Saturday, December 27, 2008

Obsession & Insanity

This is a video i had to create. I was led to the Macy's shoe department December 26 and look at what I found, a department in utter shambles from the catastrophic and insane shoppers. The eminent fact here is that Somerset Mall is supposed to be the premier mall in Michigan, a place the affluent and dignified flock to make their lofty purchases. Look at this mess! And people wonder why i often attack the morals and values of Americans, where is the civility.

To my understanding there was a great sale, or at least it better have been. But a great sale does not warrant acting like a savage. As Americans become greedier and exponentially more materialistic we lose our civility and values. There is no reason why you can't pick up a shoe and put it back down where you found it, there is also no reason why you can't put the shoes that you tried on back in the box that you retrieved them from! This is why stores open up at midnight to releases products and people stand in line for days upon days to purchase things they will be tired of in a month or two. This is also an extension of why we are in a recession now. I read an article a while back that said something like this, "about 25 years ago CEO's made about 5 times more than the average worker, now its about 18 times more". People have developed a tendency to get all you can at any cost, totally apathetic to the next man. Maybe im exaggerating but there is just no reason that i should have been able to make this video. Don't get me wrong i like to have things as well, however i think it is important to exercise some measure of discipline and civility. We had someone killed this year on black friday because some ignorant, belligerent, and insipid customers chose to trade a man's life for a cheaply built and marginally constructed door-buster piece of electronics that wont work in two years anyway. C'mon America, are you serious?

We need to start over make everyone hunt for food and build their own shelter.We'll go from there and we will see who's looking to get to the store to buy an overpriced item that doesn't help them live or exist one bit. I can rationalize a scene like this at a grocery store or the realtor's office just not at a department store. Next time you are shopping please act like you have some sense and assure your parents that they raised you right.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Best Albums of 08

This is the second installment of my annual "best of " album assessment. Things you need to know include:
1. the albums are selected from what i have personally heard
2. with the lack of quality music volume i have dwindled my list to 4 instead of 5, a "decent" album doesn't get you on the list
3. There is no arguing because my opinion is what i deem to be the total after tax, nothing else needs to be added

First i must start with an honarable mention, Common - Universal Mind Control. He's one of the major players in my lineup but the album just came out in December and its just solid not exceptional. Now lets start the show (shout out to Finding Forever)

4. Joe Budden - Halfway House
This album is technically classified as a mixtape, however i make the rules. Joe veered slightly from his Mood Muzik series and put together a compilation that took over listener's emotions but not in the somber fashion of the MM songs. As usual he saturates the microphone with his witty opinions and perceptions. He took the time to seek new production and compose theme oriented songs, an occurence usually reserved for actual albums, and some artist don't even do it then. So he gets praise for his laudable efforts.

3. John Legend - Evolver
As far as R&B is concerned i am a stickler for songs that excavate below the surface and detail the many emotions and feelings involved with romance and things of that nature. I have a hard time enduring "sex songs". Legend put forth his best effort to date on this one, a mix of breezy, light-hearted songs and demanding, aggresive tunes. Also i was pleasantly surprised once i thoroughly listened, as i expected the run of the mill John Legend. He took a step outside of his traditional formula with the help of many, nonetheless exceptional album that i will replay for a long time.

2. Nas - Untitled
Some of you may refer to this as the Nigger album, but no matter what you title it the product is great. The concept and depth of the content is informative, riveting, and incredible. It is an art to teach and educate in an enjoyable and eloquent fashion. I suppose only a veteran could have pulled this off and i applaud Nas for taking the bold stance, as he states "people are afraid of criticism, but i always put myself in a sacrificial position". He nailed it, nuff said

1. N.E.R.D. - Seeing Sounds
This is one of my top 6 albums of all time, period. Although they are often categorized as experimental rock, i like to refer to this album as just pure music. Each song features a break down that any musician or artist would kill for. The melodic range of the album is off the charts, the verses are so poetic and alluring. This is what happens when you give ardent, bold, and insanely talented artist the liberty to do as they please. Its such a rare mix of peculiar talent amongst the three members that has progressed with each album they make and it has come to a temporary apex (they may get even better next time). If you aren't familiar just do yourself a favor and listen to "Love Bomb". It was impossible for me to not give these guys the top spot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Give You Butterflies


