Thursday, June 30, 2011

Throwback Thursday: "Off the Books" -- The Beatnuts ft. Big Pun & Cuban Link

I think The Beatnuts thought this track would be their jump to the bigtime. It ended up being Big Pun's, instead. This was the first big-studio recording he ever did, and he lays down what would become his trademark rapid-fire delivery of lyrical daggers. RIP Pun.

Overall a slick little track. And the team of dancers is causing a flare up of my Latin Fever (or maybe it was the Catalina Taylor video I watched the other day that's to blame...).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Dodgers are Frankrupt

The recent financial downfall of the Los Angeles Dodgers has caused a fan uprising in our beloved city of Angels (or Doyers). Jon Moore has founded and is now selling shirts that he feels more appropriately represent the team that is now bankrupt.

Video: Lupe Fiasco ft. Trey Songz -- "Out of My Head"

It took me a while, but I finally copped "Lasers" two weeks ago. And it hasn't stopped bumping in my car stereo since then. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the CD. The entire album is a much more polished, much more mature Lupe, and this track shows it off beautifully.

Courting Trouble

Someone in Munich has way too much time on his or her hands.

From Ball Don't Lie:
A regulation-sized basketball court was erected on the grove-like forecourt of the school building of the occupational school. The court consists of a soft orange-red tartan covering and two normed baskets and seems to be forced over the grid of the lamps that have been set up. The playable court has been "morphed" as in a 3D program on a computer and looks like the grounds of a rollercoaster, with heights and depths and calm and dynamic zones. The resulting paradox, which moves between a normative set of rules and pleasurable, anarchic change, requires creative engagement for its use.
My first instinct when reading this was to crack a few jokes about how the Germans designed this court just to—ironically—even the playing field when Americans come around for a game of fünf-auf-fünf. Then I remembered this year's NBA Finals, so...nah.

This court is ridiculous, though. Why would you do something like this for a sport that requires you to bounce the ball off the ground? It would be much more sensible to try it with football (American), football (rest of the world), baseball, etc.

And, in my opinion, the positioning of a lamp at the top of one of the keys is almost worse than the undulating surface. It's like having an automatic pick set up on every offensive possession at that end.

Crazy-ass Germans. What's that Dirk? Nothin...

Cocaine is a Hell of a Plague

This is your skin. This is your skin on cocaine.

Any questions?

From The Huffington Post:
It seems cocaine has been behind a rash of flesh-eating disease outbreaks in Los Angeles and New York.

Cocaine cut with the veterinary drug, levamisole has apparently been linked to a number of cases of rotting flesh, according to Good Morning America. While the cases reported thus far have been on the coasts, officials have warned that it could very well be a nationwide problem.
I think I'll be sticking to liquid recreational activities.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tail Report: 2011 BET Awards

Award shows suck. The beautiful women who get all dolled up to attend them don't. (Well, hopefully they do...)

Keri Hilson

Meagan Good

Teairra Marie (Dizzamn... Where the hell has she been? Aside from the gym, that is.)

LoLa Monroe

Tika Sumpter

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"You remind me of a girl, that I, once knew..."

So you're not quite over your ex, but she's moved on (several times); what's a guy to do?

Well, in the words of Christopher Titus, "I'm going to find a girl who looks just like you, and I'm gonna fuck her just to prove I DON'T NEED YOU!"

From omg!:
Remember that seemingly ubiquitous Old Navy ad featuring a woman who bore more than a passing resemblance to Kardashian? Well, her name is Melissa Molinaro. She's a singer/actress. And she is currently dating Reggie Bush, who in addition to being Kardashian's ex-boyfriend is also a halfback on the New Orleans Saints.

Bush and Molinaro have been dating for a few months, according to TMZ. They apparently met about two years ago, but didn't start dating until last summer, becoming "official" by Christmas.
I feel for Reggie—I do. He's had to watch Kim date Miles Austin and god-knows whoever else—all in front of cameras for her hit reality TV show—while dealing with a scandal from his college days that has resulted in the loss of his Heisman and one of his alma mater's national championships. And now Kim has announced her engagement to another pro athlete; one who, for all intents and purposes, appears to be mentally disabled (at least that's my theory about Kris Humphries; seriously, listen to him talk and tell me I'm wrong).

