Friday, May 30, 2008

but I do, but I do, do, do

It's almost moving time again. New city, new season, new adventures. I won't have internet for a couple of days but it's not like I post every day anyway. Keep me in your prayers please, I'll need 'em. I'd be lying if I said I was ready, but it's all for the best...right?

"Art hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home."---Gwendolyn Brooks

WALE's "Mixtape About Nothing" dropped after weeks of hype and anticipation. Get it here. I'll listen to it as soon as I can bring myself to turn off Duffy's "Rockferry."

My new favorite blog:
Hilarity will ensue. Hilarity as you've never known it before in blog format.

Also, just in time to make your summer play list is a great slow jammer "Five 5enses" by my bff Justin! This was a production that has taken many, many months and all the hard work has paid off. It was more of a joke in the beginning too-- but please believe this just got added to Ipod Jr for the journey tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

look, well I can ride you on my handle bars

My life force has been restored and my new iPod > yours. New music, new play lists, new soundtrack to life. Also, today I officially reached a library of 17,000 tracks. Yitidee!

Duffy - Mercy (?uestlove Remix) [
love this]

C_o_m_m_o_n feat. P_h_a_r_r_e_l_l - Universal Mind Control

R_i_c_k R_o_s_s feat. P_h_a_r_r_e_l_l - Get Down

DJ K_h_a_l_e_d feat. everybody - Out Here Grindin

Lil W_a_y_n_e feat. T-P_a_i_n - Got Money

That picture is from an article in New York Magazine entitled "You Walk Wrong" about how terrible all shoes are for our feet. It's kind of long but really, really interesting. That picture is of a foot, no shoe, but doesn't it look
so real? All the photos with the article are feet painted as shoes to get the point across about how great walking barefoot is. They're amazing!
"The researchers concluded that, prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet. Among the modern subjects, the Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while the Europeans—i.e., the habitual shoe-wearers—had the unhealthiest. One of the lead researchers, Dr. Bernhard Zipfel, when commenting on his findings, lamented that the American Podiatric Medical Association does not “actively encourage outdoor barefoot walking for healthy individuals. This flies in the face of the increasing scientific evidence, including our study, that most of the commercially available footwear is not good for the feet.”
The title a Pharrell quote from the Come Close remix feat. Pharrell and Erykah (number 17)

and by request:

"Even the best fall down sometimes

Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide"
- Howie Day

Sunday, May 25, 2008

what I want so much should never hurt this bad

I was planning on writing about church this morning and it seems someone else had the same idea. Today the topic was "self-control." You already know it was hard for me to think outside the box on that one. I was there for a reason, the message was there for me, I don't need to be worrying about anybody else. The scripture was 1 Corinthians chapter 10:

23"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
It was a great message. When we give up something, save money or otherwise, are we doing it so that we're able to provide more for others, or just to serve ourselves? What does self control look like for me? I don't care what the world is doing, I'm still my harshest critic, I'm still holding myself to the highest standard, and no matter what the world would expect from me, I have to go above and beyond that. I was once told to go until you can't go anymore, until someone slams the door in your face. No one has slammed the door yet, what I look like slamming my own door?

I've been real strong. I try to keep everything in perspective and make sure my people know I'm doing good, my life is great, in the grand scheme of the world my little problems aren't anything. But, like I tell my girls, it's still okay to be mad, to hurt, and to lose your self control. It's okay...but at the same time I feel like I have to rise above that. What I look like losing my cool? What I look like worrying about what comes next? What I look like getting myself into a situation I can't get out of? Eleanor Roosevelt once said "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Lord, if that ain't the truth. I would've never guessed. I made a note to myself in January that I just read: "
It is better to fully trust in another and give them your all and to be hurt in the end than to be suspicious and hurt throughout just to end up being hurt in the end anyway. It's the same pain. You might as well be happy in the meantime." I don't have a regret in the world. I can rationalize everything that I've done. I'm not here to judge a single other person, but I will judge myself. If I can't wake up and look myself in the mirror I don't expect anybody else to be able to look at me. And still, I must rise.

The other day I picked up my brother from school. Tootie is severely disabled from a bout with meningitis and can barely communicate by usual standards. He loves to ride around with me with the windows down and our music blaring with our shades on. I played the song below and bless my soul if that boy didn't start singing just as loud as I was. He apparently knows the song and seeing that... I can't even describe it. Nothing else matters. I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm better, so much better... never would have made it.

