Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rules for Rhyming in Public



On behalf of this dude, and the viral video frenzy he created, I put some tips for rhyming in public up on Grantland. But definitely looking forward to everyone getting more comfortable with intense emotionally fraught karaoke sessions on public transportation

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Wanna Dress Like Mike

I had sort of noticed Michael Jordan seemed to dress not quite like a champion. But only until someone started collecting the case studies on tumblr did I grasp the hilarious weight of the problem. OMG

what can you say about the greatest basketball player to ever live wearing a two-tone chopper suit?


i was expecting the YMCA look before he became the most heavily endorsed athlete ever


he had to lose a bet with Dr. J on this, right? 


I am no fashion plate, or style guru (all the people who know me are nodding their heads right now) but this is bizarro. the only explanation is that same singular focus that led him to being the greatest baller, guides his wardrobe choices. only his closet is full of L's instead of championships, and he accepts no coaching.

and lest you think it's only hanging out with the fellas


WTF is Michael Jordan Wearing? [Tumblr]

Stocking Stuffer: The Soulquarian Box Set

Happy Holidays!

Here is your stocking stuffer for the person who has everything. They won’t have this, cause it didn’t exist until now: The Soulquarian Box Set. Put it in your phone. Put it in the cloud. Put it in your hearts and minds. Put it on Facebook (Please). Santa has decided you were extra good this year.

You probably know The Soulquarians, a dream team crew of singers, rappers, musicians, producers that formed in the late 90s and trumped every crew then and forever more. The Soulquarian Box Set is a four album-run that distinguished this collective from all the rest. The discs are all gems; critically acclaimed, commercially successful, haven’t aged a day. They were a moment — and this is a time capsule.

Before promo for their recent album Questlove reminisced with Pitchfork about this era when Neo-soul was radio-hot; Chappelle’s Show was TV-hot; a guy like Mos Def was Hollywood-hot; and The Soulquarians were the hub of a legit black cultural renaissance. Eventually it ended. And Quest recalls the feeling of handing the baton to a brash up-and-comer named Kanye West, who at the time was “Usher’s opening act” but clearly had a future!

This Box Set is the baton.

CONTINUED ON GRANTLAND 

The Soulquarian Box Set [Grantland]

Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Right Back, Working On My Craig Ferguson



i think this is my favorite flirty late show banter segment ever. make sure you peep the "kiss" towards the end. great finish!

...gotta get me one of them snake cups.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When You Said You Were Getting Your Nails Did I Was Not Expecting The Finger Apocalypse

via The Daily Beast and Hairpin, and I can only presume in cahoots with the curators at the Museum of Modern Barbershop Art, comes THE CRAZIEST EXPERIMENTS IN GETTING YOUR NAILS DID EVER:



These are my favorite. Knives for fingernails! You've got something in your eye, let me get it for you...



and for the sneaker head in your life...



"a new book, Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine, is a 232-page exploration into the underground world of nail culture." Not for everyone, but ok. cool. Might be a fun gift, or warning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are The Roots 'America's Band'? (Yes)

Pop quiz!

But with a twist: We’ll provide the multiple choice answers (a la Jeopardy) and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out the correct question.

Looks like this:

a. The Beatles 
b. The Beach Boys 
c. Nirvana 
d. Coldplay 
e. The Rolling Stones 
f. Jeez, are our music sensibilities still colonized by the Brits? 
g. The Roots 

The answer is: “g. The Roots.”

WHAT IS OUR QUESTION?

[tune of the Grantland Theme Song plays in background]

Ok. Sorry I forgot to mention the timer, but: Time’s up!

...CONTINUED ON GRANTLAND...

The Roots: America's Band [Grantland]

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Charlize Theron Pickup Lines: Guaranteed to Charm!

I saw Young Adult last week, threw some grades up on Grantland.

One of the things I liked about the film is that it encourages you to dream big. Even if you're a dork stuck in rural small town Minnesota, or "mini-apple" (as Minneapolis is referred to in the movie) it reminds you that even if you’re a dork, any given day might be the day you get off the computer, walk into a bar and bump into a psychotic but-also-awesomely-non-discerning Charlize Theron swilling whiskey by the liter, and you know, maybe have a chance.

So with that dream in mind here are a handful of  wonderful, and by wonderful I mean terrible, pickup lines to use on Charlize Theron should you run into her sometime, in character as Mavis Geary. These lines are guaranteed** to charm:

The cutesy pun move:
“Hey girl, is your name Charlize? Cause I just saw an angel.”

The cutesy pun move 2:
“Hey girl, is your name Charlize? Because you're sweeter than his chocolate factory.”

The sports fan move:
“Hey girl, I think the owners have stepped in and demanded I keep you on my team… for basketball reasons.”

The Drake move:
“Heeeeyyyyyy girl. Unh. In this bitch all the drinks are on the house like Snoopy.”

