Friday, May 30, 2008

Too Hot To Handle, Too Cold To Hold...

Gotta love the Daily News. Their headline for the Bill Murray story read "Slimed!" Hilarious. So apparently, Bill Murray has been beatin' his wife, doin' mad drugs, and gettin' overseas pussy. This is what the News wrote:

The estranged wife of the "Ghost Busters" star wants a divorce - and she's dropping stunning allegations that he smacked her around, guzzled booze and disappeared overseas to sleep with other women. In her most damning charge, Jennifer Butler Murray, 42, claims the funnyman hit her in the face in November 2007 - then sneered that she was "lucky he didn't kill her."

The "adultery, addiction to marijuana and alcohol, abusive behavior ... sexual addictions and frequent abandonment" got so bad that Butler Murray bolted from the couple's Rockland County home two years ago and moved with their four young sons to a South Carolina beach house, papers say.

Murray would "often" leave the state or country without telling his wife in order to have illicit "sexual liaisons," a complaint filed May 12 in South Carolina says.

The famously aloof actor, who doesn't have an agent or manager, shuns the Hollywood circuit.
And, apparently, his wife. Murray would "often" leave the state or country without telling his wife in order to have illicit "sexual liaisons," a complaint filed May 12 in South Carolina says.
Murray, 57, who still lives in Rockland County when not on location, was at his midtown office Thursday morning but did not return from lunch.

"Bill Murray is deeply saddened by the breakup of his marriage with Jennifer. He and his wife made loving parents, and they are committed to the best interests of their children," said his attorney, John McDougall. "He asks for the public's respect of his family's privacy at this time."

Electrifying conclusion: Gangsta how he doesn't have an agent or manager, right? None of this surprises anyone, I'm sure. To me, he's always looked like a cool, funny-ass dude who can get real cruel and sarcastic when high/drunk off of something. Like a middle-aged white version of K. Sprague (kidding somewhat!). Those guys are a ball as long as there are a buncha cats around who don't take things too seriously. And Bobby Brown's song "On Our Own" from "GhostBusters II" is a classic.

Man Dated Reporter Part 2

Well, as I sat waiting in the Chinese store for an msg and broccoli, I received a call telling me that the student I just wrote y'all about was flipping out in the office, and my presence was requested because her and I have a relationship. She was gone by the time I reached the office, but I was able to talk to the ACS worker. Gave her some details, some #s, and kept it moving. Hopefully, a parent or guardian will come in on Monday. This sucks.

This is unrelated, but related. I got a fade haircut yesterday (it's the new ol' skool!) which is what you see on the right (mine is very similar, but that aint me). In conjunction with my jewelry, tatoos, red-black-green wristbands, swagger, and babyface, you better believe I don't look like the head of any school program. So usually at the school, staff members not familiar with me react one of 5 ways initially:

1. Dismiss me, with no plans to ever take me seriously (stuffy whites and stuffy older black/hispanic women teachers).

2. Dismiss me at first, then give up respect when I speak (stuffy older black/hispanic women, young teachers).

3. Approach me cautiously, but with an open mind, until I give them a reason to make a decision as to what kind of relationship they want to have (mostly older black/hispanic men).

4. See me as an interesting addition to the school, and like to joke and talk with me as a way of livening up the day (young black/hispanic men and older non-teacher women, free-spirited whites).

5. Look at me surprised, intrigued, and turned on (young black women).

Why is this related to what I was talking about initially? The ACS worker definitely gave me a lot of #5. I could tell she couldn't believe I was the person they were waiting on, was turned on, and wanted to continue the discussion in an unsupervised stairwell. Though she looked like she could use a little awesome in her life, I was way more concerned about my favorite student, I'm engaged to a Pink Dragon, and I've been a little low on awesome lately. I still have a disproportionately huge amount compared to your average human, but I need to be careful who I'm just giving away awesome to.

Straight. Cheese.

I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

Man Dated Reporter

When you are one, you don't think about the term much until a kid tells you something real serious. After that, you stay aware and pray you don't hear about any more fucked up things happening to your students. As a matter of fact, you just pray that nothing fucked up happens to your students. I had a really rough one a coupla months back, with all types of abuse and violence, and I hoped to make it through these last 2 weeks without anything similar happening. What happened today doesn't seem like anything close to that situation, but who knows what'll be awaiting me on Monday morning?

So. My favorite participant (yeah I got favorites, and what?) in the attendance program I run at a Brooklyn High School came in with bruises. Her bruises were not at all consistent with her story of falling down stairs. I’m a mandated reporter, of course, so I told her that I have to report this to the proper authorities, since she didn’t want to tell me what happened to her. I kinda sensed that she wasn’t feeling this revelation as I watched her run through the hallways away from me and her Guidance Counselor. Gotta follow up now. She might never talk to me again. Which is ok since we are both leaving the school. But I do feel like a hypocrite, especially in light of some of my personal experiences, and decisions I’ve made. She expects me to keep all of her secrets. Some, I never would, but I can’t front, I’m very reluctant about leaving the fate of these Black/Hispanic families in the hands of “the system.” The system hasn’t been so good to me, so I don’t have much faith in it. But at the end of the day, I gotta convince myself that I did the right thing. No amount of support I get from people who explain to me why I shouldn’t feel bad can change how I feel…nah, that’s not true. Sometimes, people give me perspective I don’t have, and it makes me feel better. But right now, I feel like a villain. I don’t even wanna follow up, to tell you the truth. She said that I don’t know what kinda hell she’s about to be put through. I believe her. And I also believe that that hell could be bad enough to make a kid keep abuse to herself. I mean, why should she believe that she can be helped? She’s never seen what help looks like, only hurt. She probably doesn’t even believe help exists. In that case, she chooses the lesser of the hurts. And then I come and tell her that she doesn’t really have a choice.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Used To Think Spam Was Short For Space Jam

The Associated Press is saying that "Spam" sales "are rising as consumers are turning more to lunch meats and other lower-cost foods to extend their already stretched food budgets." Food prices are skyrocketing, with white bread up 13 percent last year, bacon up 7 percent and peanut butter up 9 percent. "Spam's" maker, Hormel, is rolling out an advertising campaign for the first time in years.
Electrifying conclusion: Makes perfect sense. Eating out and eating in is hurting the pockets nowadays. How much higher can these prices get? Food like "Spam," ramen noodles, grits, and "Cream Of Wheat" can really hold down a household (speaking from much experience, folks). But like Merc said, "Wasn't 'Spam' name brand?/ Poppy, give a nigga a quarter-pound of spiced-ham!" The real have-nots know that Spam is a luxury to some. We bought spiced-ham, my dude. By the quarter pound. Wrapped in wax paper. Word.

After shooting "Sliver," Billy Baldwin summed up kissing Sharon Stone like this in Cosmopolitan magazine: "thin lips, okay breath." Ouch. Let's add "self-important," "simple," and "ethnocentric." This is what Ms. Stone had to say following China's recent earthquake:

"I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," Stone said. "And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"
Bitch! Who cares what you're unhappy about. I'm unhappy about your filmography and the fact that you're famous at all. But I aint sittin' around waiting for karma to strike your monkey ass. She of course, retracted these statements. I mean, what are these stars made of? Who's telling them that their views matter, and then letting them embarass themselves? And if she felt that way, why won't she stick to her guns? I'll tell you why. Because China has 1.5 billion people and a thriving economy. After Christian Dior dropped her as Chinese spokesmodel, do you think she's willing to risk any more paper in the name of her silly principles? I think not. In typical Chinese fashion, they went in on her; The official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary Thursday she was the "public enemy of all mankind." They don't want any kinda brouhaha heading into these Olympics.

Electrifying conclusion: I guess when you start to stop being pretty, you have to actually have something to say. Unfortunately, this is the kind of shit some idiots say. Don't they know that there's only one place where you can say all of the ignorant, dumb, inflammatory shit in the world, and no one can penalize you for it ('Big Brother' is probably laughing at that one)? Haven't they heard of the blogosphere?
I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.
I mighta got things twisted yesterday. Mariah and Obama aren't multis, but they aren't regular light-skinned. My boys the Hester brothers are regular light-skinned b/c even though they are Obama-colored, their parents and grands are black, just light-skinned. Mariah and Obama are multi-racial however, but not multi-cultural. Black parent+white parent= 2 races, 1 culture b/c white isn't a culture? Or is it?

