Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best "Safe Sex" Song Since the Invention of Safe Sex

I do not understand why this song has not won an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Have they just not cast votes yet? It is amazing.

forever indebted to Noz for getting in internet rotation. And he sums it up best:

"It’s a banger though and a fascinating record, particularly as far as the continued evolution of shock rap values are concerned. Dudes used to advocate late term coat hanger abortions in their raps, now they try and trick them into keeping babies."



a gender battle, dope hook, homey poking holes in the condom, hip-hop wave feminist.... there's no wink to the camera, just flame-on fiiiire...PLAY IT, LEARN IT, LIVE IT

Bo Deal f/ Mello G Bianca - “Safe Sex” (Brick Squad/Mixtape, 2011)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Drake Meme Power Rankings

(On Grantland we couldn't actually post the Top Ten Drake Meme images. So I'll do that here because, well, NEVER FORGET)

Now that Drake’s Take Care has been out for a couple weeks and we’ve all had some time to consider our emoooootions. It’s time to get back to real fix-the-economy business and rank the field of Drake Memes because, I don't know, because I just spent six million dollars on myself and I feel amazing?

Herewith, the top ten Drake Meme power rankings:

10. DRAKE YOU MAD BRO? It breaks my heart to see this flagrant Nicki Minaj character assassination. Just another innocent drive-by meme victim in the hood. Increase the peace! But this one is so smug and hostile and perrrrrfect, girl. Even Nicki’s probably laughing. Sometimes you just got to laugh, sprinkle some crack on the victims, and try to do better the next time.



Drake Stress Level (DSL): Mad, bro. Gonna make someone around him "catch a body like that."

9. Fancy Drake. This one will probably be put to bed soon since it comes from the Thank Me Later days. Then again, I don’t know if there’s anything more catchy on the new album, so maybe the “Oh you fancy, huh?” earworm stays in the mix. This is the one meme that's sort of a legit honor to Drake’s talent: You nailed that hook, Mr Graham. We salute you! (With a big picture of a pink WHAT IS THAT and your brooding visage grafted on a belly pocket. Dreams money can buy.)


DSL: Cool. "They say they miss the old Drake. Girl, don't tempt me."


8. Rhymin’ Drake. Like haikus, sonnets, and villanelles, Drake couplets have become their own form of poetry. And while Drake isn’t the true inventor of hashtag rap, he's the guy who gets all the credit for it, *pause* #ThomasEdison.



DSL: "It's whatever. You know. Feeling good, living better."

7. Elf Drake.

5 Things I Always Tell Daisy Lowe About Donald Glover

ON THOUGHT CATALOG

I have this recurring dream.

In the dream I turn to my model girlfriend Daisy Lowe at a Childish Gambino show and say, “See, he’s like The Throne and Lonely Island in the same dude!”

Her eyes twinkle before she grabs me, plants a kiss on my lips, and yells out like that adorable Debeers Diamond commercial, “I love this man! Yes, that’s brilliant! And it’s so sexy to deconstruct it from afar, over being, like, on stage. Seriously! We should just go home and talk more…” followed by a big slow wink and a smile.

CONTINUED...

5 Things I Always Tell Daisy Lowe About Donald Glover [Thought Catalog]


Monday, November 28, 2011

Beyonce's Sin City



The name of Beyoncé's latest video is called "Dance for You". The style of it is not so much noir, as it is noooooooooooiiiiiiir. I keep typing "Sexy Sexy Chinatown" and then deleting it. (Sorry). But I wrote notes on some of this for Grantland.

We hear about actors immersing themselves in role, but with Beyoncé that dynamic is reversed. Every premise or aesthetic conceit in her videos is subsumed by her Beyoncéness. She's an auteur. The choreography has grammar and syntax. Her hips are articulate, fluent, multilingual. It's all about the dancing.

This is how I imagine Beyoncé's creative pitch meetings going:


Excerpts from Beyoncé's Pitch Meeting:

D(irector): How about you are the President of the United States?

B: And then, what? Do you think I just like maybe in the middle of the speech start dancing and grinding until the song is finished?

*dances*

D: Well, sure…I mean, looking at it, that works. can't argue with it. and you have that song "if women are presidents" or whatever.

B: cool. you are so special to me

NEXT MEETING

D: How about you are an alien, eating the world, stomping men out.

B: And then, I don't know, maybe my tail slowly starts to come alive and...


