Saturday, October 21, 2006

I’m from the Eighties NYC Five Percent of Culture

Press Play - Diddy

There are very few artists that would open up their album with another artist’s song, but not even VH1 loves the eighties more than , seriously, this guy even sampled . So at the start of Diddy’s latest album , the first sounds you hear are those of . But surprisingly this is the only eighties sample on the album. What’s more surpising is that as a guy who came up as a producer, Diddy handed over the production reigns for the majority of the album to those that have surpassed him in recent years like , the Neptunes, and the underappreciated Rich Harrison who has brought us such club bangers as Crazy in Love and 1 Thing.

The artist formally known as Puff Daddy claims the name of the album Press Play comes from what the album would make you do, sit down and press play without having to skip any tracks. Granted that concept was thrown out of the window with the release of the first single Come to Me featuring the only Pussycat Doll that I think actually sings. What exactly are the other Dolls there for, to stay in the background and do things that embarrass their daddies? But anyways. This really hasn’t been a good year for artists who over hype their albums (see , , and ). Who would have thought that would be the marketing mastermind who set the bar so low that even though her album was by far the worst released of the year, possibly ever, people actually thought it was good compaired to what they expected.

Much like his previous ones, this album is guest appearance heavy. On almost every song, Diddy brings in someone to sing his hooks ranging to big names like to lesser known artist such as Keri Hilson. The best though is who shows up on the Just Blaze produced Tell Me. Unlike previous album, Diddy doesn’t push down his Bad Boy rappers down our throat, in fact there are very few guest rappers on the album as side from Big Boi of , , and who shows up on the Kanye West produced Everything I Love. Naturally when you throw together Nas and Kanye with Cee-Lo, one half of , singing the hook over some great horns that sound like they are from the Late Registration sessions, you got a hot track.

Unfortunately Diddy didn’t have Kanye and Nas to save the rest of the album. The Neptunes fall from grace continues with another bland track in the album closer Partners for Life featuring the past expiration date . The back to back Though the Pain (She Told Me) and Thought You Said blend together making one extremely long ten minute song that will make you look at you watch wondering when it will end. Puffy does try out different styles which is a novel idea. The Future is his attempt at hard core militant sound in a track produced by Havoc from who was also behind the boards for the grimy Hold Up. Continuing his futuristic techno from ’s latest album, Timbaland adds that same sound to Diddy Rock. But it doesn’t say much about the song when it’s a leftover beat from an already poor album. But Diddy is back to loving the eighties on the produced Special Feeling that sounds like classic . Well that’s if you take out the charismatic Prince singing and replace it with the anemic rapping of Diddy.

Song to Download - Everything I Love

Press Play gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Diddy on iTunes

Friday, October 20, 2006

Your Chance Has Come and Gone

The High Road - JoJo

Scooter Note: To make this review hopefully more entertaining than it already is, a prize to the first person who correctly counts to the amount of Chris Hansen references throughout the review. And by prize I mean a pat on the back. And by pat on the back I mean a virtual pat on the back. Good luck.

There really isn’t anything more annoying than thirteen year old white girls who act black, yet JoJo’s debut single Leave (Get Out), Ebonics and all (You was just a waste of time), was disturbingly good in a Chris Hansen will be waiting for you in your kitchen kind of way. After taking a break from music to make a couple movies that I avoided to see for fear that Chris Hansen would jump out from behind the concession stand with a bunch o cameras. Now the former reality show loser (remember America’s Most Talented Kids hosted by reality star in his own right Mario Lopez? No? Oh never mind) is back much to the delight to underage girls who love Ebonics with the release of The High Road.

Also thanks to the release undoubtedly Chris Hansen has been busy especially with the rain drenched first video of the album Too Little, Too Late topping iTunes most downloaded video for most of the past month. The song is yet another kiss off to a bad boyfriend. Wow this girl has had her heart broken more times before she’s gotten a driving license than I’ve had in my entire life. Well that would be wrongly assuming that JoJo actually writes her own song. In fact there were nineteen people with writing credits on the album. For those keeping track at home, there are only twelve songs on the album. And with titles such as The Way You Do Me and How to Touch a Girl, some of those songwriters should be expecting a visit from Chris Hansen sometime soon.

