The Friday Music News Bootleg

Welcome back to The Bootleg. My longtime readers know how much I hate to talk about myself in this space, but I think y’all should know that my birthday is on March 30.

Hold on”¦this is not a shameless and self-indulgent segue to one of those all-about-me Amazon Wish Lists. Besides, I make enough money to buy my own gifts and have enough free time on my hands to buy ’em on eBay.

Where else can I find a T-Shirt more embarrassing than anything you bought on WWE’s Shop Zone? And, is there another site that can better brainwash my baby boy through a two-piece or a one-piece or a one, uh”¦foot?

But, see”¦in order to enable my eBay binges, I need to keep making money. And, when the wife quits her job to (in her voice) spend more time with the baby later this spring, that’ll be 4/5 of our household income and 6/5 of my disposable income that goes (clickety-clank) into Jalen’s piggy bank.

Which brings me back to my birthday and the fact that I am still decades away from retirement. Remember when you finished high school and threw your mortarboard (or G.E.D. equivalent) high in the sky”¦only to find out that college was around the corner?

Six years later, you’d sacrificed your Saturday nights for a sheepskin”¦only to realize that responsibility, rent and a real job were your only rewards? And, when does it end? Hell, these guys will be home for good before I will. If only by six months.

And, I’ll trade them their Gulf War Syndrome and years of “Lieutenant Dan = Crazy Man” moments, for the following conversation that I had with my boss, the day before yesterday:

Aaron: “I need to schedule a meeting for the signoff of this proposal with Boeing, are you free at 2:00 PM?”

Boss: “Ummm, no…I’ve got a noon tee time. Can we do it at 10:30?”

Aaron: “Well, estimating needs time to give me a number. I’m not sure if we can meet that early.”

Boss: “See, here’s the thing…I told Jim [note: Jim is the boss of my boss] that I’d be here all day today. But, actually, when I leave, there won’t be anyone able to sign off on such a high dollar amount. So, can we do it at 10?”

Aaron: “10:00?! I thought you wanted to do it at 10:30.”

Boss: “Fine, that works for me.”

WTF? If I weren’t already built like one, I’d have turned into a Tootsie Pop “sucker” on the spot. (Do they make a butterscotch flavor to capture my autumn-at-sunset skin tone?) I mean, this was the real-life recitation of “rabbit season”¦duck season”, “rabbit season”¦duck season”, “duck season”¦RABBIT season”


And, with my luck, Elmer Fudd would miss. Oh, and speaking of which, I’m going to be missing”¦next week’s Bootleg. Enjoy this week’s Goodness, as Nick and I will return on April 8, which is nine days after my birthday”¦on March 30.

Wait, does that last sentence count as my obligatory use of “Goodness” before the news items begin”¦?

They Shoot’in”¦No, Really, They Are

A Monday night performance by the self-appointed higher power of Hip Hop ended in gunfire. Nas was performing at The Brixton Academy in London, when two shots were fired into the ceiling during his set. There were no injuries, but the concert was ended immediately as police began their investigation into the incident.

And, not just any rent-a-cops”¦we’re talking Scotland Yard, people! (“We’re like Haggis with Badges!”) In the incident’s aftermath, most of the witnesses’ comments have corroborated claims that The Brixton Academy’s security is second-to-none.

“Over 100 security personnel were present during the concert, with secure cordons across the building and eight metal detectors on site for full security checks and searches upon entry.”

Umm”¦it’s been 12 years, so maybe my memory fails me”¦but, wasn’t that the same security set-up that was breached during that famously failed Presidential assassination attempt of 1993?

And, if John Malkovich was able to outsmart octogenarians Clint Eastwood and Rene Russo up until the last two minutes of In the Line of Fire, then none of us are truly safe and the terrorists have won.

Afghanistan, num-bear one! Iraq, num-bear one! USA, ack-phooey!

The Real European Gigolo

A few weeks ago, we reported on the European red carpet premiere of a commercial starring Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and The Kickball Kid, David Beckham.

Well, someone had better warn”¦whichever Spice Girl he married, because there’s apparently a bidding war brewing for Beckham’s body and its anticipated appearance in an upcoming video for either Beyoncé or J-Lo. Representatives for the dueling divas aren’t commenting, but reports indicate that the ongoing negotiations should surpass seven figures.