So to say the last year has been tough on him is fair, especially coming off the high of winning the Super Bowl in February 2010. But how long will it take before he's finally over Kim, and in the process gets over this new girl? My guess is once the NFL lockout ends, we hear an announcement that these two lovebirds are taking a break.

Then he'll have to find a girl who kind of looks like the girl who kind of looks like Kim.

Throwback Thursday: "One More Chance (Remix)" -- Notorious B.I.G.

I've been to a few parties like this...

Okay, I'm lying. But, god help me, I'm going to find a party like this one somewhere this weekend.

R.I.P. Big

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Never Give Up

Baltimore has always been a second home to me. When I was young I regularly visited my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who lived there. But the Bmore that once felt as warm and familiar to me as a motherly embrace has since grown dark and distant. Today it bares little resemblance to the Bmore of my memories, a paradise that has been long since lost. Most of you—especially those who have never been there—likely picture the city as it was cast through the harsh lens of “The Wire”. And you’re right; that’s exactly how it looks today. But that’s not the Baltimore that raised me.

As a child it was Camelot, where my cousins and I would run unrestrained with neighborhood kids, playing hide & seek and walking to the corner store for snacks. There were family dinners, Orioles games at Memorial Stadium (only a relatively short walk from my grandmother’s house), and Easter Sundays. In my teenage years it was Sonny LoSpecchio, teaching me street smarts and the importance of every move I made; and it built in me a deep appreciation for the grimier side of the American Dream. Long nights on porch steps, flashing police lights, gunshots, and the antics of random crackheads were priceless required reading for a course taught in a one-of-a-kind classroom. But the progression of my character as a man underscored my Eden’s regression. By the time I had reached my early 20s, Bmore was Krakatoa, erupting with violence, cracking at the seams with crime, sinking under its own self-destructive weight.

I last visited in 2009, after a five year absence. The tailspin that had started when I was a teenager was evidenced by the shell of a great city that I found that May weekend. I drove through lifeless canyons of abandoned buildings and ignored potential. I felt something I’d never felt in previous trips to Bmore: sorrow. It came from deep within; from the child that once played freeze tag in the back alleys, and the adolescent who laughed and joked with friends while in line at Tyrone’s Chicken. The spirit and vibrancy of the past was just that—past. The paradise of my youth laid quietly on a deathbed of unemployment, poverty, and aimless bureaucracy.

Enter Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady, a former drug kingpin and child of my Baltimore. After serving time, Stokey set out to change both his direction and that of his home, this once-glittering diamond on the Chesapeake that had him “addicted” at an early age.

From Life + Times:
After spending almost a decade in prison for leading an organized drug ring in his native Baltimore, Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady has turned over a new leaf through the efforts of his non-profit organization Never Give Up and as an author, filmmaker, and father. Here, Stokey leads Life + Times around Baltimore as we bear witness to some of the city’s revitalization efforts as it looks to move beyond its crime-riddled history.

So maybe my Baltimore isn't dead. Maybe the seed of hope can spark renewal; maybe the warm charm and honest prosperity can return to raise a new generation, one that reclaims their birthright and makes “The Wire” look like a science fiction vision of an unknown world.

The wide-eyed child deep inside my heart, sitting on my grandmother’s porch, can only dream it so.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rock Me Like a Furricane

It's that time of year again. Anthrocon, the world’s largest furry convention, begins this Thursday in Pittsburgh. And, as my boy TK has been reporting via Twitter, attendees have already started rolling into town (and he’s been meeting new friends; I'm trying to get him to go out like Johnny Drama).

I'm not a furry, but the whole culture fascinates me. Two years ago my friends and I, in a moment of drunken spontaneity, spent part of a night hunting furries. We posed for pictures and joked with them. My ex-girlfriend danced with them. Her friend rubbed one’s belly while he laid on his back, kicking his legs in the air. It was so much fun that last year Dupa and I each took a half day off of work to sit at the bar across the street from their hotel and hold a safari of sorts. Dozens of our friends eventually joined us, and countless pictures with deer, wolves, birds, cats, etc. now litter everyone’s personal Facebook pages.

