Archive for November, 2008

questions

November 25, 2008

when ever i’m killing time and/or trying to avoid things i should be doing eg writing a term paper, reading a book for school, laundry i let my mind wander and wonder and ponder big cultural questions: like these.

why is david archuleta’s “crush” so cool and full on pop-a -licous but that kid kind of creepy  ?

why is someone as sublime as annie lennox reduced to the hot mess that is the ama’s?and how is it that each time she sings “why” it does it, each time. and her skin??! whaaat? amazing.

explain the whole promise ring thing. what does it say when3/4 of the top ten acts are promise ringers and can there be a middle ground between christian chastity and pole dancing..please. oh. even that ship has sailed (and then some) can i get a promise ring  to keeping it from hitting icebergs ?

isn’t one of the jonas brothers’ 20? so how can he be your boyfriend if there’s no sex? am i some twisted slut? it was the 80’s” it’s not my fault.

how is it that for the best several years  i am hard pressed to come up with an end of the year top 10?

and how come i don’t even care any more?

and.. all this 80’s- synth, 808(not k-west’s album)  flash dance cut off shoulders,mo-hawks crap. listen to me. No. No. No.the 80’s weren’t all it’s crack up to be: ask my liver.

i’m done. carry on.

award tour

November 18, 2008

like a mother who thinks that their child is a genius there are certain artists who in my eyes can do no wrong and even if they did, i’d never tell: because i just like them too much, as people. q-tip is one of those artists. he can be a handful and has had his moments  but i just flat out adore him and no, not like that although hey; who wouldn’t? . i just think he is a straight up hunny bunny(that sound you hear is any shred of tip’s street cred disappearing into thin air.) since meeting a tribe called quest when they were working on the low end theory ,i’ve had nothing but love and respect for phife(who is on the road to good health, thanks goodness) and ali shaheed, but it is kamaal with whom i have spent the most time. when my now almost 20 year old was in 2nd grade I wrangled tip into hosting a fundraiser at my kid’s elementary school. tip didn’t have to do it. he doesn’t even live in brooklyn or have a kid. but because i asked and he’d  met lucian(who, cue awwwws, used to called tip “uncle ear-wax”. ) and he knew that it mattered  tip took the stage at ps20 in front of a group of little kids who knew he was famous but not quite sure why. come’on! what’s not to love?oh. no press was involved or invited ,lest you think it was a publicity stunt.

on november 4th, in a rare amy sighting, i dragged my monkey ass outta my house and attended a party held to celebrate both the election and the release of tip’s new  cd The Renaissance. like shalamar sang “it was a night to remember”and while i he and i are far from bffs sharing that moment with a guy that, in some ways i’ve  watched grow up(yes. I am that old and so what if i am?  just made it even more change-tastic.plus, tip gives good hug.

the very qualities that make tip a good man are also what help make his new cd so good.  too many years in the making and shelving and tbd’ing, The Rennaisance is what a hip hop album sounds like when it’s made by a guy who doesn’t  see hip hop as a means to an end, marketing plan, concession to the public’s or label’s whims or something that needs to be dumbed down . the cd  swings. it’s playful. it’s smart and it’s musical because tip is a music head and like tribe did, recognizes that hip hop shouldn’t live in a vacuum of its own design. now, i don’t need rap music to always be conscious ,but i’d be lying if i didn’t yearn for  hip hop that made you move and articulated something  by someone you wanted to listen to .while I don’t know if tip is still speaking in native tongues you can hear that he understands the language. yet another reason q-tip will for once and forever be my celebrity rap friend. strike that. my friend, period.

keep hope alive

November 3, 2008

my first blog post on my first blog was spozed to be about art, music, culture, but then i went to philly; north philly to be specific, to knock on doors-over 200 to be exact, and remind folks to get out to vote for obama. i’m a politics junkie-dave gergen is my man and during this campaign hadn’t done much else but give $ to move on.But it just seemed like it was time and when my GF lynn told me she was headed  to illadelphia, i called shot gun and away we went.

i’m not going to detail what north philly is like but when you’ve seen it and not from the vantage point of coming in on amtrak you can understand why beenie is in and out of jail.

the obama folks sent me and lynn out armed with campaign  literature,- some of which detailed your rights as a voter. The obama operatives also hipped us to some of the myths we might have to debunk. things like you can vote without a voter id card. That you can vote if english isn’t your first language or even if you’ve been busted for weed, or you owe money in back taxes. hey if that were the case joe the plumber would be in trouble.

i’ve been and lived in my share of hoods but someone elses’s scary place is always scarier than your own. i wasn’t scared but a few of the older ladies were. for us. they kept telling us to be careful and asked if we had mace. at 2:30 in the afternoon. i wasn’t scared. i was sad. just sad, walking down north 7th, climbing up the crooked  crumbling steps of houses that were in such disrepair they looked as though they’d been seized by the city. there were maybe 60 or so people home out of the 200 doors we pounded.  everyone one of them were registered, planned to vote(ok one lady didnt but she was an ass and then another who looked like she wanted to kick my cracker ass for asking if she knew where to vote. like she needed ME to tell HER where to vote. in her neighborhood) .ok but other than the olsen twins everyone one else was excited. the older people- like the sweet 74 year old lady who had cancer and took us up on the offer for a ride to the polls , or the woman with no teeth who claimed she was a judge, or this kid who asked us to hear his obama song, then blasted it out of his car’s booming system(it wasn’t half bad) – every one was ready to vote

cue my corny moment but all of this enthusiasm, especially in a full out shit ass hell hole neighborhood was inspiring.even if every third person demanded obama buttons, stickers and, in a few cases the obama shirt literally off my back. luckily once i made it clear that it was the ONLY shirt i had on, tim gunn and crew backed down.

naturally when you have voters so motivated then the “other guys” have to do something to squash it. some teens on a stoop told me that the mccain camp had been through a few days before me to let them  know that ACTUALLY election day was november 6th. the biggest election of modern times with a turnout projected at close to 90 percent and  mccain’s people though that they could tell somebody that it was on november 6th . a thursday. gives new meaning to the expression by any means neccessary.

after the kid hipped me to that  me and his friends  talked about how T.I. found out that he could vote,discussed the finepoints of the electoral college; i couldnt figger the fucker out either, the bailout  and shot the shit until my main guy stopped in mid thought like i’d said something wrong.”hey miss, ” he said. “i’m sorry but i was just sitting here trying to enjoy my smoke and , well.. it’s not bothering you, is it?”. i assured him it wasn’t and i kept down the street, knocking on doors and amazed that 90 minutes from a city that obama had on lock there were people whose right to vote was being twisted.november 6th my ass.

now i’m not one of those “look at me.look how good i am”, chicks. liberals make my knees jerk but  i felt good that i’d taken the time to come to philly; mid you the next day my dogs were a barking but even so . there was a lot of love and anticipation there. a lot of people looking at obama and seeing more than “the” future but ‘a” future . on the drive home, lynn and i talked about that and she offered someone needed to let barack know. you gotta assume that he already does . thing is, after months of supporting him, three days before the last call, i did, as well. here’s to you, north philly.