Look At Me Now

She makes the song sound good.

Thumbs up for Rockabilly Busta Rhymes-rappin’ haole sista! This is what I call having fun.

By the Grace of Hip Hop

This is…oh my…I’m so…<speechless>

It reminds me of Paul Dateh, the hip-hop violinist, Jabbawockeez dancing to Singing in the Rain and Hoc from Quest Crew performing modern dance on America’s Got Talent. I am utterly inspired by the integration of two or more things that aren’t normally thought of being put together and making them work. True innovation, I say. Love it.

Source: Angry Asian Man

Mood Mix

Listen to this…

…while peeping this:

Quickly and quietly the divide is widening /Between those in society surviving an economy nosediving/ And those that find their lives /In abject poverty./ A collage of impropriety./ Morally, culturally, spiritually, economically,/ Yes, undeniably the dichotomy is widening./ Nightly worldwide folks colliding violently./ Fighting over pride and historical rivalries./ Information spread virally/ Like a cyber link…/ Internet piracy/ Violating my privacy/ Always spying on me/ Playing virtual hide n seek/ My life on their microfiche/ The amount of foreclosed properties/ Rivaling those with occupancies./ Addicts spiraling out of control…/ To put it mildly/ They’re struggling with sobriety./ Government policies tolerating dishonesty./ And allowing its companies to hold/ Dynasties and monopolies./ What does it all mean?/ C’mon, people, talk to me!/ It’s like a time release capsule/ In the belly of a wild beast/ …Slowly digesting./ Meanwhile my son flutters in the comfort/ Of his mother’s stomach./ He knows nothing of the…world that’s coming./ Even on a planet…millions are suffering…/He will overcome it with love/ And overwhelming abundance./ So little brother keep shining./ Little sis keep smiling, keep striving,/ Keep climbing, keep trying,/ Keep rising./ Likewise I’ll keep writin’, keep rhyming,/ Keep stylin’, keep grinding,/ Keep minding my creativity/ Keep redefining our imagery/ Because now on every level/ More than ever/ We need variety.

Lyrics Born, The Divide is Widening, Variety Show Season Pho

Sometimes I just get in a mood.

Runaway, Kanye, Runaway

“Let’s have a toast for the douchebags,
Let’s have a toast for the assholes,
Let’s have a toast for the scumbags,
Every one of them that I know
Let’s have a toast to the jerkoffs
That’ll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Run away fast as you can.”

Once again, Kanye demonstrates his lyrical genius in the chorus-line for Runaway, his new single off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy *insert sarcastic tone* I still can’t understand how people give him accolades for such horrible lyrics and an even worse-sounding flow! He sounds like a whiney five-year-old. It’s just further evidence proving that producers should just stay producers. Kanye’s just doing too much. He’s currently promoting Dark Twisted Fantasy, which consists of numerous internet media clips and interviews showcasing how much of a douche he is. After famously posing as Jesus on a 2006 cover of Rolling Stone, he was quoted, “You want me to be great, but you don’t ever want me to say I’m great?” That’s right, Kanye. No one wants to hear an egotistical manic talk about how people should worship him. Unfortunately, it’s one of the quickest ways to boost sales and Kanye is a media whore.

The 30-minute movie short accompanying his first single has generated quite a buzz, though. And I couldn’t help but give in and watch the thing. Especially since he cited Thriller, Purple Rain and The Wall as major influences. I was like, let’s see what this guy comes up with that is as major as Thriller.

Thoughts? A couple cinematic things stood out to me. One, the dialogue was so sad. Almost as bad as Kanye’s lack of rhyming skills, which, in hindsight, is very appropriate. The transition between scenes/songs was kinda choppy so scenes didn’t feel as though they ran together smoothly. Maybe that was his purpose…? The phoenix and her costume were gorgeous; however, the special effects used to make her look as though she was flying looked fake and borderline cliché.

Former Victoria’s Secret model, Selita Ebanks, is no stranger to wearing wings. I love whoever did her phoenix costume, particularly the talons and her eye make-up; her eyes were framed by feathered lashes.

Seeing as chains (and come to think of it, feathers) are super trendy in jewelry and accessories the past few seasons, Ebanks was fit to be a queen in her gold headdress.

The phoenix’s first rageful blast into the sky.

A bird’s-eye view of the phoenix flying as fast as she can away from Kanye.

Obviously, I have biased views about Kanye. Although I can acknowledge that his beats are enjoyable (for the most part), I am quick to be turned off by an egotistical, arrogant bastard, which Kanye is. Jezebel provides an interesting and thorough analysis of the Runaway film, namely that Kanye is struggling with the world’s love-hate attitude toward him. Simply put, Kanye sees himself as this exotic, otherworldly creature of greatness (the phoenix) that everyone is in awe of. However, after throwing his greatness around, Kanye experiences the world as unaccepting of him, hence the gossip folks at the dinner table. It’s during that scene that Kanye literally turns his back on the negative conversation and, in a track showcasing a blend of classical music, ballerinas and un-classy vernacular (see above lyrics), Kanye, in a burst of frustration, tells everyone to fuck off.