"This world'll try to break you with lies and fables
Make you not even believe in you no more
Had to get back to me, get back to mines
Get back to fam, get back to rhymes
Lay down at night and say without shame
Today I was a [wo]man, tomorrow I'll be the same
Be a bonfire when others are just a flame
Be a memory when others are just a name...
That's real words from a true heart
You can take it as a old ending or a new start"
-- Phonte

Friday, May 23, 2008

no matter what I say it's nothing but words

A while back I wrote about Anthony David. I think he's sensational. His video for "Words" with India Arie just came out and I have to say.... I love it. I'll even give him a pass for that nose ring. It's a great song, but I haven't heard anything from him I haven't found enthralling. I'll upload a couple more of his songs once I get hooked back up to my external hard drive. India Arie looks beautiful and her voice is as rich and strong as always. The woman just seems to personify "organic" to me.

AND 2dopeboyz posted up the W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. video that has fiiiinally come out. I posted the preview a minute ago -- ya'll already know I love the sample and Wale! The video is nice, there are a ton of pop culture references. I might like the original Justice version a bit better-- it blew my mind the first time I saw it. Anyhow, did you see Harold and the Purple Crayon? I love it!

This album is from 1957 with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. It coincides with the 1959 movie of the same name starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr which my mom went to see as a little girl with my grandmother. Then, earlier this year, I saw the amazing, wildly acclaimed play put on by the Zachary Scott Theater in Austin. I love how things carry over like that. Everything in this world is so ephemeral, I like when something lasts longer than the usual fad. It's a classic, I know you know "Summertime" -- there have been a million and one covers of it since it was first written - just type in "Summertime" on Youtube. I used to run track with the nicest, sweetest, most genuine girl who had a voice that rivaled any classic singer and when she sang "Summertime" I still remember the whole world stopping except for her and her amazing voice. She passed away from a brain tumor and I still think of her every time I hear the song. It was so amazing and I don't think it's recorded anywhere. Anyway, get familiar with some good music, the good Lord knows we need it after all the Soulja Boys and Soulja Girls running around the airwaves today.

hater for the greater good

"Look, it is what it is, because of what it was
I did what I did, cause it does what it does
I don't put nothin' above what I am, what I love
My family, my blood, my city and my hood
Hater for the greater good
I'm back from Hollywood
And I ain't changed a lick
Though, I know I probably should"
-- Black Thought "Criminal"

Mmmm yes. Moving cities again tomorrow -- I didn't see nearly enough people while in the H, but it's a good problem to have in the grand scheme of things. I'm blessed. Today I fed a giraffe. My life > yours

  • Wale's much anticipated (at least by me) "the mixtape about nothing" will be out 5/30/08 @ see the tracklist here. Also, there is another random Wale "Voice of the City" mixtape TSS posted. Tracklist.
  • Rihanna's "Take a Bow" is the number one song on iTunes. I take issue with the fact that 267,000+ people are loving a song about a lying, cheating, trash of a man so much that they'll PAY Apple for it. That's nearly 300 grand just from iTunes. What a world, what a world. But let me not front like that's not my next ring tone.
  • Angelina Jolie is having twin babies which makes numbers 5 and 6 (I think, it's hard to keep up with the population growth within that household). I just can't tear my eyes away from that family. Please grow up in the public eye Brady Bunch-style.
  • If you haven't seen "crazy girl on train" aka "Soulja girl" yet, brace yourself. Before you watch this be aware that she has been diagnosed as bipolar and was off her meds and has since been in police custody. Ladies and gentlemen, I now bring you the effects of a Soulja Boy world:
(by request - sorry it took so long, I think I finally found it!)
(unreleased "album" aka collection of songs from 2008)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm rehabilitating and still feeling rebellious

"My head already so heavy it's making the scales tip, I got my own pressure and got everyones elses, I'm rehabilitating and still feeling rebellious"
-- Black Thought "I Can't Help It"

I finally got in the mood today to listen to "Rising Down" in its entirety. My respect is such for the Roots that I can't just listen casually to the album, I feel the mood, the mind frame, the time must be right for the first real go round... except for "Rising Up" which already got the appropriate first run treatment months ago.

It's finally summertime! I'll be working all summer but it'll be great for a lot of reasons. I'm actually finally looking forward to it. I just got back from the Magnolia State for a huge, country family reunion and it was darn near life changing. It was exactly what I needed after themostintensefinalsweekever. Sorry to leave y'all hanging though - there's lots of good music circulating so I'll just throw a bunch in this post.