This Friday I’ll be at it again—though Dupa and I have each called off for the entire day this time. It has officially become a tradition; cold drinks, sweaty-hot costumes, and good times. Bring your camera. Leave behind your threshold of “wtf”.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"What's happening, Mr. President?"

If you follow President Obama's Twitter feed, you can expect much more personal riffs and reflections to start appearing in your timeline.

From Mashable, via
U.S. President Barack Obama will start regularly tweeting from his official Twitter account.

...A rep also revealed that the Commander In Chief would be penning tweets of his own and that "on Twitter, tweets from the President will be signed '-BO.'"
If the same writers who did his jokes for the 2011 Correspondents' Dinner start giving him material for Twitter, this could turn into something special.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Light It Up

When you riot without a just cause, don't expect sympathy from me when your nuts get ignited like the Death Star.

Throwback Thursday: "Holler If Ya Hear Me" -- 2Pac

Happy 40th, Pac. Here's to the fight still being alive in all of us.

A Thug Poet Turns 40

June 16, 1971. To the idle fan of hip-hop and rap, that date means very little. Especially to a generation of fans who were merely a twinkle in their parents' teenage eyes at that point in time. For those of us who loved Tupac Amaru Shakur as though he was a member of our very own family, though, it means much more.

That was the appeal of Pac. He wasn't just a musician or a personality, but a kindred soul of every man, woman, and child. His passion for life and social justice spilled out of every song he sang and every antagonized sound bite he gave with a greedy reporter’s microphone pressed to his face. And it was this passion that captivated us. His raw emotion flowed through every word that he put forth, whether over a drum beat or a hushed courtroom. He got angry like us. He spoke like us. He made mistakes like us. He felt downtrodden like us. He loved like us. He fought like us.

…He bled like us.

Today would have been Tupac’s 40th birthday, a milestone so many take for granted. It’s a day when a man stands roughly at the midway point of his timeline in the yet-to-be-written history book. A moment that often causes him to look at all the time he’s lost, while simultaneously ruing the thought that he has so much yet to accomplish.

If only Pac had been lucky enough to experience it.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Man Confesses to Shooting Tupac in 1994 has obtained the written confession of Dexter Isaac, who claims to have been paid $2500 by James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond to rob and shoot Pac at the Quad City Studios in '94. It was this shooting, which took place while Biggie and Diddy (nee Puff Daddy) were upstairs, that forever fractured the friendship between Pac and Big, and eventually led to East Coast/West Coast beef that dominated the hip-hop landscape until Biggie's death in 1997.

Isaac came forward Wednesday (June 15th) with the information on the eve of what would be Tupac's 40th birthday.

He confessed to his involvement in the November 30th, 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur to, after Jimmy Henchman identified him in a statement, relating to Henchman's indictment for dealing numerous kilos of cocaine.

"I want to apologize to his family [Tupac Shakur] and for the mistake I did for that sucker [Jimmy Henchman]," Dexter Isaac told from prison. "I am trying to clean it up to give [Tupac and Biggie's] mothers some closure." also posted a scanned copy of the confession letter, seen below. However, there is an interesting piece of this letter that doesn't seem to have been given much notice in the coverage of this news so far: Isaac indicates that Diddy may have had a hand in the incident as well.
Jimmy, you and Puffy like to come off all innocent-like, but as the saying goes: You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Mr. Rosemond, I ask you: Are you going to flip on Puffy when the feds get you? To save yourself like you have done in the past? Because that's what a rat does. So in closing, we shall see who the rat is, in the near future.
Dexter Isaac's letter (click to enlarge)

If Isaac is telling the truth—and it's certainly hard to imagine why he wouldn't be at this point—then this news could only grow bigger in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Kitten Smitten

I don't know why she's still single.

This is Debbie. She's a passionate lady, as you'll start to find out around the :46 mark.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Respect My Gangsta: Mark Cuban

It's a celebration, bitches!