Maybe being half-black/half-white does make you multi-cultural. Depends on your perspective. I mean, if one parent's black and the other's Irish, you're a multi. But if one parent's black and the other is "regular white," are you multi-cultural? Seriously. I know some white people whose parents and grandparents, maybe even great-grands were born in America. They know that there's some other nationality mixed in somewhere, b/c only Natives are indigenous to this land, but they just consider themselves white. Is white a culture? For better or worse, we know that there's such a thing as black culture in America, even if it does (erroneously) get substituted for "ghetto" or "hip-hop" culture. I would say something like soul food is a universal in the black community. Our ways of manipulating language to keep others at bay is also universal. But how about white culture? Does it exist? Does being white mean you don't have an inherent culture? Maybe the question is invalid and irrelevant because eventually, most of us choose which cultures we want to involve ourselves in anyway. Some blacks never eat soul food and use little slang. Some whites are immersed in hip-hop (that's a bit off topic though, b/c hip-hop has long become youth culture, instead of inner city culture, if you ask me). These are choices some folks have made.

But you know, maybe there is a "white culture." And since I'm not white, I wouldn't understand. Many people claim to be experts on these kinds of subjects. Though I do talk a lot of shit about this sort of thing, I know I'm no expert. In fact, I hate experts. I love humanity though, and I love understanding humans even more. So any perspective is appreciated, holla at me. Just remember that your views are opinions, and no matter how eloquently you can explain something, if I don't feel it, I don't feel it, and if I don't believe it, I probably have good reason! Peace!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rise Of The Multis

You know, I was kinda blind-sided (no Christopher Rios intended) when I saw the sight-impaired claiming Gov. David Patterson as one of their own after the whole Eliot Spitzer scandal erupted. (Not from New York? quick summary: our gov was a real dickhead, not in office that long, who made a career out of going after scumbags as Attorney General, then come to find out, he's been buying wil' expensive 22-year old ho's, even though he's married, and charged it to the state allegedly. He lost his job to a black blind guy). So where was I? Oh yeah. So, I mean, sure, he's obviously not eagle-eyed, but I was ready to claim Dave for being of a darker shade, not seeing a darker shade. I kinda felt like the blindness was secondary. I know it's a prominent part of who he is, but apparently so is bangin' all types of underlings; I aint see all of the secretary-fucking Wall Street bosses and check-out girl-smashin' Walmart managers claimin' him, did you? (some background on Dave for you non-NYers: he admitted that he's been known to bang a skirt or two himself outside of the marital bed, at the Days Inn on 94th St. next to the movie theatre. Gangsta. Well, us New Yorkers could be worse off. I mean, look at New Jersey!)

But then I thought about it. Maybe I'm the one that needs perspective. Maybe times have changed, and blackness is no longer the leading handicap. I thought to myself, "who does Dave identify with most?" Maybe he feels more blind than black. Brings me to this article about the explosion of multi-racial Americans, whose population is rising 10x faster than whites. First off, a lot of these multi-rats are really just white people made up of different kinds of whites, which really just makes them superwhite, like ultraviolet or something. Furthermore, cats who consider themselves white in a Latin country, and then come to America and are now regarded as Hispanics, but really don't identify as such, really fuck the game up. And how about those Moorish Spaniards? I'm sliding down the slope now, so I'll retreat before I get too far away from what I originally intended to speak on, but let me just say this. Race might be the most real-life affecting thing that actually isn't real. I know that wasn't so eloquent, but I'm sure you understand what I mean. Then again, maybe you don't. There is no definition for race that, as a rule, can always be accurately applied. It is impossible to group humans into races, because using all established categories, some folks still won't be covered. So it isn't really real, although it's ingrained in almost all of us. I once was told by a professor that an attempt to definitively categorize everyone led to over 7,000 different categories. According to established standards, who isn't multi-racial in America? How many generations do you have to trace back to consider yourself multi-racial? There's possibly an answer for this, but if you leave it in my comment space, you are about as far from awesome as possible. Anywaaay (remember, when I write that in italics, you're supposed to imagine me sayin' it like Movado in "Weh Dem A Do"), in the article I read, the multis claim Sen. Obama as one of their own. At first I got defensive because, yeah, he's mixed, but he's a brother, he's black. Just light-skinned. I fear the rise of the multis might eventually pull legit blacks, light-skinned ones, away from the ranks just because many blacks like to identify with anything but being black. Where do you think the "I got some Indian in my family" joke originated? Many blacks love to be able to latch on to something else besides blackness to show that they're exotic (which is funny because true out-of-Africa blackness was probably for many years, to many Europeans, about as exotic as one can get). I once heard a girl, after hearing a guy was black and Hawaiin say, "that sounds hot, I bet he's fine." Because black and something else is supposed to trump black and black. That's why tan beats dark brown in Hollywood for the most part. But back to the multis. Some, like the guy pictured her, say that they aren't a racial or ethnic group, and to describe them as so would be a mistake. I say "pish-posh, Peter Tosh" who the hell cares ? (that should be said like 50 Cent in "I Get Money"). Don't lecture me, multi. Just make sure y'all claimin' the right folks, like Mariah Carey and Beethoven. Don't make us initiate a race draft.

Electrifying conclusion: My ignorance knows no bounds, but you gotta admit, with the rise of the multis, my Tragic Mulatto Harem/Opium Den aint lookin' so silly now, is it? Don't remember that? Go back a couple hundred weeks on the myspace blog (

The Random Encounters Series - Part 1

I gave Michael Wright a pound in a Midtown lounge Saturday night. He's the guy on the right. You know him - he was Eddie in"The Five Heartbeats," Omar in "Oz," and Raynathan in "Sugar Hill." That's quite a trio of roles in my neck of the woods, so he gets much respect. I aint too cool to act like a fan, not by any means. I smiled in acknowledgement, and he nodded and extended a hand. He actually kinda tried to scoop my ol' lady. As I broke the seal after a few gin & grapefruits/redbulls, he asked her if she thought anyone recognized him (she said yeah, but everyone there was cool), and then invited her to the back to share a bottle of something. She then let him know that the guy he gave a pound was her ol' man, and he fell back. She said he wasn't really tryin' to holler, and by the way he looked, I kinda believed her when she said that he just wanted to chill away from the crowd. With a li'l company. But she's my company, so that wasn't a go! He looked a bit bewildered and on edge, but celebrities, big and small, usually look like that when I see them in normal settings sober.

Just wanted to share that before I forgot.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One Week Since You Looked At Me

It’s been a whole week since I’ve electrifyingly concluded anything for you guys, and boy, what a week it was. I tell ya, us humans can really jam ourselves up, can’t we? I can’t call it; who knows why we do all the dumb sh-t we do that we know we’ll have to pay for later? I hope y’all been surviving and thriving. If you’ve been experiencing more of the former and less of the latter, just know that you aint alone as far as that goes. I’ll make sure that when I have my nightly glass of wine, I toast to our collective prosperity. Followed by a li’l self-assessment, proactivity, and prayer, I’m sure tomorrow will be as awesome as we deserve it to be.

Now. What’s been goin’ on? You mean besides the fact that someone in my building took my Reebok shoes? Yeah man. Folks in my building leave their wet kicks outside their doors all of the time. Me having more than a li’l hood runnin’ through my veins, I wasn’t with that for the first 9 months of residency, but then decided to start doing as the Romans do. I live in a pretty nice building on an alright block in Morris Heights, Bronx (Yeah, I know, who woulda thunk, right? I’ll tell ya who. The folks behind the new Yankee Stadium. I live about a ½ mile away. As I drive past the gigantic new mall complex being constructed, the new train stop, and all of the middle-class housing encroaching on the blocks where hip-hop began and the families who’ll soon be driven out of the some of the last affordable nabes in N.Y., I realize that gentrification has boogied on all the way uptown. Makes me think. We’re intent on buying property close by, especially since most folks are sleeping, assuming the Bronx has nothing to offer. We know that’s not true, clearing a pretty penny 3 years ago off of the sale of our previous Bronx condo. Does this makes us textbook gentrifiers? If so, aint it better we, being former low-income tenants who just a few years ago were in no position to buy anything, benefit, as opposed to, you know, whites who can’t afford to live in Manhattan, and are now realizing that Brooklyn is no longer the middle-class bargain it was thought to be? I aint hatin’ on whites here, because following certain established patterns of other races can lead to prosperity. When I saw the Williamsburg-esque artist community in Mott Haven while apartment hunting, and the crowd that frequents Bruckner Bar & Grill, I truly realized that they go where they want to go, and money will follow. This has statistically been traditionally one of the worst areas, and now there are museums, lofts, and lounges. Since most folks don’t know this, it’s still relatively cheap, by New York standards. Right by a bridge that easily connects to Manhattan. Same thing is going on in Jersey City and East Orange and all that. So wherever I start to see an abundance of headband wearing, jogging-ass, dogwalking Caucasians, I know there’s money to be made there if we get in early enough. Somebody’s gonna be making money off of the college kids, starving artists {who somehow can afford $2000 monthly rents}, and progressives. I say, let it be Mr. and Mrs. Power. But I digress.) So yeah, someone stole my kicks from right in front of my door, which makes me think the building might be nice, but the folks – maybe not so much. I haven’t left kicks in front since, but my neighbors continue to do so, making me suspect them. I mean, why haven’t they had their kicks stolen? And if they have, why would they continue to put them out front? The kicks they put in front of their door are much nicer than mine (my fresh jumpoffs stay box-bound for a considerable period of time). Mine were decently worn brown Reebok shoes. Who would want those? Not anyone who could afford the rent in the building; then again, maybe that’s why they need the shoes, lol. The rent isn’t much by Manhattan standards, but by Boogie Down standards, it’s an arm and a size-12-Reebok-adorned leg.