And now the top 10 lyrics from JoJo’s The High Road that if you hear spoken in the kitchen of a girl you met on the internet there’s a good chance Chris Hansen will be surprising you:

10. We can go the distance homie. (Good Ol’)
9. The morning in, I know you wanted to. Come on let’s go, you know just what to do. (Like That)
8. Yo I don't know what you do when you do what you do boy. (Anything)
7. Don’t be in a rush to end mid night, feel something happening. (How to Touch a Girl)
6. I’m ready to, make this thing official cause I don’t want to lose you. (Like That)
5. Promise me when I see you, you’ll do me like that. (Like That)
4. This time I’m gonna let you take it where it should be this time I wont say no. (This Time)
3. Cause every time that we rendezvous I don't wanna go back home. (Anything)
2. We can get it poppin even thump in the parkin lot. (Good Ol’)
1. Boy the way you do me. Why you gotta be so good when you give it to me? (The Way You Do Me)

What is really disturbing is after forty minutes of all these double (and sometimes single) entendres, the album concludes with a Note to God where JoJo does just that by asking all the hate to go away and all the other things you would here from Beauty Queen contestants after they just got done strutting around in a bikini in a room full of dirty old man. Mmm, that ended up being a better comparison than I expected.

The album starts off with This Time which sounds like a lost track from the album, which isn’t a good thing (check out my review: It’s Not That Deep). You need more reasons to hate the song? Well it was produced by Scott Storch, the guy responsible for and Brooke Hogan. Then in the middle of the album it was as if someone switched the dial on the radio to an eighties station as Toto start singing Africa in mono, then the beat comes only for JoJo to start singing over the song which she calls Anything.. Even though he isn’t credited I have a sinking suspicion that was involved. But let’s hope that the lead singer of Toto doesn’t get a visit from Chris Hansen as a result of the song.

Song to Download - Anything

The High Road gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 3

It looks like three isn’t a charm as both and took a step back for the third episodes in there third season. But keep in mind Veronica Mars is like the of television, even their worse stuff (i.e. Pop) is still better than ninety percent than everything else out there. As for Lost, this past episode was still more entertaining than most from season two. With no clear cut winner, let’s go to the Toss Up to see which one was better:

Grows the Sticky-Icky-Icky
Lost: John’s buddies grows mass amounts for reasons unknown
Veronica Mars: The sorority grows mass amounts to ease the den mother’s chemo sessions
Winner: Veronica Mars

Back for the First Time
Lost: Hurley, Desmond, Eko, Locke, Charlie, and Claire
Veronica Mars: Weevil
Winner: Lost

Lost: Once again we don’t learn why Locke’s in the wheelchair complete with someone abusing his trust again
Veronica Mars: We revisit the linebacker’s night in slow motion complete with
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: Locke apologies to Eko for being wrong about the numbers
Veronica Mars: Veronica and Logan both apologize for not compromising in their relationship
Winner: Lost

Last Seen
Lost: We get a (very small) glimpse of new Lost cast member who was last seen on Related
Veronica Mars: Veronica’s new dean was last seen on without any eyebrows
Winner: Veronica Mars

Turn On
Lost: The FBI dude uses Locke to catch the drug ring
Veronica Mars: Trish stole her boyfriend’s playbook
Winner: Lost

New job
Lost: New Locke flashback, new job for John adding commune farmer to box company worker, toy store employee, and realtor
Veronica Mars: In the course of one episode Weevil works at the carwash (which wasn’t as fun as the song would have you believe), for Keith, and for the Dean
Winner: Veronica Mars

The TransplantsMusic T-Shirt
Lost: Random dude at the commune was wearing a Geronimo Jackson t-shirt
Veronica Mars: The dean’s son wears a t-shirt in the family photo
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: Juliet is the only one that doesn’t make an appearance in Locke’s drug inspired dream
Veronica Mars: Parker, who apparently didn’t go back home with her parents, and Mac were at the gym for the whole episode
Winner: Lost

Geronimo JacksonTreated Like Meat
Lost: Eko by the polar bear
Veronica Mars: The linebacker by his position coach
Winner: Lost

Lost: This week Desmond
Veronica Mars: Last week Logan
Winner: All the female viewers (and )

The Next Miss Cleo
Lost: Desmond talks about Locke’s speech before he actually gave it
Veronica Mars: The Heart Lampoon said they’d rape the blond in the middle who ended up being raped
Winner: Lost

In another squeaker, Lost makes it two wins in a row even though any Locke-centric episode that doesn’t tell us how he got in the wheelchair is a worthless episode. Instead in the flashback we again see a fully mobile Locke who looks to be hanging out with others with daddy issues. The only thing we really learn in the flashback that we didn’t already know is how Locke learned how to make the hallucinogen that he used on Boone during the first season.

