Wednesday, February 28, 2007


To continue my absolute butchering of hip hop and hip hop's history, I'm going to take on something larger than I ever have before. Larger than the Top 20 Hip Hop Albums of All Time. Larger than all of my year-end lists combined.
I was on a trip yesterday to Denver and had the distinct opportunity of shopping one of the finer music retailers in the States. I picked up four records and two CDs without blinking and, on the trip home, I thumbed through their in-house magazine/brochure where they outlined 25 records that shook their world. During my read, it struck me that my top albums list was simply too short-changed.

As labels migrate from promoting artists to pushing singles and our business is shrunk from 30-count boxes of CDs to 2,000 ringtones, I found it only fitting to go through the same compiling and condensing, pull out all the garbage that you don't want and collapse my collection down to:


The 3's are by intention and, no, there's no theological references there for all you stupid numerologists. 3 as in "j3." How incredibly egotistical of me. It's almost embarassing. I'm working on the list right now and will begin publishing shortly after my 30th birthday--which is quickly approaching.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Just recently, MTV, America's authority on everything music, released their Top 10 Hip Hop Groups of all time. Because I got mad beef, I'm going to punch holes in their list so big you could chunk basketballs through them from 50 feet away.

Their qualifier for a "group" was that there must be more than one primary emcee in the group. Therefore, GangStarr would not qualify because it's only Guru as the emcee and Primo as the DJ. However, Nice & Smooth would qualify.


Really, dude. If you're gonna take a group to represent Houston, is there really any contesting the Geto Boys? If it weren't for the Geto Boys, UGK wouldn't even exist. They got nine records to UGK's four and Scarface, as a solo act, has eight solo records to Bun B's and Pimp C's one each. Geto Boys innovated and then UGK imitated. It's that simple. Geto Boys have a legacy that can't be matched in Houston, if not the entire South, if not the entire country.


Yeah, I'll get some flack for this one, but listen to their two proper studio records, The Cactus and Derelicts of Dialect and the Fugees can barely hold a match. I would contest that The Score was really only a half-great record and their first record, Blunted on Reality, was far short of greatness--in fact, it's hardly ever mentioned at all when you speak of the Fugees. If they're gonna allow two-album artists into the list, I'll take 3rd Bass anyday of the week, any week of the year. Oh, and Lauryn Hill was the only lyricists in the Fugees. Clef and Pras were back-up dancers.


C'mon, Salt N Pepa get in and not the Beasties? Beasties have sold more of Licensed to Ill than Salt N Pepa have sold in their entire career of all records combined. Seven platinum-plus records from the Beasties. It's not even really about sales. It's about contribution to the artform. What the Beasties did for hip hop can only be matched by names like Public Enemy, NWA and Run DMC. Now, I know Salt N Pepa's importance in breaking the gender limits of hip hop, when all is said and done, you ask anyone to word associate with Salt N Pepa, they're gonna say "Push It" or "Whatta Man." Do the same thing with the Beasties, they'll name albums. That's the difference. One of the biggest debates from MTV was do they really qualify as hip hop. If you get hung up on this, I don't know if you can intelligently speak on hip hop, honestly.


No argument here. Fine pick. Maybe a little high. I might have thrown them in as a ten, but the definitely belong on the list.

Yep, no argument here either. Their first three records are an arsenal that is simply unparalleled in hip hop.

Perfect place for the Wu. I don't think you can really just look at the Wu as what they did under the name "Wu-Tang Clan." It's the sum of all parts. Those first three years of solo records propelled the Wu to greatness. The concept of the Wu was that the members were as dangerous alone as they were as a group and it couldn't be truer.



I get Outkast, but album for album, De La takes it. I don't even think it's a contest. I know that might sound insane to some people, but De La blazed the trail that Outkast strolls down. Again, like Tribe, their first three, hell, their first four records would make De La worthy of one of the top three spots on this list, but I'm only arguing their accomplishments over Outkast. Outkast would be in easy at #11. I'll even give them #10 or #9, but being on this list with no mention of De La is nothing short of tragic.


Just give them #1, man. "Public Enemy #1!"


I'd give them a #4 spot and De La #3. I don't really have a good reason other than De La's catalog is unrivaled by the likes of NWA, but NWA's overall impact on the game was more deeply felt.


Run DMC's always taking tops on the lists and, while they were the first, I don't know if they should always be the greatest. I'd say they need to sit at #2 with PE at #1. It's like people feel they'll get shot if they don't put Run DMC at the top of every list. They were the pioneers, but it doesn't always equal an automatic bid at the top. It's #2 almost on principle.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Last night we were watching the Oscars (watching Scorsese, really) and my lovely wife began writing on my leg. I don't really know how these games begin, but I know how they end. They end with me always getting the last laugh. That's all there is to it. My wife thought it would be cute to write on my shin, "Yankees Rule," and along my ankle, "I love Derek Jeter." I went up in an emotional explosion which sent the couch flying across the living room--almost through the wall and into our bedroom. Just another wild Sunday night around the j3 house.

So, to return the favor, I grabbed a different pen (with a little more staying power behind it) and carefully crafted this piece along my lovely wife's lovely calf. Yeah, it's mad tight. B'lee dat.

I got up this morning and went through my typical morning routine--make the coffee, drink the coffee, shower, shave (optional), rinse, dress, brush teeth and leave. While I made my way to jury duty (I have those cats shaking down there--they don't want the j3 justice), my wife went to the doc for a checkup. Turns out girl didn't use enough lather and my beautiful tatt lasted at least one wash. Girl realized this when she arrived at the doc's with my masterpiece for all the world to see. Yeah, she loves me right now.

Flying to the Mile High tomorrow. On the flippity. Keep ya chin up and chest out. Unless you're a lady. Please drop the shoulders and keep the chest in. Respect y'self.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I'd like to post a correction to a feature in the Amarillo Globe-News (my source for all news that's pertinent). The feature was in an insert entitled "Amarillo Uptown" which is periodical magazine that's delivered with the Sunday news. This morning, they had a section called "Retro Rewind" which recalled some trends and news from past decades. Today's feature, they went way back to the 80s as the article reads: "The 80s were a pivotal time in your life if..." and then below it says, "You know every word to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap and you're friends worry that you're dance repertoire still includes the 'Carlton'" and just below that, "'Hammer Pants' were a part of your wardrobe."

Firstly, "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" didn't debut until September of 1990 and, secondly, the "Carlton" didn't make its appearance on the show until December 16, 1991. Not the 80s.

And while MC Hammer did record in the 80s, his breakthrough album Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, which featured the video that would make the "Hammer Pants" popular, also released in 1990--March 13th to be exact.

Stop actin' like ya know. Do your research, chump.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Whatta bummer of a day.

