Monday, December 19, 2005

Shutting down shop

I'll be spending the next 2 weeks or so away from Isla Vista - and judging from the number of cars parked around town, it looks like I'm about 2 weeks late. Since my home internet connection is of the ancient variety, my blog will be M.I.A. as well. So I'll take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Krazy Kwanzaa, and most of all, a very happy...

(FUCK a Photoshop!)

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Here, the L.A. Daily News reports that USC standout running back, Heisman Trophy winner, devourer of UCLA Bruin pride, and future savior of the Texans, 49ers or Packers, Reggie Bush will soon be announcing his decision to go pro. The best thing about it is that my wallet currently holds the business card of the guy who is mentioned in the article as "advising" Bush. Long story short, this guy's kid is friends with my second cousin, they're like middle school age. I meet him at my cousin's birthday, we bullshit about sports, I ask him questions about his job (fan-boy status), and when I leave, he hands me his card telling me to contact him if I'd be interested in interning. My interest was pretty high when he mentioned negotiating Tony Gonzalez' last contract, but Reggie Bush? HEISMAN TROPHY winner Reggie FUCKING Bush!! Are you kidding me?? My second cousin better keep this guy's son a good friend. Shit, I'll drive 'em both to Six Flags right now! I'll even twist an ankle to get a wheelchair so we could cut through the lines! Fuck it, funnel cakes on me!

Continuing on with my recent string of newfound sports connections, check my Facebook to see the new friend I've made from Kansas University. These are just baby steps toward my eventual career hanging around someone famous, wearing nice clothes, mooching off their success. I almost can see it now... Stevie Drama. Rolls off the tongue.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Home is where the hatred is

Occasionally, time away from home is much needed. It's always nice to be somewhere new, even if momentarily (Eagle County, Colorado not included). For the Lakers, it's meant a complete 180 to their young season, as their 5-1 road trip has brought them to 2 games over .500 at 12-10. Those 5 wins include victories over 4 teams with winning records, with a margin of victory of 12.5 points in those wins. Kwame Brown showed up in limited minutes in the last 2 wins and actually looked like he could play, making some nice passes for assists and not being afraid to take shots. Kobe has shown that he can lead his team to victory without taking 30 shots a game (...sometimes). Phil Jackson isn't at anyone's throats. Kobe's kept his dick in his pants long enough that he can crack jokes to the media now (his response to getting kicked in the face during a drive to the basket in the Minnesota game: "My nose is a little crooked, man. I'm normally super, super sexy. I'm just super sexy now."), plus give himself the nickname "Black Mamba" (too many directions to go in with that one). Things are going pretty good.

But, you've always got to return home. As much as he tried to convince himself he didn't, Kobe had to take that flight back from Colorado and explain all them crazy allegations to Vanessa, buy her a $4-million dollar ring, cry at a press conference, and then break out the patented "I Love Vanessa" wristband (look closely).

I love her too, Mamba.

Now that the Lakers are returning home (Friday vs. Washington), they too have some splainin' to do. Mainly, why the FUCK CAN'T YOU GUYS PLAY LIKE THAT AT HOME? That atrocious 4-5 home record looks even worse considering that the Charlotte Bobcats were two blown free throws away from making it 3-6 (I got to stay high-i-i-i... oh shit, sorry). As always, I remain optimistic that things keep progressing from here, Kobe becomes less selfish, Kwame makes a name for himself, Lamar keeps putting up almost-triple-doubles, and Jeannie Buss makes sure Phil ain't taking no stress with him to work. Why? Because I can't totally ditch the Lakers and jump on the Clipper bandwagon. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for what the other Staples Center occupants are doing so far this season, and I really hope they'll continue cleaning up the tarnished image of the Clippers' history, but... when the Lakers and Clippers play against each other, I know who I'm rooting for.

Oh, and no worries, Vanessa, your man-on-a-leash ain't stickin' it to any more hotel maids. We'll keep his new "side-hustle" on the DL, though.

