Monthly Archives: June 2010

Sweet Sticky Things (Iconic Album Covers)

*Disclaimer* If any of the above or below images offend your dainty little senses please go read something else. There will be no apologies made or given for anything you are about to see or read.

I started writing this blog back in May when my boy Dlay06 was in town doing one of his infamous guerilla visits to Chucktown. We met up at one of Charleston’s few locally owned music stores, Monster Music, and we spent about an hour going through the used and new stacks of cds and vinyl. We really didn’t buy anything but we did enjoy the time making snarky comments about album and cd covers. We discussed Felt‘s (Murs and Slug of Atmosphere) brilliant idea of naming cd’s after actresses (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet, Christina Ricci, and Rosie Perez). How much Gucci Mane (burrrr), Wacka Flocka Flame, your little wardie Plies, and OJ da Juiceman sucked balls. Then we had a brief conversation of the different non-black artists that we’ve been listening to. Soon we came across a copy of the Ohio Players’ Angel lp and Duane and I both noted the racy cover. As you can see above in the header that was kind of Sugar Foot and the Ohio Players’s thing. The Ohio Players were responsible for some of the most iconic songs and album covers of the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

This got me to thinking about some of the most iconic album covers during my lifetime. Naturally, because I’m me many hip hop album covers popped into my crowded head. After I logged on to that series of interconnected tubes called the Internets and got to Googling and these are some of my pics for iconic album covers that resonated with me. If you like find a jpeg or gif of the albums that stick out in your mind just because of the images.

Prince by Prince

First of all shout out to my sisters Theresa and Regina for helping build my strong tasted(Well I think it’s strong. Seriously, there aren’t many 31-year-old black guys from Allendale County, SC who listen to the Police.) Mr. Rogers Nelson has a ton of albums but this one is the most memorable one to me. The “Prince album cover always stuck out to me but it came back into the forefront of the mess between my ears because he looks exactly like Ben Stiller portraying the Mexican newscaster in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Prince is one of my favorite singers of all time and this album cover cracks me up to no end. There’s also a dealer barista at the Starbucks across the street from my job who grew a stache that looks just like this one.

Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest (You’ve got to say the whole thing.)

A Tribe Called Quest is one of my favorite hip hop groups ever. Once again one of my sisters put my brother on to Quest and the Native Tongues because they didn’t curse as much as some other rappers out there. (I’ll get to that later.) This album cover was dope to me because there were a slew of big-name hip hop artists on the cover. Dela Soul, Ice-T, Too Short, Mc Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Red Alert, Kid Capri, Diamond D, Organized Kunfusion, Third Base, The Lords of the Underground, the Large Professor, and tons of other artists that represented an era when you could maintain a major label deal and not got platinum. The cover or Midnight Marauders is iconic simply because it’s covered with pictures of icons. Dope album cover. Even doper album.

As Nasty as They Wanna  Be by 2 Live Crew

If you have to ask why this cover is iconic you’re an idiot. Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew’s filthy masterpiece was iconic to me for an obvious reasons. 2 Live Crew released this album during the height of the music industries battles with Tipper Gore and company over indecency standards. Many of 2 Live Crews’ classic were on this album including one of my good friend’s favorite spelling lessons.

We Can’t Be Stopped by The Geto Boys

This album cover will always hold a special place in my heart because it lead directly to me being put on to A Tribe Called Quest. My brother, my friends Mario and Phillip, and myself were listening to a copy of We Can’t Be Stopped and once again one our sisters stepped in and narced us out to our parents. If you know anything about the Geto Boys you can understand why she took the actions that she did.

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy

Projecting an image of Chuck D and Flavor Flav behind bars (Like a public enemy should.), the pace setters for hip hop’s pro-black movement let listeners  know that this album DOES NOT include party jams. If you want to shake your a** go listen to the  2 Live disc up thread. This wasn’t party music. This was liberation music.

