The Friday Music News Bootleg

Adventures in Instant Messaging

Joe Movies: Here’s my grumpy old man gripe of the week: Why come The Simpsons reruns didn’t start with the Halloween episodes until, like, yesterday?
Joe Movies: Aren’t there about 3 dozen of those to run through?
Joe Movies: And why is my house drafty? Politicians aren’t honest like they used to be. I remember when they delivered milk to you in glass bottles. Basketball teams have more colored people than usual.
That_Bootleg_Guy: (awkward silence)
Joe Movies: Oh, I’m sorry – did my “colored people” line offend the author of “jigga-BOOOOO”?

Welcome back to The Bootleg. Sorry about last week’s absence of Goodness, but as stated in this space right here, my job sent me out to the East Coast for several days. And, during my week-long sojourn, the gods of karma conspired with a little bicoastal culture shock as I experienced New England for the very first time.

Now, as I’ve mentioned before in these non-music intros that always irritate my eight editors”¦I don’t like to fly. It’s not one of those irrational fears, like Andre the Giant’s fear of snakes (although I’m told I struck several similar poses at the airport prior to my 6:30 AM flight out of San Diego on November 1).

This time it began at check-in. It seems there’s a handling fee for any excessively heavy baggage and the diminutive Indian man in front of me was clogging up the front counter by taking out one or two items at a time, then having the ONE check-in clerk working that morning weigh his bag again until it was light enough.

Once Apu was finally through (oh, come on”¦doesn’t that read better than “diminutive Indian man”?), I checked my bags and made my way to security. I’ve got about 10 minutes to make my flight and this time, it’s a middle-aged manatee in front of me who’s bending over to peel off her hot pink high heels.

Think a pregnant Peggy Bundy“¦in her 12th trimester.

Well, she must’ve felt hundreds of imaginary eyes admiring her yak-like backside, because she suddenly stood up and turned away from me”¦while the cup of Starbucks in her hand slipped from her manly grasp and fell to the floor.

And, yes, her French roast found my left foot (with my shoes already off) leaving my once white sock looking like it had been through three rounds of New Orleans hopscotch.

With my five newly bold n’ robust toes, I made my flight with, literally, a minute to spare. And, damned if the little Indian man from the check-in counter isn’t in front of me again. Jesus Christ, has God just run out of day players in the story of my life?

But, on the plus side, it’s not like he’s sitting next to”¦Son of a bitch!

We actually flew into Manchester, New Hampshire and arrived at about 4:45 PM local time. When we landed, the sun was just starting to set and the weather was announced on the plane as “partly sunny and 69 degrees”. Quite the November New England surprise, since apart from the “partly”, this is pretty much San Diego’s five-day forecast forever.

Ah, but not unlike the dark side of the moon, once the sun does go down, temperatures in the high 60s are nowhere to be found. Seriously, by the time I’d been through baggage claim and on the road in my rental car, the airport’s outdoor digital display read: 5:15 PM”¦49 F.

A 20 degree drop in 30 minutes? Hell, Chris O’Donnell stayed hotter longer.

Now, I know that Blair Witch references are as played out as comic bits at Chris O’Donnell’s expense, but I can’t think of any other way to describe the nighttime New Hampshire scenery. Everything is trees n’ swirling leaves, without any man-made blights like an occasional freakin’ streetlight to keep me from maiming the random wandering moose.

Of course, I got lost on my way to the hotel in Nashua, NH, as apparently the controversial and divisive “street signs” initiative failed to find 50% of the voter’s support. Just a hint, New Hampshire”¦they help.

After lingering in the hotel bar with m’man Maker’s Mark, Tuesday melted away into Wednesday. My co-workers and I spent the next 10 hours getting yelled at in an unintelligible accent by our East Coast customers, then made the 45 minute drive into”¦Boston.

Uh oh.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad. The race riots have seemingly quieted down in recent weeks (years?) and due to the success n’ popularity of the city’s decades-old “busing Blacks in” program, there were actually one or two bars where I wasn’t the only African-American on hand. No”¦wait”¦upon further review, it appears those two bars were just showing the Celtics game.

