But, before we begin”¦
This week’s column is brought to you by former 411 music writer Jason Jako. You can’t teach talent like this, kids. And, now we’ve hired him away to write “teasers” for the games section. Here’s his debut subheading effort“¦Is “unfantastic” a word?
Welcome back to The Bootleg. Last time I checked, I weighed about 180 lbs. On my six-foot frame, one could conservatively categorize me as “medium” in build. When I was 13-years-old, I weighed about the same, except I was nearly a foot shorter.
Yeah, yeah”¦I’m sure some armchair therapist could come up with a correlation between my adolescent obesity, a side of self-loathing and my need to project my past feelings of fat on double-wide divas who can’t rap.
(What? She can’t rap! I mean, who were you expecting me to link there?)
And, here in San Diego, the pressure to stay in shape and superficial is off the charts. OK, actually, it’s on the charts and comes in at ninth place this year. Better luck next year H-ooze-ton, Fat-adelphiaand, um, Detroit.
I’m an admittedly infrequent member of my local gym. When I do go, let’s just say I’m home in plenty of time for Andy Rooney, if I were to start my routine at 7:00 PM on a Sunday night. Hell, I still don’t know if it’s “jogging” or “yogging” (it might be a soft “j”). So, I’ve turned to the one place that’s fooled millions into thinking that they’re equal parts “good” and “good for you””¦Subway.
Earlier this week, I stood in a lunch time line that had stalled to a standstill. It had been a few years since I had followed Jared Fogle into his favorite food hole and I’d forgotten that the three people working the counter weren’t capable of making more than one sandwich at a time.
No, not one sandwich per counter person”¦we’re talking one sandwich per the entire frickin’ lunch shift staff.
Making matters worse, there was a little child running around and criss-crossing through the customers. He couldn’t have been more than two and his name was “Cooper”. (OK, it’s official”¦white folk can no longer talk about our names.) And, how did I know Cooper’s name, you ask?
Because on his sixth lap of the Subway seating area, the little bastard ran right into my knee”¦face first. Oh, it was beautiful. Cooper had been felled by the ACL from hell.
Then, came the blood. If I were one to regale in The Muta Scale, lil’ Cooper could’ve clinched an easy 0.8. We’re talking hardway juicing from the nose and mouth, with nary a clot to be got. His mother quickly came to his aid, knelt down and asked Cooper what any mom in that situation would’ve asked:
“Did he trip you?”
The incredulousness hadn’t even left my lips, when all of Subway stood in support of me. Young and old, Black and white, arm in arm. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit better about the world I’d brought my son into, that day. As for Cooper, he got some first aid and a cookie for his troubles”¦along with a lifelong loathing of African-Americans that will serve him well when he eventually registers Republican.
Curiously, The Goodness is Independent”¦of Entertainment!
It’s Like Showgirls on Your Stereo
So, I’m told that this is a music column. Well, just for kicks, with a show of hands, how many of you have heard of DJ Bijal? That’s DJ Bijal of Sirius Satellite Radio. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Now, how many of you have heard of Julia Bond?
Nice of y’all to use your free hands.
It seems the two are teaming up for the release of Sex Sells, described as “the first enhanced mixtape to feature porn.” Hip Hop and pornography”¦? I think I speak for fans everywhere, when I say, “together at last”. You can access the asses through your computer, as the CD will allow fans to view XXX-rated photos and videos. And, those of you sticking around (HA!) for the music, you can listen to cuts from R. Kelly (natch), Ciara and Akon.
Now, I”¦whoa, wait a minute. That Julia Bond link up there probably should have had “not work safe” next to it. To all those who’ve now been flagged by their IT departments, I apologize. For the rest of you”¦how great is that Julia Bond interview? Her and I share a hometown, she’s got a boyfriend named “Fingaz” and the words “patented condom dump” are used, in succession”¦in a sentence. Oh, Dear Lord”¦this is better than the Prison Pen Pals link I used in the Bootleg last year.
But, not by much.
The Old White Guy is Judge William Rehnquist”¦It’ll Make Sense Later
Holier than thou Hip Hop star, Mos Def is rumored to be in negotiations to co-star with Brendan Fraser in Journey to the End of the Night. The film revolves around a man, his son and their attempts to get rich quick through less than legal means. So, this is what fish in a barrel look like. I mean”¦where to begin?
How about we start with that title? I’m guessing if it could pass for the theme to everyone’s Senior Prom, it’s probably not something that’s going to have focus groups turning the knob to the right”¦indicating something they liked. (Please refrain from tasting the knob.)
