The Friday Music News Bootleg

“I can’t believe Gloomchen lost. That’s crap.”

-IP’s own Grutman, from the Reader Forums“¦

And the IWC unites in their support of me!

Welcome back to The Bootleg. Just a quick warning”¦if you’re eating, or about to eat, or have just eaten”¦you might want to skip this week’s intro.

Last Saturday began just like every other Saturday for me.

And, for me, that means a haircut. I’ve had the same barber since I moved to San Diego ten years ago, but, admittedly, this brutha is beginning to border the bounds of my loyalty. Now, the life of a Black barber is not unlike that of a gypsy or The Incredible Hulk’s Bill Bixby. With every new day, comes another new town (and, in Bill’s case”¦another new, yet poorly-stitched pair of Sears Toughskins jeans).

While I can accept the fact that it’s now a 60 mile round trip just to get to sit in the hair chair, the fact that it’s $20 per week, per cut is what really hurts”¦or at least it would if the wife ever found out about it.

Anyways, with my fade returned to black, my barber and me ran across the street to get something to eat. Now, I’m not sure what regionally franchised chicken restaurant you prefer. Maybe it’s Chick-Fil-A or Church’s“¦but, here in Southern California, it begins and ends with El Pollo Loco. Their hook is flame-grilled chicken marinated the Mexican way.

Heart-healthy and Hispanic”¦? Bienvenidos a California!

My barber had to get back to the shop, so we proceeded to order and eat at warp speed. But, apparently, I was eating a bit too fast.

A significant shred of succulent shrapnel had become lodged somewhere past my throat, but definitely before my stomach. I wasn’t choking, as I could breathe and talk, but after a few seconds, I began to realize something”¦wasn’t quite right.

Oh, and did I mention the esophageal spasming?

They say our bodies have a natural defense against choking. The esophagus begins to work on its own to push the food up or down. Oftentimes, it’s that uncontrollable internal conflict that results in”¦well, choking to death. But, like I said, I wasn’t chok”¦

Holy sh*t”¦you really can’t speak when you’re choking!

By now, I was good n’ panicked and frantically flopped my hand around my drink. Quick choking tip for the kids out there”¦not a good idea to drink anything when you’re choking. Since its path to my belly was blocked, the fructose-based beverage came right back up. Fortunately, it brought most of the half-chewed chicken with it, as I”¦well, as I had an “oral accident” right there in the booth. And, with only about two dozen witnesses.

Embarrassed beyond belief, I rose to walk to the counter and get some napkins to clean up my mess. Inexplicably, I took another sip of soda and it happened again. I’m horizontally hurling and there are kids straight screaming, by this point.

It’s safe to say that I had, uh, “lost the audience”, so I turned towards the exit and bid adieu to my various pools of spew (hey, I warned you). Not really sure just how close I was to death’s door, but if my final moment on Earth were spent scaring small children, I could’ve died happily”¦and probably really, really purpley.

The Goodness Bites! And, chews at least 32 times before swallowing.

See, It’s Funny Because Otto Smokes”¦ah, Forget It

On February 6, fans everywhere will celebrate the 60th birthday of the legendary Bob Marley. Of course, for me, that means rushing to Blockbuster before every copy of Cool Runnings is rented and reminiscing on my brief 1992 run as Papa Shango.

And, what a perfect segue to the news item that broke this week, alleging that Marley’s widow, Rita, is planning to exhume her husband’s remains and “re-bury” them in Ethiopia. In her own words:

“We are working on bringing his remains to Ethiopia. It is part of Bob’s own mission. Bob’s whole life is about Africa, it is not about Jamaica.”

So, is anybody else thinking what I’m thinking? Pay. Per. View. After 24 years of eternal slumber, I’m thinking this could be bigger than the infamous Al Capone’s Vault and Fox’s Alien Autopsy, put together! And, can you imagine that smell? I’m thinking it’s would place somewhere at the end of the stank spectrum, alongside death, decay and Otto’s jacket.

I’ve Got “13 Months” in Their Wedding Pool”¦How ‘Bout You?

Outside of their immediate families, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that gave a damn about the recent wedding of platinum (thanks, double albums!) rapper Nas and his Nubian knotty-haired harlot, Kelis.

And, for those of you who have already forgotten, Kelis is the one-hit wonder that dropped Milkshake on us all, before it was relegated to its now-standard Strip Club slot in those 3 for $30 dances, along with Me So Horny and Billy Joel’s Big Shot.

Anyways, white folk everywhere will be wondering “Who the f*ck is this?” when Hip Hop’s happy couple show off their wedding video next Thursday night on ABC’s In Style Celebrity Weddings. Now, if any of you plan on tuning in, please allow me to explain some of the differences you’re likely to see at a Black wedding.