Man, those plasma screen pictures are realistic.

On, Thursday, That Bootleg Guy hooked up wif (sic) the King of CT and author of Nick’a Please, then flew outta Hartford early Friday morning. (And, a second shout-out to Nick Salemi for helping make that happen.)

The Goodness is equally all natural and now features better tasting burps.

Wholesome Family Programming From a Filthy Pirate Whore

Y’all might wanna read this before scrolling any further. Rap music’s abysmal Miami-based biiatch, Trina, made her television acting debut this week on The Black Family Channel’s newest sitcom, With Friends Like These. In it, Trina plays a former model who owns and operates her own agency, before inheriting her late aunt’s hair salon business, too.

Wow. I”¦I mean”¦where to begin?

Trina?

A former model?

How long did it take Maxim Magazine to airbrush out those ubiquitous Black woman’s baby daddy tats from her t*ts? To say nothing of her stab wounds and cheap weave. And, I’m supposed to believe that she’s working two jobs?

A character based in modern-day Miami, Florida has, in essence, become Florida Evans“¦right down to the similarly lumpy neck rolls.

Now, has anyone even heard of The Black Family Channel? For the sake of authenticity, did other, more affluent channels move down the dial when The Black Family Channel showed up? And, why can’t viewers turn the volume down on anything that they air?

From the Closet to the Goodness

In almost three years on the Bootleg beat, R. Kelly has managed, for the most part, to elude both my mocking wrath and a jury’s grasp. The first concern was fixed with news that Kelly had filed a new lawsuit last week, against Jay-Z, from incidents that occurred during 2004’s Best of Both Worlds tour.

For those who missed it, Kelly and Jay-Z joined forces in an ill-fated attempt to cash in on their individual album accolades. I’m not really sure where things fell apart, but a good place to start would be the Madison Square Garden tour stop where R. Kelly was pepper sprayed by someone from Jay-Z’s posse.

The sprayer (Tyran “Ty-Ty” Smith”¦sigh-sigh) was reportedly given a job within Jay-Z’s thick-lipped conglomerate as a reward for his actions. At least, this is R. Kelly’s claim and proof, he says, that Jay-Z and”¦ugh”¦”Ty-Ty” were in cahoots.

So, just to recap”¦R. Kelly is pissed because a foreign substance was sprayed in his face.

Hmmm”¦so that’s what it feels like to be the last person on earth to make the same joke about a particular pop culture figure long after the masses have moved on. The awkward silence”¦a collective roll of the eyes from the readers”¦

Just think of me as one more Jay Mohr.

The Super Bowl Shuffle Remix

It’s been quite the up and down week for American football fans”¦in particular, fans of the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. This past Monday, they defeated the New England Patriots after going winless against them in their last eleven hundred tries.

A few days later, it was the nadir of news that two of the Colts players had cut cameo lyrics”¦for a rap single.

Go Colts is already getting radio rotation on Indy’s Hot 96.3 FM, as linebacker Cato June and cornerback Donald Strickland spit alongside Indianapolis-based lyricist Jim-E-Mac. Now, you more experienced rappers out there probably picked up on the fact that his name rhymes with “shit-E-track”, but let’s give a brutha the benefit of the doubt and see if these Colts can come with it:

“Not yet the greatest, but I’m the latest/The crowd goes crazy cuz I’m so tenacious.”
-Cato June

“Trey-0 roamin’ the surface/Super Bowl the purpose
Got ’em scared and nervous/leave opponents out of service.”

-Donald Strickland

To all you non-sports fans, usually we have to wait two more days to hear something this indecipherable n’ football-related.

Has anyone actually told Cato June that he’s a three touchdown underdog to “greatness”? Although, I hear that the over/under on how long it would take him to spell “tenacious” is down to ten minutes. Of course, Strickland spits equally as awful, but his abject lack of skills has been appropriately addressed.

Let’s all hope it’s the only time the word “release” ever appears alongside his name.

“¦Miss Janet if You’re Nasty Not Work Safe

Remember that scene in Swordfish where Halle Berry is sunbathing topless? It happens about 41 minutes into the movie, just so those who haven’t seen it know when to start and stop watching. Trust me, the rest of the flick is just Wolverine and Vincent Vega sans any action, dancing or adamantium.

