411 Music's Friday News Bootleg 04.30.04

Welcome back to The Bootleg. In another couple of days, the wife and I will have been married for 18 glorious months. Despite this innocuous achievement, I’m in no position to give relationship advice to any of you out there. However, I am more than qualified to point out the inherent hypocrisy of the one question that has plagued mankind since Adam & Eve…or, for your heathens: since Harry Met Sally.

Can a man and a woman be platonic friends?

Just before lunch this past Monday, I checked in with the wife to see how her day was going. She’s still chained to the house all day, because our son, Jalen, is under a doctor-imposed house arrest (save for doctor’s visits) due to his still-undeveloped immune system.

It was the usual telephone banter between an old married couple (did we get any mail, what do you want for dinner, it burns when I pee…stuff like that). The call was about to wrap up and I could just about taste that lunchtime bag of T.G.I. Friday’s Tato Skins, when Mrs. Bootleg drops this on me:

“Hey, guess who I finally tracked down?”

Based on her postpartum appetite, I immediately guessed “Chef Boyardee”, “Uncle Ben” and “The Cream of Wheat Man”. Wrong on all three counts, it seems.

Eventually, the wife informed me that after a long search, she found her ex-boyfriend, Greg. The same Greg whom she dated for almost three years, right before she met me. The very same Greg that she thought she might marry someday.

Now, I’m not the jealous type. I’ve met Greg (or “G-SCAL”, according to his vanity plates) several times and he’s a good guy…single father…makes an honest living. Well, I can’t imagine there’s a whole lot of corruption as a member of the elite San Diego Harbor Patrol. And, there’s no shame in being a bike cop on the beach. Hell, who knows what those guys could be carrying in their fanny packs? Another flashlight? Zinc oxide? That stuff can burn, if it sweats into your eyes, I’m told.

My point is that there’s no way in Tucson that I could ever proclaim a phone call with my last ex-girlfriend as some sort of Holy Grail quest. For example: This year, me and the wife, along with three other couples went in for a half-season ticket plan with the San Diego Padres at their newly-opened Petco Park.

It works out to 10 games per couple, however, due to our kid’s still-unstable health, the wife would prefer to wait until Jalen is a little bit stronger before she starts going to the games. While that’s perfectly understandable, it also means that I have a handful of games to fill the seat next to me on my own.

I’ve had no problem in finding takers for a free ticket in a new ballpark. However, as bad luck would have it, this past Tuesday, the Padres played the decidedly milquetoast Montreal Expos. All of a sudden, my boys had ready-made excuses like “business trips”, “late nights at the office” or “wife-free quality time with their bitches on the side”.

My plight made its way around the office and, before I knew it, a couple of female co-workers/friends had started angling for the extra ticket. I thought long and hard about this and even consulted my spiritual adviser, Nick Salemi, before deciding that, outside of lying, there was no way I could convince my lonely, depressed, feeling unattractive wife that this was just a platonic, out-of-necessity outing between me and this smoking-hot 23-year-old from our finance department, with a penchant for wearing low-riding jeans and high-riding thongs to work on casual Fridays.

The Padres won 3-0…I rolled to the game with one of my boys from the accounting department…and my still-beautiful wife will be meeting Greg for lunch, sometime this weekend.

I should’ve lied…even The Goodness knows that.

You’re Cheating on Her?

R&B singer Eric Benet received divorce papers this week from his wife of three years, actress Halle Berry. There had been rumors since the beginning of their relationship regarding Benet’s “wandering eye” and after 36 months of tabloid headlines, Halle could take no more. Now, some might think the used condoms, fat girl panties and McDonald’s “trainee” nametag that Halle found under the bed will probably carry a bit more weight in divorce court, but we’re not here to judge. In all seriousness, Halle is probably going to need all the support she can get in the next few months.

Have you seen the early screen shots from the Catwoman movie? Woof. Admittedly, Black people don’t exactly have the greatest big-screen super-hero pedigree to reference, but the early betting line has this one coming in as the second-worst of all time…just ahead of Damon Wayans’ Blankman, but still nowhere near the level of Shaquille O’Neal’s Steel. Also receiving votes: Robert Townsend’s Meteor Man and Bill Cosby’s Ghost Dad.

Old School…But, Not As Funny As the Movie

The network that let us laugh at the drug-anchored downfall of Leif Garrett is dipping its unshaven big toe into the waters of Hip Hop. VH1 has scheduled a brand-new awards show that promises to honor the pioneers of rap, such as The Sugarhill Gang and Run-DMC. The show will air this October and will be accompanied by a five-part series on the history of Hip Hop. While the network is claiming that this will be an annual event, I have a hard time believing that a show built upon the hypertension, creaky knees and orthopedic gold dentures of “MC Replacement Hip” or “Mix Master A.A.R.P.” will have much staying power.

