The Friday Music News Bootleg

Welcome back to The Bootleg. For many of my readers, this is your last weekend of drunken debauchery and no-strings-attached sex before heading back to school. At least until next weekend, when you’ll have to mix in a little bit of the three R’s with your rum and rohypnol.

And for you seniors out there, it’s almost time to decide what you want to do for the rest of your lives.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s not like any of you really have a choice.

I graduated with a degree in marketing from San Diego State University. I had some internships…some real world experience…and a can-do attitude! All of that landed me a gig doing business-to-business cold calling as a software salesman for seven of the suckiest weeks of my life (with nary a drop of cider to be found).

But, I’m not here to piss on your Pu Pu Platter, kids. In fact, just last weekend, I discovered an exciting new career opportunity for the fresh outta college crowd that any of you unshaven knuckle-draggers can do…and do well!

Have you ever been to Hooters? Wait a minute…hear me out on this.

Last weekend, my boy from Oakland came down here to San Diego. On Saturday, we decided to kill some time with a mess of 3 Mile Island Wings and chicks who wear panty hose with orange shorts.

Our server was a petite young Latina named Vanessa and, like all Hooters Girls, she sat down with us when she took our order and feigned interest in what my friend and I were doing later that night.

It was your typical Hooters experience, save for the moment that Vanessa shared this quote with us:

I don’t like the food here.

Way to sell that product, Vanessa. And if you’re reading this, I forgive you for ignoring my witty rejoinder (“Then where would you like me to take you?”) I mean, I would’ve settled for a courtesy giggle, but a “you naughty boy” would’ve made my month.

Anyways, here’s where you, the reader comes in. Throughout the meal a male Hooters employee would come by to check up on us. You know the routine:

How is everything? How are your wings? Can I get you anything else?

But, these guys aren’t just fake smiles and pieces of flair. They also ask questions like:

How are my girls treating you tonight? Has Vanessa been good to you?

That’s right, fellas…you, too, can be a Hooters Pimp…and your local Vice Squad can’t do a thing about it. Hell, they’ll probably be some of your best customers! In our case, Vanessa had sat down with us again, while we settled our bill.

Apparently, she had been there a few seconds too long, because one of the pimps casually walked over and knocked on our table to get her attention. He then silently pointed to another table where a hungry john had yet to be serviced and, just as quickly, Vanessa was gone.

I’m telling you, it’s legalized pimping. And, contrary to popular belief…it looked pretty damn easy.

By the way…my current sh*tty job is threatening to send my Black ass to Warner-Robins, Georgia next week. And since the Internet connection where I’ll be staying (in the parking lot of the local Waffle House) is nonexistent, y’all might need to rain check me for the 9/3 column.

Enjoy the Real Goodness…think of this as that ’80s cartoon The Real Ghostbusters, that was forced to add “real” to their title to counter the cheap knockoff that was inferior in every way.

GOP…Yeah, You Know Me!

Earlier this year, he was voted “sexiest vegetarian”. A few weeks back, he was named the “best dressed man of 2004”. And now…Outkast’s Andre 3000 is actually answering to his newest nom de guerre: Republican.

Rumors abound that Dre will be performing this weekend at the kickoff party for the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City. Predictably, the Hip Hop community is all up in arms and, in a shocking show of solidarity, six or seven of them might actually register to vote this year. As long as someone can watch their kids.

Can I get away with that?

Actually, I’m surprised at all the b(l)acklash, as African-Americans have had a prominent role in the Republican party for years. No, I’m not talking about Clarence Thomas or Carlton Banks, either. I’m talking about “The Rules of Black Movies”, which I originally covered right here. Rule #3 was that there must be a character who “sells out” his race by dating a white woman.

Bill Bellamy, Morris Chestnut and Michael Beach have all taken “the swirl” to the silver screen. And, as Ice Cube taught us in True to the Game, this is one of the base beliefs of Black Bush backers, everywhere.

Isn’t it possible that they just prefer pink nipples and Becky’s Banana Republic discount? Who are we to judge?

And Whatever Happened to G-Money?

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs isn’t exactly known as the hardest man in the industry. And his reputation took another hit with a report out of England’s Daily Star tabloid earlier this week. It seems that drug enforcement agents raided Diddy’s yacht just as the MC Minnow was preparing to drop anchor in the middle of a picturesque sunset in Ibiza, a small island off the coast of Spain.

According to eyewitnesses, when the agents announced their intentions to board Diddy’s custom craft, the producer/rapper ran like Carl Lewis from the truth. Turns out the whole thing was a misunderstanding and officials have apologized to Puffy for the inconvenience. Think about that for a second…Puff Daddy, drug kingpin. Not exactly Nino Brown, is it?

Speaking of which, our friends at the Encore Channel have been showing New Jack City all month. I defy anyone to find another movie that’s aged as badly as this one. Make no mistake…it wasn’t a masterpiece when it was released in 1991, but, 13 years later the cringing and skin-crawling quotient is just off the charts.

