Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
In some parts of Africa, young people respect their elders by giving up their seat. Some Asians convey their respect by cooking for their elders. Jiukiukwe Indians address their elderly with a special set of words. Hip-hop may be the only culture that still struggles to demonstrate respect for their elders. In fact, rap music celebrates youth almost to the exclusion of middle-aged rappers.
Part of the explanation for this is that the genre itself is young. There's no reference point on how to treat older rappers. The position of aging rappers is undefined. Rap fans seem to be making up the rules as they go. No, rock isn't a good reference point because not all rock fans are happy to see a fragile Steve Tyler still trying to do the "Beat It" spin at 65.
Still, it's mind-boggling that people often dismiss middle-aged rappers as old heads with nothing new to offer, insisting that they need to give it up. Since when did age become the main determinant for talent? I didn't get that memo. Sure, there are some veteran rappers that are better off bagging grocery than trying to shake a few donks in the club, but that's a handful compared to the plethora of able vets keeping hip-hop relevant.
About 90% of today's top hip-hop acts are well over 30. If we successfully force those guys out of the game, who exactly are the exciting young MCs that will carry the torch? See if you name 5 rappers in their 20s that can match or exceed the talent and success of Nas (35), Eminem (36), Mos Def (35), Rakim (41), Ghostface (39), or Jay-Z (39)? How many 20+ producers can hang with RZA (40), Dr. Dre (44), or DJ Premier (43)?
In the words of Jay-Z, everyone has a birthday. Just as hip-hop artists are getting up in age, hip-hop listeners are also growing up. Given the room, older rappers are in a better position to cater to their more mature fan base than the Soulja Boys and the Bow Wows of the world. Those guys still have a role to play. The point is that there should be room for everyone to showcase their skills to the best of their ability.
Respect should be determined by the artistic and social value of one's abilities, not age. If Jay-Z and Nas are still wrecking mics in their 50s, I'll gladly buy their albums. After all, no one seems to mind that Bob Dylan has more albums than U.S. has presidents.
A visibly giddy Taylor Swift was in the midst of her acceptance speech for Best Female Video when Kanye stormed onstage, snatched her microphone and proceeded to protest on behalf of Beyonce, who seemed somewhat appalled by Ye's antics.
When people protest in public it's usually to further a worthy cause. What purpose did Kanye's outburst serve? Oh I know, it ensured that post-VMA media coverage would center around Kanye West. Genius.
Surely Kanye could use some advice from his peers. Jay-Z and everyone else in his close circle should sit him down and have a talk with him about the implication of these antics. He's undoubtedly a music genius, but everytime he makes a nuisance of himself in public he loses a fan or two.
Ironically, Beyonce would go on to win the most prized award of the night, Video of the Year, for the same video West was protesting about. It all came full circle when Beyonce, in a clearly choreographed move, graciously invited Taylor Swift back to finish her acceptance speech.
It's worth noting that Kanye later apologized via his blog, saying, "I'm sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom," the message said in all caps. "I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would've said. She is very talented! ... I'm in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!"
Kudos to Kanye for offering an apology on his blog, which boasts thousands of readers. But the millions of fans who watched the 2009 VMAs will probably remember him as the guy who humiliated a teenager on national television.
© Getty Images
via: henry's blog
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I Love You More ThanThere's nothing sweeter than admitting how much you love someone. Feel good website I Love You More Than lets you add your own sweet candy-heart message, declaring, "I love you more than . . . " whatever you love SO much more than.
If you're just a fan of love, particularly little personal declarations of quirky love, you'll also love this site more than most others. And that's saying something.
I Feel...So you're visiting a new city and you want to check out the sights. The only problem is you have limited time and don't want to spend hours browsing through city guides. But you do know how you are feeling — whether it's romantic, energetic, hungover, broke, or naughty — which is all you need for this helpful website to work its magic. I Feel NYC is a new mood-based navigation site (also available for London and Toronto) that allows you to share various things that you like to do in that particular city when you are feeling a certain way. You can also check out other people's mood-inspired city suggestions. It's currently in beta, but stay tuned for more cities to be added.
I Used to BelieveWhimsical and sentimental, I Used to Believe is a collaborative website where people post what their childhood misconceptions and beliefs were.
Posts range from funny kid stuff — like what tapioca eyes really were, where babies came from — to the philosophical and surreal, like the thought that the world didn't exist unless you were looking. That last one for me is one of my childhood beliefs as well; in fact, it's not uncommon to cruise around the site reading entries and going, "me too!"
ArrivedOKArrivedOK acts as an international flight tracker and will allow you to input your flight with the destination airport, expected arrival time, and the phone number and emails of the person(s) picking you up at the airport. This amazing site/service will shoot them a message as soon as you land by detecting that your phone has been turned on. The subscriber's phone must be registered with a local GSM network to work.
Ask your loved ones to use it when they travel for work or pleasure so you can rest assured they arrived okay.
I Am UniqueGet your 3D dreams made into a reality: the new website I Am Unique takes not just your photo, but your digital life, and provides you with a 3D image of you.