And, does that say “Brendan Fraser” up there? The same Brendan Fraser who bombed out in separate stints as Bullwinkle back-up cartoon characters George of the Jungle and Dudley Do Right? Why not try for the trifecta and get him to play Mr. Peabody of Sherman & Peabody fame?
Whoops, that part’s already been cast.
Christ, they’d better hurry.
Moo-ving on to New Targets
With the recent sentencing of Lil’ Kim, I actually received a few emails asking me which lyrically-challenged C.H.U.D. would be the next to incur the running joke wrath of The Bootleg.
Have y’all ever heard of Trina? She’s basically “Lil’ Kim Lite”, right down to the abject lack of talent and the orangutan’s swollen ass-ugly boyfriend.
Well, this week she announced plans to open”¦a modeling agency. “Diamond Dolls” would serve to, and I quote, “uplift women with self-esteem issues”. And, I’m sure these hag bags have “great personalities” and are “lots of fun”! Look, Mauricio, there’s one now”¦right there!
“Is she behind the rhino?”
Oh, come on”¦it’s not like Trina isn’t giving me anything to work with. Have you read her quotes”¦?
“I have so many women coming to me for advice [on] how to be focused, how to get themselves into some form of identity as far as their career is concerned.”
Trina, if you don’t know, is a former stripper. So, I’m betting that the best advice she ever served was, “My body glitter might mess up your black shirt.” (By the by, she ain’t kidding.)
Hell, could she even spell “advice”, despite the fact that she brings her own “V” “D”?
I Thought Al Pacino Killed Her at the End of Dick Tracy?
Madonna”¦exposed? Again?! And, this time in her own book? Again?! Be’lee dat, playa. Word on the streets of London is that Madonna’s successful line of children’s books was entirely ghost-written by someone at The Kabbalah Center.
Apparently the site actually has an official ghost-writer by the name of Eitan Yardeni. And, while Madonna lent her name to each project, it was Yardeni who did all the work.
Well, I’m equal parts shocked and awed, kids. I mean, I sat through Body of Evidence and Madonna’s dialogue, alone, indicated that she knew how to converse at a kindergarten level. Are you telling me that she didn’t write her own lines there, either?
Actually, all things considered, maybe it’s best if Madonna does disassociate herself from all this. “Her” last book was called Lostsa de Casha, which sounds less like “a little story time” and more like “an Italian stereotype”.
Don’t believe me? Well, I’m told that the animated rights have already been sold stateside.
Drop ‘Em”¦They Ain’t Hot
Next weekend, m’man Snoop Dogg is scheduled to headline a charity event for the military and their families. Hawaii, take heed”¦the D-o-double G will be performing July 22 and 23 as part of Bodog Salutes the Troops. Now, I know that rap ain’t exactly everyone’s thang, but you can still get your laugh on with comedians Wanda Sykes, Colin Quinn and Paul Rodriguez.
Has there ever been an undercard celebrating more stars of short-lived television series? That’s Wanda at Large, Remote Control and A.K.A. Pablo for those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re by yourself). And, I’m as amazed as you that all three were free for the weekend.
After all, have you heard Wanda’s latest radio gig? Does Colin Quinn even comprehend that he was beaten out by this on Saturday Nights? And, I thought Shrek actually ate Paul Rodriguez?
Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself
When I say “salt n’ pepper pigtails”, I can only be talking one of two things: The first is a Waffle House favorite served with a side of grits and gravy. The second is Willie Nelson. And, in a sign of two cultures coming together, Willie’s new reggae album has created a hazy cloud of controversy.
The front cover of Countryman features a marijuana leaf over a red-and-yellow background. Wait a minute”¦”red and yellow””¦”marijuana””¦so that explains this abomination to basic cable. Anyways, Willie already has an end-around in place to sidestep the strict and stringent standards of Wal-Mart, as the pot will be replaced by”¦a palm tree.
Jesus”¦how much longer will we have to kowtow to the Confederacy clique that brings the bible-belted blue states together under one “we’re better than you” banner? Here in California, we get the same Wal-Mart commercials that you do”¦but, you guys don’t really use that place as your one-stop shop for everything do you?
Iowa”¦Indiana”¦Arkansas”¦I’m talking to you.
Anyone who can buy eggs and ammo in the same place shouldn’t concern themselves with an album cover image of a plant that can be easily explained away to their kids as “oregano”. Enjoy your matching set of high morals and higher humidity this weekend. In the meantime, I’ll be here.
conceptualized by Nick Salemi
BUCKSHOT & 9th Wonder: Chemistry
Buckshot of the Hip Hop group Black Moon has been in the game for almost a decade and a half now. Keeping track of Black Moon/Boot Camp/Duckdown Records has never been easy. I’ll spare you the history of the BCC and get right into where they are today.