Ah, but late last month, news broke of a real life, uh, “Halle Berry’s character in Swordfish“. And, who’s music’s most famous semi-nude sista not currently in federal prison? Who else but Janet Jackson? The paparazzi clicked these pics of her in the backyard of her suburban Atlanta home.

Now, I’ve heard an inordinate amount of ignorance following these photos around (“Dude, why do Black people sunbathe?”), so I’m here to offer up the African-American perspective for those of you who don’t know any Negroes.

Personally, I’m not sure if it’s the oddly oval tri-color boobies, the ashy booty or the size 11EEE feet, but these images don’t do it for me. The internet soft-core porn potential of a naked Janet Jackson would’ve been off the charts 10-15 years ago, but her stock completely dropped off when her right boob made its Super Bowl debut.

It was all plump n’ veiny like unprocessed rock shrimp or Don “The Rock” Muraco. And after that, the thoughts of erotic images ceased to exist.

They Funk When You Cook ‘Em

Continuing this week’s New England theme, Snoop Dogg has joined forces with a Massachusetts institution in his latest entrepreneurial endeavor. The Boston Herald is reporting that Tha D-o-double G is teaming up with the former owner of a “Joe & Nemo’s” hot dog outlet to bring “Snoop Doggs” to the overpriced n’ underprocessed meat market.

Why, yes”¦those would be Snoop Dogg-brand hot dogs. And, speaking of “why?”

“There aren’t any celebrity hot dogs out there. Imagine a long, skinny hot dog just like Snoop!”

That comment came courtesy of Snoop’s business manager. Now, in all seriousness, he does have a point. I mean, where else can one find a “long, skinny” hot dog like the one Snoop is lending his name and image to?

Well, besides pretty much everywhere.

They’re called “foot longs”, Snoop, and they’re made of the same equine ingredients that yours galloped in on. OK”¦aside from their shared surname, what exactly is the connection between Snoop Dogg and a hot dog?

Although, don’t think I can’t appreciate the irony that comes with biting a “Snoop Dogg”, instead of the other way around.

Sometimes the News Just Writes Itself

Bankrupt rapper MC Hammer announced this week that his music publishing and other copyright assets of his catalog are officially up for sale. The move is an attempt to resolve Hammer’s long-standing personal financial failings and includes shared or majority interest in some of his biggest hits. (I am not making this up.)

The sale will include 50% interest in the publishing rights for U Can’t Touch This and 90% interest for 2 Legit 2 Quit. Still to be determined is who gets custody of Hammer’s dignity.

Does the interest in U Can’t Touch This come with the bank’s address to the account of Rick James’ estate or will your half just be directly deposited after his residuals checks from the sale of Chappelle Show DVDs have cleared?

And, how can anyone pass up 90% of 2 Legit 2 Quit? By my math, that gives you more than seven and a half minutes of the track’s eight-minute hook and could include the opportunity to insert yourself into the video, alongside the images of self-parodied celebrity athletes like Deion Sanders, Jose Canseco and”¦Tim McKyer?

How the hell did he Akroyd his way into this mess of ear-splitting excess? Trust me, kids”¦back in 1991, this was the video event of the year and McKyer’s cameo was akin to Kid Kash main eventing ‘Mania. (And, I have no idea who he is.)

That was 15 years ago and I think we can all agree that anonymity doesn’t age well.

Nick’a Joe Reid Please

In the last edition of The Bootleg, the following letter ran down in the Junk Mail segment:

“Maybe this is a question better asked of Movie Joe Reid, but it’s been buggin me for a minute. Your item on Madonna’s movie career eventually got around to sh*tting on Sharon Stone. Now, I’m old enough to remember, but in 1992, after Basic Instinct, she was THE hottest thing in Hollywood, but she never capitalized. This was like Gregg Jefferies levels of hype without the payoff. What the hell happened and are their any better examples of this in Hollywood history?”

And, now, our own movie correspondent responds:

So, one of your readers was unsure as to why Sharon Stone’s career plummeted?