This is a display in Dior Homme by Andrea Mastrovito an Italian artist. It is nine thousand negro butterflies spiraled across the wall. Just pause for a minute and look at the creativity. I am not commissioning it for my personal household or anything but I think it is extremely suitable for a boutique or store with a creative brand (well it will be in their store for a month). However i was lured in because we don't get creativity like that over here in the states. All those familiar with the ambiance of the 'sofa are aware that we make our bed outside of the proverbial "box". Someone made reference to the Hitchcock movie with the birds only less menacing, and much prettier. I am really just encouraging everyone to let out their inner artist to individualize yourself and and your ideas, show the world what you really have to offer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That's my Joint, Turn it Up

One of the most notorious American officiated prisons is Guantanamo Bay where foreign detainees are often held and tortured, however not like you would think. One of the absurd ways America gets under the skin of prisoners is with music. Many of the incarcerated are from the Taliban regime where music is prohibited. The prison blares music, often rock but not limited to, for hours upon hours, which to the unfamiliar listeners it just sounds like strident noise.

Many of the prisoners have recalled inmates going hay-wire. Binyam Mohammed recalls guys screaming and simultaneously banging their heads on the walls because they could not take it anymore. One inmate had his hands and feet shackled together and in conjunction all the extremities were shackled to the floor so that he was forced into a painful squat for two days. Oh and I forgot the music was still playing at top notch decibels. As expected officials at Guantanamo Bay declined to comment.

The reason this story has come to light is because a coalition of musicians including Nine Inch Nails and Tom Marello from Rage Against the Machine are requesting that their music not be used. It must feel good for the prisoners to finally have some advocates. On one end i have to give kudos for the creativity, but on the other hand I don't know that i am for torturing anyone. I feel bad for the prisoners, as much as the innocent can feel bad for the guilty. Have you ever listened to rock music for HOURS straight with no break for your ears, im assuming with the volume so loud you can't hear yourself think? I am really speechless on this because i have yet to fully absorb this info. I suppose it would have been worse if they were playing that new Kanye with that excessively worn, irritating, uncreative AUTOTUNE! I apologize for polarizing comment representing my musical feelings. Im done here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

They Shootin, aww Made You Look

I am a little tardy to the dialogue on this one but hear me out. Recently New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in a night club with an unregistered handgun, was taken to a hospital (admitted under an alias), turned himself into the police, and now is facing a potential 3 1/2 year sentence. This blatant description would sway most to put this man into the "fool" box, but upon further review I don't think he is as idiotic and brazen as it appears.

I've submitted accounts of athletes being violently injured amidst off-duty activities before on this blog and every coin has two sides. One side has seen many athletes suffer fatal and devastating fortunes due to their inability to protect themselves, such as Javon Walker beaten unconscious in Vegas, Sean Taylor murdered in his home, and Richard Collier left paralyzed from 13 gun shots. The other side of the coin is sensible enough to suggest that with the Scrooge McDuck bags that these guys are bringing home perhaps they can afford a bit of security, a bodyguard or two. Let me expound upon the facts before i delve any further; Burress has registered the gun before in the state of Florida but his license actually expired in May. This is essentially a futile point in the court of law because New York does not give any credence to permits from other states, but in the court of intent it certainly harbors valor.

With everyone having the right to bear arms that nullifies the egregious idea of having a gun. Also since he has previously registered there is not malicious attempt to hide his gun. Don't get it twisted though, he should still have to deal with the consequences just probably not the maximum which seems a bit excessive. Sometimes laws are flawed in their construction, i think everyone essentially has the right to protect themselves the best way they see fit. They just have to deal with the consequences. For instance in Michigan which is a "castle law" state (with modifications) you can't shoot an individual who breaks into your home solely on that occurrence, your life technically has to be in a measure of jeopardy. Most citizens would agree that blasting shells into the intruder isn't to unreasonable, right? Add all these things up with the idea that Plax is a more attractive target for most goons than the average man, and trust me he is, you have rationale for carrying a gun. I think if you want to attack something it should be his mindset, the constant leery situations that he puts himself in. Also whether or not it is worth it, but just because someone has more money doesn't mean they have more wisdom.
I think I rest my case your honor...