From the NY Post:
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spent $110,000 in four hours celebrating at club Liv at Miami's Fontainebleau after his Mavs beat the Heat to take the NBA Championship. Cuban spent most of it on a $90,000 bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne for teammates Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Brian Cardinal and Shawn Marion. After partying with the trophy until 5 a.m. yesterday and taking in a performance by Lil Wayne, Cuban left a $20,000 tip for the wait staff. "Worth every penny," he cheerily told us via e-mail.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Video: Talib Kweli ft. Nigel Hall -- "Mr. International"

Here's the new video from Kweli's latest album, "Gutter Rainbows". The spot is a collection of clips from his various shows around the world. Slick. Makes me want to get my passport stamped.

Good Triumphs over Evil

LOL at that pic. I'd do a whole write about how last night's win by the Mavs reaffirmed my faith in sports and the eternal struggles of "good" vs. "evil", but my distaste for LeBron and his false self-idolatry has already been put on display quite enough over the last couple of years. And not only that, but anyone who follows me on Twitter was given my thoughts on the subject last night. So instead, I’ll just lay back and smile at the world finally making sense for a few blissful minutes.


Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Friday

Time to spread the love...

"Yooo Gonna Fuck on Meeee?"

This is Roanoke, VA news anchor Holly Pietrzak having a bad day at the office. Something on your mind, Holly?

The look on her face when she realizes what she said is priceless.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Throwback Thursday: "Ride Wit Me" -- Nelly ft. St. Lunatics

This song ain't the most lyrically gifted, true (though it packs a little more in that department than most of the songs on Nelly's resume). And personally, my first choice was to post "Number 1", but it's not available for embedding. So...

With summer starting and the thermometer rising, though, I might as well hit you with a good party/cookout track to ride into the weekend with.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Revisionist History

The BCS has announced that they have will strip USC of their 2004 National Championship, due to the NCAA's ruling that Reggie Bush was ineligible that season due to rule violations. And, given the relative impotence of UCLA teams over the last decade, this is some of the best news a Bruins fan like myself has heard in quite some time.

From ESPN Los Angeles:
The BCS ruling vacated the results of the 2005 Orange Bowl -- the national title game for 2004 -- as well as the Trojans participation in the 2006 Rose Bowl, in which USC lost to Texas in the championship game.

As a result of the BCS's Presidential Oversight Committee ruling, there will be no BCS national champion in the record book for the 2004-05 season.

"The BCS arrangement crowns a national champion, and the BCS games are showcase events for postseason football," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement. "One of the best ways of ensuring that they remain so is for us to foster full compliance with NCAA rules. Accordingly, in keeping with the NCAA's recent action, USC's appearances are being vacated.
K Lew (a proud USC grad) has been suspiciously quiet ever since news of this scandal first broke. Hmmm...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Throwback Thursday: "What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock)" -- Fu-Schnickens ft. Shaq

Is this the illest track from 1993? Nope. Is this in the top 10 from that year? Probably not. Fu-Schnickens' best single? A lot of people will probably tell you that's "La Schmoove" from the prior year. And I'm one of those people.

So why am I posting this song for this week's throwback? Because it's my favorite guest appearance from one of my favorite NBA players of all time, who just announced his retirement yesterday. So bop your head and show some respect.

Happy Birthday Kev

Today is the born day of Crooked Straight founder, poker pro, emcee, and noted recluse, K Lew. Cheers to you, homie. Hope it's a great one.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shaq Retires

Shaquille O'Neal just announced his retirement via this video, which he posted on Twitter.

Congrats, Diesel. You're one of the few real "good guys" in sports. My generation grew up watching you play, and I know very few who can say they never cheered for you. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors

Behind the Scenes of TF3 Birdman Scene

Nah, not that Birdman (thank god).

The trailers for this summer's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" have shown brief flashes of a military team of paratroopers wearing special "flying" suits. In this video they take a look at how those shots were captured, as an elite team of jumpers were called upon to fly around the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago.

From JSYK:
Director Michael Bay selected a group of precision skydivers to perform stunts in the film after seeing the extreme sportsmen on '60 Minutes' one night. The show featured footage of the skydivers jumping off mountains with the help of wingsuits, which allow the guys to essentially fly (don't worry, they have parachutes, too).

The director took the idea of the skydivers and their special suits and incorporated them into the film, which was shot in Chicago -- a far cry from the open air of the mountains.
This looks ridic. You'll want to click "full screen" for this one, trust me.