The Friday Music News Bootleg

But, Before We Begin…

Aaron: “Can you believe that the lead story on the local news is about a panda giving birth?”

Mrs. Bootleg: “Why does it always seem like she’s pregnant?”

Aaron: “Well, she is half-…”

…you know what, let’s not even finish that. Somehow, it seemed funnier when I said it out loud a few days ago.

Welcome back to The Bootleg. The Ultimate Bootleg Weekend is approaching and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t experiencing some anxiety. Y’see, as you read this, I’ll be flying up to Sacramento in order to bring a car back to San Diego.

No wife, no kid…just me and the open road…well, for eight or nine hours anyway.

So, while I catch up on some sleep, here are a few random pictures from The Bootleg Family Album. Your usual dose of Goodness follows immediately below:

Me on our honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. Note the traditional ‘Black man doesn’t smile’ pose.

My head is very large and nearly eclipses my 4’8″ 98 pound wife.

This is our cat “Whiskers”. He lost his nose to cancer last year and the surgery cost about the same as our mortgage. The cat is 15. Fifteen.

Funny, I look a lot balder from here and I’m wearing blue underwear. Gay!

Didn’t I already use the Goodness tagline this week…?

“Week”? More Like “Weak”! (I’ve Got Nothing to Work With Here!)

More than 10 years after his last hit album and more than 9 ½ years after anyone admitted to owning a copy of it, the career of aging G-Funk king and random panhandler, Warren G. was posthumously honored in his hometown of Long Beach, California.

The city’s mayor, Beverly O’Neill, declared August 1-6 to be (and I am not making this up) “Warren G. Week” throughout the LBC.

Warren G?! Hell, I’m from Long Beach, I’m Black and I’m just as broke as G must be…where’s my week? Or is this all part of some “local celebrities on government assistance” celebration? Can Wesley T. Owens Week be too far behind? Oh, come on…this kid:

From Mr. Belvedere. He went to my high school, y’know.

Anyways, Warren is being honored for his court-ordered community service “humanitarian activities”, such as his recent donation of 500 pairs of glasses to needy and, I assume, nearsighted kids. In addition, his annual “G. Christmas” is a Toys R Us shopping spree for dozens of younguns who would otherwise go without.

And, my, how heartwarming it is to know that hundreds of kids in the hood will now be able to see…the guy that jacks their new Game Boy at gunpoint.

This Horse Ain’t Dead, but it’s Still on Life Support

Admittedly, it’s been a rough week for Baltimore Oriole star Rafael Palmeiro. But, no matter how bad it gets, he’ll still only be this nation’s number two-ranked potential perjurer. Topping the charts for the sixth straight week is convicted federal court liar n’ collagen-lipped lyricist, Lil’ Kim. On September 13, Kim drops her fourth album, The Naked Truth.

“Naked”. Get it? See, it’s a play on words.

And, won’t we be shocked to find that the cover art will play off the pun and feature Kim in a provocative pose barely dressed, dripping wet, eating clams…whoops, that’s actually the shower scene from Kim’s upcoming 366 day stay in prison.

“Clams”. Get it? See, it’s a play on words.

Anyways, her new LP is generating a whole bunch of buzz, mostly for the shots she fires at a who’s who of hoes (Foxy Brown, Star Jones), has-beens (Junior M.A.F.I.A.) and half-dollars (50 Cent). It’s nothing you haven’t heard before: Fiddy’s a bitch, Junior M.A.F.I.A. are snitches, and Foxy Brown, well…take it, Kim:

“I’m not gonna come at you, I’m gonna come at your ghost writer.”

Ahh, so Kim is now claiming all the credit for sh*t like this (from The Game’s in Trouble):

“The government tried to put me through it/
But I’m back to style on y’all like Martha Stewart

Well, excuse me, Olivia Overconfident, but maybe you shouldn’t have been “writing” songs before the beginning of your trial. From here, it looks like the government did “put you through it”. I’m guessing they had to grease you up good to get you all the way through, though.

Thanks for supplying your own.