The Boot Camp has seen a recent resurgence after signing a new record distribution deal and dropping Sean Price’s (the artist formerly known as Ruck of Heltah Skeltah) Monkey Barz on May 31. By resurgence, I mean they’re actually making albums again. Make no mistake though, these guys have been and always will be underground.
In a move unheard of today, 9th Wonder, one of the hottest producers in the game, decided to do an entire album with Buckshot. I thought this was a nice change of pace since everyone in the game has copied BIG’s Life After Death (and to a lesser degree and Pun’s Capital Punishment) album structure of gathering as many producers as possible to have a song that satisfies everyone.
Obviously it’s a successful formula, but it tends to make some Hip Hop albums sound like rap versions of NOW That’s What I Call Music compilations and less like cohesive albums.
9th has stated that the reasons he did the album were that he’s always been a fan of Buck and respects his work. The result is Chemistry:
1. Intro (standard stuff here)
2. Chemistry 101
Buck’s flow is still straight fire. Combined with 9W on the boards you “wonder” right off the bat why it took this long. This starts out phenomenal then all of the sudden the song ends at just over the minute and a half mark. WTF??!! This was going so well!
3. He’s Back
Fast thumping background as Buck gets his sh*t on. Production is great but, again the song ends before 2 minutes”¦making it sound like a hot mixtape freestyle. Quality material, no doubt, just a little short.
4. Now A Dayz That’s What’s Up
Not feelin’ this one that much. Two short tracks and now this so-so one…I’m starting to worry…
No need to worry. They really begin to put it together from this point on. Buck shares his thoughts on up and comin’ MCs in the game and makes it sound original. The opening few bars from this bar are sick:
Half the real n****z get the credit they out for
so respect due to my true outlaws
it aint about yours or mines
though half of these n***z through rhyme
wouldnt know how to flow in they lines
If it wasn’t for BDI In his prime
This track sounds like a classic Boot Camp jam. 9th Wonder definitely knows his history while still adding his own style and find the right way to combine both.
7. The Ghetto
Earth to producers”¦this is how to effectively use a sample on a hook and make it still sound original.
8. Food For Thought
Insanity. Easily one of the album’s highlights. 9th does his best impression of Premier here and I gotta say he does it just as good, if not better. Check the vocal samples at the beginning and after each verse. He lets you know it’s out of respect by putting a Guru line at the end of the scratches. Buckshot kills his verses, as expected.
9. No Comparison
This leaked awhile back but it doesn’t make it any less crazy. This track has had me waiting for months for the collabo album. Buck’s flow here has the ability to make even the simplest rhymes sound good. 9th’s string samples sound like they were transported straight from the golden era.
10. Birdz Fly the Coup feat. Phonte & Keisha Shontelle
Another amazing re-creation of that mid 90-s sound without sounding outdated. More of a laid back beat than you’re probably used to from 9th. WARNING! There’s an R&B hook, but it doesn’t take over the entire song.
11. U Wonderin’ feat. Big Pooh and Sean Price
Another hit with the horns and a drum beat which was used by Jermaine Dupri of all people on a song with Snoop years ago. 9th flips it in his own way of course and Sean P’s guest verse is on point.
12. Out of Town feat Legacy & Joe Scudda
Kind of an off beat joint that is a pretty much a storytelling song about hitting up out of town clubs and bars and the like . The back and forth from the three MCs works well.
13. I Don’t Know Why feat Keisha Shontelle
Another R&B hook? Don’t worry, give it a second. 9th’s production really shines here but Buck more than holds his own lyrically and flow-wise and rises to the occasion. Unlike most MCs, he sounds like he believes in what he’s saying here.
14. Money Makes the World Go Round feat Starang Wondah
The close out track featuring fellow Boot Camp/OGC member Starang, is a decent ending to the album.
All in all, it’s a great album. I haven’t heard it enough yet to properly put it in context but it definitely ranks up there on the short list of quality Hip Hop albums of 2005. Much like Kayne’s resurrection of Common earlier this year, 9th Wonder has managed to breathe new life into Buckshot. With the Sean Price’s Monkey Barz and Chemistry, the Boot Camp is back for sure.
Hopefully we’ll keep getting more of this kind music for the rest of the year.
General Haberdashery”¦Some Posting Guidelines Edition
A few days ago, our very own Matthew Michael posted the following message inside our He-Man Woman Haters Club known as the Super-Secret Staff Forums:
” Teasers should be written in sentence form, with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized, and should ALL end in either “…” “?” or “!”
(plus they shouldn’t be paragraph-length! they’re TEASERS, meant to TEASE a reader so the (sic) click through and read the whole column)
I thought I’d try MM’s suggested approached here in The Haberdashery, with 10 words or less to “TEASE a reader so they click through and read the whole column:
Mathan’s column includes a free trip to The Cheesecake Factory!
