Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What was the deal with, and where the eff is Ms. Melodie?

Back in '88, when Jay was selling weight, and P was a ballerina my favorite emcee/rapper was KRS-One. Dude still remains in my top ten list of all time. With the support of Boogie Down Productions helmed by the late DJ Scott La Rock and tutored by beat meister Ced Gee of Ultra Magnetic fame, Kris Parker single handedly destroyed the borough of Queens with classic shots "South Bronx" and "The Bridge Is Over" fired at MC Shan, Mr. Magic and the legendary Juice Crew. He was strategically smart enough to keep stray shots away from Big Daddy Kane and Kool Gee Rap though, cause that would'a been some real beef for that ass. Anyways, dude was an effin monster. That Jamaican spice he added to his rhyming established the fact that he repped firmly the upper echelons of Hip Hop. Even though he claimed the South Bronx, his swag was sooo Brooklyn. You do know he's from BK? My man Jo who grew up with him was telling me that the first time he heard "South Bronx", he was surprised that Kris was running with the Bx so heavy, but it made sense since he was hanging there during his early to late teen years. Dude's shows were not to be effed with either. Stagemanship, breath control, song repertoire, throwing fat dude from PM Dawn off the effin stage, KRS-One epitomized the essence of what Hip Hop was to a then young nation.

Dude was a walking enigma though. When he started treading too hard on that edutainment, teacher ish, he started losing me. He also let Puff Daddy murda him on his own shit. But the illest shit of all time that he pulled was when he came out rocking Ms. Melodie.

I know love be blind and beggars can't be choosers, especially since dude WAS homeless once, and chick DID look like she could be hella warm and comfy during those cold ass New York winters from years back, but I'm saying. I know how it is to hit off a she-beastie now and then, but DAMN homie, you can't really be claiming that. Of course all this childish superficiality would be irrelevant if she could rock the mike, but girl girl was also a bit hard on the ears as well. Still and all, she was able to get a solo album out of dude, drop that god awful "Live On Stage" single and video and was fortunate enough to spit amongst legends on that classic "Self Destruction" joint.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that for the past 15 years or so, I've been wondering what was that whole effin' thing about? How and where did KRS and Melodie meet? How did they hook up? When did they get married? Did she favor chicken, beef, goat or ham? How soon after he started dropping science and garnering the attention of female groupies world wide did dude wake up and start thinking of ways to get as far away as possible from his broad broad? Did Chubb Rock have a twin sister? And why hasn't D-Nice interviewed her in his "True Hip Hop Stories" video series yet, him also being an integral part of that whole BDP movement? His video series is crazy dope though.

If any of ya'll know the deal, please let me know the sordid facts. Better yet, if you know where Melodie is these days, holla at yer boy. I really want to interview ole girl, you know, get her side of the story and post that shit up. Eff around and I'ma start my own "Shit Behind The True Hip Hop Stories" series, dead serious!

In the meantime:


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Most. Painful. Shit. Ever.


So last Spring, wifey and I went to a party with our friends Dave and Karen. Both are white, and we went to an Obama fundraiser house party thingie in Park Slope. I was the only Black man there. Go figure. Anyways, Dave, who works in film, was telling me about one of his co-workers who was directing his first lil indie flick. There's a scene in the flick where one of the actors, in an attempt to escape something, is supposed to jump off a garage roof that's like 20-25 feet from the ground. During the filming of that scene, the actor took one look off the platform and was like "eff that dude, I'm an actor, not no stuntman." Geeked about the project and determined to motivate his actor to actually go through with the stunt, the director, who was like 20 years old, decided he would demonstrate how the actor should do it, you know, walk the walk. So director dude gets to the top of the platform, jumps, lands and effin completely SHATTERS both of his heel bones into millions of tiny little pieces!

Doctor says it will about be a year and a half before dude can walk again. How in the eff does one even put together a shattered heel, let alone two? Funny shit is when Dave was describing to me how dude looks when he's rolling through the office in his wheel chair, legs sticking straight the eff out. Or when it rains or snows, and dude's chair is blue tarped out, just to keep his shit dry and looking like a grade A dick. [||].

A coupla weeks ago, Dave emails me a youtube clip of this event, just cause the camera crew was on point like that. It's short, and if you turn the volume up you can hear the director's heels exploding into teeny tiny particles of magic pixie dust.

Ouch and lol!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Combat Jack Salutes David Nuttall

Summer of '86, I had just graduated from Cornell University. My aim was law school, but things were kinda tight. I had been rejected by Brooklyn Law, and my #1 school Georgetown had me on the wait list. 9 outta 10, this was not a good look as the wait list meant you wasn't getting in and had to try again next year. Fortunately, through a series of mad hustling, wheeling and dealing (I might tell you about that in another post), I received a Western Union Telegraph (do they even do that these days?) through the mail informing me that I had been accepted to G-town, literally two weeks before classes started. Mission accomplished, it was time to get my shit in gear, especially since I had no dough, not a single connect in Washington, D.C. and no where to rest my head once I got down there. In speaking to one of my bourgie homeys from Harlem, he let me know about one of his former classmates from University of Pennsylvania, David Nuttall, who was about to start Georgetown Law as well. I cold called Dave with the quickness and explained to him that this BK dude was just accepted and needed a place to rest in Washington until I got on my feet. Immediately, Dave told me it was cool, I could crash at his joint, face unseen. A coupla days later, with no time to waste, I packed my meager belongings, some snacks, my $300, hugged my moms and started out on my journey.

