The Friday Music News Bootleg

From deep inside the He-Man Woman Haters Club (b/k/a The Inside Pulse Super Secret Staff Forums)”¦

Destroyer: “So was (the Inside Pulse readers survey) worth it?”

Michaelangelo: “We learned that apparently there are more people of color writing for IP than reading IP.”

And, I’m told that’s even with “rounding up” to include”¦nah, let’s not go there.

(Quick aside: the following intro was intended to run in last week’s Bootleg”¦which, of course, never ran. What I lack in timeliness, I make up for with dated self-serving soliloquies”¦)

Welcome back to The Bootleg. In the last seven days, I’ve been to three Major League Baseball games. Two in Oakland, one in Anaheim”¦despite actually living in San Diego. (By the way, is anyone keeping track of how many consecutive weeks I’ve mentioned that I live in San Diego? With this repetitive repetition, I’m beginning to read like a Bill Simmons column.)

Anyways, my team won two of three games and the common dominator in those two contests was Oakland A’s pitcher Barry Zito. And”¦whoa, wait a minute. It sounds like everyone’s eyes are rolling in unison. You mean you don’t want to read about Zito’s near no-hitter last Friday night or his roller coaster bouts with brilliance two days ago?

Did I mention he once dated Alyssa Milano? Yeah, I know, I know”¦”who hasn’t”.

Fine, let’s start over”¦Welcome back to The Bootleg. Last weekend, Bernard Hopkins lost his middleweight boxing championship. On the undercard, Aaron Cameron lost a fight of his own”¦in the lightweight division.

After watching a weekend of near no-no’s and (almost) colossal comebacks, it was time for The Main Event”¦six rounds hours of drinking in “The City””¦San Francisco, California. Now, at some time between the words “college” and “currently”, my limit for libations lacing through my liver has dropped to alarming levels.

As we hopped from bar to bar, I never had more than two drinks at any establishment. This was a conscious effort on my part to remain lucid throughout the evening with enough kick of liquid confidence to string along the occasional single sista who”¦oh, I’m kidding.

It’s mostly white and Asian chicks on “The City” scene, kids.

Anyways, here’s an itemized drink menu of my entire evening. Try to keep the disdainful head shaking to a minimum until I finish my story:

Four 12-ounce bottles of Fat Tire Beer”¦

Four Jack-on-the-rocks cocktails”¦

Three shots of Jager”¦

Yep, that was it.

Now, I’ve had worse hangovers, but the mere fact that those spread-throughout-the-evening adult beverages even induced a hangover is a sign. But, unless it was at the bottom of my boy’s toilet sometime on Sunday morning, then I must’ve missed it entirely.

Quick Addendum: On the way home, I was making my way through security at the Oakland Airport. In front of me was a runty, but ripped white guy wearing a t-shirt that shilled some shoot fighting website, with the phrase Tapping Out is NOT an Option on the back.

He turned to check his flight information, when I realized who it was: former WWE performer, Ken Shamrock. “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” was looking somewhat less threatening in denim shorts and brown steel-toed work boots with no socks. And, where do these guys still find fanny packs at? Do they buy in bulk? Does the same out-of-date place sell pogs and stock Zubaz?

The Goodness needs to know”¦

The Association”¦of the Unattractive

The Topps Trading Card Company has announced plans to feature rapper Jay-Z in its upcoming 2005-06 Basketball sets. He’ll appear in special insert cards that include his actual autograph. On top of that, Jigga will act as the lead spokesperson for the brand in an ad campaign that’s expected to co-star Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson.

Jay-Z and A.I.? Can I assume that the slogan for the aforementioned ad campaign is: “Now in our ninth year of keeping Caucasian fans away from the NBA!”

And, thank you Latrell Sprewell.

Well, if there’s anything good that can come of this, it’s that Jay-Z’s basketball card debut means someone from the league’s top ten ugly rankings will have to drop out to make room for Jigga. Oh, come on”¦he’s too easy of a target for me to ignore.

