The Friday Music News Bootleg

But, before we begin…

This week’s column is brought to you by the new soft drink Sprite Remix Aruba Jam. You won’t believe how quickly it disappears. And, in my house, you can blame the Black man!

Welcome back to The Bootleg. OK…while last week’s absence was excused (i.e. I told y’all about it ahead of time), I was still late with my June 24 column from two weeks ago. If you missed it, then you missed out on my triple threat boot camp match with McDonald’s McGriddle and…ah, go read it.

I’m told it was so good that someone even sent it to Widro. Widro! Heh.

Anyways…show of hands…how many of you have enough quarters to actually wash a few loads of laundry this weekend? No, no…I’m not mocking you. In fact, I’d kill for the days when everything I wore could be washed and…well, worn.

These days, I spend 10 hours a day in dress shirts, dress slacks and shoe polish (with Kid Cameron’s cutting-edge creamed spinach trim, when I get home). Of course, all this General Haberdashery comes with consequences.

And, who knew that dry cleaners were the auxiliary affiliates of the Axis of Evil?

There’s a small, family-run chain of cleaners here in San Diego called University Cleaners. Their work is just barely acceptable, but they’re cheap and for $1.75 an item, I can live with the superfluous second creases in my slacks.

Last week, I took in another load and left it with the three, umm…well, let’s plead “P.C.” and call them “immigrants” who work the counter. Yes, that’s three of ’em working one counter in a strip mall set-up. Usually, such a “people-to-productivity” proportion is sole property of the Post Office.

Now, here’s where it all goes horribly haywire and, right on cue…here’s my wife.

Mrs. Bootleg offered to pick up my dry cleaning after she completed the minimum day that has become her work week. Sure, she didn’t bring the clothes upstairs…or inside the house…or even out of her trunk, but it was the thought that counts (and $30 she saved me).

As luck would have it, the next morning there were customers coming into our facility and I needed one of my two pairs of suit pants. As my luck would have it, neither pair appeared to be with the other plastic-wrapped dry cleaned clothing.

Am I the only one who counts the articles of clothing before I leave the cleaners?

Mrs. Bootleg offered to make it better, but she had failed me…for the last time. Or, until the next time…whichever comes first. As for me, it seemed like a simple lunch hour drive down the street to find my misplaced pants.

“We never make mistake. Your pants were there. Could you go home and check again?”

Try to imagine that uttered in heavily-accented English. Now, try to imagine what they did next. Amazingly, one of the women wheeled out an entire rack of items that had been separated from their double-stitched siblings and gone unclaimed.

Embiggened by the obvious irony, I mocked their “mistake-free” beliefs, while unsuccessfully sifting through the unsorted slacks. What could I do…make them look again? You bet’cha. And, again…nothing.

“We never make mistake…”

That evening, I looked again in the unlikely event that they were right and I was…ah, damn it. At the bottom of the closet…blended in with the wife’s “as soon as I lose my pregnancy pounds” pieces of clothing (note: Jalen turns 17 months old this weekend)…and there were my slacks, still with the dry clean tags on ’em.

As I left the dry cleaners that afternoon, I knew I’d never go back because they were wrong. Now, I can’t ever go back because they were right. And, The Goodness never gives anyone the satisfaction…

Hey, wait a minute…

Lil’ Kim and an Oz Reference…Yeah, But I Was Doing Them First!

The weight wait is over. On Wednesday, Lil’ Kim was sentenced and sent out of circulation for 366 days by Judge Gerald Lynch. Earlier this year, Kim was convicted of three counts of federal perjury and conspiracy.

This week, the fat chickens came home to roost as a tearful Kim threw herself on the mercy of the court. Twenty years ago, King Kong Bundy called that move “the avalanche”. Oh, come on…if I really wanted to take cheap shots, I’d find a way to blend in a Bundy vs. Little Beaver reference, but you don’t have to be her gynecologist to know why I’m not going there.

Anyways, Kim came clean in court and admitted lying to the grand jury. In addition to jail time, she was sentenced to three years probation and fined $50,000.00. All things considered, the little c*ck-gobblin’ goblin got off pretty easily.

Still, her fans shouldn’t be holding their breath for her eventual release. If we’ve learned nothing else from Oz, it’s that Black women don’t last long in prison. Remember Officer Andrea Phelan? Hard to believe we fans received a half-dozen episodes of the back fat half of Salt-N-Pepa, the actress.