My ride dropped me off at Dave's crib like around 2am in the morning. Dave greeted me and was like, "yo I got some cold cuts and brew in the fridge, make yourself comfortable. Here's your room, tomorrow I'll show you around D.C. and the school." The next day, Dave did just that, and as the following days turned into weeks, months, then three years, here's what I learned about Dave:

- Dave grew up playing basketball, and dude was incredible. He also played varsity at U. of Penn.
- He grew up middle class, his father owned a software company which had just started to blow up
-His parents were divorced, hence his father was divorced from him, leaving Dave with some deep emotional scars.
- Dave loved his moms deeply, even though she took a lot of the hurt she had from her divorce and aimed it at him. They had a great, but tough relationship.
- Dave was one of the coolest and most level headed people I've ever met, but on occasion, this nigga would flip out on some Sam Jackson from "Pulp Fiction" ish and get really really dark and gully. It was important to never ever end up on the dark side of Dave's wrath.
- Being a DC native, Dave was very popular and was able to feel comfortable around everyone, from the South East thugs to the nerdy white boys that were our classmates.
- Dave had major chicks in the DC and B'more area on lock and had them light, long haired ones throwing panties his way on the regular.
- Because he was an athelete and had a wicked temper, Dave was also nice with his knuckle game. I seen him put down a coupla dudes just on gp.
-Dave was one'a the most loyal dudes I've ever met. Once he claimed your set, it was ride or die til the wheels fell off, blood in, blood out.

The first year of law school was one of the most intense things I've ever experienced. We were responsible for ingesting between 150 - 300 pages of law for homework on the nightly. Fuck around, you might get called up and tortured by your law professors at any given moment. Your class might consist of 200 - 225 students, 98% white, with you front and dead center. Your boy CJ never stumbled nor stuttered though. Still and all, the pressure was inhuman. I seen chicks, black and white, having real ass nervous breakdowns. This other Hatian kid, Phillipe, caught a case of the breakdown, as I saw him crying in broad daylight up in the cafeteria one day, nose a bubbling, with him moaning about how, at the end of the semester, he was never coming back, like on some "G.I. Jane" shit. Nigga did eventually "ring the bell' and broke for ghost like he said he would. Me, I stayed on point, but the stress had me having some serious ass headaches. Dave never shook though, and handled all that classwork like a champ. Dude always stayed looking out as well. If he sensed I was low on paper, Dave would let me hold some. Fridays, man made sure we took a break and he had me and a coupla other students staying zoned out on some fine drank and burning on some choice trees. He occasionally kept us skiied out on some a that snow white as well. Sheeit, if my President can claim it, I'ma claim it too! One night, I damn near cried to Dave that since shit was too hectic, I hadn't been able to get laid by NOBODY for damn near 120 DAYS!!! Me being in my prime, my shit was so backed up that whenever I sneezed, I snotted out babies. That very next Friday, my man Dave came through (I had my own place by then) with two purty birds from Howard University and an 8 ball of that raw. He let me hold alla that too!

Our second year at Georgetown, Dave's mom had a severe stroke that left her partially paralyzed. Dave was now forced to play full time student AND caretaker for her. On top of that, his mom's stayed giving him mad shit. His sister wasn't around as much to ease his load, his pops, much less. To numb the pain, Dave stayed with snow white more often. I started dating a fellow student whose pops was Ambassador to a foreign state, so I was whipping the Benz through our nation's capitol, diplomatic plates on blast. I'd pick Dave up now and then, and drive through that beautiful city with no worries in the world. Dave's eyes though, they started looking a bit lost. He kept his g.p.a. high, and was applying to all of the nation's top law firms, but because he was mad competitive, he would go ape shit whenever one of our white peers landed the jobs he was going for, even though he had the superior grades. That shit right there stayed driving him crazy.

Our last year of school, shit got worse. Three months before graduation, Dave's mom died. That shit there took the wind out of his sails. He ended up failing Ethics class, which is the easiest "gut" class one takes when going through law school. So easy that it was easy to not pay attention to it and easy to fail. He pleaded with the school administration to give him a break what with all he was going through, especially since he had done well in all of his other classes. The administration decided they were going to break him instead, requiring him to have to redo another semester. Law school ain't cheap, people. Hearing about that shit damn near broke me too. I graduated in spring of '89, came back to my beautiful New York City and ended up working at Def Jam Records. I also lost track of Dave, even though I tried to contact him several times. Word on the street was that Dave left snow white alone for her younger, faster sister, crack rock. Damn.

