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Remarks:

Pras’s take on the old U2 song with Sharli McQueen singing.

Lyrics:

[Sharli McQueen]
What I wanna do
Uhh, uhh, one two one two c’mon
One two one two c’mon
Yo, c’mon, yo
Movin around the world and daydream of days that money brings
Chasin material assumin that it’s happiness inside
You think that you could buy a better life, no matter the price
But you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
Haven’t found what you’re lookin for

[Pras Michel]
Yo it’s official now, I’m your, freedom fighter
If you feelin what I’m feelin people, put up your lighters yeah
Get in my cypher yeah, get in the grind
And I won’t stop rockin through the world seen the shine
Because I been many places, seen many faces
Shook many hands and mixed with many races
From nowhere to Bombay, did it my way
Got my style from the ghetto, took it straight to Broadway
Spit these bars cause in the hood I’m the instrument
Been around the world I stepped on seven continents (that’s right y’all)
20 millions later, I settled the score
They got money for war but can’t feed the poor

[Sharli McQueen]
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
One two one two one two c’mon
I’m stayin love you, but you don’t notice me (c’mon)
Diamonds and fancy cars, female celebrities all the time
You give away the things you say was mine, chasin the shine
But you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
Yo, haven’t found what you’re lookin for

[Pras Michel]
We gotta, make a move, by any means necessary
From January and January to January
Look out my window it’s a robbery
People still put they ones in the lottery
Big fish always try to eat the small fish
They do anything just to get their last wish
War in the East, there’s war in the West
War down South I stay war ‘pon the rest
As it’s been said, let it be done
And there’s nothing new underneath the sun
So we preserve what’s destined to come
And share our thoughts and blessings with our daughters and sons

[Sharli McQueen]
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
And you stillllll, haven’t found, what you’re lookin forrrrrrrr
Haven’t found what you’re lookin for

[Pras]
Guerilla baby!

[Sharli McQueen]
Haven’t found, oh no no no

[Pras]
Ah, yeah, alright
What, what, guerillas

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Remarks:

I was going to do “100 Yard Dash” (2009) but got kind of sidetracked! This is that video with the television heads.

Lyrics:

[Q-Tip]
Ummah, Ummah, Ummah

1 – S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo, he wanna get involved with you
Mr. S-A double-D-I-Q
Yo he wanna get involved

[Raphael Saadiq]
Met this girl walking in the ghetto
(Uh huh, uh huh)
Looking good but looking down
(What’s you say, come on by)
Said she needed inspiration
(What’d you say)
I said, ‘Get yo shit cause we’re goin uptown’
(Uptown baby, uptown, say what)
I could tell she was feelin better
(Yeah, yeah come on, yeah)
When she got inside the car
(When she got inside the car)
She was a dark-skinned girl with pretty cornrows
(uh uh)
She was doin her best to try to hide her scars
(Say come on now, what you say now)

[Raphael Saadiq]
2 – I don’t really care
About that there, just get involved
Boy you, makin me feel, uh oh so real
Just get involved

[Raphael Saadiq]
Everytime i take you around friends
(Come on, everytime I take you around friends)
I catch them looking at you love
(Lookin’ at you love, lookin’ at you love like that)
You know it never ever bothered me
Because i know that i’m the one you’re thinking of

Repeat 2

[Q-Tip]
Word up, word up, word up yo
Raphael just stopped in his tracks
Get involved and make it into the pack
You know the way that you present your thing
We in the belly so we might as well cling
The way you shine shorty you da shit
The princess in the pauper pit
We may be poor but we rich in soul
Just get involved and get in control
Just get involved and get in control
You know the way we do it, yo we roll

Oh, oh, oh, oh

Repeat 1

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Remarks:

Merry Christmas!

Lyrics:

Verse 1: Run

It was December 24 on Hollis after the dark
My man Santa saw a rabbi and gave the strangest remark
He said that giving was his living and I had to take part
So I grabbed a bag of goodies and I hopped up on his cart
I laced the pockets of the poor and gave the hoodie a play
Dropped some dollars up on Hollis and I went on my way
I hear your jingle Mr. Kringle peep the single, my man
so Santa hit a brotha off and come as quick as you can!

[chorus]
Santa Baby
Just slip a Benzo under the tree for me
A ’98 convertible, light blue
I’m looking for a fly guy, like you
So hurry down the chimney tonight…

Verse 3: Ma$e

Now all Mase know
When its eight twenty-four
He be looking at the door for the ho ho ho
Cause I know
When theres a christmas uptown
Ain’t no chimney for santa to come down

Verse 4: Puff Daddy

Now to me, PD I had alot
Appreciated everything that I got
Though I used to take my pops
Who aint caught me shaking the box
Cause I knew I couldn’t wait till it turned 12 o’clock

Verse 5: Snoop Doggy Dogg

Cookies and Milk
Satin and Silk
I’m chillin in the living room, wrapped in a quilt
I’m waiting on this fat Red Suit wearing-comparing
My gifts to my homeboy next door to me
A gift here, none there, but who cares
My little sister needs a comb just to braid her nappy hair
Bbut here we go again waiting on the enemy
To slide down the chimney
Look here, that ain’t reality

