The Friday Music News Bootleg

Welcome back to The Bootleg. Isn’t it funny what can happen in five minutes at your local post office? Earlier this week, I made one of those always fun lunchtime runs to send a package back east. Truth be told, it was a belated box of Goodness for a longtime Friend of the Bootleg in celebration of his birthday”¦that was on January 29.

And, since I’m coming clean, it also contained a couple of Christmas gifts, with gift receipts that are already expired making any eventual exchange essentially impossible.

So, I eschewed our cafeteria’s noontime food in the hope of getting my package to the Prussian Consulate in Siam by aeromail, without being too late for the 4:30 autogyro.

Upon my arrival, I was shocked to find no less than three windows open and operating. At the Post Office?! During the lunch hour?! It was like Bizarro World with unsold bulk rolls of Black History Month stamps! And, look”¦me am next!

But, then came the sales pitch:

“Why didn’t you use USPS.com to send that?”

I looked down to find a middle-aged lady, whose make-up gun must’ve been set on “whore”. And, wouldn’t you know it”¦now the line comes to a halt while “Tammy Faye Two-Day Deliver-ay” gets all up in my area like a 3-D DJ Ran.

“Did you know that you could print up labels at home, schedule your mail carrier to pick up the package and, when it’s weighed, you pay for it automatically with a charge to your debit or credit card!”

This was like some horrible late morning minstrel show and me, with no place to go. But, since I likes my entertainment interactive, I thought I’d play along:

“Yeah, but I’d miss the human touch.”, I replied.

I’m not sure if the look on her face was more “awe” or “slack-jawed”, but Act 2 was about to begin, courtesy of the blatantly butch lesbian who was still standing in line ahead of me and a postal employee who might wanna consider a pair of corrective coke bottle lenses.

“Sir, you’re next. Sir? Sir! I can help you right here, sir! SIR!”

Without missing a beat, Butch turns to me and says, “I think she’s talking to you.”

Planet Awkward”¦population: us. I told her to go ahead, anyway, hoping that my small gesture might keep the spirit of Rainbow Pride alive. Not to be confused with Rainbow Brite, which is an obscure ’80s reference that I’ve never been able to bake into The Bootleg”¦until now.

I eventually make my way to the window, where I’m immediately informed that my package can get to Connecticut the next day, for “only” $25.65. You’d think I’d have learned to never joke with a postal employee:

“It’s already late. How much for guaranteed April delivery?”

Believe it or not, the brutha behind the counter in the blue Bermuda polyester postal (short) pants, started keying in my four-week request for delivery! Do they put the package in David Banner’s backpack and hope he can hitchhike his way across the 48 states? I asked for “Priority” and got the hell up outta there.

“USPS.com”, you say?

“Next time.”, I say.

Fortunately, it’s always time”¦for The Goodness!

123 Fake Street

What’s that old saying about the month of March? “In like a lion”¦and out like a b*tch?” Then, we must be talking about rappers 50 Cent, The Game and their blatantly staged, 10-day rage in a cage.

The two came together, live and contrived, from Harlem, New York on Wednesday to publicly announce the end to their feud which, oddly enough, had fewer deaths than the Feud that Ray Combs used to host. This whole thing makes me wonder if the esteemed Elders of Irrelevance indeed exist and if this is their example of “equal opportunity”.

Think about it”¦all this bogus Black-on-Black beef wasn’t doing us a damn bit of good in the eyes of white observers. And, when Hip Hop is being mocked by people who can’t wait for updates (now, on the 10s!) on the Edge/Lita/Matt Hardy triple threat match”¦

Anyways, 50 and Game came together for the kids and announced the formation of the G-Unity Foundation. So, they’ve gone from Hip Hop’s version of Helter Skelter to a money-laundering tax shelter? Someone needs to induct these guys into the Inside Pulse Pantheon of Pathetic Payoffs.

Give ’em a slot near the top, right next to “It was me Austin! It was me all along!”

They’re Banned! The Band Is Banned!

Pompadoured pomposity Al Sharpton has dipped his cloven hoof into the FCC arena. Specifically, ol’ Reverend Jowls is campaigning the Commission to issue a 90-day media ban on any artist who is involved in violent altercations. The ban would include music videos and radio rotation. How does Al plan to address the Internet”¦with the honor system?

Hey, Colonel Jessup wasn’t kidding. We do use words like “honor” as a punchline. Now, this next part isn’t funny”¦it’s tragic.

Have you heard that African-Americans and women are reportedly less likely to join the Army in the wake of the ongoing war? Now, I’ll be the first to admit that “military” doesn’t exactly match with “mammaries”, but that didn’t stop Scarlett or Lady Jaye, did it?