*starts dancing*

D: hmmm… something like that makes sense. and it's a good song, this one about women being aliens who take over the earth. strong message.

B: yeah, but we have to spice it up a bit.

D: hmm

B: maybe the alien should be real sexy. and almost be like a sexy humanoid who makes the world desire her/him. oooh, it should be a her and a him!

NEXT MEETING

D: How about a recreation of Nightmare on Elm St.?

B: Am I Freddy Kreuger?

D: Yes?

NEXT MEETING

B: guys, this time i want to get back to my roots. just some good ol' fashioned sexy dancing! who's with me???

NEXT MEETING

D: how about it's in a museum and you're one of the dinosaur skeletons?

B: will I only be dressed in sexy bones?

AnyBey, you probably get the idea. Don't quote me on this, it's highly speculative.

But I almost feel self-conscious joking because the video is sooo sexy. It's like that awkward, don't-want-to-have-sex-moment. And with Beyoncé your brain is like, you should be CALLING A FRIEND and SAYING "yo, you see that, yo, OMG, oh snap, yo" high-five. Boredom is not allowed. Makes me think about Jay-Z. His [redacted] must be like "I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS KIND OF PRESSURE, WTFFFF!!"

Still, the video, and life itself, is worth it just for the melodic "swirlin' in your face." Forever hot and/or hilarious there.

She also explains the whole initiative with "this is for the time,you gave me flowers..." So I guess what I've been trying to say here is... GET YOUR LADIES SOME FLOWERS, FELLAS!

Another One: Beyonce's "Dance For You" Video [Grantland]


BONUS: if the noir thing throws you off. or if you just want to practice, here's some rehearsal footage:

Grab Your Puffies: The NBA's Coming Back


I'll round up some of our Grantland coverage here. Updates to come (I think)

The NBA Is Back, Grantland Staff
Why We Will Forget the Lockout, NBA and Social Media, Jay Caspian Kang
How the Summer Lockout changed the way we watch basketball, Hua Hsu
NBA Winners & Losers, Jonathan Abrams
It Wasn't (Just) About the Money, Charles P. Pierce
Lasting Images from the Lockout, Carles
25 Reasons We'll Miss the Lockout, Rembert Browne
Secrets of the New CBA Revealed, Ben Detrick

Previously: Nuclear Winter Reading List

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Occupy Tyler

Perhaps it’s a bit of a lowest-common-denominator hack move for me to joke that the 99% of Tyler Perry's fans have decided to Occupy his blog in protest of casting Kim Kardashian in his new film “The Marriage Counselor”. I prefer to call it an homage. Alas, the perfectly ironic frosting on what figures to be another cinematic shit sandwich is not as sweet as we’d hoped since the recent divorcée is not slated to play the title role.

Still, Tyler felt compelled to write an 830-word play defending it all. It starts with him acknowledging the comments and emails, then smash-cut to Perry in a Mexican restaurant being accosted by a cute old woman who doesn’t know how to pronounce Kardashian (KAR-DAT- CHA-NEM). She demands an explanation for the atrocity that is Kim Kar-Dat-Cha-Nem. He explains the plot of the movie to her — which, spoiler alert: a young black woman from Virginia who was raised in the church runs into relationship problems en route to fulfilling her dream of being a Marriage Counselor — and then re-reads his script (!) and realizes the youth (“ESPECIALLY THE YOUTH!!”) need to see this film. And so:

(CONTINUED ON GRANTLAND)

Occupy Tyler [Grantland]

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lighters Up: Horses Stay Poppin' on Lil Kim Beats

(via Hairpin, arbroath)

I def know my Lil Kim better than my competitive equestrian sports, but now that I know some of these horses come from bed-stuy, where horses either do or they don't die, I might stay better informed:



A chance to play Lil Kim's original

The Return of Amy Winehouse: Our Day Will Come

On the down side, this new Amy Winehouse video will totally make you miss everything you miss about her. The voice, her style, her cat eyes, her music. On the plus side, so often you get a weak song/video in this type of situation and this one strikes the perfect tone with its soft reggae remix of an old 60s song. Even though it was recorded (Salaam Remi production) in 2002, feels like it would have felt fresh dropping today or in 2012. Nice work.



 a new Amy Winehouse posthumous tribute album Lioness: Hidden Treasures drops 12/5.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Just A Friend" = the New Hip-Hop National Anthem

Everyone knows Biz Markie's classic "Just A Friend. Probably more so than the real national anthem (also a "classic").