**cues "Endless Love"**

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Best Rappers Alive

Jay-Z and Nas putting their past beef aside and appearing on stage together a few months ago was a big moment, considering the media's perception of hip-hop as being a continuous string of violence-based relationships. Case in point, when Suge Knight was shot in the leg earlier this year, ABC-7 in L.A. felt compelled to bring up not only the murder of 2Pac (or "Two Pack" as he was affectionately known as) and Biggie, but also the murder of Jam Master Jay, a man who had no connections to any of the aforementioned three other than having made a career in hip-hop. So regardless of the fact that Jay and Nas' beef wasn't on that level and stayed on wax, not to mention that realistically it could've all been a marketing ploy to sell records, their peace offering was definitely a step forward. To commemorate the 2 best rappers out right now (Ghostface a close 3rd), here are my 20 favorite songs from each one's catalog, complete with random commentary:

20. Can't Knock The Hustle (f/ Mary J Blige)
19. Where Have You Been (f/ Beanie Sigel) - I gained a lot of respect for Beanie Sigel from this song, and I'd have to say he's one of my favorite MCs at the moment. The emotion in his voice is undeniable.
18. It's Alright (f/ Memphis Bleek) - Remember when Memphis Bleek had potential? It was a ways back, so don't worry if you don't. Too bad he had to go and make full albums and kill all of that. Maybe all the potential he had went to his head... and in the process, made it very oddly-shaped.

He brings it in this song though, Jay is his usual self, and that Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime" sample is, dare I say, same as it ever was...
17. Lucifer
16. Girls, Girls, Girls
15. Dear Summer - Jay's "retirement" song, if he actually had retired, was tossed onto Memphis Bleek's last album as a song "featuring" Jay, even though it's Jay by himself. Not surprisingly, it was the best song on the album.
14. This Can't Be Life (f/ Beanie Sigel & Scarface)
13. A Week Ago (f/ Too Short)
12. The Bounce (f/ Kanye West) - This is a prime example of the difference between being able to "rap", and being able to "flow" ("Dirt Off Your Shoulder" being another good example). Kanye's guest verse at the end is a bit of a downer, but to his credit, he wasn't yet a genius at this point in his career.
11. Streets Is Watching
10. Brooklyn's Finest (f/ Notorious B.I.G.)
9. Dirt Off Your Shoulder - One thing about Jay is his ability to make music catchy enough for radio and club play, but still fresh enough to rock in headphones or in the car. And the image of an overweight Timbaland playing this beat in "Fade To Black" while eating a banana and dancing is forever stuck in my head.
8. Takeover
7. 99 Problems
6. A Ballad For The Fallen Soldier - Call this one a sleeper pick. It was close to the end of the 2nd disc of "Blueprint 2", right after some of the album's weaker songs, so it was easy to miss, but it's definitely a gem. Say what you want about the Neptunes (Noreaga certainly has), but Pharrell actually adds some soul to this track, as opposed to his standard pop appeal. [By the way, that link is to an old, very long but very candid interview with Noreaga. It's nothin' for me to say that it's one of the funniest things I've read in a while. The stuff about the Neptunes and their alleged "broken hands" is about half-way down from the top.]
5. Allure
4. Dead Presidents II - The version on "Reasonable Doubt" was different from the video version. Did YOU know that?
3. Soon You'll Understand
2. Where I'm From
1. D'Evils - DJ Premier's dark production and sampled chorus ("Dear God, I wonder can you save me... I can't die...") matches up perfectly with Jay's lyrics. This song was kind of haunting the first time I heard it. For everything Jay's achieved with his popularity over the last few years - Def Jam, Beyonce, the New Jersey Nets, selling out Madison Square Garden - songs like these were his roots.
**Best Guest Appearance: Welcome To New York City (Cam'ron f/ Jay-Z & Juelz Santana) - Too bad Jay and Cam couldn't get along, considering the one song they did together was pretty good. Lately it's been playing in one of the commercials for the new "True Crime" game.

