Monthly Archives: July 2007

North Sea Jazz Festival

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. If you are a lover of music you have to go to one of these things. This is how it is….You pay a healthy price for tickets, but it includes ALMOST everything in the venue (select guest require an additional 20 Euro). They put a bunch of soulful music (of all genres) under one roof and just let them do their thing. But there are some exceptions, Snoop Dogg was there. I am just going to reflect on the weekend’s events. Friday: Terence Blanchard, Bilal, Jamie Cullum …excellent. The Roots were one of the best performances there, hands down!! Buena Vista Social Club- I looked at like a fool when I didn’t know they were, but they were impressive. Apparently originators of the Cuban Jazz scene. Al Green was Al Green. Marcus Miller…good Bass player. Saturday: Raul Midon..had his CD for 3 years and performance was even better. India Arie surprised him on stage. He mistaken her for a man initially (He’s blind). But after hitting higher notes, he got it. India Arie packed the largest room there and I don’t think anyone left with a bad thing to say. She was awesome. Keb Mo (who used to always perform in Charleston but had never seen) was good! I enjoyed his blues. Oh, my mama would just eat that blues talk up! Lura, Portuguese Singer was cool…heavy African influence. Sunday: the worst night Amy Winehouse CANCELLED. This was the main show that I wanted to see and she pulled the okie-doke on us. Not sure I was surprised. Chanto Dominguez was entertaining with this flamboyant dude dancing up front. Good Spanish music + over the top dude dancing = great entertainment. Sly and the Family Stone were okay. Sly performed for about 20 minutes and looked like he was in pain. Not a good look. He still had some voice though. Snoop Dogg was good for what he is. I left during his show because all of THAT gets old. I realized that I am definitely not a fan of most of his songs. They could have, should have booked an old school rap or good hip hop artist. If you ever have the opportunity, go to major Jazz Festival near you. You can’t beat getting good music like this under one roof.

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When you read this blog you say "A Bay Bay."

Top Five Wack Songs of the Moment
1. “A Bay Bay” – Hurricane Chris
2. “The Zoo” – Robert Kelly’s ignorant ass
3. “The Coffee Shop” – Young Joc
4. “Shawty” Plies – Tallahassee Pain
5. “Aunt Jackie” – Jason Fox ft The Hood Presidents (Please go to You Tube and see this for yourselves?)

Congrats to my boy Toro and his new Mrs. Cynthia for tying the knot on last Saturday. I hope y’all are extremely happy together. While I was at the reception I realized how so many black folks were kidnapped way back when and brought to the Diaspora. Imagine a boat load of Dutchmen or whatever filthy seafaring Euro-types you like dropping anchor in Sierra Leone and bringing a band out on the deck of the ship. The locals come to see what the white folks want and while gawking at the pink toes they hear what would become a familiar and beloved tune; “The Electric Slide.” So just like every other black person on the planet they found their way to the wooden deck of the would be slave ship and start dancing. I’m willing to bet one of my ancestors probably said this phrase in an African tongue “Girl, that’s my song!” The shackles were then applied thusly beginning 400 + years of misery!

Keep a black woman off of a pole today!!!

On last Monday (July 9th) the NAACP actually held a ceremony to bury the “N” word. Not that burying the “N” (“And by “N” word I mean nigger. There I said it” © White guy from the Chappelle show.) is a bad thing but let’s put some things into perspective. If every black person stop saying “nigger” tomorrow nothing would change for us. Why didn’t he NAACP bury the word “Colored” from their title? How about burying their lackluster leadership for the past 30 years. Screw it. Every black person should get together on a designated Saturday, we can rent a back hoe, and we could just spend all day barbequing and burying. Poverty could go in first. Then gang violence. Next would be institutionalized racism. Institutionalized racism would be promptly followed by our “plantation mentality” © Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. Our deep hatred and contempt for each other could be next in the hole. Gary Sheffield’s ability to speak could go in. Finally we could throw in our crappy school systems so that the next generation of kids doesn’t have to have this conversation! I’m just saying.