Given that I take one hour (and sometimes more) to make my Forrest Gump-like powerwalks, I'm granted that time for reflection, pondering and sometimes exersion of frustrative energy. It's nice how that sometimes works out. Maybe you've noticed a difference since I've been walking. Maybe not. The longer I walk, usually, the better I feel. For that reason, I give my full endorsement to at least an hour of intense, strenuous exersion of energy daily.

Also important to listen to at least 30 minutes of jazz a day. This morning was Ornette Coleman. Dude was sick. Sick as in slick.

Anyhow, it would figure I'd be listening to Ornette today because, in reality, his music is so free-form, it's downright frustrating sometimes. There's no reason to worry for my well-being. It's just that there weren't enough footsteps in my walking today and I had a little of the ragin' fiery fury left in me. And the bowel movement didn't help like I think it would have. So here goes nothing.

I'm really tired of Anna Nicole Smith. I'm not really sure what the trial's about because, well, I tune out. Did they ever figure out who the father was? Have the finally buried her poor soul? Do I really care? Who makes this top news? Wasn't there a war going on? It's been a while since I've spoken to Clint. If it weren't for the Grammys, the music industry could've had its worst week in ages. Certainly since I've had my nose crammed up it's behind. Here's to SXSW for holding all the surprises until its too late to make any kinda plans. Nas and Ghostface will probably just have to wait until...uh...never. Oh well. It's getting warm again which means the backsweat is rearing it's ugly head again when I wear my backpack. Must make an assessment on whether or not to wear the backpack, but then again, the backpack plays a pretty integral role on the walks because it gives me resistance. If I drop the backpack, I just need to stop walking or otherwise I'll look like someone in need of a ride. The backpack says, "Nah, don't worry. I got it." I need to cut the soft drinks out of my diet again. They'll kill me softly. Cokes really clog up the pores. Someone needs to sign Chingo Bling. Someone said the other day that they haven't bought any music lately because there's nothing new out that they wanted to hear. I guess they had heard all the music that's been produced within the last eighty years and that wasn't good enough for them either. You know, there's this new band called Parliament. They're pretty tight. I don't particularly like loud people. I mean, I like loud music, I like loud clothing, I kinda even think loud dogs are cool, but I'm not really fond of loud people. No, take that back. I can stand loud, I just don't like assholes. Definitely a difference there. I went to a bar the other night to watch this kid play guitar. He was awesome, but I realized that I was there during Fat Tuesday and that's why people were wearing stupid hats and beads. Fat Tuesday is typically celebrated as the last hurrah before entering lent, but I imagine those people are going to be there this weekend too doing the same thing. I'll give up soft drinks for lent. Perfect. Dennis Johnson, the Celtic great, died today at the age of 52. That's just a serious bummer. I heard that Wal-Mart was ditching their upscale strategy and instead is focusing on global domination, oops, I mean expansion. Someone really thought that customers would come to Wal-Mart for sushi and name brand clothing? C'mon, I want the real Wal-Mart when I shop there. The depressing, exploitative, downtrodden social vacuum that is the blue and white. Sushi just masks the real sadness. In fact, sushi is a mask for itself. It's still seafood. That company really is run by nincompoops. But, remember, their heart's in the right place when it comes to music. The industry really owes Wal-Mart everything. I mean, after all, here's a place that'll sell ammo for firearms, but won't sell an explicit compact disc. They'll sell picture frames assembled by a 8-year old in Cambodia who is paid three lima beans for every fourth unit manufactured, but they won't carry the new Young Jeezy record unedited because of its violent contents and drug references. Wal-Mart--they don't cross the fine line, they invented it. I'm turning thirty in March. Crap. Does that mean my hair will fall out and I'll start saying, "dad gummit"? Oh wait, I already do that. I gotta do laundry. I gotta shave. I got jury duty on Monday morning. I kinda hope they pick me because I've always wanted to experience the judicial process. With my lovely wife working a juvenile facility and, formerly, at a maximum security prison, I doubt my chances of serving are very good.

Clint, I bought Departed today. I figured if its a quarter as good as you claim it is, it's worth the investment. Hot Buttered Soul needs a reissue. I think I'll make it happen somehow. You're on quite a streak, my friend. Dale and I sat and listened to Hot Buttered Soul last weekend and we just sat there like goofballs and sang, "Walk On By."

Alright, that's it. Go buy a record that's at least 30 years old and was not recorded by the Clash, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Beatles or Jefferson Airplane. Buy someone you never heard of. And buy it on vinyl. And if you see Buddy Miles' More Miles Per Gallon, drop twenty for it. You'll thank me.


About ten years back when labels and artists were on the same page creatively and shared a similiar vision for what the identity of the artist would be (or, rather, artists were given the space to do their thing because they could do them better than the labels could), it led to some fantastically awesome hip hop. Moreover, the packaging reflected this artistic freedom--almost a declaration of sorts--and no collective used it more to their advantage as the Wu. I remember when I first picked up Enter the 36 Chambers and how I was captured, arrested by the image of the members in ghostface masks and Wu hoodies. That image is pressed deeply in my memory and my reaction to the album without even hearing it was immediate and severe.

They did it better than anyone else. Take for instance RZA's Bobby Digital where the artwork depicts RZA as a Superfly of sorts in classic blaxploitation style. Women, guns, women holding guns, the huge Wu logo behind it all, explosions and the superfresh text treatment. And the white space helps create room for the detail to shine. Wonderfully done.

The other end of the design spectrum is the Gravediggaz first outing, Six Feet Deep. The album marked one of the earliest Wu side projects (as opposed to solo projects) yet that signature look of danger and darkness. The exaggerated contrast of black and white and everyone mean-muggin--this is vintage Wu right here.

Of the Wu solo projects, Ol Dirty Bastard's first solo album takes the cake, hands down. The insanity about this album cover, which features Dirty in all of his glory on a welfare identification card, is that after dropping this soon-classic album, he went and picked up his food stamps at the welfare office and then drove off in a limo. We have this downright stupid album cover to remember the event by.