20. Zone Out (f/ Bravehearts) - Some say that Nas never really put anyone on from under his wing, but in his defense, the Bravehearts aren't that good. I'd go as far as to call them... well, bad. Truthfully, there are plenty of better overall songs that Nas' has done than this, but there's something about that reverse shit in the beat that gets me everytime.
19. Street's Disciple
18. Just A Moment (f/ Quan)
17. Star Wars - Bonus track off the "Illmatic" 10th Anniversary re-release. Vintage Nas over a spacey-type of beat, not like something you'd expect to hear him over, but it works well nonetheless.
16. The Message
15. Made You Look
14. I Gave You Power
13. Nas Is Like
12. N.Y. State Of Mind - I could've easily put every song from "Illmatic" on here somewhere, but that would've been a bit of a cop out. Nas has definitely grown as an MC since his debut in '94, but he hasn't dropped an album as cohesive or with as many great songs as "Illmatic". For everything that's godawful about The Source nowadays, they took a chance, and were dead on, by giving it 5 mics.
11. Ether - "Takeover" worked better as a song, but this was the superior diss record.
10. Silent Murder - This was a bonus track only on the cassette version of "It Was Written", perhaps as a desperate attempt to keep cassette sales from plummeting in the wake of CDs taking over. Nice song, but it clearly wasn't enough.
9. Reason
8. Get Down
7. It Ain't Hard To Tell
6. Blaze A 50 - The story told in this song could've been made into a movie, especially with the crazy twist at the end. I wonder if Nas REALLY knows Terrell Davis.
5. If I Ruled The World (f/ Lauryn Hill)
4. Rewind - Telling a story in reverse turned out to be an ill concept. And at just over 2 minutes, it's short enough to keep your attention without getting lost (I don't like to think too hard when I'm not being graded or getting paid for something). Not too many rappers other than Nas could've made this work properly.
3. One Love
2. The World Is Yours
1. N.Y. State Of Mind, Pt. 2 - Sequels often aren't better than originals, but this song is flawless. Another Premier beat - hey, everyone in the media is biased, why can't I be? The fact that it was the opening track on "I Am..." might have worked against him, since it set such a high bar that the rest of the album had no chance of living up to.
**Best Guest Appearance: Mo Money Mo Murder Mo Homicide (AZ f/ Nas) - 50 Cent had some rhyme recently about AZ making "bullshit records" - I can't remember exactly how the song went, but 50 probably sang something in the chorus since, you know, that's what he does. Sure, AZ never was as famous as Nas, but the songs they made together were always quality. "The Essence" (off "AZiatic") was even up for a Grammy a couple years ago; that's still sort of an honor. Maybe, probably no time soon, but one day, they'll actually make an album together.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Yeah, that's right, we bad!

R.I.P. Richard Pryor. Obviously, his prime in comedy was before my time, but I still have some memories of his work. My favorite was an old SNL skit with Chevy Chase, who was interviewing Pryor for a job. Chevy asks him to participate in a word association game. Eventually, Chevy starts saying various racial and stereotypical words about blacks, and Pryor responds each time with some negative word about white people. At one point, Pryor says "honkey". Then Chevy drops the n-word, to which Pyror, with a dead look on his face, responds, "Dead honkey!"

Also, R.I.P. to Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the ex-gang member and "alleged" co-founder of the Crips (there have been some disputes about whether that's true or not), who was convicted of killing four people in two separate robberies in 1979, sentenced to death in 1981, and executed by lethal injection today one minute after midnight. How quickly the wheels turn on our criminal justice system. I don't condone the death penalty or state executions, but if you sentence someone to death, why wait almost a quarter of a century to carry it out? Is it to give them a chance to possibly turn their life around and try to earn another chance to live? Because if being nominated for a Nobel Peace prize, writing children's books warning them of the dangers of gang life, and becoming one of the most prominent anti-gang figures in the country doesn't qualify as that, I don't know what does. I guess it's right what they say -- you never get a second chance to make a first impression (who knew one could get such wisdom from a Head & Shoulders commercial?). Hopefully, L.A. doesn't erupt into some Rodney King-state any time soon.

I can understand the stance of not wanting to grant clemency to Williams -- he has now claimed innocence regarding the murders which he had took credit for at the time, and subsequently refused to offer any apologies. But considering the inconsistencies with which death sentences are handed down, and the amount of protest in the wake of Williams' execution, maybe it would've just been better for Gov. Schwarzenegger to let this one slide as opposed to coming off like a hard-ass politician (it certainly ain't helping his approval rating). For now, this will be just another stop on Schwarzenegger's "Farewell Tour" of CaLEEfornia. Who will he make dislike him next?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm not racist... I hate everybody

Apparently, pointing out the striking resemblance of Akon to Ben Gordon is synonomous with saying "all black people look the same," which is not what I meant at all. I'm not racist -- the title of the post says so. I don't think all black people look the same, just those two specifically. As far as white people go -- oh man, don't get me started! I can't recall a day I don't stop some dude, look him right in the eyes and ask, "Hey man, what's holding up that mirror in front of your face?"

To quickly change topics, for those of you who can't decide which method to use to overdose on caffeine, Coca-Cola will be mixing their signature, "not as good as Pepsi but has some sentimental value to it or some shit" beverage with coffee extracts, for a new drink to be released next year. It'll be called "Coca-Cola Blak"-- I guess the missing "c" should help it appeal to the young crowd. Probably more so than my idea for a name: Coca-Cola BLEGH.