[chorus]
Santa Baby
Just slip a Benzo under the tree for me
A ’98 convertible, light blue
I’m looking for a fly guy, like you
So hurry down the chimney tonight…

Verse 6: Salt & Pepa

Santa Baby, are you really real?
Chris Kringle
Let me see you make my pockets jingle (ching ching)
We need some jobs in the ghetto
Too much gangbanging where kids are playin
I hear the church bells ringing
On christmas eve
I believe
Jesus-calling me
Forget the gifts and the shopping lists
And the new kicks
Your just falling for tricks
(you better praise him)

[chorus]
Santa Baby
Just slip a Benzo under the tree for me
A ’98 convertible, light blue
I’m looking for a fly guy, like you
So hurry down the chimney tonight…

Verse 7: Fredro Starr

It’s the gritty-the grimy
The low down, the shifty
Yo Sticky, christmas time in the city
Late night, stars are bright
We gettin rocked!
With the 50 St. Nicholas
Start rippin this

Verse 8: Sticky Fingaz

Its the Grinch who stole christmas
Climbin down ya chimney
Kids open up they gifts
They all gonna be empty
Just like mine was
I hate to say it
But if I wasnt a boy I wouldnt have had nuthin to play wit!

Verse 9: Keith Murray

On December 25th I knew I wasn’t getting jack
when I saw Santa Claus on the corner buying crack
I ran up on him with the (blur) and asked him “yo whats up with that?”
He said “there aint no christmas kid” and I can’t get him back
Back in the days, Christmas was deep
My moms put presents under the tree while I played sleep
And peeped ha! Santa Claus never gave me nuthin
Seen them mad faces, lying and frontin
So do some good to the ghetto, Mr. Chris Kringle
Come and stay awhile, kick it with God’s Angel
Take and acknowledge my wisdom and understand
That Santa Claus is a black man
word up

[chorus 2 times]
Santa Baby
Just slip a Benzo under the tree for me
A ’98 convertible, light blue
I’m looking for a fly guy, like you
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Read Full Post »

Remarks:

Recommended by commenter Soul: “Listen, when Mos Def writes lyrics like this, how can anyone tell me it’s crap?” (More).

Lyrics:

[Jill Scott]
Love rain down on me, on me, down on me
Love rain down on me, on me, down on me
Love rain down on me, on me, down on me
Love rain down on me, on me, down on me

Met him on a Thursday, sunny afternoon
Cumulus clouds, 84 degrees
He was brown, deep
Said he wanted to talk about my mission
Listen to my past lives (Word?)
Took me on long walks to places where butterflies rest easy
Talked about Moses and Mumia
Reparations, blue colors, memories of shell-topped Adidas
He was fresh, like summer peaches
Sweet on my mind like block parties and penny candy
Us was nice and warm, no jacket, no umbrella, just warm
At night we would watch the stars
And he would physically give me each and every one
I felt like cayenne pepper, red, hot, spicy
I felt Dizzy and Sonya and heaven and Miles between my thighs
Better than love, we made delicious
He me had, had me he
He made me tongue-tied
I could hear his rhythm in my thoughts
I was his sharp, his horn section
His boom and his bip
And he was my love

Love rain down on me, on me, down on me

The rain was falling and, and slowly and sweetly and stinging my eyes
And I could not see that he became my voodoo priest
And I was his faithful concubine
Wide open, wide, loose like bowels after collard greens
The mistake was made
Love slipped from my lips
Dripped down my chin and landed in his lap
And us became new
Now me non-clairvoyant and in love
Made the coochie easy and the obvious invisible
The rain was falling
And I couldn’t see the season changing
And the vibe slipping off it’s axis
Our beautiful melody became wildly staccato
The rain was falling and I could not see
That I was to be plowed and sowed and fertilized
And left to drown in his sunny afternoon
Cumulus clouds, 84 degrees, melody

Love rain down on me, on me, down on me
Love rain down on me, on me, down on me

[Mos Def]
I stretched my arms towards the sky like blades of tall grass
The sun beat in between my shoulders like carnival drums
I sat still in hopes that it would help my wings grow
So then I would really be fly
And then she arrived
Like day break inside a railway tunnel
Like the new moon, like a diamond in the mines
Like high noon to a drunkard, sudden
She made my heart beat in a now-now time signature
Her skinny canvas for ultraviolet brushstrokes
She was the sun’s painting
She was a deep cognac color
Her eyes sparkled like lights along the new city
She lips pursed as if her breath was too sweet
And full for her mouth to hold
I said, “You are the beautiful, distress of mathematics.”
I said, “For you, I would peel open the clouds like new fruit.”
And give you lightning and thunder as dowry
I would make the sky shed all of its stars like rain
And I would clasp the constellations across your waist
And I would make the heavens your cape
And they would be please to cover you
They would be pleased to cover you
May I please cover you, please.

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DanyelSmithDanyel Smith (1965- ) is an American writer, best known as the former editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine. Yesterday she started work as executive editor of theroot.com. She has written two books: “More Like Wrestling” (2002) and “Bliss” (2005). She is married to Elliott Wilson, former editor-in-chief of XXL magazine!

