Let’s talk about this Macklemore Video

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So, the other day I was in Miami for a little vacation. I was doing vacation type things so I wasn’t by a computer for a few days. Over the course of the day, i got a few texts from random friends asking me if I had seen the Macklemore video. Of course I hadn’t. Why would I ever have seen that? But, upon the urging of others, I popped it up on my phone while i was taking a dump. Well…goddamn…

Now before i get into this, I should probably preface it all with my “relationship” with Macklemore. I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. I have a decent amount of friends who have and across the board, he’s a beloved dude. I don’t mean that in a musical sense. I mean that he is, by all account a great, humble and cool person. I’ve never been a fan of his music really but, to be fair, I also never paid much attention to him.. If anything, he’s been the butt of an occasional twitter joke here and there over the years. I recall hearing the name prior to him blowing up off of “Thrift shop” cause he was very much involved in the indy rap underground scene. At the time, he was just another white rap guy to me. Then he blew up and all of a sudden had a million fans, and almost as many angry rap fan detractors. I can’t front, hearing the anthems from that last album definitely didn’t sit well with me but, at the same time, I was clearly not his target audience. I always felt he was either trying to make music for super bowl commercials or simply pandering. That said, I never felt THAT strongly either way. Simply put, the dudes music wasn’t on my radar enough to matter. Famous or not, i didn’t give a shit.
So, back to the toilet…I’m sitting there watching this video. It’s insane. I mean that in a good way. The video is fucking ridiculous. It looks amazing. Sure, it seems to borrow heavily from “Uptown funk” by Bruno Mars but it’s something I couldn’t take my eyes off. As much as people seem to be shitting on it, I simply cannot front on the spectacle of it all.
There’s a few sides to this. First off, you have the angry rap purist side. This is that thing within all old rap fans, such as myself, that has a negative gut reaction to this kinda thing. From seeing the originators of rap do back up vocals for Macklemore to actually sitting though a song about buying and driving scooters. Just seeing Kool Moe D, Melle Mel and Caz clearly collecting a check kinda hurt my heart. Immediately, I feel my soul saying “NOPE! NO FUCKING WAY!”. But, as I get older and care less about that kinda stuff, a part of me just kinda drifts away from all of it and just sees this song and video for what it is.
For that reason, i feel as though I gotta give credit where credit is due. This shit is fucking weird. Super weird.
The man made a song about buying scooters. He didn’t make just any song about it. he made an epic scooter buying anthem. Why? For who? I have no idea but I think I appreciate the tongue in cheek of it all. You can disagree with me (and you probably do) but Macklemore seems pretty likable in this video. He’s funny. Like I said earlier, i don’t know the guy but this video seems to be him just letting it rip. He does choreographed fuckin’ dancing for christ sake. And as painful as it is to see 3 hip hop legends do back up vocals for a blonde white dude in skinny jeans, at least he’s trying to expose people to them. His fan base is children who think Snoop Dogg is as old as rap gets. They probably have no fucking clue who any of those dudes are.I’d assume the think those are his actual bodyguards. Perhaps it will shine a tiny light on them and that isn’t a bad thing, as it’s known those dudes missed out on the pay day that is rap music currently.

I’m not gonna take this all the way and say I like the song cause I don’t. This song is a hybrid of “white lines”, “We are the champions” and “Lady dont tek no” by Latyrx. In other words, it comes from a good place but it’s actually kind of a mess as a stand alone song. I mean, within the confines of this video, it’s perfect but if I heard this on the radio I’d be confused as fuck. it’s like three different songs. That said, in an era where the most popular rap is mentally challenged men moaning into autotune about whatever the fuck they’re talking about, this song is taking chances. First and foremost, that singer guy. Holy shit. I have no idea how he even fits into the equation and what the idea was when they bought him in but that was a risky move. Almost as risky as his dance moves which make my knees hurt just watching. It remains to be seen if this song will actually be a hit outside of the video but, if it is, that singer being on it will be why. Secondly, and i keep harping on this, IT’S A SONG ABOUT BUYING A RIDING A SCOOTER. Like, how does that even come to be? There are so many steps in making a song. I would watch a documentary on how this song happened, from Macklemore thinking of the idea to him explaining it to Ryan Lewis, to Ryan Lewis making the beat to them calling Grnadmaster Caz and explaining it to him, etc…the whole thing just boggles my mind. But, whatever happened, the final product is here and it exists. Sure, it kinda feels like he may be trying to recapture the goofy likability of “Thrift shop”…but this is “Thrift shop” turned up to 10.

You probably hate this song and think the video is dumb. That’s cool. I don’t blame you. I got no horse in this race. Like i said, the song is ridiculous. But, I feel as though, if we all just step back and appreciate it for what it is…It’s not a song, it’s a spectacle and it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s kind of amazing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna go out and start bumping any Macklemore shit but the dude gets shit on hard all over the place. I can see past my own personal taste and take my hat off to him for simply saying “fuck it” and doing whatever the fuck he felt lie doing.
There’s layers to this shit player, Tiramisu.

Everyone’s a critic (myself included)

3bc44b4f9de552eed27fb35ea3069739 The internet is an abyss of opinions. Well formed opinions. Shitty half baked opinions. Opinions that are often so poorly considered that I don’t now if they even count as opinions at all. But one thing is for certain, everyone has to have an opinion on everything.

Now, it would be ridiculous for me to sit here and try and point out how the opinions of others are wrong while mine are right cause, after all, that’s just my opinion and I’m full of shitty opinions. What I wanna focus on here is more “how to have an opinion”. Especially when judging art. As I see it, critical thinking towards art has two ends of the spectrum. People who judge with their head and people who judge with their heart. The people who judge with their heart tend to be the ones who react to their own feelings. They’re visceral people. Maybe they’ll see a movie where something unsavory happens (a rape, killing of a dog, gruesome murder, a strained father/daughter relationship) and the fact that happened alone will immediately make them dislike the movie. Even though that thing happening isn’t exactly a reason to base an opinion on the art itself, they cannot remove themselves enough from it and it ruins everything for them. Sure, the film where that is happening may be a brilliantly crafted movie. Doesn’t matter. It hit some nerves and , to these types of people, can no longer be judged on it’s merit.