Winter of '91, when I was working at a small law firm, I got a call from Dave. He told me he eventually graduated, and was in New York for some interviews. I told him to drop by the office for some lunch. When he showed up Dave. didn't. look. right. That lost look in his eyes was more prominent. A look I'll never forget. Plus, he had on a long coat, dress shirt, a pair of cotton sweat pants, dress socks and some dress shoes. No jokes, no lie. I still embraced dude like my brother. During lunch, he told me how hard shit was, but how he maintained and was successful in getting his mom's affairs in order. He was also very interested in how Denise, my ex's sister was, especially since she was the one Black who was hired (and eventually made partner) at this exclusive Park Avenue law firm. I told him she was doing well as we chopped it up. As we parted, he shared with me how, on his way down from DC on Amtrack, he was pick pocketed for his wallet and he needed to hold something, just so's he could get back to DC. Without question, I pulled out $2oo from the ATM, we dapped and he bounced. Two hours later, I get a hot call from Denise, pissed the eff at me for "telling" Dave to roll up to her office. He went there and hit her up for like $500. I explained what took placed and she backed up off me. By the end of the week though, we found out he had "hit up" several other of our former classmates for money, white and black. Shit was looking bad for my man. That was also the last time I saw Dave.

Three months ago, I was talking to my lawyer about some business. She asked me if I knew her girlfriend Claire, who attended Georgetown around the time I was there. I remembered Claire because she was one'a the fine joints Dave used to smash back in the day. Me and Claire connected and we immediately jumped onto the subject of Dave. Claire also being from DC let me know that by the mid '90s, Dave was officially a crack head. He had lost all property and belongings passed on to him by his mom's and was out for dolo on the streets. No one had heard nor seen from him since, although the belief was that by the turn of the century, he had died of unknown causes.

They say that shit like that ain't supposed to happen once a brother gets up out of the hood. I say they full'a shit. The streets is always talking, always calling too, waiting to pull back another brother under the bullshit. Barack said it himself, when questioned on 60 Minutes as to whether he feared for his life and he responded how easy it was for a Black man's life to be snuffed out by doing something as mundane as going to the gas station. Shit like that ain't supposed to happen, but it did, and it does.

So, on account of me not being able to do it back then, to my nigga, my friend, my comrade David Nuttall, thank you for being there for me through thick and thin. An official Combat Jack salute to you. Twenty one shots on your behalf. Let the effin doves loose, and rest deeply in peace my dude, rest deeply in peace.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Watchmen Alert

I am a HUGE comic book fan. I am a HUGE Watchmen fan. I came across this clip and then immediately jizzed my pants. Sorry and [||]. To my geek heads out there, how EFFIN incredible is this biyatch right here? It is sooo effin on on March 6th, 2009.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh No He Didn't!!!

Courtesy of H8torade.

I's Hongry!!!

A coupla years ago, I went on a school trip with one of my sons. Nothing special to write about, except I remember that day being especially brick, extra brick 'cause the teachers had us all walking around some bullshit ass historic Brooklyn pier. What also sticks out is the memory of one of my son's classmates named Shakira. My son was like 8 at the time, and because he attended what was supposedly the best public school in our borough, there were only a handful of kids of color in the school, less in his class. Anyways, the only other Black kid on this trip was a girl named Shakira. No lie, Shakira, at the time, must have been easily pushing 150 pounds, ankle to braids. In comparison to my kid who is tall for his age and was probably pushing 80lbs at the time, Shakira was effin ginormous. Like a junior version of Aretha Franklin from two days back. Without the hat though. Now being the only Black parent that attended this trip, I guess lil' Shakira took a liking to me. So we get on the bus at 8:30 am and once the shit started moving, Shakira immediately pulled out this big ass brown paper bag and starts going to town on some type'a egg and cheese bagel sammich, a bag of Lays chips, some cookies topped off with bottle of Snapple. Around 10 am, Shakira walks up to me as says, "Mister, I's hongrey", like she was seeking some sort of approval, then swiftly whipped out her bag, this time snacking on some donuts, some type of inorganic (and I might even guess, non-nutritional) "granola bar" topped with a bottle of Yoo-hoo chocolate milk. All this time, my kid was probably three bites deep into his apple for the day. Noon hits and the teachers announce it's officially lunch, kids sitting on cold ass benches opening up their lil lunch boxes and what not. Shakira pulls out this tupperware container from her book bag containing some type of rice, beans and chicken concoction and just as quickly, makes said contents disappear. By 1pm, Shakira is like, "Mister, I's hongrey, can you buy me something to eat?" Mind you, I don't really know Shakira or anyone of her family members like that, and I didn't sign on to be her daddy for the day, alls the while taking care of my son, so I sternly reply "Shakira, you just had lunch, and you don't really want to eat any of this junk food they're selling over here, plus, I'm not here to buy anyone any snacks." Without skipping a beat, Shakira looks me dead in the eye and pleads, "But Mister, I's HONGREY!"

Over the past three months, I think starting around Thanksgiving, I've been going to town in just about the same way lil Shakira was on that school trip. I mean, everything cooked, baked, fried, roasted, sauteed, frozen or jerked has been fair game, like I just released my inner food crack head. Problem is, magically outta nowhere, a knicca's put on 20lbs and feeling sluggish as fuck. Wifey stopped effin with a knicca too. In addition, I have some potential money meetings lined up for February and I remember reading somewhere that money seems to gravitate towards those that are more fit than those who aren't. Cool. So I decide that today, just to get some of my swag shit back, quick and right, I would go on this Master Cleanse diet. For those unaware, The Master Cleanse is a detox process where you can only consume lemon juice mixed with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Nothing else. Not even a cup of coffee. One a my homies just came off a 10 day process and says he's feeling great, what with him losing 20lbs since January 2nd and releasing all types of toxins from his body. And his chick is telling my wife that knicca's stamina is waaaay off the charts. It's been months since anyone in my house said anything about stamina. "I can do this", I'm thinkin". "I got this."

