Media Break

Like Min Jung, taking Media Break, this September 11th. I'm going to withdraw and read a book or two. No e-mail, no TV, no nothin' (as best I can, in this heavily media saturated world).

Song obsession

Another song obsession.

Yeesh. Another sugary, ecstasy-influenced thug song that I'm obsessed with: Ja Rule's "Down 4 U". I actually have a problem with this review of the song, because the message isn't totally positive. Let's look at the lyrics:

[Ja Rule] Baby girl, would you bust your gun wit me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea
[Ja Rule] Lie to the Feds if they come get me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea
[Ja Rule] And if I died, would you kill for me?
[Ashanti] Yea, yea

Yeah, getting a woman to promise that she would shoot someone, commit purjury, or murder in revenge for your death is not sending a positive message.

And unlike the reviewer, I've pretty much always liked Ja Rule as a rapper (despite the fact that I own exactly zero of his CDs). I just like his flow and gruff (but not too gruff, like DMX) voice.

A mini-pet peeve I have with recent rap songs: they sample or steal choruses from other rap songs that aren't even that old. Like the new Bone Thugs'n'Harmony song that lifts an Outcast chorus. Or the Ashanti song that takes the beat from The Notorious B.I.G.'s "One More Chance (remix)" (that was a sample too, but still). I've heard at least two songs that bite the Luniz' "I Got 5 On It" beat. Here's a Usenet thread discussing rap songs that sound similar to other rap songs.

A Musical Note

Just a note about the music I've been listening to lately. If you don't like the band Tool or hip-hop, you can skip this one.

In news that might please Pinder, I bought Tool's Lateralus the other day, after having heard it on 107.7 The End's top 107 albums weekend thing on the way up from the States. It sucks that they're not coming to Vancouver on their current tour. I would have gone for sure.

I saw N.E.R.D.'s phenomenal In Search Of... CD for 10 bucks at A&B sound today. Since my copy's in storage, I almost broke down and bought it. "Tape You", "Provider", and "Bobby Jones" are my favourite tracks. This review by W&A is spot on, even though if I see if for cheap, I'll probably by the original version of the album too.

Been listening to some really 'sugary' music lately. (My definition of sugary: music that I know is bad for me, but which I still like.) Call me crazy, but I'm likin' Nelly's "Hot in Herre", Cam'Ron's "Hey Ma", and Amelie's "Why Don't We Fall in Love (remix)", a song I've been particularly obsessed with lately, playing the MP3 over and over and over.

Vancouver's The Beat is pretty damn good. I didn't listen to it very much up until now, but now that I've had it on whenever the guys I'm crashing with are not paying attention, there's been some good stuff. And as creepy as I think he is, the new LL Cool J song is pretty head-bobbin' too. Portland's Jammin' 95.5 FM still kicks The Beat's butt though, but just barely.

Biggie Murdered Tupac?

L.A. Times Fingers Rival in Tupac Shakur's Murder Reuters

So it's true. Biggie did murder Tupac. Well, the Crips did, but wanted a piece of the action.

“[The Notorious B.I.G.], who was also in Las Vegas at the time, was brought into the picture after the Crips decided to make some money out of their plan [to murder Tupac]. Wallace agreed to give them $1 million, on one condition: he wanted the satisfaction of knowing that Shakur had been killed by his gun, and he pulled out a .40-caliber Glock pistol, the paper said.”

Per diem of a baseball player

Bruce Arthur: “For every day on the road, whether you are superstar Jason Giambi or his lesser-paid brother, Jeremy, you get a US$73.50 per diem. So, for a 10-day road trip, in addition to the standard two meals per day, each player gets US$730. It is enough for breakfast.”

Wow. That is some per diem.

Right Wing Envy

Jack Shafer: “A Nation writer who, say, wants to use humor or wit to make his point mustn't abuse gays, blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Ralph Nader, foreigners, women, the infirm, working stiffs, Indians, Mohammed (but Jesus is fair game), whales, or any cultural stereotype. This leaves him just one angle from which to compose his point: Stupid White Men. Such is the state of left journalism that Michael Moore has made a career out of painting and repainting this mono-mural.”

Right-wing journalism is so fun because it's in your face. Right-wingers are unafraid to call people idiotic because of their beliefs, rather than their intelligence. (Left-wingers, on the other hand, are unafraid to call people idiotic because of their lack of intelligence; right-wingers don't use intelligence of people as the basis of their opinions.) Left-wing journalism is boring because it is basically the same doom and gloom story we've heard since the 1970s.

I have right-wing envy. But then again, it could be the America-envy I've had since my first visit to Portland 2 years ago, which is now almost to the stage of jealousy after returning from my third visit.