Hollywood Homicide…Who Knew How Appropriate that Title Would Be

The Ford Motor Company has terminated a partnership with Eminem, citing the profane title and lyrics of Em’s latest single, Ass Like That. Reports are that Ford initially agreed to the deal, hoping to increase the visibility of their new Fusion line of vehicles.

However, the American automotive autocracy got cold feet once they discovered that Em planned to use the ride in his video for the aforementioned Ass Like That single. In a statement, a Ford spokesperson said:

“It was just that the song was over the top. It just wasn’t Ford.”

The video is, ironically enough, absolute ass in its own right. And, Lord knows that the Ford brand name would never be associated anything that might hurt its image.

Isn’t this the same company that shamelessly markets Mustangs to middle-aged men mired in a mid-life crisis? And, there’s nothing sadder that seeing these suckers, with their salt-and-pepper hairpiece and inappropriate earrings driving all around town with their top down.

Hey, wait a minute…middle-aged…hairpieces…earrings…if we add 88 lbs. of half-his-age waif, we just might land the new Ford spokesman.

…And, “Lennox” is a Girl’s Name!

Late last month, during a concert at the Manchester Apollo in England, Dr. Dre protégé, The Game had a minor confrontation with a heckling fan. The fan (allegedly) loudly declared his loyalties to The Game’s archenemies, 50 Cent and G-Unit throughout most of Game’s set (match).

In response, the rapper spit in the kid’s face and challenged him to get up on stage and catch a beatdown. To the surprise of onlookers, the fan actually attempted to answer Game’s challenge before security tackled him and threw him out of the venue.

“Nigel vs. the Negro”? Well, you know who my money is on.

I mean, is it just me or does anyone else have a hard time bringing together the words “British” and “Bad Ass”? OK, OK…my frame of reference isn’t exactly all-encompassing. I did date an English gal for a few months, and the, um…”bangers and mash” was moist and delicious…ah, but that’s an unfunny euphemism for another time. Today, I’m here to talk about Dangermouse.

In the ’80s, we grew up on Optimus Prime and Alpine representing truth, justice and the American way. Meanwhile, the UK rallied around a rodent. A white (strike one) mouse in a unitard (strike two) who fought crime with a high-strung hermaphrodite-slash-hamster (high and inside). Yeah, I said it.

I don’t care if they did save our asses in World War III.

How Much for One Rib and a Medium Dave?

For the low, low price of $1,000, you can have the opportunity to meet senile and strung-out septuagenarian Ozzy Osbourne. But, you’d better hurry, because only ten fans will qualify to purchase this one-time-only Ozzfest Fun Pack!

It includes a meeting with Ozzy, an Ozzy-signed crew member T-shirt, VIP seats next to the main stage and the chance to dine with Ozzfest emcee “Big Dave” at a dinner for the crew. The $1,000 fee is being donated to Sharon Osbourne’s Colon Cancer Program.

So, let’s recap: for one thousand dollars, you might get to meet Ozzy Osbourne, with a shirt and two show seats thrown in. But, even if you win, you’re only buying yourself “a chance” to eat with…”Big Dave”.

Hold on…$1000 and Big Dave isn’t definitely included? Gloomchen…Wednesday Metal Guy…help me out on this one: Is Big Dave really a star or, like his name indicates, is he the guy who stamps your hand as you come into a bar? Well, the money is for a good cause, I guess. Tell you what…if someone out there can set me up with a PayPal account, I’ll start accepting donations for the $1,000 entry fee. All I ask is that you hurry.

I can only accept your gifts for 72 hours, then I have to return the tin can to its rightful owner.

Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself

Well, it’s taken more than 10 years, but we think P. Diddy might’ve finally found a feud in which we’ll all take his side. Dateline: Miami…just past the Cuban Sandwich stand (no, not that one… the one next to it) and a short drive down ESL Lane lies an exclusive neighborhood where celebrities enjoy bocce by day and nuclear explosions by night.

Of course, I exaggerate…as there’s only one select celebrity who can set the sky on fire just for fun. Last month, Diddy threw a fireworks show in his backyard.