Problem with this shit is that, regardless of whether all that lemon juice fills you up or not, all you effin think about is sinking your canines into an effin pot roast. Some ham too. With cranberry sauce. And a side of mac and cheese. Plus some red velvet cake. And ice cream. I am now twelve effin hours deep into this hunger strike with about 30 oz of lemonade swiggling up in my gullet and I'm trying to summon the willpower not to sneak into the fridge after everyone goes to bed and BEAST the eff out on any and everything in plain sight. Sneak because I eff'd up and announced last night to my household that I would be on this bullshit for ten days. TEN JOINTS! And they're like, "knicca you? Yeah right. 2 days tops", just cause family loves to fuck with a knicca like that, letting the hate percolate, just to see a knicca fall, then rain you with the "I told you so's, you effin loser dad husband fat fuckoff". Fuck.

So my shit is on steady not right, right about now. Around 6pm today, I was driving home from the city and had this brief feeling of euphoria, like I was on some natural high. Lasted about 15 minutes. Once that feeling ended though, I was back on some hongrier than I ever been in my whole effin life. Hongrier than Shakira probably.

Nine days left.


So, what did you eat today?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Have A Dream

Not for nothing, what an effin' weekend!!!! I know, it's already Wednesday, but cot damn!!!! Friday started with me, wifey and the 11 year old catching a matinee of "Notorious". The flick was aiight, but we loved it. What was major though, was that the 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 3pm and so on shows were sold the eff out! Not more than Paul Blart, still, there were so many Black people milling around Court Street, I thought kniccas was gonna start selling tee shirts and shit. It was like the official national Biggie Day everywhere (which actually wouldn't be that bad, now that I'm thinking about it). Then the whole MLK weekend which meant that for many of youse, no work on Monday. I'm not working these days, again. Incidentally, do you remember when MLK day meant getting HEATED cause you'd stay up watching those gully ass black and white documentaries on PBS showcasing knicca's getting effd up and hosed down (no Robert Syslvester Kelly) by white, German Shepherds in tow? Me too. Then yesteray, HOLY SHIT. A friend of ours organized this whole Obama day set up where she had some friends over and served up some mad trays of mean jerk wings and like tubs of potent rum punch, from like 11:30 am til' like midnite, with CNN up front and center. That's like 3 effin Black holidays, back to effin back in a row. February don't got shit on January '09!!! But for real, didn't yesterday's events seem a bit science fictioney, like here's when the aliens, or the cataclysmic giant asteroids, or Jack Bauer shows up to put shit back in proper perspective but good? Knicca's is so effin happy right now that they thinking shit is sweeter than Mickey D's Sweet Tea. What was most important though, is now that we have a Black House, it's time for all of us to man the 'eff up and take this whole shortbus ride to the next level.

Like right now, wifey is so effin done with me cause I stopped working since August, gained like 20lbs since Thanksgiving, and stopped showering every day, only because I now sit home all day cause I'm not working again (okay, I'm washing up every other day). But it's good though, because today's a new day. We make the causes today that shape our tomorrows, right? I'm bout to go heavy into a ten day Master Cleanse joint starting January 22nd (I'll walk ya'll through it), setting up some high paper meetings for February, so I can get back to stacking some chips, I mean today, my future is looking mighty rosey right about now. What Barry has done, even with him having the worst effin job a Black man could have these days, him cleaning up after white's mess and all; dude's vibe is on some, "everybody, stop all yer bitchering shit, there's work to be done." I'm with that 1oo%, always been.

One of the things I'm hoping to share through this blog is that we all have BIG dreams, regardless of whether we're following them or not. And I'm hoping that we all can get back on track with them. One of my dreams is that by the time I pass this plane, I'll have created so much wealth that my family for the next three generations won't have to hold a job if they don't want to. It'll be in my will that they'll still have to work at something though. How? Through this ever expanding medium we call entertainment. I'll keep you posted as it starts coming together. Anyways, we all have dreams and shit is so eff'd up these days, so much so that all most of us can think about is how to keep some food on the table, cable and cell phone on, and how soon we'll be able to download that next cd we've been waiting for, on the low. And even though I've been fortunate enough to stay focused on my goals, aside from some distractions here and there, Obama being the 44th Commander In Chief is a crystallization of how dreaming, focus, hard work, dedication, a firm eye on the prize and no excuses really help to make the impossible possible.

Now am I saying dude is the messiah? Nope. Can he solve all of humanity's problems? Fuckouttahere. Shit is way from being perfect, and what dude is saying is that his job is our job. This shit right here is workable only through our collective responsibility. Black men will stay being shot up by Po-Po, Israel will stay heavy pulverizing the Palestinians into ground paprika, lil' kids all across the nation will stay getting touched up by they step dad's an 'em when moms is out working late and Diddy will stay blackballing Easy Mo Bee for tapping into his inner Doctor Strange, but life's slick like that people. Shit ain't easy, ain't never been. Ask Damon Dash. Like, when my kids start bitching about how this, that and the 3rd ain't fair, I give em a nice solid punch dead in they lil chests, just to remind them that there's always a knicca lurking in they school hallways, waiting to take their milks and cookies, just on gp.