This movie’s coming out. You know, the one with the 4 middle aged chicks (who almost all could still get it; you guess the one who can’t) who drink cosmos, wear clothes that really don’t look that good, and have sex with guys they act like they regret having sex with. How do I know all of this? Because “Sex and The City” is in that category of shows and movies that guys with steady girlfriends or wives don’t intend to watch, but end up knowing too much about, like “Girlfriends,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dirty Dancing,” and any number of over-dramatic reality shows. Why a movie? Does the rest of the country, and world, really care about how a very small portion of New Yorkers live? Yeah, they probably do. I mean, I used to watch a show about the people who lived in one zip code 3,000 miles across the country (and it’s spin-off about the folks who lived in one apartment complex not far away).

Electrifying conclusion: Maxim magazine did Sarah Jessica Parker dirty, calling her the un-sexiest woman alive. They called her horse-faced, and with great gayness, said they´d “rather ride Chris Noth.” Not worth my ‘pause.’ She actually has a dope body, and may not look like the templates that constantly grace Maxim’s pages, but I actually like a little character in a woman’s look. That being said, I wouldn’t watch her movie with someone else’s eyes. Side effects of going to see “Sex and The City” may include a misguided sense of fashion, a desire to order a drink that gets females way more f-cked up than the drink looks like it should (or so I’m told), and in the case of men, the possibility of spontaneous vagina growth. Unless you’ve been wanting to save $$ on a sex change, skip it.

Rapper/television star Xzibhit had a son on May 15th. Eleven days later, he buried that son due to damaged lungs that couldn’t handle oxygen on their own. My condolences brother.

Electrifying conclusion: Unfortunately, the conclusion was all too soon, and not electrifying at all. But I put this in here, because it’s an opportunity to share these words from X to the Z, which are simple, but thought-provoking, sincere, and something I hope makes us each slow down for a second and appreciate each other.

"Hold on to your kids if you have them, protect them and show them you love them everyday you wake up and see them.

"Don't take a second you get to hug them, teach them, and care for them for granted."

"You can have all the material wealth in the universe but it is nothing compared to having your family. I am thankful for all of my blessings and I'm not one to question God's perfect plan."

I’m StarPower, and I approve this message.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Malcolm X

I'ma go 'head and co-sign it all. And take responsibility and a look inward at the same time. Doesn't make me racist or prejudiced. Some things only relate to black people, and are only understood by black people. If you don't feel me, holla back at me when you do. Peace.

How do we bring about what he describes at the end of this video?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Can't Go To Church, Game 7's Today! **lightning strikes him**

A throwback - the 2006 StarPower Awards

Tell me, have I really grown up much in the last 2 years?

Remember Charo? I saw her on VH1 a few minutes ago and it made me think about that group of celebrities that don’t really exist anymore. I never really knew why she was famous, or what she was good at, but she guest-starred on lots of t.v. shows and was well known. Kinda celeb you would catch on Hollywood Squares or in animated form on “Scooby-Doo” or something. (Remember when the Harlem Globetrotters would guest star on “Scooby-Doo?” Wow, I’m really dating myself now, ain’t I?) . What happened to these folks? People like the Gabor sisters, Yakov Smirnoff, “Refrigerator” Perry. I’m not dissing these guys, to the contrary, I miss them. They remind me of a simpler time, when fringe talents remained fringe, and we loved them for it. We saw just enough of them that we enjoyed seeing them every time we did. They didn’t act like they deserved to take the world by storm, even though they were no more than a light breeze in the pop culture climate, unlike their counterparts today. Today’s equivalents are people like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and reality show faux-celebs who think we should be lining up to hand them awards, buy their records, and watch them in movies even though they’re talentless. When I call those ‘80s talents fringe, I’m only remarking on their place within the dominant media of the time, the movies and television shows they frequented. But most were extremely accomplished in whatever field they used as a stepping-stone to fame. Charo was actually a prodigy, an accomplished classical guitarist. Perry has a Super Bowl ring, and Smirnoff, besides being an accomplished artist, initiated a whole new form of comedy. By the way, Fridge has his own G.I. Joe action figure and Smirnoff is who they named the vodka after. Nah, I’m lyin’. Not about Fridge, but about Smirnoff.

Electrifying conclusion: As far as Charo, I think I might still beat. How ‘bout you? She was lookin’ kinda good on “I Love the ‘70s.” Cuchi, cuchi indeed Ms. María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza Rasten.

I love linguistics. I like how language changes and the study and science of language evolves over time. I have never been satisfied with any hypothesis or theory of the intricacies of black language, which nowadays might be too influenced by socio-economic and age dynamics to be accurately studied anyway. And I do feel like rap artists have the greatest, most diverse applications of techniques never appreciated by the world in general. But it’s the synergy between words and pop culture that tickles my fancy – catchphrases, meta-language, neologisms and the like. I recently discovered the term “snowclones.” This is the definition:

A snowclone is a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as "a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different jokey variants by lazy journalists and writers.” An example of a snowclone is "X is the new Y", a generic form of the expression "pink is the new black". Another example is "Got X?" This was originated by the "Got Milk?" campaign which has morphed into phrases like "Got Jesus?"or "Got Beer?" on hipster t-shirts. There’s also "Will X for Y" derived from the phrase "Will Work For Food" that is most commonly seen on signs held up by beggars. Variations are often made to indicate what the person is willing to do, and what they wish for in return.

Meta-humor might be favorite. I’m a fan of it, and of the humor it makes fun of. This kind of meta-joke is a joke in which the joke itself, or rather a familiar class of jokes, is part of the joke. Examples of meta-jokes:

An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The bartender turns to them, takes one look, and says "What is this - some kind of joke?"

A Catholic Priest, a Rabbi and a Muslim Imam all sit next to one another at a diner. The Rabbi turns to the other two and says, "Hey, did you hear the one about us?"

A meta-joke is a sarcastic jab at the fact that some jokes are endlessly refitted to different circumstances or characters without significant innovation in the humor. Example:

"Three people of different nationalities walk into a bar. Two of them say something smart, and the third one makes a mockery of his fellow countrymen by acting dumb."

My favorite is the McGuyver meta-joke. You know the one – “McGuyver can make a bomb out of a (x) and a (y).” (On a side-note, I don’t hear this one as often as I used to, and it really makes me realize that 30 years old is laughing at how close I won’t acknowledge it is to me).

Electrifying conclusion: Wikipedia is the shit. And I’ve realized that I’ve invented the “hip-hop humor meta-bars.” It’s when I say “I’m in this bitch like (insecurity; birth-control; penis envy; etc.),” or “I’m in the house like (Terrence’s cousin; I aint got shoes on; family dysfunction).” Let it be documented, right here, right now.

Big Brown has won the first 2 legs of the Triple Crown, the 11th horse to do so since Affirmed. None have closed the deal.

Electrifying conclusion: Knowing that, as long as he doesn’t break his ankles, he will be rewarded with a lifetime of good food and endless horse vag, you should applaud me for resisting the urge (except on my Facebook “status”) to make jokes about comparing Big Brown to my penis.

