Tag Archives: Music

We Be Hatin’

By Slim Jackson

A couple weeks ago I was out with the fellas at an east coast college. They were opening for a poppin and pizzlin hip hop artist that we all know, and I was there to support and hold my Flip video camera in the air to get some blog-worthy footage. Without going into too much detail, the show was great. I’ve been to a few shows they’ve rocked out at, and it’s been a lot of fun. After seeing them perform in front of primarily white institutions and crowds more heavily sprinkled with Black and Hispanic folk, I’ve come to a crucial conclusion…

White people really know how to have unrestricted fun. Black folks really know how to hate.

Let’s face it. We’re quicker to find fault with other Black folk than we are to give credit and accolade where it’s due. When I’m at these concerts, there are clear demographic differences. I can see the hundreds or thousands of white people throwing their hands in the air and having a good time. I can also see a significant chunk of the small segment of Black and Hispanic people watching first with a critical eye and looking for an excuse to say the show was wack. They’re usually the people with arms folded, staring up at the stage, and consistently whispering in the ear of whoever they came to the show with. Now this isn’t to say that all Black people are naturally haters, but sometimes it’s like something extra needs to be proved before people will just accept the fact that someone is cool, good at what they do, or whatever. This isn’t even a competitive circumstance! Competition? That’s a different story…

Don’t even get me started on how competition increases the hate exponentially. All we need to do is look at a group of women who are all interested in the same dude. Welcome to New Hate City….Welcome to New Hate Citttttayy! We can even look at the dude that’s baggin chicks without any reputable reason. “That negro just be out there munchin box or wearin Greek letters. He wouldn’t be baggin otherwise.” But yeah, we be hatin’. It’s kinda reckless. If people spent as much time looking at themselves as they spent criticizing others who are making moves in the bedroom, the world would be a much happier place. Then again, I guess there will always be crabs in the barrel…I ain’t tryna get pinched though.

Slim “The Plumber” Jackson

Everyone’s Trying To Have a Swagger Like Us

Swag. G. Style. Whatever the word, either you either have it or you don’t. But for those of you who don’t possess any mojo, don’t fret. You could be like Dr. Evil, as well as most folk in America, and just jack it. Before swagger was printed on an Old Spice body spray can, before T.I.’s comeback song and before he ripped M.I.A.’s voice when she first said it on her track “Paper Planes”, Black folks had style. Truth be told, they had more swag back then. Partly because everyone else was so damn corny. As a result, they had folks jocking and clocking their every move. Hard body. Back then it was straight highway robbery, but nowadays with color and culture lines so blurry is it swagger jackin? Or just a little swagger appreciation?

Oooh That’s My Song! No Really, That’s MY Song.

America has been stealing our music since they realized it could make them some money. Jazz. Yeah, it wasn’t all Kenny G and elevator muzak. That used to be all Black folk. Same thing for Rock and Roll. Yes. There were the greats like, Little Richard, James Brown (yes, he was considered Rock and Roll), Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix. I could go on and on. They got their style jacked by groups that mainstream America loves. Luckily that doesn’t happen as much now since non-mainstream music is so readily available to everyone. Technology has made it slightly tougher to just rip someone off. Plus I have to admit, some of these White Chocolate cats are just inventing their own style and holding their own. Can’t front, Robin Thicke gets a lot of airplay and has definitely gotten us dudes a lot of play.

You Sure You Don’t Have Some Black in You? Well, Would You Like Some?

It’s a phenomenon that gives Black men one more reason to leave their chocolate covered counterparts for a lighter fare. White women with asses an extended gluteus maximus. No, I’m not the last to pick up on it. In fact, me and my crew submitted an article to National Geographic about it years ago. What is new; however, is the fact that White women are loving it. Eating more steak sandwiches and doing more lunges. Just take a walk outside. Go to your local Whole Foods and/or bar. Attitudes have changed. For the better. It’s cool to have a booty. Shoot, I could go on and on about this topic. I have tons of research documents I could provide you. And I’d love to, but I so much more to say. So I’ll just leave you with this. Jessica Biel. Yep, thank you and good night…

Can’t Be Mad When Other Folks Take Better Care Of It Than Us

When something gets big, people either steal it or try to add on (pause you dirty minded…). Our Hispanic, Asian and Indian brethren have gladly helped to do the latter with Hip Hop culture. I mean, some of them are the kids of those business owners in the neighborhood. That couple that had the grocery store, yeah, they had a kid. And he/she grew up with us. Once some of them got older, they entered the family business – entrepreneurship. Walk into a store to buy kicks and clothes. You may be surprised to see that it’s owned by Asian cats. (Shout out to Re-Up out in Boston!) Others go against tradition and just hop right in (pause) to our culture wholeheartedly. Like Big Pun and Fat Joe.  Well, more so Big Pun.  Or Miss Info and the Jabberwockys.

So I don’t know homie. In the past, folks just straight bit our style. Now the lines are blurrier than my vision after a few Jack and Cokes. What do you think? Are folks jockin us or is it just a sincere form of flattery?

Seattle – Sometimes I Wear Shades At Night Cuz I Shine So Bright – Washington

LL Cool J, GO And Take A Seat

If anyone knows a little bit about the history of hip hop music, you’ve probably heard of James Todd Smith, also known as LL Cool J. His career has spanned decades (first album dropped in 1985) and has been marked by hits like “Hey Lover,” “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and “Around The Way Girl.” In his prime, he used rock Kangols to cover up that large dome (head) of his, thick gold rope chains around his manly neck, and often, no shirt, or a really tight one. If you google images of him, it appears not much else has changed since then.

You may be wondering why I have chosen to write about the self proclaimed “greatest of all time” (or G.O.A.T.). (This is a declaration I disagree with, but that is for another post.) If you ever watch MTV, you know that they tend to highlight an artist every week…and guess who’s all over their airwaves this week? Mr. Ladies Love Cool James himself.

It is not the idea that he is highlighted at all that is worth noting. Its the feeble attempt at wittiness and album promotion that strikes me. In the commercial shorts, the viewer finds LL under heavy make up to exaggerate his already old age (for hip hop) rapping in a nursing home, walking with canes, stroking old ladies’ legs, and giving dap to a man that looks like my grandpa. Besides this being weird and kinda gross, as LL claims to be such a sex symbol, it further proves his lameness.

After releasing 12 albums, he has finally reached the end of his contract at Def Jam. Thank goodness. Let’s think for a moment, people. In the last 10 years or so, what has LL done that has really made him the “G.O.A.T.” And no ladies, taking his shirt off every chance he gets and licking his lips like he has a bad case of cotton mouth does not qualify him for hip hop greatness. Though it does make a girl feel warm nice and respectful.

While he surely has proven longevity, largely because it was required as per his contract, what else has he done for you lately? In 1997ish, he beefed with Cannibus, and came out rapping like the young LL we once knew. His lyrical skill and toughness resurfaced around the same time “Phenomenon” dropped. What a way to send mixed messages.

He has always walked this line of sexy tough guy rapper that never really sat well with me. The video for his new single featuring The Dream entitled “Baby,” looks like so many videos I’ve seen before. LL is wearing a tights t-shirts and fitteds to match rapping in a club in one scene, giggling with model chic in others, and dancing in front of strobe like lights as he spreads his arms wide talking about how much he loves women. Great. Thanks.

Basically, I’m tired of seeing him make music. Sure, he has a body and smile that could make many women throw her morals to the wind. That mic tatt is pretty cool. But outside of these things, I’m not sure what he are really bringing to hip hop by releasing a new album. Besides a reminder of how old and outdated he is.

I hope that with the release of more tracks, I will think differently. Syke.