The Friday Music News Bootleg

But, before we begin”¦

One thing I think is very important for maintaining a pro look is keeping as much meta content OUT of the columns as possible. I realize that everyone likes to talk about “other stuff,” but I’m hoping there’s another place for that outside of the music news columns and things of that nature. – JJ Botter, IP Music Co-Editor (from the NEW Staff Forum)

Well, I’ve had a good run”¦

Welcome back to The Bootleg. And welcome to the launch week of Inside Pulse or, as most of you are probably calling us by now”¦411DifferentFont.

To my longtime readers, I want to thank you for making the jump over here with me and to any new readers checking me out for the first time, I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy the ride.

I know you have a choice amongst lightly-regarded, little-read music news columns”¦but I use my real name, I know how not to use the caps lock key and I have a weekly contributor who’s like, y’know”¦good.

Oh, and I also drop non-music intros like this one, that often reflect on a singular incident from the past week”¦

Last Thursday was one of those days at work that inspired movies like Falling Down. All I needed was a not-as-good-as-the-picture cheeseburger and some corn-fed criticism from Robert Duvall to push me right to the top of the 10 o’clock news with a really bad picture of me over some painted up anchorman’s shoulder and the caption: “Cameron”¦Killer?” underneath.

On top of my 12-hour day, I hadn’t even begun the 8/6 edition of The Bootleg. All of last week’s site drama had closed off my creative crack pipe. Yet, instead of coming home to my computer, I first had to join my wife in entertaining a guest in our home.

The shall-remain-nameless person in question was an old friend of mine from high school. Her and my wife haven’t exactly”¦well, let’s just say that lately their relationship has been more “Kirstie Alley and carrots” than “Kirstie Alley and carrot cake”.

Ah, but nothing heals a gaping, infected, sticks-to-the-Band-Aid wound better than a baby. Both my wife and my friend became first-time mothers within a couple of weeks of each other and this was the first time the two would meet since their blessed events.

When I got home, I found the two of them on the couch pouring over The Cameron Wedding Album. God, I looked so happy, back then”¦Now, by law, all new mothers must force you to look at pictures. I hadn’t even sat down, when my friend’s “baby book” was shoved into my arms.

The wife tried to warn me that there were “birth pictures” inside, but I foolishly assumed that she meant pics of a slimy, fresh-out-the-oven kid still umbilically tethered to his drugged up mommy.

Instead, I recoiled in horror to find 5×7 pictures of my friend in stirrups”¦hospital gown torn asunder”¦and her clam cracked open waiting for the kid to crown.

I saw everything. Hell, I didn’t see that much of my wife when we conceived Jalen, much less birthed him. Needless to say, last week’s Bootleg didn’t get finished until the next day.

Can’t sleep”¦clam will eat me.

The Goodness believes in birth curtains for certain”¦

“Hey, Lil’ Kim! She’s fat. F-A-T.”

As Lil’ Kim’s star continues to fall amid charges of perjury and declining relevance in the rap game, it’s no surprise that she’s spread her legs and smoothed out her back fat in the hopes of landing another industry heavyweight (heh) to save her career. Ten years ago, Lil’ Kim and Biggie Smalls defied statutory laws (and most laws of bedroom physics) by engaging in a longtime affair.

Today, Kim has sunk her salad fork into the shoulders of producer Scott Storch. Hey, it’s not like she was using that utensil, anyway. The two have reportedly been dating for several months, beginning around the time that the Storch-produced Lean Back single began blowing up the charts nationwide.

And speaking of “blown up””¦has anyone else seen the pics from her birthday party yet? Seems she flew down to Atlanta last month to celebrate and pictures have been circulating on the net ever since. I’ve actually had a hard time finding Lil’ Kim in any of these photos. I mean, is she behind the rhino?

Oh, wait”¦that is Kim. Wow. As someone who’s never had any cosmetic procedures, perhaps it’s not my place to say”¦but when your face takes on the characteristics of uncooked kielbasa, it might be time to drop the botox.

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In a week chock full of hard-to-believe news items, this one might top them all. Outkast’s Andre 3000 was just named the “World’s Best Dressed Man” of 2004 by Esquire magazine.