 

Power by Ice -T

Ice – T, Darlene, Shotgun. I actually remember the first time I saw this album cover. I was a bootleg at the counter of the old Stop N’ Go  on Flat Street in Allendale during the Christmas holidays. It says so much without saying anything at all. I had never even heard of Ice-T until that point and after that dude was everywhere.

License to Ill by The Beastie Boys

Arrogance. Pure arrogance is what I think when I see image of the tail section of a jumbo jet adorned with the Beastie’s logo. The nerve of three white boys from Brooklyn to think that one day they would be this big. Honestly, Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D’s bravado paid off.

Thriller by Michael Jackson

It’s Thriller. If that isn’t iconic enough for you then I don’t know what is.

Nevermind by Nirvana

 

To my knowledge, I’ve only listened to two Nirvana songs, but I will always remember this album cover. Back in high school I attended a summer art program and a kid named Joey Still was wearing a t-shirt with this album cover on it. Jason Kinard, another attendee walked up to Joey and utter two words that caused this cover to become committed to my memory: “Baby pecker.”

These are a few of the standout, iconic covers that I came up with. If I were 90 and I saw these covers I’d remember them, barring dementia and Altztimers that is. What album covers give you found/bad memories? This isn’t about the music either, just the images.

Vaya con Dios.

 

Avengers Assemble! (My crew as superheroes)

I read way too many comic books. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my dirty, not so little secret. Yes, folks my nerd game is proper.(No Hammer.) On Sunday my brother and I were asked about my our friend Joe by one of our sisters and some how were began talking about how everyone has a friend who will do any thing and Joe is that I guy. I mumbled to myself, “Yeah, he’s crazy. He’s our Deadpool.”

So after this conversation and a few showing of commercials for the recent A-Team remake I started thinking about what heroes or action characters would my friends be. So after thinking for a few days I’ve compiled a list of several of the men and one woman  that I’m proud to say that are on the team and who they would be if they were in the superhero business. ***Last names will not be used to protect the names of the innocent quasi-innocent. (These people are my friends after all.) So here’s the list and please direct your hate mail and death threats towards me. I’m going to ignore but send it my way.

Stephen Y**** Jr./Batman (Justice League of America)

This is definitely my big brother’s character. He’s not a multi-millionaire industrialist playboy and I’m pretty sure he”ll I know he would shoot you but I’ve got one made-up word to describe why he’s Batman; gadgetry.(He’s futuristic because he f***s with the future.) One of the smartest people I know by far he has proven to be capable of anything. Superman once called Batman the most dangerous man in the world and there have been times when I’ve thanked God that my brother’s a good person. If he ever goes sideways lord help us!

The Mario W*********/Hawkeye (The Avengers)

I’ve known this man since Mrs. Kinsey’s first grade class and during the course of the subsequent 25 years that I’ve called him my friend three things have remained the same. One, he’s extremely loyal in any situation. Two, just like Clint Barton he talks a ton of s*** to everybody and anybody who’ll listen.( Then again he’s in radio and that’s kind of his job.) And the third and finally trait that makes him my teams Hawkeye is that he most often thinks with his heart. Yes, he may fly off the handle, but good friends stop you from doing dumb sh**.

Olando “O” S*********/ Luke Cage (The Avengers/Thunderbolts/Heroes for Hire)

Does O have super strength? Nope! (Although he’ll tell you otherwise.) impenetrable skin? Naw. Is he 6 ft 6? No. (Honestly, every man thinks he’s 6 ft 6 inches tall in his own mind. Scary place that male mind. I’ve yet to figure out why you ladies want anything to do with what’s happening up there.) In spite of O not having any of Luke Cage’s powers he remains one of the most loyal men I know. Like Cage, O is the consummate family man. Just like Cage I’m sure if you mess with his wife or kids he’ll beat your a** and keep beating it until you get the point.