Excessive? Self-indulgent? Well, next door neighbor Rosie O’Donnell sure thought so. And, look…she had time to post a message about the noise on her website (who knew unemployment had such family-friendly hours?):

” Sometime around 10, P. Diddy, my neighbor here in Miami had a firework show right in his backyard. How fun, I had four crying kids and a puppy who peed himself whimpering in terror. It sounded like a war zone. Downtown Baghdad, a subway in London, a hotel in Egypt and on and on.”

OK, did she just compare a fireworks show to deadly terrorist attacks? Way to win over those red states, Rosie. As if the whole “single lesbian mother of four” thing would ever elicit a shred of sympathy from anyone present on your peninsula not named Paula Poundstone.

Alliteration: 1, A Lotta Rosie: 0

Nick’a Please
conceptualized by Nick Salemi

Check out some Classic Nick’a this week as my boy takes you through the making of the mixtape. If you missed it the first time, this was a five-part series that ran last year and brought in a whole mess of mail. The idea has been aped a few times since, so accept no imitations:

I have been a fan of hip-hop as long as I can remember. During that time, I have equally been a fan of making mixtapes, or in 2004, mix-CDs. (I know it doesn’t have the same ring.) A little over a year ago, fed up with the crap that was currently passing for hip-hop, I set out to make a comprehensive mix of songs from my favorite era, which was around 1994-95 (give or take a song or two).

This is what I deemed to be the best in East Coast hip-hop during that time. (The West had their own mix, too, although much of it was Death Row or Death Row affiliated.)

Long-time readers of the Bootleg might remember AJC shilling it for me a year ago before Nicka Please was “official” and I just appeared sporadically. I’ve moved several copies since then and even today people still ask me for it.

To make this collection of almost 80 songs, I went back through all my CDs and old tapes that I made with the intention to pull off the best of the best. With a couple of additions and subtractions and a Redux edition over the past year, I think I’ve finally got it right.

Since it is quite a bit of material to cover, I am going to go through each of the four CDs separately for the next few weeks to try and capture the feel of what was going on in East Coast hip-hop during that time. (And if any of you stick around after a few weeks, I’m working on a 5th disc, let me know if you think I left anything off.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Mixtape ReLoaded Volume 1, Disc 1:

1. Wu Tang Clan, C.R.E.A.M.
Maybe the Wu’s best song off of an unquestionably classic album. Yeah, I know the album came out a little earlier but it (this track specifically) started to really catch fire in 94. Method Man, Raekwon and Inspektah Deck spit lyrics so memorable, that multiple samples of it spawned separate songs over the years.

2. Jeru the Damaja, Come Clean
More classic goodness. Jeru was laced with one of DJ Premier of Gangstarr’s most innovative beats ever. The unforgettable Onyx sample : “Uh-oh /heads up/ cause we droppin’ some sh*t” and bizarre pipe-banging-like beat definitely caught your ear. Jeru’s fierce lyricism made his case that the Sun Rises in the East, as his album title boasted, and definitely went against the mainstream hip-hop of the time (G-Funk era anyone?).

3. Nas, The World Is Yours
One of the singles off what many consider to be the greatest hip-hop album of all time. You could make a song for almost every song on Nas’ Illmatic, but this definitely stands out. Pete Rock’s piano loops and drums come hard like always and combined with Nasty Nas’ vocals is pure gold.

I’m out for presidents to represent me- Say what?
I’m out for presidents to represent me- Say what
I’m out for dead presidents to represent me.

Hell, Jay Z made his debut with a sample of that and we all know how that turned out.

4. Notorious B.I.G., Juicy
Christopher Wallace’s first big crossover hit. An undeniable anthem for any hip-hop fan. To put it in the proper perspective, when kids like me were chanting:..“Super Nintendo/ Sega Genesis/ when I was dead broke man I couldn’t picture this”…while playing Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, you know you’ve got a huge crossover hit on your hands.

5. Black Moon, How Many MCs?
Without question they are one of the forgotten staples of the East Coast’s mid-90s resurgence. Buckshot gets no love these days but has always been a favorite of mine. What the hell am I supposed to do with all of these left over vinyl singles? Anyway, the signature Bootcamp/Beatminerz sound definitely is in its’ full glory here. It’s one of the tracks that can actually be found on their Enta Tha Stage album as opposed to the gaggle of remixes and extra tracks they dropped around that time (which you’ll be seeing more of on the other three discs).