Safety in numbers. Movements, collaborations, big name guests, teams, crew beef, etc. The days of the solo roller are over. In the prime of rap, you were judged solely on your music. Rakim, Nas & Biggie (early on), LL, Kane…they all built their legend on music alone. Hell, Rakim had no guests on his first 4 albums. Sure there was Juice Crew, Native Tongues, Lench Mob crew, etc. But it wasn't mandatory. Then for some reason, in the mid-late 90's, it became totally necessary to have a movement. A crew with 1,000 different artists all on the same team. Touring together, crew t-shirts, beef with other crews, collaborations, etc. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's like people cannot identify with one artist, there has to be a movement or somebody else involved to validate them. Look at today's most successful artists. They all have a movement. Roc-A-Fella, Def Jux, Stonesthrow, Rhymesayers, G-Unit, Dipset, Wu-Tang, Hieroglyphics, Okayplayer, etc. Or if you're not part of a movement, you collaborate with other high profile artists. Doom, Danger Mouse, etc. It’s all about cross-pollinating fan bases. You don't? You die. And for some reason, I see Da Youngstas album, Da Aftermath, as the beginning of this from a beat standpoint. That and Run DMC's Down With The King (both 1993) were the first albums I can remember to use a lot of different producers with totally different sounds. It worked back then, they were dope albums. But it wound up being a cancer.

Nowadays you need a Timbaland track, a Neptunes track, a Just Blaze track, a Dre track, a Kanye track for people to really care…and for the most part it sounds like a collection of songs, not an album. Why not let one of them just do the whole f**kin album? Can't please everybody, why make a futile attempt? Good albums are about a vibe. Wu-Tang was a movement, but it was cohesive and made sense because they all vibed together and RZA was the sonic glue. Sans Illmatic, Ready to Die and a few others, every single great rap album had a maximum of 3 producers and 3 guests. In this fascination with movements, name association and special guests, we've lost album cohesiveness and the focus on just music. It’s no longer about how dope you are, it’s who you rollin with and who's cosigning what you do. And usually 92% of the crew isn't up to par with the few star artists in the crew. Quantity rules, not quality. You can have a 5 mic album, but nobody cares unless there's a bunch of other people involved. 10 producers and 7 guests. And now so and so with a platinum album can put his wack ass brother or cousin on and cheapen the game, cause they're part of the movement and its about who you with. Back in 88, Milk D said he had "a great big bodyguard" on Top Billin. But that was it. In 2007, there would be a Great Big Bodyguard solo album.

Like the crew theory, this is about quantity. People want more, even if it means a dip in quality. Some people can put out music quickly and do it well. Some people just want to bombard the market for the sake of doing it. Rakim did albums every 2 years. EPMD, Scarface and Ice Cube did it every year and that was considered fast. Nowadays, if you don't have 2 albums, 5 mix tapes and 10 guest appearances a year, you're slippin and people forget you. This attempt to keep up with the rush has cheapened the music. Now you have regular mixtapes marketed as albums, just a bunch of thrown together songs for the f**k of it. But to survive these days, you have to do that to stay in the public eye. There's far too many slim line case CD-R mix tapes out, and as important as mix tapes are to rap, the very vehicle that helped it grow is now playing a part in killing it.

Now everybody has forgotten how to make cohesive projects, so we cover it up by labeling it as a mix tape. The value and pride that full length albums used to symbolize are no more. Mixtapes now triple the number official albums in artist's catalog and never has music seemed so cheap and fast food. Not to mention, when the majors went completely awry in the late 90's, the indie rap scene went out of control with too much product. When I debuted in 1999, there were maybe 25-30 other indie vinyl releases out that mattered. And mine was one of the only full length albums. So it was only a matter of time before I got a listen, it didn't matter that I had no big names on my record and came outta nowhere. Try that now. To go to a store and see the foot high stack of one sheets for new records, mix CD's and DVD's dropping weekly makes you see you have a snowballs chance under a fat girls ass to survive in that world. Look at how many releases a week are on Hiphopsite, Sandbox, Fat Beats, UGHH, etc. The high profile artists get some attention, and everybody else gets ordered in ones and twos, if that. So today's new talent making his debut is in for an uphill battle. Great records go unnoticed. Rap is now a disposable art. Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz once said "you work 16 months on an album and get a 2 week window of opportunity. After that your record is as good as dead for most people." That sums it up.

When rap stopped being fun, I knew we were in big trouble. Not too many people are doin music for fun anymore. Ask yourself, "would I still mess with music as a hobby if there wasn't any money in it?" Too many people would say no. We all wanna get paid. Shit, I got bills too, I love money! But too many people just seem like they'd rather be doing other shit. You read in interviews, "I don't care about no rap, I'd rather be hustling. I just do this cause I can." Hey, whatever floats your boat, I can relate, there's been artists like that since the beginning of time, but they were never the majority until now. Having fun is nowhere near as important as your life before you got signed. And there's plenty of battle MC's, political MC's and killer thugs but it seems there's not many funny artists no more. Like on some Biz Mark, Humpty Hump, The Afros shit. Not afraid to go to the extreme and have fun. God forbid you use your imagination or rap about something not involving Hip Hop, the hood, you bein the shit, the end of the world or what color your car interior is.

I live in Queens, less than a mile from 50 Cent's old house. Nobody really knows I make music over here. Some kid from over here saw me in The Source a while back and said "Yo I ain't know you was in it like that, yo why you ain't tryin to pump your shit out here and let people know, you should rep the hood. 50 did it" Why should I? I'm not on the block tryin to push weight, I'm out there walking to Walgreens for my Grandmother, on my way to the park for a game of 21 or to watch a game at the local high school. I'm a grown ass man with a college degree and I like my neighborhood, but I choose to rap about my beat up car, not dancing in clubs, women with bad hygiene and too many kids or ball playin rappers with limited ball skills, cause I ain't a street cat and I'd rather show the lighter side of life. And that was never a problem back in the day.

Okay those ain't completely new topics, but it’s like rappin about those things these days gets you marked as novelty rap. Biz rhymed about a lot of this same shit back in the day, but it was still accepted as legit Hip Hop. 2007? He could never do a song like "The Dragon." Little Shawn & Father MC rapped about the ladies with some R&B beats. De La Soul were labeled as hippies. But all those dudes would beat yo f**kin ass if you got out of line! They were soft by no means, they just wanted to do the music they enjoyed, cause rap is supposed to be a way to have fun and get away from the everyday stress, while not limiting yourself. The thing that made rap so dope in the "golden era" was the balance of styles. You had clown princes like Biz, Humpty Hump, Kwame and ODB later on. You had political brothers like X-Clan, PE, Lakim Shabazz, Poor Righteous Teachers, Kam, etc. You had the explicit shit on Rap-A-Lot and the whole 2 Live movement in Miami. Hip-house like Twin Hype, new jack shit like Wrecks-N-Effect, the whole Native Tongues thing, the hard South Central LA shit, the Oakland funk…and they all co-existed, were all dope and they all had fun regardless of their style. King Sun made "On The Club Tip" and then did "Universal Flag." Lakim Shabazz, Twin Hype and Wrecks-N-Effect had raw battle rap, Geto Boys and Ganksta Nip were hilarious, PE had the yin and yang of Chuck and Flav and ODB was a ferocious battle MC.