Wasn’t the whole Kerry Washington role of “blind woman sees past The Thing’s congealed bacon fat features” in Fantastic Four based on Beyoncé?

Well, since m’man Nas pretty much retired the reference of Jay-Z looking like J.J. Evans, all I’m left with is news that there is no truth to the rumor that Mexico plans to release a second series of stamps that”¦whoa, I’m not sure that even I can get away with that one.

Hey, It’s Been Weeks Since I’ve Mentioned the Transformers

I’m still not sure that I’ve figured out Pharrell Williams. Sometimes, he seems similar to acts like Kanye West and The Roots, who would rather embrace acceptance amongst the Abercrombie and Fitch clique as non-threatening Negroes in the Wayne Brady-build.

And, at other times, it’s impossible to hate him.

Earlier this week, Pharrell confirmed that he has agreed to score and produce the soundtrack for the feature film adaptation of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. OK, OK”¦I had the same reaction as the rest of y’all. I mean it’s Voltron, for cryin’ out loud. On the ’80s cartoon series spectrum, it isn’t even in the same solar system as Transformers and G.I. Joe.

Last I checked, it ranked around #150, just ahead of this show and right behind this show. Hell, VH1 even waited until the sixth or seventh edition of I Love the ’80s Strikes Back Again 2 before even mentioning it.

Still, the movie version is getting the big budget treatment as Mark Gordon, the producer of Saving Private Ryan and The Day After Tomorrow, has been signed to produce Voltron. Let’s see”¦top star body count from Gordon’s past work: Tom Hanks dies, while Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal live.

Christ, how could anyone survive Stuck on You and Bubble Boy?

I’ll Steal Quotes from Anyone

The hedgehog that brought us Kris Kross and Lil’ Bow Wow has a new album of his own coming out later this summer. Jermaine Dupri is making the media rounds to promote (sigh) Young, Fly & Flashy Volume I, but in a recent interview with KING magazine, Dupri went back about two years in time.

Now, I bet you think I’m talking about his fashion sense”¦but, you’d be wrong.

See, it’s been twenty-two years since Miami Vice made white linen suits and wife-beaters must-wear material for a minute. Actually, Dupri goes after Chris Rock for the comedian’s opening monologue at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. At the show, Rock infamously referred to Dupri as a “4” (on a scale of 10) and stated that the wee beatmaker’s mojo with Janet Jackson was proof that anyone could’ve had her.

Dupri, in his belated rebuttal, calls Chris Rock “jealous” and claims that Rock is likely “not married to the person he wants to be married to”. OK, I read what he said, but it took him, what, 24 months? He’s got three months, five tops to retort. That’s why it’s called a quip, not a slooooope.

And, for those of you thinking that I’m filling out this news item with an overused quote from a four-year old movie just to take up space, you should know one thing: It’s actually meant to be irony and I’m proving a point.

(That oughta hold the SOBs”¦)

One Step Down from a Degree in “Communications”

The next time one of your foreign national friends mocks you for America’s unhealthy obsession with celebrities, you tell Sabu that at least our celebrities care. Hilary Duff has announced that she will no longer use confetti at her concerts. Much to my surprise, her explanation was not “because it’s, like, wicked hard to tear up all that paper into teeny-tiny pieces”.

In fact, Hilary has been applying knowledge she’s obtained from taking classes at Harvard”¦online. During an interview this week, Duff cited coursework gleaned from her environmental science class that taught her confetti cannot be recycled.

This is what they teach all those upwardly mobile Asians and Anglos in the Ivy League? Is it any wonder why Chris Nowinski went from the wrestling ring to the day shift at Dairy Queen?

Duff goes on to say that she’s learned lots about the ozone layer and waste management, as well. From Harvard?!? Geez, where are the quotes on science fairs with baking soda volcanoes or “is my brother dumber than a hamster” exhibits? This can’t be for real college credit, right?

This must be Harvard Community University, where half the students are older than the teachers, while the other half is just there “until they figure out what they want to do with their lives”.

In the meantime, can a brutha get a little more Butterfinger in his Blizzard?