And it's useful for commercials:



Or Late Night television where Jimmy Kimmel got it updated it for Facebook




Not to mention my interview w/ Biz a few years ago. Which if you missed it, here's that transcript again:

The Justin Bieber Mixtape Experience

Is Justin Bieber better on old school tracks like "Dwyck:



or new school, like "Otis":




I prefer old school.

Dwyck dropped in 1994, on Gang Starr's "Hard to Earn". Here's 10 more songs from 1994 with dope beats for the Biebmatic('94) Mixtape:

Who Shot Ya (Notorious BIG, Ready To Die - The Remaster)
Come Clean (Jeru, The Sun Rises in the East)
Halftime (Nas, Illmatic)
Resurrection (Common, Resurrection)
Props Over Here (The Beatnuts, The Beatnuts)
Get It Together (Beastie Boys, Ill Communication)
Cosmic Slop (Redman, Dare Iz A Darksize
Distortion to Static (The Roots, Do You Want More?!!!??!)
Let's Organize (Organized Konfusion, Stress: The Extinction Agenda)
Crumblin' Erb (Outkast, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik)
Comin' For Datazz (Gang Starr, Hard To Earn)


The only artwork that could suffice: Bie - Biebmatic

Take Care, Baby Drake


lol, at those shoes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Greenlight Bookstore Reading

Steamboat



TODAY


Thursday, November 17, 7:30 PM
Steamboat: A Literary Humor Series
Hosted by Bob Powers
Featuring Larry Doyle, Patrice Evans, Rev Jen, and Jon Friedman

On the third Thursday of every month, join comedian Bob Powers (author of Happy Cruelty Day) as he hosts the city's best humor writers for a night of wine-addled, text-based hilarity. This month's lineup includes Larry Doyle, author of Deliriously Happy and Go, Mutants!; Patrice Evans, aka "The Assimilated Negro," author of the new book Negropedia; Reverend Jen, author of the new book Elf Girl; and Jon Friedman, creator of The Rejection Show and editor of the book Rejected.

Steamboat Reading w/ TAN [Greenlight Bookstore]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Protect the Internet!

Something is rotten in Congress.

I don't know much, but many of the major blogging platforms and a lot of high-profile websites are pleading for folks to make their voices heard about possible new legislation that will allow entertainment companies to essentially censor the internet (protecting the corporations copyright over individual free speech, is what I understand to be the essence). Here's a video:

   
PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Read more:

American Censorship Day
Fred Wilson: Architecture of the Internet
BoingBoing: Stop SOPA, Save the Internet
EFF: Hollywood Finally Gets Chance to Break Internet
The legislation itself: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
Ars Technica: House makes bad internet censorship bill worse

and there's plenty more if you dig around on any of those sites. but mostly I think aggregate clicks and presence from the collective voice of the internet is needed, so spread the word. use the American Censorship Day link, or Tumblr's Protect the Net page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Lost Boys: Drake, Donald, and Hip-Hop Alpha Males

Drake and Donald Glover both dropping albums today feels a twee bit like 2007’s Kanye vs. 50 Cent drama. Take that and replace with a warmer, slimmer-fitting Sweaters vs. Corduroys storyline. This non-beef sponsored by Urban Outfitters. Or maybe it’s like a Monday Night Football game with nothing at stake: who will wheeeeee!

But there are marbles on the table here. Lots and lots of marbles. So many marbles! I mean, these are two top candidates to be hip-hop’s alpha man of the year: cover of GQ, possibly a trending topic or three, the rapper your grandma hearts best, THE WORKS. A coronation here could start a run that lasts a decade (no one outside the Roc saw Jay-Z in that light until The Blueprint, his sixth album), who knows.

The sales numbers are almost irrelevant (unless Donald goes 36 hulkshares); it’s the influence and idea of these two that matters most. In the big music picture many won’t care about Drake’s Take Care, even fewer about Camp, but everyone who sees these guys on television or in magazines will regard them as emblematic of what it is to be a young ((black)) leading man in America today. Obama's gonna needs some fresh urban signifiers for campaign season, so y'know, stakes is high for Drizz and Gambino. Presidential swagger, Barack Dap, is the best validation of art impulses this country has to offer. (True story.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Porn Stars: Good Teachers? Or the Best Teachers?





Some interesting debate last week when Sasha Grey read to 1st graders and everyone was like, "why are we allowing an anal sex scene award-winner read to our children!"