I know some talented people…

"Soul Banger" by Jah C featuring Cavalier

"TCB" by Mercury

I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Most of The Universe Is Made of Dark Matter

I once heard someone say that if the average women’s waist size is 14, then “plus-size” shouldn’t be a fetish, because it’s more common than skinny. I also read that only about 4% of the total energy density in the universe can be seen directly, meaning it has light. About 22% is thought to be composed of dark matter, and 74% is thought to consist of dark energy. So 96% of everything is composed of darkness, if this is to be believed. So if darkness is way more common than light, maybe dark hearts and dark souls are actually the norm, and shouldn’t be looked at as anti-social and contrary to a normal society. Maybe most of us got this life thing all twisted. Brings to mind something I heard on television yesterday, which I’ll paraphrase for you:

‘With all that we go through, the question shouldn’t be how does one go crazy, but rather, how does one not go crazy.’

Today’s blog is dedicated to one person you may or may not be familiar with. I just want to give you my perspective on this particular soul. Whether you f*x with him or not, I hope you glean something from this…

DMX pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. He has the “law-breaking rapper” and “Michael Vick” thing working against him on this one. Besides finding him in possession of a felony amount of weed and paraphernalia, authorities raided his home to find 12 dehydrated, underfed pit bulls. Three were found buried in his back yard.

Electrifying conclusion: “Feel the pain, feel the joy/ of a man who is forever at war” - Look Thru My Eyes

X was, and may still be, a great rapper, if less relevant in today’s rap landscape. Pretty entertaining actor also. I totally believe this guy has issues that will keep him in hot water until he’s, unfortunately, cooked. It’s really on some Mike Tyson shit with X. His music helped me through many struggles, still does actually. But like I said before, rappers won’t get away with shit like in the past. They used to just get arrested; now they serve time – real time. The kinda time they didn’t even serve when they weren’t famous. And X already has some bad marks on his record. Then again, I thought T.I. was done for, and look how his situation turned out. But maybe Darkman doesn’t have T.I. paper? Who knows? I grew up around many similar characters, and as an adult I’m more in tune to the energies that produce such types. That’s probably why I’m writing about this, when many folks probably feel like, “DMX? So what?” But lemme just take a sec to share some of the words he’s used to help me out:

“Walk in my shoes, hurt your feet/

Then know why I do dirt in the street…”

Simple words from X that made me really, truly realize that there’s no way of understanding the things someone does unless you are that someone, and can feel their pain. Judging is part of being human, and that’s why we are just that. Human. God-like maybe, but not God.

“Take away hate, now I'm supposed to love the one that cursed me/

The one that wouldn't give me a cup of water when I was thirsty/

It was always him versus me, but now I gotta teach him/

Personal feelings put aside, cuz now I gotta reach him/

What I'd like to do is turn my head, like I don't know him/

But it seems like I've been called on to show him, so I'ma show him/

And if you never met me, then you've no right to judge me/

I've got a good heart but this heart can get ugly/”

This holds lots of meanings for me. How often do you show love to those who wrong you? What value is there in being good to people who are cool as shit? I’m just throwing it out there. If you wished everyone was cool and peaceful, wouldn’t it make sense to work on those who aren’t? Most of the time, your cool peoples are innately just like that. They have enough energy to maintain it. It’s the negative folks who often lack positive energy to maybe change their way of being. But it’s extremely hard to be around such people, I know. Walking away from negative people may not always be the answer though. Although trying to share your energy is a huge sacrifice, not to mention the fact that it can seem a bit condescending on some “I’m here to save you” type shit.

“I sold my soul to the devil, and the price was cheap/

Ayo it's cold on this level, cause it's twice as deep/

But you don't hear me, ignorance is bliss, and so on/

Sometimes it's better to be thought dumb, Shall I go on?”

I really feel this because he admitted something I could never see myself even considering. Plus, his monosyllabic rhyme game is mega-tight.

“If this is hell, call me the devil and get me the key/

but it can't be worst than the curse that was given to me/

It's what I live for, you take away that and I'm gone/

There's a difference between doin' wrong and being wrong/”

Wow, what kinda torture must you be going through to feel like Hell is better than whatever curse you’ve been living with? And then saying that that curse is what defines you? I think he feels like it’s something outside of him that controls him, that makes him do wrong at times. He can choose to be good, but it doesn’t even matter what his choice is. I’ve been there.

“It's hard to keep peace/
Thou shall not steal, but I will to eat”

And so would you.

And I will always respect the soul of a man who wrote and recorded these words:

“Looked the wrong way, I've done some wrong things

Kept a bad attitude, but that's what wrong brings.

And now you mean to tell me that after all this time,

it was you that kept the dog from goin' out of his mind?

It was you that breathed life, into my lungs when I was born?

And it was you that let me know what was right, from what was wrong?

And it was you that let me do what I knew what could be done?

And it was you that gave me a good wife and a beautiful son?

And it's been you speakin' to me inside my mind?

And it's been you who has forgiven time after time?

It was you who opened my eyes so I could see?

And it was you who shined yo' light on me?”

I’m StarPower, and I approve this message.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today's Blog: Interesting Even Though I Have No Name For It

I feel like a hypocrite because I admonished one of my 9th graders for not doing better on her report card. I feel like a hypocrite because she doesn't know that I'm leaving the job in a month. I doubt she would care about what I think as much if she knew that I was leaving. I feel guilty because I know that I can't follow up with her situation. I feel a bit guilty because this girl wrote in a poem that she comes to school just to see me and have our daily discussions about hip-hop, poetry, and life. I feel like I'm not being true. But I'm making the best decision for myself by advancing my career. This is a decision I make every year, leaving a trail of disappointed teens in the wake. It kinda sucks. Really...I wish they'd replace Grey on "Grey's Anatomy." She's sooo annoying. Actually the whole show has just gotten too cute for itself...Do you watch wrestling? Probably not. I do. And what?! Can't beat me?!...Cat's around my hood used to say that all the time - "can't beat me!"...Mariah and Nick Cannon are 10 levels past sickening already, and Chris Brown and Rihanna are headed there also...That new Ne-Yo song is maaad hot...I'm marrying a teacher, who is practicing for a dance festival she's doing with her students, and I'm being subjected to the 200th straight listen to "What Time Is It" from the "High School Musical Soundtrack." Yeah, the song is as bad as you'd imagine it...The Mets are FUCKING UP!...Peace to Justine Henin and Annika Sorenstam; going out on top is very classy. "Stay classy," as Ron Burgundy would say, and stay retired.

In Greece they found this little 9-year old girl’s twin inside her own stomach! No, she didn’t eat her twin, that would be weird. This is something that happens one in 500,000 births. Sorry, I couldn’t get a pic, so I had to use my imagination (read: Google Image search for something ridiculous). She was complaining about stomach pains, and then the doctors removed a tumor that was a formed fetus with a head, hair, and eyes. The girl is making a full recovery as we speak.

Electrifying conclusion: Would it be tasteless if I said that this just could’ve been an Immaculate Conception gone wrong? I mean, the girl’s name was Mary. Seriously. Nah, I’m lyin’. Had you goin’ for a second though, didn’t I? Admit it! See, that’s what I can’t stand about you. When I lie, you never want to admit that you believed me. So I might as well continue lying, but never letting on that I’m lying. That would teach you a lesson, wouldn’t it?

John McCain is gonna beat Obama when millions of these racists decide that a Republican trumps a Black any day. Go on and disagree, it’s your right. One guy who was at a Hillary rally said that if the Hilster loses, he’s voting for McCain because Obama’s a Muslim! Go on and fool yourself into believing that voters like him are few and far between. If I were to vote for McCain, I would be voting because of all of this good shit he was saying. He won’t stick to any of it, but damn if it he doesn’t sound like a man of action! Some excerpts:

-He pledges to halt a Bush administration practice of enacting laws with accompanying signing statements that exempt the president from having to enforce parts he finds objectionable.
-Envisions April's annual angst replaced with the option of a simpler flat tax
-Immigrants living humanely under a temporary worker program
-Political partisanship driven by weekly news conferences and British-style question Periods with joint meetings of Congress
-Osama bin Laden dead or captured
-Government spending curbed by his ready veto pen

Never one to count his chickens before they hatch, this is how he envisions the country at the end of his first term:

· The Taliban threat in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced.
· "The increase in actionable intelligence that the counterinsurgency produced led to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants," McCain said. "There still has not been a major terrorist attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001."
· A "League of Democracies" has supplanted a failed United Nations to apply sanctions to the Sudanese government and halt genocide in Darfur.
· The United States has had "several years of robust growth," appropriations bills free of lawmakers' pet projects known as "earmarks," public education improved by charter schools, health care improved by expansion of the private market and an energy crisis stemmed through the start of construction on 20 new nuclear reactors.