How Paula Got Her Groove Back

The Fox Network will launch a formal probe into the American Idol (alleged) sex scandal involving chubby white chocolate judge, Paula Abdul and former contestant Corey Clark. The President of the (someday, all-nude) Network made his first public statements on the matter to the Television Critics Association of America, yesterday.

Peter Liquori (I’m not kidding”¦that IS his last name!) believes that the show’s credibility is “extraordinarily important” and any allegations are taken “quite seriously”. Wow”¦this doesn’t sound anything like the Fox Network that I grew up on.

Where’s all the obnoxious hooting and hollering every time Katey Sagal would drag her sag-tacular mismatched stack of cleavage around the Married”¦With Children set?

Liquori (c’mon, try saying it out loud) would go on to say that Abdul would likely not be fired, even if the network can confirm that she had one of those “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” Hot Black Bedroom relations with her much younger accuser. Eww.

But, on the plus side, I think we all know how that real-life “Stella” story played out, don’t we? You mean, you don’t read Jet Magazine? Well, then, here’s that story. Now, this sounds like Fox.

Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself

For the first time ever, Rob Zombie makes the move from mid-week Inside Pulse news columnist staple to fodder for The Goodness. And, why not?

Maybe it’s news to me, but he’s apparently joining forces with the creator of Spongebob Squarepants to bring a new adult cartoon series to the unemployed, unwashed and unshaven men and women who wear those black concert tour t-shirt with all the tour stops on the back. (“Look at all the places that Metallica went that I’ve never been to!”)

Anyways, the project should interest more than just you rebellious metalheads who still live with your mothers. The cartoon is called El Superbeasto, with the focus on an over-the-hill and overweight Mexican wrestler and his ongoing adventures in his never-ending quest for casual sex. Zombie seems pleased with the project, calling it “filthy”, while I openly wonder which Mexican wrestler the series is unintentionally based on.

I’ve narrowed it down to two: the obvious choice is La Parka. Chairman of the board and 300 pound luchador. But, don’t ignore El Bombastico. You might remember him as the south-of-the-border bad guy who was sponsored by The Springfield Investorettes.

The Springfield Investorettes.

What, you don’t watch The Simpsons? Don’t look at me like that. I haven’t lived with my mommy in 10 years.

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

The Wu Tang Clan: Top 5 Solo Chambers

The Wu Tang Clan has no doubt made an impact on Hip Hop. The nine member supergroup from Shaolin were revolutionary not only because of their original sound but the way they actually played the industry by negotiating a deal that allowed for each of the group’s nine artists to pursue their own solo deals while still being a part of the collective whole of the Wu.

This allowed them to absolutely dominate for a while but eventually led to the inevitable problems of overkill, trying to outdo each other and their own initial high standards. As a result, since the first solo album dropped, there’s been much debate about which is the best. I have my thoughts, how bout you? Please note I take this a little more seriously than your run of the mill “Methdawg36’s” Amazon “best of” list.

5.) Method Man, Tical
The first choice for a solo album was the most charismatic of the group, Method Man and I put it in 5th place. This album got inexplicably sh*t on as time went on and often called one of the worst Clan solo joints, even by Meth himself. I’ve never quite understood why. RZA’s grimy production was off the charts and people had been waiting for a minute for something to drop since the initial Enter the 36 Chambers, when this hit in November of 94.

Bring the Pain, Release Yo Delf and All I Need (albeit the original version) by themselves, warrant consideration, but the whole album from start to finish was fire. Meth became a superstar in his own right as a result of this album and went on a guest spot appearance spree like no one else in the industry soon after.

4.) Ghostface Killa, Supreme Clientele
I suspect that many have different feelings on this one and think that Supreme Clientele isn’t even the best Ghostface album. At least he’s got multiple ones to choose from. Fans make cases for at least three of the four discs he’s released. Supreme Clientele came out a good five years or so after the Wu’s peak in January of 2000. That’s one of the main reasons I think it stands out more than Ironman, which has its moments as well.