I know I have read her stuff because her name is familiar, but I could not tell you what. She has written for Vibe, the New York Times, The Rolling Stone, Spin, The New Yorker, the San Francisco Guardian and others, writing mostly about music, particularly hip hop.

She was born in Oakland, California. At seven she started writing. At ten her family moved to Los Angeles, There she went to an all-black Catholic high school for girls. She got into Berkeley and went there for a few years but then dropped out without telling her parents.

She lived with her sister in Oakland and started writing. This was the 1980s when hip hop was something new:

When I first heard hip-hop, there’s no way to describe how it affected my life . It was such a great conversation, and no one was writing about it. I was happy to.

Then her stepfather appeared, driving up from Los Angeles, and asked what was going on. He took her to the offices of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and made her show her work to someone who could gainfully employ her. She met Tommy Tompkins: “Danyel was a remarkable individual, strong-willed, interesting, and cantankerous.”  He saw her talent and hired her. His advice to her about writing: “Just tell the truth. Tell your truth and you will be fine.”

Her articles started appearing in Rolling Stone, Vibe and others. In 1993 she took an offer to work for Billboard in New York. That did not work out but soon she landed at Vibe. In 1997 she became its first black editor-in-chief. Then in 1999 she left.

Over the next three years she wrote “More Like Wrestling” about two sisters living in Oakland in the 1980s in the age of crack. It is one of the first novels by and about black Oakland.

One editor saw the book and told her that she had to make a decision whether or not she was writing for black people or white people. And that she needed to have clearer heroes and heroines in the book.

The New York Times said her prose was “lyrical if sometimes rocky”. Michael Eric Dyson said it was “a work of beauty and moral complexity about love in its resplendent and damaging incarnations.”

The writers she looks to are Zora Neale Hurston, Terry McMillan, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Joan Didion, Cristina Garcia, Sister Souljah and Ernest Hemingway.

“Bliss”, came out in 2005. It gives an inside view of the music industry. She says it is about “living with pain – not about forgiving or forgetting it”.

In 2006 she returned to Vibe. It was troubled and under new owners. In 2009 it went broke.  Now she is at The Root.

See also:

Read Full Post »

Remarks:

I know this is not a particularly deep song, not one for the ages, but I like it all the same.

At first I thought this was one of those songs that seem to be about a car but is in fact about a woman through its double meanings. Then I thought, no, it is just about his car. But just to make sure I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary and found out that I was right the first time.

You can see Paul Wall towards the end of the video. He appeared in this space with his own song of cars and women, “Break ‘Em Off” (2007). He is from Houston while Dorrough is from Dallas.

Lyrics:

haha
yeahh
mr. D-O-double-R

i say..
Yea buddy!
Rolling like a big shot,
chevy tuned up like a nascar pitstop
Fresh paint job [check]
Fresh inside [check]
Is the outside frame in the trunk wide [yes]
Are the rims big [what]
Do it ride good [good]
Lean back right hand on the pinewood.

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

Whoo!
Clean on the outside cream on the inside ice cream paint job. Got screens on the dash watchin saved by the bell got a house by the bayside. yea im livin like that, and im ridin like that. Boy im ridin like that and the sturring wheel wood like a baseball bat.
Just like Archie said We Ready. Whole cliques straight, lunatics like nelly. Gran Marquis paint job grape jelly, R triple BC big black box Chevy. Crank my car, she be hummin, rims so big u can see me comin. Prime time click, we get money, stay iced up like TV johnny.

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

Im loud, Im loud like a superbowl kickoff, my slab got a lot of n***** pissed off. Paint shine like lip gloss, cadillac got a wide body like Rick Ross. Took time but my cash got right, if i want it ima buy it i dont ask no price. Rear view mirror, Jumbo dice, trunk hit hard like KIMBO SLICE. Be around tint no window light, car ride smooth so the rims are white. That right thur see see i like. Got the top notch slab for da dirt cheap price. Press one button called automatic start. Stand too close car alarm might bark. Like what? Argh Argh, Like you go, prime time click make it move like Uhaul.

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Cream on the inside
Clean on the outside
Ice, ice cream, Ice cream paint job

I ride with a towel cuz the candy paint wet. Rims on the Ride got these N***** upset. Rims sit high so i ride upset. 6 12’s in the trunk 4 screens in the deck

I ride with a towel cuz the candy paint wet. Rims on the Ride got these N***** upset. Rims sit high so i ride upset. 6 12’s in the trunk 4 screens in the deck

Read Full Post »

Remarks:

The woman who comes out of the black car and shakes hands with Paul Wall is Deelishis, the winner of the second season of Flavor of Love. So far as I know this is the only video she has ever been in. Does anyone know the name of the main white girl in this video?

I love the chopped and screwed version of this video but cannot find one that is embeddable.