But this is what got the newsies all hot and creamy:

"The Iraq war has been won (by 2013 he says). Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced."

When told he was wildin’ by setting a timetable, he said the following:

"It's not a timetable; it's victory. It's victory, which I have always predicted," McCain said. "I'm not putting a date on it. It could be next month, it could be next year, it could be three years from now."

Electrifying conclusion: “The establishment” and “the powers that be,” even though they hate McCain, end up thanking God that he keeps the House, White.

I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

A Moment of Clarity, Hopefully

Peace to Trent, whoever you are. Sometimes, I need reminders that the world doesn't always just accept one's idiosyncracies and bullsh*t without making it's voice heard. Clarity wasn't on my mind yesterday. I just wanna say this real quick. Most of the time, I don't write because I think I'm smarter or more talented than others (although I am awesome-er). I don't write because I can say things better than others (although, my opinion is the only one I want to hear sometimes). In fact, sometimes, I don't even write because I want people read. The only consistent, definite, every-time-out truth when it comes to my writing is this: I write because I have something to say. At times, I do write because I feel like I know more about a topic than most, because I can write about things from a better perspective than most, or because I want as many folks to read what I write as possible. But yesterday? I had something to say, so I said it. So, let me now clarify why I chose the artists I chose. First of all, it says "Part 1" because it's not a complete list. There's no order, these are just the first artists who came to mind. Second, when talking about "underrated" artists, I figure it should always be understood that sales aren't a factor because the operative word is "rate" which means judge, evaluate, based on an analysis of quality most of the time. Sales don't figure into the equation; most hip-hop heads I know never figure in sales when discussing why someone is dope or not. Yes, I do think that lack of sales does show a lack of appreciation for some artists' skills, but for the most part, and I know hardly anyone will agree with me on this - the best rappers sell (eventually, if not from jump) and the wacker ones don't. There are exceptions, but to me, the best rappers in history (B.I.G., Wu, Nas, Jay, Snoop, Outkast, Common, Rakim, Kane, KRS-One, Slick Rick) either sold well for a solid amount of years or were in everyone's tape decks. You might argue that the Kanes and G-Rap's of the world never got their due sales-wise (emcees like G-Rap are a special case; I'll do another blog about why some incredible rappers never sell - deservedly so), but if a rapper was popular in the '80s and early '90s, everyone had their album. Mostly bootleg. Meaning they did sell, a lot; just not in stores. They weren't rich, but they were popular. Nowadays, it doesn't hold true as much, but to me, the best rappers out there sell more than the corny ones. Then again, hardly any rap is selling, so let's just take sales out of the equation all together. Third, you folks don't know me, but magazine ratings have always, even when I read rap mags a lot, always, meant very little to me. Doesn't mean I don't recognize their value, or wouldn't like to be praised and acclaimed myself. There are certain celebrities who I know are beautiful but don't really do anything for me. Doesn't mean I wouldn't smash either, feel me? Understand that the term "underrated" inherently includes a comparison between things. Underrated in relation to something. I felt like these rappers didn't get their just dues in certain categories, compared to their contemporaries. Pardon me for wanting you guys to read my mind, because I was very unclear with certain artists. Chuck D sold well as part of P.E. and was admired, but most folks I know never mention him on greatest rapper lists, or one of the best rappers of his heyday. I'm talking about lyricism and flow, which he had much of, but isn't really acknowledged for, thus making him underrated. They say he spoke powerfully, was risky, and influential; nothing more usually. And also, remember that I'm just speaking from my experiences with whoever I grew up with around. Rza is well-respected, but hardly ever mentioned as one of the Wu's premier wordsmiths. He's underrated as a rapper because he's rarely put on par with the better rappers in his camp, but that doesn't mean he can't rap circles around chumps not named Ghost, Rae, or Gza. Because of Li'l Wayne's recent dominance, folks forget that Juve was Cash Money's ace, and though he was it's star when he was down, I never felt like folks (mostly in NY) gave him props for being the star because he was it's best rapper. He wasn't (to me) the CM star who was also one of hip-hop's best, like Wayne is, but he was pretty good. So my point is, comparisons and being in the shadow of other great rappers often skew our opinions of other great rappers. Rappers who, under different circumstances, might have ended up more appreciated.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hip-Hop's Most Underrated, Part 1

Just thought this up off top; not much science or analysis. Just some commentary from a lifelong fan/artist...

Chuck DVoice was an instrument, might’ve had the dopest voice hip-hop has ever heard, and one of the most unique flows; lyrics were hard and uncompromising without being (unnecessarily) violent
Proof: “Public Enemy # 1” “Bring The Noise”

TreachIn the early ‘90s was definitely in the best rapper alive category; a monosyllabic beast who rapped fast with clarity; also a great storyteller who painted gritty, realistic urban landscapes; he, not ‘Pac, is the real forefather of rappers like DMX, Ja Rule, and 50 Cent
Proof: “Hip-Hop Hooray” “Who Got My Back”

Kanye WestMany believe he doesn’t write his rhymes, but many rappers can be accused of such, I personally, disagree; top 5 right now, mixes humor and reality like no one around, and sounds comfortable collaborating with any kind of rapper, from thugs and gangsters to nerds and backpacker; probably the illest around when it comes to similes and metaphors
Proof: Last verse of “Diamonds Are Forever”

Trick DaddyMore conscious and lyrical than most give him credit for because he’s southern; always unique, he sounded dope rapping over guitars, a brass section, or trading dirty verses with Trina; the intricacies of his lyrics are often lost in his thick drawl
Proof: “In Da Wind”

RzaThe last of a breed that uses a mad scientist type of flow, his slurred speech is menacing even when he’s droppin’ science; known way more for his production, but he often equals or bests many of the emcees he collaborates with
Proof: “The Grain” “Sandman”

JuvenileAnother example of the drawl and location overshadowing skill; very unique voice with a knack for dope cadences; can write the hell out of a booty song
Proof: “Down Botton” “Hope You Niggas Sleep” “Back Dat Azz Up”

Crooked IWest Coast emcees never got the respect they deserve from East Coast cats, and it’s a shame because this guy is Cali’s Li’l Wayne – raw, prolific, original
Proof: “Rap City Freestyle,” Anything from his weekly freestyle series

KrayolaWould he still be underrated if he was as well known as the others on this list? I think yes, because he’s so Tim Duncan-efficient with it; has a way with phrasing that has more in common with great movie dialogue than it does with rap writing
Proof: “Cherry Lime Rickey” “Razor Bumps”

Da BratIn my opinion, the best female lyricist hip-hop has seen; for some reason, beats and songs were always a cut below what she deserved; was one of the illest features in the ‘90s, murdering many guest verses
Proof: “No One Else (Rmx)” “Always Be My Baby (Rmx)”

The ClipseGreat lyricists who obviously put a lot of thought into their lines; sound great over weird Neptunes production; if you’re gonna listen to coke rap, listen to them
Proof: “Pussy”

Bone Thugs-N-HarmonyTop 5 rap group of all time; even though they all had the tongue-twisting style, they still each had really different ways of rapping, all dope; the harmony part is a throwback to rap’s early days, no one does it better
Proof: “Foe The Love Of $” “Spit Your Game”

Big PunAs good as we all know he was, he might’ve been even better; could do every single thing a rapper is admired for very, very well; only rapper who ALWAYS outshined everyone he collaborated with
Proof: “Wrong Ones” “Banned From TV”

Honorable Mentions:
Black Rob – “24 Hours To Live” “I Love You Baby”
Mia X – Thinkin’‘Bout You”
Beatnuts – “Beatnuts Forever”
Big Boi – “I’m So Hood (Rmx)” “Wanna Move”
Mike Shinoda – “Remember The Name”
Daz Dillinger – “Got My Mind Made Up”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Their Eyes Were Watching Rod

Rappers behaving like rappers, folks. Hate to stereotype a clan I happen to be a member of, especially when I know the stereotype isn't true. But the rappers who get financed (read: pimped) by the big companies are the ones who are the most damaged/damaging, thus they are the ones who end up in the news for shit like this:

This shit doesn’t need a story at all. Had to put up 2 pics for this one. You’re seeing what some have been waiting a long time to see. Suge Knight (i know, technically not a rapper), who some would say is the real life “Debo” from “Friday” is laid out by a real life “Craig.” After a disagreement that saw Suge’s folks jump this dude, he gets up and right-hooks Suge back to 1995. Suge probably thinks Pac’s alive and he’s goin’ ahead with his plans to murder The Notori…uh, I’ma just fall back real quick. He may be knocked out, but he’s nowhere near dead. I ain’t tryin’ to get hung by my ankles from a window. (See: Suge Knight-Vanilla Ice incident.)

