Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Best of This Guy


A flood of features and mixtapes have surfaced ever since "Tha Carter II"'s release. Hundreds of high caliber verses combined to form a perfect storm over the last 2-3 years. It seemed like each time I crowned a verse as top dog one released the next week made me reconsider my lyrical crowning. The verses finally appear to be flowing at a manageable pace making it possible to review each drop in the bucket and order them based upon exceptionality. Just about every verse Wayne spits is lyrically potent. Therefore, I made my decision based upon length, consistency and flow. It is as follows:

5. Sportscenter-This verse reminds me of the gun Will Smith was given in "Men in Black" (The Cricket I think it was called) it's small but it packs a huge punch. The entire track is under three minutes long but in that time you're completely astounded. The beat is original, the flow is spot on and the sports motif is executed flawlessly.

["Lookin' for a lady, high and sedated got her to the pad I dont know how a nigga made it, she gave me relations so now we're related, the morning comes the picture faded"]

4. Get 'Em (Dedication 2)- It was pretty easy for me to place this one on the list. The way it begins is full of poise and lets you know immediately that he's about to put forth an extra effort. This track is full of energy and charisma. Wayne's voice sounds great over the beat and he shows off a very high level of lyricism and flow. He always does exceptional work when he and Drama pair up and this is a great example of that, this could be the best song in the entire dedication series.

["Walkin' that line with a lot on my mind, I get that money never droppin a dime, I dont hate never not on my time, I'll put that little red dot on your mind, talkin' that crime but a lot of 'em lyin'"]

3. Knuck if You Buck
-Wow. This song is the one that really made me respect Wayne as an artist. Definitely one of the most popular young money songs created. It's one of the songs where the beat drops and everyone's like "yesssss" and prepares to recite. A great beat as well as a difficult one to rap over. Mac Maine gives a very nice introduction, his first line is a great quotable. You hear Wayne ad libbing through the first building suspense and he destroys it. This is the song where I had to begin incorporate additional factors into the ordering process. He's simply relentless over the beat, its an amazing exhibition of his flow and the lyrics are utterly amazing. He literally out performs the beat and makes everyone forget about the songs original artists, it belongs to Wayne now. The first time I listened to it I had to stop it several times due to overload. He throws so much at the listener at once and you figure a few mistakes may have went unnoticed in the process but upon re listening you realize every single line is perfect.

["challenge me, that'd be to my advantage, I'm outstanding like standing outside up in a twister and walking not damaged, standing outside up in a blizzard and walking hot handed, serving nickle bags in Iraq bet I will not panic, swerve the nickle black if i wreck? bet i will not panic, cop another one the next day and drive it crazier."]

2. Tha Mobb- This is where length started to come into the equation. This is number 2 because this is how he began the his album. He gave a taste with "Fly In" and made us wonder what was coming up next then he stuffs a flawless verse down our throats. Its relentless. For five minutes he raps. Over a beat with a simple melody some snare and some base. It actually sounds like the beat is crying from a lyrical beating. There's so much going on in this song simultaneously. This song doesn't make you press pause due to the energy it carries. You instead sit in silence nodding your head becoming more captivated with each line, and just as you become comfortable with the idea that you may be in the middle of the a ten minute rap stops. But when it does you're changed, something different, something that wasn't there before you pressed play, and that is a feeling of certainty that you've just witnessed history being made.

["It's young tune the big kahuna, it's my ocean baby ya'll niggas is tuna, better now than sooner, junior, flyin' round your city tryna take a number two on ya"]

1. I'm Me -"The hottest nigga under the sun" starts an audio montage into one of the greatest rap songs ever made. This song is number one for length, quality, flow and genius. If I'm in an situation where someone claims Lil' Wayne isn't all he's cracked up to be. I select this song and right before pressing play remind them that what they're about to hear was never written down..ever. This song is number one because its epic. Its the song that changes the entire mood of a room when played. It's almost God-Like. You picture him upon a mountain top rapping with an orchestra at his back and a sea of awe stricken people at his face. This song finalizes Wayne's identity. All doubt ceases to exist. For four minutes fifty five seconds Lil' Wayne is the best rapper alive. This is the his best song because it's his most important song. There are nonbelievers before it but all are converted. It wasn't released on a widely popular mixtape, This masterpiece was peppered in a mixtape that many were unaware of, but once discovered his mass popularity was undeniable.

["Niggas ya'll don't see me cause Im better in bold, the only time I will depend is when I'm 70 years old, that's when I can't hold my shit within so I'll shit on myself, cause I'm so sick and tired of shitting on everybody else."]