Even the more serious political rap…everybody seemed to be enjoying making music. Gangsta rappers had a f**kin sense of humor back then. Mob Style might have been the hardest group I've ever heard and they lived it. But them dudes also showed other sides and sounded like they enjoyed music, because it was an escape from everyday bullshit. Tim Dog, was hilarious and hard at the same time. Even if it was a joke to some, the shit was good listening. Suga Free is an ice cold pimp for real, but he has a sense of humor and approaches his music doin what he feels. Who says rappin about a girl with no teeth or going to the store with coupons ain't "real"? Everything is "real", people forget that. Everybody is so concerned with being feared and taken seriously, they can't come off those insecurities and do some guilty pleasure shit. Even the producers. If you can't show your other sides and bug out in your music, where can you do it? Stop being scared and break some f**kin rules. Put some 300 pound girls in your video for once! Laugh at yourself dog, you ain't no killer 24/7. You ain't battling MC's and being a lyrical lyricist mixtape murder 24/7. Havin fun is almost hip-hop faux pas these days. Rap is dead without balance...period.

"Boop Boop, it's the sound of the police!" Yup, the legal police. Hip-hop is based in illegality, but not maliciously. Ironically, many people got into it to stay out of legal troubles (a life of crime), but technically this positive move is also seen as a life of crime by the powers that be. Mix tapes, remixes, sampling, parodies (somewhat)…the appeal of hip-hop was always rearranging the old to create the new. It's the lifeline of the music. One man's treasure is apparently another man's trash. In the wake of DJ Drama getting busted by the Feds for selling mix tapes that the labels and artists themselves approve and benefit from, it has never been more evident that the RIAA and their legal vendetta have just pulled the IV. We all knew that the late 80's way of taking 8 bar James Brown loops and not clearing was bound to catch up to us. I can live with that. You have a platinum album and loop somebody's whole shit, break’em off some money and publishing, its only right. But then the lawyers and courts got tyrannical. Now 1/8 of a second sample can run you the risk of legal action. Ouch. I remember having a beat placed on a TV show and the music supervisor panicked after the fact because he swore the snare I used sounded like it was sampled. Wow. I understand melodies, but somebody can own a snare sound now?

This is pretty lousy, but to this point it only affected some of the major label stuff and big corporate gigs. No more. Myspace is now shutting down pages that post remixes. WHAT!? I find that completely ass backwards. I know a few dudes that were warned, and others shut down without notice for posting remixes of major label songs with COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE ACAPELLAS!. WELL WHAT THE F**K IS AN ACAPELLA AVAILABLE ON A RECORD FOR?! TO BE REMIXED! DING DING…MESSAGE! Now to take that remix and release it on a major label and make 50 grand is one thing. But to have fun with remixes and post them on a myspace page, where ZERO DOLLARS can be made directly off of it, is completely harmless promotion for all parties involved. Not anymore.

Back in the day to be on a Kid Capri, Double R, S&S, Doo Wop, Silver Surfer, etc. mixtape was the best thing to happen to an artist and their label. An unknown producer leaking a dope remix to a popular artists record was a way to get buzz and a way for the industry to find new talent. Taking pieces of old music and creating something new (like the Bomb Squad) wasn't looked upon with the seriousness of a gunpoint mugging. But in a day where album sales are down, no artists or labels are seeing any money, CD's have foolishly been raised in price, interpolating one line of "Jingle Bells" in your song can get you sued and you can't post a remix for promotional and listening purposes only…you can see the music and legal industries have officially declared war on rap as a knee jerk reaction to their own failures. And as idiotic and unjust as things have become, they have the loopholes of law on their side.

Oh boy. Talk about a double edged sword. Never has it been so easy to get your music heard. If I make a dope beat, I can put it on my myspace page and it's up in an hour (depending on the servers, it may be "processing" for about 3 years). No more spending money and wasting time for records and test presses. Now people in Arkansas that only have MTV and the internet can hear my music. Limited distribution isn't as big a problem as before. Everybody is almost equal, shit we all have myspace pages. But look at the flipside. Everybody is almost equal, shit we all have myspace pages. There is so much shit out and the internet lurks with a million people doing the same thing, it’s virtually impossible to stand out. Back in the day, you had to work your way up in the business. Havin a record was in most cases a privilege and a reward for your hard work. Catalog meant something. We're in an MP3 world now, and somebody in their bedroom is on an equal plane with somebody that's paid dues and worked hard. That's great for the kid with talent and no vehicle to get heard. That sucks for the no talent hacks on myspace that post advertisements for their wack music on your comments page.

The internet also killed rap's number one asset. Anticipation. How many can remember buying a mixtape and hearing 3 dope joints from an upcoming album on a mixtape? You couldn't wait to cop the album. And you didn't hear the album 3 months in advance cause there was no way to spread it that fast. And in rare cases where the album leaked, you had to get a tape dub and even when you did, you still bought it. I remember hearing "Lots Of Lovin," "Straighten It Out," "TROY" and "Ghettos Of The Mind" from Mecca & The Soul Brother 2 months before it came out. But I couldn't find any other songs. That drove the anticipation up and got everybody talking. We were all eager to support. In 2007, the album would leak months in advance, you burn it and that's it. I'm not complaining cause that won't change things, but that was a large part of what appealed to me and many others about music, especially rap. No more. No artwork & physical cd to read the credits and shoutouts (remember those!?), no anticipation, it's old news by street date, the shit don't sell and here we are. Tower's closing, the legendary Beat Street is closed, Music Factory is a wrap…people don't realize that rap as we know it is done. Labels are f**kin suing common civilians for file sharing! A physical copy no longer matters unless you're a collector.

Back in the day, you would never see internet beef. It's just stupid junior high shit. People leaving threats and talkin shit via myspace, people getting hurt over e-beef at shows, kids on message boards flexin muscle and actin hard. Great! Now that we have a bunch of killers on wax, we got a bunch of em posting in forums. Cute. You can sit in a bedroom in Mexico and talk about knockin out somebody in Finland and it will never come back to you. Hip hop bravado and the anonymity of the web…it don't get more junior high. The internet was the blessing and the curse of rap music. I may catch heat for this, but I think the best thing is to blow up the industry and start over. There is still great music and I will enjoy making this music til I pass on, even if only as a hobby. I will still be diggin for records, makin beats, playing instruments and watching old movies for inspiration. But sometimes things need to fall apart to give birth to greater things. The fall of rap in its current state may give birth to something bigger and better. It's what I'm banking on, cause realistically, how much longer can it go down this road? I'm not saying go back in time. Classic rap artists may have been influenced by Cold Crush and Melle Mel, but they took that influence and added something different on to it to create something new. "We need to bring it back to 88!". NO WE DON'T! Ultramagnetic didn't say 'we gonna bring it back to '74' They just did them, and until that principle can be followed again, I say f**k fixing an abandoned building. Hit it with a wrecking ball and rebuild!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I hate to break it to lotto players, but you will not win. You might have seen the winners on the television, you might have even gone to school with a winner, but you will not win. It's a fact--fact! A state's lottery is built on the premise that, one, people have money and, two, people are idiots. You are a victim of a very cruel game that will only have one winner--one out of a many-million in which you are a part of. The multi-winner situation even more of a rarity. It's a game designed to take the money from a million idiots and give it to one really lucky idiot. It is for this reason that I suggest that lotto players please use their money to tackle much surer things, uh, mortgages, electric bills, taxes, hungry children, flat tires, batteries and/or oil changes. By then using your money on more important items that play an integral part in our smoothly functioning society, you can then get the hell out of my way when I'm trying to leave town and I'm at the back of the line with no more than a dollar-bag of sunflower seeds and $10 of gas to pay for.

