Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year!
ABC made the mistake of giving Richard Pryor his own show in 1977. The Richard Pryor show lasted four episodes before they figured out that America wasn't ready for what Mr. Pryor had to say.
Pryor is inherently funky, but this clip is interesting because it features his take on what a Black "Death Metal" band might sound like. But as someone in the youtube comments section pointed out, this ain't no Death Metal--it's way too funky. The jam is funky, but what you really want to see is the ending where Pryor shows us why the band is called Black Death. Interesting, especially when you think of the tenuous relationship he had with his White audience (think: Chappelle.) And look close, you might see Sandra Bernhardt acting a fool.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Unfortunately, I didn't know much more about her than when she starred with Eddie Murphy as his oversexed boss in Boomerang.
"Maaaaaaaaaaaaarcus." I can still hear that voice in my nightmares.
But last year my wife bought Rhino Records' Hipster' Holiday record (which is an awesome album--especially considering the fact that I can't stand most holiday music) that features Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby."
I loved the song (people who heard it already are like "uh duh") and it made me appreciate how talented Ms. Kitt was. I've heard a couple other people sing it, but it's the same thing as Catwoman: she owns that performance.
Her voice and demeanor are similar to Nina Simone, except more playful, less angry(!) and melancholy. But they both could mesmerize an audience with an almost otherworldly presence.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here My Dear is one of those albums you got to know just because the story behind it is so good. Marvin was married to Anna Gordy, sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy. They got married when Marvin was young, although Anna was seventeen (!) years his senior. Things were okay for awhile, but in the late seventies, after years of drug abuse and infidelity, Anna called it quits and asked for a divorce. When it came time to divide up the assets, it turned out that Marvin owed a bunch of back taxes and he was effectively broke. So the judge decreed that Marvin would make an album and give part of the proceeds to Anna (why does that sound like a dumb Seinfeld episode?).
Marvin said at first that he was going to be spiteful and put together some trash, but his genius (and probably pride) wouldn't allow it. He put together one of the funkiest, most personal recordings you'd ever be blessed to hear: Here My Dear.
It's nothing like What's Going On, with it's clarity of purpose and beauty. It ain't smooth babymakinmusic like I Want You or Let's Get It On. No, this is a unique picture into the soul of a man tormented by his own pain, need, and immaturity.
Besides the three versions of "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You," the title track is followed by a song titled, "I Met A Little Girl," which is for real cold because it's all about the seventeen year old girl, Janis Hunter, who he later ended up marrying. But besides all of the emotional rawness of the album, there are some cuts on there, like "Time to Get It Together," and "Anger," that are worth listening to just because they are funky and brilliant.
And I'm not sure what Marvin was smoking at the time, but on "A Funky Space Reincarnation" he entices a paramour by telling her to try some smoke he got from Venus and how magnets will help his "love rise." It's about the strangest song you'll ever hear on a Motown label--and one of the funkiest. Peep:
Marvin Gaye - Funky Space Reincarnation [FUNK]
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
2. I got about the worse cough I ever had in my life.
3. People's children keep showing up at my job, wanting to be taught things.
4. I've been saving up money to buy that brand new senate seat I saw on eBay.
But I'ma be back. Soon. Funky as ever.
Friday, November 21, 2008
So, if you're wondering what Al-Palin is up to these days, check out this news clip.
And is that a turkey being slaughtered the background? You betcha! Not for the squeamish.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The President of the United States just got called a house slave.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bush and those guys could paralyze the nation, but they didn't know how to call people to constructive action. One of the things that people love about Obama is how just his presence makes them want to do something.
Friday, November 7, 2008
But, no. We got to know Obama as a candidate and now we get the distinct privilege of getting to know him as an actual President. That didn't dawn on me until I saw him in his press conference today.
...and by the way, the price of the package is going up.
smooth as him could be so brilliant and biting and funny when one of the reporters asked him about what kind of dog the Obamas were going to have at the White House. Everyone wants to know because when you live in the White House you have to have some kind of domesticated animal. Hopefully not a dog like Bush's psycho dog, Barney, who tried to maul a reporter's hand the other day, but something.
The pet is our reminder that these are actual people who live in this White house and that they are supposed to have some kind of normal life. So, what of the Obama dog?