Blood Never Tasted This Good

I remember seeing posters for True Blood's freshman season on Buses downtown and disregarding them. Soon after, the twilight epidemic hit at which point I began making jokes of those partaking in new vampire fad. I decided to watch Twilight to conclude whether this film was worthy of all the wasn't. Later I was told that the books (just as in the Harry Potter series) were what people were falling for. The movie was meant to capture another audience and of course, to act as a marketing tool. Nevertheless I steered clear of the entire genre and continued making fun of those doing otherwise haha. A few months later I was browsing the "On demand" menu and noticed a season one summary for True Blood. I became a fan almost instantly. The only topic it shares with Twilight is that it contains vampires. I've never been captivated by a show based upon such fantasy. The show is presented believably. The vampires don't fly, wear capes or talk in a Transylvanian accent. Human beings and vampires have learned to coexist with one another though there is an unspoken and mutual hatred between the two races. Humans see vampires as unnatural children of Satan while vampires see humans as a destructive and foolish people that are meant solely for nourishment. The show incorporates the christian faith into this modern day scenario and the result is fascinating. The show reduces the human race and in doing so presents the viewer with an alternative perspective of it. Comedy, lust, suspense and passion arrive at their best each week and combine to make True Blood one of the best shows on television.

HBO has done it again.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blueprint 3 Prediction

I can recall browsing Youtube over a year ago and coming across a video of Pharrell Williams working in the studio. During the interview the journalist asked him if the rumors surrounding the production of Blueprint 3 were true. He then replied "Jay hasn't approached me yet for anything like that but if he did it.." "would be amazing?!" the interviewer interjected " would be, scriptures" Pharrell replied. He said so in a tone that suggested nothing short of rap history would be made. With confirmation coming later in the year and even more so with the release of the albums first single "DOA (Death of Autotune)" hip hop fans (especially those in NY) are awaiting the only event significant enough to distract them from the chaos that engulfed the country eight years earlier.
It goes without saying that this album is monumental. Which is why it pains me to say that I'm a bit disappointed with what I've heard thus far. I have heard four tracks. "DOA", "Run this town", "Off That" and "Venus & Mars." I thought DOA was great. It was a statement only Jay-Z could make as the Godfather of rap and the video stood behind the track perfectly. There's no visible flash, He lets his reputation test our knowledge just as he should. "Run this town" was decent, it's pretty difficult for Jay, Kanye and Rihanna to produce a bad song. The video was good, it was (just as Jay said ) all black everything, and the mob motif was dope. The second two songs I've heard just seem unnecessary. [SPOILER!] Off that features Drake on the hook, Jay boasts about how he's resides at a superior level than the rappers who claim to be such a big deal, all in a material sense. "Venus & Mars" is another material song which is about Jay and "shorty" who have different material tastes. And that explanation is all the song deserves because it doesn't deserve to be on the album. I have no respect for these two tracks. He isn't going very hard on either of them and they're discussing unnecessary topics. The best rapper alive who's worth half a billion dollars, owns a sports team and is married to Beyonce doesn't need to tell those who look up to and/or imitate him that he's on a higher level than they are; nor should he be making tracks where he refers to the female co-star as "shorty".There are very high expectations for this album, as there should be. There is no room for "fillers" on Blueprint 3 or on any Jay-Z album for that matter. He showed us the effort he puts in to each project on The Black Album's "My First Song". It shedded a lot of light on his previous projects and made them shine even brighter. But thus far into Blueprint 3, this is the first time I don't believe him.

The other 11 tracks had better be of religious proportion... I was promised "scriptures"


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Scene Change

About a week ago I decided to take a trip up to the Pocono Mountains and I must say it's the best decision I've made all summer. I haven't seen another car or person in over a week. I cut up a few fallen trees with a chainsaw, caught a few fish and cooked them over an open fire and I probably had the best view of the recent meteor shower out of anyone I know. I never considered myself as a fan of the outdoors but this trip has proved otherwise. It's just so peaceful up here. When night falls it falls HARD. Visibility is nonexistent up here and I love it. I can yell as loud as i want, play music throughout the cabin at full volume and not have to worry about disturbing anyone. I've found there are lessons to be learned outside of city life. I've developed an appreciation for the wilderness, the places on earth that have remained untouched by the hands of men. Places where simplicity and dense vegetation still remain. I absolutely want to have a house in a location where nature steals the scene every season. Locations such as these have a power of which I was unaware. The power to make one forget. I brought my laptop with me to write but even with all the comforts of home, wireless internet and cable television, I find myself outside hiking or climbing trees rather than on the couch watching television with my computer on my lap. I haven't browsed FBK nearly as much because frankly I have no interest in what others are doing or what's on their minds. Your new pictures from the beach or the song lyric you put in your status holds no weight up here haha. It seems as if I have the whole world to explore up here and what has occurred on the internet has already been recorded and will be in its location when I return. I feel rejuvenated, the air's fresher and I've amazingly awoken everyday at 8am on the dot without an alarm clock. My mind is clear and my nerves are calmed. Yes, the scene change has been good to me.