6. Gangstarr- Mass Appeal
Guru and Premier have that magic together and Mass Appeal is one of Gangstarr’s greatest tracks of all time. Tell em’ Guru…

I represent set up sh*t like a tent boy
You’re paranoid cause you’re a son like Elroy
And you’d be happy as hell to get a record deal
Maybe your soul you’d sell to have mass appeal

Well, it’s nice to hear a hip hop artist denounce commercial rap 10 years ago, still make true non-commercial hip hop since then, and still be relevant.

7. Raekwon, Incarcerated Scarfaces
I can’t believe I made it 5 songs before another Wu track appeared. This was Raekwon’s solo track from Only Built For Cuban Linx, and without any assistance from Ghostface or any other Clan members and holds he it down just fine. The beat on this one is insane. Countless MCs have tried to make their mark with freestyles over this now famous beat over the years since it came out. None of them bring it like the Chef did.

8. AZ, Sugar Hill
Remember AZ, who first debuted on Nas’ Illmatic? His first CD had this banger as its lead single, establishing him as one of the lyricists of his time when he debuted. The R&B hook takes nothing away from the song as this was before that combo of rap/R&B that’s watered down with endless, lame radio-friendly R&B/rap combinations

9. Mad Skillz, The Nod Factor
Back in 95, the little known Mad Skillz of VA (now just Skillz) was all over mixtapes with The Nod Factor, and he ripped the mic with a flow and punchlines as good as anyone from that time. I’d say it’s so good that even today, it could be released as a single and still be relevant. And due to the amount of heads that slept on him 10 years ago, I bet those not in the know wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if they heard it on the radio tomorrow.

10. Das EFX, Microphone Master
Microphone Master was one of the singles off of Das’ third (and very good) album Hold it Down. This album came after the split up of the Hit Squad (who, you ask?) crew that included (in addition to Das) Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith of EPMD and Redman. Erick and Red went one way, (Def Squad), Parrish and Das the other. [this song was eventually remixed and featured Mobb Deep, who were also feuding with the Def Squad at the time]

Oh yeah, the song itself…I always loved the line:

These 20 MCs/ please I never heard of some
We need to murder some like Colin Ferguson

11. Ill and Al Scratch, Where My Homiez?
Where my homiez?/ Creepin’ through the hood!
Where my homiez?/ Up to no good!

This catchy hook chanted by heads in 94 was created by the duo known as Ill and Al Scratch. Who? Ill and Al Scratch, the hip-hop duo that had it on lock for a minute, but then lost the keys. The chorus and “Come around my way” part is what everyone remembers, but I always thought the first two bars were the hottest part about it.

From the fiery pits of hell it’s the rap rebel
10 years underground sub-level with the devil

12. Redman, Can’t Wait
Reggie Noble has been my favorite of mine for years. This was about the least bizarre song off Redman’s 2nd CD Dare Iz a Darkside, but it still works for me. Red went off on a strange place for this album but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t some of his best work. Can’t Wait has some of Red’s funniest and tightest lines (waste n*ggas like toxic / wet like goulashes) He definitely spent a lot of time watching TV and movies as his pop references range from 21 Jump Street to 90210 to Charlie’s Angels to the Terminator to Star Wars. I wonder if he ever thought he’d have his own sitcom.

13. Lost Boyz, Jeeps, Lex Coups, Beamaz & Benz
The Lost Boyz were also one of the main cats that brought fire back to the East Coast during this time. Frustratingly, they had label problems and didn’t drop an album for about a year after they debuted. So in turn, much like Black Moon, if you wanted to get their songs it was maxi-tape singles and vinyl. This is my all-time favorite song from the LB Fam from another of my favorite hip-hop acts of the mid-90s.

