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Thank Me Sometime Soon

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This post was scribed by my boy @LylevsTony. If all goes according to plan *rubs hands together diabolically* you’ll be seeing more from him (and more from me, ha!) here. Enjoy this post.

Gangster Rapper, Aubrey Graham

Well, the fuss is over.  Thank Me Later has dropped and the hype has died down…considerably.  We went through a period of projected sales, endless spins on the radio *Tell meeeeee what’s really goin’ on*, and of course, the haters.  In fact, the haters came out in full force (riot gear included).  Still, that is to be expected for someone who has come pretty much out of nowhere, aka Canada, to end up holding The Game in a Figure Four Leg Lock, or Sharpshooter depending on your move-set.  I kind of like the album, but many, many, many, people feel otherwise.  The number one complaint I have come across is: “He sings too much,” which more or less equals: “It’s waaaaay too soft.” My reaction always looks something like, -_- .  Did everybody else miss the fact that a while back, he nicknamed himself Heartbreak Drake?  That’s a pretty big indicator of what to expect as far as content goes.  If I play a track where Fabolous calls himself “Funeral Fab,” I’m sure that somewhere along the line, there will be death in his lyrics.  Similarly, if Heartbreak Drake drops an album, I would be more than surprised if I thought I was listening to Beanie Sigel’s The Truth.  Let’s be honest; Drake is not coming Straight Outta Compton, and I doubt he knows Who Shot Ya.  In fact, unless I missed it, he never tried to position himself in that light anyway.  As far as I’m concerned, he’s just a dude with bars who also happens to sing. Very often.

Here’s a challenge: listen to So Far Gone again.  For those who don’t know, that’s the title of the mixtape that propelled him from the depths of the underground onto the main stage(s).  At the time, it was more than refreshing; it was what we needed.  Ripe with punchlines and variety, it featured some of the biggest names (Weezy, Bun B), as well as some names unknown to many (Lykke Li).  Still, not too many that it seemed crowded.  Overall, it was good music (no Kanye).  Now that I think about it, I think I’ll put that on now. #pressplay.  It only takes the first 2 or 3 tracks to get the gist of Drake’s style: a rapping-singing hybrid thing.  This is definitely not a bad angle.  So, why is it that So Far Gone was revolutionary and original, while Thank Me Later was “too soft?”

One word: Flow.

A friend of mine *cough* @Meezyy *cough* brought this simple problem to my attention.  In an entry over at his blog, SongZige, he inferred that the overall flow of the album was off.  The track listing seemed erratic and, therefore, made the album less enjoyable than it should have been.  He even went as far as to rearrange them in an order he believed to be better more suitable.  Eureka! @Meezyy’s Thank Me Later was better than Drake’s Thank Me Later after simply switching the order of the songs.  How can this be?! The kid’s got talent…seriously, the kid’s got talent.

Alas, there will always be those who will forever prefer bang-bang-shootem-up-pitchin-rocks-on-da-corner music.  That’s perfectly fine with me, but even though Styles P is at-bat on my iPod, Lupe is on deck, and Wiz Khalifa is warming up.  It’s safe to say that the new generation of Hip-Hop heads is more than willing to make room for so called, “soft rappers.”  I’m also pretty sure there was a similar backlash when gangsta rap came on the scene.  Then again, music has always evolved to suit the times (see: Fight the Power and/or F*ck the Police).  Either way, the stars have pretty much aligned in favor of Aubrey “Drake” Graham, and I’m interested to see how it all turns out.  Who knows; maybe like mainstays such as Jay-Z, people will start really appreciating the 1st album further in his career.  He may actually receive some gratitude down the line…or Grammys.  After getting through that media circus, I will no longer let these things take over my life.  *cross my heart* Now, if you’ll excuse me, SportsCenter’s on.  I have to catch up on Lebronocalyse.



Written by PJ

July 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

Posted in Music

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What I’d Like To Hear From President Obama Tonight

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President Barack Obama

Before I get into this, I think it’s important to note that many people who feel as though Obama accomplished nothing during his first term are flat-out wrong. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apparently, talking about the good doesn’t generate rating for the media, and the Administration doesn’t want to brag about the good while Americans are suffering. No, seriously. A White House official told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that. How nice of them.