And, don’t get me started on “Floria”, Warden Glynn’s assistant for a minute in season five. I mean, she just disappeared. I half-expected to see her buried behind Luke Perry, when they dug him up (again) in the show’s final episode…y’know, the one where Chris Keller is killed, Schillinger is shanked n’ slain and anthrax evacuates Oz at the end.

Didn’t see it? Well, now you don’t have to.

Calvin, Canseco and Crappy Clothes

Obviously, my McDonald’s-motivated Bootleg bitchin’ has moved the Crisco n’ cheese conglomerate to act in an effort to recapture the Black market. Hmmm. “Capture”. “Blacks”. It’s almost like Mickey D’s is celebrating the 503rd birthday of…something.

Of course, the only thing they’re really celebrating…is condescension of a culture. Big difference.

McD’s has hired music magnate Steve Stoute to oversee a line of McDonald’s-based apparel. The clothing line will actually begin with new uniforms for the in-store staff and it’s hoped that Stoute can bring the brand onto clothing store shelves by next year.

McClothes? McN*gga Please.

I thought the McRib Sandwich was the chain’s reasonably-priced paean to people of color? Now, they want us to wear their triple XL tributes to Happy Meals and minimum wage? Y’all remember who was the last brutha was to actually wear McDonald’s Merchandise outside?

And, these days “Calvin” can’t catch a break. Hell, even The Surreal Life 5 told him to take a hike and they’ve hired both Balki and BALCO for the upcoming season.

Black n’ Blonde Ambition

About a year ago, we broke the story that rapping n’ acting asexual superstar, Eve, was in a saucy little sex scene that was circulating on the net. Now, there are strong rumors that Eve has hired a private investigator to find out just who leaked the half-minute motel mambo.

Initially, Eve denied that the woman in the video and video stills was her. In fact, she cited the absence of her ubiquitous paw-print tattoos on her boobs as proof that this harlot couldn’t be her. Of course, there was no mistaking that female Frankenberry forehead. Eventually, she owned up to the images and now she wants to make someone pay.

One can only assume that she’s seeking the same type of suffering that’s usually only seen from watching one of Eve’s more traditional scenes. And, if she’s reading this…y’know that whole Black woman/blonde hair thing? Yeah…it kinda went out with this guy.

And, this guy.

And, this guy.

Can We Kill Her Softly? Who’s With Me?!

Does anyone still remember when Dave Chappelle brought back The Fugees for his big ol’ block party late last year? OK, maybe I shouldn’t get ahead of myself…does anyone still remember Dave Chappelle?

Perhaps he was sowing the seeds to his eventual insanity when he thought that anyone still cared about these three Hershey’s Special Dark divas. Now, amid reports that Lauryn Hill’s current emotional state has her heading for “South Africa”, the group’s lovely lead singer (hey, I’ll say anything if it leads to a little alliteration) recently sounded off in Trace magazine.

Hill claims that fellow Fugees Pras and Wyclef “took advantage of her” (ooh, I like where this is going!) and abused her, emotionally. She’d go on to say:

“I had become used to improper dynamics, where people would transfer their hatred on someone else, thereby making a beautiful person ugly.”

OK, admittedly, it’s been nearly nine years since The Fugees were still…ah, hell, let’s just say it: Which one was ever “the beautiful person”? And, with all this perceived hatred and “ugliness” getting transferred around, don’t you think ‘Clef and Lauryn should quit doubling up on Pras?

I mean, can a brutha look any more like a used Q-Tip?

Spread the ugly around, y’all…spread it around.

Celine Dion vs. TSN

Fourth of July weekend…hot dogs, hamburgers, fireworks and phenomenal females…so, how many of y’all stayed inside and watched Live8? OK, on Saturday, I did catch a minute of the music (more like snooze-ick…ahahaha…no?…not even a titter). And, there are two things that are painfully clear: Stevie Wonder can see the dessert cart and Celine Dion is no better than Earl Hebner…in her own home country.

Scheduled to perform in Barrie, Ontario during the weekend, Celine preferred the blazin’ hot days and Mathan-filled nights of Las Vegas to the rural brown mural that makes up most of America, Jr. She was gracious enough to perform via satellite, but was booed lustily when she appeared on the massive in-stadium Tyranno-Vision screen.

And, this is a shock?