Lyrics:

[Lil Keke]
[Intro]
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma show ’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab

[Chorus]
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab

[Paul Wall]
Now I gotta work ma wood grain wheel
Poppin’ trunks, poppin’ pillz, still poppin’ seals
Higher than a hill with ma mind on millz
Piece and chain swangin’, bank roll, shiny grill
Baby, I got million dollar dreams, with ma mind on cream
I’m in that mean green machine clean on 19s
Flat screens in the headrest, swangin’ like a swing set
Brandy wine, paint wet, comin’ down that’s a bet
I’m in the lot chasin’ broads like a lesbian
Full of that Kush flower, I’m breakin’ off pedestrians
Higher than a street light, floatin’ like a parachute
Buzzin’ like a bumble bee, mustard green Bentley coupe
Young gangsta, Mac game, sharper than a thumbtack
Breakin’ ‘em off, makin’ all the boppers attract
Then they watch me, I’m rocked up fully loaded and sloppy
Tryin’ to hit it and quit it
And walk off like Big Papi then break ‘em off

[Chorus]
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab
I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab

[Lil’ Keke]
Aye, aye
I pull up like this, untouchable white wrist
I’m hotter than warm piss, berry grape Sunkist
The truck blow mist five 50 snow bunny
Bentley continental with the mink floors dummy
Paul Wall money, dat’s expensive taste
And ‘em frilly ass fools we send ‘em to myspace
I’mma break ‘em off until the backbone broken

Stainless steel drop phantom, leave the top open
Shit done hit the fan, better cover your nose
And the Kush done start burnin’, better cover your clothes (that’s right)
Concrete crumblin’, glass shootin’ lazers
Crawlin’ and cuttin’ up on 24 razors
I’mma show ‘em how to make the slab look phenomenal
Chasin’ paper in the mornin’, call me Houston Chronicle
Hold on then u buckle up the seat belt
Swisha House, Young Don, capital TF

[Chorus]
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab
I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab

[Paul Wall]
Already
Higher than the satellite, crawlin’ like a baby
Maneuverin’ thru the traffic like I’m Tracy McGrady
Still choppin’ on ‘em buttons, I’m struttin’ and lookin’ fresh
Switch hittin’ like Berkman, this is ballin’ at its best
In dat minute maid droppa’, with retractable roof
Finer than wood, wavin’ the hood, student loans on the two
The fifth wheel on the ground, and the trunk in the air
Paul Wall, baby I’m the definition of playa
Ma skillz is so ill when workin’ the wood wheel
Tippin’ 4s like a waiter, beware of the oil spill
Wide screen mind frame, panoramic pimpin’
I’m sippin’ on dat Osama, baby leanin’ like I’m limpin’
In dat 2 seater feeder, it’s me and a senorita
3 ounces up in the liter, and it’s ten up in the heater
Mackin’ a mamacita
Runnin’ game like a cheetah
I’m knockin’ ‘em out the park
Similar to Derek Jeter (Break ‘em off)

[Chorus]
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab
I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad, I’mma break ‘em
I’mma break ‘em off real bad,
I’mma break ‘em , I’mma break ‘em off real bad
I’mma show’em pourin up a duece while ridin slab

See also:

Read Full Post »

[Young Jeezy & Polow da Don]

Throw yo’ hands up in the air
If ya know he love ya
Tell the DJ play this song right here
If ya know he love ya
Let, let, let, let me see you 2-step
If ya know he love ya
It don’t matter if you by yourself
If ya know he love ya

[Ciara]

If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you
If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you

I know you think that I just be trippin’ on ya
Boy you see, this ain’t how I normally be
But I can’t help this jealousy
Ooh it’s taking over me, ooh I’m falling way to deep
Without you by my side I feel like I can’t eat or sleep

But I, got to come down to earth, I don’t wanna
But I, gotta let you go, but baby I dont wanna
And I, I gotta see, that you and me, ain’t meant to be
That’s why I tell myself

If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you
If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you

Baby, I can’t help but fantasize
Wondering what it might be like
You and I sound so right
But I’mma let it go tonight, it ain’t nothin’
Coverin’ my eyes
Ain’t gonna see it more than twice
I get it, I got it
Baby, baby

But I, got to come down to earth, I don’t wanna
But I, gotta let you go, but baby I dont wanna
And I, I gotta see, that you and me, ain’t meant to be
That’s why I tell myself

If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you
If that boy don’t love you by now
He will never ever, never ever love you
He will never ever, never ever love you

[Young Jeezy]

Alright, alright, alright, okay…
I see ya point, I must admit
I grind, I grind, I grind all day
This paper’s what I’m trynna get
Now normally when I’m paper chasing, I be having tunnel vision
And if it’s really like that lady, just turn on ya television
And there go Young, I said there go Young, you trynna get it did
Just know I gets it done, she love the I cheat
She love the way I move, I sha, I show it to her
Shows about 100, goon
Its blacks this, black that
Black car, black flags
I really hope that’s money that ya’ll got off in them black bags
808’s & hearbreak, states who puts in ???interstates????
Giving me a bad vibe, guess I’m just a bad guy

[Ciara]

Throw yo’ hands up in the air
If ya know he love ya
Tell the DJ play this song right here
If ya know he love ya
Let, let, let, let me see you 2-step
If ya know he love ya
It don’t matter if you by yourself
If ya know he love ya

See also:

Read Full Post »

Remarks:

This song went to #15 on the American R&B charts in 2005. It has an amazing music video, not currently (2013) available on YouTube.