It’s sad that Kanye is such an ass. The album is actually quite good. KFK and I would’ve bought it if he didn’t rap on it, so we downloaded a couple instrumental tracks. Strictly on principle, we won’t buy his music because of how much we dislike his personality. A part of me tries to give him the benefit of the doubt. Another possible analysis of the Runaway film is that Kanye is actually remorseful about some of his more outlandish and harmful behavior (ie., putting Taylor Swift on blast, putting Bush on blast, although I kind of agree with him on some level). For example, the scene where the phoenix is leaving the planet may symbolize Kanye’s realization that, although his music receives much acclaim, his bullshit attitude will eventually catch up to him. Then I saw his recent interview on the Today Show with Matt Lauer, and that theory went flying out the window like a phoenix skyrocketing into space.

*Sigh* Same bullshit, same Kanye.

No Room For Substance

I’m one of the few whose car boasts a single CD deck with no mp3 adapter, and I’m so lazy to be changing CDs whenever my ADD kicks in, so I often resort to tolerating whatever is playing on the radio.

And to be honest, it’s not that bad! It’s fun, escapism music (except for Toot It N Boot It; I hate that song!). Then I made the mistake of looking up their videos on YouTube, and it just totally killed it. I think it started with Kesha’s Tic Toc up to Taio Cruz’s Dynamite. No. Creativity. Whatsoever. Gawd! It was so sad! I hadn’t watched a music video is forever and thought there might have been a little progress, but it appears that things have gotten worse. I was saddened to hear that Usher had gone the way of dance music (ie., OMG, DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again) despite the R&B status I had associated with his name while listening to him in high school circa U Remind Me and My Way. *Sigh* Those were the good ol’ days.

It was so refreshing to watch this hilarious parody of the typical watered down musical drivel of mainstream radio. From the creative minds of KevJumba and his friends at Wong Fu Productions comes Dance To This Song.

The scary thing is that if this song were to play on the radio, it wouldn’t sound any different from any other dance song because it follows the basic formula for a mainstream song/video:

  1. First thing’s first. The 3 B’s: boobs, booty and bitches. Gotta have ’em!
  2. Cheesy dance routines.
  3. The requisite hook with some guy rapping/singing.
  4. Horrible lyrics (though these are funny because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all).
  5. The theme is basically the party/booty fantasy of almost any guy in the room.
  6. The title of the song is so dumbed down (and what’s even sadder is that Wong Fu probably put more thought into Dance To This Song than the people who pulled OMG and 143 out their asses).
  7. And the defining formulaic aspect that makes this mainstream: the auto-tuner! David Choi’s voice (the guy who sings the hook) is so garbled I can barely understand what he’s saying. (Death to the auto-tuner)

On a brighter note, there is still hope. The only mainstream songs/videos I’ve found so far that actually have substance are the two vids by Eminem. Thank goodness for his clear speech and interesting lyrics.

Jumpin’ Geminiz!

I’m so in love with these two!!! Ever since their solid debut on America’s Best Dance Crew, I’ve been all about Beat Freakz. A B-girl crew that knows how to throw down. Plus, they’ve remade an old 90’s fave. I think Kris Kross was the first album I ever copped back in the day. It’s all love, baby.

Kris Kross’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Geminiz’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Fireworks’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Happy 4th y’all.

And the Beat Goes On

I Met Him Through A Mutual Friend

It had always been my dream to attend a live taping of a Conan O’Brien show. I’ve been a fan of his beady eyes, Elvis-like pompadour, quirky but sweet personality and gangly limbs since I started catching episodes of Late Late Night With Conan O’Brien back in college. I was outraged for him when I found out how NBC and Jay Leno royally screwed him over and in support of one of our comedic heroes, KFK and I had gone to see Conan’s “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour” last month.

But the point of this post (besides putting in my two cents of how much I love Conan) is to talk about the enigmatic figure of comedy, Reggie Watts, who’s opening Conan’s shows. He was captivating ’til the end. From the moment he stepped foot on stage, I was confused, amused and thoroughly entertained.

High Wattage

First of all, there’s that giant ‘fro he has for a head. If anyone knows me and my weird fascination with questlove’s afro, you would understand. If there was anything to cure my ADD, it would be a giant afro-mobile hovering next to my desk at work.

Then, there were the accents. By the end of his time slot, he had done maybe about 5 or 6 different impersonations and I couldn’t figure out which one was really his!

Then there were the skillz. Ohhhh, the skillz! I got mad love for the skillz. The whole point of this post is to showcase the man’s skillz. As an artist, Watts demonstrates comedy from different lenses. Like Ill Doctrine, he combines spoken word, humor and music to comment on socially conscious issues and life in general. By confusing the audience with his appearance and impersonations, he draws us in, taking us on this literal journey of exploration and then coming to the point of each performance together.

An Emcee in Unlikely Places

In his opening show, Watts sang a lot of parodies. The clip below is like an actual music video commenting on the ridiculousness of hip-hop today from the excessive use of cuss words to the pervasive portrayals of women as objects to the fact that it’s all nonsense with a beat.

Like I said, the man got skillz. KFK made the sad observation that Watts’ flow is actually better than most mainstream rappers out there. Along with the belief that hip-hop is dead, there is the mourning of the emcee. They’re almost completely extinct in mainstream radio which might actually be a good thing. Keeping them confined to the underground/independent hip-hop realm might actually preserve their existence.

Anyway, I’m keeping an eye out for any tours Watts might be embarking upon after the Conan tour wraps up. More to be announced…!

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