A quick look at Scarlett’s file card shows that she’s definitely a Southern Belle from Hell! I’m especially impressed by her weaponry skill with “throwing stars”, which had to come in handy during the American Infatuation with the Ninja Invasion of 1982.

And, Lady Jaye’s file card is just as revealing, as we see her primary specialty is in Intelligence, while her secondary specialty is”¦personnel clerk? Um”¦well, sure! You can’t fight a war if your file cards aren’t alphabetized! I mean someone’s gotta put the “H.R.” in Yo Joe!

Well, She Does Look Like A Chocodile”¦

Well, this has been quite the 50-Centric edition of The Bootleg”¦and while the gender may change, the ugly mug will stay the same. Rapper Foxy Brown, who hasn’t had a hit since words like Case, Bill Bellamy and Ill Na Na occasionally appeared on MTV, has”¦get this”¦run afoul of the law.

Well, they do say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop, but in Foxy’s case”¦those unemployed mitts of hers are what got her into trouble. Seems she went off on an employee at a nail salon, who tried to charge her for a service she didn’t receive.

She either paid for a manicure and got charged for a pedicure, or the other way around”¦I really can’t be bothered to care.

All I know, is that she used her cell phone to assault the employee. Holy crap! Let’s call her Fox E. Dangerously! She surrendered to authorities this week, as we’re left to wonder”¦how the hell does one get hurt from a cell phone fight?

These days, even the cheap cells are about the size and weight of a Hostess snack cake. We’re talking a “two-way Twinkie” here, people. And, really”¦Twinkies aren’t evil. They just wear cowboy hats, boots, a kerchief and”¦no pants. I’m told they hang out with Chocolate Seamen and other fruits.

Driver’s Side Door, Wavin’ Tha Fo-Fo

Eight years ago this week, Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace pulled into that big Bojangles in the sky. And, what better way to commemorate his killing, than with a rapper staring down the wrong end of a revolver.

After attending a tribute to Biggie Smalls in Manhattan, Jadakiss was allegedly approached by four men in a stolen tow truck. One of them waved and pointed a gun in Jada’s direction, but they were all almost immediately apprehended by officers, who were likely part of the city’s super secret Hip Hop Task Force and probably following Jada, anyway just happened to be in the area.

Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a little skeptical here. I mean”¦ four full-grown men in one tow truck? I don’t care if we’re talking all the men on the Salemi Family Tree, there’s just no way that many adults could crawl into a tow truck’s cab.

And, who f*ck steals a tow truck?!?

Just look at that tech spec! That “3” in “speed” won’t make for much of a car chase. And is that a “4” in “rank”? Christ, why not just boost Bumblebee?

Kung Pow 2 (and other movies I’ll never pay to see)

After providing the score for such fanboy-friendly movies like Kill Bill, Ghost Dog and Blade: Trinity, The Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA is ready to take a look at life on the other side of the lens.

He’s joined the cast of Derailed, which stars that white girl from Friends and one of these guys, I think. RZA will play an ex-con turned mailroom clerk (aren’t they all?), who will surely be some sort of stereotypical street-preachin’ philosopher.

Think a cross between Nas and Nostradamus, but infinitely more insightful that Nastradamus.

And, if that wasn’t enough, RZA is also looking to make his directorial debut and he’s already picking the brains of Quentin Tarantino and Warren John Woo for advice. RZA has already received several scripts (none from Mathan), but wants to direct his self-penned Kung Fu flick, Man With the Iron Fist.

Umm”¦call me crazy, but hasn’t that story already been told? And, besides”¦there hasn’t been any real interest in Kung Fu since 1985.

Sometimes The News Just Writes Itself

50 Cent has teamed with Vivendi Universal to produce Bulletproof. It’s a shoot-em-up video game that promises to be more painful than the 1996 Adam Sandler/Damon Wayans movie of the same name.

The game is set in the center of “the violent drug underworld” where you must take on (and take down) rival crime families. So, for those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re by yourself) that means they’ve finally invented a game (this one) that steals from a movie (New Jack City) that stole from another movie (Scarface), which every other rapper on earth has stolen from (or immortalized in poster form somewhere in their house).

Yeesh, where’s Elton John when you need him? (Oh, like we don’t know“¦) Of course, someone sent out a statement and attributed it to Fiddy:

“I’m out to destroy the competition and my video game is no different. It’s a fantasy version of my life.”