Change Locations

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Burry Me As...

[A cool photo and an interesting concept.]

I was recently thinking about death ( I know its a bit early). My thinking transformed from when and how I'd like to die (laughing of course) to what I want to be remembered as when I'm gone. I was not the person I am now until recently. My road to self discovery epitomized trial and error. I was constantly going through a trial of some sort (none criminal thankfully) and made enough errors for two people. Errors which others still use to define me. Upon seeing these people I would go out of my way to try and impress them in an attempt to exhibit the changes I've made. However, it is called the past because time has done just that. I have surrounded myself with too many open minded, nonjudgmental, forward thinking people to expend my efforts attempting to gratify the closed minded. As I ride along the road of self improvement I've concluded the aspects of my character I want to be especially remembered. First and foremost I want to be remembered as someone who loved to have fun. Someone who had impeccable taste in all aspects of life. Someone with life experience. Someone who was always well dressed and groomed. Someone who valued quality over quantity. Someone with a great sense of humor. A great father and husband. Someone who was charming. Someone who always put things in perspective. Someone who was always logical and reasonable. Someone who was well mannered. Someone who had an impeccable vocabulary. Someone who appreciated his friends. Someone who gave great advice. Someone who knew his talent and had a career which exhibited and exercised it. Someone who mastered his craft. Someone who was easy going and often in good spirits. Someone who was useful. Someone who worked to improve society and did. Someone who learned from every mistake he made. A great cook. Someone who appreciated appearances and vanity without being superficial. Someone who lived admirably. These are all characteristics I plan to maximize simultaneously as I age. This could be perceived as wanting to be perfect. I however, do not believe perfection exists on earth. I simply see a human being who possessed these characteristics as someone I would have the utmost respect for, someone I would look to for guidance, and someone I would gravitate towards.


Monday, August 10, 2009

The Analysis

[Circa July 1993 in case you were wondering]

What we have here are four of the most easily recognizable people on earth. Whether seen individually or all together Jerry Seinfeld will be recognized as himself, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine, Jason Alexander as George and Michael Richards as a racist.. I mean as Kramer. For nine seasons these four ruled prime time television and changed what it meant to be a sitcom. Hell its still in syndication 10 years later and has controlled FOX's 7:30pm slot for as long as I can remember. Seinfeld without a doubt was the greatest television program of all time. This holds fast for several reasons, the first being its consistency. Whether you're laughing at one of the four main characters, George's parents, Mr. Steinbrenner, Kenny Bania, Uncle Leo, Newman or Jackie Chiles, you're always laughing. It is impossible to find a bad episode of Seinfeld and even more difficult to choose a favorite. What separates great television shows from the good ones is whether or not you can pop in a DVD from any season set it on random and be completely content with whatever episode happens to play. What separates the legends from the greats is if while watching whatever episode the random function selects you laugh as if you've just heard the joke for the first time even though you knew it was coming. But what separates Seinfeld from the legends is the connection we feel with the characters as we laugh hysterically at the jokes we are already familair with. Seinfeld reigns supreme because it is relatable at every level. We all may not have friends exactly like Jerry Elaine Kramer and George. But we all have a friend who's the voice of reason, a friend who's superficial, a friend who's a bit wacky and a friend who dwells on their shortcomings. We all have that friend whose house or basement or room or garage is kind of like headquarters. The place where you go just to get out of the house, where you grab a soda or some chips without asking, the place people outside your immediate group of friends refer to when they say "all they do is sit at (insert name here)'s house and (insert activity here). But most of importantly it's that place where you feel safe. Its where you've probably had the most intelligent and stupidest conversations. The place where you've probably slept over after having had a few too many. The place where your always welcomed and treated as family. Thats what made Seinfeld, Seinfeld. We all felt comfortable in Jerry's living room because it reminded us of our "place" we all felt comfortable in the coffee shop because we all also have that place we go when we feel like leaving headquarters. Seinfeld was successful because it provided the viewer with a level of comfort, familiarity and detail that was and never will be seen on television before or again. I'm not clairvoyant but I'm certain that there will never be another show viewers can relate to on such an elementary level ever again because comedy as a whole has evolved. It aired from 1989-1998 a much more conservative decade than that which followed it. The show's simplicity speaks for the decade's conservatism. Simplicity gave Seinfeld its relatable characteristic. We didnt see one or more of the four dealing with a superpower. We instead saw an avid superman fan toil with the reason being seeing the woman he was dating in the same dress each time he saw her; making him assume it was the only dress she ever wore and most likely possessing a closet full of them as his child/adulthood hero. We never saw a character in a race against time to save the earth. We did however witness a group of friends make a bet to see who could sustain from masturbating the longest. It showed us the comedy behind everyday life. It didnt give us glitz and glamor. It gave us a continuous cycle of three men and a woman who spent most of their free time in a friend's living room analyzing and resolving hypothetical and actual situations. Who seemed to simply go to work and go home, though somehow along the way finding themselves in the middle of another situation that needed to be discussed or resolved; at which point they return to Jerry's or Monks to do so. Seinfeld took small aspects from actual encounters in daily life, a woman with "man hands", a "low talker" or an eccentric soup chef and comically elaborated on them. We laughed so hard because it poked fun at such believable characters. Todays comedy is composed of jokes about racial stereotypes and sexual experiences...oh and lets not forget drugs and alcohol. Simplicity is nonexistent in television because it has been deemed unrelatable and unexciting. People dont consider life simple anymore; though all that has changed is an increase of expensive devices whose purpose is to make our lives simpler and more pleasant. Today every protagonist has a weird quirk his character is based around or is centered around entirely fictional situations. Seinfeld's writing and storylines was always spot on. The writers had a tremendous understanding of the characters, no line was ever uncalled for. This attention to detail painted a picture of each character so vivid that even an episode which depicted Elaine befriend a different group of 3 men each strongly resembling George Jerry and Kramer but with opposite tendencies was made. Seinfeld set precedents. It showed us how we could react in certain quirky situations while reminding us of the comedy behind each one. It gave us seinlanguage such as "low talker", "regifter" and of course "shrinkage" and did so with unmatchable poise. Years from now our children will stumble upon this treasure asking us to tell them all we know of the show, our recollections and how it grew to be so popular. We'll probably reply "We'll these two comedians sat down and created a comedy about a few things that happened to one of starred the other one annnddd yada yada yada it became the best show of all time." And one day they'll understand.