Electrifying conclusion: This is the cat with the unfriendly right. He's under 6 feet, under 200 lbs. Suge is 6'3", 350 lbs. How long before this guy comes out with a song about the incident?

And shit like this...

Rapstress Remy Ma’s sentencing was today. She begged the court for leniency for the sake of "my little boy," saying she grew up "surrounded by failure, violence and poverty," but "made something out of nothing" from her life. But the judge said that her friend nearly died from the two .45 slugs that Remy said were accidentally discharged from a gun into the young lady's abdomen. Rapper Papoose tried to visit her recently at Rikers Island where they planned to get married, but was booted from the island after being caught with a universal handcuff key.

Electrifying conclusion: She got 8 years. She’s now the female Shyne. It’s messed up because she is very talented, but that gunplay is nothing to play with. These rappers will be made examples of from now on. Her son will be 16 years old at the end of her sentence.

Regardless of what kind of god, deity, or universal being, entity, or force you believe in, when you visit “The Electrifying Conclusion,” I’m gonna ask you to pray/meditate with me every so often. Now don’t get all spooked on me; I know how you enlightened types feel about religion (“I’m not really religious, but I’m spiritual”), and the separation of church and blog. I’m not preaching or soliciting. I’m merely facilitating the recognition of some energy greater than us which affects all of us at all times. If you totally don’t believe in any form of greater enery/force/power outside of our lives that isn’t proven or theoreticized by science, then I assume that you still have some sense of good/bad, right/wrong, compassion, and sympathy for man(animal/plant)kind’s often challenging existence. If you couldn’t care less about anything beyond yourself, well, then you probably don’t read this blog anyway, now do you? And I’ve just wasted two sentences on your self-centered ass, now didn’t I?

Never prayed before? Here’s a headstart, a template if you will:

Thank you for waking me up this morning. Give me the energy to make this the best day of my life so far, and I promise to pay forward all of my blessings. Bless the victims of China’s earthquake, Myanmar’s cyclone, and the storms in the Midwest. Bless the homeless, poor, weak, misunderstood, used, unhealthy, persecuted and those who can’t find peace within or outside of themselves. Deliver us from evil and keep us safe and patient in the face of wickedness and temptation. (Don’t be scared to throw in a coupla requests and promises; you’d be surprised how effective this can be.)

I really wouldn’t wear pants if I didn’t have to. I find them so annoying. Ask my ol’ lady, the first thing I do when I get in the crib is take off my shoes and take off my pants. But I really hate putting pants on, it’s such a cumbersome affair. You either have to sit, crouch, balance on one leg, or lean against something to accomplish the task. You can never be as wind-resistant as you should be while wearing pants (unless you're wearing track pants, which, if you're a guy not training for the Olympics, only make you resistant to getting pussy). And they look hideous in any color besides black, blue, olive, or khaki. I blame Adam and Eve for making us realize we are naked without them. You bashful, shameful folks, you go and hide your shame – I have nothing to hide! (Hold on. That mighta came out wrong. I do have something to hide. A whole lotta something. By “nothing” I mean I have no shame to hide. ‘Cause I’m not shamed, you see. Don’t get it twisted – If I were ashamed, I would have a great deal to hide. In fact, if I were trying to hide my shame, I’d have about the length of a $5 Subway’s sandwich-amount of it to hide. Yeah. I’m talking about my penis. I’m trying to say that I have a massive penis. I was being clever. Or snarky or something like that. Because that's cool. And I'm cool. Right? Right?!)

Electrifying conclusion: Not until I searched for images did I realize that “No Pants Day” was two Fridays ago! Damn, I missed it. Anyway, this should be the new slogan for pants:

“Pants – at least they aren't kilts.”

I don’t really go to church, and I don’t really have a religion. I just know and believe. Just as sure as you believe you’re gonna get a paycheck for your work. You’re not 100% sure you’ll get your bread until you get that check. Further still, you gotta wait until you cash or deposit it to know that it’s yours. And then you have to complete a transaction to know that what you have indeed has value. That’s how prayer and meditation works for me. I believe I will benefit and then I wait for it to happen. Just like a coupla times in my life when I didn’t get a check when I thought I should have, it doesn’t always go according to my schedule. But it’s dependable enough for me to know it’s as real as this keyboard I’m typing on. Feel me?

The B.M.I.G. Prayer

This is our cross to bear. And though it may one day kill us, the irony is we can live with that. As long as when it happens, they let the record show that though we were aware of the burden, we never complained, we never asked for help or pity, and we never tried to pass it on to someone else. We shouldered. We shouldered it with the unforgivable, unbreakable, unyielding strength of black men. And we didn’t do it for ourselves, our families, or even our race. We did it for everybody. We did it for everybody.

The Artist Prayer

Though we pray for change within the souls of the wicked and the hearts of our enemies, we will continue to document the struggle, and fight the good fight, if it means moving forward. From the basses, thumps, plucks, snaps, claps, breaths, voices, pens, hearts, and minds of the inspired and weary, to the ears of the Most High – please, provide us not with the things we want, but with the things that we need. And we’ll take care of everything in between.
I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Understand - You Are Appreciated

Sorry for the absence; life gave me lemon's so I made pitchers of Patron-laced sangria and margaritas, shots of Bacardi, and Jack Daniels. With a splash of lemon. But I'm sure you weren't too adversely affected, because "The Electrifying Conlusion" is like the "Mitchum" of blogs - so effective you can skip a day (even two)! Now let's get down to busy-ness.

Many folks I know received their stimulus checks (the $600 we earned that the gov’t has claimed to give us as a present so that we can give it back to them so they can become richer and make us feel better about being poor in a rich nation) early. Including me! And guess what I did? I got fresh. Guess kicks, DKNY sweater, Kenneth Cole shoes, Calvin Klein t-shirts, etc. Meaning, I invested in my ability to attract whores and losers who define themselves through material objects! But that’s not the only positive thing I did! By shopping at Macy’s, I showed my true red, white, and blues, by spending money to increase my status, but I also put money back into the economy like Uncle Sam told me.I made my stimulus check work for me and for Uncle Sam. Or is that Uncle Charlie?
Electrifying conclusion: Today’s guest star, Joe Belz aka Young Einstein, aka Einstein the Elephant, aka the 4 bar killer, aka "I might’ve swallowed a beer cap while playing beer pong, but I wake up early (maybe after bangin’ your girl, {j/k Mari!}) every day to decide what news I think you should hear at CNN" sums it up best -

"I call the checks 'China gift cards.' So people can get the check in the mail or direct deposited in their account and then take the cash to Walmart and buy some cheaply imported products that will fatten the communist regimes pockets – Im just saying man..."

A white man has rarely spoke truer words.

Jenna Bush got married. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. The president’s daughter, first twin, was made into an honest woman. Yup, she’s the drunken one. Yup, she is kinda cute. Yup, while lookin' for a pic of her to put in this blog, I did find pics of her accidently baring her vag on some Britney Spears/Paris Hilton sh-t. Yup, that’s all that is remotely interesting about her from where I stand also. Nope, I'm not gonna post the uncensored vag flash in the blog. Yup, it was pretty dope to come across the pic though.

Electrifying conclusion: *yawn* - If I don’t tell you how unimportant some things are, then who will? Btw, her husband’s fraternity’s spiritual founder is Robert E. Lee. Hero to plenty of southern (and on the low, northern), patriotic, racist Americans who will never vote for Sen. Obama.