So with all this rambling and such, I'm looking forward to the day that all of you's out here will achieve your dreams. I just want all of yous to get back on track, stay focused, make that shit pop like nobody's business. I'm a firm believer that a happy you makes for a happy me. [||] though. So in commemoration of such a momentous occasion, and if you care to, please share your dreams, your goals. I won't laugh, word up. I read somewhere that once you go through the process of writing your dreams down, that dream is transformed from the intangible ether into the physical through the form of your handwriting, and the more public you make them, the likelier that they will materialize. Perception is reality, and I'm perceiving good things. How about you?

I'm also seeing a future where these yung '80's baby knicca's start pulling they pants up from they asses. Ya'll really need to cut that shit out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Notorious" Movie Review

Last night I spent two hours writing an in depth review about this piece. Was too difficult. Ended up writing like about 1,000 words. Can't decipher through that shit now. So, as to not having wasted the effort, I'ma keep it brief. "Notorious" is not the greatest biopic I've seen, but being the first official Hip Hop joint, what with me having experienced being a part of the extended Bad Boy fam, Christopher Wallace being a major part of the Brooklyn movement and B.I.G. being the G.O.A.T and what not, I LOVED IT!!! Some plot holes here and there, especially where it handles the whole East coast, West coast "beef", but thanks to the homies Mark Pitts and Wayne Barrow, both who managed Big throughout his career and were involved in this flick as producers, so many of the movie's scenes were spot on factual. The Palladium scene where Funk Master Flex drops Craig Mack's "Flava In Your Ear" while a young Puff and crew is buying up the bar, mad factual. The whole niggas blowing gaskets 'cause a the wrong shoe size scene (if you haven't seen it yet, don't worry, it'll make sense), no embellishment. Mad props to Angela Bassett for channeling Voletta Wallace. A+ for effort to everyone else who acted in this piece. X-tra kudos to Dennis L.A. White who plays Damion "D-Roc" Butler, Big's closest friend who goes above and beyond what this thing called friendship is about. Anyone who knows D-Roc knows what kinda stand up knicca he is and White, who even resembles dude slightly, pulls of the emotional and physical sacrifices D-Roc has gone through for his crew, time and again. Whaddup D-Roc!!!!

Please see this on account that there's no Hollywood effery here. Like I said, not the greatest, but in terms of factual content, flawless. At the real B.I.G.'s funeral, shit was mad overwhelming, what with all the celebs, drama, paparazzi, plus the weight of the loss and senselessness that Christopher Wallace's loss represented, so much so that I was too busy taking in everything to truly feel the pain that so many people, including myself felt at the time. The "Notorious" funeral scene, including actual footage of the legendary Bed Stuy street procession celebration that took place had CJ really fighting back some tears I thought were already spent. Thinking about it even as I write this has me fighting back more tears. [||]. Yo, see this.

Plus, what with it being Martin Luther King weekend, Obama's inauguration coming up and theatre's being sold out from coast to coast for a movie about Biggie Smalls, seems like it's the Black people heaven weekend we've been dreaming about, for like forever.

Combat Jack Gets His Martha Stewart On!

First of all, [||] for this whole post, just in case. Long and short of it, last year I brought a two family townhouse in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. When me and my family moved in, and having a gang'a kids (3 going on four), me and wifey didn't know jack about home decorating so we just put shit any effin where it fit. One'a my homies who works in television was outta a job and in looking for one, found a post on craigslist offering a free televised home makeover to whoever qualified. On a whim, I responded. Soon after, I got a response from a rep from HGTV (Home and Garden Television ) who told me about this new show they were working on. I was informed that the channel had taken one of their star designers Genevieve Gorder from the show "Trading Places" and blessed her with her own joint called "Dear Genevieve". So they send some reps over to my spot, just to see if our shit was legit and weren't living too deep in the "hood" and soon after, out of 60,000 families, we were informed that we made the cut for the first episode. Even though we never ever watch HGTV,we were all more than a little excited. Free shit? Televison? Let's do the damn thing!

The producer of the show was excited as well, and being that this was a first episode, he let me know that although they were working with a budget of $5k, they were gonna open the check book on this baby, what with wanting to make a good first impression and all. He let me know that they were gonna have an entire crew up in my piece for an entire week, film us during the entire process, sorta like "The Real World", but without the drama, at one point, we'd have to move out so they could get to work, and on the final day, we'd be moving back in, all surprised and shit and on camera. On day one, like at 6am, my door bell rings and there's like 30 effin white people standing outside my door, ready to wreck shop. These cats descended on us so with the quickness that I didn't have a chance to relocate my stash of "bud" and haven't been able to find it ever since. Before they started filming, I had to pull my sons to the side and threaten to whup ass if they decided it would be cute to get out of pocket on camera, you know, just in case one'a them wanted to get back at me on national tv for some shit I did to them in the past that they didn't like. So we meet Genevieve, who was mad cool, and the camera starts rolling. Like a therapist, Genevieve starts asking us what wasn't working in our space and for the next 5 days, it's like insane cause I have people I don't know going through all types of my shit, I'm talking really tearing down, moving, tossing and breaking up shit. Plus, there's like trucks, vans and a trailer parked outside my shit 24/7, tents, flood lights, loudspeakers, the whole kit and kaboodle. Shit was so ostentatious that some of the lil' kids that live on our block kept asking me, in between takes, whether Spike Lee was working on his next joint up in my piece. Plus, wifey and I were more than a lil' nervous 'cause we live in a neighborhood where randomly, especially on Labor Day, gunshots can clearly be heard from my window, so a camera crew, mad white people camping out on our property and a trailer really put our shit on blast. And you know how niggas get when they see someone else's shit in the hood on mad display. I'm saying.