It seems to me that T.J. has a new best he-bitch in his man stable, no? And, this one comes without assorted Saturday Night Live alumni in an uncredited cameo.

Speaking of which, did my eyes deceive me or was that Fat Albert on SNL as a regular cast member? Alright”¦who drained the pool of available African-American comics? This is a low-water mark for a lack of laughter that hasn’t been seen in 20 years.

Blame Tom Brokaw

With the finish of 50 Cent’s fake ass feud (we’d also accept “bitch-made beef”) with The Game, the embattled rapper has turned his attention to the media and their coverage of him:

“If you say, ‘Who do you know who has been shot nine times?’ kids across America will tell you, ’50 Cent’ immediately. That’s because it’s something [the media] decided to point out, and they make that part of the perception of 50 Cent. It wasn’t because I wanted to talk about it. It’s not a pleasant thought. It was a painful experience.”

The media wanted to talk about it? Well, it must’ve been MC Peter Jennings who twisted 50’s arm on the Hail Mary diss track:

“Lil’ n*gga named Ja think he live like me
Talkin’ ’bout he left the hospital, took nine like me”¦”

And, we all must’ve missed the latest mixtape from DJ Dan Rather, featuring 50 on F*ck You:

“I been shot nine times n*gga, that’s why I walk funny
Hit in the jaw once, why I talk funny”¦”

And, what is it about belligerent Black men and the media, this week? Anyone catch Barry Bonds: Deep Thoughts? Does the “B” in BALCO stand for “bitch”? And, that voice”¦that grating, nasally voice. If any beat writers are reading this, see if you can get Bonds to say “this one time”¦at band camp”, just once.

Again, With the Oz References”¦

The fallout from the Lil’ Kim verdict continues to roll in, as former label mate Lil’ Cease is being accused of turning state’s snitch against the Queen (Cellblock) Bee. Cease defended his testimony against Kim by citing the more stringent standards in a federal case and the fact that failure to answer a subpoena could’ve resulted in a stay at Federal Pound Me in the Ass Prison.

Am I the only one who was hoping that he didn’t answer the subpoena? If, for no other reason, than to see a man named “Lil’ Cease” spend just one night in prison. The appellations of the African-American prison population have to be ethnically edgy, like Burr Redding, Red Redding and Rick James Redding.

Seriously, “Lil’ Cease” is the kind of name that’ll have you shanked before Augustus Hill’s obligatory Oz inmate introduction is over:

Prisoner Number 051-997, Lil’ Cease”¦convicted”¦What? Already? And, by Sister Peter Marie? That’s cold, n*gga, that’s cold. Can I have his lines this week?

Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself

First it was Samuel L. Jackson, now it’s African-American icon and standard-bearer of the Black community, Taye Diggs who’s taking, uh, digs at rappers who act:

“It seemed like I was constantly being beat out by rappers. It would be down to me and someone else and I’d find out that the “someone else” was a Hip Hop artist.”

And, all this time, I thought it was Diggs’ abject lack of range and his insincere, unconvincing spin as a Hip Hop aficionado in Brown Sugar that had him banished to UPN in the timeslot made famous by Homeboys in Outer Space. Hey, while Taye is diggin’ his own career grave, I’ve got a question: who are these rappers that are taking work from him?

By my count there are only four artists who’ve received even semi-regular big screen scenes in the last few years. And, I have a hard time believing that Ja Rule beat anybody out for the opportunity to stand next to the gluttonous girth that is Steven Segal’s jiggly jumpsuit.

Next, there’s DMX. Admittedly, he’s not much of an actor, but it’s not like Diggs had much of a chance against him. Check out the DVD cover art and tell me how we’d find Diggs on that black backdrop.

Oh, please tell me that Taye Diggs didn’t get passed over for the Snoop Dogg role in The Wash? How could the producers have found a part for “20 years from now” Taye (billed as “George Wallace”), but nothing for today’s Taye?

Finally, there’s Ice Cube in the surprisingly successful Are We There Yet? Sorry, Taye, but you had your chance to get with a pre-pregnancy Nia Long in The Best Man. When you passed on that, all that was left was playing second fiddle to anonymous white folk.

And, then some.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Aaron’s Note: Nick got his segment to me on time, but I can’t seem to find it. Not wanting this space to go naked, here’s an encore edition of NP from one year ago. Remember: if you haven’t read it, it’s new to you!