Luckily, the good folks over at Media Matters have compiled a list of accomplishments Obama, and those who supported his candidacy, should be proud of. Check it out here.

Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his first State Of the Union Address of his term. To say it’s highly anticipated would be putting it lightly. For the Obama Administration, and frankly the American people as a whole, 2009 was a long, LONG, year. The elation many of us were enjoying immediately after the inauguration of our country’s first African-American president quickly dissipated thanks to a series of buzz-kills. The weakest economy in several generations, 10% unemployment, a broken health care system, two wars, bubbling relations with Russia and China, etc. The list goes on. And keep in mind that those were collecting dust on his desk in the Oval Office on Day ONE, waiting to be tackled immediately. A tall ask, to say the least.

I think many us are in full recognition that Obama inherited many of the problems he’s evidently having a difficult time fixing to a level they’re comfortable with. A NBC/WSJ poll released on the eve of the SOTU address reflects that. According to the poll, only 27% of participants blamed Obama for not finding solutions to the nation’s problems. Given the narrative laid out by many media outlets, that number strikes me as low. That doesn’t mean we aren’t angry, though. Our anger is simply directed at Washington. 41% of those polled blamed the president’s party for not finding solutions, while 48% blame Republicans.

So, going into this SOTU, Obama clearly still has political capital left. People still like him. People have invested a lot of hope in his presidency, and perhaps aren’t quite ready to give up on him. So, the question now is “what exactly is he going to tell us?” According to NY Times reporting, we can expect him to admit mistakes:

When Mr. Obama presents his first State of the Union address on Wednesday evening, aides said he would accept responsibility, though not necessarily blame, for failing to deliver swiftly on some of the changes he promised a year ago. But he will not, aides said, accede to criticism that his priorities are out of step with the nation’s.

President Obama declining my interview via telephone.

I think this is a good way to level with the American people. The “mistakes” he will concede he’s made are going to especially resonate with progressives. Although many polls show that he enjoys 90% support among his party, many of the people who supported him are concerned that he isn’t carrying the liberal agenda as perhaps he should be. Health care, his, until very recently, kid-gloves approach to Wall Street,his inexplicable decision to freeze spending on many domestic programs (you know, McCain’s idea), etc. Throw in the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and progressives are left wondering when Obama will be THEIR president.

The middle class will also like this. The Republicans, in typical fashion, have done an excellent job carrying their message that Obama is “out of touch” with the country. They maintain that Obama has wasted valuable time on health care when he should be addressing the economy and job creation. Although the idea that the two are not intimately related has been roundly contested, the complex nature of the issue has made it difficult for everyday people to understand. He clearly needs to articulate how this is so.Speaking of difficulty in articulating, unfortunately, his two biggest accomplishments, saving the economy from another Great Depression, and the positive effects of the the stimulus package that passed, are intangible and thus difficult to articulate and prove their successes. How exactly do you show to that the economy could have been much worse? How do you get people to see that more people could be out of work? Throw that on the list of things he needs to explain.

Tonight, I want to hear from a man who has come to the realization that he has no friends in the Republican party. I’m getting a little irritated with the naïvety surrounding his approach to negotiating with the Right. It happened with the stimulus bill, when he comprised tough language and provisions out of the package in the hopes of bipartisan support. Not a single Republican voted for it. It has also happened with health care. He backed off the public option, an idea that enjoyed majority support from the American people, looking to by one or two Republican votes. The Party of No still refuses to vote for the bill, although I’m sure the appreciate the concessions. I’d truly like to see an end to that. I want him to exude toughness tonight. Explain to the Republicans that will be present in the chamber that they will not stand in the way of the change Americans voted for in November 2008. Convey to the people that he hears our complaints and shares our frustration. But he needs to pledge to follow up the rhetoric with tough, substantive measures. After hearing about his plan to freeze spending, I’m not sure exactly how likely this will be.