Boone is backSpeaking of Boone, the big news of the episode was his return when John used the stuff on himself. This then lead to a dream sequence and really there is nothing I hate more than dream sequences. I never know what I’m supposed to get from it. Was this really what the island wanted Locke to know? Was this just what was in Locke’s subconscious all along? I really hate when television show to this as it’s the worst cliché up there with amnesia and when dudes bet that they can take the ugly chick and make her cool, even though the ugly chick that is chosen is actually kind of attractive even before the makeover.

Hurley's faceBack in reality, we finally learn the worst kept secret on television that Locke, Eko and Desmond all survive the implosion. Apparently a side effect of it was that somehow Desmond traded his cloths for being able to see the future, how very Heroes of him. Turn in next week to find out if Eko quickly heals from his bear attack and Locke begins to fly. Then there was Hurley’s reaction who gave the most overdramatic look ever.

Death: I'd hit thatThen on Veronica Mars there was the rare misstep. Maybe it was too heavy in the Veronica/Logan relationship which I hope ends sooner than later. Then there was the poor linebacker storyline that turned out to be the least buyable suspect the girlfriend who was last seen on Supernatual as the extremely hot Death. I definitely would follow her into the dark. But anyways. Maybe she will stick around as Piz’s boss. But the big news of the episode though was the Madison Sinclair reference. Maybe she’s stuck around Neptune to continue being on the Lamb and will see her sooner than later.

Cheerleader RonnieBut to pinpoint the problem it most likely has to do with Ronnie almost dropping the whole rape case. Last episode she was ready to find the guilty party and publicly hang them but didn’t do anything with that case with Parker being completely missing in action this episode. And while Ronnie was sitting on her butt yet another girl got raped although we didn’t learn the status of her hairdo. But we were introduced to a couple new suspects in the editors of the Hearst Lampoon and the sport betting guy. We were also introduced to the dean of Heart who certainly is no Van Clemmons.

In other Veronica Mars news, click the name to subscribe to the new official . You can find interviews, commentary from the writers and even a video version of a tour of the set. And of course you can also check out the official as well.

Download Lost

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We on Award Tour: 2006 Hip-Hop Honors

In a story I broke yesterday, VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors were last night and for three straight years it failed to disappointed putting the yearly event right up there with the Grammy’s and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Oddly enough for a show that celebrates hip-hop, the show started off with a bunch of people. But the Law and Order skit was hilarious with ’s cast members from SVU talking about there favorite honorees and T showing up late to ceremony only to be replaced by Mike B. Keep in mind Mike B could just be your next president. (See the end of the post for the video of the skit) As for the show, VH1 were really smart making ?uestlove of The Roots the musical director and should bring him in every year. Here are some thoughts on this year’s honorees and performances:

- The kick thing off and surprisingly Tracy Morgan was actually funny intriguing them. , the recently bullet-ridden , and come up in full B-Boy get up and spit probably the most recognizable Beastie verse with the start of Paul Revere but not surprisingly they cut off the song before they got to the part about the whiffle ball bat. Then the Beastie themselves came out to a rousing version of So Whatchcha Want, even switching the beat to the one from Fabolous’ Breathe.

- Now I’ve long held onto the belief that chicks shouldn’t rap, but I have to admit if I were to make a mix tape that represents 1996 for me ’s Cold Rock a Party would be on it because no party during that summer didn’t feel right if it didn’t feature that song.

- Whenever you see a list of the greatest MC’s you will most likely see Biggie or , but whenever you see a list that is complied by rappers themselves, it would be that would be on top. Naturally one of the best lyricists of today, came out to introduce him. The tribute featuring Black Thought and . Really there is no better way to start off a house party that something that features the bassline from Paid in Full. And hopefully the long delayed Rakim album comes out soon because the new track was tight especially with the Roots backing him. The horns were off the hook.

- When I first got into it was around the album that I can’t reprint here because my censors won’t allow it. But this was right after left the group and like many rap feuds back then you had to pick your side, do for years I refused to listen to Cube until he did that song with . The dude from did a good job at Check Yo Self. Who knew he would rap?

