Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When The Money Goes...

Today, you’ll always hear stories about professional athletes claiming to be broke, often declaring bankruptcy. The reasons for why this happens include frivolous spending, bad investments and financial support for friends and family. These casualties of big contracts often leave athletes pinching pennies at old age

But what happens when, during their young years of wild spending, one of those athletes die? What happens to the friends and family that were used to extravagant lifestyles? In the case of Donna Junor, the mother of slain Washington Redskin Sean Taylor, you’re left with bills, a foreclosure threat and without a dime to your name.

Junor, in today’s Washington Post, alleges that when Sean passed away two years ago, the victim of a heinous home invasion, she did not receive any money from his estate. Sean, like many young people, never wrote a will. Therefore, the money in his estate went to those who were designated to receive it: his child’s mother, his father and his sister.

Like many athletes, Sean was not shy about his spending. He often dropped duffle bags full of money to his brothers and sisters (ironically, one of those bags led to the home invasion that took Sean’s life). His mother was also on the receiving end of this generosity. She received a home and car from Sean, which he was paying for.

Once Sean passed, the bills piled up, threatening to force Sean’s mother out of her home. While she received her degree last year, she’s been unable to hold steady employment, so she’s owes about 10,000 in home association fees and back taxes. All she wonders is why she can’t receive money and his sister can (she received about 100 grand from his estate). Like Sean’s mother, his sister says that the distribution of the estate was unfair however people would have to learn to buckle down and handle their business.

This situation raises some interesting conundrums. First, how imperative is it for athletes to establish wills and other legal decrees while they are alive? While Sean’s passing was a shock to all, he felt that if something was to happen, he wanted his money to go to the people that he trusted the most. After Sean’s death, many NFL players publically stated that they were in fear for their lives because of their riches. The last thing they worry about is who should give a dime when they pass.

Secondly, what does it say that Sean’s mother is asking for a handout? In that same article, Sean’s brother said that he didn’t want a dime and that he’s doing alright. People were this way before Sean cut his biggest check. Does Sean’s mother deserve something? Yeah, of course but if she hasn’t been trying to take care of her situation, then how much of a side-eye can you give her?

Lastly, how many of these stories do we have to hear before all professional leagues educate their players about their money? You would think since these leagues – owners and GMs – put all this money in these dude’s pockets – their own little investments – that they would be steadfast in ensuring that those funds don’t go to waste.

Sean Taylor’s family predicament ain’t nothing new but it’s sad nonetheless. Somebody get Michael Crabtree on the phone, please?

Two Years After Sean Taylor's Death, His Mother Faces a Wall of Hardship [Washington Post]

BREAKING: Michael Vick Signs NEW Deal w/ Nike

My little-beacon-of-hope, Michael Vick, lost his first endorsement deal with Nike after he was charged and later convicted of dogfighting charges. Fresh out of his first week in the NFL, Vick and Nike reunite.

Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has signed an endorsement deal with Nike.

Mike Principe, managing director for BEST, the agency that represents Vick, said Wednesday the deal had been reached but would reveal no other details. He referred other questions to Vick’s personal agent, Joel Segal.

"Mike has had a great relationship with Nike and is excited to be part of the Nike team again," said Segal, who negotiated the Nike deal as well as Vick's deal to return to the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Segal wouldn't reveal any details of the deal, saying that Nike and Vick agreed not to discuss terms.

Vick will wear Nike shoes, gear and apparel. "He has always been a fan of the brand and looks forward to the relationship," Segal said. [Source]

Nike ran faster than Vick against Florida State when those dogfighting charges were filed. I wonder how Nike will use Vick in their products, especially since he isn't a starter. Curious about this.

Michael Vick signs Nike endorsement deal [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Non Sequitur Presents “What’s Sex to a Teenager?”

Think back to when you first felt yourself becoming attracted to someone. Do you remember how your body when through weird but necessary twitches? What about when you felt a flash of heat in the place you didn’t think could feel that? For the fellas, you had to remember the first time you pitched a tent in class, praying that it would go away before next period, right?

When you first kissed someone? Had a boyfriend or girlfriend? When you broke your virginity? When you almost did but didn’t? When you heard that your best friend was pregnant? When you saw a bump or two that wasn’t there before? When you fell in love or thought you did? When you heart was broken for the first time? When you thought that no one wanted you? When you thought that being a relationship controlled your popularity? When you realized that masturbation wasn’t really a bad thing? When you breathed a sigh of relief because you didn’t get caught doing it?

When you’re a teenager, sex and everything related to it consumes your life. Mostly every decision that you make involving sex, relationship and intimacy is controlled by these hormones that you have yet to grasp the concept. In some cases, those same decisions were downright stupid or regrettable. In other cases, it saved your life. But we can all agree that as adults, we have a better idea of the beast we’re dealing with.

But look around today. You can’t tell me that today’s teenagers are dealing with things in a way that doesn’t freak you out. They’re learning about things – and in some cases doing things – that we didn’t know about or dared to do until we were older. Wanna talk “ahead of the class”?

“What’s Sex to a Teenager?” takes a look at how teenagers look at sex and how our generation didn’t have that differently. This series will also look at the changes in sex education, impact of social networking on building relationships, internet’s impact on teenage promiscuity, sexual orientation, the impact of STDs on our youth and much more.

The ten-part series, “What’s Sex to a Teenager?”, starts Monday, October 5th!

Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz "I Can Transform Ya"


Also known as the "Late 2009/Early 2010 Trickin' Anthem"


(Props to Nah Right ... #NRFF!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Derrion Albert = Jena Six

For the past 36 hours, I’ve been trying to think of the best way to approach the heinous death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, beat to death by fellow teenagers in Chicago. The more I think about what happened, the more I find myself enraged and upset at the crime itself and the attention that it has received. Anyone who follows the news knows that Chicago has been out of the control. Students shot, stabbed, beat to death on the daily. However, up to Derrion’s death, most people (ie. my people) didn’t care enough to make a blip about the problem. You should have seen Twitter yesterday; it was full of people expressing their displeasure for teen violence as if it was now a problem. Anybody living in any major metropolitan area knows ten or twelve Derrion Alberts.

That’s why this situation reeks of Jena Six to me. For those who lived under a damn rock, six Black teenage boys were arrested and charged with murder for an attack on a White student in the small Southern town of Jena, LA. This case caused national outrage amongst folks who thought that a school yard fight didn’t constitute murder charges under any circumstance. Racism was alleged – here comes Sharpton and Jesse – and people gathered in the small town to protest the charges. You know you wore Black that day.

I was one of the people that didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, extraneous charges are extraneous charges but you can’t say that those six boys didn’t deserve ONE charge from that fight. Forget that, it wasn’t a fight, it was an ass-kicking. Six dudes on one dude … out of line. For people to scream “No Justice, No Peace” for those individuals was crazy. They kicked and stomped that dude. How did Derrion die? Kicked and stomped.

The biggest thing I can take out of the Jena Six debauchery is that it was the realest case of reactionary behavior I’ve ever seen. Nobody gave a damn about those six boys until they got caught with a murder charge. Where were the people in their lives when they were first getting in trouble? Nowhere to be found. We always talk about Black men this and that and woe is me but where are the people trying to prevent those “woe is me” moments?

Those kids who viciously killed Derrion Albert had people around them that knew they weren’t doing right but sat around, just knowing that something tragic was going to happen. For all we know, no one said “let’s help these kids before they kill somebody”. Guess what, they killed somebody and everyone is pointing fingers at each other instead of looking inward , saying “what could I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again”.

Do you remember what happened after Jena Six? People stopped caring. The t-shirts went away. The protests stopped. The demagogues packed up their bags and left town. What happened to those boys? One slammed a boy’s head into table, one shot himself because he didn’t want to go back to jail for shoplifting. The others got caught with money in their mouths, looking like 21st century Jim Crow images. They all went back to getting into the same petty acts that led them to beating down that boy. Where are all those people who wrote 100-pages-long diatribes about this? Nowhere to be found.

Tell me how the Derrion Albert situation will be different?

Guess what? It won’t.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Man Admits Duct-taping Cat

Why someone would do this, I have no idea...

"Sticky" still doesn't have a home, but she's closer to getting justice for being body-wrapped in duct-tape and abandoned last week.

Saturday evening, following a tip, Pennsylvania SPCA law enforcement officers arrested James Davis, 19, of the 2100 block of 22d Street in North Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

If convicted, Davis faces up to two years in prison and a fine of at least $1,000, the PSPCA said.

Contrary to other reports, Davis did not turn himself in, said George Bengal, the nonprofit's director of law enforcement.

Davis admitted to impulsively taping up the cat after seeing it in the yard of the home where he lives with his parents, Bengal said.

Davis left the cat in his yard for a couple of hours, then, because the animal kept screaming, tossed it into a neighbor's yard, where at least 12 hours passed before she was noticed and authorities were contacted, Bengal said. [Source]
Duct-tape though? Yeah, I don't get that one either. Looking at him (above), I don't think he does either.

Sickening Repetition

Remind me to make a mix CD on my next road trip.

This past Saturday, my “sister” Robin and I decided to make a trip to Cherry Hill, NJ for a mall fashion show hosted by What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelly (don’t judge me). It’s about a two and a half hour drive from Maryland, nothing too crazy. While we were in the car, reminiscing about people – man, did I find out some stuff – and talking about other shenanigans, we kept getting interrupted by the same damn songs.

Seriously, the same four songs were played over and over and over. If I ever hear that bass line to Mario’s “Breakup”, I’m going to scream. It was either that song, “Run This Town”, Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings”, the atrocious “LOL :-)” – why, Trey, why? – or some Drake song , take your pick. When we hit the Philly area, both urban radio stations were playing the same exact song. Foul.

Radio is sorry. The same five or six songs should not be played every hour. I never listened to radio when I was in Philly and honestly, I see why. With the advent of attachments for IPods and mp3s for cars and classic mix CD, people can actually listen to whatever the hell they want to. You don’t have to sit through countless plays of the same songs over again. What’s the point?

They play these songs as if we’re never going to hear them again, it’s ridiculous. Now I see how, as a teenager, it was easy to get indoctrinated into what songs I should or shouldn’t like. Radio was the outlet for hearing new music, so if you heard a song 10 to 12 times a day, it’s going to stick with you. It’s rare to have one of those “the radio plays this?” moments anymore. I could probably, in my sleep, predict the top 20 songs played on radio right now. Am I the only person that finds that ridiculously pathetic?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video: Reed Dollaz "This Is For The Hood"

WACKEST Philly rapper with clout. Yeah, I said it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Khloe + Lamar = Huh?

Yep, I don't get this one either. Khloe Kardashian, the sister of everyone's favorite amateur porn vag Kim Kardashian, and Lakers forward Lamar Odom are apparently engaged to get married after only dating a whopping fourweeks.

Since my ass is single, I try to not judge people's relationships because at the end of the day, I don't have one BUT this is one of those moments when I feel that I need to say something.