Lyrics:

(whoa yes wait-a, whoa yes)
Okay (get up, get up)
DipSet (wa-a-a, wa-a) (uh oh)
Juelz Santana (whoa yes wait-a)
Heatmakerz (whoa yes)(clap)
I think this the one right here (everybody, come on, get up)(whoa yes wait a minute mr mr mr)
Huh, he’s moving again
I’m like (oh yes)
I’m nice (wait mr mr)
Still pitching (weight)
Still flipping (weight), yeah
So come fuck with the boy
I’m still pumping the boy
I’ll still dump on the boy
Blue steel pump to the boy
I’m Mr. Postman, also Mr. Toastman
I’m yelling (wait), yeah I’m selling (weight), hey
I keep my chick on smash like a muhfucker
Thick lips, hips, tits, ass like a muhfucker
I get big chips, cash like a muhfucker(yup)
I don’t (wait), nope, I won’t (wait), yeah
I explore and cruise
Islands and shores that’s new(new)
Bring the boat out, smoke out
Watch the water move(move)
I’m a water dude, jet skis, water pools
Surfing the (wave), I’m hurting the (wave),yeah
Like, Cowabunga, dude
This forty cali-caliber cowabunga you
Bump you like how a bumper do (do)
I’m on the corner, pumping just like how a pumper do
What, that (weight), yup, that (weight)
AY (oh yes) YAE(oh yes) SAY (oh yes, wait a minute this the this-the-this)
This the jam, yep
Put your hands up
And just (wave)
And just (wave)
AY (oh yes) YAE (oh yes) SAY (oh yes, wait a minute this the this-the-this)

I’m Mr. Postman, also Mr. Toastman
Oh man (wait), oh man (wait)
I’m Mr. Postman, also Mr. Toastman
Oh man (I’m back), oh man (I’m back)
I’m back(oh yes)
I’m crack(oh yes)
Sorry about the (wait)
Sorry I made ya (wait)
I can’t let my peeps down, I can’t let my seed down
They need me out there (yeah)
I can’t let the streets down
I gotta do it B I, G now, I see now
I couldn’t (wait), nope, I couldn’t (wait) AYE
Plus the ladies love the (kid)
Plus the babies love the (kid)
Could it be I’m from the eighties
They know what I’m up a-(gainst)
Call me a grinder, call me a survivor
Why should I (wait), how could I (wait), NO
Plus I’m a sex symbol (symbol)
That’ll make your bitch bed tremble
Floor shake, bar rock, hard cock (cock)
Hit it left once, right twice, work the middle
Stroke her (wait), then I smoke a (weight)

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Notorious

notorious_poster-202x300“Notorious” (2009) is a film about the life of rapper Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls. I liked it even though I have never been a fan of his music.

By far the best part of the film came at the end, at the funeral: the long line of black cars crossing the East River on the bridge from Manhattan to take his body home to Brooklyn; Angela Bassett seen through the car window, the pain of losing her only child written on her face. It was hard not to be moved.

Not only was Angela Bassett great and not only do funeral processions get to me for some reason, but as someone who has lived on the other side of that river it was great to see it shown as a place that matters.

Angela Bassett played Biggie’s mother. It was pointed out that she was from Jamaica, yet throughout the film she spoke in an American accent. Strange. Bassett was good otherwise, but probably too good for a supporting character.

I liked how they showed both the good and bad sides of Biggie. It is not the story of a hip hop saint. For example, they show him selling crack to a woman who was going to have a baby and calling Lil Kim a bitch.

They put Lil Kim in a bad light, but as played by Naturi Naughton of 3LW she was great to look at – even with her clothes on.

Faith Evans, Biggie’s wife, was put in a good light. I liked her as played by Antonique Smith of “Rent”: the way she smiled, the way she liked Biggie for who he was, the way she did not put on airs as beautiful as she was. And for some reason I loved her accent, reminding me of some world I had forgotten. (Like Bassett, she used her own accent, not her character’s.)

Sean Combs was put in a good light throughout – so much so that I thought he must have had a hand in making the film. As it turns out he did: he was the executive producer! Which makes the whole film suspect since Combs profits from  the sale of Biggie’s music.

Combs in the film is far more reserved and gentlemanly than the one we know through television and music videos, even if he does have the same boldness and confidence.

You kept having to remind yourself who he was. The same was true for Tupac.

The whole East Coast / West Coast thing that played such a big part in Biggie’s death, at least as it was reported by the press, was not believable the way they presented it in the film. Well, come to think of it, it was not believable back then in 1997 either, at least not as something that could have a body count.

The tragedy of his death at age 24 did not come across in the film.

Not a perfect film, but still I hope to see it again.