English footballer David Beckham is in America now and we still don’t care about soccer. Get over it.

I was flipping past the Jesus channel a while back and I saw Benny Hinn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_hinn) preaching to a soccer stadium full of Africans. I was just wondering if anyone in the government is keeping tabs on what he does with his hand! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lvU-DislkI) I’ve seen this guy level bleachers filled with Koreans and no bodies doing anything about it.

Y’all have a good one.

Mama’s Gun

What does it say about a mother, when that mother states that the person that their daughter married is too good for them??? Well, those are the words that I heard coming out of the mouth of a family member. I was shocked. Not because she had that thought but the fact that she actually said it in front of me. Now, most people that know me, know that I couldn’t sit quietly and let this go by. I then asked the mother, well what does that say about you? She said that the daughter is nothing like her and that the daughter has problems. I then said, well you raised her. Then she just stated that, you raise your kids the best you can and then they have to make their own choices. Ok, you can make a statement like that if you actually raised your kids. I had to let it go. In past I have had the tendency to hurt older people’s feelings; I see no purpose in sparing feeling on the account of age (there are some exceptions)….I also have a problem with our elders thinking that they can say whatever they want, whenever they want. I was very happy for the marriage of the family member and saw this event as a turning point in her life. Well, not so much of a turning point. It was more of a sign of maturity.

Now back to the mother….All my life I have seen this mother do the most irresponsible things and say the most idiotic things. Some things were funny, but were very seldom moments of seriousness around this person. The person was absent much of the time when the daughter was growing up. There was the financial support of the mother, but she didn’t realize and still doesn’t realize that money will not mend or build a relationship between people that have not taken the time to relate. The thing that really pissed me off is that when I told the parent to look at herself for the personality “flaws” of her daughter, it went completely over her head.

The point of my ranting on and on is, some people just do not think before they speak! There is the saying, “If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it at all.” Well, I don’t believe in that saying because if there is nothing good to say, then I am not going to say anything good if I don’t want to. I just know who to say these things too. Evidently, this mother didn’t know who she was talking to because I lost so much respect as a result of the statement.

But who am I to tell a person how to raise their kids? And who am I to want people to start thinking before they speak. I have no kids and I often pop off at the mouth. The answer is, I don’t know. I just know what I know.

"Ooo baby you want me?"

Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shea (N.E.R.D.) are geniuses. You may be asking where I’m going with this. Sit tight and it’ll all make sense soon. Uncle Frank promises you it will.

There was absolutely nothing worth watching on TV this weekend thusly breaking my sloth-like heart. So when I wasn’t with Ms. Moneypenny, wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating, and not sending and receiving a million text messages (Steve, Lane Bryant. WTF?) I flipped channels finding very little amusement. *Side not: History Channel I need more warfare and a little less ice road trucking.*

During my incessant channel-flipping I noticed that every time I flipped past a news or news type channel (That would be you FOX News.) I noticed potential presidential candidates or one of their family members talking to or pressing the flesh with “normal folks” throughout the lower 48. *Michelle Obama looks as if she could kick the ass of most men. I seriously wouldn’t piss Mrs. Obama off. Her hubby probably has the bruises to prove it.* Seeing all of the stumping going on made me think of one of the best extended metaphors ever used in hip-hop: The entire song “Lap Dance.” By N.E.R.D.

Pharrell and the young t-shirt crew took the time to masterfully compare politicians to skrippers. Know what? They were right. If you hold your lunch, imagine Bill Clinton approaching a female voter and saying in his sleaziest voice, “Hey sweet thing. What do I have to do to get you to vote for Hillary? I’ll do anything.”

Is that any different from you and your boys hanging out in some hole in the wall and fielding this query from a half-drunk, gum popping, bad weave wearing, cast off from a Luke video asking, “What I gotta do to get a dance?”