Because I can rent Sliver FOR him, if he wants.

Why don’t I take you on a little time travel jaunt to the early ’90s. Because in 1993, Stone followed up a ground-breaking vaginal performance in Basic Instinct with a not-so-groundbreaking glorified Skinemax movie, Sliver, which consisted of our Shar taking her top off and trembling a lot. For this, she was awarded with the now-defunct MTV Movie Award for “Most Desirable Female,” an award she accepted first by dropping the thing onstage, and then by drunkenly trying to hit on MTV’s target audience of 13-year old boys via their TV screens.

To switch things up, she then took a role as Richard Gere’s dowdy housewife, allowing Lolita Davidovich to play “the Sharon Stone role” (a/k/a, the skanky ho-bag) for all 15 of the film’s viewers…

She then went on to star in … wait for it … Last Action Hero, The Specialist, and Diabolique, a trio of films that NASA says formed a black hole of box-office between the years 1994 and 1996 …

Then, it happened. By some freakish public relations miracle, Stone wins the 1995 Golden Globe award for Best Actress for her performance in Casino, a win that wasn’t so much undeserving as it was catastrophic, because after that, she became Sharon Stone: Serious Actress …

Last Dance! Sphere! The Mighty! Gloria! Simpatico! (Sim-who-tico? Exactly.) …

The nadir? Trying to convince audiences that elfin B-movie stud Stephen Dorff was menacing in the abhorrent Cold Creek Manor, playing the “frightened mother of two.” The serious acting well had gone dry. In a sad and desperate attempt to regain her ho cred, Stone then signed on to model tattered lingerie in Halle Berry’s bad career move fever dream, Catwoman

Oh, and somewhere along the way, she almost got her husband who looked like the Sleeping With the Enemy guy eaten by a komodo dragon, got offended by Gwyneth Paltrow doing an impression of her on Saturday Night Live, and became a Drunken Awards Show staple to rival anyone this side of Elizabeth Taylor

{end scene}

General Haberdashery”¦Other New England Observations Edition

Think of these as the deleted scenes on a DVD mixed with the usual IP links. After all, it’s not like my trip to the East Coast was all work, whiskey n’ white women (sorry, Mathan) and not everything could fit into this week’s intro, anyway:

Fernandez’s new Human Guinea Pig column is quickly becoming a Bootleg favorite. This time out, he examines every energy drink on the market, with ratings, rankings n’ more. For a Red Bull disciple like me, it’s an incredibly entertaining read. By the way, the $1 Red Bull n’ vodkas served during happy hour at this dive Boston bar right next to the McDonald’s in the Nathaniel Hill area is the best booze bargain on planet earth. A good amount of good vodka n’ real Red Bull mixed together and served up in a borderline Big Gulp glass.

Mathan lists his most anticipated albums of the”¦hell, I dunno”¦the fourth quarter? The government fiscal year? It’s 10 albums he wants, that’s all I can tell ya. Speaking of adult men with knotty hair, much love to Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy for running Red Sox GM Theo Epstein out of town. If only because I got to see this pseudo-story lead every local newscast for all four days I was out there. “Breaking news out of Lowell on a tragic triple homicide in a minute”¦but, first”¦some guy quits his job.”

Shawn, M.S. has the second and third worst musical discoveries of the month, with names that include Kevin Federline, Mike Tyson and Bobby Brown. What was number one? Well, it had to be the “urban” FM stations that imitated “entertainment”, coming out of Boston and Hartford. One of ’em featured a DJ called “The Freakin’ Puerto Rican” and the other starred someone known as “Jenny Boom Boom”. And, are callers actually requesting 50 Cent songs every five minutes or was that an unlistenable coincidence?

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 kills Bill Simmons, reviews a bunch of movies I’ve never heard of, indicts a Muppet or two and that’s just what I read yesterday after not visiting Low Res. for most of”¦what? Hey, I do have a life, y’know? Ooh, which reminds me, I was sorting out my expired coupons yesterday, when I came across one for Life Cereal that’s good thru the end of this year. 35 cents off. Anyone want it?