That’s not a knock on the influence of these rappin’ coots, I just prefer not to relive the past over and over again. You know what I’m talkin’ about, right? Jerry Mathers will always be that puckish young scamp from the ’50s and ’60s. Not the gelatinous mass of goo from The New Leave It To Beaver.

Rerun, Raj and Dwayne were the three lovable f*ck-ups who drank malts at Rob’s Place. Not the thirtysomething caricatures that moved back to the hood on What’s Happening Now! And, if any of you saw Tyne Daly and Sharon Glass from that Cagney & Lacey reunion movie, then nothing more needs to be said. Please, leave the past in the past. Please.

Would Anyone Make Up the Name ‘Aaron Cameron’?

Last week, two reports were circulating that Metallica lead screamer James Hetfield and Green Day banjo-plucker Billie Joe Armstrong had died in separate incidents. One was a suicide and the other a car wreck, or something, but it turns out that neither man is dead. Not surprisingly, both rumors began on Internet message boards.

That’s the place where kids can assume fake names, make belligerent threats with lots of saucy profanity and all without a lick of accountability or fact-checking required. Hmm…it seems I’ve backed our little website into quite the ironic corner, haven’t I? At this point, I could either start naming names or distract you with nude pictures in the hope that you’ll become distracted, while I seamlessly move on to the next news item. Suckers.

If I Sue, You Sue…Just Like That

Man, I’m torn with Ludacris. I haven’t been a fan of any of his albums, but in small doses (most notably, last year’s Act A Fool) he can be listenable and even enjoyable. Well, if you believe the anonymous aspiring rap act I.O.F., they’re the ones we should be crediting for one of Luda’s biggest hits. They’ve filed a lawsuit claiming that Luda and Kanye West jacked their hook for the single Stand Up. The group says they sent several demo tapes to Ludacris and Kanye back in 2000 and their cut Straight Like That reportedly has a hook that’s eerily similar to Stand Up.

Now, given the ghetto fabulous nature of the parties involved, I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing everyone on Judge Joe Brown in a few weeks. Y’know, they could really make it must-see-TV if they rolled in Judge Phillip Banks from whatever Crisco-and-crullers induced coma he’s in. Or, even better, try’n hunt down the judge who sat on the bench for the trial of Col. Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men. “And Ludacris will address the court as ‘judge’ or ‘your honor’…I’m quite certain I’ve earn it. Take your seat, n*gga.” I love that movie.

Trevor Presiloski is NOT a Suspect

Anyone ever been to a concert in Canada? Aside from the $20 Molsons and $10 baskets of poutine, I imagine they’re a lot like the shows we put on here in America, Sr. How similar are these shows, you might ask…? Well, last weekend at Montreal’s Bell Center a fan was shot while leaving a concert featuring…50 Cent. I’ll give y’all a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor and recover from this shockingly unpredictable news. Amazingly, the fan survived as he wore a bulletproof vest to the show.

OK, can anyone up there possibly confirm this story as it sounds just a little too far-fetched even for the confines of 411. And, can you buy Kevlar at any corner store in Quebec? Does anyone else think that former Nordique draft pick Eric Lindros saw the fall of Canadian society coming long before the rest of us, thereby forcing his eventual trade to Philadelphia? Does anyone else think that Lindros needs help remembering what he had for breakfast? (Non-hockey fans: just replace “Lindros” with “Ronald Reagan”…concussions, senility, it’s all good.)

The ‘C’ Stands For ‘Chop-Block’

Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas has been hard at work prepping her forthcoming solo album and accepting a handful of TV and movie roles. Unfortunately, the former member of TLC (not the dead one or the, uh…other one) has also been linked to an insidious rumor. It seems there have been reports linking her to NFL star and perennial defendant Ray Lewis. Even worse, talk had begun circulating that Thomas was roughed up by Lewis and recuperating in a Baltimore hospital. The whispering had gotten so out of hand, that Thomas eventually issued a statement denouncing the rumor.

Now, I thought Chilli was still dating Usher? Did they break up? Was she scared off by that cut he did with Lil’ Jon and Luda that gets played on the radio every 15 minutes like some awful crunk-infested traffic report from my nightmares? Or did she finally realize that, in a certain light, Usher bears a startling resemblance to a Negro version of the Mad Magazine guy, Alfred E. Newman?

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

Rap mogul Russell Simmons has taken a well-deserved break from fleecing his Def Jam artists to organize “the biggest Hip Hop gathering ever”. The baggy pants/bubble jacket wearing Simmons, 54, is planning The March on New York in conjunction with his Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Simmons hopes to upstage the Republican National Convention on August 30 as his event is being held on the same day near the Convention venue of Madison Square Garden. We’ll ignore the facts that, along with being a shameless and sanctimonious media man-whore, Simmons is also taking a steaming hot sh*t on the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic (and historically-titled) “March on Washington” event.

My real beef is why he’s schedule an outdoor event like this…in New York City…in August. What’s it gonna be…92 degrees with 90% humidity? Me and the seven people who sat through Spike Lee’s Summer of Sam know all about those oppressive New York summers (and the serial killers they breed). And trust me on this one…you don’t want to be around a sista who’s sweated out her new hairdo. Think Omorosa with twelve times the rage…yet, without those super-sized gums.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Has anyone had a rougher year than Rakim so far? One of the most influential MCs of all time has had a 2004 to forget. First he leaves Dre’s Aftermath records, then gets in a car crash and was recently erroneously arrested for not paying child support.

Hip-hop fans are still waiting for his next album to drop, myself included. However we here at the posh offices of the Bootleg couldn’t help but wonder if the following bars would be in any of his new songs (true fans will recognize the Ra-isms);

Rakim Allah hit the stage/5-0 rang the alarm.
Any child support collection agency that disagree with me wave your arms

I came in the door/said it before
never speak my name in that wack-ass Nick’a Please no more

Aaron’s not a regular competitor, Bootleg editor/
Juvenile comedy arranger, father, et cetera.

Casting Call – The Follow-Up

OK…last week, we asked y’all to help us cast the surefire blockbuster movie entitled New York Yankees of the Late 1980s. If you missed it, you can get caught up on this and all the real movie news by reading the original Friday Movie News Guy right here.

The feedback was great and I have to tip my cap to our readers. Some of your choices were insanely inspired. These are the reader nominees that I liked the most, with my own thoughts included below.

Chris Rock (circa CB4) as Deion Sanders
AC: I think Chris Tucker got more votes, but remember, this was for 1989 Deion, not in-studio NFL host Deion.

Charlie Sheen (who, along with Kevin Costner must appear in every baseball movie, by rule) as Steve Sax
AC: Zack from Saved by the Bell & NYPD Blue and Christian Bale also received votes, but as a baseball movie…we must follow the Rule of Sheen.

“The guy from Dumb & Dumber that dies from eating hot peppers” as Steve Balboni
AC: Our readers kick ass, period.

Ron Perlman as Jack Clark
AC: A lot of Tom Selleck support here and I just don’t see it.

Old School Ice Cube as Mel Hall
AC: Probably my personal favorite and near dead-ringers when both were rocking the jheri curls.

Don Cheadle as Willie Randolph
AC: Two criminally underrated supporting players with all-star résumés.

Rickey Henderson as Himself
AC: With apologies to reader nominees Jaime Foxx, Carl Weathers (circa Predator) and others, this one is a virtual slam dunk.

Wilford Brimley as Ken Phelps
AC: This is wrong on so many levels, but he was kicking Tom Cruise’s ass all over The Firm.

Marsha Warfield as Dave Winfield
AC: She’s already got the mustache.

Judge Reinhold as Dave Righetti
AC: This one’s almost too easy…and votes for Dennis Quaid, I can understand. Votes for Hugh Jackman, I cannot.

Taye Diggs as Roberto Kelly
AC: I can’t think of anyone better…or blacker.

John Leguizamo as Alvaro Espinoza
AC: If you can find some of those XXL frame glasses from the 80s, these two could be twins.

Kevin Coster as Kevin Maas
AC: Well, it’s not like he can play Hensley Meulens.

Vin Diesel as Jim Leyritz
AC: Vin’s cranium is a little small for the part, but we’ll let it slide.

Dave Chappelle as Pascual Perez AND Claudell Washington
AC: In an intriguing dual role, Chappelle portrays both a slow-witted Dominican and an introspective clubhouse leader.

Christopher from The Sopranos as Mike Pagliarulo
AC: Awesome.

Erik Estrada as Randy Velarde
AC: Will Randy finally accept his Hispanic heritage? Who better than Ponch to provide the answer?

Roberto Benini as Wayne Tolleson
AC: Our readers kick ass, part II.

Dr. Michael Mancini (from Melrose Place) as Tommy John
AC: Quoth, “He can perfect the surgery in a small plot twist.”

Burt Reynolds as Rick Rhoden
AC: And with the Yankees cap, Burt can leave the toupee in his trailer…and he’s got a mustache.

I borrowed liberally from our readers on some of the commentary above, so special thanks to Mike P., Trent, Stephen W., BP Carr, Ryan A., Thomas G. and our own Coach Coogan for their additional inputs.

You’ll find additional thoughts on this ridiculous subject from Joe Reid in his new Friday Movie Report, which should be up as you read this.

General Haberdashery

I hope my bruthas in the The Minority Report will understand if I lead off with two other writers this week.

First off, do yourselves a favor and read the latest from Mathan Erhardt. It’s another terrific column from him that covers the controversial role of women in Hip Hop. And even if you abhor rap, this one’s sure to make you think…or piss you off.

Oftentimes, me and Mathan and Cocozza get pigeonholed as the “rap guys of 411”, which is really shortsighted if you think about it long enough. And speaking of which, Tom Cocozza absolutely brings it this week with his best column to date. He name drops a certain light-skinned Bootlegger a few times, but also collaborates on a hilarious Muppets-themed Top 10 list and an ode to America’s favorite androgynous Decepticon.

Michael Melchor always shows the Bootleg love and with Smilo’s recent death (or absence…sabbatical…whatever) he’s been getting an extra day on the main page. Watch as one man’s paisley obsession…turns deadly.

TMR founding member Jeff Fernandez is working two jobs…has a liver that was recently categorized as somewhere between “Hagman” and “Mantle”…yet still found time to drop another excellent Swindle Sheet and tease a new feature that may never happen.

Canadian T is working on his own consecutive weeks streak of columns. He’s the best thing to happen to Sundays since the occasional free sample of body wash that finds its way into my delivered newspaper. He’s solved HTML and seen Pixies, all in one week.

Junk Mail

Judging by the amount of virus-powered spam emails, I think its safe to say that most of you had no problem updating your infected files with my new email address.

You might have noticed that I made my return to reviewing albums with the release of D12’s reviewing albums. Yeah…I think some of you noticed:

Your d*ck is so far up Eminem’s ass it’s sad. This was a terrible album and further proof that rap is dead. Sh*t, you spend 20 pages making fun of rap in your Friday columns, so I thought you’d be smart enough to get the hint. – Mike T.

Nice to see 411 actually put out an album review on time for once. Too bad it was from you. An 8.0?!? For D12? Please tell me you’re doing one of those “Essentials” columns, because I’m dying to see what other kind of crap you listen to. – D.C.

And, proving you just can’t please everybody:

Props for the D12 review and I’m glad to see the best reviewer on the site back on the music scene. But, I’m confused by your review. You even admit that your only complaints are nitpicks, yet you still only give the album an 8.0? Based on your review and from I’ve heard of the CD, it’s an easy 9.0 or 9.5. – C.T.

Life With Baby Bootleg

Last Sunday, the wife and I got up extra early to clean the house. A couple of friends of mine were coming down from Los Angeles and we didn’t want anyone to think that the sink full of crusty baby bottle nipples was indicative of how we lived.

After an hour or so, we decided to take a break. The kid needed to be fed and changed, while I poured myself a big bowl of store-brand honey graham cereal. See, it tastes just like Golden Grahams, but you save 25 cents off of the name brand! And that $3.50 I save each year goes right into the Salvation Army pot at Christmas time. Just don’t let that get out…I like to keep my charity hush-hush.

Anyways, somewhere between my fourth or fifth gum-shredding bite of those honey graham razor blades, I notice that the wife seems unusually preoccupied with one of the cushions of our couch. She looks at me and, instantly reading my mind, proclaims:

“Don’t worry, Jalen didn’t pee on the couch.”

Mrs. Bootleg insisted that the wet spot was residue from one of his baby wipes. Except, the sniff check produced no discernible odor…as opposed to the medicinally antiseptic smell of a baby wipe. Secondly, the moisture was warm, like that peed-on-your-hand feeling. Third, and most damning, the freakin’ kid’s diaper was soaked.

Super-absorbent, my ass. Christ, do the Huggies people share their lies and shoddy material with the maxi-pad companies? And what happens in another 30 years when we’re all customers in the adult diaper market? Maybe “incontinence” really is a serious problem and not the punchline we’ve all assumed.

Mrs. Bootleg’s Quote of the Week

“You have to check out this link.” – Thursday, April 29

I guess I was a little late to the party on this one, kids. If you haven’t yet found the infamous ebay wedding dress auction, you can either read it here…or wait for it to get emailed to you three times a day for the next six months.

Have a safe and blessed May Day! Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13