Anyways, on the final day, we get to see the results and to her credit, Genevieve did her effin thing. Our shit is mad laced, what with candelabra's, pieces of art, sculptures and all types of other items that I would have never ever conceived of buying. Wife and kids are happy, and I'm feeling plush and luxurious in my home these days. Our episode aired on January 1st, right after the Rose Bowl Parade, further putting our shit on maximum blast. Now, my father-in-law is giving me shit about why I'm tryna' sound all white on tv cause I don't sound like that in person, the neighbors two doors down from us stay reckless eyeballing my wife and not talking to us on account of them hating more than a bit, also, last week, when I stepped out to grab some shit from the bodega up the block, three shady looking niggas was standing across the street, scoping my shit out and when one'a them saw me and was like "Yo Mister, that's the crib that had got that makeover with that white lady on tv?" I curtly responded "No" and kept it moving.

So here's the first episode of "Dear Genevieve" featuring yours truly and family. It's a bit long (@ 20 mins) , so I won't blame you for not watching the full piece. Looking back though, I'm still tryna' figure out which one'a those lil' crew fucks made off with my stash.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Easy Mo Bee Is Nuttier Than A Snicker's Bar!!!

You may have read last week in this post by Gooch where he interviews legendary producer Easy Mo Bee, responsible for really putting Bad Boy on the map by producing the majority of the heat on the Notorious B.I.G.'s first album, the classic "Ready To Die". In it, Gooch asks dude why he hadn't blown up after dropping such a masterpiece and Easy starts bitching about how Diddy blackballed him in the industry 'cause he didn't want to sign to Mr. Combs' production team and management and such and such types of bitchery. Now, I'm not a hater and I am in no way shitting on dude, but one thing I hate, that really gets under my skin, is when characters from the music biz with mad potential and opportunity start blaming other people for reasons as to why their career never took off, not taking responsibility for their fuck ups. So here it goes, as an obligation to the blogging community, myself, the music biz and even to Mr. Bee, I feel compelled to expose the truth of what had really happened.

It is true that after "Ready To Die", Puff was eager to sign Mo Bee to his production team. It is also true that Mo Bee declined. Was Puff sore though? Not at all. See, even though Mo Bee had heat, Diddy went ahead and put together one of the illest in-house production teams of all time. His "Hit Men" squad consisted of heat makers Deric "D. Dot" Angelettie, Ron "Amen Ra" Lawrence, Nashiem Myrick, Steve "Stevie J." Jordan", along with a host of other mad gifted producers. The Bad Boy machine was making so much effin dough that Puff didn't have enough time to even think about Easy not signing as he was too busy counting money stacks. As they say, the train left the station and Mo Bee was not on it.

What Mo Bee omitted to share with xxl is how he started acting all.... strange after "Ready To Die" dropped. And I'm talking X-Files strange. See, a few years ago, I too began to ask several cats in the know as to why dude's career floundered. What I discovered was astounding. One producer that I repp'd told me this story about how he and Mo Bee hooked up for lunch one day to discuss some projects they had on the table. In between bites, said producer told me that as they were discussing business, every time anyone would walk by, Mo Bee would nervously motion to dude to stop talking. This went on for like an hour and since they were in a crowded restaurant, no business was actually discussed. They eventually ended up in Mo Bee's car. Once in the car, Mo Bee proceeded to turn on the a.c. to full blast, cranked up the car stereo to max, and whispered in dude's ear "they're following me, so I have to be careful what I say." WTF? On another occasion, and I'm talking first hand from various trusted sources, an exec stopped by Mo's apartment to pick up some DAT tapes of songs Mo was working on. It was in the dead of winter and when the exec got to Mo's door, Mo stayed eyeballing him out through his peep hole for like 15 minutes. Then, once he figured "the coast was clear", Mo went through the process of unlocking what must've been about 12 locks before letting my dude in. Once in, the exec was strangely greeted by Mo who was wearing nothing but a terry cloth bath robe and house shoes, but sweating profusely, like he had stepped out of an effin steam room. Mo then motioned for dude to be quiet. After cranking up his stereo, and a.c., I guess to drown out any sound, Mo pointed for dude to hold their meeting in Mo's bathroom with the shower on blast and with consistent toilet flushing taking place. Mo then started whispering, nervously looking around and asking more than once as to whether my dude was followed as "they've been watching me, following me closely for some time now, and I can't really discuss shit or give you anything today, in case they try to trap me and take me away." Believe me when I believed dude that he high stepped it out of Bee's crib with the quickness. On top of the craziness of that scene, my dude told me he was also getting cold, as it was in the middle of winter, with the a.c. cranked up and what not.