See also:

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[Verse 1]
Check this out, baby
tenemos tremendo lio
last night you didn’t go
a la casa de tu tio (huh?)
resultase, hey you were at a party
higher than than the sky
emborrachada de Bacardi (no I wasn’t)
I bet you didn’t know que conoci al cantinero (what?)
He told me that you were drinking, and wasting my dinero
Talking about, come and enjoy what a woman gives a hombre
(but first of all see, I have to know your nombre)
now I really wanna ask ya, que si es verdad (would I lie?)
and please por favor, tell me la verdad
because I really need to know yeah necesito entender
If you’re gonna be a player, or be my mujer
cause right now you’re just a liar, a straight mentirosa (who me?)
Today you tell me something, y mañana otra cosa

[Santana Samples]

[Verse 2]
I remember the day, que tu me decia
Time and time again que tu me querias (I do!)
and at the time, hey! yo te creia
porque no sabia that you where a relambia
You and Fulanito y Menganito, Jose-ito y Fernandito
Larry, and Joey, y then his brother Chico (uh-uh)
Mucho de frontera, that’s a straight skeeza
si quieres un pedacito go her way cause she’s a pleasa
But I’ll tell ya, straight up porque broder me di de cuenta
That on Main Street her cuerpo estaba a la venta
Now get some el que quiera, get some cualquiera
Hey yo, she don’t care man, she’s a tremenda fiera
Yeah, you’re hot to try and out to get what I got
Pero ya que te conosco what I got I guess not (porque)
Cause you’re just a mentirosa con tu lengua venenosa
Today you tell me somethin y mañana otra cosa

[dialogue]
Mellow-“Girl, I can’t believe you.
You know my mother’s talking about me,
my friends are talking about me. Not me about you.”
Girl-“About me?”
Mellow- “You’re nothing but a skeezer”
Girl- “A skeezer? Don’t be calling me no skeezer!”
Mellow-“S-si eres tremenda fletera mami uhuh la verdad.”
Girl “Uhuh eso es que tu te piensas”
Mellow- “I bet you go to church and you’re scared to confess.”
Girl-“No, I do confess baby. I do confess.”
Mellow-“Uh huh. Do you tell the truth, though?”
Girl-“Yeah I do.”
Mellow-“Yeah right.”
Girl-“Do you?”
Mellow-“Yeah! You’re nothing but a skeezer you know what?
I got some other stories to say about you. And it goes like this.”

[Verse 3]
Un dia estaba en tu casa y ring, there goes the phone
Recojiste y dijiste (call me back, I’m not alone)
El queria tu direccion, yeah just your address
y ante que colgaste I heard you say (I’ll wear a dress)
Ay, alabao’ que descar’a is what ran through my mind
So I said let’s go out tonight
She said (we go out all the time!) Alabao’ man!
Ella no sabia that yo, I knew her plan
de que iba a salir with that other man
So I told the girl in spanish I said hey! Ya me voy (pero porque?)
Cause you ain’t treating me like I’m some sucker toy
Cause who needs you anyway (I need you!) con tu lengua venenosa
(no te vayes mellow no te vayes, yo te necesito!)
Today you tell me something, y manana otra cosa (tsk! but?!)
Mentirosa!

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I found an old cassette tape of mine. It has songs, in bits and in full, that I recorded from New York radio, probably in July 1986. It is like a time machine!

Because it is an old tape I am afraid it could mess up at any time. So while I can still hear it, I made a list of the songs that are on it. See below. Where I did not know the artist I put “Unknown”. Where I did not know the song title, I put some of the words of the song in italics between ellipses (…). Release dates, when known, are in parentheses.

Some songs have a picture above them. Those are the ones I could find on YouTube. Click on the picture and you can hear it on YouTube (or maybe even on this blog).

Side A:

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Starpoint: Restless (1985)

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Bob Marley: Waiting in Vain (1977)

Prince: ... much too hard to be cool … a hundred miles an hour babe …

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The Firm: Radioactive (1985)

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Creedence Clearwater Revival: I Heard it Through the Grapevine (1970)

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Shirley Jones: Do You Get Enough Love?

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Supremes: Baby Love (1964)

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Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald: On My Own (March 1986)

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Fat Boys: Sex Machine

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Little Steven: Forever

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The Doors: Don’t You Love Her Madly? (1971)

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Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer (April 1986)

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Five Star: Can’t Wait Another Minute (April 1986)

Sister Carol: .. galaxy … earth rotate around me …

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Irene Cara: Flashdance … What a Feeling (1983)

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Janet Jackson: What Have You Done For Me Lately? (January 1986)

Grandmaster Flash: … raggety worms out your big mouth … ’cause we got style … we’re giving you a blast of class …

Unknown: … dress to impress ’cause I got it like that … rock the mic …

Unknown: … I’m Shante .. I get a glimpse of that face, turn around she’s gone … I would swim the deepest ocean so she could be mine …

Side B:

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Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson: If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (1986)

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Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: The Love I Lost (1973)

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The Pretenders: Kid (1979)

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Vikki Love with Nuance: Sing Dance Rap Romance (1985)

SCHOOLY D PSK 1985

Schooly D: P.S.K. What Does It Mean? (1985)

Unknown: ... yes yes he is rockin’ it … crossfader …

Unknown: … take me in your arms … I love the way that she talks, it goes so good with the way that she walks … she is so pleasingly fine … caught up in the wonder of her love …

Unknown: … dancin’, if you want to feel good … keep your body shakin’ …

Sister Carol: … pure laughter … entertainer …

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The Real Roxanne: Bang Zoom (1986)

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Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA (1984)

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Fresh Gordon: Gordy’s Groove (1985)

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Boogie Boys: A Fly Girl (1985)

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The Cure: In Between Days (1985)

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Angela Bofill: People Make the World Go Round (1979)

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Joan Jett: Bad Reputation (1981)

Three of these songs reached their height in July 1986: “Sledgehammer”, “Bang Zoom” and “On My Own”. So I think that is when I recorded the tape. So far as I know none of the songs are newer than that.