Personally speaking, the fine folks at Rock-Star have helped me remain wired for finals week, which is finally over. The six tall cans of it that I drank in the last 8-9 days likely aren't good for my health [I once overheard a guy who steadily drank 4 energy drinks a day randomly broke out into rashes one day], but somehow, it tastes like how you'd expect something bad for you to taste. Shit, each sip felt like a minute being taken off of my life span, almost like if cigarettes came in liquid form. Plus, they go great with a steady diet of noodles (both ramen and spaghetti), Taco Bell, chips, and assorted candies, both hard and soft. As is typical with finishing finals week, I feel desperately in need of a lifestyle change.

But first... I must drink.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oh, do I love irony

Thanks to the few of you who brought it to my attention that my blog wasn't working the other day (no one else's was either, by the way), and a big thanks to the one of you who chose to point out that the frequent inability to connect was the exact reason why I stopped using a subprofile in the first place. Like the Houston Texans, I just can't win. But, for future reference, telling me that my blog isn't connecting won't accomplish anything, because it's basically beyond my control. If you'd like more information why was down, you must consult their WEBMASTER!

Anyways, I return today with a revelation...

This is Akon -- hip-hop hit record assist man, perhaps one day in the same vein as Nate Dogg; soul survivor; thief of cars without registration; and, according to this picture, gay cowboy

This is Ben Gordon -- Chicago Bulls' leading scorer; reigning 6th Man of the Year and runner-up for Rookie of the Year; a man who never met a shot he didn't like or a frozen pizza he couldn't cook; and, according to this picture, 10 feet tall

Separated at birth, perhaps? I report, you decide

Monday, December 05, 2005

I came here for lobster

Juelz Santana likely will never be considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. He's not even the best rapper out of his crew. MAYBE 2nd best.

But, to his credit, he's out to make himself a star, and off to a good start. He's racking up radio time, TV time, he just performed on The Tonight Show in front of ALL TYPES of white people who never heard of him, he's even paid for most of his own videos, clearly anticipating (and probably getting) even greater profit. Dude knows the tactics to be popular. Case in point, for his new single "Oh Yes," he employed certified dimepiece Esther Baxter (of Petey Pablo "Freek-A-Leek" fame) for the video.

Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Get to know... In my quest to come up with and find funny shit to post, I could probably steal 20 links from this site. It's difficult to say it for sure, since I am a sports fan, but I think that even people who aren't sports fans could appreciate this site. Here are a few noteworthy samples from their archive:

-- The ongoing Clinton Portis Thursday press conference costume ball

-- Tim Drunk-can in his pre-NBA days

-- Two more reasons why the Chicago Bulls are my favorite non-local team

And I ain't getting no cash for mentioning their site either, it's simply because I enjoy their product. What ever happened to plugging items just for that? While on the topic, shoutouts to the following: Gatorade (Orange + Tropical Fruit X-Factor might be better than Lemon-Lime + Strawberry. MIGHT BE. I can't stress that enough), Taco Bell, Adult Swim, the Wu-Tang Clan, NBA League Pass, marijuana, alcohol, and women.

... meanwhile, still searching for inspiration to study during Finals week.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Well, that didn't take long

Seems just as quickly as I made this drastic change in my life, someone's come out the woodwork with disappointment in me. I won't name names, 'cause that's not what I do.

But I will reiterate what this person told me -- that it felt "different," and that "every idiot with a keyboard has a blog." Well, last I checked, I'm an idiot with a keyboard. So what's the big deal?

Let me coin a phrase that applies to this situation -- I'll call it "iPod syndrome." When the iPod first came out, I was against it. Wasn't for me. I can deal with the inconvenience of not having every single song I might want to hear at any given moment right at fingertips. When mad people started buying them, and subsequently not paying attention to oncoming traffic because of them, my hatred grew. Then I began to notice how many people around me had them, I saw their greatness firsthand, and I started to realize, "Hey, these aren't that bad. Matter of fact, I'm gonna buy one." So I did, and I was happy. The times, they were a changin', and I wasn't Ron Burgundy (no matter how much I tried).

But I too made a vow with myself to not become one of those people who wanders through life aimlessly with their head down scrolling through songs, and so far I've held strongly to that. In the same vein, I'm not gonna let this blog become some self-important, read-what-I-did-today-down-to-every-boring-detail snoozefest. If I do, punch me the face. I'll probably have already done it myself a few times by the time you get to me.