Fantasy? Curtis, in reality you took nine shots and survived! That already qualifies you for Mega Man Boss Character Benefits. Hell, the only things 50’s life is missing are a reset button and some really bad background music.

Hold the phone”¦this just in.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

—–Original Message—–
From: Nick Salemi
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 8:16 AM
To: That_Bootleg_Guy
Subject: Iced Out

The drive home yesterday and today was unbelievable.

This is something you will never experience so follow closely. Before I start one good thing…class was cancelled last night. So that was cool.

Yesterday, starting at about 11am there was a mixture of snow and sleet and 20 mph winds that lasted he rest of the night. So what we have here is a layer of ice and several inches of packed snow accumulating for several hours.

Everyone was told to go home at 3:00 PM. My ass, of course, was still at work until 6:00 PM.

Anyway, went outside to start car so it will warm up and clear off the windshield. I wasn’t wearing gloves so I went to pull wiper out of ice/snow and made the mistake of putting my hand in the snow drift built up on the hood…brushed the snow off, and the wind whipped by.

I swear to God, in 2 seconds my finger was frozen and I couldn’t bend it. (Gloves sitting on seat of car by the way.) At about this time the plow comes by while I have my car parked sideways across four spots. Good times.

The Drive: this one was not orchestrated by Joe Montana or John Elway and it certainly was not a two-minute drill. More like a 60-minute drill for a drive that usually takes 15 minutes.

There’s nothing scarier than driving on a 1-inch sheet of ice with thousands of other cars. Give the car in front of you 100 yards for extra stopping time. This wasn’t even close to the worst weather, but easily the worst road conditions I’ve driven on.

This morning on the way in 18-wheeler just stopped in the middle of major highway. No car crash or anything just stopped. Oh yeah, none of the ice has melted yet.

I feel like I could write another 10 paragraphs.

New England, you gotta hate it.

Get at me at nicksalemi@yahoo.com

And here’s the obligatory San Diego Forecast in response to any cold weather story.

General Haberdashery”¦Hot Stove League Edition

As Peter Gammons first reported in Diamond Notes last weekend, Inside Pulse and 411Mania have agreed to terms on a trade. Widro has received the rights to ne’er-do-well newsboy, Kenny Hammond in exchange for”¦a writer to be named later.

Gammons tells us that Kenny is cut in the Milt Thompson mode, with tremendous versatility to go along with a little bit of Bernard Gilkey’s work ethic and Lance Johnson’s general one-doggedness.

More importantly, however”¦who will we be parting with to complete the transaction?

Is Fernandez on the block? Well, the former free agent did seriously entertain an offer from Te Tel, our Dutch doppelganger, while visiting Amsterdam last month, but he eventually re-signed to return to IP. Of course, he brought us all naked White She-Devil last week. And, you just don’t trade a guy who can serve up Road Beef like that.

Could Gloomchen be gone? Not likely. Widro has already sided with her in the war for IP Music Review Editor (sorry, Tom D’Errico) and when the owner/GM is on your side”¦well, how many World Series rings did Luis Sojo luck into? This week, Sweet Lady Tuesday has news on Duran Duran and Raisin Bran. There are so many ways I could go with a “two scoops” reference, no?

Maybe it’ll be Mathan? Back in the day, management often referred to his ilk as “uppity” and “truculent”. But, he’s got the goods on the rap story that I refuse to cover, as well as an encore presentation of one of his finest pieces. It’s on the death of B.I.G. and his influence on Math.

Mike Eagle criticizes the fans”¦you people! Normally, that’s a ticket out of town, but in this age of accolade for the Ron Artests of the world, Eagle ain’t goin’ nowhere. Besides, he broke the 50 Cent/Game hoax earlier this week. That’s some hard-hitting journalism and we ain’t trading it away”¦unless we get a 411 chick in return.

It’s The Finals of the Inside Pulse MC Battle Royale! What was that Homer Simpson said about people who vote”¦?

Moodspins features one of the above writers covering”¦oh, you’re probably not interested. Well, OK, you twisted my arm”¦it features women, Sin City and plastic surgery! And, I’m sure a handful of other things our readers haven’t done.

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. This week, he fans the feuding flames between me and”¦the IP Movie Zone? He’s also got a preview”¦of next year’s Oscars? And, I hear he’s now using 50% fewer ellipses & italics than me.

Ooh, and if you’re a fan of HBO’s Oz, you owe it to yourself to find The Greatest Oz Reference of All Time! Now, I’ve mentioned the show in passing once or twice in my two-plus years on the beat, but Movie Joe takes home the gold.

A is for me.