I rang in Mother’s day with the loss of my mother. Before you send your condolences, let me quote Method Man by saying it was "not in the physical form, but in the mental...". As midnight struck and Mother’s Day started officially, I knew once and for all, that she gave me almost everything I needed to become the man who knows that the time has come when she can no longer give me anything, but take everything, if I keep her in my life. I, of course, still love her though. Here’s wishing you never go through some of the crap I’ve went through in my life. If you have, I hope those kinds of days are ending for all of us. Got me thinking about who are the worst mothers around. Here are a couple off the top of the head:

Susan Smith: "I drove my kids into a lake, then blamed their disappearance on a scary, imaginary minority. And now I’m very popular on the prison internet dating scene!"
Andrea Yates: "God told me to drown my kids in a bathtub. And did you know that God’s real name is Satan? Yup, he told me that also."
Britney Spears: "There are plenty of guys who will still bang me; and I made sure I advertised the goods a bit just to let them know that the baby didn’t mess nuthin’ up down there."
Michael Jackson (not a mom, but close enough): "I obviously didn’t sire my kids; why’d you think I was willing to hang one off the edge of a balcony for all to see? I hate the little blond-haired, blue-eyed spawns more than Tommy Mottola!"
Debbie Mathers: "What have you done with your life that’s so great?! Besides selling 25 million albums, an Oscar, a few Grammys, and becoming the most respected white rapper, and one of the greatest artists, of all time? Huh?"

There really should be a reality show named "Urban Survival: New York" or something like that, where two contestants start from a single location and compete to see who can complete the most amount of New York City specific challenges first. Some suggestions for challenges:

Auto-Immune Category:
-Find gas under $4 a gallon
-Make it across town first during midtown rush hour (FDR to the West Side Highway)
-And then find non-meter, street parking in downtown Manhattan

Making Change Category:
-Get 4 quarters from a bodega store clerk without buying anything
-And then complete a call, using 25 cents from a working phone booth
-Extra points if you can do it in South Bronx, South Jamaica, East New York, or Spanish Harlem

A Brave New World:
-Find a Brooklynite who has (voluntary; non-work related) visited the Bronx for any reason within the last 5 years
-Convince the Brooklynite to come with you to the Bronx, and that s/he won’t be killed upon entrance
-Have Brooklynite make friends with a Bronxite
-All of you then ride the train back to Brooklyn, where Brooklynite shows Bronxite what his/her borough will look like in 5 years, maybe less
-Find a place that sells hip t-shirts and sneakers, patronize said place, and attend an artistic event

Home Improvement:
-Find an apartment larger than a token booth in a, in any neighborhood for a monthly rent that costs less than a semester’s tuition at a City University of New York school
-Find a (non-Jewish) block in Washington Heights without any double-parked cars, domino games, or thick Dominican mothers/grandmothers...

You get the picture, right?
I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Week vs. StarPower

If I make it out of this week in one piece, me and you are all set to lead a mission of mercy to a new frontier. To that mansion up over the hill, where you can get your prescription pill. Any kind of pill, folks.

Statements the U.S. had the nerve to make as they are being hindered by the military-controlled government, in their efforts to help Myanmar’s cyclone victims:

"We're outraged by the slowness of the response of the government.”

"It's clear that the government's ability to deal with the situation, which is catastrophic, is limited."

Those statements sound familiar to anyone else who remembers Hurricane Katrina? I always say that poor people in America are second-class citizens. I don’t believe that anymore.

Poor people in America are third-world citizens.

Let’s play a game. Try to guess which of these statements, taken straight from the Associated Press, are about Louisiana and which are about Myanmar:

Humanitarian chiefs called the situation in "increasingly desperate."

U.N. teams seeking entry to ensure the aid is delivered to the victims amid fears that lack of safe food and drinking water could raise the death toll significantly.

Residents say some looting occurred at markets and stores.

Entire villages in the delta were still submerged from the storm, and bloated corpses could be seen.

"I don't know what happened to my wife and young children," said a man who held onto a tree until the water level dropped. By then his family was gone.

“Fears of waterborne illnesses surfacing due to dirty water and poor sanitation also remained a concern.”
"Safe water, sanitation, safe food. These are things that we feel are priorities at the moment."

"The government is not helping us. No aid is coming.”

"There's widespread devastation. Buildings are flattened and bloated dead animals are floating around, which is an alarm for spreading disease. These are massive and horrific scenes."
People complained that they had received no government assistance.

Electrifying conclusion: Unlike the victims of Cyclone Nargis and Hurricane Katrina, no one loses this game. These statements were all taken from an article about Myanmar, but can be applied just as well to Louisiana (and Mississippi) during Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. is upset that the military junta in Myanmar won’t let them come in and share all of the expertise that was on display in the aftermath of Katrina. That military junta isn’t stupid; they know that the U.S. doesn’t do “favors” or distribute “gifts.” I don’t know what’s in Myanmar, but I’m sure the U.S. government does, and is just as willing to relieve the country-formerly-known-as-Burma of whatever is there, as it is of relieving the citizens of hunger, disease, and despair.

If I make it out of this week as well as I came into it, me and you gonna make videotapes in hopes of getting cast on “Real World: The Gaza Strip.”

Slumpbusting is a term athletes use that means they bang an ugly chick to get out of a slump. Right now the crossroads of superstition and misogyny is the Chicago White Sox locker room. The players, mired in a 6-game slump, decided to show off their collage skills by placing a bat between the legs of a couple of ugly blow-up dols and posting the words “you gotta push.” This somehow (woman reporter, maybe?) became pubic, er, public (couldn’t resist :) and the public is now outraged. Damn public. Always with the outrage. "We weren't trying to disrespect anybody or hurt anybody," Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We were just trying to have fun. A lot of people took it the wrong way." If you know nothing of CWS manager Ozzie Guillen, look him up. He says what he means, and means what he says. He won’t offer too much in the way of apology. He’s a real caveman. And overlooking this incident is so easy, even Ozzie can do it. So lay off, got it public?

Electrifying conclusion: Who snitched? What happens in the locker room should stay there. I can only imagine the type of sexist, racist, ignorant, foul things that are said in a professional sports team’s locker room. The only person with the right to protest is one of the players. Some say that since reporters have great access nowadays, the teams should be more conscious of what goes on the clubhouse. Bullshit. That’s the problem now. Folks want all-access to public figures. My problem with this isn’t the lack of privacy public figures have. They traded privacy for celebrity and wealth. Yup, life isn’t fair. My problem is that celebrities are no fun anymore because there’s no more mystique. Reporters, journalists, bloggers, all want to know everything going on with a celebrity, in the process destroying all mystery and coolness. I don’t want/need to know every little aspect of a celebrity’s life. I promise you this: I will make a majority of my judgments concerning celebrities with as little factual basis and actual knowledge as possible.

This chick does drugs like Bobby Brown and gets rewarded with multiple Grammys. Video of her smoking crack surfaced 4 months ago, but the police decide to question her this week. She was released shortly thereafter, "pending further police enquiries." Look for her to get the Pete Dougherty (Kate Moss’ not-so-talented rocker boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend) treatment. He did 29 days of a 14 week sentence. I would say it’s a London thing, but how many days did Paris Hilton do of her sentence? Exactly. Maybe it’s a trashy-looking female celebrity thing. Amy has a dope-ass voice, and sings like no one around, but is that enough to justify her being treated with kid-gloves, rewarded even, for abusing drugs? I’m not here to judge drug abusers, lord knows I’ve grown up with my issues, but I don’t understand why folks want her to succeed so bad when other celebrities never get anything resembling a second chance. And don’t refer to Bobby Brown’s reality show as a second chance. That was an opportunity to take a camera into the cars of train wreck. And I sure did watch it.

Electrifying conclusion: I guess Ms.Winehouse just can’t be touched. She’s Teflon Amy in my book from now on.

If I make it out of this week alive and sane, we throw some Foghat into the car stereo, and, ditch this town, and kick some biscuit flower with a coupla pretty young dropouts.

You ever feel like this?

My life is unprecedented, I am the first
To not give a fuck so much, the irony hurts
Inside of me lurks the best of guys
But they suggest I lie, let me testify
When your gift is heaven-sent, then they put you through hell
That’s why I tell young people to be secure in themselves
I could accept criticism when it’s coming from love
But when it’s from a place of hate, then dude ‘fuck off’
I’ve learned to act like what they say don’t hurt
Like my ears are square, and they don’t work
If you do something for so long, eventually it’s you
And the impression is that I’m too impressed with myself
But the message is that I want it the most
Approved by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
A lot of people are out acting like they’re one of the three
Why does it make you feel funny when it’s coming from me?
Is it because I’m not the type to be reaching for help?
Well, some people believe, and some people believe in themselves
I’m one in six billion, aint nobody tell me so
I had to discover for myself what’s been rarely known
That’s how it gotta go sometime, you feel me bro?
Some were to jealous to help me, or help me grow
Used to feel bad when they said I thought that I was the man
Then I thought about it and concluded,

Damn right I am.