Joe J*****/Deadpool

Like I said in my intro everybody has one friend who will do absolutely anything. The Lakers have Ron Artest and we have Joe. This is for various reasons: They may be that good of a friend, they stick up for the people, or they are f***ing insane! Joe is all of these things and Joe is also f***ing insane. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen this man pull off some the craziest stunts and walk away laughing just like Deadpool. If you don’t believe me I’ve got several cats from  Allendale, SC who may recall an evening on Bells Rd that involved two rude hoodrat neighbors, a case of Budweiser, an army field knife, and a can of gasoline. Best n***** moment ever! So when I found out he volunteered to jump out of perfectly good airplanes for a living I was not shocked. Every deck has a wild card and Joe is ours. Besides if I were told that he started carrying a Samurai sword like Deadpool I wouldn’t be shocked at all.

Hasan P********/Nick Fury (S.H.I.E.L.D)

Real talk, this negro will disappear in the blink of an eye. If he didn’t work with computers I would swear he was a master spy. For all I know he could be in the room with me right now and I wouldn’t know about it. Creepy-a** Burn Notice ninja.

Ced R****/The Beast(The X-Men/Avengers)

 

Sans the blue fur and the giant house cat aesthetic Ced is bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter than you and there isn’t jack sh** you can do about it. Don’t hate him. Hate your parent’s genetic make up. Life just isn’t fair sometimes. He’s a freak of nature, whose parents throw a hell of a cookout, so deal with it.

Ferdi C*****/Iron Man (The Avengers/Alcoholics Anonymous)

“He’s a cool exec music teacher with a heart of steel” I only know two men who I could ever imagine donning metal suit that would allow him to fly and blow ish up and one of them is on the list as Batman. More gadgetry. More explosions. More f***ing with the future.  He and my Batman work  really well together. (Someone should keep an eye on them.)

Crystal “Miss Moneypenny” C***/Misty Knight (Heroes for Hire)

Who is Misty Knight? A bada** that’s who! Combine the likes of  Christie Love, Cleopatra Jones and Coffey add a Tony Stark built bionic arm and multiply by a fiance who is a kung fu billionaire you’ll have Marvel Comics obscenely under used super heroine. Misty Knight does not take any sh*t from anybody and neither does Crystal C*** (Especially from your boy.) Me and everybody love her for it.

Duane L*****/The Thing(The Fantastic Four)

I can only describe Duane as a good man. Under all of his silly, Jack Daniels soaked antics Duane is always the guy that there. My favorite gravedigger/banker always has friends and family in mind.

I could go on and on with this simply because I’ve read a lot of comics and I know lots of people, but these folks are the ones who make my list. Make your own or talk among yourselves.

Vaya con Dios.

Ain’t that news. # 1

So I have a lot of monthly magazine subscriptions and several that I get delivered by e-mail on a daily basis. (I like to learn and read and stuff.) Most of the time it takes me the entirety of a month to get through all of the magazines that I get. I’ve come across some pretty interesting articles in the last week that I like so I’m posting the links to them so y’all can enjoy them as well. Besides I really needed to do another blog this week like the Gulf Coast needs a shipment of ShamWows.

So the first story comes from ESPN’s E:60 news magazine. With the rest of the world going nuts over the World Cup of futbol the folks at the Four-Letter monster decided to shed some light on one of the host country South Africa’s dark secrets involving lesbian athletes and the harsh treatment that many of them receive from their intolerant countrymen. I found out about this article through on of the commenters over at http://www.verysmartbrothas.com . I think I may have been Keisha Brown. I think. Click the link, read, and watch.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/e60/news/story?id=5177704

The news media in the U.S of A love a good story about missing white girls. Jean Benet, Natalie Holloway and so forth dominated the headlines for weeks at a time when they “went missing”. Tragically women of color don’t get the same type of press coverage when the same they are abducted or murdered. (I have no idea why that is.) This article from GQ tells the story of several black women who have “disappeared” in Rocky Mount, NC, land of the Fridge full of beer.

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201006/serial-killer-girls-rocky-mount-north-carolina

This, this here is a prime example of why you don’t mouth off about your boss in public to news reporters. Discipline reflects leadership doesn’t it General McChyrstal?