You wanna talk about being desperate. This shit right here is DESPERATE. There is no way in hell that you can know before your next menstrual cycle whether you want to marry someone. What part of the game is that?

We don't know if Khloe and Lamar knew each other longer than the both have put on. Nonetheless, the notion of getting married to someone at this clip is absurd. Maybe being in the house with a sister having a baby out of wedlock (Kourtney) and a sister whose 3 year relationship just went bye-bye will make you want to lock it down.

Whatever her reasoning may be to marry Lamar (I could really give a damn at the end of the day), I hope she realizes that it's better to be happy and alone. Trust.

Video: Tiron "Throwing My Money"

I heard this song on DJ Sean G's Lever 2000 mixtape (hosted by Pac Div) about a year and some change ago. Tiron decided to drop a visual for it so it's better late than never, right?

Props to OnSmash

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Did You Miss Me?

When people ask me whether they should start blogging, one of the first things I lament is that "life doesn't give a damn if you blog or not". Blogging is a commitment that, if serious about, can take up a lot of your time. Most people realize this and stop or just forget to update the thing or just don't give a damn anymore.

In my case, life decided that it wanted to crash on my couch for a few days so I couldn't update this blog. It also doesn't help when the internet isn't working in the house and you have to trek your ass to the nearest Starbucks or Barnes & Noble (the Humor section is to the left of me).

That being said, I will be updating this blog very soon (like next 10 minutes). All the shit I promised last week will be available next week. I got more pressing things to worry about (including my Philadelphia Eagles ... sheesh!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Required Reading: "It's The Roc!" The Source Sept. 2002

Every couple of days, I'll go back into my magazine stash and find some old articles that hold some significance here and now. From hip-hop to sports to politics, see how much little can change and what really stays the same.


In honor of Jay's crazy BP3 first week numbers, I went back into my stash to find an old Roc-a-Fella article from the September 2002 issue of The Source.

In this article, Jay talks about Nas post-mock-hanging-at-Summer Jam-gate, Jaz-O and Foxy, handing over the reigns to Beanie Sigel and Cam'Ron (rumored to be part of the dissolution of Jay and Dame Dash's relationship) and how September 11th affected him. He also references to a "black album" to finish off his career. Speaking of Cam'ron, he speaks on his relationship with Jay and how he would go to battle for him when need be, no Wet Wipes.

Dame, on the other hand, takes MAD shots at then Def Jam head honcho Lyor Cohen, accusing him of selling the Roc to Jay behind Dame and Biggs back. Funny thing is, this would also be assumed as a breaking point for the Roc.

Click the images to enlarge.

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Female NFL Refs Sooner Than We Think?

Last week, I made a statement about NFL commish Roger Goodell giving a female a chance to be a referee. Word is that there could be someone already lined up for that position. Here name is Sarah Thomas.

According to an article in the New York Times, Thomas is currently the only female ref in major (Division I) college football. There are three other females refs patrolling the sidelines in the division formerly-known-as Division I-AA (SWAC and MEAC conferences, respectively).

After working the New Orleans Saints training camp, Thomas is in the conversations to be the first female NFL referee. I can't wait for Thomas to get the call.

Video: Laura Izibor "Don't Stay"

Just caught this video last week. Fell in love with the song instantly. Sometimes you have to let go of people not just for the betterment of you but for that person as well. I think that's the story of my premature love life. *sigh*

My first crush, Rob Brown (Finding Forrester) is in this too, all grown and shit. I was in giggles the whole time watching the video like I was 12 again. So damn fine. Still is. *sigh again*

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hofstra Student Recants Gang Rape Story, Suspects Released

Yes meant yes until the boyfriend found out.
A Hofstra University student who claimed four men gang-raped her has admitted to making the story up and four of the men she falsely accused were released from custody last night after spending two days behind bars, authorities said.

Kevin Taveras, one of the four men initially charged in the "incident," says he's happy to be breathing fresh air again.

The 20-year-old smiled broadly outside his Brentwood home, hours after rape charges against him and three others were dropped in a headline-making case at Hofstra University.

"It didn't look good for us," Taveras, a dispatcher for Cablevision, told NBC New York. "I thought we would do time." [Source]

I’m very late on this story – didn’t even know about it until I heard the charges were dropped – but this is what I can piece together about the case. Apparently, the alleged victim met the four accused – Taveras, Rondell Bedward, Jesus Ortiz, and Stalin Felipe – at a frat party on Hofstra’s campus. She alleged that the one of the four men, one a Hofstra student, jokingly stole her phone in hopes of her leaving the party. At that point, the accuser alleged that the four men – with another man who was never charged – lured her into a dorm bathroom, tied her up and gang raped her.

Four of the five suspects were charged with rape. In questioning, one of the suspects stated that there was visual evidence – a video phone recording of consensual sex between the alleged victim and the accused – that would contradict the rape accusations. Once the accuser was asked about the alleged recording, she confessed to having consensual sex with the men and that she made the whole rape story up after her boyfriend found out about what had happened that night.

Now, the four men are planning to sue the accuser, who could be charged with making a false police report. While the accuser has been suspended from campus, the one Hofstra suspect was allowed to continue his studies at the school.

Of course, the race angle was brought into this. The suspects were minorities – three Latino and one African-American. While we don’t know the race of the accuser, many have suggested that because they were young Black or Latino men, they were guilty as charged in the case from the start. Like, what would four Black and Latino dudes be doing on a college campus anyway?