The people who judge from the head are more concerned with the mechanics of art. They’re the types who will see a movie and dismiss it due to poor lighting , unrealistic dialogue and tiny holes in a plot. They will often overlook the big picture just to pick apart the minutia of filmmaking. So, yeah, that movie may have been an impressive feat in film making and looked amazing but did you see how bad the transitional shots were? That movie is now tainted.

In both instances, you have someone judging something in a myopic fashion. In a way, they’re both missing the bigger picture in spite of themselves. Now, I’m not innocent of this. While I’ve never been one to dislike a movie cause of something horrific that happens in it, I certainly have watched a movie with terrible dialogue and been like “eh, I can’t do this…” but here’s the thing…As critical people, we must understand the difference between our feelings and the actual value of the art. For instance, I don’t listen to Kendrick Lamar. I don’t really enjoy his voice. That’s it. It’s very simple. That said, I’d be a total asshole if I were to sit here and tell you he was garbage. He’s not. In fact, he’s immensely talented. Dude is a fantastic rapper. I would never deny that. He’s simply not for me at this time in my life. Therefor, when it’s time to chime in on Kendrick Lamar on the internet, I simply stay out of it. It’s not my place to judge him on that level. I know how I feel but also recognize that’s just me. Talent, in most ways, isn’t something you can judge. If it’s clearly there, it’s there. In the case of Kendrick, it’s clearly there.

All this comes up cause a friend of mine made a post on Facebook the other day about not liking the new Mad max movie. Now, I loved this movie. It’s possibly the best action movie I’ve ever seen. Possibly. That said, it’s an action movie and nothing else. There is not a ton of depth to it (even though many have certainly tried to apply a whole feminist arc to it but, let’s be honest, it’s simply expertly executed and amazingly filmed balls to the wall action). But this is a movie that doesn’t need to be deep. It’s made for a specific kind of movie goer. A movie goer who likes excitement and fun. This is not a film made to make you think about life. In fact, it’s q distraction. An incredible distraction. Now, my friends take was that she was simply “Not into it”, which , to me, read as a person who doesn’t really care for action movies. Fair enough. I can’t sit through a movie where people with british accents wear powdered wigs. The best movie of that genre ever will not be enjoyable to me. So, I get it. More power to my friend. She 100% has the right to feel that way. It was when I delved into the comment section that I began to feel a brewing of injustice and shitty critical thought (yes, this is me criticizing critics).While a few people disagreed with her (I was one of them), there were just as many people who echoed her feelings but with an added heavy hand and pretentiousness. I saw people complaining about the dialogue, the gender roles, the lack of a real plot…Dude…it’s a mad max movie. What are you expecting? This is where I think people need to remove their head out of their asses when it comes to critical thinking. Know what you’re being critical of.

You can’t judge everything under the same merit. “City of god” and “Macgruber” do not live on the same critical plane. They just can’t. Now, granted, I’m assuming a few of the people in the comment section of this post were film students. So, it’s their job to pick apart everything and remove fun from watching films. I get it. Everything has to be serious. But, to me, there is a time and place for those things. “Mad Max:Fury Road” and “Precious” cannot be approached in the same way, critically.  It also kinda made me sad. I mean, these people are depriving themselves the most basic level of enjoyment cause they simply can’t sit back in a movie theater and go along for a ride.

It’s times like this that I feel a kinship to the simpletons of the world. The people who will see “Transformers 5:The rise of lowering of the standards” and can leave the theater totally satisfied. After all, movies are entertainment. If they entertain you, then they did their job. But, they are also art. So that’s where the balance must be found. To be entertaining and artistically fulfilling. If you’re leaving a movie like “Mad Max: Fury road” and complaining about gender roles or dialogue, you watched that movie wrong. The same way if I were to listen to a kendrick lamar album and complain about the kind of hi hats he used and “how come he didn’t rap about what it’s like being a white male!”. It’s just being critical for the sake of being critical and missing the point completely. Save those type of criticisms for things that are asking for them. Like an indie movie about a wacky sister and her slow brother who find a kinship when their dad dies. It’s sad and funny! That’s the movie to pick apart like it was your classmates final project. Not “Mad Max”. Not “The Naked Gun”. Not a sports documentary. I’m by no means saying these films are above judgement. I’m just saying, you must judge them for what they are and what they strived to be. I feel bad for both people who judge with just their heads or just their hearts cause they are really missing out. It’s a nice feeling to just let yourself go and enjoy something for what it is. Allow the low brow yokel inside all of us to peak it’s head out every now and then. But also, keep the snobbish film nerd on call as well cause, let’s be honest, there needs to be a filter of what we do and do not allow to seep into our eyes and ears. As always, striking a happy medium is crucial. Take it from me. I’m a libra and my life is totally medium.

My woes about Drakes woes.

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This is a pointless little story but I figure I’d share it cause it’s friday and who cares?
Man, being old and out of touch sucks. Especially when you actually do make a tiny effort to stay somewhat in the loop. Even when you do that, there’s always going to be something that flies over your head. Where slang is concerned, I generally don’t follow it but I can figure out what it means. Words like “Fleek” or “Thot” come around and all you need to do is hear them in a certain context and you get it. You’d be a fool to use them in real life but, still, you can at least understand them. Other terms,however, are not as simple.

Case in point, this Drake song “Know yourself“. Admittedly, I’ve been running some tracks off the new Drake mixtape. Judge me with all the rap snobbery you got but, you know what? I’m old, very likely know more about rap than you and I can like what I want to like so blow me. Still, while I do tip my hat to drake a little I also think he’s fairly ridiculous. But that’s neither here nor there. This is about a line in a drake song.

So, in this song, there’s a break in the middle  (Go to 1:31 in the above video to hear it) and he goes into exclaiming “I was runnin’ through the 6 with my woes!”. it’s the pinnacle of the song. Every rap listening teen knows that part. There have been gifs, vines and everything. Now, I know “The 6” is toronto. That I know! But, when I heard this line I was kinda fascinated. Like “What a fucking weird thing to say!”. I imagined Drake, walking around Toronto , with his hood up just thinking about his life issues AKA his woes. I thought he might be on some Aceyalone shit. I mean, let’s be real, Drake is nothing if not an emo dude. It would make sense for him to pace around Toronto with a lot on his mind. He’s definitely a cryer. I dunno…the whole thing just seemed like a strange, bold and interesting choice of words for him to use. Add on that it’s followed by him saying “You know how that shit go” and it seemed like the sentiment was real. Yes, drake. i do know how that shit go. I’ve had a lot on my mind and walked around the city , trying to make sense of it all. What a relatable sentiment, Aubrey. I was even in Toronto a few weeks back and that song was in my head like crazy. I was walking around Toronto singing it to myself. It was somewhat embarrassing, now that I look back at it but , hey, music does what it does.