I saw you, Lil' Miss Lotto, at the front of the line trying to sneak five transactions into one--frantically scratching off lotto cards, exchanging used cards for new cards, blocking up the line so you can feed your nasty addiction to chance. I saw you blow $20 on cards. I saw you walk out your handful of paper--none of which was actually currency. I saw the look on your face as you blew, yet another, meal on scratch-offs.

I don't mean to sound to cold-hearted because, at times, I do feel pity. But when I'm in a hurry, I feel furious anger and your addiction which not only slows down the line, but society itself, is a little aggravating, I must admit. You have issues, no doubt.

I don't know if the probability of success is increased by this recommendation, but please let me suggest a bingo hall for your addiction. It's a very large, spacious smoking facility where they serve coffee and bingo cards for a small price and you can socialize with others who have the same addiction that you have. Not only that, your hope of winning is perpetuated every 15 minutes when someone yells, "Bingo!" I know you don't normally get to witness someone winning every 15 minutes at the lotto. Not only that, it takes you out of the convenience store (a place that, by your very existence within, ceases being a convenience) and puts you in a safe, well-lit facility that might not treat your issues, but it accepts them.

Please take my advice and stay out of my line.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Ah, St. Valentine's Day. You know, once I got married, I haven't been such a fan of the holiday. It's not that I don't love my lovely wife, but when you're married, your Valentine's Day is called "your anniversary." Valentine's Day, at that point, is a pretty silly notion. Nonetheless, we celebrated--kinda. A sheet of new snow was just enough to keep us indoors. We ordered two medium pizzas, I made my super dessert and we watched a program on TLC in which this Romanian woman had a 160-pound tumor surgically removed from her backside. I'll be working to remove the pizza and super dessert from my backside, but I'm hoping it won't require surgery. Yeah, we're low key. It's just the paparazzis are so rabid on Valentine's Day.

Celtics snapped their 18-game losing streak. Uh, great job?
Bobby Knight and the Red Raiders snapped their 5-game losing streak by beating #6 in the nation, Texas A&M, in College Station. I'm telling you, he makes sure he wins the big game. Although, it was really Jarius Jackson that won it for him.
I heard my lil' Yankee fan, Eric, was surprised that I've never been to Fenway Park and actually found it kinda funny. He also mentioned to a trusted source that he's glad I'm finally going to make it to Fenway so I can see how trashy Red Sox fans actually are. I'm paraphrasing.
Jumping from the upper deck.
Walking the streets wearing inappropriately cut t-shirts.
Loving the stars of their team.
Punching the opposition in the face while the ball is in play.


Still drinkin'. Shirtless--how we do it in Texas.

"Mannin' up." Some would call this the "Yankee Choke."


Eric, I'll take plenty of pictures and pick you up a few souveniers. It's a eight-hour airport tour for me, a two-hour drive for you. If I drive two hours in any direction, I'm sitting in the parking lot of a closed convenience store looking for a landmark taller than a telephone pole so I can find true north. Oh, baseball's almost here. Thank the good Lord because the Celtics couldn't beat my brother and I playing blindfolded with our shoelaces tied together.

Clint, thanks for the recommendation on the Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul. That's an incredible record, my man. I heard "Walk On By" before, of course, but not the 12-minute marathon version. I got a new-found appreciation for Isaac Hayes. That's for damned sure. Hot Buttered Soul to Shaft is like the White Album to freakin' Yellow Submarine. When Clint tells you to buy something, buy it.

It's 7 degrees in Yellow as I type this. Probably be driving this morning. Take care, folks. Today, tell a Yankee fan to relax, keep your hands to yourself and recognize you have a problem with your drinking.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Dude, how rad is this dog? We're at obedience class last night doing an excercise with all twelve dogs in the class in which we get in a very large circle and "heel, about turn right, heel, sit, stay." We're in the middle of the exercise and I command Jackson to sit and I see him shifting nervously. I repeat, "Sit, Jax." He looks up at me, squats and then cuts off the biggest crap I've seen in a long time. Everyone in the class looks at him astonished and Jax just peers around at everyone like, "How you like me now?"

Gangsta, gangsta!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


...and what would be your shirt preference? I just worked up these four designs this morning because I couldn't sleep. It doesn't reflect my best work, but you get the idea. I don't understand how I get up earlier on Saturday than I do on a weekday. I got up at 5:40 this morning feeling well-rested and ready. Anyhow, peep the realness. Add your comments below.






Before we get into the Grammys, I gotta tell ya'll about a story I read in today's paper.

It's about a prostitute named "Angel." She's hanging up the stilettos after 20 years of street-walking--17 in the city of the Yellow. I'm not sure how long prostitutes' careers normally last, but I gotta think that 2o years is like 90 in prostitute years. She became a prostitute to get out of her hometown and "see the world." Take a guess at Angel's hometown?

Lawton, Oklahoma. In twenty years, she's only made it about 200 miles out of Lawton.

She was picked up a couple nights ago on drug possession charges, but vows to quit the business this time upon release. Apparently, the Amarillo-Globe News saw this story as inspiring as I did and gave it a front-page feature on the Sunday morning paper. Holy cow.

When asked what was the worst part of prostitution (brace yourself), Angel replies:

"The worst part was the sex."

You can't make this stuff up.

Alright, onto the Grammys. Just at a glance of my predictions, I was horribly wrong.