Before I knew it was Angela Bofill singing “People Make the World Go Round”, she sounded to me like some female singer from New York – which she is!

See also:

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William Drayton (1959- ), better known as Flavor Flav, is an American rapper. He was a part of the hip hop act Public Enemy, playing sidekick to Chuck D. They reached their height in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the 2000s Flav appeared in several reality shows on television, most notably “Flavor of Love”, one of VH1’s most successful shows.

He is known for saying “Yeah BOYYYEEE!” and “Wow!”. He likes to wear a huge clock and, sometimes, a Viking helmet with horns. He also wears big hats, big sunglasses and gold teeth. Off stage, though, he is well-mannered and well-spoken.

Public Enemy rapped about serious issues. Chuck D compared it to the New York Times. Flavor Flav’s “911 is a Joke”, for example, was about how slow ambulances are in coming to save people in black neighbourhoods.

Flav got the idea of wearing a clock from one of the men in the recording studio who always had a stopwatch hanging from his neck.

Flav was part rapper, part showman but he can also play the piano, drums and guitar. He is a classically trained pianist.

He is still a part of Public Enemy, which still tours and puts out records.

Flav came out with an album of his own in 2006, “Flavor Flav”. It reached #80 on the American hip hop chart. The Source gives it 2.5 stars. It came out under his own label: Draytown. Def Jam, the record label for Public Enemy, would not touch it.

Flav was arrested several times for drugs, in 1996 for marijuana. In 1997 he overdosed. He says he no longer does drugs.

His over-the-top style plays well on reality television. In 2004 he appeared on VH1 on season three of “The Surreal Life”, a show where has-beens live together in a big house somewhere in California. There he had a relationship with Brigitte Nielsen, one that was continued in 2005 for viewers at home in the show “Strange Love”. That did well enough that VH1 gave him his own show, “Flavor of Love”, which ran for three seasons.

On “Flavor of Love” (2006-2008), Flav picks out 20 women from among the hundreds who try out and then lives with them in a big house somewhere in California. Every week he chooses one woman to go home until there is only one left, the winner of the show.

The aim was supposedly for Flav to find a woman who would truly love him for him and not just for her moment in the spotlight. Well, none of the women truly loved him – they just wanted their moment in the spotlight. Not that it mattered: as it turned out, Flav already had a woman.

The show made him famous again and filled his bank account, but it was sad to see someone who was once part of Public Enemy sell out like that.

He comes from the same black middle-class town on Long Island that Chuck D and Eddie Murphy come from: Roosevelt, New York.

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If I ruled the world, was king on the throne
I’d make peace in every culture, build the homeless a home
I’m not runnin, for Congress or the President
I’m just here, to tell the world, how my story went
You see – first it was a dream, I was livin in Rome
And then I moved to London, bought a brand new home
And everywhere I went, I drew lots of attention
Like a stretch limousine, one of those new inventions
It took a few years ‘fore the day had come
But I was ruler of the WORLD ranked number one
So I headed towards Washington to claim the crown
Let the whole world know that, the King was in town
As I, arrived, the crowd started to cheer
and then someone yelled out, “The King is here!”
So I headed toward stage, to make a speech
about the new style of living I was gonna teach, uh-huh

If I ruled the world..
Huh-huh, huh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
I’d love all the girls.. I love em love em baby!!
Black diamonds and pearls.. ooh yeahh yeahh
If I ruled the world..

People started flowin as they reached for my hand
I said, “Thank you for bringin me to the Promised Land
but now I must go, say goodbye to everybody
Tonight I’ll see you all at my Super Dinner Party”
And late that night, at my Super Dinner Party
I was dancin to the beat and entertainin La-Di-Da-Di
The music started endin, it was time for a speech
The crowd started sittin as I rose from my feet
And this was once a dream; I explained to the crowd
but now, I rule the world, and I feel, so very proud
Excuse me please, for stoppin this show
I just had to thank you all, huh, and me so
my first day in office, the King on the throne
I spent my first three hours on the telephone
You know with newsmen reporters, and votes too
I had so many calls, I didn’t know what to do
You know out that office I continued to work
I signed so many papers, my fingers started to hurt
Then I shook off the pain, say this ain’t no thing
Cause there’s nothin in the world like bein number one KING!