As I roll my eyes at the latter statement, I bet that went through the minds of many when they heard about this case. College campuses are notorious for knocking “undesirables” off of their grounds to protect the safety of the students. While there’s a legitimate reason for that – who wants to be sexually-harassed leaving a bar – and a logic behind it, the notion that these four guys went on this campus to prey on little incident White girl is absurd. It’s like Duke Rape case redux: “Powerful” men (in the Duke case, strictly financial and White) taking advantage of a weak-minded girl who didn’t know any better. Clearly, shorty in this situation wanted to get ran over by a train and once she had to face her boyfriend, she got scared.

For the dudes to sue? Ehh … not so sure. The charges were dropped and they were never prosecuted in court. It’s a blip. No one’s rep was ruined. The DA didn’t jump to the white community of Hofstra and said “We’re going to lock these monkeys down!” because it’s an election year and we need the votes. The police did their job. These guys should go back to living their lives without a hitch. They’ll be aight. Suing the girl would throw their character into question, a character that ran a train on a girl in a campus bathroom. That’s not cute.

What really isn’t cute is making up a rape. For those girls who actually get raped at a college party, they’ll be afraid to come forward because no one will believe them. Colleges don’t care as much as they should about rape and sexual assault already. Why make it worse?

Hofstra Rape Accuser Recants Tale, May Face Charges [NBC New York]

Video: Fat Joe feat. Pleasure P and Rico Love "Aloha"

One of those songs I'm embarrassed to admit that I listen to. Whatever, I like it. Everybody knows I stan for Pleasure P anyway.

(Props to OnSmash)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Of Course, She's a Kicker...

Deptford High School (NJ) senior Samantha Dimitri allegedly became the first female football player to score in Jersey high school sports history.

Via The Philly Inquirer:

According to area historian Chuck Langerman, Dimitri became the first female in South Jersey to kick a field goal, which she booted from 23 yards out.

She was also perfect on her two conversion kicks, finishing a memorable debut that mirrored her performance the previous October, when the Deptford juniors played the seniors in power-puff football.

In that game, Dimitri was successful on all five of her conversion kicks, and word got back to varsity football coach Al Orio.

It turns out that Orio knew Dimitri well since he is Deptford's junior varsity softball coach, and she is a varsity player.

One thing led to another, and Dimitri tried out for the football team and not only made the squad but beat out two other hopefuls for the kicking job. She also tried out for the punting job but did not win that. [Source]

I don't see the big deal about this really. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of what she accomplished but at the end of the day, she's playing in a position with the least amount of contact. She's a kicker for goodness sakes. Ain't nobody going to lay a hand on her. Now, if she scored in a full contact position, then I'd be all over this but until then, it's been there, done that.

A female NFL referee wouldn't hurt though. Commish Goodell needs to get on that, pronto.

Deptford girl splits the uprights as a kicker
[Philadelphia Inquirer]

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aunts Know Best

Kanye West’s little temper tantrum during Sunday’s nights VMAs reminded me of a conversation I had with my Aunt a year or so ago.

I was dating this individual who’s certain character traits used to get on my nerves. I would always find myself complaining to my friends about the “childish” or “immature” things this person did. Even though those things used to irk me in the worst way, I couldn’t leave that person alone, even though I knew what was going to happen, especially when and how.

So after a really tense argument, I called my Aunt to complain – again – about what this person did. After thirty minutes of me popping off at the mouth, she stopped me and said “either you accept this person for who this person is and deal with it or you leave that person alone.” Needless to say, I let that person go but ultimately, let them come back around because the good eclipsed the “bad”. Of course, the "bad" never left.

Kanye’s talent can’t be matched by many in this industry but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s proven time and time again that he can be EXTREMELY tacky and out of line. What he did to Taylor Swift has been done by him before. However, because a mass amount of people haven’t exorcised themselves from Kanye the entertainer, complaining about his behavior is moot. If you accept Kanye, you accept his behavior. Don’t act all surprised when, not if, that shit happens again.

VLOG: "What's Sex to a Teenager?"

What's Sex To A Teenager? from Ciara on Vimeo.

Just a little intro to my new series, "What's Sex to a Teenager?", coming soon (like this week). More details in the coming days.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Incest via the Internet: Mom Sexes Long-Lost Son She Located via. The Web

Put this in the "grossed the hell out" file. A Michigan mother located her son that she gave up for adoption. Her idea of "getting caught up" involved knockin' boots with the boy.
A 35-year-old Michigan woman had sex with her teenage son she had given up for adoption years earlier, authorities allege.

The Oakland Press in Pontiac reported Thursday that police charged Aimee Louise Sword of Waterford Township with third-degree sexual assault over her alleged sexual relationship with her son, whose specific age and identity were not reported.

Authorities allege more than 10 years after she gave her son up for adoption, Sword found the teenager through the Internet and their incestuous relationship began. [Source]
I can't lie ... I've had a fear about something like this happening (not to this degree though, hell no). Like a lot of people with GIANT families, I've used the internet and social networking sites to locate aunts and cousins. But I've also met some really good people over the net as well. When I moved to Philly for school, I used to vet the hell out of people to make sure we weren't related (I got family all over Philly). I'm not trying to bump uglies with a cousin-through-marriage-twice-removed, trust.

Michigan woman accused of sleeping with son [UPI via Jezebel]

"Why You Wanna Play Your Games on Me?"

One of the best New Jack Swing slow jams of the era.

Today, you wouldn't be able to get away with a name like Chuckii Booker. Oh no.