Drake Vs. Tumblr = Drake Is Tumblr

If you missed it, Drake vs. Tumblr happened. He doesn't like the silly emulating bloggers. Lots and lots of "turkeys" out there.

Needless to say, this is the beef the world has been waiting for! It's on now: Man vs. Technology! The collective hive mind vs The indomitable individual spirit. Autotune vs. AutoRe-blog. Once more unto the breach!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Culturally Biased SAT: Hip-Hop Edition

Hello and welcome to the Culturally Biased SAT: Hip-Hop Edition. This exam will help you most if you take it under as adverse conditions as possible.

1) ____ said knock you out

a. Tyrone and them
b. The Wu Tang Clan
c. Mama
d. Big Daddy Kane
e. Obama

2) Can you kick it?


a. oh, hell to the naw
b. sheeeeeiit
c. nah son!
d. yes, you can
e. knahmean?!!?!?


3) If Peter Piper picks peppers, then ____ rocks rhymes?

a. Run
b. Dun
c. Son
d. Pun
e. Hon


... CONTINUED ON THE HAIRPIN...


Culturally Biased SAT [The Hairpin]

Friday, November 04, 2011

Five Notes To Remember On Hip-Hop Concept Albums

Recently The Roots announced and previewed their next LP, undun. You may glean from the title’s lowercase styling that it’s a concept record. undun is “an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999).”

Or as Questlove says: “Undun is the story of this kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn’t born criminal. He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in Juice… he’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment… At the end of the day… isn’t that what we all do?”

Mmm, yes. I do do that. Quest recently told Spin that Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves served as undun's inspiration. So in the spirit of helpfulness, and as a fan of Prince Paul, concepts, conceits, and Consuela from Family Guy, here are some things to remember about hip-hop concept albums:

1. Prince Paul invented The Concept.
 Prince Paul (with De La) was to first to really make sophisticated ironic humor in hip hop (before that it was all “Pickin’ Boogers” Biz Markie humor... not that there’s anything unfunny about booger-pickin’ with Biz Markie). A friend of mine once argued that in the pantheon of concept albums, De La Soul is Dead is like the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. And Paul’s Prince Among Thieves is like Tommy. Your mileage may vary on that analogy, but it means SOMEONE SHOULD LET PAUL MAKE ANOTHER ALBUM.

2. Outkast perfected The Concept.
They started with a loose conceit in Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, but then raised the bar with every album after that, eventually ending up with the film musical Idlewild, which was lackluster on the screen, but had a solid soundtrack (there are maybe five artists who wouldn't take "Mighty O" and "Morris Brown" and whatever else and not be better off for it). Unfortunately, the goddamned concept albums tore them apart. Hopefully the Roots' yin and yang, Black Thought and Questlove, won’t let undun be their undoing.

3. The Concept didn’t help Kid Cudi, Lupe, and so many others.

CONTINUED ON GRANTLAND

5 Notes on Hip Hop Concept Albums [Grantland]

Also if you haven't peeped the first single: "Make My" The Roots "Make My" featuring Big K.R.I.T. by okayplayer

Thursday, November 03, 2011

When the Lights Go Out: In Search of Kris Humphries



The clip above is supposed to be sexy. And it sort of delivers sexy in the way a good looking girl in scanty clothes invariably fires up a lil something. This is Kim Kardashian sexy (in all due respect). Not as sexy as it wants to be (lacking the earthy/maternal panache of lykke/badu; though I suspect this last media cycle will leave KK sexier for the experience). In the clip I don’t know if the timing is just off by a second or two, or if it’s an accumulation of small choices, but it’s more oddly amusing than sexy.

still. killer song. one with no official video. the song I was looking for. When the lights go out. "you know what the sun's all about when the lights go out". unh. dan and pat will tell ya 'bout that.

but kris. that's all a little cryptic. and I just want to— can I put my arm around your shoulder? can I put my arm up and around your shoulder? heh. I just want to support.

now up top full disclosure I want to say: I wrote a letter to your (pending) ex earlier. Pardon me if that’s a little bros before heeeyyy of me. Just having some fun with it at the j-o, y'know. but say the word, and I'm totally not tagging anything with her name again. I got you, fam.

for now I brought some beers and thought I’d throw some bricks at the backboard to help you chillax a little bit. kidding. don't like beer. (brought that grey goose, son. holla)

When bros counsel bros, it always helps to be brief. So that’s what I’ll do.