If I ruled the world..
Huh huh huh huh, huh-huh huh-huh
I’d love all the girls.. I love em love em baby!!
Black diamonds and pearls.. ooh yeahh yeahh
If I ruled the world.. whoawowaahhhyeahhhhhhhh
.. if I ruled the world

{AJ Scratch cuts up the track for a bit

Now I rule the world and now, I’m on top
And I’m rollin with folks that could never be stopped
And I’m here to let you know this is where I belong
And to you sucker MC’s that sing my song
And it’s a song that’s STRONG about right and wrong
And I’m rock it to you baby baby all night long
And it’s a song about love, and happiness
in a world of peace, and you know that’s fresh
Now I’m the KING, and I want you to know
that I’m the Master Blaster Rapper who’s runnin the show
And to all of you rappers in every country
you better stop what you’re doin, and listen to me
Cause we gotta stop war, and use unity
to fight crime and hunger and poverty
Cause the African baby is dyin overseas
while you sucker mission politicians bustin out Z’s
Huh, twenty million people all unemployed
while the rich man try to play Pretty Boy Floyd
While the working class just struggles hard
Try to make ends meet against all odds
While the poor man can’t even deal with life
You know he tried to escape, and smoked the coke on the pipe
And it’s time for a CHANGE, to a better way
Cause the sun has GOTTA shine through the cloudy day
So LISTEN UP world, while I teach this class
and take heed to the message or we ain’t gonna last
Cause I know, the solution, is the contribution
of woman and man to just join the revolution
that’ll take your brain to a higher plane
and help you deal in a world that’s gone insane
with the problems that I know we can stop
from the ruler of the world and the man on top
But the years went by, and time was up
And the ruler of the world had ran out of luck
And all the people at the time who said they were my friends
didn’t know me when my job had come to an end
They came up to my face, as happy as can be
He was running his mouth like, Muhammad Ali
So I shook his hand calmly as I headed to the door
On my way to the ghetto to treat once more

If I ruled the world..
A-huh-huh-huh, a-huh-huh-huh
I’d love all the girls.. I love em love em baby!!
Black diamonds and pearls.. ooh yeahh yeahh
If I ruled the world.. yeahhhhhhhh
If I ruled the world.. if I ruled the world
I’d love all the girls.. I’d love em love em baby!!
Black diamonds and pearls.. ooh yeahh yeahh, oh yeah yeah
If I ruled the world.. whoahahayeahhhhhhhh
If I ruled the world.. yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeah
yea yea yea, yea yea yea
I’d love all the girls.. you know I’d love em love em baby!!
Black diamonds and pearls.. ooh yeahh yeahh, oh yeah yeah
If I ruled the world.. yeayeah yeayeah baby babyyyyyyy
If I ruled the world.. if I ruled the world..
I’d love all the girls.. yes you, you, you and you
Black diamons and pearls.. where those diamonds, where those pearls?
If I ruled the world..
Huh-huh, huh-huh, a-heh-heh-huh-huh
If I ruled the world..
Heh-heh, heh-heh
I’d love all the girls.. I’d love em love em baby..

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Russell Simmons (1957- ) is an American businessman, a hip hop mogul.

Simmons took the hip hop music he heard in the streets of New York and got it put on the airwaves and in the music shops. He was the business brains that made hip hop into one of the main forms of black music.

No wonder, then, that USA Today in 2007 called him one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years”.

In 1984 he founded Def Jam Records with music producer Rick Rubin. In the late 1980s he helped to put out such old school hip hop acts as Run DMC (of which his brother was a member), Kurtis Blow (a friend), LL Cool J, Whodini and the Beastie Boys.

He also founded Phat Farm, through which he sells hip hop clothing. That in turn gave rise to Baby Phat and Run Athletics.

Simmons is also behind the television shows “Def Comedy Jam”, “Def Poetry Jam”, “Run’s House” and others.

He was born in Hollis, a black middle-class part of Queens in New York, the son of a teacher. He went to City College of New York in Harlem. It was in Harlem in the late 1970s where he first heard the street poets that were called rappers.

He saw that the music industry was overlooking something big. So he dropped out of City College and started pushing rap music. He took what little money he had or could get from his father and made records and put on rap shows in Queens and Harlem. It paid off. He was able to sell 50,000 records for his friend Kurtis Blow. Now he could take on other acts and set his sights higher.

In 1984 he joined forces with music producer Rick Rubin, a punk rocker and fellow lover of rap. Together they founded Def Jam Recordings to put out the kind of music they loved but which the big record companies would barely touch. Later Simmons got CBS Records to agree to distribute for Def Jam.

By 1987 three of his acts were on the top of the black music charts: the Beastie Boys, Run DMC and LL Cool J.

At the time Whitney Houston was a crossover hit: she increased sales among whites by making her music sound more white and less black. Simmons took the opposite approach: he wanted his acts to be as street and black as possible. He did not cut out any of the bad language (as he would later urge in 2007). He wanted something that would ring true with audiences.

At first he was only interested in making black music for black people, not kind-of-black music for white people. But, as he would later point out, hip hop is universal, it speaks to people of all races.

In 1999 he sold his part of Def Jam to Universal for $100 million (20 million crowns).

He was married to Kimora Lee Simmons from 1998 to 2006. They have two daughters. He is the uncle of Angela and Vanessa Simmons, Run’s daughters.

kls1

He blogs for the Huffington Post.

He practises yoga and does not eat meat

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