Fernandez has a topless shot that I ran last year!
Gloomchen’s in Minnesota”¦the locals marvel at her rich tan.
Shawn feuds with/loves everyone on the IP staff.
KDP debates downloading with his readers”¦then fights Eric S?
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 a ton of new material, including Emmy nominations, the Fantastic Four movie review, hockey and more. Go “Reid” what Joe thinks of all these things, plus, if you hurry, you’ll see his exclusive thoughts on a certain writer on this”¦Nah, if I’m gonna get fired you’ll have to find it yourself.
A is for me.
M is TV Mathan. Me thinks I linked this same column last week, but read it again, damn it. He talks about TV shows that need to be on DVD. Plus, he opens with an admission that he was wrong! Oh, and check for his latest TV column later today, as I should be offering up my thoughts on the Smurfs vs. Oz argument.
Quite the hodgepodge of material in the ol’ inbox this week, with regards to last week’s Goodness:
Not sure what was more awesomely offensive: the “Aruba” joke or the Calvin/McDonald’s memories. Please keep your oft-rumored retirement from The Bootleg as far off as you can”¦Jered P.
You were right on the line with your shot at the missing white girl in Aruba. Everytime they put your pic on the main page and say “Aaron was fired this week”, I’m sure it’s for something you said the week before. But, don’t change”¦just take as many people down with you as you possibly can”¦Mike Y.
Eve = the monster from the front of a box of “Frankenberry” cereal? Too f*ckin’ funny. I think the next Aaron and Joe Reid tag team effort should be to cast “The Cereal Mascots Movie” Captain Crunch, The Sugar Crisp Bear, Count Chocula, Toucan Sam and Dig ‘Em the Frog. This must be done”¦Jesse R.
And, y’all can’t find a place for Nick’a Please as a regular IP feature? Come on”¦my man found a way to get Misty May in his column and came through with the funniest take on the whole Lil’ Kim nonsense (sorry, Aaron). Are you guys holdin’ the white man down over there?…David Carrera
Sorry I’m late, but I just found your Hall of Fame 100 feature over on IP Sports. Great stuff, but was there a reason you forgot to include Pedro Martinez?
Hey, whatever happened to that West Coast rap feature you were talking about a few months ago?
Do you do CD reviews anymore or are IP readers forced to subsist on a diet of “John Cena is a good rapper” crap from other members of your staff?
‘K”¦in no particular order (think the “shuffle” feature on your iPod): 1.) “I plan to follow up on that shortly.” 2.) Yes. 3.) “Ummmm”¦”
Life with the Bootleg Family
Most of you probably remember the Seinfeld episode that revolved around the speaks-for-itself silliness of “seeing the baby”. Of course, the corollary as it relates to Kid Cameron is that “the baby” has afforded us an eternal invitation to anyone’s house. If the timing is right, you can even score some vittles while your hosts are viewing the
Last weekend, we accepted the invite of another couple. They’re a married pair, but have no kids together, yet. And, that, right there should’ve been Red Flag #1.
Y’see, in our house, everything is baby-proofed. All the open outlets are plugged with plastic. The tables and fireplace edges are trimmed with a pliable padding. And baby gates keep our kid from climbing into kitchen cabinets or ascending the stairs to who-knows-where.
At their house, I spent most of the time keeping Jalen from tipping over rickety tables, rocking upright halogen lamps and eating their dog’s food. All of which he accomplished within twenty minutes of our arrival. And, where was Mrs. Bootleg throughout all this? She’d run to the store with her girlfriend for a missing ingredient (five minutes away), then took the scenic route back to “look at all the nice homes in the neighborhood” (45 minutes back).
Red Flag #2 was the air conditioning”¦or lack thereof. We’ve had what passes for a heat wave out here this week. The humidity stays comfortable, but the temperature got to about 85. (Sure beats Buffalo, I know.) But, try and imagine the oven preheating the house at 400 and the sliding glass door to the balcony closed so the smoke from the grill doesn’t seep inside.
Ever been in a two-bedroom sauna?
Of course, everyone has to pretend that is 68 and sublime. At the end of the night, the goodbye hugs are moist and momentary, but a good time was had by all. So, riddle me this: Is it better to entertain guests at your home so that all the accoutrements are acceptable and always familiar? Or do you prefer to be entertained at someone else’s house, so you can dictate when you’ve had enough of ’em and go home?
These are the things I think.
As you read this, I’m off to the Bay Area for my last wife-free weekend of the year. Look for all the debauchery in next week’s Bootleg! Get at me on AIM or Yahoo IM at ajcameron13.