First off, it’s tradition to jump the broom after you’re wed. It’s a simple, yet elegant gesture, to symbolize all the things the wife will never touch again. Sadly, “jump the stove”, “jump the leg razor” and “jump the just-a-side-salad-for-me” have yet to catch on.

Secondly, every person the bride and groom have ever met in their lives will have a role at the wedding. Flip open your program”¦if there are titles like “Jr. Best Man” or “Baby Mama-In-Law”, you can bet you’re about watch Aiisha walk down the Aiisle (sic). Finally”¦flower girls must serve as human shields for Nino Brown.

Sucks to be them.

Looks Like He Might Need Those Cigar-Sucking Skills

Remember the recent African-American affiliated awards show assault”¦? Whoops, gotta be more specific. I’m talking about the one that now allegedly involved former felon and current caricature Suge Knight. Y’know, that “big, buh-LACK guy” (did I get the pronunciation right?)”¦at the Vibe Awards?

It seems that Jimmy James Johnson, the man who threw a slew of unprovoked punches in the way of Dr. Dre, may have been hired by Knight to do the deed. The ensuing melee morphed into one of those cheeseball “Hardcore Battle Royales” that the WWF ran into the ground in the late ’90s. Fortunately, nobody died”¦well, except Crash Holly, but I think he was dead to begin with.

Anyways, Johnson might be looking to cut a deal, since he’s facing a “third strike” under California’s “3 Strikes” law, which carries a mandatory 25-to-life sentence. See, y’all”¦this is why they don’t invite us to the classier awards show. Shit always goes down, when Cleophus is in town.

If we keep this up, it’ll be back to the days of Negro Quotas for these things”¦where about five of us actually get in the door and the sixth can’t shake the stigma of once Driving Miss Daisy. On an unrelated note, how ’bout those Golden Globe Awards!

I Can Diss Lil’ Kim Without Mentioning Her Name!

Could the death of Rick James slow down Dave Chappelle? And, more importantly, could James’ death slow down the prospects of his rapping daughter, Ty”¦please? In an effort to join the ranks of all the female MCs who’ve won respect and curried crossover appeal from their lyrical skills (current count: 0), Ty James is looking to get back in the rap game.

“Back”?

Oh, yeah”¦ten years ago, she was a part of Eazy-E’s attempt to recapture the N.W.A. feel”¦but, with women! There were three of ’em and they went by the handle: “Hoes With Attitude” or H.W.A. Not exactly an advancement in estrogen, if you know what I mean. Anyways, she’s talking about dropping an album with fellow bus station squatter, Bizzy Bone, from Bone Thugs N Harmony.

And, here I thought the entire group just followed that brutha with the fake-looking wings right off the cliff and to The Crossroads.

Let this be a lesson to all you aspiring light-skinned groups with wispy mustaches and untamed manes of hair. If you do not learn learn from history“¦then, you are doomed to repeat it.

How Did ‘The Happy Hour’ Miss This”¦?

In the animated tradition of Toy Story, Beauty & The Beast and Bebe’s Kids, a brand-new family-friendly feature is on its way to your home”¦and your heart. Rappers Ludacris and Lil’ Kim have voice-over roles in Lil’ Pimp, a coming-of-age cartoon that features, “”¦a freckled-face little boy that tries to save pimping and his city from an evil mayor”¦”

The all-star cast includes Bernie Mac, who’s still trying to wash the stench of Mr. 3,000 off (hint: try Lava soap) and William Shatner, who’s still trying to make his way to the stage to accept his Golden Globe award (yeesh, at the one-mile mark, I thought for sure he’d be assigned a sherpa).

Now, this may come as a shock to you, but this film comes with a Lil’ Controversy. It seems it was originally scheduled to be a theatrical release, but poor reviews in test screenings have relegated it to the direct-to-video shelves.

It’s all for the best, I guess”¦since it’s no secret that America isn’t likely to ever get behind an animated movie with an African-American in the lead. C’mon”¦the Asians have that Mulan girl. Hispanics have Dora the Explorer. 5-foot, 3-inch Irish-Italians have Nick Salemi.

But, seriously, are there any Black characters that can ever come close to this type of pop-culture canonization? Well, besides Jesus.

Sorry, Mitch Michaels.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

The Game: Documentary

The anticipation and build up for the Compton MC has been bubbling for quite some time now. I imagine it must be tough to have an entire coast waitin’ on your first album to bring them back to prominence.

Dr. Dre says it himself on the title track”¦”You gotta do them Calvin Broadus numbers” Nothing like putting the expectation of living up to possibly the most recognizable star in Hip Hop on his shoulders, with the biggest producer at the helm. Maybe it’s not fair or realistic for the Game to have to outdo Dre’s previous protégés, Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

Hell, living up to 50 Cent’s soundscan numbers is actually more daunting. It seems they realize this, so it’s only natural that 50 appears on two of his radio joints.

