s crew was coming in. Shots were fired, one man was wounded and the next day, Kim played dumb during an interrogation by police. Yeah, I know?what a stretch for her, huh? Anyways, she’s out on $500,000 bail and ain’t talking.
I think we all know how this will turn out. See, there’s a reason that rappers, athletes and Warren Woo have entourages. They’re like ready-made fall guys for all the bad sh*t that their big name employers get into. It’s why Shyne is serving 10 years and Puffy’s a free man. It’s why Ray Lewis dances around like a juiced-up Alfonso Ribiero every Sunday, while two cats from his crew are serving 25 to life. The lesson here is that if anyone you know becomes famous?it’ll be your ass that gets passed around like a pack of Marlboros in the prison yard, the second your boy turns state’s evidence on you. And that’s one to grow on.
A Horrible Tragedy?Wrapped up in Two Hours!
On the one hand, none of us should be surprised by the announcement that a made-for-TV movie is in the works that retells the tragic events surrounding the last year’s Rhode Island Nightclub fire. On the other hand, I’m shocked that the Fox Network, which once gave a sitcom to Sinbad and found a way to make Bernie Mac unfunny, actually passed on this screenplay. For this round of shameless exploitation, our friends over at the Lifetime Network hope to have the movie complete and ready to air by July.
There are a lot of rumors regarding the casting of the film and if 411’s track record with the new Batman Begins movie is any indication, look for hourly updates starting next week which include answers to on-set questions like “Who will be the grip?” and “What’s being served on the lunch truck today?” Seriously?it’s made-for-TV and it’s on Lifetime?no matter who else they hire, you can bet that these three words will appear somewhere in the movie’s ad campaign: “Starring Valerie Bertinelli”. Or Meredith Baxter?y’know, Alex’s mom from Family Ties?Oh, and someone will scream out, to no one in particular, “I just want my life back!”
Dr. Dre made a lot of news last month with his announcement that he was ditching plans to complete and release his next album, Detox. However, that doesn’t mean that Andre Young is through with the game. He’s promised to focus on producing tracks for upcoming albums from his stable of artists, including Busta Rhymes and Eve. And, this past week, Dre announced that he’s planning a worldwide Aftermath Stadium Tour for 2005.
In a prepared statement, Dre says that his goal is to “have every Aftermath artist come out with an album this year” as a precursor to the tour. Hey, there’s something we’ve never heard?a sure-to-be-unfulfilled promise regarding a future project that Dre’s involved with. I wonder if King Tee, Rakim and Dawn Robinson will be allowed to fetch Dre’s Kool-Aid or air out that weed smell from the back of the tour bus.
Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself
Who’d have thought that a white man’s ass could cause this much trouble? Our lunatic fringe friends over at PETA ran afoul of longtime supporter Bruce Springsteen recently. The animal rights organization was hoping to parody The Boss’ Born In The U.S.A. album cover with an ad featuring a soft n’ doughy ass-crack peeking out of a pair of fat guy jeans (my vote: Toughskins). The tagline would read Obese in the U.S.A. with an eye towards our nation’s love of triple cheeseburgers, chicken-fried bacon fingers and other heavily cured, yet deliciously dead animals.
Once Bruce caught wind of the campaign, he had his people contact PETA and bring a halt to the ads. Look, I really wish our world was like the final scene of City Slickers where everyone gets to take a calf home with them and lives happily ever after. Unfortunately, life’s a lot more painful, like most of the scenes in City Slickers 2. Cows get eaten?bad movies get made?Helen Slater is nowhere to be found?and Jon Lovitz ruins everything.
Excerpted from my upcoming autobiography, 40 Readers & A Mule?
?I instantly knew that Fernandez and I were cut from the same cloth. His debut column featured a link to those wonderful comic book Hostess ads from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Another child of the ’80s? Could it be? I could almost see he and I fighting over the last one of those Love Knows No Color t-shirts at the swap meet?
?a Canadian internet writer, on a wrestling site, no less? Let’s just say that I didn’t like Trevor’s chances for longevity. After all, his country gave us Alan Thicke and You Can’t Do That on Television. Growing Pains and green slime?ye gods, what was Widro thinking??
?she turned towards me, slowly yet with determination. Her eyes caught the lonely flecks of sunlight peeking out from behind the clouds. It was bad news, I?just knew it. Her lips parted and softly, yet swiftly, she carved my heart out for all to see. “It’s Mathan, I love, not you, Marcus. This bitch didn’t even know my name?