M is for TV Mathan. He tells the story of his first meeting with John Travolta. Vincent Vega had a bear claw stuck to his lip”¦Mathan called him “Poppin’ Fresh” and handed him a script. He’s also got news on Miguel Alvarez’s face turn

Speaking of which, I wonder how much praise Math will have for Oz, when he finds out that __________ is killed in the penultimate episode, without putting up a struggle despite the fact that his (or her) toughness has been well documented since the show’s beginning. And the final episode features more ________ _________ than a cheap suit”¦the loyal viewers deserved better.

So, seriously, ____ you, Widro.

Junk Mail

So, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a review on the latest from Nas and I get nothing but illiterate hate from his nation of knuckle-dragging devotees. This week, my review for 50 Cent’s Massacre gets posted and I get insightful and well-thought out criticism, with more than a little praise and agreement, too?

Even when I disagree with you, I enjoy reading your reviews. I think I like the new 50 more than you, but that’s only because I don’t think you gave enough credit to the production. There’s some really nice stuff on there and fortunately 50’s lyrics are so superfluous that you can ignore him and appreciate the beats”¦P.S.

Eh”¦I thought some of the beats were better than nice, but there were others that fell flat. Eminem, I’m looking at you”¦Oh, and speaking of which:

===

Do the linear notes really say Eminem produced “In My Hood”? If so, that sh*t is OBVIOUSLY ghost produced, earlier pre-release reviews were crediting that beat to some guys named “C. Styles & Bang Out”. Contrary to what you stated in your review, it doesn’t have an “Em paint-by-numbers” feel to it at ALL…when is the last time Em has
ever, and I mean ever, used a throwback drum loop for the basis of a beat, much less “Impeach the President”? Plus there’s no Over-Dramatic-Eminem-Korg-Strings”¦ (think the “Runnin” remix) which is usually the trademark of an Em beat for better or worse.

Wouldn’t be the first time Em slapped his name on someone else’s beat,
(*COUGH WEALLDIEONEDAY HACK*), but him stealing other people’s beats in an attempt to look “diverse” throws all his recent unique and hot beats (Toy Soldiers, Yellow Brick Road) into suspicion. Guess Dre’s rubbing off on him…B.D.

Nope”¦that one’s on me. A quick re-read of my review shows that I erroneously credited Em with producing In My Hood, when he actually got an “additional production” credit. My apologies for the error, but thanks for the Eminem insight and Mathan appreciates the Dr. Dre bashing.

===

F*ck you and Inside Beat(sic). 50 is straight fire and that sh*t’s gooning(sic) to be the number one record in the world this week. You think he think he cares what some little bitch who hides behind his computer thinks of him. He can buy and sell your ashy black azz”¦(Unsigned)

Ah, that’s more like it.

Life With the Bootleg Family

It began with an email:

Please ask your rep if my quitting is an event that will allow us to transfer to your insurance. How long will the process take? When should we start filling out paper work if I plan to resign effective 5/26/05?

Love,
Mrs. Bootleg

In a few short months, The Bootlegs could become a one-income family. Now, there’s a whole lotta backstory to the wife’s decision. Y’all know about some of the personal drama we’ve gone through this year and the pseudo psychiatrist in me says that the wife is eager to spend more time with Baby Bootleg, as part of that whole “cherish every moment/tomorrow’s never promised” thing.

Never mind that this line of thinking directly conflicts with my “cherish every mortgage or be sleeping on a park bench” philosophy.

I have no shame in telling you that she’s the one with the Master’s Degree”¦while I only have a Bachelor’s. She’s the one on the fast track”¦while my employment evokes an essence of inertia.

Put it this way”¦if she were to ever leave me, I’d be left with my computer, a coffee table and two boxes of baking soda to my name. And without the refrigerator, there won’t even be any odors to absorb. Well, save for those from the cat and I’m kinda hoping she takes “Whiskers” with her.

Starting this summer, I’m the breadwinner and she’s the stay-at-home mom. And, white folk think it’s the Black man who’s lazy, shiftless and unemployed.

You can bet that Jalen ain’t coming with me on Go To Work With Your Parents Day. Please note, homemaker is not allowed, as it is not real work, that’s why you don’t get paid for it.

I shared my tree tale of woe with someone and this was his response:

“The modern woman…I want to be independent…until I find someone else to work for me…or when I have a kid…and I’m going to live at home till I’m 28 “to save money”.

That’s why the majority of them become teachers. The first option they go for involves the least amount of work (summers off and more holidays then Styles P), not having to deal with other adults, and never having to learn anything new at their job ever again after the 1st year.”

Suckers. This column was SO not 50-Free. Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13

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