This is a debut CD that’s so perfectly crafted that it runs the risks over-production. Don’t get me wrong, with producers like Dre, Kanye West, Havoc, Just Blaze, Timbaland, and Hi-Tek called in to supply bangers”¦I EXPECT this sh*t to be hot. It just seems like Dre and Aftermath are scared to let this guy stand out on his own. Maybe there’s good reason for that because, as an MC, The Game doesn’t quite live up to his name.

He really sounds a little too similar to a rapper in his own camp, Lloyd Banks, kind of monotone with witty punch lines tossed in here and there. But I’m still feelin’ him and this album. Is there such thing as production that’s “too good?” Damn we’re getting picky!

The repeated name-dropping of Dre, G-Unit, Eminem and the incessant mentions of 2Pac, Eazy, BIG, NWA, etc. borders on the ridiculous though. Dawg, we get it! I don’t think it comes off as insincere, though so I’m cutting him some slack because it tells me he’s a fan of Hip Hop and he’s showing love. Although most people probably disagree, I believe him when he says it. I think at some point you have to switch it up a little bit.

But damn if the guy isn’t self-aware. The Game says it best himself:

Dre told me ain’t no comin back from gold/ So I getta get my album in place
My G-Unit features/ My Eminem 16/ My Doctor Dre beats and”¦

And you thought BDP and Jigga dropped the Blueprint! And speakin’ of Em, the self-awareness doesn’t end there. Once again Em drops in for another blazin guest verse (please see 50 Cent, Obie Trice, and Lloyd Banks’ CDs) that is not surprisingly (but frustratingly) worlds better than anything he did on Encore. Much love to the Game for saying right on the track after Em’s verse”¦

“Get Dre on the phone quick / tell him Em just killed me on my own sh*t”.

That’s some pretty witty Hip Hop, folks.

The three singles that were released before the album are without question catchy-as-hell, (Curtis better hope Dre had some beats to spare for him for HIS 2005 release) I can’t help but notice some of his mixtape heat that dropped in 2004 is missing here. And I’m not talking just the freestyles over someone else’s beat I’m talking full-fledged songs that were leaked.

All in all it’s worth checking out, though. 2005’s first big release will surely be a commercial success for the Game and Aftermath, but is it a classic Hip Hop album? No, but it’s definitely a solid debut for the Game.

Agree? Disagree? Get at me at nicksalemi@yahoo.com

General Haberdashery (Criminal Intent)

Jeff Fernandez has images of Redi-Whip juxtaposed with Courtney Love. If that ain’t illegal”¦also, check out his Awards for ’04. Finally“¦an Inside Pulse Ceremony of Recognition that doesn’t involve me! (Last one, I promise”¦)

Gloomchen plays hit and run with her past, her loves and her songs. Could we still go out, even if I liked that “bee girl” video? How ’bout the wife thing, is that a showstopper or what?

Mathan murders 50 Cent. And, not the “good” kind of murder that means lyrically outdueling someone. This is the “cruel and unusual” kind of murder, like Irv Gotti, Ja Rule and Ashanti.

Gordi shoplifts an album review into his weekly column. Ooh, but he’s got cowbell so we’ll let it slide”¦for fifty bucks. It appears poor Gordi was arrested in Mexico, kids.

I’ve got 10 days to finish this thing by February.

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. Ladies and gentlemen”¦please read his real-time recap of The Golden Globe Awards. Do you like Bill Simmons? Then, you’ll love Joe’s take on “Nipplegate”. Do you like Jimmy Kimmel? Then, you’ll love Joe’s unique use of the cast from Nip/Tuck. Do you like all those smarmy bastards from I Love The ’90s? Then, you’ve gotta read his Diane Keaton/J. Edgar Hoover line.

Personally, I hate Simmons, Kimmel and all those VH1 asshats, but Joe Reid is the best movie writer I link in this spot each and every week! (You’ll take your praise from the back-hand and like it.)

Show your support by sending him an email with the words: “Spider-Man 2, Jaime Foxx, Uma Thurman and Joe Reid”. Just trust me on this one.

A is for me.

M is for TV Mathan. He loves him some 24. And Springsteen. And outdated pop culture catchphrases like “Jump the Shark”. Rule #1 of writing”¦”stay on topic”.

Life With the Bootleg Family

Short n’ sweet”¦

I’m sick.

Mrs. Bootleg’s sick

Baby Bootleg’s sick.

I’ll make fun of ’em next week.

Send me a bite-sized message. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13

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