The neg move:
"Hey, were you in "Monster"? Huh. I never saw that one."

The cutesy pun move 3:
*taps mic motion* "Hey girl, is this thing Theron?"

Congratulations, Charlize Theron loves you!

(**Void where prohibited. Please do not use these lines on Charlize Theron or any Young Adult near you.)

Young Adults Report Card [Grantland]

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Who Will Star in America's Cutest Hip Hop Baby Video?

I have few words for this supernova of adorableness, except to say I may be pregnant with this two-year-old Rap Star



and also, this might be enough to get the "Who Will Be America's Cutest Hip Hop Baby Video?" competition started. I guess you have to set an age limit, and at two years old the homey above might just make the cut for the "Baby Division". (The four-year-olds might be licking their chops for his graduation though.)

On the more truly "baby" end of the field, your likely #1 contender is the Biggie Baby.



Can't front on the charm of "ok, ok, biggie is coming back...", but I think I give more points for actually rapping confidently, on beat, and unintelligibly.

I guess we'll get one more on here to make sure we got a full trend piece:



 solid effort from someone taking a nap at the start of the clip. but we'll have to view the rest of the field in competition to see where it stacks up in the final rankings. stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Mike Tyson Sings the Bossa Nova Classics!

Every time you think Mike "I want to eat your children" Tyson can no longer shock you, the 2008-2011 Renaissance Man of the Year comes up with a new chameleon transformation. And now, drumroll please, here he is singing "The Girl from Ipanema":

 

Whuuuuuut?? Well, that wasn't terrible. Think he had some autotune on it. But man, we've come a long way, baby.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Is Mac Lethal's Pancake Rap Video the Devil?

On Grantland, I dug in a little more on the latest viral sensation. The "devil" reference comes from this  scene in Broadcast News:



In defense of Mac Lethal, who comes off as a cool customer, and can't be faulted for doing 2.5M views in a couple days; I'm not hating the playa, so much as the game. As some point you gotta be like, OK, IT'S PANCAKES! Neither the tastiest or healthiest thing in the world! So there must be some voodoo at work.

I got my eyes *points to both eyes* on you, devil.

The Problem with Mac Lethal's Pancake Rap Video [Grantland]

Also related:
Problems and Non-Problems with Andover Rap Video [Grantland]

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Mac Lethal: Pancake Rap

Mac Lethal raps fast, cooks pancakes, goes viral (over a million views in approx. 24-36 hours or so! UPDATE, now 2.5M in 48 hours)



will he get a record deal? will it be hip hop or ihop? with the label Bisquick or, uh, Atlantick? TIME WILL TELL.

Hopefully there's a crew and I can get some bacon, eggs, and fresh-squeezed OJ with my freestyles too. tired of eating rappers for breakfast anyways. hollerrr

(via Gawk)

Pour Some Liquor: Patrice O'Neal

Well, I know how power works. It has worked on me, and if I didn’t know how power worked, I would be dead.”


I guess it's a little weird to lead off a nod to Patrice O'Neal with a quote from James Baldwin. Two black guys, but not exactly the same profile: Baldwin was petite, gay, a "perfumed" literary type from civil rights era racial politics. Patrice stood like 6'4 300ish (with two hefty James Baldwins for legs), and was a rudeboy standup comic from the modern white-girl-terrorism era of racial politics. Also, very much not gay.

But when he passed away Tuesday morning I found myself re-watching his clips (like everyone else) and thought of this passage on power, and some of Baldwin's essays on race, etc. I think the thing they both shared, that so many minorities who are not "traditionally" beautiful share, is a repressed(ish) inferiority complex about one's looks. Baldwin wrote often about growing up feeling ugly, and I think Patrice clearly uses the same experience, the same hurt to fuel his observational comedy. (I think of Nas retort to Jay-Z in Ether, "you seemed to be only concerned with dissing women, were you abused as a child, scared to smile, they called you ugly?)

What Patrice loved to hold court on is how race and beauty influence power, his funniest sharpest comedy consistently digs in on this relationship. And in honoring his memory, I think this is the genius we've been talking about and celebrating. He's a "comic's comic" not for his joke craftsmanship, or polish on stage, but for insights as smart and penetrating as Baldwin or any other celebrated thinker on race, gendered sexuality, interpersonal relations. He comes off raw, but in his clips and radio spots and interviews we see a savant when it comes to knowing how to use people as a medium, like clay or oils.

Watching the Charlie Sheen Roast where he goes off script, not only do we see a comic seemingly hitting his stride within the zeitgeist, but like Vick on the run, Kobe breaking off triangle, someone who's always at their best winging it on-the-fly. At 1:25 Patrice says to a black guy near the front row, "congratulations to you! look at the white woman you're with!" Ha. Do not try this at home!



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