Obama is also going to talk about education tonight, a topic that received little attention in his first busy year. I can’t wait. Apparently, he will be discussing a plan to cap the amount each student pays for student loans. This news made me Harlem shake violently. True story. I’m interested, though, to hear how he will introduce a new domestic initiative while freezing new spending in 2011. In other words, what programs will have to walk the plank to make way for this program as well as the others he will mention tonight? I hope he can explain that.

Wall Skreet.

I would like President Obama to explain his administration’s handling of Wall Street. Talk about these record bonuses. I am just as confused as everyone else when it comes to understanding how the billions upon billions of tax payer dollars being loaded in a dump truck and dropped off at the door step of banks benefits the little guy. I want him to get tough on them and he needs to lay out exactly what he plans on backing his talk up with.

Finally, I just want to walk away from the address feeling a renewed sense of confidence in our president and the future he will ultimately lead this country to. Send a charge through your base, Mr. President. Reassure the American people that you are still their champion.

Oh, it would also be nice if he sent a message to Senate Democrats to cut the bullshit it out and stop being enemies of their own agenda. Fingers crossed!

Written by PJ

January 27, 2010 at 6:50 pm

“Whites Only” Basketball Team Announced In Georgia

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Damn those street ball style colored kids! Oh, wait...

You can’t make this stuff up:

The Augusta Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the All-American Basketball Alliance plans to kick off its inaugural season in June and hopes that Augusta will be one of 12 cities to host teams.

But here’s the kicker: According to a press release the newspaper and other Augusta media outlets received from the new league, “only players that are natural-born United State citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”

That’s right. [Don “Moose”] Lewis, who calls himself  the commissioner of the AABA, will exclude blacks and all foreigners from his new league, which the newspaper said will be based in Atlanta.

According to the Chronicle, Lewis said he wants to emphasize “fundamental basketball” instead of “street ball” played by “people of color.”

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” Lewis told the paper. “I don’t hate anyone of color.”

Oh, well there you have it. He doesn’t hate the colored folk. Phew! For a minute there he had me worried! How is this possible in 2010? That some imbecile can arbitrarily decide to exclude all persons of color from his league? He offered another reason, too:

Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?

Word. He’s not racist at all. I seriously hope this league gets stopped dead in its tracks. This should be offense to both black and whites alike, at least the ones that live in the 21st century. This is a blatantly racist dolt who obviously still thinks segregation is the law of the land. I would hope the people of Augusta disagree.

You know what would be sweet? If white “street ball” players like Jason “White Chocolate” Williams or Grayson “The Professor” Boucher signed up for this league and did some crazy street ball shit ad nauseum. I wonder what Mr. Lewis would have to say then?

Written by PJ

January 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Sarah Palin Joins FOX News

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FOX's newest comedian.

Sarah Palin joins FOX as its newest comedian.

Yep, Sarah Palin is going home:

The former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP VP nominee has signed a multi-year deal to serve as a contributor to Fox News, effective immediately.

“I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News,” Palin said in a statement. “It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balance news.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Joining Fox News, the top-rated cable news network, is the latest twist in Palin’s meteoric rise to fame after being named Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential candidate for the 2008 election.

This makes sense for Sarah Palin, if you ask me. What else is a completely incompetent former governor who quit after just one term, with no viable chance of ever becoming POTUS, to do? Make money, of course! Look at the other idiots over at Fox that make bank for mouthing off stupidity all day. Her BFF Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity both seem to be doing well, and she wants in!

I think this puts the 2012 talk to rest. Well, probably not, but it should. One thing is becoming crystal clear about Palin: She understands that she has a brand worth building, and that doing so could reap tremendous financial benefits. This makes it all too obvious that she really doesn’t care about becoming president. Why, when she could stand on her soap-box all day and make millions?

At least we know she’s good at math.

Mark McGwire Says The Sky Is Blue

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Mark McGwire admitted today to using steroids during his days as a player.

So read the hilarious tweet that I came across today while this “news” was breaking. Today, finally, Mark McGwire came clean:

NEW YORK — Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball’s home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

“I wish I had never touched steroids,” McGwire said in a statement. “It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn’t include that detail in his statement.

McGwire’s decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, his final big league team. Tony La Russa, McGwire’s manager in Oakland and St. Louis, has been among McGwire’s biggest supporters and thinks returning to the field can restore the former slugger’s reputation.