In conclusion, friend, it's pointless to be scared of changes, they're only here to help (most of the time, at least). Progress is natural. It's science.

Baskin Robbins only had 31...

I've long been a fan of IV Delimart, and I've made no secret of that. They've long held it down with 75-cent blunts, and the occassional 2-for-1 5-packs of Peach Optimos are always clutch. And dude that owns the place is one of the friendliest people in town, always offering a "have a good day, eh?" as you leave -- that Middle Eastern "he's one of the good ones" charm. Well, turns out dude in moving up in the world, as was reported in the Nexus (give the credit where it's due), he bought a company in Israel to produce his own brand of hookah coals and tobacco, which he will sell out of his store, called "Isla Vista Coals and Tobacco." Great name, but why? According to him, he wants to give some representation to IV, and "not for drinking or Halloween, but for something good." And really, what's better than tobacco? In fact, what's alcohol without tobacco? And what's Halloween without either of the two? Welcome to Isla Vista -- we're one underground gun cartel away from an ATF investigation!

What's so super-special about these new coals is that they're triangular, which will help keep them from falling off the hookah and on to unsuspecting carpet. This will apparently keep "landlords happy, and students from losing their security deposits." That's only half-right, though -- students aren't getting their security deposits back regardless, and that's what'll keep the landlords happy. Case in point, my housemates and I got charged $35 for broken fire extinguisher glass outside of our former residence, and assuming that our neighbors got charged that as well, it basically means that replacing fire extinguisher glass costs $70. Just something to keep in mind next time something catches ablaze on property you're renting. If you can secure enough of your belongings in time (say, everything you've bought within $70), then let that baby burn! Just make sure it looks like an accident first. That'll stick it to 'em!

And as far as the new tobacco goes -- 36 flavors! Let me spell it out so I can capitalize it to emphasize even more. THIRTY-SIX FLAVORS! I'm wondering if "smoke" is gonna be one of 'em. That'd be an effective means of cutting out the middleman (that guy's a bitch, anyways). As soon as they're available, rest assured they'll be purchased one by one for some pure, lung-darkening satisfaction. Just don't tell our landlord -- he probably won't want to be reminded considering he likely saw it out on the carpet this morning while he was mowing the lawn. Fortunately, he gave up hope on convincing us to move our mini-fridge off the carpet, cleaning up the oil in the garage -- you name it, we've ignored our landlord about it. Not communicating with a guy you pay $547.50 to every month -- that's living right there.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

R.I.P. My Subprofile, 2002-2005

You know what they say -- all good things must come to an end. Especially when they start becoming bad. The last few days, me and my subprofile had a bit of a falling out. Now, I was good to her, even when she wouldn't work for days, act shifty, change her appearance without telling me. I mean, we'd go days without communicating sometimes, but it didn't get in the way of what we had. Then I find out, from friends no less, that she had gone some 5 days ignoring everyone, being unresponsive, telling them to try again later. Well, there's no more later. I told her straight up, I need space -- that 10,000 character limit just ain't cutting it.

See what I did there? I metaphorically compared my time writing my subprofile to having a relationship! That's that cleverness that's gonna get this blog noticed WORLDWIDE! Who knows what could come out of that? Maybe ESPN will notice me, hire me to be a special assistant to Stuart Scott, listening to current hip-hop albums and coming up with new catch phrases for him. I can see it now...

"Yo S-Dub! [I assume he likes to be called that] Next time Lebron James dunks on someone, you could be like, 'Lebron is that ISH, set him in a Pampers!' Or if Brian Griese throws a touchdown, you could say, 'Everything is easy baby, leave it up to Griese baby!'" [Lil' Wayne's hot right now] Then he'd be like "BOO-YAH!" and leap in excitement, his glass-eye jiggling just slightly. That'll be the day.

But for now, it's all about this shit right here. I feel re-energized, almost like Howard Stern switching to Sirius. No longer confined to an AIM window, no longer unable to post links and photos, all my shit automatically archived. Sky's the limit, word to Biggie.

To celebrate this event, I threw a secret party deep in the Hollywood Hills, with invitations extended to all the biggest stars. And what a gathering it was! Jessica Alba was all smiles... and all nipples.

I'm actually gonna kill the whole "secret party" schtick right now, I just needed an excuse to put that picture up. I doubt anyone's mad.