1.) Kris, remember: It's not your fault.

2.) Kris, look at me:
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!!
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!!

I’m sorry, I know it hurts.

But the third.) thing to remember is that every championship team, NBA, fantasy, european league or otherwise needs a smash-mouth power forward. That double-double window-scraping machine. Let being someone else's bauble (and that someone else being Kim Kardashian) drive you to being sleeper fantasy draft pick of the year in 2013. [need a capper here, RAAHHHR]

Quatro: As you know, the honorable Elijah Kim Kardashian is a straight-up blue chip stock in terms of cultural currency. (She straight-up put the burner to the dome on #occupywallstreet, like get up on out of here scallywags, I got this gossip shit poppin'!) But yo, if she’s been playing smart investor with penny stocks, guess who is no longer to be slept on? You, KH (just a hard "k" sound). That means you need to start short-selling yourself ASAP. Or, I mean, stop selling yourself short. In other words: Take advantage! Write that memoir, play with Stephen on Colbert Report, drop a freestyle on BET. The world is yours for the taking (time is limited! Act now!), for the Former-Future Mr. Kim Kardashian.

5. Finally, know that the world is shallow (Our burden, not yours). And If someone hit me up on facebook right now, and was like, “Hey dude. Could use a drink. Just feeling very down and woe is me, cause my girl, Kim(she's on tv all the time), just broke up with me. Oy, you know how that goes.  Also, I play for the Brooklyn Nets. Wanna link up?” I’d be like no need to poke twice, homey!

Anyways. These are the jokes, Kris. Sorry. Keep your head up, don’t let it get you down. It's always colder in Minnesota. And as my grandmother used to say: It’ll get better before you get married.

good luck,

TAN

Heavy Soul: The Kim Kardashian Benediction

For the (former) bride, let us bow our heads in prayer:



"just my color, just my kind"

This is no op-ed, father. We know your RSS feeds only pumps news directly to our hearts.

We ask you, oh heavenly host, to lead us through these shadows. Guide us around the perimeter of our heavy, curvy soul.

We ask you, our timeless guide, to teleport us through Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Kim Kardashian, where we text our friend Kim Kardashian, talmbout: Yo, Kim Kardashian just Kim Kardashianed! Can you Kim Kardashian this shit? That’s incredibly Kim Kardashian of her. I’m about to go Kim Kardashian on everyone. Straight out of Kim Kardashian. ZOMKK!!!

And we ask you, our divine spirit, how many Trending Topics must rise to heaven’s door before we acknowledge your provenance? How many emails, posts, and tweets must flood the cubicles of our mind before we surf the wave, comfortable knowing She is no Inception. She is a blessing. She is no less a gift than Freese in the 11th. A human story no less impassioned than the legend of Michael Vick in a dog fight with Cam Newton’s potential.

 I beg of you father to lend me the strength.

 For I must confess to you, my generous giver of life that, Nay, do I watch her show, nor its variations. And nor have I seen her sex tape. Neither, my all-knowing consiglieri, have I speculated on her future betrothed, her cup of canoodlin' prospects. And nada en particular, my bilingual majesty, am I among her 10 million followers on Twitter.

Oh heavenly B-Boy above, as you know, I just clean up the bottom of the Grantland homepage and spread your hip-hop gospel as best I can. So I ask you, oh savior, for the fortitude to convey the Rapture you intend when ordaining the Jennifer Lopez of Paris Hiltons to file for divorce. Indeed, shine your light on this blog minister so that I may overstand how Kim Kardashian, your Helen of Troy of Halloween photos, encroaches on a space better used for facilitating civil revolutions in Egypt and on Wall Street.

CONTINUED ON GRANTLAND


The Kardashian Benediction [Grantland]

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

YouTube Hall of Fame: Eddie Murphy Edition

Wednesdays on Grantland we always run a "Youtube Hall of Fame" feature (last week was a good one, "worst music videos of all time"). This week it's a special Eddie Murphy package, I believe tied to the good reviews he's been getting for Tower Heist.

I submitted the "Kill the White People" sketch,  and the crossing-the-freeway scene from the movie Bowfinger. You can read what I wrote when it goes up later, but basically I said they're awesome...
 


and Bowfinger almost makes one want to go on a what's-up-with-Heather Graham goose-chase, but no, stay focused, and I think this was the last time Eddie made me snot myself in the theater.

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