StarPower. And I approve this message.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Think I Love My Wife More Than Grand Theft Auto IV

First off, Kerri Washington looked mad, mad good in “I Think I Love My Wife.” Never knew her body was that sick. But that thing she does with her mouth, pursing her lips every 40 seconds or so, is kinda weird. On some early onset Parkinson’s shit. Neither here nor there. Chris Rock’s wife in the film is also dope, but that’s the point, right? Who could ask for more, right? Apparently every man on earth. Only dudes who live with an attractive, educated, smart, funny, dedicated, fragile woman can appreciate how easy it is not to appreciate such a creature. This is a mad good movie until about the last 25 minutes. He woulda just smashed after going as far as he did with her in that hotel room. Then again, there’s something to be said for being able to tell your wife that you “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” You mighta got the head, sucked the nipples, and got a li’l finger action, but definitely no intercourse. You really need to be in a long-term relationship with a woman you really love, respect, and try not to cheat on to feel this movie like you should. I’ve run across a few women like Kerri Washington’s character, sometimes because I’ve worked with them or because they were old friends, but mostly because I’m awesome.

Electrifying conclusion:
I think I love my (soon-to-be-this-August) wife. The secret to success in life is going through it with a woman that’s just a little bit better than you are. The desire to not disappoint her will extend to other areas in your life. Notice I haven’t said a thing about monogamy. That’s another blog. We’ll share our experiences with something many men think is an urban legend – the open relationship.

“Grand Theft Auto IV” brought in a half-billion dollars in it’s first week! Daaaamn! It’s being called possibly the biggest week for any form of entertainment. Meaning, it brought in more money than any movie (“Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead’s Man Chest” did $196 million it’s first week, though it probably did between $250 and $300 million worldwide), album (2.4 million records sold for ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached,” maybe another million worldwide probably equal no more than $60 million), book, tv show, sporting event – anything. Microsoft’s “Halo 3” had the previous record with $400 million it’s opening week.

Electrifying conclusion: I never got into video games, and wouldn’t know what to do with a Playstation, Xbox, or Dreamcast (people still play that? I don’t know, my video game career peaked with Coleco Vision). But judging from the numbers, lots of folks are into pretending to run drugs, shoot cops, and beat up ho’s. I guess I can see the appeal.
My mind is the subway. Dirty, unappreciated, underutilized, expansive, and dangerous. Here's my train of thought for today:
I pray no one ever again sends me a “Bill Gates is sharing his fortune” email ever again*Bill Gates will not write you a check for $245 * Elisha Cuthbert is hot * She won’t write you a check either * Take the time to unsubscribe to email lists you don’t want to be a part of*Hip-hop makes the world go ‘round * I rock * Enough with this Uma Thurman stalker thing. America still gets in a tizzy when a beautiful white woman is in depair. Did I say that before? See, they got me too!* I feel crazy sad about Myanmar. Is it me, or does it seem like natural disasters have been decimating lives the last few years on a level not consistent with the previous 20? * I can only go back so far people. I’m kinda young * A homeless dude asked me for money while showing me some kinda card. Like a homeless license or something.
I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A small portion of the many things college taught me:

-If there was a college for me (3 actually), there’s a college for everyone.
-You do not have to take the SATs to get into college. (True story - Bachelors Degeree, History, Hunter College ‘06; Masters Degree, Urban Education, Mercy College, ‘10).
-You can write scholarly papers using Wikipedia research.
-While away at school, it’s better to steal some of your roommates soap than to wash with shampoo if you’ve run out of soap.
-If your roommates banging a girl while you’re in the room, you have every right to watch. No matter how much he loves her.
-If you don’t drink or smoke, you’re missing out on lot’s of fun. Period. (I did neither in college; hence the reason I now do one heavily, and experiment with the other as I move perilously close to ruining my life just as I’ve finally gotten it together. Don’t be like me. Drink, fuck, and do drugs in college, not in Bushwick).
-If you’re black, you can use white guilt on your professors to gain extra time to do a paper, or to be afforded another chance to take a final. How do you do this? Well damn, am I supposed to tell you everything?
-If you’re white, use college as an opportunity to fuck someone black.
-Cheating is easier in college than at any other level of schooling.
-You’ll probably never be able to see your favorite artists perform for less money than you will at college.
-If you put "college" into a Google Image search, you’ll instantly get maaad pictures of people doing the things I told you to do in college. In case you didn’t know what to do, that’s what you should be doing.
-Going to college should make you smart enough not to listen to folks like me. Then again, I went to college, and I’m about to start graduate school, so what does that say for higher learning?

One of the most annoying habits people have is the desire to be original. I know, I know, we all have the desire, and it’s a noble aim. But those who identify themselves by the desire are some of the most annoying people around. We all know people who can’t even buy a frickin’ pair of socks or tea mug unless it’s an expression of how cool they are. That’s usually where this desire to be original originates from. It’s often a person’s way of showing they have unique taste or creativity or talent or some other character trait that gives them value. Or maybe it’s just a person yearning to be noticed and appreciated in a world of soulless mass-production where each one of us is simply a number, my less cynical side says. Either way, it’s irritating and celebrities are at the forefront. Christina Aguilera recently said that she doesn’t wanna work with Timbaland on her latest album because "everyone has." God forbid Xtina does something unoriginal. First of all, everyone hasn’t worked with Timbaland. Just rich, talented, privileged artists who can afford him. Secondly, according to Dallas Austin, "everyone" has smashed Xtina; should that make her husband not want to have sex with her? Because then it would be an unoriginal experience. Thirdly (is that a word?), sometimes, success requires following an established pattern. Not saying she won’t hit on her own, but Timbaland is as close to a guarantee as you can get right now.

Electrifying conclusion: I’m in a pissy mood today, I guess. I mean, c’mon, it’s not like she’s gonna get Easy Mo Bee or Lord Finesse to do her effin’ album. She’s not gonna go that far left; she’s gonna get some "genius" who’s gonna produce her an album that "sounds totally different" than any of her previous albums. Gimme a break. I do recognize that some folks have to be different because they are just that bored with most things, and require something unusual to stimulate themselves. Could Xtina be such a person? Maybe, but she just sounds like a smugster from where I’m sitting.

Sting, along with his band The Police, held a press conference in Times Square to announce that their final concert will be played in New York City. Apparently this was important enough for Mayor Bloomberg to attend. I get it. I mean, what else is there for the mayor of New York City to do? Improve the subways New Yorkers are being asked to pay more for each year while receiving little change in quality of service? Help the millions of New Yorkers who struggle with sky-high rent, food, and gas prices? Work with his department of education to develop decent after school programs and other supplementary educational services? Nah, this press conference was obviously more important to Money Mike.

Electrifying conclusion: There Mikey goes again, putting The Police ahead of the citizens. Think this might’ve been a symbolic statement on the eve of planned Sean Bell shooting protests? Am I reaching? Who the hell knows. I do know that according to an article I read, The Police got together in 1977 and broke up by 1984. 7 corny years. Tours, documentaries, and reunions have lined their pockets since. Last year’s world your was supposed to be a 30th anniversary celebration of "Roxanne" and their formation. These muthaphuckas weren’t together for 30 years, so what the fuck are they celebrating? I’ll tell you what, the fact that they can fleece the world out of millions in 2007 the way they did in the early 1980s. Did you know that even though "Thriller" steamrolled everything in it’s way in 1982 and 1983, The Police’s "Every Breath You Take" actually beat out "Billie Jean" for song of the year?! "Billie-fucking-Jean!" Lemme tell you, "Every Breath You Take" is a corny record. One of the few records Puff improved on. That’s right I said it. And what?! Can’t beat me.

Random final thoughts: Big Pun could have been the greatest. He was that good. I need to lose a few. Pounds. The "Lollipop" video is dope. I'm really becoming a fan of Lupe Fiasco. Why is it so hard for me to get to a dermatologist? Khia is corny. Trina needs better songs. So does Kelly Rowland. I love the Bronx. Foxy Brown is a foxy piece of dark chocolate. M.I.A. is dope. So is Estelle. Both sexy also. Keep it funky.

I'm StarPower, and I approve this message.