Overall it’s the same hustle. Just switch the false promises of getting rid of Mexicans and lowering taxes with an ideal of having big butt in you crotch for the length of a song with about 120 bpms (beats per minute.) After the election and the song is over all you have left is the feeling of wanting more. You may find yourself short about 20 bills, a campaign donation, and possibly a vote in the general election. Once all three transactions have transpired you probably just sit back and speculate if you money, time, and vote were spent wisely.

People you should be tired of. Or why Sean Combs needs to move to the Cong0

“Puffy. . . I hate that bastard!”

I uttered those words 10 years ago on a hot spring day while awaiting my parole hearing from Allendale Fairfax High with my boys Mario and Leonard. At this point in time Sean was just a minor nuisance. Much akin to a gnat or a bad child at the barbershop just annoying enough to get on your nerves but not annoying enough to piss you off. I still didn’t like him.

Biggie Smalls died a few months before this so there was a large void on Sean’s label Bad Boy. 112 has just started what at the time looked like a promising career. Sean then put Mase and the Lox on the corner in their shiny suits to start turning tricks for Sound Scan and TRL. *”The Benjamins” was hot but Jadakiss on TRL just doesn’t work.*

Taking all of this into consideration something about Sean Combs bothered me. More than Percy Miller ever could. Fast forward a couple of years and this clown had a firm foothold on the American conscience. He was everywhere: Pepsi Commercials, clothing ads *I can’t front Dude has nice clothes.* He was dating America’s favorite Puerto Rican, and having gun fights with Shyne. Sean was a certified star.

Sean decided to create “Made for TV” music groups. You know how it goes. Auditions are held. Wannabes are chosen and a band is ran through the ringer by Sean and his lackeys. He has done this four times what did we get? A hilarious spoof on the Chappelle’s Show that let us know Dylan was hot fire. Then we got Babs who was the world’s ugliest female rapper. (She makes Snoop from The Wire look like Jane Kennedy. [Mos Def c.]) Finally, we got Danity Kane (With D.Woods) who actually managed to sell more records then Puffy’s last CD “Press Play.”

His label released more than a few decent albums and actually put out good music. After all of this his ego got in the way and he continued to push him self and his label above his talented artists. That’s right kids before Cassie got a record deal for being cute while there was actually talent on Bad Boy once upon a time. During the last 10 years Sean managed to squander and misuse his once talented stable of artists. Faith bounced. John Legend did to Carl Thomas what R-Kelly did to Aaron Hall. 112 are on a milk carton somewhere and Total are waiting on their WIC vouchers.

Now Sean is back with the fourth installment of Making the Band. Silly Sean never learns does he? Groups created by yourself and Viacom never work and yet you keep whoring it up for the cameras. The kids on the show actually thing it’s about them when in reality the entire making the band franchise exists so that you can keep your name hot for just a little while longer. It’s a long way to the bottom Sean so before you fall just stop putting out crappy music or find some artists with real talent and go away.

Random Thoughts: Never have an affiar with a man named Cutts.

Once again the B.E.T. awards aired and I didn’t watch it. I’m a better person for not seeing any of it. My soul, intelligence, and inner blackness thank me for not watching twice a day. No Hudson, Fantasia, T.I., Beyonce, and I feel great about it. I hate you B.E.T. (Except for Rocsi and Danella.) and the horse you rode in on.

Two weeks pro wrestler Chris Benoit flipped out and merced his entire family. He killed his wife on Friday. He killed his little boy on Saturday allegedly using his finishing move to do the deed. Finally on Sunday Benoit pulled a “von Erich” hanged himself thus completing the time honored “murder suicide” routine. (Somebody call Grissom, Nick, and Warrick.) Benoit’s costly flip out has been blamed on “roid rage” and illustrates something that anyone that has watched wrasslin’ has known for some time: Vince McMahon (Owner of the WWE) and everybody that is involved is on steroids. The average wrestler type is bigger than most NFL players and gets injured more often. Over the past 20 years wrestling has racked up a casualty rate than a group of rappers. Every death can be linked to three things: Steroids, liquor, and painkillers. I know wrestling is fake but steroids are still illegal. George Mitchell and the feds are spending a lot of time grilling baseball players but Barry Bonds has never killed anyone. *That we know of any way. If you dug up his back yard I wouldn’t be shocked if there were a couple of dead white women there.* Baseball players die of old age for the most part. Wrestlers can say that. I thought I’d never say this but leave Barry alone and do something about wrestling.