James Blunt didn't win any Grammys.
Corinne Bailey Rae didn't win squat either.
Wolfmother won?! Insanity. I'm surprised, but yet, I'm not. Just further proof of how much they kill.
T.I. took 2 outta 4. Roots got nuttin.
Smokey Robinson's plastic surgery has hit a remarkably intense level of rediculousness. Isn't he almost 112 now? He couldn't even close his eyes. Lionel Richie looked quite good...natural even.
Earth Wind and Fire didn't kill it. It was mad boring.
Police rocked it, but still let's remember, they ain't that good. Sting, put on some sleeves, homegrown.
Missed Shakira's performance, but you know what, I bet I didn't miss anything.
Was this year void of a Bono appearance?
Dude, a tribute to the Eagles?! What did they do good this last year? Better yet, what did they do good ever? That performance was seriously corny. The Eagles were a good country band, but a terrible rock band. It's no surprise they got Rascal Flat singing their garbage songs.
Mary J. Blige oversung her performance again. I get it, Mary. You're an emotional performer, just be safe.
What's with this American Idol-voting garbage? These dudes are out of touch. Nobody cares. I bet only five people actually voted.
Can we finally retire "Crazy"? I thought they were going to move on to a second single almost four months ago. You know Cee's way tired of singing that crap.
Christina picked for a James Brown tribute. Geez. Do the man some justice. She can't sang. Here's a more fitting tribute to James Brown. Do yourself a favor.

Watch that dude go into the robot. Shazzaaam!

Yeah, all in all, no surprises. Except the Dixie Chicks. Whoa! The biggest no-surprise is that the Grammys have once again topped the industry in most out of touch award system. I mean, TV on the Radio topped almost every list in the country as album of the year and they weren't up for one Grammy. How in the hell does that happen? My Chemical Romance wasn't up for a single Grammy either and alot of people thought they had a shoe in.

Let's talk about a real awards show--the Plug Awards--which was held over the weekend as well. J-Dilla won Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year, Spank Rock won Hip Hop Album of the Year. Check out for a full list of winners.


Grammy Hog Bono just can't wait for Sunday night.

"You're Beautiful" will win Record of the Year.
"Put Your Records On" will win Song of the Year.
The performances will be regarded as the saddest Grammy performances in years.
Red Hot Chili Peppers will win Album of the Year.
The Grammys, once again, prove themselves twenty to thirty years behind the music world.
Corinne Bailey Rae will win Best New Artist--upsetting James Blunt.
Wolfmother will not win a Grammy although they terribly deserve one.
The "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" award will go another year without a clear definition of the criterium used to determine the nominees.
The "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" will perpetuate what is known as the single-most annoying trend in hip hop from the last ten years.
The Roots will keep T.I. from going 4-4 beating him out for "Best Rap Album."
The audience will, once again, give U2 their annual over-ovation and Bono will go on some crazy tangent about humanity and charity. Good for him.
The Police are a really good ska band. They're not greatest band ever. All the hype will go completely unrewarded with a flat Police performance.
Earth Wind & Fire will absolutely kill it however Ludacris will almost kill it.
You can't spell "Shakira" without "shake" and she will do plenty of it...almost to annoyance.
James Blunt will win enough awards to be satisfied and forego a follow-up album and, thankfully, retire early.
Lionel Richie will, believe it or not, outdo Smokey Robinson in the "creepy plastic surgery" category.
This year's show will rank amongst the lowest in viewership in the history of the show and you'll be able to directly blame the music industry for starving voting and purchasing public of good music.
Next year's show will blow this year's out of the water.
DangerMouse will be the indie-cred buzz artist of the show.
VH1 will say, "I told you so," after it's all said and done.
Outkast will win, at least, one award even though we all know they don't deserve one proving that, when it comes to "urban" music, the voting members know artists and not music.


When I first began as the soul buyer for my current employer, I'd get calls from all sorts of labels trying to get their product into the stores. I got so many calls, I'd just let the stupid phone ring. Most of the solicitations were simply people who had a song, a dream and no one to tell them they had no talent whatsoever. Others were people who were at the end of the line and, as a last ditch business opportunity--getting into the physical distribution of music in hopes to ring the towel of enough change to pay their mortgage. My daily grind, among other things, was listening to these people. Occassionally still, I'll get one of those calls and it sends shivers up my spine.

It bares worth mentioning that soul, funk, jazz and groove doesn't sell so well in our stores given our geographic location. In short, we can stock it, but we can't sell it.

One day early in my career as a buyer, I received an email from a fella named "Josh @ L.I.T.A." who was pitching a project from his label called "Free Design." He was wanting the names of distributors we dealt with so he could hook up with them and we could bring it through. I checked out his labels website ( which usually was a deal-breaker. I was surprised to see a very well constructed and informational website. These dudes were serious.

I search for this "Free Design" project, come to find out Free Design is a group from the late 60's responsible for the "soft-psych" masterpieces Kites are Fun, Heaven/Earth, One By One, Sing for Very Important People, Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love, There is a Song and You Could Be Born Again. The album covers pictured three or four members of these Mamas and the Papas-looking hippies.

These dudes ain't serious...they're sick.

Josh, like a good sales rep, offered up samples and said he would send them my way. Once they arrived, I rushed to my player and put them in. The sound that would overcome me would come to represent the sound I would attach to Light in the Attic from there forward. It was this crazy, psychedelic, kaleidascopic, mind-altering folk ish. After one complete listen to the record (which would be Kites are Fun), I realized there was another recording in the package which featured remixes from Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, Koushik, Nobody and Danger Mouse, among others.

Oh word?!

After a complete listen to this composition, I was hooked. Regardlessly bound as a retailer and committed to only bringing in product I could sell, I was a fan from here on.

In the following months, the following years really, I'd receive an occassional phone call from a distributor out on the west coast about a new Light in the Attic project. Sometimes, we'd bring it in if for no other reason other than I believed in what they were doing. I still think, out of the projects we brought in, you could count our scans using your ten fingers.

I would go, sometimes, long droughts without hearing from Josh until yesterday when a package arrived to my co-worker, David. David swings around in his chair, "Josh sends his best." In it were two hunky pieces of vinyl (oh yeah) with Stic-Its reading:




As corny as it sounds, it was like receiving a hand-written letter from an old lover. Clutching those two vinyl pieces in my hands was like tightly holding onto a precious heirloom. David got the CD versions and we put on a few recordings in the afternoon. Had I forgotten how incredibly dope Light in the Attic was?

So touched by the fact that he hadn't forgotten about me, I woke up this morning, put on some coffee and decided to have a Light in the Attic morning. I started out with the vinyl I recently received which was a compilation Jamaica to Toronto and Jackie Mittoo's Wishbone which is possibly the nastiest organ funk I've heard in ages. Booty-ful.

I also went back to visit their website as it had been quite some time I was there. I then realized how many brilliant recordings these guys had put out--most of which I've received from Josh. Whether it's Austin's very own The Black Angels or the (get this) Deep Throat original soundtrack (which is infinitely dope, trust me) or the Karen Dalton that I also received the other day (Josh, it's too good for my ears--I don't deserve it)--Light in the Attic do what they do and they do it well.