There are far too many scenes to openly mock, but three off the top of my head include Judd Nelson’s “I was a po’ white trash Pookie” speech. The bedroom scene with Wesley Snipes watching Scarface (“Hey, we’ve stolen everything else from that movie, why not steal the movie, too!”) And any scene with Chris Rock. I mean, how can a brutha’s lips be ashy and greasy at the same time?

ESPN’s Tom Jackson, notwithstanding, of course.

Ugly Is Just a Light Switch Away

With the schedule she’s keeping, it’s a wonder Queen Latifah even has time to eat…her second and third breakfasts every morning. Someone might want to get word to Miss Piggy before she ends up between two maple-flavored McGriddle cakes, because Latifah’s next project is slated to be The Muppets Wizard of Oz.

She’ll be playing the Auntie Em character, while Ashanti (Pabari) has scored the lead role of Dorothy. Personally, I thought Brandy would’ve been a better choice for the lead, but she’s apparently already been cast as the new Dr. Teeth.

Hey, getting back to the Queen for a second…I’m reminded of a discussion from the long-forgotten 411 Staff Forums. It was all about “female guilty pleasures” or something and I distinctly remember someone saying that Latifah would definitely qualify. Earlier this week, Nick and I took the debate to another level with our own nominees for The Hottest Unattractive Women on Earth.

Personally, I think this has MFWNTAK potential, as my initial selection was none other than Linda Cohn of late night Sportscenter fame. Hey, she was (allegedly) good enough for former Dolphin Ricky Williams. Bigg Nick went with Jennifer Capriati, who should fill out our chubby shoplifting tennis prodigy quota quite nicely.

It’s the Right Thing to Do and…uh, line?

When it comes to exploitation, Tupac’s mother has nothing on the athletic shoe industry that’s been force-feeding a $150 a pair habit down the mouths of inner city kids for nearly a generation. Our friends at Nike have seemingly outdone themselves, however, with a new signature line of shoes: The John Lennon Collection.

I am not making this up.

With the blessing of his widow Yoko Ono, Nike plans to create an ad campaign based on the cover of The Beatles Abbey Road album. Lennon’s signature will be featured on the heel and lyrics from Imagine will be stenciled on the shoe’s toes. Man, unless these shoes make you faster than a speeding bullet, I can’t really see how Nike intends to market them.

Oh, don’t look at me like that. I just think that this is the most tasteless use of a corpse in a promotion since Wilford Brimley in those Quaker Oats ads. Hey, you know what they should’ve done to really sell that fiber-laced spackle with the smirking white man on the canister? Maybe splice in footage of Brimley kicking Tom Cruise’s ass all through the entire third act of The Firm.

This was the kindly old coot from Cocoon for Christ’s sake. Although, maybe we shouldn’t have been all that surprised. Rumor has it that Steve Guttenberg got a little mouthy to Brimley on the set of Cocoon 2 and…well, have you seen him around lately?

SNK Crushers vs. American Dreams

Beyonce Knowles’ lucrative contract with L’Oreal has surfaced online and The Smoking Gun has all the details. What it boils down to is that Foxy Cleopatra gets paid nearly $5 million over the life of the deal for approximately 10 days of work per year for the cosmetic empire.

Five million…10 days of work per year. Wow…up until now, that type of deal was reserved for the likes of Vin Baker, John Madden and the guy hired to bathe Biggie Smalls …God rest his fat Black soul. Hey, that reminds me…can someone explain to me when the release of a video game became such a significant event? Madden 2005 has been flying off the shelves, while reserve lists had been circulating for months before its official street date.

When I was growing up, you found out about the newest games by going to the mom and pop Korean video shop (and dry cleaners) every Tuesday after school. We didn’t need more than 8-bits back when you could make your own team and name your own players in Baseball Stars.

Remember how the game would warn you upon exiting that you must hold down the “reset” button, while turning the power off or else you might lose all your saved data?

And then, once every three or four months, you’d lose it anyway, even after following the instructions? Eventually, I learned to stop crying over it…mostly because my wife threatened to leave me if I shed one more tear over a 15-year-old video game.

Hey, wait a minute…

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

It began with an unsubstantiated rumor.

A reader hit me up on Yahoo IM to inform me that LAPD speed bag Rodney King was planning to release a rap album. This was later confirmed by the syndicated Celebrity Justice program, as King proudly detailed his plans for the CD and his hopes to work with Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige.

Now, I know y’all will be shocked to hear that Rodney has been in and out of trouble with the law, mostly over drug-related incidents over the years. But the rap album idea actually came from King’s drug-rehab counselor.

At least now we know what becomes of all the former drug addicts. They either dispense sage wisdom to recovering dope heads…or go door to door hoping someone will buy 40 subscriptions to Vibe Magazine.

Did you catch that? Yep…it was a reference to Office Space. You’re not officially an Internet writer until you make at least one hip inside nod to The Simpsons, Clerks or Office Space. And when you can combine all three…Well, I’m not supposed to be here today, Super Nintendo Chalmers, but I’ve got a meeting with the Bobs. Hilarity.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Splash Into You

Earlier this month, Dave Mathews Band’s tour bus dumped 800 lbs of liquefied human waste into the Chicago River, unknowingly dousing a tour boat full of people below the bridge grating it was released through.