- Russell Simmons gets the only non- music induction this year deservedly. Hip-Hop doesn’t reach the masses if it weren’t for Def Jam. But where was the love for his running mate at the label Rick Rubin? Nice mix of songs played during his tribute.

- With and Ice Cube being honored kind of makes you wonder why not honor N.W.A. as a whole? No surprise my favorite Eazy-E song, Gimmie Dat Nutt doesn’t make the tribute. Oh well. But my homies from just a couple miles north of me, crawled out of obscurity to perform their tribute song The Crossroads.

- I never got into the theatrics of but it’s nice to see him get his due and it seemed natural that introduced his tribute with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins participating. Odd that was the only honoree in the history of the show that didn’t perform.

- If there is one thing that I have learned in my life is that is nothing to (expletive deleted) with. Nice to see the Clan reunite on stage with all the members showing up (sans Ol’ Dirty Bastard, R.I.P.). I remember seeing the troupe perform back in 1998 when they toured with . Granted they were a half an hour late to the venue. And when they arrived the spent time playing basketball backstage before actually coming out minus three members. And when they did they only gave a twenty minute set because they had to get off stage so Rage could do their set before curfew. So it was great to see them perform C.R.E.A.M. and Triumph with Method Man actually jumping into the crowd to spit his verse.

Looking forward to next year, here are my suggestions to honor next year: , , , N.W.A., , and (feel free to share who you think should be honored and be sure to scroll down to check out my lyrics quiz to see if you can answer any that are left). You can watch performances from the show at and I'm sure VH1 will repeat throught the next couple weeks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Best of the Beastie Boys Redux

Tonight is the premiere of the third annual Hip-Hop Honors on VH1 so I though I’d dust off a Best Of compilation I made for one of this year’s honorees, the Beasties Boys. How they weren’t a first ballot induction is baffling, but better late than never. The Hip-Hop Honors has quickly become one of the best shows on the musical calendar just below the Grammy’s and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. I got a sneak peak of tonight’s festivities and it is worth tuning in just to see which MC’s perform Paul Revere. Yeah the show is airing opposite of Veronica Mars, but keep in mind this is VH1 so aside from airing at 9:00, it will also re-air at 11:40 and 11:00 AM tomorrow and I wouldn’t be surprised it shows up on VH1’s broadband channel soon. This Best Of clocks in at 76:33:

1. Fight for Your Right – Licensed to Ill (1986)
2. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Licensed to Ill (1986)
3. Paul Revere – Licensed to Ill (1986)
4. Girls – Licensed to Ill (1986)
5. Hey Ladies – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
6. Shake Your Rump – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
7. Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
8. Gratitude – Check Your Head (1992)
9. Pass the Mic – Check Your Head (1992)
10. So What’cha Want – Check Your Head (1992)
11. Sabotage – Ill Communication (1994)
12. Sure Shot – Ill Communication (1994)
13. Root Down – Ill Communication (1994)
14. Get it Together (with Q-Tip) – Ill Communication (1994)
15. Intergalactic – Hello Nasty (1998)
16. Super Disco Breakin’ – Hello Nasty (1998)
17. Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix) – Sounds of Science (1999)
18. Three MC’s and One DJ – Hello Nasty (1998)
19. Ch-Check it Out – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
20. Triple Trouble – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
21. Right Right Now Now – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
22. Time to Build – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
23. An Open Letter to NYC – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)

In more hip-hop news, I have some really great news, former Hip-Hop Honoree with Public Enemy, Flavor Flav and his show is now available on iTunes, so click the link to download your favorite episode (mine being the spit seen round the world). You can also now download too.

And in other iTunes news, you can download a free preview of the upcoming movie from the store. I haven’t had the time to look at it yet, but I’m hoping it’s at least funnier than Jack Black’s stint at the VMA’s this year. But hey, it's free so click on their name to download it. While you're there you can also pre-order their new album but it is not free though.