I used only a picture to start out with, and had way too much fun just looking at my image and rotating it and manipulating it from the site. But that's just the beginning — add your Twitter, Facebook, and Last FM accounts to add extra dimension to your 3D "portrait," then share it with friends and on those pages. After all, I heard from a reliable source that 3D is still cool.
KarmawishWe could all use a little more do-goodin' in our lives, right? Well, philanthropy has come online with Karmawish. A social network that's about more than just updating your status to tell people you're eating an amazing burger, Karmawish connects people who need help with those that can help them.
If you see a listing for someone who's in need of something you can do and you help them out, you accrue points that get you some help with whatever you need. It's truly instant karma.
Optimist WorldEnough of you sang the praises of good-news reporting outlet Happy News that I knew that finding another similar site would be appreciated. Optimist World covers the same beat — feel-good, upper news that will cure you of your world-weary blues.
The beautifully designed site also has tabs that direct you to charities and companies that are doing the right thing on the regular. I also really enjoy their tagline: "It's not all gloom and doom, you know." That's a great thing to be reminded of.
MyLifeIsAverageTears For Fears was right about one thing: everybody wants to rule the world. I am sorry to report that as awesome as we each think we are, that just ain't gonna happen because we're all pretty, well average. So, next time you are feeling a little mundane, crushed and low (it happens to the best of us!), visit My Life Is Average, a site that celebrates normal, mediocre stories. Readers submit and vote on how "average" or "meh" the stories are. Tales range from "Today I was using my electric shaver to shave, half way through it ran out of batteries. I plugged it into the charger and finished. MLIA." to "Today I flipped an egg too hard and it slipped off the pan. I had another dozen so I made a new one. MLIA." Chin up. We're all in this together.
Texts From Last NightChronic drunk texters, beware. The website Texts From Last Night is about to call you out. The site compiles the best texts from the night before — compiled, of course, after you, shame-facedly, or your text receivers send them in to the site.
Of course, it's still an amazing read for the rest of us without that texting habit. Oh, and remember: just because you weren't drunk doesn't means your texts weren't ridiculous, Ted Mosby.
FMLFML has quickly become a crude classic. Readers submit short **** My Life stories that tell the tales of silly and uncomfortable situations, sad tales to those "OMG! Is this really happening to me?" moments. Don't be shocked by the site's name, there's no use of the F-word, just a whole lot of FMLs. We've all been there.
September is undoubtedly the best month for new hip-hop releases thus far. The arrival of buzzworthy albums like Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 and Blueprint III should make your trip to the record store much more exciting this month. Here are September's Top 10 New Rap CDs.
Street Date: September 8, 2009
Street Date: September 15, 2009
Street Date: September 8, 2009
Street Date: September 15, 2009
Street Date: September 8, 2009
Street Date: September 22, 2009
Street Date: September 29, 2009
Street Date: September 8, 2009
Street Date: September 11, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
A commercial featuring Adolf Hitler having unprotected sex is set to be released on Dec. 1, or World AIDS Day, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The commercial uses the image of the notorious dictator to portray AIDS as a mass murderer, thus scaring people into using condoms. However, many HIV and AIDS charities have gone on the record saying they don’t agree with the commercial.
“Of course there are many HIV organizations that run their own campaigns, however, I would think that (advertisement) is incredibly stigmatizing to people living with HIV who already face much stigma and discrimination due to ignorance about the virus,” said a spokeswoman for the National AIDS Trust, which coordinates World AIDS Day in Britain.
“On top of this, it fails to provide any kind of actual prevention message. For example, use a condom), and may deter people to come forward for testing.”
The commercial was produced by das Comitee, a German advertising agency on behalf of a German AIDS Awareness group. The agency could not be reached for comment, but defended itself on the "AIDS Is a Mass Murder" Web site.
THANK YOU&YOU'RE WELCOME
Friday, September 4, 2009
It was only a matter of time. Last week a number of tracks from Jay-Z’s upcoming The Blueprint 3 leaked online, including his collaboration with Rookie of the Year Drake on “Off That.” Now, Hov has to deal with his entire album being on the Web : The Blueprint 3 popped up on blogs this morning around the time Jay-Z appeared at a press conference announcing his 9/11 tribute concert.
“I may be the most bootlegged artist in history,” he told MTV News shortly after his album leaked. “It’s a preview. I’m excited for people to hear the album. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done, so enjoy it.”
Jay kept it cool despite his material leaking out 10 days before the official release day. The iconic MC, though, had reason to relax : He has his own indicator to let him know whether reactions to his music are good or bad.
“My pager is actually ringing right now, so people are probably calling me and telling me they pretty much like it,” he explained. “I can tell by the way my pager rings if a song is good or not. It’s really going crazy right now.”
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Hip-hop icons Run-DMC added yet another feather to their well-decorated hats - a street renamed in their honor. A bill was passed unanimously in June and signed into law by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to rename the street corner on 205th Street and Hollis Avenue to Run-DMC JMJ Way.
Queens councilman Leroy G. Comrie hopes that the effort will bring a boost to the economy in that neighborhood. “It is my sincere hope that this street renaming, combined with the museum," said Comrie, "will help to economically revitalize this particular neighborhood as a potential tourism attraction." What a way to cap off an already successful year, in which they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.