That’s nothing compared to the dreadful sh*t he’s been dumping on music fans for the past decade. There’s something to be depressed about, Dave. Going on a boat tour of the Chicago River and having a ton of sh*t dropped on top of you. Give me some unintelligible wailing and a violin solo to the backdrop of that!

No word if ‘Dave’ will be holding a benefit concert in the park to help those who were
affected by the sewage dump or if a “clean the environment” album can be far off either.

This story is going to write itself.

If so, expect some rhetoric like,

“You know we take for granted not having a sh*tstorm falling on our heads and I just wanted to help the families of those who had crap dumped on them”, said a concerned Matthews.

“I want people from New York to LA to help gather as much toilet paper as possible to show we care. If this concert can help just one traumatized person forget an event too bizarre to comprehend, then I’ve done my job.”

Chicago native R Kelly has announced he will also join the grassroots effort to “Wipe the River Clean”, as he is an expert on the errant dispensing of human waste. Fellow Windy City rapper/producer Kayne West has also expressed interest in lending a helping hand by producing one song on the soundtrack to the album, which will sound like everything else he’s done this year with 16 bars of nonsense about being “a grown ass man”.

So Dave, what woooould you say?

General Haberdashery

Those of you who had JJ Botter in the “Who’d be the first music writer to miss a day” contest, you may redeem your tickets at any pay window. That was a streak of 12 straight columns before it came to an end, so let’s see if we can start a new streak this…ah, damn it, D’Errico…

Fernandez has the artist formerly known as Yahoo Serious on The Jukebox. Jeff is the favorite music writer of Eric S., while Scott Keith prefers Jason Jako.

Gloomchen mixes music with Buddy Rose’s Blow-Away kit. And her description of activity in a “ghetto neighborhood” is…well, it’s just precious.

Mathan means mixtapes. Find out why his is the only column that I regularly forward to Mrs. Bootleg and, while you’re at it, ask him how he could exclude the Schoolhouse Rock “Verb” song from his Hodgepodgeatorium? A travesty.

Movie Joe Reid invites me back into the 411 Family for one week only and gives me space to comment on the new Transformers live action movie! Meanwhile, Joe makes his annual Fantasy Football boasts and tries something new this year: humility.

Junk Mail

Glad to see you haven’t missed a beat with the move to Inside Pulse. Just wondering if you’re still doing music reviews, since there’s been a lot of hip hop out there lately and 411 lost their only guy who covered it. -K.S.

Well, let’s see…so far, I’ve cranked out reviews for new albums by Shyne and 213. I absolutely hate making promises about new reviews since it always seems like something comes up to create delays, though. Let’s just say, be on the look out next month, when hopefully I can catch up.

I’ve got to say that I’m loving the new “heel” Bootleg approach. I’ve counted about a half-dozen stealth shots in the last few weeks and I’m wondering if any of your intended targets have caught on. -K.A.

I have no idea what you’re talking about. Cough.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy your work and all the off the wall references you make and stuff, but how much longer can a married father of an infant child and full time employee write a weekly music news column? -J.C.

Sorry for the clip job, brutha, but I get asked this from time to time, so why not get right to the point and not beat around the bush. Ask me again around Christmas.

Life With the Bootleg Family

Last Thursday, m’man Mathan Erhardt mentioned a mixtape that he made for Baby Bootleg. The CD arrived and included 30-plus tracks spanning the very essence of child-like goodness from Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock.

Oddly enough, the wife had been on my ass for years to hunt down the videos from her favorite Schoolhouse Rock segments and thanks to the good people at the Disney Conglomerate, a 30th Anniversary Edition has just been released on DVD.

I discovered this recently while at the supermarket. The wife had sent me out with a polka-dot coupon carrier, which I’m forced to smuggle in my waistband, under my shirt. Not only will I hide my embarrassment, but I’ll stand a better chance of avoiding one of those 12 items or less shankings that are so very prevalent here in Southern California.

Every few months, the wife and I get all pissed off at the number of fast food grease-fests and take-out crap we’ve eaten recently and vow to start cooking all our meals at home.

These thrice-annual trips to the store involve shopping lists, a cart with a busted wheel and a $125 hit to the old bank account. I found the DVD and threw in on the pile of French Toast Pop-Tarts and generic Golden Grahams cereal. You really can’t taste the difference.

It came time to check out and, as I proudly basked in the glow of saving nearly $20 with their double coupon policy, I realized that the store forgot to ring up the DVD. Of course, I realized this while on the way to my car. As I looked at the unbagged double disc set conveniently camouflaged at the bottom of the cart, I found myself on the horns of an enema.

Go back in and own up to my inadvertent thievery or hope the wind was with me so that I could make my 20 mph getaway in the Saturn? Be a positive role model for my son, Jalen or a shameful testament to paternity and petty theft? There really was only one choice I could make. I had to go back in, explain what happened and let my conscience be my compass…

There was only one problem…I was already home.

Let’s discuss the Video Music Awards…or not. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13