“State Prop, You Know Us”

Something was missing from Jay-Z’s AMAZING “Answer the Call” 9/11 Benefit concert: State Property. When Jay was going through his medley of hits, including the rarely-performed “Feelin It”, I was waiting for “What We Do” or “You, Me, Him and Her” to come blasting from the speakers and for Freeway and Beanie Sigel to come and rock out on stage. Hell, I could even see Chris and Neef (The Young Gunz) doing the Philly bop on stage with their SP brothers. So when the concert ended, even as dope and outstanding as it was, I was like “Damn, I wish State Prop would’ve came out”.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. My Twitter timeline was filled with people who wanted the same thing: A pseudo-State Property reunion. Like others, one of my favorite parts of Jay’s “retirement” concert at the Garden was the “What We Do/You, Me, Him or Her/Roc the Mic”-State Property medley. Seeing Free do his verse from “What We Do” with Jay telling him to “keep going” was crazy. Sad thing is … that may have been the last time SP and Jay were EVER that tight.

The relationship between SP and Jay has been a rocky one since that concert. While Jay said in an interview recently that he still talks to Chris and Freeway, other SP members haven’t been so chummy. For a good portion of 2008, Peedi Crakk made his choice to take what seemed to be unsolicited shots – who knows what was said privately – at Jay with his “Camel Face Hunting Season” mixtape. Peedi contended that State Property got the short end of the stick when Jay and Dame Dash made their now-infamous split.

As reported, when the dissolution of the Roc happened, artists on the label had to choose sides, including State Property. While Beans landed with Dame, The Young Gunz and Freeway went with Jay while the rest of SP … well, it depends on who you talk to. In that same interview, Jay – who called Peedi Crakk “psycho” (I giggled profusely at that, sorry) when asked about him – said that he gave people an opportunity to have a career and that it’s up to them to decide whether they run with it. In true hip-hop contrarian fashion, members of SP, including Freeway, have aired their grievances publicly in the past, stating that Jay “hasn’t done enough”. Their history with Jay should be enough for him to throw a scrap or two their way.

That history is something that Hip-Hop has failed to repeat. The world knew they had something when State Prop annihilated everybody in their path with their infamous 2001 Hot 97 freestyle. As epic as it was to hear – you’ll be amazed how many people have that session on tape – and to see (check it on YouTube), it could only be matched by the collaborations. Who doesn’t know Beans verse from “Do It Again” word for word? State Property was also Jay’s henchmen, taking on their bosses’ competition, no holds barred (Beans v. Jada, nuff said) It was a partnership that would be fruitful for both: Freeway, Sigel and Young Gunz dropped critically-acclaimed albums and State Prop’s style rubbed off on Jay (some even say that he changed his flow thanks to Young Chris, but that’s one hell of a hip-hop conspiracy).

What isn’t a conspiracy is that hip-hop fans still clamor for the “Chain Gang”. While Chris, Free and Beans continue to drop music, Oschino and Omillio Sparks are still putting out music when they feel like it. As for Peedi, he’s state property for real. Hip-Hop’s wet dream of seeing State Property back together – the whole not parts –isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Jay is performing in Philly later on this year, so there’s some hope of Chris, Neef, Beans and Freeway cameos. While SP and Jay’s relationship may be up in the air, you can’t take away what those dudes from Philly have accomplished. If you can’t respect their impact, “get down or lay down”.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Did Trey Songz Just Save R&B?

When Trey Songz dropped his mixtape, Anticipation, back in June, there was this buzz in the air that couldn’t be matched by any R&B artist out at the time. The Internets were going crazy about Songz’ tape with all original material as if it was his latest studio release. People were anticipating (no pun intended) Ready, his third studio album, at a fervor only matched by Hip-Hop standards. So with the ladies in tow – check out his Twitter page for the hysteria – and male R&B to himself, most wondered whether Trey’s hype would manifest into sales.

It did. Trey sold about 120,000 copies of Ready, making it the number two R&B album in the country behind Whitney Houston’s return disc. When Ready leaked two weeks ago, many on the net knew that Trey’s Billboard numbers wouldn’t reflect the feeding frenzy of the internet. As one person said eloquently on Twitter: “These chicks may wanna f*** Trey Songz but that doesn’t mean they’ll buy his album”. Twitter was out of control when leaked copies of Ready hit the internet but he still put up numbers only to be rivaled by Maxwell’s BlackSummersNight.

So for a guy loved by women and respected by men, he changed the course of R&B with one release single-handedly. Question is … did Trey Songz just save it?

Simple answer is no. Trey didn’t save R&B in its entirety but he did put the rest of male R&B not named Ne-Yo or The Dream on his back and put in work. Trust, it needed the help.

If Hip-Hop was taking a hit in sales, R&B was suffering from continuous sucker punches. For a genre full of some of the biggest Urban acts of the moment – Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, The Dream and others – and moderate sales and success the boot, lesser-known artists were taking major hits in the charts and Trey Songz was one of them. His first two albums, while critically-acclaimed, were duds on the charts by today’s standards. For a guy extremely talented, shit wouldn’t stick. But then something happened
Something that I still can’t figure out. For a while, Trey was one of those forgotten dudes in R&B. In a matter of six months, Trey’s fan base multiplies. How the hell does that happen?

Trey fills a void in R&B: the crooner. There was a time in R&B where you couldn’t stop being bombarded with male singers vying to make a chick’s panties wet. The two guys responsible for that, R. Kelly in the 1990s and Usher in this decade, are NOWHERE to be found (yes, I know Kelly is about to drop an album but you can’t say he ain’t Trey Songz Lite with his new single “Number 1”). While The Dream and Ne-Yo make sexy records, many will say that they aren’t lookers like Trey Songz. Trey smiles … panties wet. Trey sings … panties wet. Trey looks like he’s about to take his shirt off … panties wet. Trey does it … orgasm. He’s the new ladies man of R&B.