Let that sink in for a moment”¦

This man“¦this man right here“¦in this picture beat out, well, anybody for the honor. Now, I know that one or two of these shots might include both members of Outkast. Just so everyone knows, Andre is the really ugly one.

Seriously, if this ain’t the last straw, I don’t know what is. Can we officially halt the round-the-clock c*ck gobbling for these guys yet? I mean, what the hell am I missing here? I’ve bought their albums, I’ve watched their videos and I’ve seen Outkast win assloads of awards and acclaim. And, I still don’t get them.

For God’s sake, people, he’s wearing a freaking dress!

Was Eddie Murphy on the Esquire voting committee? Hugh Grant? Let’s be honest here: man”¦dress”¦sure, Venus Williams might be able to pull it off, but I don’t see him up for any fashion awards, do you?

First 3 Count Breaks Up”¦Now, This

The Backstreet Boys are on the comeback trail”¦uh, or so I’ve been told. And, in addition to a fall tour, the group is putting the finishing touches on a new reality program. The show, tentatively titled Bodyguard will chronicle the band’s efforts to find a lucky individual who’ll take a bullet for Brian or score some smack for AJ.

At press time, the show was still being shopped in the hopes of landing a network deal. So, you’ve got a too-old-to-be-called boy band quintet who hasn’t dropped an album in three years”¦and a fanbase that has likely moved on to tenth grade. Face it, Backstreet”¦you’re nothing more than misbegotten middle school memories, like field trips and Trapper Keepers.

And when you’ve officially been spoofed on The Simpsons (Party Posse, anyone?), you know it’s time to hang up your Time-Life operator wireless headset mics that don’t really work because you lip sync (badly) to all your own songs. Are they hot? Us Magazine says they are not.

Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson”¦and Justine Bateman

Has it really been 10 years since Juliette Lewis taught a nation how to laugh in Natural Born Killers? Aw, c’mon”¦who among us doesn’t smile softly to themselves at the thought of Rodney Dangerfield and Edie McClurg finally getting what they deserve? And judging by their amount of work lately, it wasn’t just their characters who died.

Anyways, our old friend “Mallory” has a new enemy and this time, she’s trying to prevent a brutal, inhumane death. Her target: family friendly fried chicken magnate and former slave trader Colonel Robert Parker Sanders and his KFC empire.

Seems that the daughter from the third National Lampoon’s Vacation movie was recently tipped off by PETA over the recent controversy surrounding one of KFC’s suppliers and their treatment of the future bucket fodder. In response, Lewis is taking advantage of her fame and fortune”¦by writing a letter in protest.

“Hey”¦look at the return address. You think this is from the real gangbanged whore from the first five minutes of Old School?”

“It’s gotta be”¦.look, “California” is spelled with a K!”

Apparently, Juliette is in a band these days, which just barely qualifies her for Bootleg inclusion. I don’t think the chances for future success are not all that good, though. Or am I the only one who remembers the last time a fictitious “Mallory” moved into music?

Air Stereotypes

Hip Hop producer Pharrell Williams has inked a deal with Reebok for a signature line of clothing and footwear. Both are expected to be available this fall in “high-end boutiques”, according to the press release. The shoes will be known as “The Ice Cream Footwear Collection”.

Again, referring to the press release, they’ll be encased in packages that resemble ice cream cartons, with the first run featuring designs like “sparkling images of diamonds and dollar bills”. Subsequent on-shoe designs will include glittery drawings of radios, dice, pagers and money rolls. And the best part”¦the kicks will retail for $200.

Images of dice and pagers”¦Bill Cosby must be rolling over in his grave. And when the hell did Ghost Dad become the voice of my people? Have the Jell-O pudding residuals dried up? Has production on Leonard Part 7 come to a halt? And, besides”¦aren’t Black men his age (102) supposed to be mall-walkers, Wal-Mart greeters or non-threatening Negro contributors to a Ken Burns’ documentary?

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

Looking for someone to prove to Bill Cosby that there are rappers out there who respect and revere higher education for the children? Mos Def? Nah, we’d need a bigger name. Kanye West? Too ironic. Hey, how about Nelly? Oh, and maybe he could find a way to tie-in his successful, yet tastefully offensive “Pimp Juice”-brand energy drink, as well.