Competitive Eating is the most useless and vile acts ever shown on television. *NMN, whenever you get back to this coast you and I have a chicken wing eat-off to settle.*

*Disclaimer* I seldom jack other institutions or writers for their ideas but I doing it write now. This weeks sign that the apocalypse is upon us (Sports Illustrated c.) : Professional whore/pin cushion/rental bicycle/writer Karinne Stephens b/k/a Superhead is penning yet another books in which she plans to drop dimes on her former clients as well illustrate how low her self-esteem is. *I’d like to apologize to Ms. Moneypenny, my two sisters, and any other female who is about to read this but here it goes.* What about this logic makes sense? I hate myself inside. I think I’ll *&^ DMX, write a book about it, and go on Oprah and pretend I didn’t know what I was doing. Men please take care of your daughters because we can’t keep this letting this happening.

Last but no least it is time for our Silly Ass Negro of the week. His name is Bobby Cutts Jr. is the latest black man to pull and Othello (kill his white lover/baby mama/paramour) and come up with a hooky ass plan to try to cover it up thusly giving Nancy Grace’s bloated, shrill, and disturbingly pregnant ass something to talk about. Thanks for setting us back a few years.

Hang in there Mario.

Y’all have a good weekend.

July 4th 2007—-Last Call

*This post was composed by my man The Mario Washington (It’s like A Tribe Called Quest, you’ve got to say the whole thing.)

July 4th 2007—Last Call

“I have taken my last drink!” For those of you that have known me for any extensive amount of time, you’ve probably heard me utter those words at one time or another. But today I said for the first time and I actually meant it.

I’ve made promises to people on two separate ocassions that I would give up alcohol for good. Those promises lasted for about 24 to 48 hours, or whenever the next weekend was in sight. I looked my mother in the face and told her that I was giving up alcohol, which was an absolute lie. I then proceeded several months later to look in the mirror and say we’re giving up alcohol; again I failed in my quest. But there is a difference today because of the person that I made the promise to. I’ve promised God that me and alcohol were divorcing. That’s the person that I should have made the promise to years ago. But being the coward that I am, I needed an incident to occur that would forever change my view on alcohol and what we’ve been through together. Obviously, people do stupid things when they get drunk, but I am told that after cooking a dynamite 4th of July meal, I transformed into a different person and I reached a new low. I had been drinking for several hours and I continued to drink. I like to drink. It is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy the taste of it. I wasn’t abused as a child or anything like that, I just like to drink! Before I reveal the stupid thing that I did, let me give you a brief history of what alcohol does to me.

It is a drug! It is a controlled substance, yet still a drug! And just like any other drug, it can destroy your family. I am the great grandson of a man named Joe. I’m told that Joe would hop on his mule in Allendale, SC and go to town on pay day not to return unitl all of his money was spent on both alcohol and gambling. I’m told that Joe had a loving wife at home, and several daughters, one of whom was my grandmother. Joe passed on then my grandmother inherited his same passion for alcohol. I’m not sure that abuse of alcohol directly lead to her passing, but I am certain that it didn’t help keep her alive. I never met her because she died some years before I was born, but the stories that I hear are epic. My grandmother had a two sons and several daughters with one of the sons being my father. My father also has abused alcohol for many years and he still does today. His son inherited the cycle and began abusing alcohol on a weekly basis.