And speaking of R. Kelly, I think it also helps when the guy that you emulate unabashedly decides to play with the masses and dumb down his music completely. The music that Trey is making – albeit different from Kelly – is reminiscent of Kelly’s first solo album, 12 Play. 12 Play is full of “come home and f*ck me” records. Ready? Same deal. Not too vulgar or raw but a degree above tasteful. Perfect.

Perfect as Ready. A fan since he came out, I like the way Ready sounds compared to his second album, Trey Day. Trey Day paid homage to what was current (check the production credits and see). While it had its standout tracks, it failed to me because it represented everything wrong that was infiltrating R&B: gratuitous rapper cameos, lack of diversity in sounds and an attempt to grab audiences that wouldn’t pay any mind in the first place. Trey Day tried to grab every piece of the market and failed. I can’t even listen to some of it, it’s that bad.

But Trey redeemed himself with Ready. He got down with Troy Taylor, knocked out a cohesive album and won. 115,000 wins to be exact.

The Washington Times Feature on Brian Orakpo

The Washington Times wrote a dope article on Washington Redskins' linebacker Brian Orakpo for today's paper. I remember when I first saw him at the NFL Draft. My first words were "Who the f*** is THAT wildebeest?!" This kid is a beast -- literally. I expect for him to have a better career than LaVar Arrington in this city but that's not saying much ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Video: Ghostface Killah "Stapleton Sex" Trailer

I heard the entire song last Friday and completely bugged out. So NSFW!!

(Props to OnSmash)

Camel Refuses to Predict Eagles Victories in Protest of Vick

Sorry about the back-to-back-to-back sports posts. I'll get back to the works once I get my internet situation under control. Who in the hell has dial-up anymore? My father, that's who

When socially irrelevant people -- or animals -- decide to take a stand on something, most people do the right thing and ignore it. But since it involves Michael Vick, a damn camel who picks NFL winners by eating a damn graham cracker decides to boycott this season and people feel the need to write about it.

Take note.

Philadelphia Eagles fans thirsty for predictions on whether their team will win
or lose each week won't get them from a New Jersey pigskin-prognosticating
camel. Princess, the star of Popcorn Park Zoo, won't predict the results of any
Eagles games this season to protest the signing of quarterback Michael Vick.
Vick spent 18 months in prison for organizing a dogfighting ring.

The 2,600-pound camel went 17-4 last year and correctly picked the Pittsburgh
Steelers to win the Super Bowl. [Source]
The only reason I know about this camel is because she/he/it is always featured on the local Philadelphia morning news during the NFL Playoffs to hopefully predict an Eagles Super Bowl win. We've never won a Super Bowl. How about those humps.

Pigskin-Picking camel snubs Eagles because of Vick [AP via]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take Advantage of Speech Class

One of the most unforgiving things about the English language is that when you use the wrong word or part of speech, the meaning of a sentence can be screwed COMPLETELY. Take Ohio State quarterback/DeVante from Jodeci's twin Terrelle Pryor.

Via Deadspin:

The Ohio State quarterback showed up for his first game of the year with Michael Vick's name written on his eye black. Then he proceeded to play like Marcus Vick, nearly crapping the bed against Navy at home. Brian Rolle saved the day with his intercepted two-point conversion, but unfortunately he couldn't save Pryor from a disastrous postgame interview where he tried to explain his face tribute to Philadelphia's backup quarterback.

The quote in question: "Not everybody's the perfect person in the world. I mean everyone kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I think that people need a second chance, and I've always looked up to Mike Vick, and I always will." [Source]

Like I said, I know what he meant to say. He was trying to say that everyone messes up, including people who kill, and after they serve their time, they deserve a second chance. He just didn't say it the right way. There's a reason why Speech class is a requirement, people.

Terrelle Pyror May Not Be The Best Spokesman For Michael Vick [Deadspin]

I Saw This In My Paper This Morning

As I ate my grits this morning, I saw this ad in the Washington Post's NFL preview . Mind you, I've relocated from Philly to DC. Mind you, I think this is stupid. Mind you, it almost says subliminally that Vick will be hitting the ground more than he should (ie. as a starter). Even when I move, I can't escape this shit.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chargers LB Shawne Merriman Tries the "Lights Out!" Method on Tila Tequila

Domestic violence week continues thanks to a NFL linebacker and the ORIGINAL MySpace jumpoff...

San Diego Chargers star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested Sunday and accused of choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality TV star Tila Tequila, as she tried to leave his suburban home.

Tequila, 27, signed a citizen's arrest warrant, charging Merriman with battery and false imprisonment, San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Steadman said.

Deputies responded about 3:45 a.m. to Merriman's house in Poway, north of San Diego, after a woman called to say she was choked by the player and thrown to the ground when she tried to leave, Sheriff's Department spokesman Jan Caldwell said at a news conference.

Merriman, 25, was taken into custody and booked into the central jail at about 8:30 a.m. He was released shortly after 11 a.m. Caldwell said she didn't know if he posted bail or was released on his own recognizance.

Tequila was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not immediately available.

Caldwell said deputies determined Tequila had been drinking. She said she wasn't sure about Merriman. Caldwell said there were other people at the house, but wasn't sure if any of Merriman's teammates were there. [Source]

I wouldn't have paid this story any mind until I realized that the ORIGINAL video chick and Merriman's ex, Gloria Velez, during an interview with Sirius radio show "Lip Service", had alluded to a sexual relationship between Merriman and Tequila. Apparently, Tila had been running her mouth for some months on Twitter about her "relationship" with Mr. Lights Out. She was also called an "alien-looking bitch" by Velez in that very same interview. I guess Merriman wouldn't let Tila phone home.