They reissue with reverence and respect. And their commitment to the perpetuation of good music is the very heart and soul that the music industry has been missing for the last ten years. Check out their site, look at the records, listen to the samples and you'll hear what I'm talking about. If you've got the time, read through the story of how Light in the Attic came to be--it's quite compelling.

I only type this this morning because these are the labels that make the world go round. If they wanted to make the big stacks of money, they wouldn't be reissuing old folk records and Jackie Mittoo's Wishbone. It's obvious there's a love and a passion for music at Light in the Attic that's tragically absent at most other outfits (retail included).

Buy Light in the Attic stuff. I'll give you recommendations. But support these guys. Learn the music. Educate yo'self. The future is in funk.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This year's SXSW will feature performances by Brother Ali, ElP, Chingo Bling, Devin the Dude, Sage Francis among others. Too bad I found out today or I might have made an attempt to make it down there. Gasface to SXSW in finding new, creative ways to suppress the flow of information and increase the clouds of confusion.

My dog uses a chicken-flavored toothpaste. We freshened him up for his first day at work as a therapy dog (in training) at the city's juvenile facility. If only we could get rid of that poo smell in his mouth.

This is Clifton.

I came across his beautiful face when, in boredom, I just decided to search my last name in a picture search. He is Clifton Wyrick. And, in a not so bright moment in Wyrick History, he's serving a 25-year sentence for indecency with a child. He kinda looks like Pennywise.

Blue Man Group's coming to the Yellow. But they won't be making their green off of me. I got my tickets for free. (a little color humor for you there). I told my lovely wife, thinking she would be pleasantly excited. She said, "They're not gonna make us do stuff, are they?" I'm not sure what she meant. Maybe she's not into pantomimes. Some things you just don't find out until after you're married.

I'm still walking and, yes, people are still trying to offer rides. It's not my co-workers that I mind offering rides. It's the random people. "Hey, need a lift?" I feel like hoping in their car and saying, "So, how far is Ontario?"

I'd probably watch "ER" if it didn't take place in a hospital. And if it didn't star John Stamos.

My addiction to coffee is starting to become quite a financial burden. Angry Tim told me that hot drinks aren't even that good for you to begin with. This coming from the guy who can consume three Red Bulls in two hours and not blink. Typically, people who drink Red Bull can't blink. They also can't perform emergency surgery, fly aircrafts or disarm explosives.

Sarah was right. Prince really rocked the Super Bowl, but I gotta wonder: is a guy who dresses like a female, dances like James Brown and likes purple leather/latex really ideal for a Super Bowl performance? Good for him. For 79 years old, he really looks good. I'm glad he didn't do "Batdance." Come to think of it, there's alot of songs that I'm glad he didn't sing.

I still can't look at Mark Wahlberg without the image of him lifting cinder blocks, sayin, "C'mon! C'mon! Feel the vibration!"

I shelled out $73 for my MF Doom figurine. I should've just stolen it from Good Records in Dallas. They didn't stock one single MF Doom record yet they didn't hesitate to place their Madvillain figure in the window. Dudes is posin' @ Good Records like maaaaaaaaad. Stop frontin'. Stock the dude's music before you act like you know.

That's it. I'm going to bed. If you'd wear a THE ROOT DOWN t-shirt, let me know. I'll do a limited run if I can scrap the money together.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


So Angry Tim and I venture down to the GetDown this weekend to visit Rory and, more importantly, go see Cage play at Haileys in Denton. Last time we went to see Cage, Dallas managed to scrape together about, uh, 17 people to see him play. I was assuring Tim that Denton can always pull together a better audience. It's just a fact. The word of shows has better penetration because word of mouth is a powerful thing in a smaller community. Not only that, it's a fairly liberal university in Denton and they like to watch live music. Fantastic. Shouldn't be any problem, right?

Well, the line as the doors open would be encouraging. I mean, there was actually a line. But after that initial rush, the heads just stopped coming in. I think we topped out at somewhere around 50 people, but not one over that. I find a place to sit down and entertain the guests who, before the show even starts, began squirming. I knew I had a tall order ahead of me trying to keep Angry Tim's wife and Rory's wife entertained until the show started. But I also knew that when Cage came on, this show would roll all the way to a fantastic finish.

The opening act (who coincidently played Dallas last time Cage pulled through) were actually better the first time I saw them. Nobody knew the words to their songs because, well, they ain't even scanned but about 1,700 units. Not only do they not know your material, but at 1,700 sold, they don't even know your name.

Then, Cage finally makes it out (at which point my Roaming Homie Wil makes an appearance) so I'm at a split attention. Not only that, I have some street-teamer (see also POSTER HANGER or ANNOYANCE) barking in my ear about how he's hoping to get signed to Definitive Jux. I ask him if he has any material and he gives me the standard response, "I gave all my copies out already." I'm sure, if that was true, I could search the trashcans and find a copy.

Cage comes out and you can tell he's in a different spirit tonight than the last time I saw him. He's visibly annoyed and, while I can definitely empathize with life on the road, these folks came to see a show. You at the very least need to make it more entertaining than just listening to the record at home.

He barely did that. In fact, I'd say he didn't achieve that if he didn't headbutt that silly street-teamer smack in the forehead during his set. And when the highlight of the show is watching a girl volunteer to get clocked by a "cupcake girl," you're gonna have a hard time telling your buddy back home what he missed. Nonetheless, I blew up Danny's cell during "Too Heavy for Cherubs."

There's two parts to why this didn't work out.

Firstly, Cage's expectations of the Denton experience was simply too high. I'm convinced there's nothing we could have done that night to make him adjust and put on a killer performance. He ended his set in a back-and-forth during a section of "Agent Orange," and when the cats on the front row didn't land the lyrics, he said, "Close enough," dropped the mic and walked off.

Cage has sold only 19,000 of his last record in about 18 months. Not everyone is going to be able to rap along. Danny might. Angry Tim might. Even I might, but then even though I can doesn't mean I will. Just do your act, man. But getting pissed off because 50 kids in Denton don't know every word of your material is played. I respect Cage, love his material and, despite his poor showing this time through, I'm still going to turn kids onto him because I believe in the music he makes. But, be that as it may, I don't wanna feel like I'm trouble at one of his shows.

Secondly, the show failed because hip hop fans don't show up at shows. It's culture fans that show up at shows. Especially in Denton. They gravitate towards a culture and not the artist. They like music when it's convenient to, but they ain't going out and buying the material on a day-in, day-out basis. I'll get more into this phenomenon later because it's quite prevalent in hip hop, but in short, if the beat's loud enough, they're gonna enjoy it. You don't have the active listener in Denton. That's not to say that they can't get down, but they're purely reflective of the artist's energy. You put on a bad set, they stand there with their hands in their pockets wondering why they're there. You put on a hyped set, they're gonna crowdsurf. When Cage walked off, they turned around to the door like, "Cool, anyone up for Arby's?"