14. Masta Ace, The INC Ride
Pretty smoothed out for an East Coast beat. Even though Masta Ace goes through a laundry list of cars in the song that you should play the INC Ride in, I’m not sure he had me in mind in 1995 in my ’89 Jeep Cherokee bumpin’ to this track When listening, keep this line in mind…

Punks be all up on it like a Charlotte Hornet
but they full of Chicago Bull-sh*t cause they don’t want it

15. Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Brooklyn Zoo
This was before he became the cartoon caricature of himself that is now, when he was just considered a “regular” nutball. Some heads were surprised when ODB was the 2nd Clan member to drop a solo joint after Enter the 36 Chambers (with Meth being the first) but this is easily my favorite solo track from Russell Jones. Way before he announced Baby I Got Your Money or was a Ghetto (pop) Superstar he came the rawest he ever did on this track. I even liked the clean version because only ODB could make it better by coming up with a nonsensical noise instead of a curse:

Without a doubt I never been tooken [sic] out
by a NUH who couldn’t figga
Yo by a NUH who couldn’t figga…etc

16. Junior MAFIA, Player’s Anthem
Biggie was so hot in 95, he was one of the first to have had a offshoot group of his less talented friends, which we all know included two Lils’, Kim and Cease. At one point in the Summer of 1995, you couldn’t turn on NYC’s Hot 97 and not hear this song or One More Chance. This particular version is the remix that was released as a single. It has a little more of a jazzed up background beat than the version on the Junior MAFIA album Conspiracy. Trust me, this version was quite hard to find for awhile 9 years later, even with the advent of music downloading.

17. Onyx, Last Dayz
Onyx was MIA for a couple of years after their huge breakout album Bacdafucup. This song finds Onyx speaking on the hopelessness of America’s inner cities. This was quite a detour from Slam and Throw Ya Gunz on their first album. Not surprisingly, it didn’t sell as well. Either way, the hook is on point and the haunting beat and vocal sample make this one of their better songs that you might have forgotten.

18. Fugees, Nappy Heads Remix
Contrary to popular belief, Lauryn Hill’s cover of Killing Me Softly was not the first song from the Fugees. (How that qualifies as a hip-hop song still baffles me. Wyclef saying “One time…two time”?..Nicka please!) The Score wasn’t even their first album. The Fugees really hit the hip-hop scene with this track. The beat on this one is beyond hot and don’t be surprised if you hear Diddy jack it for one of his generic R&B crooners sometime soon. I can’t believe he’s waited this long.

Catch up with the final four parts of Nick’s series and enjoy some encore Goodness while you’re at it…

Disc Two :: Disc Three :: Disc Four :: Disc Five

General Haberdashery…Almost our One-Year Anniversary Edition

Sometime next week (the 9th, I think) Inside Pulse will celebrate 365 days of bringing you the best of pop culture pap. Yeah, it’s the 9th, I’m pretty sure of that. Anyways, let’s hop in the wayback machine and celebrate with the music writers who debuted that week with, what else, their IP debut columns!

Fernandez has the untold (well, since then, anyway…) story of how he, Mathan and me came to be at IP. This is actually the lost column that was considered too hot for 411. And, for you fans of middle-aged men, it’s also got a guest appearance from Eric “That doll is EVIL, I tells ya. Evil! Eeeeeeviillll!!!” Szulczewski.

Mathan dropped his “Secret Origin Issue” with his first IP outing. Find out how Math became the music-loving militant that you people write to me about because you’re afraid he’ll kill you, or something. And, if you ever wondered who that Black guy you once saw in Iowa was…well, wonder no more. It was him.

Gloomchen has come a long way since last August. Check out this classic as she talks about a song and how it affected her. Hmm, not much of a sell job. ‘K, how ’bout this: the song is Mr. Roboto! Ah, to hell with you hard-to-please people. Fine…in the second paragraph she talks about her former roommate’s sexual activities with minors. There, I knew that would get you over there.

In Memoriam: J.J. Botter (Mondays), Blottie & D’Errico (Wednesdays), Trevor Presiloski (Sundays)

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. Freed from the editorial imprisonment of his Australian oppressor (his words, not mine) Joe is now able to really speak his mind. You know those rasslin’ shoot interviews that sites like ours pretty much recap in their entirety, thus giving you no real reason to invest any time and energy in watching it? Well, Joe is only something like that!