Also, be sure to check out Joe over at The Film Experience. He’s got a GREAT column this week that exposes gay cowboys”¦controversy, along with details on Alec Baldwin bedding Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Val Kilmer n’ Alicia Silverstone in Who Sucks More? and a tale of the tape between Chicken Little vs. Jarhead. Quick note to Joe: just go ahead and spell out “box office” in the future, instead of using the word’s initials. Trust me on that one.

A is for me.

M is for TV Mathan. He’s entirely Lost-centric as he gives you a peak into our private forums to find out what the self-important staff thinks the latest twist n’ turn is going to be. Hey, I’m in there, too, so I can say that. Couple of things, though: I hope Math hasn’t cancelled his “Good News/Bad News” question of the week feature and when did Black folk start using “shag” as slang? Did we trade it for “jiggy” or “b-a-n-a-n-a-s”?

Junk Mail

How was Baby Bootleg’s first Halloween? Did y’all dress him up in something rightfully humiliating or are y’all waiting to scar him until he can actually remember the kind of costume he was squeezed into?

Nico S.

HAW! Actually, this was Kid Cameron’s second Halloween and yes, we went trick or treating. When two people are pushing a stroller and begging for candy on behalf of their taciturn tot, it’s little more than legalized panhandling. We should’ve shoved him in a shopping cart and peed on ourselves to complete the hungry n’ homeless motif.

===

So, I was talking to (another IP writer) online and I heard that the music zone is planning to do a Hip Hop Essentials feature? Everyone’s five favorite albums and no one can repeat artists, right? Please tell me that you and Nick are in on this. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to read (another IP writer’s) nominees, but, well”¦y’know.

Marc P.

You people are gonna get me fired. Anyways, last I heard, m’man Mathan was coordinating that particular project and if he’s involved, then you know I’m down. Group features are notoriously difficult to pull together, though, so, well”¦y’know.

===

I’m glad that someone on your site FINALLY reviewed The Minstrel Show. I really dug your review and look forward to more real Hip Hop coverage. I’m pretty sure that you’re the only one left who’s still buying anything from Mack 10, Warren G and Trina.

Alexander S.

Umm, to be fair, I’m pretty sure that one of my colleagues (Michaelangelo?) reviewed The Minstrel Show about a month before I did. And, for what it’s worth, there’s plenty of room in the reviews for every act out there. I’ve never really understood the whole “Hip Hop snob” mentality. Listen to what you like, brutha”¦as long as it’s not Trina.

===

It seems over the last few weeks, you’ve been printing possible ideas for future columns in your mail segment. If you’re actually taking requests, I’d like to suggest something along the lines of your “worst fans” feature. Something like that that we wouldn’t see on ESPN’s “Who’s #1” show or something. Most annoying sports personalities, for example. Just so you could sh*t on Stu Scott and Stephen A. Smith in print. Keep up the goodness.

Ron S.

Yeah, see, here’s the thing. I’m not sure how something like that would read from me, since I actually like Stuart Scott and Stephen A. Smith, for the most part. And, rich, loudmouthed athlete bashing is as old and tired as the middle-aged men who actually get paid to do it for a living. “Terrell Owens is a jerk.” Well, stop the presses, this just in. (Chris Berman, by the way, would be my #1 on my “most annoying” list.)

Life with the Bootleg Family

Wednesday, November 9 was the three-year anniversary for me and Mrs. Bootleg. And, if the traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper, while the second is cotton (sorry, Mathan), then the third must be the gift of indifference.

Don’t get me wrong”¦I absolutely do care about my marriage, it’s just that you wouldn’t know that from the thought I put into the actual gifts to celebrate it. Or, to be more specific”¦the gift cards. I couldn’t even be bothered to throw down three bucks for a Hallmark card, where the love and sincerity is pre-printed.

Yet, I was able to sum up the celebration of our bond by making two stops on my lunch hour, totaling ten minutes. And, at the end of the day, Mrs. Bootleg gets the gift that keeps on giving.

The gift of store credit.

Happy Anniversary, Shorty

Doesn’t it seem like I missed a day (and night) of New England explanation? I’ve got the story that I don’t want my wife to read”¦get at me on Yahoo or AOL IM: ajcameron13.

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