Now all this could probably be summed up as hearsay, but here's where the straw breaks the proverbial camel's back. At the time, not only was Mo noticed by fans, top execs in the industry were also fawning over dude's musical talents. Apparently, short T.I. Jimmy Iovine of Interscope fame was extremely interested in luring Bee over to Interscope by offering him a multi-million dollar label deal. Of course, this was back when we was all making cake and deals like this were being passed out like free cheese. Anyways, Jimmy Iovine flies Mo Bee out to Los Angeles to discuss whether Mo would come over to Interscope, produce mad hits and in the process, transform himself from beat making producer to music industry mogul. Mo Bee gets out to L.A. and checks into his hotel room, for like days. When time for his appointment with Iovine, Mo Bee is a no show. Frustrated and really wanting to invest in dude, Iovine calls another producer legend of his, Dr. Dre to see if he could convince Mo to take the meeting and sign over to Interscope. Story goes, Dre AND Iovine drive over to Mo Bee's hotel, knock on his door, and all they get is an eyeball peeping through the peep hole and all types of whispering coming from the other side of the door. Well, after like 10 minutes of this nonsense, with Dre and Iovine knocking on the hotel door and waiting, Mo Bee eyeballing them and whispering unintelligible ish from inside, Dre was like "fuck this, Jimmy, you ain't paying me that much dough to be fucking around with crazy niggas like this" and bounced. Iovine was right behind him. Thus, after stiffing Iovine, Mo made it back to New York City, in the process killing any prospects of landing a lucrative deal at Interscope or any hopes of building any types of working relationship with Iovine and Dre.

I know also that Mo Bee pulled this type of shit with several other top uber execs in the industry including Sylvia Rhone, then top dog at Electra and Tommy Mattola who was running Sony at the time. These execs would set up meetings with dude, dude would be all like, "yes, let's make this thing here happen", then like.... nothing. No show. Not even a call back with any types of lame excuse. So looking back on all this, did Puff black ball Mo Bee? Fuck yeah. So did like every other effin exec in the industry. Think I'm lying or making this shit up for purposes of blog hits? Do the research your damn self, go out there and ask any credible exec who was in the game during the mid to late '90's as to Mr. Bee's ... strangeness. If I'm lying, I'm dying. To this day, if I were to be working on a project and needed beats, and Mo called me offering shit for free, I'd think more than twice about working with dude. I'm not sure where his mind state is today, but if it's anything like it was then, I sure hope he gets himself checked out, and soon. That peep hole shit is played out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My President's A Black Superhero: Spiderman #583 Review

I have truly dropped the ball with all this Obama-mania sweeping the globe. I was more than a lil' hungover on the day after last year's historic election so I wasn't able to get up early enough to snatch copies of any of the major newspapers headlining the nation's first Black president. Then I missed copping most of the major magazines with B'rock gracing their covers. So when I heard a coupla weeks ago that Marvel was dropping Spiderman #583 with a cover featuring the likeness of our 44th president, I knew I had to get a piece of this. Understand, I've been buying, collecting, and reading comics since the '70's and I'd feel like a total dick if I let this one fly by. So yesterday, I called all the local comic book shops to see if I could pre-order some copies. No luck, everybody and their momma were requesting copies. I even checked on-line and copies everywhere were already sold out. There were even some pre-sale copies on e-bay for like $20-$50 a copy, even though a copy at retail is $3.99. Shit. My last chance of getting a copy was Midtown Comics. Those of ya'll not familiar, Midtown is one of THE main geek outlets in midtown Manhattan. Midtown Comics, get it? Anyways, Midtown is the place where they sell like EVERYTHING comic book and sci-fi related. A few years ago, one'a my dudes, and I'm talking like a REAL Black nerd ass geek, actually went up in there and brought a life size, heavy ass replica of Thor's hammer for like $300. His wife ended up cussing dude out, something about being late with the rent. Anyways, I'm saying, Midtown is an effin fan boy's wet dream. [||]. Since I've been buying shit from them for like over 10 years, I figured I'd call them to hook me up with a reserve copy on the side. Nope. They told me that they were only selling copies on a first come, first serve basis and that their doors would open at 10am sharp. Eff it, I figured since my kids go to school in the city, after dropping them off, I would be able to get out to Midtown Comics by like 9:15, way before anyone else, cop my issues, then bounce.

Nobody told me it would be like effin 24 degrees though. When I get there at 9:30 this morning, there's an effin line of about 100 cats ahead of me and I am truly freezing balls, plus, I'm not even sure they're gonna have copies by the time I get inside the piece. Also, there's like a news camera crew all up in everyone's face, taking pictures and asking all types of gay ass questions about why we were waiting out in the cold like idjits and what not. Although I no longer hide the fact that I gets geeky from time to time, I wasn't tryna have my grill all up in the evening news as one of those dicks that waited on line in the freezing cold just to cop a Spiderman comic book. That would really, really not be my style. Everytime the crew walked by me, I made like I was on my cell, just to throw their scent off. Occasionally, one of the clerks would come out and shout that they're only selling two copies per person, thus nixing my chances of buying 20 copies and selling 18 of them on e-bay tomorrow for like a $100 a pop.