Chargers LB Merriman arrested in domestic call [Philadelphia Inquirer via AP]

Friday, September 4, 2009

How Philadelphia Turned Me Out…

Today will be the last day that I will step foot in the City of Brotherly Love. As I pack my bags and clean my place, I look outside my window and gaze at the famous skyline that I used to dream about as a child. Dreaming about that one day when I wake up and see the inner workings of that skyline from the window of my Center City apartment. I thought this city had my name on it; I thought this city was meant for me to inhabit. But after four years of college, crime, compassion and confusion, I leave without manifesting my destiny.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I was born in the Germantown section of the city, a section that I only saw once in my four years of Philly college life. I found myself ripping and running the streets of West and Southwest Philadelphia, feeling more at home and at ease. Germantown reminded me of home, a home that I wasn’t mine anymore.

When I was in high school, I always wanted to go to college in Philly. When I applied to all five local schools, I got into all of them. I had this diabolical plan to reunite with my mother’s side of the family. Finally, in the city that I thought I knew, with family in every corner, I would finally be free, be me. That didn’t work out. I finally saw them three months ago under circumstances that weren’t that pretty.

While that part of the city sucker punched me, the other took me on a ride I wasn’t ready for. I’ve always been a tough girl, an exterior well-crafted by my father and brother. It was in your best interest to not mess with me, even when I was at my nicest. I think I inherited that from my mother, a Philly girl through and through. But once I landed in Philly, the nice side of me came through more than I thought she would. I found myself succumbing the city’s toughness in a way that I could never imagine. Ciara was genuinely and whole-heartedly nice to people. Philly didn’t want to see that.

Every time I walked down the street, the vibe from others would punch me in the stomach. They could tell that I wasn’t from here, from their part of town. Excuse me for not knowing that Philly wasn’t this autonomous place. People would test me and I wouldn’t flinch. I grew a nice set of ovaries that I showed more than once. I played others and got played. At the end of the day, after all of my escapades with this city, I felt like a shafted girl after the worst night of her life: crying, speechless and hymen-less.

It forced itself on me, changed me and fell good about me. Bragged me, showed around to its friends but them behind my back, and talked shit about me. Philly made me feel like a lady and a tramp. Philly got inside me, messed around, tortured, battered, bruised and beat me but called it “making love”. Philly made the best and worst of me show. Philly loved me and hurt me. Philly told me that we would be together forever and I couldn’t believe it. I leave this city alone; alone without the one I came to see. The city did its job. Philadelphia turned me out.

Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount's Fist Meets BSU Player's Face

After University of Oregon's worst offensive performance since 2007, team running back LeGarrette Blount was upset. So upset that when Boise State University player Bryon Hout said something to him, he sucker punched him right in the chin.

Roll the tape!

Blount also landed a punch on teammate Garrett Embry, who was trying to calm Blount down.

Duck that.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Camden, New Jersey Solidifies Rep with One Foul Swoop

We Philadelphians like to go hard on Camden, New Jersey aka "Baghdad" for its top five murder rate and dilapidated appearance (drive across the Ben Franklin Bridge and tell me what you see). But this latest move is some shit that even us Philly people can't make up.
One of the hottest videos on the Web today is the surveillance tape of a burglary in progress at the Sagemore Apple Store in Marlton, N.J, 12 miles from Camden.

It shows five perps in masks smashing the plate-glass doors, signaling to the security guard that they had a gun, and clearing off the display tables with the efficiency of a Indy 500 pit crew.

The take: 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones and 9 iPod touches in 31 seconds flat. Estimated value, based on average selling price: $46,345. [Source]

You have to watch the footage to believe it. They went in.

allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"

Camden ain't for play. Nope.

Bad “Country Grammar”: The Rise and Fall of Nelly

As I re-read my list of songs that remind me of high school, one artist is surprisingly missing: Nelly.

Nelly, on his own, controlled most of urban and Top 40 radio with hits such as “Country Grammar”, “Dilemma” featuring Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and “Hot in Herre”. He was considered a newer, more Southern version of LL Cool J; his sex appeal with women was unmatched by any artist at his peak. He was the face of a new style of music that many coined “Hip-Pop”, hip-hop music with a softer edge for pop radio. He made the anthem for Air Force Ones lovers everywhere. In lesser words, he was that dude.

But for all of his accomplishments, I failed to even think about his music when compiling my list. I was a fan of Nelly when he first hit the scene in 2000 -- “E.I” was my theme song – and I most definitely was attracted to the cat. A few of his songs, like “Dilemma”, were extremely popular while I was in high school. Even with all of that, I forgot about the dude. Has Nelly fallen off so much that his impact would be forgotten? The real question is “was a Nelly meant to last”?

Hailing from St. Louis, Nelly was a breath of fresh air to music. His music, a hybrid of South and Midwest hip-hop sounds, was a welcomed addition to urban music, which was making a shift from East coast boom-bap to down South bounce. Nelly’s first single, “Country Grammar”, went to number one and his debut album of the same name sold nine million copies. But you can’t sell that many albums in hip-hop and still maintain an ounce of creditability.