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236

Negroes with gun anyone? This article is from the Washington Post. It asks a simple question: What if all of the white militias were black. Constitutional Rights my a**.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062204792.html

I’m no one’s father but here is an interesting article about rasing little boys to be men in modern America from Esquire.

http://www.esquire.com/features/raising-sons-well-0610

Lastly, we can all be thankful that we can get rid of crappy leaders via the voters both. This is from Foreign Policy.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/the_worst_of_the_worst

Have a good weekend and stay out of the heat.

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Random Thoughts (I’ll set your a** on fire…)

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I hope all of the daddies out there both good and bad, and everyone else had a good weekend. It’s hot, I’m sleep deprived (Apparently, last night was make a lot of noise in the parking lot at my place.) and I really don’t want to be anywhere near work right now. Continue reading

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Pretty damn good!

***Disclaimer*** I use the word “daddy” in lieu of the word father. Your are someone’s father out of a biological occurrence. Yes, a father may be married to the mother, but this does not make him a daddy.( This is kind of like being a rapper or an emcee.) Daddy is an earned rank and should be treated as such.

Today is the day that we set aside to give recognition to the daddies of this country and the world for that matter.

Daddies are the left tackles of family life. You can make it through the game without one, but it you’ve got a good one you cherish him and lavish him with the praise he rightfully deserves. Mom may bandage your bruises but you learn how to get over them from you pa. (When I use the word “Pa” I want to say it in Jimmy Stewart’s voice.)

So I have to give props to mine, Stephen Sr. He will never be described as Cliff Huxtable (And I love him for it.) but to me he broke the daddy mold when he came off the line. For as long as I’ve known the man he’s puzzled me: Wearing cowboy boots, listening mainly to gospel music, watching basically only westerns, and baseball all of these puzzling things were his normal. He will never be described as emotional– that’s not his bag. I can’t remember ever seeing him shed a tear, but I know what’s going on in his head and heart. He simply got the job done every damn day he was on it. Due to the hard work that he and my mom put in I never knew what true hunger was until I was  a “hard-backed man” as my friend’s wife would put it. “Pretty damn good” are the three words I would use to define his worst day of fatherhood.

So please take the time to give props to your daddy or your daddy figure today. Let him have the big piece of chicken and whatever else he wants.

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Do we really need two senators from South Carolina?

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Contrary to what 0ne might think South Carolina has had a pretty illustrious history. We’re home to one of the oldest signs of civilization in the world and at various times our actions have played pivotal roles in the shaping of American history. Continue reading

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Your soundtrack to hell.

What's on your iPod?

 

Along time ago I was watching some comedy special on tv and some comedian made the joke that if hell had a soundtrack it would be “My Angel is a Centerfold” by the J. Giles Band playing on a continuous loop. Yes, that song is horrible but I starting think about the soundtrack to my hell this weekend while I was watching the U.S. play England in the World Cup.   

During the entirety of the match there was a constant buzzing sound. The stadium in South Africa sounded as if it was besieged by a swarm of killer bees. (Whatever happened to the African killer bees that were supposed to overrun North and South America? Probably the same thing that happened to all of the bird flu and SARs cases? The only killer bees I ever saw were from Staten Island and I don’t know any one with bird flu.)   

So to answer my question I Googled “buzzing noise + World Cup”. My search lead me to the word “vuvuzela” which sounds like some kind of a weird “lady part” but I digress. Turns out a vuvuzela is an African version of those thunder sticks that the Los Angeles Angels of  Anaheim via El Segundo’s fans used during their World Series run a few years back.  My point is that the noise from the vuvuzela made me think about what hell would sound like to me. If I die and wake up to hear any of the fooling sounds I will then realized that my time on Earth was wasted and misguided. So here goes, my soundtrack to hell would sound like an extended mega mix(No Jersey Shore) of the following.   