“I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come,” McGwire said. “It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected.”

He became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez last February.

Others have been tainted but have denied knowingly using illegal drugs, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.

This has been the least surprising news to break since Sisqo admitted he was gay. Oh, he hasn’t admitted that yet? Well, nevermind, but you get my drift. This was widely known. That McGwire picked today to spill the beans raises interesting questions. The first question I asked is “why now?” Because he got a job as the hitting coach for the Cardinals and knew he would be inundated with questions from the press on a daily basis? Probably, and the ESPN article certainly suggests that such may be the case.

I wonder, though, if any other factors contributed to his decision. If I was in McGwire’s shoes, I’d consider it this way: There was a Steroids Era and I played in it. Period. Anyone that doesn’t fully acknowledge that this was a widespread thing that touched a lot of players is probably, well, Mark McGwire prior to today. Having said that, Major League Baseball is going to have to figure out a way to move forward from all this. I’m specifically talking about the Hall Of Fame implications here.

Before I begin, let me just say that I think the Hall Of Fame should choose the BEST and GREATEST players. PERIOD. The baseball writers who make the decisions should crunch numbers and make an objective determination. That’s it. By the way, you can read an excellent opinion piece on how there are cheaters from different eras in baseball here. But more on that in a future post.

Baseball Hall of Fame

583 home runs; 1,400+ RBIs; 12 time all-star; slugged almost .600 and had an on-base percentage of nearly .400; did I mention FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THREE HOME RUNS? This is first ballot stuff, and the man is on ballot #4 and he hasn’t even cracked 25%. It’s not looking good. And the clear reason–and many of the beat writers responsible for voting players in have made this clear–is the steroid cloud.

It’s not just him, either. Nobody that’s been accused of taking steroids, or had evidence presented which affirms such a charge, stands a chance. But something is happening. Remember, this was the Steroids Era! That means there are hundreds of players that were using performance enhancing drugs. Hundreds! Including great names like Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and now Mark McGwire. There are many who I haven’t mentioned, and even more whose names haven’t yet surfaced. Too many players took part in steroid use for owners and other baseball powers-that-be to get a pass. Commissioner included. The case I’m trying to make is that at some point baseball is going to have to stop pointing the fingers at the players and accept the fact that everyone is culpable; from commissioner to player. From there, there needs to be the realization that you cannot possibly keep these MLB greats out of the Hall Of Fame because of the unfortunate steroid culture they happened to have played in.

Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.

I’m sure a lot of these players that were are saying the same thing. And I’m sure he honestly means that. What an awful time to

"Ster- what? I'm sorry, you'll have to speak louder. The money machine is making it harder to hear what could potentially force this very money machine to be turned off."

be a baseball player. But getting back to Big Mac, I think these factors weighed on his decision. At the end of the day, the one thing that separates him from David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, besides that they are still playing and have an opportunity to “redeem themselves” and he does not, is the fact that they came clean (term used loosely, particularly for Big Papi) and he hasn’t. If the time comes when people who admitted to using steroids are allowed into the HOF, and I believe it will happen, who do you think the writer’s are more likely to choose? The baseball greats who came clean (albeit because their name showed up on a list that got out) or the stubborn player who, although it was common knowledge, refused to come clean? I think we know the answer. I think Mark McGwire knows the answer as well. This is the first step to not only get the questions to stop, but also to salvage his last chance into the hall.

Now if only Barry Bonds were as smart.

I also plan on going over what the legal implications are for Mr. McGwire. The man did go to Congress and put his hands over his ears every time a steroids question came up.

Oh, and… can Pete Rose get in now? No? Okay.

Written by PJ

January 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Brit Hume To Tiger Woods: “Turn To The Christian Faith”

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Brit Hume reporting live from a high horse.

By now, everyone knows about Tiger getting it in with a stable of women behind his wife’s back. That’s been covered ad nauseam over the past couple of months. Now that we’re past the initial shock of seeing one of the most polished images in sports and entertainment crumble before the public eye, we’re pretty much waiting for the next jumpoff to come forward Tiger to make his inevitable return to the spotlight and to the game of golf.