This Week’s Sign That the Apocalypse Is Upon Us (with apologies to Sports Illustrated)

If you put your ear to the ground and listen, I think you can hear the horsemen coming… actually had a headline this week that read:

Mr. T and Jewel to Appear on the Nick and Jessica Variety Hour

The article also mentioned that Hall of Famer Johnny Bench and Kermit the Frog would appear on the show.

I can’t figure out which part of that story is the most ridiculous. Let’s analyze it part by part. The fact that Mr. T is still alive is amazing. This guy is leftover slack from the 80s that some “entertainment environmentalist” decided to recycle. The joke’s up, folks. Mr. T isn’t funny even in self-parody anymore. Maybe ABC is hoping he’ll commit suicide on the show and boost ratings.

Hey wait a second, this is coming together. After Mr. T says “I pity the fool”, then starts crying and pulls a shotgun out, Jewel can recite some of her world-famous poetry while trying to talk him out of it. However she suddenly become self-conscious after T makes some cracks about her snaggletooth and tries to grab the gun from him, accidentally setting it off. The blast knocks a couple of light fixtures from the ceiling
which land on Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, pinning them to the ground as the entire studio audience erupts into applause.

I’m not sure what should happen next, but it should probably involve a quick phone call to former Nets sharpshooter Jason Williams. He’s deadly from inside the paint.

Oh yeah, and Johnny Bench and Kermit the Frog should get the f**k out of there before any more crazy shit goes down.

Honorable Mention for The Apocalypse

4800 people showed up this past weekend to watch the UConn women’s basketball team practice. To quote Allen Iverson:

“We talkin’ bout PRAT-TICE!”

General Haberdashery”¦Wayne’s World Movie Quotes Edition

JJ Botter reports from the G2 Records Showcase in Dallas and has a close encounter with”¦one of my fans? Holy Crap! Seriously, I’ve sent my wife the link to Botter’s column every day this week, so go read the piece that has taken my ego to the levels of Alice Cooper after Wayne n’ Garth’s sycophantic salute to the emaciated corpse. You’re not worthy.

Gloomchen always rates high on the strokability scale. I’m not being sexist, it’s just that no one I know wants to touch Matthew Michael, who finished second on the scale. The Summertime Tour is coming to Milwaukee on April 23 and she’s bringing Winger, Warrant and my “insult Lil’ Kim” gimmick with her. Hey, isn’t Milwaukee an Indian name?

Mathan must know that I really wanna use the “little, yellow, different” line here, but I’ve never met Math and can confirm, for certain, that only one of those adjectives applies to him. Find out why he buys entire albums just for one song and sells out his soul to the big chain electronic stores.

Mike Eagle is starting to find his groove, as he strikes the perfect balance between music news and tasty lil’ bites of his personal life. Mike’s like that new pair of draws: at first it’s constrictive, but then, it becomes a part of you. This week he asks, “What do P. Diddy and Talib Kweli have in”¦Common?” HA! (It’s funnier if you click the link.)

Moodspins continues to be the best site you can’t find. It’s still got all your favorite IP writers speaking out on sh** that’s too hot for IP. Translation: our Figures Zone wouldn’t give us space for a weekly rant on British Conservatism. Anyways, Mathan says exactly what I said in the aftermath of the Robert Blake trial.

And, belated pluggery from m’man Tayo, who is the runaway choice for “Second best thing at 411”! He’s got a great tribute to Biggie Smalls and (surprise, surprise) another column the following”¦um, read him, you’ll likes.

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. He’s got news on X-Men 3 and their delicious link to Layer Cake, along with some random Germans (they’re full of choc-o-late!), overt Hollywood Executive bashing and an exclusive look at the Star Wars trailer that hasn’t hit theaters yet! At least, that’s what he told me to tell you. Oh, and if you liked Joe’s version of “ideas that IP writers had first””¦you’ll love his list of Things I learned from watching Oz.

A is for me.

M is for TV Mathan. He starts off with a bloody rampage and ends with a pair of cartoon caricatures. And, coincidentally enough, that’s just how Oz played out over its six year run! Check out his (original) Things I learned from watching Oz feature, as well as Aaron Cameron”¦in purple? Is this 1992, again, and no one told me?