What I love about our President-elect is that he laid out his criteria for the new dog thusly: It's got to be hypoallergenic because of Malia's allergy and he would prefer it were a shelter dog, which means it would probably be a mutt, "like me," he says--perfectly deadpanned. That was a deadly moment. That was a Dave Chapelle moment.
Oh, but why did he have to start snapping on Nancy Reagan like that?
I swear I seen Rahm Emmanuel slapping him five when they walked off stage.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It's kind of similar to the feeling I had standing in the basement of La Val's pizza in 1992, watching two kids play the newly-released Mortal Kombat. The game was the bloodiest anyone had ever seen and the graphics seemed light years ahead of the old standard, Street Fighter II. As one of the combatants reached into the chest of his opponent and pulled out his still-beating heart, I had an odd moment of melancholy.
I had spent many hours and dollars training on Street Fighter II. I knew how to use the characters (Blanka, the Brazillian man-dog was a favorite) and knew all the tricks and joystick moves it took to beat everyone but the most experienced players.
Similarly, before this election I had a certain understanding about the way race and class and power worked in America. This understanding had been passed down from my parents, and their parents to them. "A Black man can't be elected president--especially not before a White woman," being one of the principle tenets.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I always wanted to be down with Oscar and his crew (the trash can lid hats were hot!), but I had to draw the line when he tried to front on my man TP. Luckily Oscar came around and the beef was squashed.
Friday, October 31, 2008
It looks like you done figured it out. Apparently, you discovered our secret plot. Perhaps you uncovered the cache of fried chicken and hotwings we were saving for field rations. Or maybe it was all the Colt 45 bottles we were stashing to use as Molotov Cocktails. Or perhaps you simply read the trails of our watermelon seeds.
But now that we've been found out, we might as well come clean:
Yes, if Barack Obama is not elected President of the United States on November 4th, Blackfolks are going to riot.
I know it's been several years since we had our last riot, but lately we have been a little anxious. First there was the whole OJ thing, which we were going to riot about, but forgot to. And then there was the Kwame Kilpatrick thing, which came at a completely awful time for us to riot--maybe if it had been after the first of the month. But honestly, we've been feeling a little ignored.
For a while we weren't sure how we fit into the whole Axis of Evil/Terrorist-thing because it seems you Whitefolks' attention has been pulled away from us. Now there's the Arabs (this includes Iranians because only terrorists would try and make a distinction), the Chinese (sneaky!), the Russians (sneakier!), and even Somali pirates (can those people even swim!?) to be afraid of.
Obama has helped us remember that we aren't really that different from the Arabs, as far as you're concerned. But you have been kind of slipping lately. Your racism these days is kind of weak. Subtle, even.
You can't blame us for getting a little uppity. Remember what you always used to tell us: "give a N an inch..."We didn't have anyone to remind us of our place. We even started believing that this Black man. This Brother. Could actually be President of the United States. That maybe there would come a day where you wouldn't be running things. How could you let us think such dangerous thoughts! You know we are an emotional people! WE TEND TO TALK IN CAPITAL FONTS AND USE EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!
But now you know. It's not too late. Even if we riot, who really cares because we only burn up our own communities? It's not like our streets are that peaceful to begin with (LOLOLOLOLOLOL). And so what if Obama is the better candidate and everybody knows it? There is still time to put us in our place and let us know who is boss.
You are still our plumber and we are still your moose.
With loving sincerity,
PS. BTW, even if he wins, we still gone riot. You know we crazy! :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
2. John McCain: It ain't tricking if you got it. Sure she spent $150,000 on a shopping spree and laced her 1st Dude in $5,000 worth of clothes and made sure Baby Trig had the latest in House of Dereon streetwear, but did you think they was going to let her get up in front of all them rich people wearing some old moose hunting camo? You betcha, not.
Don't hate because a sista is trying to step her game up. I know Minnesota Congresswoman Super-American Michele Bachmann could use some of that change after she put her foot in her mouth and the RNC cut off her check, but there's an old Alaskan saying that applies here: it bees like that.
Besides, Cindy McCain spent twice that on one outfit.
major by the time we get to 2012.