Even after subsequent hits like “E.I” and “#1”, Nelly was already being coined as a ‘pop artist’, something that he took some offense to. In reality, his music wasn’t as pop as it appeared to be (the chorus to “Country Grammar” speaks about committing a drive-by shooting). While Nelly continued to make hits, his biggest being 2002’s “Hot in Herre”, many hip-hop fans were calling Nelly off as a “sell-out”, claiming that he abandoned his hip-hop base to sell more records. While that was a false statement – most of Nelly’s hits were played continuously on urban Radio – he still couldn’t garner an ounce of respect from the hood.

But then there was 2003’s “Tip Drill”.

The video for the David Banner-remixed version of “E.I” (VERY NSFW) cause a firestorm like no other. Before “Tip Drill”, Nelly was known as a “your girlfriend’s favorite rapper”. His songs about love and relationships were often his biggest hits. Tip Drill, with the now infamous chorus ‘It must be your ass ‘cause it ain’t your face’, garnered much respect from dudes during the BET Uncut era. Nelly changed his image from a “ladies’ man” to “an everyday n***a” with one credit card swipe down an ass. But dammit, did he take a hit.

Many argue this point in Nelly’s career as the St. Louis arch starting its downward slope. He couldn’t recover from the backlash he received from women, the more infamous episode involving a protest held by students at Spelman College in Atlanta. He became the face of misogyny in Hip-Hop, something that he didn’t even create. With every interview he would have to defend himself and Hip-Hop, something that Nelly didn’t seem eager to do. He tried to get focus on his music, but people weren’t listening. While he had hits like “My Place” featuring Jaheim – off 2004’s Suit album – and "Flap Ya Wings”, off of Suit’s companion album, Sweat, his biggest single in the Pop world would be the stake in the heart of his Hip-Hop career.

Nelly released “Over and Over Again”, a song featuring country music star Tim McGraw. His biggest pop hit to date, his hip hop credibility, almost saved by “Tip Drill”, was eviscerated completely. Even “Grillz” couldn’t save him. By 2005, it was a wrap for Nelly. I guess somebody didn’t tell him that.

In 2007, Nelly tried and failed to ignite the release of his latest effort, Brass Knuckles. Four singles and four videos couldn’t do it. Many argued that his music sounded dated, that he didn’t adapt to the sounds of the time. Hip-Hop was going gritty and in “the Trap” while Pop was going in the clubs. Nelly created the sounds of the past – “Wadsyaname” was the 2008 version of “Dilemma” while “Stepped on my J’z", with Ciara and Jermaine Dupri, was “Air Force Ones 2.0” – which left others, like Flo-Rida, to update his sounds and do it better. Many publications, like XXL, wondered: Is Nelly’s career over?

That remains to be seen. If it appears to be the end, his accomplishments should be noted. He put the entire St. Louis on his back, paved the way for local artists such as Chingy and Jibbs to get put on, made it easier for Hip-Hop artists to get play on pop radio, dominated radio for two years and ushered in a new sound to music. One hit could completely bring Nelly back in the game, to continue his legacy and career. Apparently, one too many duds appear to have taken it away.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Hope Grandma Palin Doesn't Let You See Your Child

Levi Johnston didn't listen to me. Instead of playing his position by shutting the hell up about the Palin clan, he continues to run his Alaskan trap, now in this month's Vanity Fair.

Via Vanity Fair:
Three days after Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the McCain campaign released a statement saying that her 17-year-old unwed daughter, Bristol, was pregnant. The baby’s father, an 18-year-old former hometown hockey star, was thus thrust into the national spotlight. In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Levi Johnston explains what happened behind the curtains of the campaign—and inside the Palin home.

For “Me and Mrs. Palin,” Johnston tells Vanity Fair his story about life with the Palin family—with whom he lived for two months after the election—over the course of his two-and-a-half-year relationship with Bristol. He turns a number of commonly held beliefs about the former governor—the purportedly loving mother, devoted wife, and prolific hunter—upside down. [Source]
And there's Playgirl in the future? God, can this family -- and all of its straggling degenerates -- just go the hell away?

Levi Johnston: "Me and Mrs. Palin [Vanity Fair] [Pic via.]

Video: Grafh "Welcome To My City"

Grafh is one of those dudes that gets you pissed off about rap. How could someone so dope not get put on?

(Props to OnSmash)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

VLOG: Why is Chris Brown Apologizing to Me?

Chris Brown is set to give his first TV interview since the "Domestic Incident Heard Around The World" where he speaks on his behavior and other things. When did we deserve that explanation? Last time I checked, he didn't smack me the hell up.

And The Award For "Girl, Why Even Go There?" Goes To...

...Erin Andrews!

*cues Sportscenter theme*

CHICAGO -- ESPN reporter Erin Andrews said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that having secretly videotaped nude footage of her distributed on the Internet was a "nightmare."

Winfrey's interview with Andrews will air Friday, Sept. 11, as part of a "Summer Headlines" show that previews the 24th season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Andrews also tells Winfrey she "opened up the computer (and) could feel my heart pounding."

Andrews' attorney has said the blurry five-minute video was shot at a hotel without her knowledge and she plans to seek criminal charges and file lawsuits against whoever shot the video and anyone who publishes it.

The reporter also says she's excited to get back to work this fall, adding "it's really going to help me heal my wounds." [Source]

I thought Erin Andrews didn't want the attention so what's the point of all of this? Only 15 to 25 year-old dudes give a damn about Erin Andrews and trust, they aren't watching Oprah. What is this supposed to be? A cry for soccer mom sympathy? Why would they be sympathetic for the chick that is responsible for the surge in bed sheet washing in this country? This makes no sense, Erin. Go stroll some Big 10 sideline or something.

Erin Andrews to Oprah: Nude video was 'nightmare'‎ [Bloomington Pantagraph via AP]