  1. Nancy Grace’s voice. It’s shrill, southern, and filled with false sincerity. Nancy’s voice can remove paint. Nancy’s voice is a weapon of mass destruction. Nancy’s voice kills flowers. If I were an allied soldier during WWII, Nancy’s voice would be the sound of  the shrill sirens on a Stuka dive bomber…pure terror.
  2. The talking portions of The Reverend Doctor Deaconess Prophetess Shirley Ann Caesar’s songs. *Don’t look at me like that. No one is safe. No one.* For a time TRDDPSAC felt the need to talk on every record she recorded. It drove me made. She actually ruined a song about remembering your moms for me.
  3. Nicki Minaj talking/rapping/singing about anything.
  4. Lazy Geechie talk. I guess you have to live in Charleston to understand this one. Having a Gullah accent is fine but when you stop trying to enunciate and everything you say starts to sound like broken Jamaican patois I’m done.
  5. “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan I always hated this song.
  6. “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang No explanation needed
  7. Plies Please do something to get arrested Algernon.
  8. “Who Let The Dogs Out?” by The Baha Men I rather talk to Buzz Killington than have to listen to this song.
  9. The two chicks from The Steve Harvey Morning Show What?
  10. Two Germans talking dirty to each other. Saying hello in German sounds harsh so I can’t imagine what this would sound like.

So here are 10 sounds that would definitely let me know that I’m going to be spending eternality roasting. What are yours?   

Vaya con Dios.

The Last Good Guy?!?!

So good that he didn't have to try.

 

“It was kinda cool – a career highlight. I don’t care if it is an exhibition game. To be able to run around the bases with USA across my chest and have ( Ken Griffey ) Junior and Brian Schneider waiting at home plate to slap high-fives. That was special.”      

                                       Larry Wayne Jones, Jr  

On Wednesday afternoon Ken Griffey, Jr a/k/a The Kid, a/k/a Junior. Griffey b/k/a The Natural decided to hang up his spikes and wait for his call to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. That wait won’t be a long once his five-year grace period after retirement has passed.    

I’m barely 31 years old and Junior had the best swing I’ve ever laid eyes. That same swing that would allow him to hit 630 home runs over the span of his 22 year career. The son of a longtime major league out fielder Ken Griffey Sr, the younger Griffey was bred to be a baseball player. At six-foot three and 220 odd pounds Griffey’s genetics and talent gave him a leg up on everyone else. He was baseball’s version of Kobe Bryant but with a personality to match his talent. As a young player the Mariners center fielder was criticized for not playing 100 % all of the time but as former teammate Harold Reynolds would say in his defense, “He’s so misunderstood…”    

He was known for wearing his hat to the back way before TLC and Tony Romo, and even this slight gesture irked the old men who still to this day want baseball to remain the game of their youth and not of today’s youth. What many of those critical of Griffey failed to realize was the Griffey didn’t have to play hard, he was just better than everybody else on the field making his actions look easy. He was a five tool player. He was a staple on ESPN’s SportsCenter because of his hitting and his ability with the glove. Before he reached the age of 30 George Kenneth Griffey Jr was named one of the top baseball players of last century.   

As he reached the age of 30 injuries would begin to plague Griffey, but when he was on the field he remained a threat. If he had remained healthy Barry Bond’s would have been chasing Junior instead of Hank Aaron. Ironically Griffey’s skills begin to erode like the players of yesteryear. As he got older his talent would begin to leave him in a natural manner. You see athletes don’t gain talent in their 30’s, they lose it.  In an era of filled with false baseball gods Ken Griffey Jr. may be the last of the “clean” players in an era of nothing but dirt. Every baseball player from Canseco to Clemons left the game with a tarnished reputation and record book. In a world were the names of many baseball’s greats like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro became synonymous with steroid use, Ken Griffey Jr’s name was never uttered once. The irony of this is that his nagging injuries became the savior of his reputation. He was just a man and not a superman like Bonds and McGwire. Where they completed superhuman feats in their late 30’s, Griffey was forced to switch positions because he just couldn’t get it done anymore.   