By 2000, Wu was getting to the point where they were almost written off when the RZA and Ghost came back strong with this. Standout tracks include: Apollo Kids, Wu Banger 101, Ghost Deini, Buck 50, Cherez LaGhost. This album basically made sure that most of the Wu didn’t disappear as most of them went MIA around this time. The fact that Ironman had two previously released tracks and the fact that I was never much of a fan of All That I Got is You is another reason why SC wins here.

3.) ODB, Return to the 36 Chambers

Originally released in April of 1995, much to the surprise of Wu fans as no one thought Ol Dirty would be the 2nd Clan member to drop a solo album. Russell Jones proceeded to make one of the biggest “what the f&* was that” Hip Hop albums of all time and it was an instant classic. There were no boundaries for this guy and people loved him for it (and still do).

This was the year the Wu really caught fire with the solo releases, too. Brooklyn Zoo, Raw Hide, Snakes, Damage, Cuttin Headz (I should stop before I name them all) and of course Shimmy Shimmy Ya are memorable in the classic Wu style, but Goin Down and Sweet Sugar Pie were so bizarre that you had to love them. Ol Dirty’s distinct voice and flow gave the Clan even more diversity in their sound. If you heard a track with all nine members, you knew which one Dirt was. RIP.

2.) GZA, Liquid Swords

Often regarded as the peak of the RZA’s production, Liquid Swords was yet another masterpiece. The GZA should be considered not only as the best lyricist in the group but one of the best in Hip Hop. Another Wu Tang MC with a distinctive sound and flow, The Genius came with tracks like Liquid Swords, 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin, and Investigative Reports and left little doubt of his skills. As with all the Wu solo albums, fellow Wu members show up on this but the GZA truly shines on every track here. Creative beats and insightful lyrics combined sick word flipping make the GZA’s October 1995 album an unquestionable Hip Hop classic.

1.) Raekwon, Only Built for Cuban Linx

This one edges out the GZA’s Liquid Swords by a hair for the reason that it had more songs and even more classics on it. Not often do you get the non-stop barrage of 15 straight bangers (a few skits on there) on one album. The Chef Raekwon took no prisoners with a huge assist from Ghostface here as he appeared on most of the tracks.

The problem with this disc (if you can call it that) is that it was so good that Rae was unable to ever top it. His follow up albums never quite captured the magic again. Word is he’s working on the “sequel” to this album right now for the 10 year anniversary (TEN YEARS?? WTF!!) Let’s hope he can deliver something again. As for memorable tracks? What, you haven’t heard them yet? C’mon!

Next week: More Wu? You want more on them or had enough?

General Haberdashery”¦Celebracción de Jeff Fernández Edition!

Has it really been 100 Saturdays of The Swindle Sheet? From the fun of 411 to the pulse of”¦well, Inside Pulse, Jeff has held it down from el sábado primero. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate a century’s worth of columns, than to offer up my very own Most Ridiculous Item of the Week.

I think you’ll find it “Fernan-tastic”! (Not to be confused with “Duke-tastic” or its antonym, “Duke-tastrophy””¦and unless you’re a “TV guy” those words will have no meaning to you. Hell, you might not get it even if you are a “TV guy”.)

Fernandez talks “meat” in the opening stanza. But, I don’t mean former WWE semi-star Shawn Stasiak. He then mocks Eminem, Jermaine Dupri, Lil’ Kim”¦hey, wait a minute. That’s my turf, mister. If you wanna muscle in, you gotta pay the toll to the troll. You can settle up with Nick Salemi on your way out. Thanks.

Mathan drops his best work of the year as he opens up the calendar to give you a “where he was at when”¦” some of music’s biggest and brightest stars met their maker. It’s great stuff and I should blatantly steal his idea for a future Bootleg. Whoa, this tribute to Joe Reid is getting a little too involved.

Gloomchen hates the VMAs, Good Charlotte, the state of Iowa and music reviews that are more than 100 words. But, she’ll love you if you kick in gas money for her to avoid her family reunion. She’s accepting donations at”¦whoops, stop the pledge drive. It appears she’s met her $20 goal for petrol. Does NY Slayer know he’s not getting any change back from his c-note?