Alright, folks. I gotta get to work. Support your local hip hop artists. It's bad enough that the labels treat 'em like garbage. They don't need it from their listeners too. Show up to the shows. Show gratitude. If you see Cage, take Wil's advice, just give the dude a hug. If you want a good rock album, pick up Locksley's Don't Make Me Wait. I don't recommend rock albums very often, so listen up. Do the Antoine shimmy and be glad you're a not a Boston Celtic.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


On our long way back from the GetDown, I engaged Angry Tim in a discussion of the best cover art in hip hop history. We went back and forth and I scribbled down names for the intention of this, a post on The Root Down. I don't know what sparked it. Maybe it was an inner monologue about how people don't respect the album anymore because, well, people don't make albums anymore. Maybe I was thinking of Mos Def's latest offering Tru3 Magic (biting my style with the "3") which was only packaged as a CD in a jewel case with absolutely no cover art, liner notes or spinelines. Just a CD in a case.

Either way, what it amounted to was a pissing contest between Angry Tim and I trying to one-up each other on each round. Angry Tim came up with some beauties. I came up with some equally fine choices. The result is this series of posts which will roll out over time. Tonight, however, I'm starting with two of my personal favorites. The Geto Boys' self-titled album and their masterpiece, We Can't Be Stopped and Scarface's solo, Scarface is Back.

Dudes were ahead of their time, f'real. Just keeping it really real. Primitive. Defiant. Their artwork communicated intimidation and street-wise grittiness. Simple text, black and white photos, the necessary warning in the corner. If a picture could capture the meaning of a true gangsta record, it would be within the four corners of the cover above.

After Bushwick was shot in the face, the Boys released We Can't Be Stopped featuring a reinactment of Bush's release from the hospital. While completely rediculous, again the Geto Boys manage to capture and nearly parody the event with Bush clutching to his enormous phone while Willie and Scarface push forward with the look of revenge in their eyes. Sans serif font, exaggerated in size across the top and bottom communicating, simply, the group and the album. Nothing more.

Same approach for Scarface's solo debut. Artist on top, title on bottom. In the middle, sawed-offs being jammed in the forehead of a narc while a fiend is about to plant his face into the middle of a pile of coke. While the imagery portrayed might be somewhat objectionable, what is true is it's a fitting image for an album that accurately depicts street life and the day-to-day grind of a hustla. The simplistic approach to packaging would soon disappear. Mainly because the major labels needed to put out a friendlier outer shell to appeal to merchandisers and retailers and, secondly, cheap cover art unfairly reflected the sense that the contents were an unfinished album. Plus, there's never a shortage of graphic designers ready to sharpen their skills with a cover art gig. These days, the above image would more likely be rendered by a cartoonist or illustrator which makes the image even more striking.

Celtics lose their 15th game in a row. Someone please fire Danny Ainge and hire Kevin McHale.

Friday, February 02, 2007


MARCH 20th
Save your milk money.
Insist your local record store stock it.
Tell a friend to tell a friend.
It's coming.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


About to book to the GetDown for a few days to see my boy, Rory, and the future of hip hop (like it or not), Def Jux's Cage. Haven't heard from Wil, but dude, if you give me a shout, maybe I can track you down in the greater metro area and I can give you a few of my latest ideas for a shirt line. Zack, homie, if you email me and I email you back, you gotta holla atcha boy. I'll be in Denton at the Cage show--a much longer drive for me than it is for you. Clint, we'll catch up sometime. Don't worry.

Chicago will win the Super Bowl and the score will be 24-19. I'd just go ahead and count on it because Wyrick's are never wrong about these sort of things. Ask my brother--we're good with numbers and approximations.
MC Serch's releasing a record. Damn, I knew there were strings attached to "The White Rapper Show." Return of the Product was mediocre enough. Get Rich and Pete back together for a 3rd Bass reunion and I'm down. Only way it'll be slamming is if Paul produces it. The only way.

I finally got my copy of Main Source's Breaking Atoms from Dane da Hookup. I've never held a copy of it before--it's actually quite surreal. It reaffirms my belief in physical music purchases because it just ain't the same as downloading. It goes up there with KMD's Mr. Hood in my book of the priziest prize. Look it up, buy it, listen to it, scratch the crap out of it and buy it again. Insanely impressive album. And, yes, I regret for not including it anywhere in my Top 20 because it definitely belongs in there. Gotta love those Don Johnson's!

Boys just never got their shine on. We gotta keep it alive because this album is officially official. It's out there. Ask Dane da Hookup. He found it. It came covered in Japanese, but he got it. Here's your homework assignment, kiddies. It looks like this. Extra credit if it's made of wax.
Paula Abdul, I'm convinced, needs a good boyfriend because I'm tired as hell of watching her swoon over every cat that walks into the audition room. I'm serious. She starts batting her eyes and swaying from side to side and then, at the end, she says something weird like, "I really like you."
And you could play a drinking game with Randy for every time he says, "You just didn't have it tonight, dawg." I really prefer big fat Randy. He looks like a wax figure of his former self.


In the one shred of a moment that our local news anchors dedicate to news that's actually occuring outside of the Yellow, they covered a story in Boston (home of my beloved Red Sox) in which a security scare was caused by lighted mooninites, Ignignokt and Err, who were put up around the city in high provile areas to publicize the new full length movie releasing March 23rd.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but our local news anchors just fumbled the whole freaking story. Reading directly from the AP wire, it read much like above until the goofy nincompoops decided to roll off the script ad lib. This is where the news director gets really nervous.

We'll call them Damon and Christina to protect their identity and their employer.

Damon: "The two men put up these lighted devices around the city as advertisements for a cartoon. Bridges were closed and streets were blocked off because of these lighted devices."

Christina: "Wow, scary stuff. And to think of it as an advertisement for a cartoon. It'll be interesting to see how this story developes."

There's no development, Christina. That's the end of the story. They put up some lighted characters, people freaked out, two guys were arrested and that's the end of the story. Just stop talking. They then went back to local news rushing to a story about a crock-pot cook off.

I feel confident my local news is responsible for the diminished intelligence of this city. I don't want to be entertained, I want to be informed.

Christina ends the broadcast with, "We'll be back with updates."

Christina, there are no updates to local news. Things happen and then they're done happening.

Whoa, Aqua Teen terror scare makes the top headline on the Today Show. Must be bigger than I originally thought.