Junk Mail”¦The Suggestion Box

Longtime Friend of the Bootleg, first time fanboy response to your work. You and Nick kick ass, but you guys already know that. I always dig your collabo features like the MFWNTAK list and the unattractive attractive women list. I was watching an old Chappelle Show rerun, when I thought of a play on one of their segments. Come on”¦tell me that Ask a White Person wouldn’t work?”¦J.H.

Uh, it wouldn’t work. Although, the possibility of putting out a weekly question in the hope of collecting some Caucasian correspondence”¦intrigues me. I mean, why do y’all like Outkast so much? And, what’s with those rear window stick figure stencils of your whole damn family? Oh, and why did y’all try to return Mariah Carey to the “Black Exchange Rack” after Glitter?

Whoops”¦I’d better slip in some additional racial commentary-by-query”¦Asian people, how many times did you see The Fast & The Furious 2?

Equal opportunity, y’know.

As a fellow West Coast guy, I was wondering if you’ve had the chance to cop the latest XXL Magazine, with Snoop and Game on the cover? They seem to think that the West Coast rap scene has returned for good, but I’d be interested to hear your opinion”¦J.G.

Well, funny you should ask. Currently, I’m in the very preliminary stages of my next multi-part Music Zone feature, which will examine the rise n’ fall n’ (supposed) resurrection of West Coast Rap. It’s called The West Coast is Dead and if you doubt that such a subject lends itself to such in-depth look”¦well, I’ve been doubted before.

Be on the lookout for it this May.

How about a Roundtable type column where all you guys get together and discuss some of the latest releases both mainstream and underground. It could be weekly, monthly, whatever, as long as it keeps me from missing gems like Handsome Boy. You guys all have different tastes in music so you could cover a variety of genres. Each of you could pick an album and everyone would review it. There would be an individual score from each reviewer with an average overall score. Then have a roundtable discussion where everyone gives their opinions. Imagine the hilarious banter! At the end, you could all fight to the death or something. You think Widro would go for it?”¦A.H.

I’ll throw out there (here?) for our crack staff to consider. Your timing is impeccable, though, since the entire staff received a (pretend) pissed-off post on the staff boards from our Reviews Editor, Gloomchen, recently. We are working to get more review out there, but since your suggestion involves “a fight to the death”, I think I speak for everyone at IP when I say, “Sign Matthew Michael up.”

Life With the Bootleg Family

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the African-American community, I’m gonna let all y’all in on one of the few Negro Secrets that Dave Chappelle hasn’t yet revealed on his show. And, if you thought it was disturbing for “Ashley” to use the word “ashy””¦

See”¦when African-American babies are born, they don’t always look”¦well, African-American.

There are two things, specifically, that create the most cause for pause. The first is skin color. Our babies start out several shades lighter than you might expect. The pigmentation catches up in a few weeks, though, and an old wives tale says that you can tell the eventual skin tone of a Black newborn by looking at the skin color just under the cuticle/bottom of the fingernail.

(Note: this isn’t always applicable.)

Anyways, the second trait is hair. This is a fairly early shot of my son, at around three weeks.

Now, this is Baby Bootleg around three months.

His hair’s starting to look a little more, um”¦”ethnic”, here. But, today, the wife and I have run into a problem. As Jalen’s hair continues its own little flight of the follicles, he’s actually rockin’ three separate textures on his own baby dome.

Texture 1: These are the last few strands of straight hair that he’ll ever see, at least until he brings home his first white”¦nah, let’s keep Mrs. Bootleg in denial for 15 more years.

Texture 2: Right on the top of his head, is a soft, pillowy world of curls with a cotton candy consistency. This is, right now, his most predominant hair population and the first thing everyone wants to touch when they see him.

Texture 3: On the back of his head, it’s a little more coarse. For my white readers: the next time you’re at the mall, find a Black woman with long, luxurious locks. Sneak up behind her and lift that beauty shop-bought horsehair out of the way. What you see at the nape of her neck is what I’m trying to describe.

Now”¦after 10 hours of sleep, Baby Bootleg’s ‘do”¦is a little difficult to do. This past Sunday”¦armed with nothing but a cake-cutter and my wits, I went to work on his Baby Ben Wallace… I’m not sure that I was all that successful, but here’s a celebrity representative before and after photo shoot, so you be the judge.

Remember, we’re off next week, so get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM: ajcameron13 And, did I mention my birthday?