Dig his discussions on the R. Kelly serial Closet videos, TV’s Big Brother and Laguna Beach and the newest and greatest edition to the cast of Lost. “Teets!”

A is for me.

M is TV Mathan. He’s throws his hat into the late-night TV ring, as he stumps for Conan O’Brien’s job in 2009. While I wonder who’d play Mathan in HBO’s The Late Shift 2. Math also has inexplicable praise for the “Epilogue” episode of Justice League Unlimited, which I hated, hated, hated. And, it’s still not too late to vote in his “Good News/Bad News Question of the Week”…unless you’re reading this anytime after the sun comes up on Friday morning.

Junk Mail

Mailbag was nice n’ full this week, with your comments on my drinking problem, Kerry Washington, Nick’s Wu-Tang piece and the end of J.A.M:

Much love on your pathetically hilarious take on your liver’s heel turn up in Frisco. Although, to your credit, I don’t know who could survive a dozen drinks and manage to board an airplane to fly home the next morning. Is it safe to say that the reason you left out Mrs. Bootleg’s reaction is because she’s still not talking to you? Keep up the goodness…Marc S.

Heh. Actually, Mrs. & Kid Cameron were at a baby shower, so that got me about three hours on the living room floor in the fetal position before she came home. By, then I had sweated out most of the booze, forming a rotgut-reeking reverse chalk outline of myself laying next to the love seat. Two weeks later and it’s still moist to the touch. Eww.

===

Beer and Jack Daniels f*cked you up? Dude…I smell p*ssy…Chris

OK, while I define “self-deprecation” to ol’ Chris, won’t you join me in commending him for breaking out the fifteen-year-old House Party quote? And, yes, it’s fine for me to mock someone else’s obscure reference.

===

AJC…I loved the long-overdue shot at Kerry Washington and her role in Fantastic Four. I guess you had to get it in while you can, since we all know that the shelf life of the Black actress is about one or two feature films. Thandie Newton, Sanaa Lathan, hell even “Lisa” from Saved by the Bell got to be in Def Jam’s How to be a Player, before falling off the face of the earth. They need a telethon…Jessie C.

I have the greatest readers of anyone at Inside Pulse.

===

Nice piece on The Wu by your boy Nick. He knows his sh*t and it’s nice to have SOMEBODY on your site actually talk about Hip Hop who’s actually listens to it. Tell him to keep it coming, maybe with the five worst Wu solo joints or their best soundtrack or mixtape cuts. Gregg A…

===

So, when are Mathan and Nick gonna tag team on some Hip Hop columns? That was some insightful stuff on the The Wu that Nick did. (An “insightful” list? Yep.) I wish IP covered it more as it seems y’all think that nickel and dime no-name bands who still live with their parents are worth covering, while established rappers get about 500 words from Math and Nick, combined, each week. Get them together, then get the hell outta their way. Love the Bootleg, though…Unsigned

You know I do talk about Hip Hop in The Bootleg. And, besides, as a member of IP, I’m obligated to toe the party line that “indie” (or is it “indy”?) bands are the only ones putting out…wait, where’s my script: “Real music for real people”. And, remember…you’re not “real” unless you’re performing in front of 43 people or less.

Well, I know one person that that number seemed to work for.

===

I’m gonna miss “That Movie Guy” and the whole J.A.M. mutual admiration society. Mostly because I got most of your Oz and Simpsons references. I’m also proud to say that I’ve found dozens of hidden shots over the years that you guys have taken at each other and other writers on your respective sites. Call it subversive sarcasm, I guess, but (last week’s) line about your (deleted) actually spelled out (deleted) if you took the first letter of each word.

Yes, I have WAY too much time on my hands. Viva J.A.M.!…Mike

“Hidden shots”? I have no idea what you’re talking about. And, no fair revealing those hidden shots to those who might be unaware. Let ’em get their own secret decoder rings.

You’re just days away from Version 2.0 and I’ve got the surprises that Widro won’t reveal (so I’m making them up!) Get at me on AOL or Yahoo IM at ajcameron13.

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