+ Producto Digestivo just posted every Little Brother/9th Wonder/Phonte mixtape and album that I've ever heard of and a good number I didn't know were out there.

I haven't listened to the whole album yet, but what I've heard from Usher's new material has been fair. He's doing a bit too much with this new video though...

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud. 17 "You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. -- 1 Samuel 24:16-20

Monday, May 12, 2008

no one even knows it

I know I've been posting a lot of music videos lately but man if I'm in the library until 3 watching old school videos and want to share something then I can do that. This video epitomizes the 90's for me. The dancing, the music, the outfits, the message....I long for a time like that again. One of my history teachers once said she has observed that people basically romanticize the time when they were in early elementary school years. The social and even political culture that pervaded your little life at that time is something that you'll look more fondly upon than you might have done otherwise. I believe it. This is my favorite BBD song (a close tie with "Poison") and I really like how this, in a roundabout way, celebrates strong women. At a time when Too Short, 2 Live Crew, etc were all objectifying women and teaching girls to have a whore mindset that the world may never break, there was still a subculture of men celebrating the strong women in their lives. This is clearly meant to be humorous but, still, the feminine aspects that they sing about aren't your normal "36-24-36" descriptors.

I think our society has very divergent social norms for females and it's basically a toss up where you land. Are you going to be the "I gotta get mines, no shame/dignity, nasty as I wanna be" variety or the "I'm able to look myself in the mirror and not hang my head everyday?" I don't think you can be both. Or maybe I'm naive. How are you going to act like someone's garbage, be dogged by men and women, hide secrets from yourself, and then think you can get married one day, and brush it all under the carpet and turn your ho switch off?

This video, and a lot of the music in the same genre, seems to celebrate the latter type - the strong woman who is her own harshest critic. I've been listening to a lot of music and there are so many mixed messages out there - often from the same artists: "I can't live without you, I'll never be with you, you're my little secret, sideline ho." I do think that the music we surround ourselves with seems to seep in our subconscious thinking - a sort of bandwagon effect, if you will - we identify with the artist and feel that what they're singing about is acceptable because the melody is smooth and it sounds good. Old school music -- really old school music -- has similar messages but they go about it in such a demure way you often don't get the same vibe (there are exceptions, i.e. James Brown, but the exceptions aren't the rule like nowadays). My point is that there is a marked difference in self perception between singing "she's a gaaaangster" and "make it rain on them hoooes." Don't get me wrong, I'll get up and gyrate with the best of them in the club, but when does it stop becoming a dance and start becoming a lifestyle?

G_a_v_i_n D_e_G_r_a_w - "I'm in Love With a Girl"

This song isn't really that new but I saw him perform it last week on some show (Ellen maybe? Best talk show ever, by the way) and at the time I felt like if I tried hard enough I could actually hug the music it was so substantial and powerful. I will always rock out to this young man.

N.E.R.D. - "Spazz"

I'm pretty sure they played this at the GITD concert, I remember hearing the "I'm a little teapot" line and seeing these two girls pretending they were teapots... :-| At the time I figured it was old and off of something besides "In Search Of..." but I guess not. I forgot to mention before I'm actually really, really upset with the fact that there was no CRS performance at the concert. How are you going to have Pharrell, Ye, AND Lupe and NOT do "Us Placers?!" I really felt like the concert was designed to be as mainstream as possible which I understand from a business stand point but in reality you could do anything - people have already paid - and the people who are there to follow the crowd would still cheer no matter what the song.
N.E.R.D. feat. CRS and Pusha T - "Everybody Nose" remix

C_h_r_i_s Brown feat. K_e_r_i H_i_l_s_o_n - "Superhuman"
mediocre at best.

Lil Weezy feat. Teddy Pinderazzdown - "Got Money"
I bet these two have a bet like "How many times can we use the same words, same concepts, and same sound effects and STILL get paid and radio play?" Who could have ever dreamed vocoders would come back with such a vengeance? I never posted the 'Ye remix with a vocoder to "Lollipop" and now I can't find it but it's funny -- everybody had jumped on that bandwagon! And i like it.

I still have not found my iPod. Man oh man. What a time to be abandoned. And the weather changed over night and I woke up sick. And I can't sleep more than like 4 hours at a time. 2 more days. Just 2 more days.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

that was quite a show

Rihanna recently dropped this video for her latest (and greatest?) song. She performed this near the beginning at her concert and I was surprised because it was so new, and you know how those concerts have a very strict order and like years of rehearsals so it goes a certain way. (I still think Chris Brown could have come out and sang over the track or
something) Anyway, her voice is super strong and she looks the best I've ever seen her look (none of that dominatrix biz this go round) - and completely different from her "Pon De Replay" days -- although that was a great song and definitely had me wearing baggy pants to the club with boyshorts...just not as reggae as I wanna be. No subliminals.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

respect is just the minimum

Well bless my soul, looks like we got an explosion of hits the last couple of days - mainly from Facebook and No Days Off. Welcome new friends, to what do I owe the pleasure? I kid, I kid, but y'all should know me better than that. It's not my battle to fight, let go and let God.

I'm a big fan of the Fire Red Spizike, so when I saw these "Cool Grey" ones, they immediately caught my eye. They're apparently only being released in Europe (the red ones were originally just available in the US) but don't let that stop you. See it, want it, buy it, (and after a lot of mailing issues and sketchy business practices) own it. Mmmm...yes. Gotta love international trade.

Another example of a shoe that I respect but most likely will never rock is this Supra Skytop being released today. The form caught my eye as a mix of Chucks, Adidas, and (love) old school Nike. However, I think the only place I've ever been in my life where metallic shoes were okay for me would have been the Kanyeezy concert. The world just isn't ready.

Before I discovered the perfection which is Donny Hathaway, my favorite song was "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green. That easy, breezy style of singing that makes you want to dance and sway around the kitchen while cooking -- you can't manufacture that. It's nothing compared to "Song for You" which has been my favorite song since the moment I first heard Donny's voice croon over that haunting piano melody, but Al Green is a great nonetheless. Al just dropped another album called "Lay it Down" which features the likes of Anthony Hamilton and John Legend. What originally got it on my radar is that ?uestlove worked on the project and you already know ?uest can just sit there and do nothing and I'll still be clapping like he just discovered plaid.

216 people were arrested for peacefully protesting the Sean Bell killers' verdicts - including Rev. Sharpton and Sean Bell's widow. What kind of world am I living in? When Courtney passed away I thought the world was done, over, that was it. My brain can't even comprehend that kind of tragedy. I've lost a lot of people close to me through disease and violence and I've never been so shaken to my very core. But the world kept moving. I couldn't breath and people kept walking around campus like nothing had happened. How is that possible? In light of recent events it's the same, all of a sudden nothing matters, I really don't know which way is up, and people act like the world is still spinning. I hate that as we grow up we have to deal with issues and become desensitized. I hate that the world is a place where when someone can't go on living to the point where they have to protest the government, then they're thrown in jail like they did something wrong. I'm learning (should have learned by now due to my final being ever closer) about how the world can't sustain our population growth, fisheries are depleted, deforestation is leading to desertification and soil erosion which means people can't make enough food to survive. There are so many pressing issues that I stress about that don't affect me directly (Kenya.. ugh.) and it's like people are sitting next to me in the computer lab just oblivious. I have to resist that blissful ignorance -- we're all connected on some level (not to get all tree hugger on you) and what happens across the world is going to have short term and long term repercussions. Information is only the first step, but it's still a step. When am I going to be held accountable? If I can't believe in something better then this life isn't worth living. I can't subscribe to the view of just stacking my chips and worrying about me -- I'm still doing for my mother and paying bills but that's not all everyone can be worried about. Selfishness and greed are so ugly, so so ugly, and if it literally destroys me to see the world consumed by it then I can't be the same as everyone. Still, I must rise. But how? Something is inherently flawed with our capitalist view that markets fix themselves and profit maximization for the shareholder is all it takes -- in the long run everything is in equilibrium. John Maynard Keynes, the brilliant economist, said it best: "In the long run, we're all dead."

"Last night I saw you in my dreams, now I can't wait to go to sleep. This life is only a dream, and my real life starts when I go to sleep."

Friday, May 9, 2008

and I'm prepared to go it alone

Wow. So suddenly my life is so surreal and I can't tell what's reality and what's not -- including this video. I can't tell if I'm tripping but this video is bonkers. I don't think I've ever referred to anything as "bonkers" unless I was referring to the Disney cartoon, but this is so far out there that I don't even know how to process it. That might have to do with my state of mind, etc. but Gnarls Barkley has topped the charts with their creativity again. What year is this? What country? The moment that boy in the starts mouthing the words I was captivated. I love the song anyway, really the whole CD. An earlier post has it if you don't have it yet, better yet buy it, it's worth it!

"Anyone that needs what they want, and doesn’t want what
they need

I want nothing to do with

And to do what I want And to do what I

Is first of my to-do list

But every once in a while I think about her

One of the few things I do miss

But baby I‘ve to go

Baby I’ve got to know

Baby I’ve got to prove it"

Get it Cee-Lo. So I'm supposed to be studying for 2 super crazy hard finals (and having a terrible time focusing - hence the blogging...) so I'll just give a few tid bits of info that are on my mind right now....

  • MC and Nick are out and about. Homegirl has a tattoo that says "Mrs. Cannon" on her back. Yet again I'm tempted to use the word bonkers. It's so silly yet I love it. When you've been rocking with someone that long it doesn't really matter what they do -- which is probably why people who used to have Michael Jackson posters on their wall still faint when they see him and love him, while the rest of us look like o_O.

  • The tragedy in Myanmar is going on and no one I knows is talking about it. There was a terrible cyclone that destroyed and shut down the country. I heard a report that the death toll was like 22,000. Uh hello? All of these little, isolated villages have been wiped out in this Southeast Asian country and it took a while for aid to go there and of course it's not enough. One guy basically said, "If we don't get some potable water soon and something to eat we're just not going to be here in a week." The food crisis already has everybody's pockets pinched too. And what does that say about me that I reported on Mimi first? Americans = selfish

  • Hillary and McCain want to give consumers a break in the cost of gasoline over the summer. You morons. Not only are they not changing a thing in the entire oil industry, but they're making things worse. I'm going to need someone in office that understands economics. They want to basically shift the gas tax so you save something like a few bucks a tank. Thomas Friedman, one of my favorite columnists, wrote about the logisitcs in an article called "Dumb as We Wanna Be." Read it. He also wrote this outstanding column on America's relative position internationally.

  • I can't find my iPod. When I need it most. Blast it all.
Also, last night I was talking a good friend (shout outs to my titanium support net by the way)about his business plan and I remembered I never posted his new site. Fresh 2 Death clothing has really taken off and I'm really impressed with the professionalism of the site. Basically Jae Dash Blaze paints these shirts and now they have them screen printed so you can order them. You can also order them hand painted. Anywho here's a sample from one of my favorites and the link: Check-check-check it out!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I fully support this

There is nan not a reason I should be blogging right now. I'm literally in the THICK of finals week. But alas, I felt compelled to tell my reader that I have made a decision: I support Mariah and Nick. If you know me at all you know I go back with Mariah Carey and her music for as long as I can remember. We're talking EARLY elementary. We go back like car seats. More importantly the world is in dire need of little Mariahs to keep that talent going forever... I didn't want to blog about this insane rumor before, I got all sorts of texts from true friends who know my love of MC and I told them all I didn't believe it. I follow her music not her personal life but STILL. Nick Cannon? Oh well, he has a little biz going for him and, corny as he is, he's okay in my book for now. Who knew he was 27 though?! Oh well. Get it girl.

Also a few quick reflections on the Kanye concert in "Houston" (read: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands does not equal Houston by any stretch) last weekend:
  • Chris Brown we know you were on stage. WHY would you not do the Umbrella remix? Reason #2043 why I don't like big, planned out concerts
  • Kanye West we love you for acting a fool. Those blue screens were annoying us too. Your professionalism style is a bit unorthodox but hey, everybody has their standards. More power to your ridiculous, brightest-star-in-the-universe-self.
  • Rihanna, I know you call yourself being a fashion trendsetter but please give your motorcycle hat back to the Village People. I can't find any pictures online so that must have been a Houston exclusive. Nice. She had a nice set though.
  • Shortly after the concert it was announced Lupe's album just went Gold. So why in the sam hell was Lupe on first like some Austin hometown SXSW band?! All 5 people that had made it through I-45 traffic and parking and who weren't off buying their $10 Kayne shutter shades loved it though. No props, just a little fog towards the end of the act, no announcement, no nothing. Who's in charge here?
  • NERD...I'll rock with you. Not enough to run through the arena and dive on stage and proceed to take multiple awkward photographs though....
  • "The Lawn" + that tiny bridge back to the parking lots = fire hazards. There is nothing safe about packing people in until there is no movement possible. $40 is too much to pay for no breathing room. Luckily I had a fantastic group of guys with me who (1) kept the mood light and had me cracking up and (2) could have potentially saved me in the event of a stampede.

[Thursday Edit: now if that ain't some foreshadowing...]

Okay.... seriously, back to studying. Catch y'all on the flip side of this International Finance final!