If you’ve read this far, you’re in luck”¦Nelly has created the P.I.M.P. Scholars Program, which promises financial assistance to eligible college students.

I am not making this up.

Hey, did I mention that “P.I.M.P.” stands for “Positive Intellectual Motivated Person”? The competitive scholarship will yield two winners who’ll receive $5,000 apiece. Jesus, this isn’t a news item, it’s the plot for House Party 5: Kid n’ Play n’ MBAs.

Come to think of it, I figure Movie Joe Reid and I could pound out a screenplay in 20 minutes. Let’s just hope that Omar Epps is available. We’d love his Higher Learning experience”¦but not before he gives up the cell phone numbers of former co-stars Kristy Swanson and Jennifer Connelly. Maybe they could finish the lesbian scene from Higher Learning that they barely started.

Either way, as long as Tyra Banks stays dead.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Well, I made the jump with my boy, AJC. I couldn’t part ways with a former [Ed. Note: “reigning”] music writer of the year! Although it’s debatable who rides whose coattails at this point. What an awful coat it must be. Anyway, here’s my version of”¦the Goodness.

Have you ever walked into a Tower Records to buy the new Jay-Z album and wonder why it costs $17.99? Price gouging comes to mind. For all the talk that the record industry was losing money over music downloads, not as much attention was given to what the record companies and retail dealers themselves were (and are still) up to.

Two years ago, the major labels and retailers decided to settle a suit out of court for $143 million (in cash and CDs) to avoid a lawsuit that alleged that they colluded to inflate the price of CDs. They, of course, admitted to no wrongdoing, just that they wanted to avoid any expensive litigation. $143 million seems a little bit of an expensive non-admission of guilt, no? Supposedly, everyone who bought CDs between 1995 and 2000 are going to be refunded.

Holy crap! During that time, I can’t think of anything I blew money on more than rap CDs! (Maybe beer, but that’s another story). Does this mean I can recoup my losses on the likes of Cappadonna and Snoop Dogg’s Doggfather album?

Maybe I’ll start my own individual lawsuits against the forgettable lower end of my CD collection that pawnshops wouldn’t even buy back.

Doesn’t Nick Salemi vs. the estate of Coolio have a nice ring?

“Your honor I’d like to submit ‘Fantastic Voyage’ as exhibit one. You can clearly see this CD has no replay value and is beyond outdated, not to mention cost me $18 10 years ago. In 2004 money that’s probably $35 now.”

Just roooooll along, that’s what you do”¦

Recently, the companies have started shipping out the CD portion of the lawsuit to local libraries. For all you folks who hang out there, things are looking up! Expect plenty of CDs from Ricky Martin, the soundtrack from Jason’s Lyric and the Blackstreet box set to be available sooner rather than later. This may change the Dewey Decimal system, as we know it.

Is Bloods N Crips Bangin’ on Wax listed under title or author?

It doesn’t end there. Not everyone is happy about this mass shipment of garbage CDs. The attorney generals of Kansas and Indiana (hey now!) have decided to not distribute several thousands of the CD whose music they deemed as “objectionable”.

Obviously these former “Children of the Corn” are not big fans of Biggie’s Life After Death. I was waiting for an excerpt from their press conference:

“I don’t agree with Smalls’ lyrics but it’s funny to refer to him only as Smalls, like Robert Stack did when the Biggie and 2Pac murders were on Unsolved Mysteries.”

Anyway, I’m not sure if a library of CDs and projected refunds are an example of the little guy winning, but at least these heathens at the record companies were forced to do something for the consumer other than serving them crap and trying to convince us to say we like how it tastes.

General Haberdashery

So, who’ll be the first member of the IP Music Team to break the chain and miss a day of news? Here are my guesses, in reverse order of likelihood.

Fernandez has the Saturday Swindle Sheet that was deemed too hot for 411! Find out the “50 Cent looks like”¦” joke that Ashish didn’t want you to read, along with Eric S. on The Jukebox. He could say anything!