So at 10 on the dot, they open the doors, and I'm hoping there's not a mad rush like that Walmart incident last Black Friday that ended up killing a coupla shopaholics in Long Island, NY. Would'ja believe, and I am not effin lying, that right at that moment, some Black chic, dressed all corporate chic, looking like she works at either BET or MTV, actually tries to cut the head of the line, outta the blue, on some "I'm first" shit. Luckily, the lil' China geek dude who she was tryna cut and who must have been on line like an hour before I got there was not having that shit and started cussing her the eff out like she tried to run off with his pocket protector and calculator. The funny shit though, is that Ms. Black BET gets all indignant with Lil' China and gets all up in his shit, cussing out all types of shit back, loud as all fuck at 10am, on a workday, in Midtown Manhattan, in front of a comic book store, with a line of like then 300 grown adults, causing all types of scene, camera crew steady catching this fuckery on tape. True effin story.

So after some of the bigger dudes that work at Midtown Comics come down and haul this loud broad away, you know, her ghetto ass being bad for publicity and all, the line rolls smoothly and I cop my issue and bounce.

How was it? Was it worth all the wait and the drama? No. The story begins with the upcoming inauguration. Obama is about to get sworn in when a limo pulls up to the scene and another Obama jumps out like "WTF?!?" Peter Parker is there taking pictures as a newpaper photographer and decides to change into his Spider gear, just in case shit pops off. Spidey swings back, front and center of the commotion, where secret service and him are tryna figure out who the real B'rock is. The two Obama's then get into a heated debate about, of all things, Basketball, with one being knowledgeable about the sport and the other, hemming and hawing, thus proving to be the obvious imposter. I am not lying, although I wish I were. Then after Obama gives him permission, Spidey hauls off and cold cocks the fraud who ends up being the Chameleon, one of Spidey's weakest foes evah. Cops haul off Chameleon as he's bitching about how close he came to running the country, nukes and all. Spidey and Obama then have some lame dialogue, dick riding each other about how they're each others biggest fan, and they part by giving each other a pound, also referred by the media these days as a "terrorist fist jab".

Pretty lame, right? Nowhere as close to being the classic that was "Superman vs. Muhhamed Ali" that DC comics dropped back in the '70's. Now THAT was an effin great piece of work. The good thing about all this though, was that all day, I was able to call up and email my peoples, asking them "innocently" whether they had copped a copy, catching some satisfaction knowing well in advance that they hadn't and would be all disappointed sounding and what not. I know, I can get petty like that. Anyways, for what it's worth, I got my hands on one of the hottest pieces of Obama memorabilia out. Being that it will be a historic artifact, I'ma cake off on this piece someday down the line.

Do any of you know whether that Black chick ended up making tonight's news? Let me know.

Later Is Greater

What took so long? For some of ya'll, Combat Jack's been rocking with you off and on now for like 4 years, but on the guest blogger status though. In '05, when I discovered this thing they call the blogosphere, it was a brand new world to me. I had just embarked on a long break from the music industry as an entertainment attorney and had landed a book deal for my book "Bling, The Hip Hop Jewelry Book". One night, I was doing some online research for my book on the jewels that then New York crew Dipset was rocking when I accidentally stumbled upon the blogger genius that is Byron Crawford where he had a post joking the eff outta Cam'ron.

Funny. Smart. Irreverant. Gully. Done. Hooked!

After emailing dude my bio as an introduction, Byron took a chance and let me rock some guest posts, some of which have become legendary and birthed a few of ya'll's blog styles. If you're not familiar, please peep my classics.

I landed a cushy gig with janky ass MTV and shortly thereafter, linked up with then new jack internet celebrity Dallas Penn, who let me bless his site with some drops, including a couple of blog beef incidents in which I had to ether a coupla cats for blogging wreckless (whaddup Siccamore p//k/a "Yung Lip Gloss" and Tom Breihan).

Four years is a long effin time to be speculating on when I'ma drop my own blog. In between all that, knicca had more babies (4 total!), Jigga and Nas done made up, Lil Wayne became top dog in the cRap food chain, Jim Jones' Capo status has been upgraded, a Bollywood Hindude flick is movie of the year, facebook has replaced crack having EVERYONE strung out, comic book movies is running this flick ish (Watchmen in '09!!!), genocide is taking place in the Middle East AND we have a Black president.

Black men still stay getting merked in the streets by police in cold blood though.

Being new to this is no longer an excuse. Writing behind my dudes' blogs under my CJ alias is behind me. It's a new year people, and I'm about to bring you what you've been waiting for.

A big shout to my CJ blog fam, Byron Crawford, Dallas Penn, Eskay from Nah Right (knicca, you have become an effin BEAST!), Ian from Different Kitchen, my Aussie dude Robbie from Unkut ('09 is all you kid, plus the book deal), Geek Bird (where u at?), my dude Gabe Tolliver (keep yer chin down and stay firing soldier!) and all you other blog dudes and dudettes. I'ma keep it like 100 with this ish. If there's a problem to be solved, I'ma have the solution with Today's Mathematics.

Let's be clear: one thing for sure, this time it's for the money!