Flash forward to me at the YMCA this past monday. I play ball there a few times a week and it’s filled with a wide variety of people. One major type is teenagers. (Unrelated but, holy shit, teenagers are the fucking worst). So, I’m shooting around with some people before a game and one of the kids starts rapping that verse from “Know yourself” in it’s entirety. Other chime in. a few grown men even get in on the action as well. I say “Man, it’s crazy how drake made an anthem about being sad”. The kid that started the sing along looks at me and says “Huh?” and I say “yeah, like he’s got you all singing about how he runs around his city crying and shit…” this was met with patronizing laughter and the kid explaining to me that his “woes” are his boys. Most likely a shortening of the southern term Whodies. Well, fuck me. I felt 200 years old. What a let down. i won’t lie, it’s made me like the song less. I much prefer the idea of drake and his actual woes over the visual of drake and his corny friends going clubbing. Goddamn it. Oh well, this whole topic got me running through my social network timelines with my actual woes. But you know how that shit go.

Biters Welcome

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“There’s sign at the door ‘no biting allowed’ ”
“you got to have style and learn to be original”

These are two quotes from my youth that were pretty much the rule book for rap music for as long as I can remember. It was the late 80’s when both these quotes were said and it set the stage for the next 10 years. What followed was a mixture of people going out of their way to sound like no one else and the people who tried to make careers sounding like other people. For the people who went the original direction, it led to all sorts of funny styles that didn’t age very well. As great as they were at the time, Das Efx’s diggity iggity nursery rhymes and Akinyele’s “lower my voice at the end of each sentence” styles are no fine wine. But, hey, they tried and I will always appreciate them for that. Not to mention, at the time, that shit was awesome. The other side of things fared ever worse back then. For every Das Efx, there was a Mad Flava (that’s a group, btw) who kinda just went with the flow of what other rappers were doing. Onyx came out and , shortly after they had success, Da Hoodratz came out and failed miserably. Hell, even RUn DMC shaved their heads and started yelling. So, biting and people recycling other peoples originality has always been a thing. It’s not new now and it will go on forever. But, with that in mind, there is a different take on it now than there was 20 plus years ago. Where Originality and authenticity were once of paramount importance, those two things really mean nothing anymore. In fact, if you even stress these two things , a 22 year old will look at you like “why is this still an issue, grandpa?”. This is clearly a generational thing. I suppose I’m from generation X. It’s gross to even think like that but I don’t know what generation I fit into otherwise. Gen X were pissy, hated everything and sulked a lot. We were/are a negative group. Sure, we had the things we loved and all that but, in general, it’s a group of people who kinda question everything , to a fault.That’s why the music of our generation was angry. Gangsta rap, grunge, metal. We were the “get out of my room , mom!” of generations. Now you have millennials. This is a generation raised entirely on the internet. They’ve never not had the world at their finger tips. While I remember rotary phones and cassette tape walkmen this generation has been watching gaping asshole porn since they were 12 and can’t imagine life before texting.
Through things like music and basketball, I find myself around many millennials more than I’d imagine most people my age are. One thing that’s I’ve noticed is that they’re a an astoundingly positive bunch. It’s almost invigorating to be around them at times. The mentality is very much “Yes we can!”. They’re legit looking forward to what life has in store for them. I suppose you could say that about most youthful people in the last 40 years , as they haven’t been beaten down by the realities of life. But, looking back at my friends and I when we were that age, we were still fairly negative in many ways. With this new group of people, I feel as though they’re just more open minded then we ever were. I’d imagine it’s all a part of how people raise kids now. When I was a 20 year old, I was a snobby rap purist who would judge anyone who listened to a puffy record. People back then were so dedicated to their “thing” that you could walk by anyone on the street and know exactly what they were into. Oh, see that guy wearing those comically baggy jeans and that funny t-shirt? He’s a raver. Oh, look at that girl with her hair up in barrettes, wearing doc martins, and dyed hair? she’s a riot grrll. Etc…People went out of their way to carve out their own identity (even though, in reality, they were followers just as much as anyone else). I wanted everyone who walked by me to know what I was into it. Now it’s like everything has been smashed together and niche’s have become fainter than ever. Hip hop heads and emo kids don’t look very different. Someone who looks like Ed Sheeren might have encyclopedic knowledge of the Dipset. You ask someone what kinda music they like that you’ll often hear “I like everything” And they’ll mean it. They fuck with Beyonce, One direction, Fiona apple , Cheef Keef, Aesop Rock and Death grips. I feel as though that open mindedness is one of the best and worst things about the new generation. It’s the best cause it limits the snobbery I so willingly embraced in my youth. But it’s the worst cause , if we like everything, there is no quality control. Which leads me back to the idea of originality or authenticity.
There is a large portion of people nowadays who put no stock in either of those two things. Their argument is good music is good music. I agree with that to an extent. Did the clipse really sell all that coke? Of course not. If they had, they wouldn’t need to rap nor would they be rapping about it. But, they’re good enough rappers to take a tired subject like selling coke and make it interesting. Then you got someone like Rick Ross who’s whole image is a drug boss but he was a corrections officer and is clearly 100% full of shit. He’s not a particularly interesting rapper but he’s got a good ear for beats and knows how to make a song. That’s his strength. If he came out in 91 talking that shit and got exposed, he would have never been heard of again. But, in the late 2000’s? Not a problem. His lack of realness is shrugged off the same way a wrestling fan will when you tell him it’s fake. He knows it…he doesn’t care. he’s in it for the entertainment. I can’t even be mad at that cause , in the end, music is entertainment. If it entertains you or makes you feel a certain way, it’s done it’s job.
I don’t know why i did this but I recently downloaded Drake’s new mixtape. I think I was just like “I need to understand this”. If not for my own enjoyment, for sociological reasons. I realize drake is a divisive character. All the basic bitches (men and women) love him. That’s a given. As open minded as millennials are, his name still manages to incite rage in some people to comical effect. People who are into the more fringe aspects of music, in particular, can’t stand him. If I were to post something positive about him on my Facebook page, I would expect a huge backlash from those types. At the same time, there’s an air of “If you don’t like drake, you don’t get it” from the more hipster side of things. Personally, I don’t think drake is a bad rapper. In fact, he’s solid. Great voice. He knows how to use it. He’s a pro. I don’t wanna bump his shit but that’s really neither here nor there as I’m almost 40. It’s clearly not for me. I used to think he was the worst. His love songs were ear AIDS and any male listening to them alone needs to take serious stock in themselves. But, when the smoke clears, he can actually rap. So, I download this new album and it’s kinda what I expect. Some terrible love songs mixed in with songs where he’s talking shit. I’m always gonna be drawn to those shit talking songs so I focus on that when listening to this album. What I came away with is that Drake is a good rapper who is completely unoriginal . On one track , he raps exactly like Jay-z on “heart of the city”. On another he raps like a more relaxed version of Young thug (Which is actually more listenable than Young Thug). The thing is he pulls it off cause people allow him to. He also pulls it off cause he seems to fall so perfectly in the middle. He’s just good enough and just boring enough and just catchy enough to hit chords with so many different people. He’s a rapper whose entire career has been people saying “He raps like _____” but, at this point, he’s a bigger star than any of the people he was once compared to. Sure, Jay-z is a billionaire and only slightly less famous that Obama but, musically, his relevance is waning. Same with Lil Wayne. Well,He’s more Wayning, AMIRITE?!?!. But Drake is still at the top of his game and his fan base is as dedicated as ever. He’s like the male Beyonce in that respect. If you’re a fan, he can do no wrong.
As unoriginal and inauthentic as Drake may be (his thuggish posturing on songs is truly hilarious and the fact other rappers who are actually from the hood and had tough lives let him do it is mind blowing to me), the public has spoken. It’s way bigger than drake. It’s an open arms to everything. I know I sound like I’m being negative but I’m really not. Sure, I wish this new generation could be more discerning about what they put in their ears, eyes and mouths but , in reality, it’s not my job to dictate anything. My generation is already old and irrelevant. The best we can do is try to understand. That or just roll are eyes and lament how these kids today really needed more spankings and less hugs. That too.

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Wu-Tang Shirts ain’t nothing to fuck with

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I’d like to start this off by saying I love the Wu-tang Clan. We all do. I can’t think of another rap group that has etched it’s way into so many sub cultures. It’s because of this that a problem has arisen. Wu-tang shirts and the people who wear them. Now, let me clarify. Not every person who rocks a Wu tang shirt is a full of shit poser. Not at all. Wu-tang, much like the Beatles or the Rolling stones, is a cornerstone of american culture. They have a very real and dedicated fan base. So, if you’re reading this and getting mad cause you think I’m talking about you, I’m probably not. No, I’m talking about the people out there who probably know the words to “Shimmy shimmy yall” but have no idea that Cappadonna has every released a solo album. I’m talking about people who own multiple Wu tang shirts and beanies but , in reality, couldn’t name half of the memebers (ESPECIALLY cappadonna) and , quite honestly, would rather listen to Motorhead or Erasure. I don’t wanna make it sound like there is a required amount of knowledge one must have in order to deserve to wear a Wu-tang shirt but, I dunno, if I’m rocking the shirt of a musician, I’m a huge fan. So, to me, if you’re rocking a Wu-tang shirt but have never heard a single song off of “Wu-tang forever” and think the members of Wu tangs solo efforts begin and end with Ghostface killa, that’s a little weak to me. It’s just blatant pandering.
It’s very similar to the trend of rappers wearing heavy metal shirts. You think Juicy J actually listens to Iron Maiden? No fucking way. He wore those shirts to throw a curveball. It’s just an example of person trying too hard. When I see a 21 year old hipster white girl walking around Brooklyn with a Wu-tang shirt on and combat boots, it’s speaking to me. It’s not saying “Hey, I celebrate the catalogue of the Wu tang clan!”. It’s saying “Wu-tang is a thing that’s cool so I’mma just wear this”. And she’s right. Wu-tang is cool. So much so that they’re basically infallible. I think that’s why this bothers me (Truth be told, it doesn’t bother me that much but it’s fun to rant about). By wearing that Wu-tang shirt, you’re making a statement. And it’s not “I listen to the Wu-tang clan”. I feel it’s actually a person trying to feign diversity in their musical taste. It’s kinda like that thing where hipster rock dudes always attach themselves to liking one rap act. It was Dipset for a while. Then it was the clipse. Then it was Lil Wayne. I have no clue what it is now but I’m guessing it’s some shit like Chief keef or Young thug. It’s the the “Hey man, it’s cool. I’m down with everything even though I’m not really!” of stances. Fake Wu-tang fandom is the all time version of that. It’s just so safe to like wu-tang as a person who’s generally not into hip hop. Who’s gonna question you? Wu tang is respected from the deepest hood to the most stark corn field.
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The Clan has become on of those groups that is beyond music. Which is part of the problem here. To say “Wu tang is a lifestyle” is a bit much but it’s not far off. I was in Russia once and this kid was at my show. He didn’t speak much english but he definitely knew how to drop the N-bomb like whoa. He was saying “Aww man, hip hop is great! My nigga! Wu Tang! Wu-tang niggas!” Bear in mind, I’m not a member of Wu-tang. he was basically just explaining to me that wu tang is hip hop. Which is technically correct but also a weird thing to need to tell me, a non-wu-tang affiliated beat maker. That would be like me going up to Paul simon and saying “Hey man! Rock and roll! You’re my Led Zepplin nigga!”.
That’s a far reaching example but , in my eyes, it’s the same mind set as someone who mildly familiar with Wu Tang who wears a Wu-tang t-shirt. It’s a fashion choice, not fandom.
So, what’s my answer to all this? Well…I say, if you’re really a Wu-tang fan, you should rock Wu wear. And not just the T-shirts. I’m talking the the jeans. I’m talking the leather jackets. That shows commitment. Especially girls cause, man, that really will challenge your dedication to fashion. Buying a t-shirt at Urban outfitters is some bullshit and something anyone can do. But if you can track down some Wu-wear and actually wear it in public? I wouldn’t question your love of Wu-tang for a millisecond. In fact, I’d bow down and probably avoid eye contact with you cause, let’s face it, you’re not to be fucked with.Especially if you’re rocking Wu-wear jeans. That shit is mad real.

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Oh, I’d just like to preemptively tell all the people who plan on commenting on this like “Whatever! people can wear what they want! Who are you to tell blah blah blah”
First off, you’re boring and bored.
Secondly, it’s not that serious. I agree. People can wear whatever they like and my opinion should have no bearing on anything of that sort. This was just a dumb rant. Calm the fuck down.

Jingles all the way

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There was a time when writing jingles for commercials was a real job. People who didn’t quite fit into popular music but had a knack for crafting a particular brand of music could make a great living. Well, actually…it probably still exists but I feel as though the market has shifted. In earlier years, a jingle had to be short and sweet. It had to promote the product, be catchy enough to stay if your head and stay generally simple. Think shit like this:


Sure, some of these are truly awful but they just seemed less painful to me cause they weren’t trying to be something other than a shitty commercial jingle. Even better was when a brand would not even have a full song. Anyone who watches TV in the tri-state areas can hear this:

And know exactly who’s commercial that is. Hell, I used to jokingly tell people I met that I’m a musician (not a lie) but when they asked me what kind I’d tell them I live off of royalties I got from making the PC Richards whistle jingle (A lie). You’d be amazed how often people would actually be impressed by that.
Anyway, the times there are a’changing and shit. Jingles still exist but many of them have been replaced by actual songs. That’s great and all but the people making these things seemingly have signed a deal with the devil…or maybe are just closely affiliated with him and record in his studio.
I don’t know where it started. In fact, it’s probably just basic evolution. That said, in my eyes, the first thing that pops to mind in this vein is the freecreditreport.com commercials from about 5 years ago. Here we had a band, specifically making music for an ad that kinda sounds like real music but is “less than”.

God bless these terrible guys cause I’m sure they hated every moment of making those songs but, at the same time, they also probably will be living off that money for a long time. I always pondered what it must have been like to be a member of that band. Surely they had aspirations to make real music that wasn’t advertising a website but, alas, they were doomed to always be the free credit report guys.
Well, if you ask me, they opened the flood gates. What has followed has been years of “real songs” being passed off as jingles.
Sure the jingle is still alive.. I believe this is local to NYC and it is awful.

While it’s almost worth it to watch the off beat asian dude struggle , this is a tried and true jingle. So, as bad as it may be…it’s still cut from the same cloth as many classic jingles.
But then…you change the channel and land on this nightmare.

I know every word to this and I have no idea how. Every time it’s on , my skin crawls a little bit and I scramble to change the channel. yes, some how, it’s snuck into my psyche. It’s evil. When i actually do sit and watch it I can’t help but think about how the girl in probably saw this as her big break. That makes me sadder than anything. Well…except this…

Dude…what the fuck on earth is going on in this disaster. Is she freestyling? That’s a pretty girl they got right there but they somehow managed to make her as unattractive as possibly simply by seemingly putting a gun to her head and saying “You rap about face foam or you die”. That’s the only justifiable reason I can see behind this. To be honest, it’s almost on some abstract rap genius shit. Like Project blowed type shit…but not quite. It’s seriously blowing my mind.
Sometimes, they avoid the pitfalls of modern music and go old school. Really old school.

I don’t know what “cash annuity” means but I do know that if the entire cast of this commercial burst into flames in front of my eyes, I’d sit back and toast some marshmellows on their crisping corpses.

Or how about this one?

I defy you to not get this stuck in your head. You can’t do it. Here’s the thing about this one. What the fuck are they advertising? Kids don’t need “Kars”. They’re Kids! And who donates a car…to anything? It’s a fucking car! It’s not a can of soup or some uncooked pasta. People who own cars generally need them. And if they were gonna just give them away, why to children? Those kids can’t drive. I’m sure some of you out there actually know the answers to these questions and it’s a good cause but, trust me when I tell you, I have no interest in clarification. I prefer thinking this website is insane and makes no sense cause it’s way funnier to me that way. It helps me cope with hating this jingle so fucking much. I’d also like to add that the kids in that commercial are seriously mailing it in. Come on dudes, I know it’s a reggae tinged country song but lemme see a little life in those eyes!

There are so many more examples of these songs but I can’t be bothered to ruin your day any further. Instead, I will leave you with this.
Here’s an example of a great commercial. No Jingle. No frills.
Just some mattresses and…the birdman.

Resolutions and reality

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I don’t think I’ve ever made a new years resolution. I’ve never been one for promises I can’t keep and I also know myself well enough to know that I’m full of shit.
As the new year rolled in, timelines on all the social networks began to fill with stunted words of wisdom, spiritual banalities and people speaking on all the ways they’re gonna change their lives in 2015. One day ago, they were smoking a pack a day, burning bridges and cheating on their wives but now we gotta write a different year on a check,so it’s gonna change. No doubt. I’ve long thought that people don’t change as much as they evolve. My this, I mean if you’re a selfish asshole at 20 years old, you’ll still be a selfish asshole at 40. Just a more refined and sharpened version of the one you used to be. Obviously, this theory isn’t a fact and there are plenty of cases you’re probably coming up with in your head that might disprove it. But, in general, I truly believe it (but recognize there are exceptions to all rules).
Anyway, as it is the second day of a new year, I wanted to look at some common resolutions and the reality of those resolutions. In many ways, we are the only people that can better ourselves. A clock turning 12 does not have any bearing on you and you’re personal faults.
So, let’s look at 5 common resolutions and their realities.

Resolution 1: I’m gonna start working out
Reality: I’m gonna join a gym. I’ll start at the weights and tell myself “once I get my wind back, I’ll get a personal trainer” but weights are heavy and my shoulders hurt. Holy shit, I’m sore. So, maybe I’ll just go run on the machines. I’ll try the treadmill and maybe run half a mile at a brisk pace, then get bored and try the stationary bikes. Wow, even more boring. The elliptical looks like way to many pieces moving at once and that scares me. Back the tread mill to walk at a slight incline at about 2.8 mph while listening to a podcast. Wow, these locker rooms are disgusting. I just way an old man sit on his balls. I do this routine maybe twice then slowly make excuses why I can’t make the gym. Turns out exercising is both really hard and tedious. No wonder I never do it. I remain a member of the gym for 6 months but cancel my membership once summer rolls around cause “I’m gonna be outdoors a lot anyway”.

Resolution 2: I’m gonna quit smoking
Reality: January 1st…not one cigarette. Feeling great. I miss it but I can do this. A few days pass, feeling the itch pretty heavy but holding strong. I go out and grab a meal and some drinks with friends. Actively trying to not think about how good that cigarette would be right now. A few drinks later, fuck it. I can have just one. I smoke a cigarette but make a deal with myself that, as long as I don’t buy a pack, I’m still okay with this. I bum like 6 cigarettes that night from my friends. Wake up the next day feeling the shame. Get back on the horse. Fall right back off the horse a few days later. This back and forth continues for a little while till I eventually come to terms that I’m not ready to quit. I promise myself I’ll do it next year as I buy myself a pack.

Resolution 3: Be a nicer person
Reality: I do my best to listen to people and not just hear them. I try to be gracious to talk to people, instead of at them. I try not to judge people too quickly or make rude comments for no reason.
Oh wait, I’m an asshole. This is impossible.

Resolution 4: Be on time from now on!
Reality: The first week, i set serious time goals. I’m hyper aware of when I must arrive places and very cued in to how long getting somewhere might take. I add on “just in case” travel time that will help me not get set back by things I can’t control. It’s going great for a week. I’ve been early to work for the whole week and I feel good about this. I make plans to go meet some friends out. They are gonna be there around 10. Around 10? Hmm…no rush. I show up at 11:30. Whatever…it wasn’t that important and no one cared. Next week, I’m showing up to work right on time. I’d be early but it’s getting kinda cold out and my bed is really comfortable. Next week, I tell a friend I’ll meet them to see a movie. The movie is at 8 but we should get there at 7:30 so we can make sure it doesn’t sell out. I’m about to leave my place but get caught up in the end of this CSI episode. Oops. I arrive at 7:55 and the movie is sold out. My bad! Won’t happen again. Next week, I’m coming into work about 5-10 minutes late every day. By this time, I have forgotten I ever even made this stupid resolution so, see you next year!

Resolution 5: Be more caring to people who are less fortunate
Right off the bat, I donate some money to a cause. So, good start. I also gave that homeless guy on my block my leftovers. He asked what it was and if it had dairy in it. It did. Hope he’s not lactose intolerant! I go on the internet and look into possibly helping at a soup kitchen sometime. Maybe do some work with kids in halfway homes. Take a few notes of possible places I can work in. Put that not on a desk or table somewhere. oh wait, where’s I put that? Shit…it’s lost. Oh well, I can just go back online. I’ll do that later. Masterchef is on. I don’t do that later and never find that piece of paper. Cleaning lady must have thrown it out. Whatever, I donated money. That’s more than most people can say. Man, this wine is good. what was I talking about? I forget. God, I love wine.

But, hey…maybe you’re one of the exceptions. If you’ve made a new years resolution and truly tend to stick by it, I salute you. You’re a better man/woman than me. If it doesn’t work out though, don’t feel bad. New years resolutions are bullshit anyway. If you really wanna change , it shouldn’t depend on a roman calendar’s page flipping. You can always try again in june. Happy new year.

Goddamn wet wipes AKA The shittiest day

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On monday, I was sitting in my living room around 1:30 pm. I had gotten back from a mini-tour the prior day so I was in full loaf mode. Watching Tv, Stuffing food into my face and doing nothing with great purpose. It didn’t hurt that it was pouring rain outside. I live in a duplex and my bedroom is downstairs. Out of the corner of my ear, I hear what sounds like a faucet running loudly coming from downstairs. Being that I was alone in the house, this was mildly unsettling so I decided to go see what that noise was all about. As i headed down the stairs, the noise got louder and it dawned on that this was the sound of water slapping against tile. I rushed to the bathroom to see my toilet overflowing. We’ve all been there. A toilet gets clogged up and water rises over the rim. That rush of deep fear and you scramble to contain a mess you’re partially responsible for. Except this was different. I hadn’t used this toilet in hours and the water rising out of it was a black sludge that smelled like a thousand bums had been put into a blender. Not only that, it was coming out of the shower drain as well. Upon laying my eyes on this, real panic set in. The water level in the bathroom was rising and about pour out into the hallway, so i ran and got as many towels as possible, I blockaded the doorway off, as the sludge gently settled into the towels. For the time being, it seemed like this was working. The overflowing stopped and it seemed like everything was contained for a moment. It was then I could step back and really see the damage. By this time my trash can in the bath room was floating and the bathmat that was in the room was completely submerged. The water was a disgusting mixture of leaves, paper, human waste and even a tampon thrown in for good measure.
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I Immediately called my super and got him on the case. I left the room cause, well, it smelled like shit, and retreated upstairs to gently bang my head into a wall. Then, it started again. I heard that familiar gurgling and ran back to see the toilet once again pouring waste into my house. And saw this…THE HORROR. (this is video i took of what was going on. Be warned…it’s not pretty)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOthZS26Pjs&feature=youtu.be
Yup. Breath that in. Embrace that. Let it be your spirit guide.
The towels I had laid down were moments from being over taken by the water so I went to get more of them. Once I got those towels down, it was clear that they wouldn’t be enough. I frantically called my girlfriend at her job cause, honestly, I had no idea what to do. Our downstairs was within minutes of being completely covered in shit water. This is where all our clothes are. This is where all my music equipment is. This is where we sleep. She was calm enough to tell me to go upstairs , roll the rug up and block off the valuable parts of our lower level (closets, bedroom). Honestly, it was one of those funny moments when you need your significant others “okay” to ruin something. I would have never gotten the rug, simply on some “She will not be happy that i ruined our rug” shit. But, with that green light, I did it and was able to block off the major areas. Some sludge got around it and seeped a few feet from our bedroom, but i threw what remaining towels we had in the house on top and that slowed it down.
Meanwhile, the toilet is still overflowing, It’s relentless. Like someone opened a shaken soda bottle. It’s not spraying but it’s just pushing out more and more stuff. I can honestly say I’ve never been more panicked. I don’t know what a panic attack feels like but I’d like to think I was close. I was running around my crib yelling “Oh fuck!” , “Noooo!” and “motherfucker”. Eventually, I had to pretty much pick what part of my downstairs I didn’t need so I could navigate the shit water in that direction. I chose the hallway towards the basement door exit. When the water finally stopped, there was basically a few inches of brown water and sludge contained to a certain part of my house. It was like the world’s worst pond.
This whole time, I had been in contact with my super, who was in contact with my building manager. I own my place (it’s a condo) and, in the past, my building manager has never been the most responsive man. I write him a complaint, at best, get a hastily crafted one sentence response that means nothing. More likely, I get no response at all. It the case of this, his hand was forced. My super came over and was like “holyyyyyyyyy shit!”. He then explained to me what happened. Due to the rain, the drainage system got clogged up. Thus the leaves. But that didn’t make sense or give me much comfort cause this buildings drainage system should be able to handle water. Then he says something that makes the most sense
“Honestly, you know what it was? Wet wipes…People in this building keep flushing wet wipes and those things fuck everything up”.
WET WIPES?!?!?!?! my fucking house has inches of shit water in it cause a bunch of pretty princesses like their buttholes extra clean?!?!??!?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Wet wipe people. They are a type. It’s very much a “once you go wet wipes, you never go back” kinda thing. They will act revolted by the idea of using normal toilet paper and say things like “If you got shit on your hand, would you just wipe it off with a piece of paper?”. Valid point, except I don’t shit directly out of my hand and that’s what buttholes are for. Toilet paper has been a successful way of cleaning your asshole forever. Sure, you might not wanna eat off it post wiping but…IT’S AN ASSHOLE. That’s where shit comes from. It’s not supposed to be a shining sanitized ruby 24/7. You gonna have some anal sex? Maybe get your butt eaten? Perhaps you’re entering into a “cleanest asshole” competition? Then, by all means, get your wet wipe on. But if you’re just taking a dump then going back to your desk to enter code? Toilet paper will do just fine.
Listen, I get the appeal. It’s nice to know you’re clean. And there are people out there who use them correctly. They know not to flush them. These people are also disgusting cause they have a trash can next to their toilet filled with shit covered paper. I almost feel as if having a receptacle filled with shitty wet paper is worse than not having the worlds cleanest anus. In fact, I don’t almost feel like that…I definitively feel like that.
So, yeah, all this happened cause of a bunch of spoiled assholes (literally).
I spent the following day at my place letting in a crew of men in hazmat suits in and out of my house as they cleaned my lower level like it was chernobyl. Currently, there are 5 machines running downstairs, drying out the air or whatever and, in a few days they will come back a reassess the damages. I’ve been told I’ll need new floors and new walls. I definitely need new towels and a new rug. Thankfully, my buildings insurance will cover it (It fucking better). But all this…Cause a few dandy dipshits couldn’t live without feeling like there asshole was a shined golden goose. Now, that’s just
shitty.

Fuck yo’ birth , bro!

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“Hey, when’s your birthday? No, really, tell me. I’m super curious. Oh, not cause I’m interested in astrology. Nope, cause your birthday is just really important to me.”
That was an excerpt from my upcoming novel “Things no one has ever earnestly said or thought in the history of the human race”.

Let’s be honest, the sooner we, as a civilization, accept that no one cares about your birthday but you, the better. Okay, maybe your mom cares. She might. After all, it is the anniversary of you coming out her vagina like the kool aid man. How could she ever forget that. In fact, your birthday should be a day you buy her gifts. But I digress…

I’ve been thinking about this lately cause my birthday is on the horizon (october 8th guys, what are you getting me!?!?!?!). I’ve never been one to care that much about my own birthday. I definitely celebrate it but that’s generally an excuse to eat a good meal or get a bunch of my friends together and get drunk. Not cause I actually care that I’m turning one year older. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I celebrated on my actual birthday. Once every seven years? It’s completely arbitrary.

To be clear, this isn’t about getting older. That’s something totally different. It’s no secret that getting older is a bummer. At least for people over 30. But, no, this is about the birth day itself and peoples seem to think other people have to give a shit about it.
How many people (Ahem…girls…cough…) do you know that decide their birthday is , all of a sudden, a week long extravaganza of celebrating their existence? This includes free meals and friend duties that can only be compared to that of a bridesmaid, It’s quite possibly the most unjustifiable thing a person can do to their friends outside of making them go to a musical with you. Fuck all that. It’s YOUR birthday. Not mine. It changes nothing for anyone except you. It has no effect on anything outside of your answer to “How old are you?”. Birthday entitlement is something i feel even the people who have it probably realize they’re full of shit but , yet, they persist. What are we really celebrating? You being born? EVERYONE IS BORN. There is nothing special about it. That’s like me celebrating learning to walk or the first time I ate solid foods.

Comedian Patton Oswalt had a bit about how people should only celebrate particular birthdays. Milestone years. I think that’s a great idea. I’d also add that presents should stop after 21 as well. Too soon? fine. 25. If you’re still angling for presents from your parents, family and friends after 25, you need to chill the fuck out. You know what people over 30 ask for? Socks. underwear. dishes. The most boring shit on earth cause, by that time, you have most of what you need and really just ask for that kinda crap cause you’re too lazy to go get it yourself. It’s basically just making your friends and family run your unwanted shopping errands for you. That’s another level of this entitlement. Expecting gifts. You already got Christmas/Hanukkah. How much more do you need? You’re a grown ass man/woman. Come on, son.

I remember , when I was a kid, my brothers birthday was exactly half a year from mine. So, as a means to shut me the fuck up , my mom would get me a “half birthday gift. This was to curb the jealousy of seeing my bro cash in on whatever the hell it was he got for his special day. Thing is, I was a child and had no common sense or decency. Also, i wanted everything. So, it makes sense. Flash forward 30 years and I would literally forget it was my birthday if it wasn’t for a Facebook reminder.

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against a party. Parties are fun for everyone. The are beneficial for all. It’s a great excuse to get old friends from the different social circles you inhabit and bring them together. But that’s it…one night. One party. Maybe go out to dinner with a small handful of close friends. After that, your day is done. your time is over. The second that dinner bill gets covered, your friends are no longer obligated to give a flying fuck about your or your dumb ass birth. Duty has been served.

Speaking of Facebook, it has opened new doors to how we half ass celebrate a friends birthday. A simple “Happy birthday!” on the wall and we’re good. I’m all for this. It’s a gesture as as empty as the desert sky but, hey, it’s the least you can do. I mean that literally. THE LEAST. Outside of ignoring the persons birthday completely…which is also fine cause, like I said, who cares? Oh wait…some people do actually care. They care a lot. I know people who get legit butthurt about people forgetting to wish them a happy birthday. Those are people i like to call “Dickheads”. If you have a friend like that, you should stop taking them seriously this instant. I’m not saying cut them off but if they can’t handle you not remembering the day they were born, then imagine what a mess they’d be if you actually forgot something that mattered in the slightest. It’s a small thing but it does speak volumes about a person and how self important they are.

So, yeah, fuck your birthday. Fuck my birthday. Fuck’em all. Let’s all be the adults we claim to be and just treat it like what it is. Another day. But , still, have that party. People need a reason to leave their house.

Too much ass? Say it ain’t so.

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I haven’t done a nice rant in a while so forgive me if this is all over the place. Lots of things to compute right here…

Remember the “latin craze”? If you’re under 23 you might not. This was a time during the late 90’s/early 2000’s when , all of sudden, any and all things latino related became cool in the eyes of mainstream media. Marc Anthony was killing it. Ricky Martin reclaimed his Menudo glory. J-lo , who is both a terrible singer and awkward dancer, was praised for her singing and dancing. It was as if the illuminati had sent a letter to the 7 jew bankers who run the world that read “Hey guys, latinos are the new thing…make it happen!”
Or how about the late 90’s boy band explosion? That was when the Backstreet boys blew up and , in a wink of an eye, every remotely not ugly , mediocre singer from florida was shaved down and placed in a group with 4 guys just like him. Forced to dance and sing to teenaged girls about deep love, even though they most likely were about 29 years old and into some pretty fucked up things , sexually.

With popular culture, there are always these phases. They come and go and are typically replaced with something even more trite the next time around. It’s only a matter of time before someone does a song about giving hand jobs , it becomes a hit and , all of a sudden, we will be inundated with songs about giving hand jobs. It’s a follow the leader mentality at its finest. It’s gotten to the point where you can spot the beginning of the trends.
Right now, we’re in an ass renaissance.Sir mixalot was the man who set the wheel spinning and it has found it’s way into 2014 at break neck speeds. The powers that be have shaken their magical 8-ball and it landed on “ASS”.
Nicki Minaj Busted it open with her video about her ass. An ass, I might add, that is both insane and as real as unicorns. (side note: I REALLY wanted it to be real. I think a lot of us did…but it just can’t be. Sorry). I never thought ass implants would be a real thing that non-crazy people did. But, that’s where we are. Ass implants. Fake asses that are not really that frowned upon. Kate moss wept.
Today I watch this new J-lo/Iggy azalea video and I’m basically feeling like it’s the opening scene of a porn where the girl dances around in front of a pool right before it cuts away to her on a couch, reevaluating her life choices on camera.
Listen, I’m a fan of ass. I love it. But , dare I say, it’s almost too much?
I think the thing that gets me about this video (other then there is a scene where oil is dripping on the basically bare asses of two of the most famous entertainers alive today) is that it makes me feel like “Wow…it’s come to this…”. Lemme explain. J-lo’s booty has been a thing of worship for about 15 plus years now. She’s been known for it and has rode that wave for as long as I can remember. With that in mind, there was always an air of mystery to it. She never would REALLY give up the goods on film. Her older videos would show flashes of it. But never anything you could really sink your teeth into. It was almost as if dat azz was not meant to be seen as much as it was there to tempt the imagination of young men everywhere. It was the lochness monster of asses. Flash forward a decade plus and the stakes are no longer the same. Gone are the days of paparazzi photos of J-lo at the beach, giving us a voyeuristic look into this famous ass for a brief flicker of time. Now, it’s on display. And, it’s not only on display, it’s covered in baby oil and shaking directly into a camera for a what seems like hours. Now, it should be noted that J-lo probably looks better now than she’s ever looked. She’s a freak of nature. But I gotta think that this exposing of her holy grail ass was not something she totally wanted to let go. No, I think it’s more a “keeping up with the joneses” kinda thing where Minaj basically put all female singers on notice like
“Listen, we live in a fucked up world where we are judged by our sexuality, no matter how talented, rich and/or powerful we are. So, I’mma just go balls to the wall and do an entire video about my ass. Your move, bitches…”
What else could J-lo do? Well, I mean…I suppose she could just fall back, not make any more music and enjoy the millions of dollars she’s made over the years. Perhaps take a vacation with her young boyfriend. But, that’s silly. She’s gotta work.

It kinda reminds me of how every disney girl reacted to Miley Cyrus becoming the thing we know now. You can bet every aging disney/nickelodeon hoe on earth was checking their contracts the second the video for “We can’t stop” dropped. In this instance, I’d liken J-lo to Taylor swift.
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In her essence, Swift is an asexual country singer who is more likely capable of human sacrifice than she is dancing on beat. She’s definitely said “ewwww…” when looking at penises before. But, country wasn’t enough and all of a sudden this poor girl is forced to try and become sexy and urban. Her hand was forced. It was a real “shit or get off the pop charts” moment for her and she did it. She shit all over the place. In J-lo’s case, that jump was to throw all mystery out the window and just bare it all.
I realize it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m really not. Seeing all this ass is a blessing for any guy out there who’s into that kinda thing (And I am into that kind of thing for sure). It just makes me wonder how far this will go. Clearly, tits are always in vogue. But 2014 is ass time. The sexuality of these artists is being pushed to such a point that I wonder what the landscape of music will look like in ten years. Will there be videos of billion dollar earning singers straight up blowing dudes between verses? How much more can this elevate?
I really don’t know what the ceiling for this will be but one thing is for sure, the huge space between “becoming a super star” and “becoming a porn actress” is lessening by the minute. Between these videos, sex tape leaks and stolen photos…shit is gonna hit the fan for real in the very near future. On the bright side, we get to watch it all happen. But, on the other hand, we also get to watch it all happen.