Mathan’s origin issue! Find out how a young Arizonan’s musical journey took him to Iowa, Las Vegas and the blossoming East Coast Hip Hop scene. Next week, he reconciles with Silas Stone.

Blottie (that bastard who didn’t fill in for me on July 2, even though he said he would) and special guest star Smilo(!) debut a brand new give-and-take debate feature. It’s a great concept and reminiscent of those WWF debates leading up to Wrestlemania V. You make a great point Ronnie Garvin. Dino Bravo, please rebut.

JJ Botter has a mission statement, a music staff introduction and a Claire Flynn Boyle reference. Enjoy it now, before she’s once again scared away by all the creepy IP staff forum posts towards her. Jesus, guys, get a girlfriend.

Gloomchen and her tig ol’ bitties re-introduces you to He-Man’s pal, Roboto. I’ll let it slide this week, Ethel, but obscure ’80s syndicated cartoon references are my trademark. And don’t you forget it.

Muthaf*ckas Who Need They Ass Kicked – August 2004

For any of y’all reading for the first time”¦an explanation is probably in order. A few months ago (around Memorial Day, I believe)”¦m’man Nick Salemi and I put together the original 25 MFWNTAK.

These were men, women and children who, for whatever reason, had become enough of an open sore on the mouth of society, that the only remedy was to line ’em up and gift wrap the public beatdown they so richly deserved.

Since then, y’all have sent in dozen of nominations and, next week, your voice will be heard with some new members.

But, before I turn this over to the audience”¦it’s time for the “Bootleg’s Choice” for MFWNTAK August ’04 Inductee. Credit where it’s due, however, as longtime “Friend of The Bootleg”, Josh Da Cane turned me on to the good people at

It’s your run-of-the-mill “great place to meet friends” wasteland where 16 to 21-year-olds post their pictures, share their thoughts and toss around words like “homeroom”, “curfew” and “OMG”. It’s also home to some of the most unintentional humor you’ll find online.

And I couldn’t let another month go by without offering up a pair of representative members of the family for induction into the MFWNTAK list:

Baserk hails from Merced, California. He’s an 18-year-old skateboarding Asian who proudly reps the Westside. According to his profile, he’s single and 5-feet-6. Gives a whole new meaning to “shrimp fried rice”, doesn’t it?

Larry apparently borrowed one of Dr. Huxtable’s surplus sweaters for his photo shoot. Don’t forget to click on ‘see more pictures’ for a shot of “serious Larry”. Make sure you ladies check out his profile”¦but, only if you “show your feelings on your sleeves”.”¦welcome to the club.

Junk Mail

That_Bootleg_Guy: By the by…ask Ashish if he wants a seventh raw recapper…I might know someone

411 Movies’ Joe Reid: “¦and you can ask Widro if he plans on including a pinwheel spiral graphic on the main page just to complete the process of my eyes melting out of my skull”¦

-Good Natured Adventures in IM (August 10, 2004)

Life with The Bootleg Family

Yesterday, my wife summoned up the energy from a long day of not leaving the house to call me at work:

We’re going to Maia’s birthday party on September 18th.

“Maia” is the soon-to-be one-year-old daughter of one of my wife’s best friends. Now, Mrs. Bootleg loves the kids and sounded breathless with anticipation (or maybe it was exhaustion”¦after all, she did have to mash the telephone keypad seven times to call me). So, it was with great heartache that I was forced to burst her bubble:

Isn’t that the same day as the NICU reunion?

The “NICU” is the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit, where our son spent the first five weeks of his life. Once or twice a year, the hospital throws a picnic-like gathering for all the kids who made it through that difficult time. Not to say that my wife was looking forward to it, but I hear she was still in recovery, getting her C-section rubber cemented shut, when she RSVP’d.

Of course, this apparent conflict only means that on that particular Saturday, while the rest of you are up to your ass in college football and Cocoa Puffs straight out of the box”¦I’ll be spending all day guarding an empty stroller and keeping the flies off the Frito-Lay onion dip. Christ, even Ernie Hudson had more to do in the Ghostbusters movies.

Two kiddie parties in one day”¦I trust everyone has seen what all this time around children has done to Shawn Kemp.

Let’s count the number of times “goodness” has been used on other sites, since I left 411. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13