Learn your Seinlanguage


Hiatus Explained/ Death of the Hiatus Part II

Its been too long. I dont know what it is that makes me take these unexpected hiatuses from writing...well thats not true its that I feel like I dont have anything worth saying..though the positive feedback Ive received proves the contrary. Its bittersweet each time I place the web address into my status bar on FBK and as it seems, lately the bitter has dominated my decision process. I come across in daily FBK browsing (which has significantly decreased after my last post) other people advertising their blogs and upon witnessing this my perfectionist element kicks in. An element Ive learned to turn down, even off in some cases, to be frank it was ruining my life. Ive instead learned aspire for what I deem rational and possible and to stay optimistic. Ive been much happier since doing so. But as someone on the road to ridding themselves of an addiction does, I relapsed..I relapsed and began to think what I released was insufficient because it was imperfect. Imperfect to the public, to those who've read, those who've complimented me, who've expressed envy over a talent I myself never knew I possessed. I left out my opinion, the most significant of all. I forgot to approach this the same way I learned to approach other elements of self expression. Fashion in particular. I used to dress well simply for compliments and to please others. I came across a quote while reading GQ last season I'll never forget: "the sartorial standard a man holds himself to is meant to please only him, others simply reap the benefits of his doing." The same holds true for the articulateness of my speech written or verbal. I hold myself at the level I currently reside for it is what I believe I should do and as I mature the level will increase...Wayne said something I related to:

See you have to understand the difference.
The difference between me and you is to you, this is your job.
To me, this is my life.
The club; that's my job.
The mall; that's my job.
Your neighborhood; that's my job.
This studio; this is my life.
This is what I do better than anything.
So why wouldn't I do this all the time?

Most people find it challenging to put their thoughts or feelings or questions on a page. Its easy for me. It wasnt always but it has become so recently. Its fun. I have a hundreds of thoughts running through my head all the time. Im always thinking about something. Most of them are smaller things but some of them are very important topics that I need to record when I address them. I analyze everything and every person I see down to the smallest element. I question them and look at the reasoning behind them, then put them in perspective according to how i view society. It's my nature, even when I dont look like Im doing it..Im doing it. It is what I do better than anything. So why wouldnt I do it all the time? I will only get better at it if i exercise this ability like a muscle, embrace it, let it flourish and mature with me. I dream of mastering self expression, achieving such a level of self knowledge that every word I utter need not be retracted under any circumstance according to myself or anyone else; that I live my life with a poise exhibiting this. And this is how it starts, by understanding myself and how I think, not being afraid or ashamed to inquire it, I can then attempt to understand the world around me.

I'll be addressing the following in my next posts:

My Change of Scenery.


True Blood.

How I'd Like to be Remembered.

The Sartorialist.

A Post From A Guest Writer Coming Soon.

Im back for good..