Exactly how he’ll go about rebuilding his image and working on his personal demons remain a matter of contention. Reports range from the “yacht with liquor and friends”  and “party at the Trump Towers“approaches, to the more traditonal, “if I label this an addiction and check into rehab, I’ll be forgiven more quickly” method. Our good and reliably funny friends over at Fox have their own alternate method, though. What say you, Brit Hume?:

Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person, I think, is a very open question. And it’s a tragic situation. . . . But the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out of this scandal, the extent to which he can recover, seems to me to depend on his faith.

“He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.

Yes, you read correctly. The answer to Tiger’s personal woes is to dump his Buddhist faith and join Team Christianity. Because Brit says so. I’m actually surprised Tiger couldn’t figure this out himself. I’m in complete admiration of Brit Hume for speaking up and telling Tiger what should have already been obvious. Seriously, look at all the shining examples Tiger had to look toward to realize the err of his spiritual commitments:

  • Larry Craig – This former Republican from Idaho was up in an airport bathroom tapping his feet, and it wasn’t because he was feeling the gospel music on his Ipod.
  • David Vitter – The good senator from Louisiana had the D.C. Madam on speed dial. He even spoke with her escort service in the middle of Senate roll call votes. Jesus’ best home girl in the bible was a prostitute, though, so he gets a pass. Yup.
  • Mark Sanford – Who could forget former rising star Gov. Sanford and the affair he had with a woman in Argentina? Sanford wishes everyone would, I’m sure. Thank God for emails, though.
  • Mark Foley – This guy is just disgustingly pious.

Four self described devout Christians. How’s that working out for them? This isn’t an attack on Christianity, trust me. This is an attack on hypocritical people who swear they know how to solve everyone’s problems but their own. Essentially telling someone that their religion is wrong and won’t “offer the same kind of forgiveness and redemption” as the one you belong to is religious arrogance. It’s an arrogance that many Republicans, and by extention FOX News, embody. What ever happened to not throwing rocks in a glass house?

Dear Brit, I think I speak for Christians, Buddhists, and every other religion who’s followers are human and make mistakes when I say: shut the fuck up. Redemption is between the person and their Creator. Period.

Here’s the video clip:

Written by PJ

January 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Jay-Z – On To The Next One ft. Swizz Beatz (ViDEO)

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Brilliant. Aside from the visual overload that is this video–and it truly is an overload–this is marketing heaven for Jay-Z. The biggest name in Hip Hop is garnering even more attention to start off the new year with his latest video. Directed by Sam Brown, the video is absolutely packed with imagery that leads the viewer wondering whether there is more to the video than meets the eye. Seriously. The video’s release was immediately followed by speculation about the “deeper meaning” behind the video. Was this proof that Jay-Z is down with secret societies and the Illuminati? The YouTube experts crept out the woodwork, proclaiming emphatically parts of the video they viewed as proof of his affiliation.

I’m pretty sure this is what Jay-Z wants.

There’s no question that Jay-Z, the director, and the rest of the team behind this video intentionally packed this video with imagery. Jay-Z is more than aware of the rumors going around the internetz regarding his possible affiliations. He is pouring more gas on the flame with this video. He’s having fun with us. As we take to the forums and play detective on twitter, he’s reaping the benefit of the publicity this is all generating.

At the end of the day, it’s a damn video. Simply because Jay-Z put strange images in the video doesn’t automatically translate into devil worship and secret societies. I’m just not ready to make that kind of speculative jump. People need to relax on jumping to conclusions simply because you see something you don’t understand. Maybe the images mean something to him. Maybe they don’t. At the end of the day, though, this is baby food compared to the kind of imagery has been prevalent in metal music for years. Not to mention, they’re visuals are often accompanied by MUCH darker lyrical content. Nobody really says anything about their blatant promotion of anti-christian material.

So, even though I think people are reading way too much into this, I’ll leave you with a comment I saw on a thread that DOES make sense. Regarding the imagery in the video:

This ain’t something you play with or just come off the top of your dome with. These are real sciences and organizations and just like street gangs, you will get your top peelt for false flagging.

*Kanye Shrug*

_Try_ and enjoy the video.

Written by PJ

January 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm