The Friday Music News Bootleg

Nick: We’ve officially outdone your people. Jumping onstage and shooting the band? At least at rap concerts, just the crowd gets shot. Yikes.

Aaron: Man, that was crazy. And you KNOW that if it was a rap concert, cats would be lining up to say “whaddaya expect…it’s a rap concert and nothing but criminals and Nick Salemi go to those, anyway.”

Welcome back to The Bootleg. Y’know, after almost two years as your Friday Fix, I’ve managed to stave off the curse of writer’s block, more often than not. But, sometimes, as I look for something from the past week to share with y’all, I find that”¦nothing happened. Indeed, sometimes my life is just like that stretch of entertainment history between the second moon landing and the debut of Poochie.

Now, from time to time I’ll go back to some of my older columns to find inspiration. So, just for the hell of it, I went back exactly one year and found this:

I’m still tryin’ to recover from my second significant illness in the last six weeks. I thought I had killed the virus with a combination of illicit drugs and crates of Minute Maid back in October, but much like Pauly Shore movies from a decade ago”¦it keeps coming back”¦each time, more painful than the last. By my math, it’s only a matter of weeks before I suffer through the medical equivalent of Bio-Dome.

I’m currently hovering around In The Army Now, but the doctor is confident that I’ll be down to Class Act by next week. And yes, I know that Pauly only had a cameo in that Kid n’ Play vehicle, but that didn’t make it any less traumatic.

Remember, this is the same flick that had Rhea Perlman from Cheers playing a sex-starved high school teacher who was tryin’ to get Kid into bed with her.

-The Friday Music News Bootleg, 12/5/03

And isn’t it good to know that, come December, America can synchronize their Swatches to my inconsistent immune system and the curiously continuing career of Tim Allen in Tinseltown.

Well, amazingly, last year’s intro still fits since, for most of this week, I was still sick. As, previously discussed, I couldn’t stay home from work, so there I sat last Friday, just hoping for my life to end. My boss came through around lunchtime to discuss an ongoing project with me”¦when it happened: I started sweating.

And, I couldn’t stop.

It was a profuse precipitation of perspiration that usually proceeds a late night of libations through your liver”¦or serves to implicate oneself in the theft of batting and pitching equipment from the New York Yankees. And, this time”¦it wasn’t the Kung Pao.

The boss stuck around for about 60 self-saturating seconds before he left (or was washed away). With the remaining 45 minutes of my lunch hour, I was able to drive home, steal a shower and change clothes. And, as with the Jay-Z single of the same name”¦no one seemed to notice.

For all those who are celebrating, The Goodness wishes you a safe and Happy Hanukkah! What day do y’all eat those Hebrew National Hot Dogs on? Man, I love those”¦

Slumlord! The Musical

Liza Minnelli is quickly becoming The Bootleg’s preferred punching bag. This week, she’s back in the news because of her attempts to evict her stepmother from her late father’s Los Angeles home. See, when Minnelli’s dad died in 1986, his will stated that his widow be allowed to live there until she died.

Who knew the ol’ battleaxe would still be kickin’ at 94?

Certainly not Liza, who sold the house for nearly three million dollars back in 2002. And, after two years of awkward “waiting”, the buyers want to move in”¦now. I can honestly say that this is the most sickening, stomach turning stepmom-related story I’ve seen or heard”¦in six years.

Personally, I’m hoping the stepmother waits it out. With Liza’s notorious need for nose Caminiti candy, it’s probably even money on who, exactly, will outlive who. The whole mess reminds me of the plot to the movie Greedy. Aside from being a criminally underrated laugh riot, it was also the last role of note for Wonder Years alum, Olivia d’Abo.

And, yes”¦I’m intentionally ignoring the deceptively titled (my lawsuit is still pending) Live Nude Girls in 1995. The title, alone, implied that it would be a ribald lil’ romp of raunch like Showgirls. Yet, after an eternity of listening to Dana Delany vex and varicose, I realized I was in store for something much more painful”¦like Showgirls.

Bend It Like Baby Jesus

Our friends at Waxworks are being roundly criticized for their decision to display a “celebrity” nativity scene. London’s Madame Tussaud Museum is currently featuring wax replicas of football soccer star David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl, Victoria as Joseph and the Virgin Mary.

Kylie Minogue is also included as an angel, while Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Grant are depicted as shepherds. All across the world, religious groups are up in arms. Now, I haven’t spoken to any of these critics, but I can only assume that their big beef is with Central Casting.

First off, credit where it’s due”¦signing Sam Jackson, during the down time between his annual ESPYs hosting gig was a stroke of genius. Ditto for Kylie Minogue. The fact that my country ran her out on a rail after Locomotion dropped in 1988 is one of our greatest shames. Why does no one talk about reparations over this?

As for the rest of the cast, come on”¦David Beckham? Didn’t Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon beat him out for the lead in his own self-titled soccer movie? And Hugh Grant?

Right Bible, Wrong Story.

A Documentary on Rappers in Jail? Talk About Groundbreaking!

Is Mark Wahlberg turning his back on Hollywood and returning to Hip Hop? Well, I’m here to tell you that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing”¦or did y’all not see Planet of the Apes? In actuality, Wahlberg is bringing the two worlds together for a new documentary chronicling the current incarceration of high-profile rappers such as Shyne and C-Murder.

Wahlberg, who spent two months in Deer Island Penitentiary as a 16-year-old on an assault charge, will serve as executive producer and plans to release the film next summer. Lord knows ol’ Marky Mark could use a hit. And, spare me your Italian Job arguments, since we all know it was just Ocean’s Eleven with half the cast and 10% less Black.

(Apparently, the exchange rate between Mos Def and the Bernie Mac/Don Cheadle combo is less than we originally thought.)

Speaking of Mark, can anyone tell me what the hell happened to Heather Graham? Boogie Nights was supposed to be the breakthrough for both of them. Two years later, Graham was the latest Austin Powers’ girl, yet the supposed stroll to superstardom never came.

Just recently, I caught Graham in the romantic comedy Hope Springs, where Colin Firth has to choose between her and Minnie Driver. Yes”¦this binge-and-purge bovine Brit was now, cinematically, on the same sexuality level as Roller Girl and Felicity Shagwell.

The film industry wouldn’t see another abject lack of credibility, until a few weeks ago, when Do The Right Thing placed a distant 83rd on”¦some list.

How To Turn the Dead into Dollars!

The seventh posthumous album from Tupac Shakur will hit store shelves this Tuesday. On the surface, you’d think that would be the kind of news to curl the larcenous lips of Pac’s mom, Afeni, into a grave-robbing grin.

After all, she is the executive producer of the album (Loyal To The Game) and has been in control of her son’s estate for over seven years. Which is why it saddens me to announce that bootlegging(!) and illegal downloading have led to the complete album’s premature release online.

In recent interviews, Afeni Shakur has blasted the music piraters for exploiting her son’s memory (gimmick infringement, apparently) and, get this, for “helping to destroy Tupac’s legacy”. Uh, can we assume that his mother hasn’t heard the first single off the new album? It’s called Thugs Get Lonely Too, which is easily the worst title for anything released this week not including the words “Lemony” and/or “Snicket”.

If any of y’all can get a message to Afeni, please let her know that her son’s “legacy” was pretty much: little Black man with big mouth gets shot and killed. And, can someone get the same message to the mother of Marlon Wayans?

Just don’t send it until the end of the week.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

It’s the return of the infamous MFWNTAK, kids. This week, Nick has the latest inductees to the long list of those who, quite simply, need they (sic) asses kicked:

1.) Wendy Williams

Folks, you may not realize this but she still has a nationally syndicated talk radio show. And thank God, because where else could I find out about if Beanie Man has any “baby momma drama” going on. Nothing funnier than 2Pac trashing her from beyond the grave on those Makaveli bootlegs that dropped in the late 90s.

2.) Kanye West

OK, we get it”¦his album was good. Unfortunately, most people don’t like to be told so by the artist, repeatedly. At least not in the pathetic way Kayne does it. The 10 Grammy nominations ought to do wonders for his ego and sound bites. Hopefully, he’ s scheduled for another jaw wiring before the Grammys take place.

3.) CSI: Vice City/San Andreas

Is there really any need for three different CSI shows? This is the best television has to offer? Bullet trajectory, hair samples, and bloodstains? How many dead hookers can they investigate? A lot, apparently, as two new cities means two new batches of hookers.

4.) BALCO Juiceheads

Giambi is an idiot, no question about that. At least he admitted to Swiss cheesing himself up. Bonds steadfastly denies it, so clearly, a jellyfish stung his head in 2000 and Sheffield “didn’t know that the stuff he was using was steroids.” Has anyone ever had a former National League MVP offer them mysterious balm and drops to use while hanging out at a laboratory? If so, did you just take them without asking what they do? This is what you’ve been asked to believe.

5.) The Jimmy Fund

I realize I’m treading very lightly here, but can the movies theaters please switch up this ad, I really hope the hospital has been built by now. It’s bad enough you just blew $50 on tickets and food, now they’re trying to guilt some more money out of you (I’m convinced this money goes right back to the theater owners).

Personally, I think there has to be a more dignified way to donate to cancer research than what amounts to the real-life equivalent of the fast food drive-thru kid from The Simpsons sticking a coffee can in your face in the dark.

6.) Curt Schilling (The Encore)

As a Yankee fan, I have long since accepted what happened. The Sox were due. But the whole Curt Schilling thing was a little too much for me to take. He took pictures of his ankle to “prove” it was injured, claimed he wasn’t sure he was going to pitch after every game he pitched and worst of all, pulled that “I wasn’t going to pitch but I saw so many fans with signs on the way to the ballpark that it inspired me to play through the pain” crap.

To say nothing of referring to one of his performances as “an act of God”. I hope God is working on more important things than Curt’s ankle.

7.) Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Family

The poor guy has only been gone for a second and it’s already war over his “estate” between his mother and estranged wife. What could ODB’s estate possibly consist of? How about these comments from his manager?

“It should be Cherry Jones, his mother [in charge of the estate],” the manager says. “She’s the one he lived with for 12 years when he was estranged from Icelene. She’s the one who made sure he ate. She took care of him.”

It’s clear his estranged wife is out for cash, but that statement was awful. Icelene vs. Cherry? Sounds like the main event of a bachelor party. R.I.P. Dirty, you deserved better than this. I hope they do you right with the posthumous albums.

8.) Afeni Shakur

Speaking of deceased Hip Hop artists’ moms, is there any end in sight for Afeni? How much more money is she going to squeeze out of 2Pac’s ashes? Get ready for another double CD soon and, as always, just in time for Christmas. Pac would have wanted it that way.

This time, longtime friend and confidant of Pac, Eminem, produced it. Afeni, when he asked, “How Long Will They Mourn Me”, he didn’t mean “How Long will they keep buying higher priced double CDs during the holiday season?”

9.) Ron Artest

Sounds too easy? Dissing him for the Brawl at the Palace? Hell no, we finally got excitement during a regular season NBA game! The only problem we have with Ron is his promotion of an album by Allure. C’mon Ron, they didn’t even catch on when watered down bullsh*t R&B groups were at their apex in the 90s.

He should beat the hell out of whoever convinced him that being associated with Allure is a good idea. On the flip side, how bad is it that it took one of the worst fights in sports history for anyone to even mention Allure in passing.

10.) Donald Rumsfeld

Last but not least our beloved Secretary of Defense for his thoughtful remarks to soldiers serving in Iraq: take your pick from three of the most insensitive comments ever made”¦

“As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

“If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up.”

“There’s no way I can prove it, but I am told the Army is breaking its neck to see that there is not” discrimination against the National Guard and Reserve in terms of providing equipment.”

Way to inspire the troops and their families for the holiday season, Don. Was this the worst speech of all time? Can’t you just sense the morale he’s building? Strap a helmet on his head and put a rifle in his hand, and he’ll be singing a different tune. We’ll take pleasure in kicking his ass.

In all seriousness, God bless the soldiers who are overseas, as well as their families.

Get at me at

General Haberdashery

This week we welcomed Michael Chadwick and his Under the Influence column to the Inside Pulse Music Family. As is tradition, every new writer is assigned to an established member of the staff during their first few weeks here.

And, since no one would trade with me, I got stuck with the new booty this week. So, while his “Welcome Aboard” Bean Pie is cooling on the windowsill, I’d like to take him around the IP Offices and introduce him to the other members of our staff.

We’ll start off with Jeff Fernandez. Sure, he speaks a little Dutch and opens with a Family Guy recommendation, but watch out for this guy. He’s never at his desk and can often be seen sneaking in on Sunday morning to post his Saturday column.

Of course, there’s Gloomchen. And, I know what you’re thinking: “token net chick”. Well, yeah. But, some pretty insightful views rest behind those boobs. She hates Christmas music and the Dave Matthews Band. And, each week, we’ll learn about something else she don’t like.

Mathan has offered to take you Christmas shopping, but only if you’re not down with Hip Hop! It’s a staggeringly comprehensive list of music suggestions, so while you’re at the mall, why not swing by Hot Dog on a Stick? If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the lil’ rainbow-colored girls making a fresh batch of lemonade. (Those of you who know what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about.)

J.A.M = the fourth in the line of short-lived novelty writing nicknames for a trio of Inside Pulse and 411 writers.

J is for Movie Joe Reid who battled influenza and incontinence to bring you the best take on movie news around. And, of course, by “movie news”, I mean that he answers that age-old question: “Where do white wide receivers come from?” Plus, references to Sneakers, Bebe’s Kids and Margaret Thatcher on a cold day.

A is for me.

M is for TV Mathan. This week, he mourns the death of nearly naked women on BET and celebrates his Coolest Years”¦while watching VH1? Mathan = Middle Age? Oh, I’m kidding”¦Hell, anyone that’s still mourning the death of Kenny Wangler deserves a special place in our hearts.

Junk Mail

Trust me when I say this: I am not trying to drum up support for re-election as Music Staffer of the Year. But, I’ve got the best readers around. I could write pages and pages of music news, but it always seems to be everything else in The Goodness that pulls in the feedback:

I really hope your audience “gets” as many of your references as possible. Who else could possibly find a way to make The Ying Yang Twins interesting by connecting them to the 1980s G.I. Joe cartoon? Great stuff and much love to you, Nick and your fams this Christmas”¦G.L.

The whole “Zartan/Zarana, Cobra Commander/Serpentor” bit brought in the most mail this week. Thanks to everyone who shared their memories of the shoot ’em up cartoon series, where no one ever got shot. And, I’m not sure how many members of the IP staff “get” The Bootleg, but as long as you guys are feelin’ it, then me and Nick will be here for a long, long”¦hey, look! That kid’s got bosoms! Who’s got a wet towel?


Are you guys at Inside Pulse planning anything for the end of the year or are you taking it off like you do every other holiday?”¦M.P.

“M.P.” is longtime Friend of the Bootleg, Marcos Prieto, so we’ll let his sarcasm slide (this time). The Music Zone is planning a big ol’ Year-End Spectacular. This column will be joining in the festivities with our supersized 2004: Year in Review running on Christmas Eve and a very special column for New Year’s Eve.

Man, why do all the sh*tty days for hits and the good days for fat-forehead female rappers always have “Eve” in them?


There’s been a lot of new albums dropping lately, just wondering if y’all were planning on reviewing them or if you could just let me know what you thought of them, esp. Jay-Z and Nas”¦J.C.

I’ve heard both albums and watched the Jigga/Linkin Park DVD. I’ll try’n have reviews up later this week. If you can’t wait, here’s the short version: one is slightly disappointing, the other is about what I expected. One is an album of the year contender, while the other is, at times, a vainglorious ego trip. And, that’s just Nas.

Speaking of which”¦


I recently listened to Nas’ new album and was interested in your thoughts about the song Coon Picnic [a/k/a: “These Are Our Heroes”]. I know this cut is pretty controversial as it targets Kobe and a bunch of other African-American celebrities but it seems kind of unfair for Nas to target actors like Cuba Gooding Jr. or Taye Diggs as sell-outs or whatever. I mean, just because you belong to a certain race doesn’t mean you have to serve the community because that’s quite a burden. I don’t really see how these guys hurt the progress of African-Americans.

I see movies like My Baby’s Daddy, Soul Plane and the TV show Method and Red as FAR more demeaning and setting the progress of African-Americans back as they are based on stereotypes and offensive cultural imagery yet Nas never touched upon this kind of thing.

What is your opinion on this? Nas may be an amazing rapper but as a social critic, i think he may be off the mark”¦Jag

If you haven’t heard the cut, you can find the lyrics right here.

My opinion”¦it’s pretty much typical Nas: a failed attempt to be relevant beyond The Billboard Charts. And before he anoints himself “the conscience of the hood”, he should know that an assault charge pretty much disqualifies you from pimping yourself as a role model for the kiddies.

Now, I’m not saying he’s guilty or innocent”¦but, he is a shameless self-promoter hiding behind a façade of selflessness and that’s what I have a problem with.

As for the song, itself”¦it’s all bark and no bite. He goes after Kobe Bryant in the first verse, but no one outside of Los Angeles is backing Kobe these days, anyway. He’s just as easy a target as Michael Jackson was to Eminem, but Nas gets a pass because 1994’s Illmatic was a hot album and if Nas is saying it”¦then it must be shocking! Please.

Nas had a wonderful chance to turn the mirror on his own industry, which is just as guilty as anyone of perpetuating the whole “coon mentality”, but he stops short. He reheats the same bullet points that every other rap critic in America has been making for years in the second verse”¦but, of course, he won’t name names.

Can’t step on the toes of those big ol’ (white-owned) conglomerates who sign Nas’ paychecks or advance him an appearance fee for a cameo on the next flavor-of-the-month MC’s album.

And, who are the “heroes” that Nas does name? Football player-turned-activist Jim Brown? Yeah, good call. Here’s a man with a history of violence against women who, allegedly, tossed his girlfriend from a second-story balcony in 1968.

Overall, I like Nas’ new album. But, he’s so far off the mark on this track that it’s pathetic. Is he telling us he has nothing specific to say about Method & Red or Soul Plane, but he does have a problem with the Black man “co-mingling” with White She-Devils?

(Make no mistake, his entire rant at the end against Tiger Woods, Taye Diggs and Cuba Gooding, Jr. has nothing to do with how much they “give to the ghetto”.)

I got the message”¦and Nas ain’t my hero.

Life With the Bootleg Family

Tis the season.

With about two weeks to go until The Bootlegs officially declare bankruptcy, the wife handed me “her” wish list for Christmas:

Bridget Jones’ Diary DVD: And what Black woman can’t relate to on-again/off-again romances of a chubby white chick? Christ, I could save myself the $14.99 and just tell her about the women I dated during my first two years in college.

Muriel’s Wedding DVD: Y’know how those factory-shipped DVDs have the shrink-wrapped cellophane that’s all shiny and unblemished? That’s pretty much how every movie I’ve ever bought the wife still looks weeks, months and years later. Her collection has more plastic on it than my mother-in-law’s living room furniture.

Sex in the City, Season 6 DVD: I just discovered that the final season of Sex”¦ was released in two parts, at about $40.00 apiece. At $80 for the complete sixth season, that’s comes out to $20 per ho. Or “horse” in the case of Sarah Jessica Parker. Pass.

Victoria’s Secret Red Pajamas, 2 Piece Set (S): After initially assuming that she wanted 5 pairs of these PJs, I was informed that the character at the end of this gift request was an “S” and not a “5”. Apparently, the “S” stands for “small”, which makes me wonder why I’m buying gifts for someone who’s obviously not my wife.

Now, if movies and sleepwear seem like a short Christmas list, then I probably haven’t shared the coup de grace with you. It seems Mrs. Bootleg would also like a “Lladro”. For the uninitiated (including myself up until a few days ago), this is a special brand of hand-painted figurines that celebrate minority women and motherhood.

Now, check out these prices.

If Mrs. Bootleg is that much into the trials and triumphs of the Black and Brown woman, might I suggest this popular line of collectibles. As you can see, both Maria and Moesha are represented. And, as far as the motherhood aspect is concerned, these characters appear to be depicted in their early teens.

Give ’em another year or two.

Guess who was just named to the IP Music Zone Editorial Staff? Get yourself hired or tell me who you want fired: Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13