Shawn gives tips on stand-up comedy and then comedically stands up to his readers on tipping. It’s the circle of life or “hakuna matata” or something. Anyways, go read ’em. He’s one of those writers that doesn’t take himself too seriously and Lord knows there are only two of us here on Inside Pulse. HAW!

KDP talks time capsules and mixtapes. The Time Capsule thing reminds me of Evocator Manes while the mixtape thing reminds me that my job has actually banned them from the office as part of their “no re-writeable CDs on site” initiative. If I wasn’t in such a comfortable rut, I’d have quit years ago.

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. After two years on the 411 Movies beat, Joe is turning out the lights on The Happy Hour. His final column makes you wonder how a certain IP editor could dismiss Joe’s skills thusly: “He only writes entertaining news columns.”

You’re goddam right he does.

I was privileged to share screen time with Joe on two of the most well-received features in Bootleg history. Last year, he and I cast the make-believe movie about the 1989 New York Yankees. This year, it was the 411/IP Draft. Oddly enough, even the people who didn’t like our collaborative work, can’t seem to stop talking about it. But, Entertaining’s Simply Our Style.

You can still find Joe right here 24/7 and in this spot each and every week, if you need a reminder in your eye to Reid Joe.

A is for me.

M is TV Mathan. OK, I’m officially the only brutha in America who hasn’t seen the new Bobby and Whitney reality show. Math says that it paints Bobby as just another “middle aged Black dude from the hood”. Well, my old man fits that description and unless there’s an empty bottle of Boonesfarm apple wine and a half-smoked pack of Kools at Bobby Brown’s feet every night, I’ll stop short of calling it truly authentic“¦

Junk Mail

Seems I struck a nerve with one of my off-the-cuff comments from two weeks ago. A few Midwestern readers represented in response to my Wal-Mart mocking of their way of life:

There’s nothing quite like a Californian bashing ANYONE. Does the phrase “land of fruits and nuts” mean anything to you? Seriously, I love the bootleg, but glass houses, Aaron, glass houses”¦Michael S.

Ah, the “everyone’s gay” argument. Always insightful and original. In fact, if you’re going to bash my state, all I ask is that you come with something I’ve never heard before”¦


At least we didn’t elect The Terminator as our governor”¦Unsigned.

Good one. That’s more like it.


Quick comments on California: Los Angeles doesn’t even have a football team anymore, San Francisco is full of f*****s, half the state is nothing but illegal aliens and The Last Action Hero is your governor. You’ve got no room to talk”¦Jim B.

And, with emails like these, I don’t need to talk, Jimbo. Thanks for proving my point.


So, I read in (last) week’s goodness that you’re considering retirement? Come on”¦who’ll give us the most non-music music column week after week? You’ve won awards, you made us care about your sad little life”¦but, on the other hand, if you do retire could you please take (name deleted) with you? That’d help me get over the loss of you that much sooner”¦Rachel

So, you want me to kill (name deleted), but you’ve got no problem with keeping Nick around after I’m gone? Women. Hey, here’s another one”¦!


I just wanted you to know that there’s at least one white girl out here who digs the Goodness. And, I know I’m the only one who “got” your reference to AKA Pablo (last) week. In case you’re wondering how a 30-year-old from Florida found you, you can thank Gloomchen. She linked you once and single-handedly doubled my trips to your website each week. Any recommendations to add a third day to my weekly reading?…Tara

Holy sh*t. Who knew that anyone actually clicked on those IP column links we include in our columns? As for recommendations, you mean to tell me that you read Gloomy, but you don’t read the Wednesday Metal Guy? For Allah’s sake, they’re the same person, except one of ’em has bigger boobs.

I’ve got all the untold stories from the Inside Pulse surveys and our upcoming August”¦ah, just get at me on AIM or Yahoo IM at ajcameron13. Shh, don’t tell Widro!