2. It appears that election day is going to look like that scene from The Firm where Wilford Brimley starts talking crap to Tom Cruise and ends up getting bludgeoned with a briefcase for his trouble.
is actually younger than John McCain (no lie) and b) Barack is going to be flashing that smile while he's swinging away, probably whistling 99 Problems.
4. I've been getting posted at school and haven't had time to post, but it really hurt my feelings when I couldn't write about the passing of my man Levi Stubbs. That brother could sang! It's hard for me to think of anyone who used the urgency and passion of his voice to tell a story. The first time I heard him sing Bernadette, I knew what it meant to marry tone with narrative. That's a big loss.
4. And Dolemite died too. I'm not sure how to feel about that because Dolemite always seemed like such a minstrel actor to me, but his movies are so bad that they're almost good. I guess it's kind of related to my dilemma about what I'm going to wear for Halloween. I would like to go as Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk, but I know everybody's just going to think I'm dressed as a pimp. Obviously that's not a good look for a teacher of impressionable youth. And plus, now it's cool for White people to have Pimp and Ho parties, and that makes me want to hurt someone. So, Dolemite, I love you, but I hate your pimp game.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
The one saving grace of this whole situation has been hearing folks like John McCain rail against "fat cats" on Wall Street and their "excessive greed." Maybe I'm new to this, but since when has Wall Street ever run on anything besides greed?
Perhaps I missed the free breakfast programs and job training classes they offer down at the Wall Street soup kitchen, but as far as I know there's only one law on Wall Street: Get yours. Don't take my word for it, let Gordon Gecko break it down for you.
"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of it's forms: greed for life, greed for money, greed for love, knowledges, has marked the upward surge in mankind, and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."
Very poetic, in a Rumsfeldian kind of way. My point is that it's funny to have people complaining about the evils of Wall Street greed when the place was built on an ideology that favors the capitalization of all human life and natural resource.
(Well, if you want to get technical, Wall Street was actually built on a massive grave site for African slaves. In the pre-Revolutionary War period, Wall Street was a trading floor for African slaves and at that time 40% of all New York homes owned slaves. But I digress.)
So yes, greed has gotten out of control, but no, it's not surprising. When there's no one watching, greed is going to trump humanity and 91 year old women are going to be driven to suicide because they can't pay their mortgages. That's why we have governments and laws in the first place.
Gecko's words are prescient, especially when he identifies the United States of America as a "malfunctioning corporation." Think about it. Over the last eight years we've seen attempts to privatize almost every aspect of government, from our schools, to our military, to our voting rights, to our national parks, to our social security to our health care (oh wait, that's already privitized). And the list goes on and on.
Now we done bought 700 billion dollars of bad mortgages. We're not in the middle of an "economic crisis," y'all. This is a hostile takeover.
Monday, October 6, 2008
And now that Barack Obama's victory is all but certain (I mean, what could really go wrong, right? Just kidding, God. Don't play!), we need to start planning our next step. Funk health care, education, and the economy, there's some brothers that we need to get out of prison.
5. Remy Ma--Okay, she's not a brother, but Reminisce Mackie needs to be on this list. Now, she did shoot a friend after having a few drinks, but at least she didn't make her victim issue a public apology for getting in the way of her bullets like Dick Cheney did.
assassinate a wolf from a helicopter and rip open a freshly-killed moose with a hunting knife, but dog fighting is unspeakable. Hmmm, that don't sound right. Please let this brother out so he can go back to doing what he does best: selling shoes and throwing interceptions.
3. Shyne (AKA Jamal Barrow)--Remember this brother? Sounded like Biggie, acted like Tupac? Shot up the club and tore asunder the Camelot that was J-Lo and Diddy? Hasn't he suffered enough? Haven't we all suffered enough?
Kwame Kilpatrick--So what if he may have improperly used city resources to cover up an illicit affair and then lied about it under oath. Have you heard? He's the HIP HOP MAYOR! Just imagine the type of expertise he could bring to an Obama administration. I can see it now: Secretary of Stuntin.
Clarence Thomas--Is there a presidential pardon for mental incarceration? Just wondering.
Illuminati at their secret meeting in Davos, Switzerland: Barack can be president, but Black people can't say nothing when the Juice gets squeezed. Alas.