We’ve purged, pilfered and pillaged your hockey teams (Hello, Winnipeg!) in exchange for several CFL seasons featuring the eighth dwarf, Flutie and the brief NBA Ballad of Big Country. So, Canada…you can keep your universal health care, graffiti-free park benches and absence of racial tension…we’ve got better sports teams and we’ll even spot you Buffalo.

What? Well, we don’t want ’em, either.

Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself

July 8, 2005…that’s about two years and five months on the Bootleg Beat and finally a Hall & Oates story is worthy of reporting. The decrepit duo has been forced to postpone several dates on their upcoming tour. Y’see, Daryl Hall has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Now, now…it sounds worse than it really is.

What’s Lyme disease, you ask?

I’ll field that one.

Lyme disease is spread by small parasites called ‘ticks’. When a diseased tick attaches itself to you, it begins sucking your blood. Malignant spirochetes infect your bloodstream, eventually spreading to your spinal fluid and on into the brain.

The brain?! Oh, Dear God.

See? On the sick scale, it ranks just above a paper cut and right below a cold sore, kids. And, the good news is that Hall is expected to make a full recovery.


Well, it turns out that Hall’s Lyme disease was actually psychosomatic. Does that mean he’s crazy? Does it mean he’s faking it? Actually, it’s a little of both.

(And, thanks to our friends at for pretty much writing this story for me.)

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Is This a Self Help Song?

Rapper and future inmate #4’10, Lil’ Kim, has announced that she’s releasing her new single entitled Shut Up B*tch.. This industry-shaking announcement came just one day after a teary eyed Kim (“WHAT do you mean there ain’t no Chee-tos in prison?”) mysteriously found God while admitting to perjury…after lying about whether or not she committed perjury for months. Way to go Kim! She found God just in time for sentencing.

And now a reading from the book of Magic Stick:

When it, come to sex don’t test my skills
Cause my head game have you HEAD over heels

Not sure if that will be appearing in any of the hymn books.

Kim promises that in the new single she will “respond to all the rumors about her”. Can someone tell her agent that no one is talking about her? And, in case you’re wondering, Wendy Williams doesn’t count. Williams has about as much media credibility as Misty May has fame due to her athletic skills.

Kim tells the naysayers who accuse her of doing coke, being broke, having plastic surgery and not writing her own rhymes to “get their facts straight”! Sorry, did they forget to say looks like she swallowed an anvil?

The real issue is that she’s beyond irrelevant. Why she still gets this much attention is beyond me. How much longer can she leech off a guy that died 8 years ago? In a cruel(?) twist of fate did anyone notice that Junior Mafia’s 1995 album was called Conspiracy and now Kim has been convicted of conspiracy? Bet she didn’t see that one coming.

Even though I haven’t heard the song yet, I can’t wait for the follow up: Talk All You Want B*tch, No One’s Listening (The Shut Up B*tch Remix).

General Haberdashery…Return of Mathan Edition

Inside Pulse got a little bit better and a whole lot Blacker last week! Ah, shut up…how else do you expect me to use all of these surplus slogans from the fantastic failure that was 411Black?

Anyways, Math means music and, to celebrate, the whole staff went anti-Erhardt and actually showed up to write their columns this week.

Mathan Returns! Last week, he fiddled around with some fantasy booking of Memphis Bleek and Jay-Z. And, this week, he finally sees the light on Outkast. Finally.

Fernandez mocks Spin Magazine’s “greatest albums” list and yours, too. He also has exclusive photos of my three white readers, along with pics of the entertainment from my 20th birthday and a shot of a lovely quilt made by an eight foot woman. And, look for his 100th installment of the Swindle Sheet…someday.

Gloomchen channels the spirit of Kim Wayans as Tracy Chapman. What? Am I the only that remembers that In Living Color skit where “Tracy” is sitting by the window and engaged in some real-time songwriting? Not sold? Well, about half-way through, Gloomchen gets to the half-drunk college girls. Seriously.

Shawn plays word association with his boy, ATP. He correctly nails my love for kiwi-strawberry anything, whilst marveling at the superfluous second ‘A’ in my first name. Remember…if you don’t think it’s funny, then you really need to learn to laugh at stupid shit once in awhile. How else would Will Ferrell continue to find work?