One last thing, please scroll down to the Lyrics Quiz to see if you can guess any of the remaining lyrics which now have hints. Also if you think there is a song missing from my Beastie Boys list, feel free to tell me what you would add or replace in the comment section.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Midterm Election Edition

Hints Added Below

Two years ago while trying to decide whether I wanted to vote for the guy who did a horrible job and a guy who would most mostly do a horrible job I made myself a playlist for my iPod with songs that reminded me of the election. Some were political ones while other were void of any politics and dealt with Americana or places within the nation. Now with the midterm elections less than a month away, I thought I’d duct off that playlist as most races in my district are between two candidates that aren’t really highly qualified for the job. Now I’m not going to tell you haw to vote (just please do so), but for this month’s lyrics quiz I thought I pick twenty-five songs (of one hundred and sixteen) from that playlist that maybe will help you when election day comes around this year. As always, put both the song title and artist in the comment section and if you are right, I will un-bold the song and give you credit. Now onto the quiz:

1. As someone already guessed, the artist is Grandmaster Flash (although there are 5 other members), but the song is not guess. The song does have two words, one of which is “The.”
4. Sadly, this singer died shortly after recorded this song so he didn’t get to see how the song because one of the greatest soul recordings of all time.
7. A blatant blast at George Bush and others with huge egos; also claim he’s “no Elvis” to boot.
21. This song title was originally the title of the album that it was on, but the band changed the album’s name to the band’s name when September 11th happened shortly after the release.
22. Another band on this quiz (#11) did an amazing version of this song on a live album.
24. Someone has already correctly guessed the artist; all I need is the song title.

1. Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head. It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.
2. It helps to make friends. It’s good to meet girl. A sweet little queen that can’t run away. (It's Good to Be King - Tom Petty; guessed by Kristi)
3. It was a big high wall there that tried to stop me. Sign was painted, it said “Private Property.” And on the back side it didn’t say nuthin’. (This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie; guessed by Erica)
4. It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die because I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.
5. Colored lights can hypnotize, sparkle someone else’s eyes. (American Woman - The Guess Who (or Lenny Kravitz); guessed by Erica)
6. Early morning April 4th, shots rang out in the Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life. (Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2; guessed by Angie)
7. If I met you in a scissors fit I cut off both your wings on principle alone.
8. Freedom came my way one day, and I started out of town yeah. (I Shot the Sheriff - Bob Marley; guessed by Kristi)
9. Now Watergate doesn’t bother me, now does your conscience bother you? (Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd; guessed by Kristi)
10. Let the president answer a higher anarchy. Strap him with an Ak-47, let him go, fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way. No more blood for oil. (Mosh - Eminem; guessed by Erica)
11. Some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses. And now you do what they told ya, now you're under control. (Killing in the Name Of - Rage Against the Machine; guessed by Trish)
12. Away, away you have been banished, your land is gone and given to me. And here I will spread my wings. Yes I will call this home. (Don't Drink the Water - Dave Matthews Band; guessed by Angie)
13. Some folks inherited star spangled eye, oh they’ll send you down to war. (Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival; guessed by Kristi)
14. We don’t need no education. (Another Brick in the Wall part 2 - Pink Floyd; guessed by )
15. There’s battle lines’ being drawn. Nobody’s right is everybody’s wrong. Young people speaking their mind getting so much resistance from behind. (For What it's Worth - Buffalo Springfield; guessed by Kristi)
16. How many years can some people exist before they’re allowed to be free? How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see? (Blowin' in the Wind - Bob Dylan; guessed by Kristi)
17. I just did what I always do, everyday the same routine before I skate off to school. Who knew that this day wasn’t like the rest? Instead taking the test I took two to the chest. (Youth of the Nation - P.O.D.; geussed by some random person)
18. Everybody’s got a bomb we could all die any day. But before I let that happened I’ll dance my life away. (1999 - Prince; guessed by Angie)
19. I know things will get better; you’ll find work and I’ll get promoted. We’ll move out of the shelter, buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs. (Fast Car - Tracy Chapman; guessed by Angie)
20. We want more than this world’s got to offer. We want more than the wars of our fathers. (Meant to Live - Switchfoot; guessed by Erica)
21. I’m not along because the TV’s on, yeah. I’m not crazy because I take the right pills everyday.
22. Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand or decent job or a helpin' hand. Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free, look in their eyes Mom you'll see me.
23. But if you wanna leave, take good care. Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there but just remember there's a lot of bad and beware. (Wild World - Cat Stevens; guessed by Miz)
24. No prints can come from fingers if machines become our hands. And then our feet become the wheels, and then the wheels become the cars, then the rigs begin to drill until the drilling goes too far.

25. I support the left, though I’m leaning to the right. But I’m just not there when it’s coming to a fight. (Politician - Cream; guessed by Kristi)