People see alcoholism as something that only affects people that can’t hold down a job or somebody that gets drung on a daily basis. But in reality, alcoholism comes in several different forms. An alcoholic is a person that abuses alcohol routinely. It could be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or whatever as long as it is a part of a routine. My abuse has been for a while weekly. People didn’t know it, but I routinely abused alcohol. I was what people in elementary school told me when I was in the 4th grade a functioning alcoholic. I would get drunk, fall down, forget things, and other things. NONE of those things really enticed me to quit drinking. But what I did on the 4th of July 2007 forced me to change my view on the vice that I have grown to love over the last decade or so of my life.

After several drinks, I began to talk to my wife in a manner that no woman should ever be talked to. On the surface, you would think that this wasn’t a serious problem so to speak. But the way that I talked to her was awful. Basically, I was talking to her in a controlling manner, telling her what she was going to do and when she was going to do it…pretty much the way that one would talk to an animal. What’s worst is that I didn’t remember any of it. She revealed to me when I woke up that I had said some mean things, but she left it at that. But my cousin Starr who was present during my rant explained to me in detail the awful truth of what I had done. It made me feel low. I began to think about my relationship with alcohol and all the bad things that I’ve done because of it. But nothing made me want to kick the habit more than me finding out I disrespected so disgustingly the woman that I make my home with. So I decided that I have taken my last drink, and I ain’t going back!

Alcohol is poison. Now if you accidentally eat a pinch of poison, you get sick and you live to tell the story. But if you continue to eat the poison, then eventually you will die. Now I have never driven a vehicle drunk or anything like that, but I’ve had it with this. It will destroy me if I’m not careful, so the logical thing is to just give alcohol up for good…..and I’m really happy about it.

Environmental Consciousness-less Pt 2 Who Stole the Soul?

D-Lay, thanks for tagging me in on this one. Who stole the soul? That was an excellent question when Chuck D asked it way back when but I think is still more relevant now. Duane, who penned the first part of this blog and I were having a conversation a couple of weeks ago when he was stateside. We were headed to do some drinking (Imagine that: Duane and I drinking together. It never happens, honest.) and one of the things we always talk about is music. Duane made the comment that foreign artists still put soul into music. He continued to explain how “black “ music that comes from overseas still contains the raw emotions that American “black” music used to have. *No disrespect to American artists still doing their thing.*

D-Lay rests his head in the Netherlands so he knows what he’s talking about. I listen to the BBC’s “black” radio station, 1Xtra, at work from time to time and as far a straight R&B goes the Euro types seem to have figured it out. American artist whose careers faltered on this side of the Atlantic find new life in England and continental Europe. Honestly the music isn’t all great but it tends to be better than what the folks at Clear Channel are shoving down your throat every hour. Sure they listen to T-Pain in England but you don’t hear “Buy U a Drank” every three minutes.

The flag ship American artists continue to let me down every time. R-Kelly’s evil yet talented ass will mail in a song in a heartbeat. Come on man what is your problem? Kells, stop making music that your 12 year-old date would like and do some grown folks shit like we know you can! Paychecks withstanding don’t you have any pride? “I’m a Flirt” “Same Girl” are you serious negro? *How in the hell do two men as talented as Robert Kelly and Usher Raymond go into a studio and come out with a shitty track like that? That’s like Mike Jackson and Stevie Wonder do a collabo in 1983 and coming up with “Somebody’s Watching Me.”*

What kind of world do we live in when white folks are making better “black” music that black folks? *I meant that in a nice way. I have a lot of white friends, honest.* Amy Winehouse’s drunk ass and Jason Seaver’s baby boy are holding it down for the moment, but they didn’t steal the soul. They just found it laying in their neighbor’s trash and took inside to use it for themselves. Raphael Saadiq and Betty Wright let Joss Stone use some of their soul and guess what? It’s working. Black artists like Anthony Hamilton need your help to keep soul music ours. We threw away the blues and white folks took it. Let’s not do the same thing with R&B.

Fuck it. If T-Pain keeps recording I’m gonna start listening to Green Day!