?the 411 cafeteria was serving up hummus and flatbread. It had to be Monday. Cocozza was in line ahead of me, laughing at voices only he could hear. He jerked his head around to respond to a tap on the shoulder that didn’t happen when suddenly, and without warning, he pushed aside Mr. Monday and Ask Joe and, with his face an inch from mine, exclaimed?”that ain’t hummus”?
?I woke up surrounded by the quiet thrush of air conditioning and the antiseptic smell of prescription drugs. Those 11 bullet wounds hadn’t killed me, but this was far from living. My hospital room was sterile, like Barney Rubble and cold like Betty. The get-well cards were a mockery of Hallmarkery?”Die, Muthaf*cka, Die!” I wonder where EM found the one Ziggy card that actually said that?
?it came down to this?Joe Reid, the 411 Friday Movie Guy and me. One would stand, one would fall and the victor would reap the dead’s readership and accompanying feedback. All this for the chance to have 2-4 more emails a week? Even Dr. Nathan won’t be able to put Joe back together again?
Charlie C. writes:
I don’t want to come across as one of those sad little ‘net groupies, so I’ll just say that The Bootleg is my favorite thing on 411. You and Nick need to do something bigger for the Black section, cuz there’s lots of non-music sh*t to make fun of. Just a thought. Keep up the good work.
Thanks, brutha. If I didn’t think that passing off IM conversations as an actual column was both lazy and annoying, I’d have done so a long time ago. In fact, during one of these marathon sessions, Nick dropped a crazy freestyle on a certain 411 writer that probably would’ve got me kicked off the site. Which, of course, means I’ll try to sneak it past Widro at some point in time.
How come you didn’t do anything for the whole Cobain series that 411 did? I was a little disappointed that my favorite writer on the site sat this one out.
The short answer is that I was never a fan. I hear a lot of talk about how he was the voice of a generation, but he wasn’t my voice, so I took a pass. Speaking of which, there’s some talk about 411 putting together a series on the defining voices of past and present generations. If that ever comes to pass, you can bet I’ll be in on that and repping for you-know-who.
From one Simpson fan to another?what’s your favorite and least favorite episodes?
OK, least favorite(s) are easy?the one where Homer gets sick off the month-old footlong sub and Lisa gets drunk at a theme park just turns my stomach for some reason. Ditto for the Howard Hughes-inspired episode involving Monty Burns and a casino.
Favorite? If I had to watch one episode on a continuous loop, it would be the softball show with a pre-ruined Darryl Strawberry, a mulleted Jose Canseco, a ‘who’s that’ cameo from Steve Sax and Ken Griffey (Good Lord, gigantism!), Jr.
The final part of the last year’s (ugh) Tupac series is finished, at long last. I had hoped to run it last week, but Widro gave the spotlight that other west coast musician who died. Look for it next week. And, this time?I really mean it.
I’ve also been sent a couple of CDs by two up-and-coming artists. Look for those write-ups in our First Listen section in a few weeks.
Finally, this isn’t ‘coming soon’, as much as it is ‘already up’. Look for your favorite Bootleg Guy on 411 Black as I wrote our official baseball preview and contributed to ?another sports piece, too.
Life With Baby Bootleg
Gift registries always seem like a good idea. That is, until you come to the realization that, in two or three lifetimes, there’s no way any human could possibly use all the crap that’s actually on a registry. Mrs. Bootleg and I have been married for about 18 months and I’m shocked that a Black couple, like us, hasn’t found a use for our wok, yet. You mean to tell me you can’t stir fry collard greens?
And, the waste extends to baby registries, as well. Months before Jalen arrived, wifey pissed, bitched and moaned about her need for something called a “glider”. That’s $500 speak for “rocking chair”. As luck would have it, I happened to be home from work the day it arrived. The sweaty deliveryman left the box in the middle of our living room, so I had to haul this thing upstairs, into the nursery and put it together.
It wasn’t rocket science, but it wasn’t that long ago that I had to cry myself to sleep, because I couldn’t transform Jazz back from robot to car. I finally got the chair put together. For reference, that was on March 17. To date, I think it’s been used twice?20 times, if you count the freakin’ cat.
Mrs. Bootleg’s Quote of the Week
“I need some lanolin on these nipples.” – Tuesday, April 13.
Kill me now.
Insert wacky phrase here. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13