KDP has been on quite the readability roll as of late. He’s got a lot to say about the ethical (and legal) dilemmas of downloading. If I can be serious for a minute, it’s a damn fine piece and impervious to any snarky statements that I might have…for now.

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 breaks the superhero movie news story of the year with news on Angela Bassett as Marvel Comics Hero…nah, you’ll have to read it yourself to believe it. Plus, a revealing look at Charlie’s Angels 3 and the cute panties that Cameron Diaz will dance badly in this time.

And, don’t forget Joe’s Low Resolution Blog. It’s the only place where liberal tree-huggers meet UPN program reviews. I’ve been known to contribute from time to time, under the alias of fictional animated characters, but only an idiot wouldn’t know the difference between a real name and a cartoon pseudonym, right?

(Remember, this isn’t art. It’s just mindless pabulum for losers who can barely read.)

A is for me.

M is TV Mathan! He wraps up the year with some belated season finale fallout. Ooh, but someone should tell him that Law & Order: Trial by Jury was actually cancelled. And, Math mixes up a batch of that X-flavored Kool-Aid while detailing his distaste for interracial dating over the airwaves. Think of him as The Mathan of Domination. And, he’s back, bitches…

…and updated! Check out this week’s Remote Destination as Math discusses TV shows that should be on DVD. Curiously, he doesn’t mention Martin, Frank’s Place or Homeboys in Outer Space.

I thought he was Black? Now, I have to question that.

Junk Mail

Lots of feedback to the last Bootleg from two weeks back. And you can probably guess what the most asked question was:

Dude, who eats at McDonald’s anymore? It’s like a drive-thru Denny’s, where no one actually intends to eat at. It’s just one of those places you happen to “end up at”…S.T.

Can’t argue with that. In fact, I think I’ve used that same description to describe Denny’s before. But, what can I say…I’m a sucker for a chunk of cured pork placed between two soggy griddlecakes.

I didn’t think you Californians ate anything but organic crap wrapped in hemp? I’ve seen the pictures of you…dude, you’re a stick. You’re only in the McDonald’s drive-thru to show off the Saturn to 16-year-olds who think any ride is a hot ride…T.D.

Two “dude” references in the first two letters? Despite your obvious accuracy in outlining my intentions, I’ve gotta call you on that. “Dude” has got to be the white man’s “jiggy” and “izzle”, doesn’t it? A word so overused that it becomes obsolete? But, who do we blame for the overuse of words originated by the white man? That’s right…the white man. (Thanks, Mathan)

Isn’t the McGriddle just a pretentiously priced “pig in a blanket”? Does the inclusion of the “Mc” prefix make it a more meaningful meal to me? And, who can “start their day” with all that grease, anyway? I guess nuthin’ gets you goin’ for that eventual angioplasty like your daily dose of meat, cheese and fried potatoes. Did you not see ‘City Slickers’? That’s what killed Curly!…E.S.

I have it on good authority that it was the script from City Slickers II that killed Curly.

Life with the Bootleg Family

Jalen Cameron is walking! (with apologies to CRZ)

Well, it’s more like the awkward stagger of a midget mixing Jim Beam’s Best with a field sobriety test. But, it’s good enough for me. Unfortunately, in social settings, we’ve become one of those families.

You know ’em…you’re at a casual eating establishment, enjoying some awesomely outrageous Southwestern Pizza Fingers or some of Moe’s Hobo Chicken Chili (he starts with the best part: the neck!) Suddenly, a small chocolate child is steadying himself against your date’s chair and playing guilt-free grab-ass with your girl.

The mom races over, apologizes for the interruption, and offers up an unsolicited explanation (“Oh, he just started walking…!”) Then, three minutes later the scene repeats itself at the table next to you, before the encore performance at your table during the million dollar birthday fries frivolity.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with being carried. This November it will be ten years of me on the back of Mrs. Bootleg (she was only “Girlfriend Bootleg” for most of that time)…and I turned out OK.

Now, let’s hope she never leaves me. My decade of mutual material contributions is a coffee table and half of my kid’s chromosomes.

Man, I’d better start siphoning from her savings.

But, before we end: One of the best Bootleg benefits over the years has been the small, but vocal, international following that this column has received. To any and everyone reading this in England and to all who were affected by the recent tragedy in London, just know that you’re in the thoughts of me, my family and the IP Community.

See…I made it through a whole column without mentioning my mortal enemy. Get at me on AIM or Yahoo IM at ajcameron13.