So after a few months of seeing the field as a back-up designated hitter with his original team, the Seattle Mariners, one of baseball’s last good guys called it quits after simply not being able to bat his own weight. Quitting while your ahead is not the same as just quitting. Sadly, Ken Griffey, Jr may have been baseball’s last great, black superstar. (Not named Jeter of course.) A young kid with his athletic skill set would not consider baseball his first sport in this day in age. It would be his third. baseball,l seeming to white at times, too expensive at others, and too rigid the rest baseball should take a look at itself and begin to make corrections to save it’s own future. The good white athletes don’t bother with the sport anymore either, they are off playing football and basketball too. (This is another blog for another time.)   

Hopefully the Albert Pujols of the world won’t let Ken Griffey, Jr get stuck with being the Major League Baseball’s last good guy.

The Magnificent Migrants

Extraordinary photos of ordinary Mexicans.

I saw this photo essay by photographer Dulce Pinzon yesterday afternoon on www.foreignpolicy.com and thought it was pretty interesting. It basically shows Mexican immigrants dressed as various superheroes as they go about their daily work.(And if there two things I like it’s Mexicans and superheroes.) Under each photo a brief bio of the photos subjects are given.

 No,  this isn’t about illegal immigration. Yes, I think the state of Arizona should be asked to leave the Union for a few months until they come to their senses. No, I’m not going to prattle on about why illegal may or may not need to leave. Yes, I think we need a viable guest worker program. Yes, I’m being lazy today and NO, I don’t have to justify what I write to the likes of you. Just click the link below and enjoy some cool pictures.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/28/the_magnificent_migrants

Vaya con Dios.

Random Thoughts (Hey Israel, someone didn’t love you enough when you were little, did they?)

  1. Someone should really teach Israel to use their words. You just don’t send an armed boarding party of marines, commandos, and Ziva David’s to attack a ship full of humanitarian aid for the Palestinians if you don’t have full proof that any actual skullduggery is a foot. The fact that you killed nine people on board doesn’t help when it comes to “winning hearts and minds.” (Not that you’re trying.) Then you chalk it up to bad intelligence. It didn’t work for W who was basically in charge of the free world for eight years so why would it work for you? In your short 60 odd year existence you’ve gone from the little desert country that could to the nutty battered wife from a d-level Lifetime movie starring that used to be hot woman from “One Day at a Time”. You’re just looking for any reason to pull that pepper spray on someone that you’re think is going to hurt you. Get some therapy and invite your crazy neighbors too. But hey this isn’t the first time you’ve attacked the wrong ship isn’t it?
  2. Rampage Jackson took a year off the UFC to remake a campy TV show, The A-Team, that didn’t need to be remade, refreshed, or rebooted, and the person you fight is Rashad Evans?
  3. I’ve watched “The Hangover” twice. Can someone explain the chicken to me? Pretty please.
  4. Dennis Hopper died after an extended fight against prostate cancer at the age of 74. I’ve seen him play multiple roles in several classic films like “Easy Rider” “A Rebel Without a Cause” “Giant” and Apocalypse Now” but he will always be the crazed referee from the Nike Football commercials from the mid-1990. “Do you know what Bruce Smith does in these shoes? Bad things man, bad things.” Cancer is kind of a douche isn’t it?
  5. As I type this countless gallon of Texas tea are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico due to BP’s inability to find it’s own a**, but the cost of gas is constantly dropping. What gives?
  6. Democratic strategist and Skeletor impersonator James Carville needs his own show on CNN. I wouldn’t what because I’m pretty sure he would cause me to have night terrors but you get the point. We should lock Carville and the head of BP in a small closet with the lights off for a few minutes. I bet we’ll get some answers then. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/01/video-carville-we-want-our-culture-back/?iref=allsearch
  7. Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player on the face of the Earth. He’s still a douche, but he’s a really, really good douche.