Thursday, August 30, 2007

Haters hate

I got 'em. Do you?

And no, I won't be posting links for it. Sucks for you, huh? Ha. What can I say, I'm getting back into teacher mode.

Call Me... "Mr. Bootlegger"

Monday, August 27, 2007

You be the judge...

"Home" is over 4 years old. "Homecoming" is on Kanye's upcoming album. Let's just say that if I thought the latter was better than the former, I wouldn'ta made this post, but judge for urselves.

Kenny Chesney - Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates in stores September 11.

And in case u haven't noticed, I like hyperlinks.

I want a space suit

Common ft. Lily Allen "Drivin' Me Wild." Features my current favorite woman, Lauren London, and every man's everyman, Jeremy Piven.

3 cheers for cocopuffs. 4 cheers for decent rap videos.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

R.I.P. Ringtone Rap

Told you so.

Let's hope he isn't killed by the growing hype.

*Edit* MTV won't let me post the video here (what's the point of having an embed code then?!) so click the link they have and u can watch it on their website.

*Edit #2* Why be selfish?

Friday, August 24, 2007

2nd Best Rap Video of the Year

Trick Daddy is without question one of the most underrated rappers of all time. Name a track he's been on that he HASN'T murdered. I think T-Pain and Trick Daddy could really be the Best of Both Worlds. And no matter how much I abhor DJ Khaled's incessant use of the word "nugga" (not a typo), and his complete disregard for grammatical structure ("We the best! Who? We!" :-/), I cannot deny that this track goes hard. Not to mention that this video is outstanding. It does what a music video's sposed to do, make you like a song even more than you did at first. Three cheers for DJ Khaled, the only Arab I know of who has carte blanche to say "nigga" whenever he pleases. Word to Michael Richards.

P.S. Khaled's call and response monologue "We the best! Who? We!" is prolly not grammatically incorrect. The answer to "Who?" is really "We are." Thus, shortening the phrase correctly, one should actually say "We" as Khaled says and not "Us" as 99.9% of Americans would because you cannot say "Us are." It is the same principle that applies to the use of pronouns in subjects and predicate clauses. One says "Jane and I are talking" not "Me and Jane are talking" for the same reason because if one removed "Jane" it would become "I am talking" not "Me am talking." One says "Mom gave that to me and Jane" and not "Mom gave that to Jane and I" because removal of "Jane" would leave "Mom gave that to me" which of course is correct, not "Mom gave that to I." I guess he learned something in those English as a Second Language classes.

See, you learned something today. Still doesn't take away from the fact that Khaled sounds stupid when he says it. But hey, he's so hood, he prolly doesn't even care. And with a video/song combo this vicious, I wouldn't either.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Big Brother is watching

Kanye Tudda performs "Big Brother" live at a secret concert in England. This song is sposed to be a candid reflection on his relationship with his "big bro" Jay-Z (pause.) I'm sure u all've heard about the whole 'Ye vs 50 Cent "soundscan showdown" on September 11. I'm lookin forward to Graduation, don't care about Curtis--pun intended. But if anything ppl, dead this desperate attempt to keep rap relevant and buy the Kenny Chesney album on September 11 just to prove a point. I'm highly considering it, and the last CD I bought was Black on Both Sides.

Better yet, buy the new street DVD featuring one of Jay-Z's former homeys, De-Haven. This dude useta run the street with Kanye's big brother back in the day and says the Jiggaman abandoned his duties as a friend. It's all interesting considering that ppl been takin shots at Jigga's character for quite some time, but when it was ppl like Cam'ron, we ignored him. (But really, can u blame anyone for ignoring Cam?) Then Jay snatched the Roc from Dame and things seemed a lil fishy, but I trusted that he prolly had good reason. It wasn't his lust for money and status that caused him to do that. It was prolly Dame's fault.

But now, iunno. I'm not ignoring the fact that some people hate, but when a lot of ppl start sayin the same thing, *shrugs* it's time to pay attention. Another one of President Carter's old homeys, Calvin Klein (a Brooklyn drug dealer, not the clothing designer) was on radio a month or so ago making similar claims about Jay's (lack of) character and integrity. He even went as far as to say that Jay has always been a "white boy" on the inside. Interesting. And then around the 3:20 mark in the video up top, 'Ye talks about how Jay went and snatched Coldplay right after Kanye went and told him he was gonna do a song with them. It doesn't take much to connect the dots here, but what does that say for the legacy of one of the most poetic and prolific rappers of all time? It certainly doesn't take away from his work, but legends become legends because, the magnitude of their achievements is fortified in some way by integrity of some sort.

But then again, maybe it just reveals his humanity. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence but owned slaves and banged one of em, Michael Jackson made Thriller but likes to sleep with little boys, R. Kelly... well, you see where I'm going. All great people are still people. They don't transcend their humanity by achieving fame. Still, I feel some type of way about the Jay thing (no homo). Rappers require authenticity. One of the worst ways to diss a rapper isn't to talk about what nasty things you're gonna do to his wife or daughter or how many times ur gonna shoot him and his entire neighborhood up, it's to attack his credibility. To reveal someone as a fraud, as an outsider masquerading as an insider. As someone who says one thing, but lives another. Know why Prodigy still hasn't recovered from Summer Jam 2001? Cuz Jay showed him in a tu-tu. You can't make "Shook Ones" and wear tu-tu's. I don't care how old you were. That's not hip-hop. The day you wear tights is the day you sign off on ever becoming any sort of gangster rapper. Better rap about politics or love nigga. Ain't no gun bustin' hapnin. I will not be robbed by a nigga who wore leotards. Forget half-way crooks, you'll be half-way dead son.

But I digress... (and i'm also kinda kidding. we call it "hyperbole")

People revere Jay because we came to believe that he rapped the truth. What happens if it turns out to be that Jay never lived it, he witnessed it from his folk's pad, scribbled in his notepad, and created his life?

In essence, I doubt that that is the case, but I do realize that the Big Homey is prolly not the nigga you trust. Separate the art from the artist. Look at what he's done. With romanticism comes revisionism (did I just make up a word?). Basically, when you romanticize anything--an event, a person, an object--it is inevitably followed by some sort of revision of that story. The Americans weren't so entitled to invade Mexico in the 19th century; JFK was a womanizer; Chinese toys kill babies with lead paint. Something happens to bring it all back in perspective.

Here's some perspective.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"I got niggas that'll blast for me... no religion"

If Complex Buyers' Guide is my personal bible... and not in that anti-Jesus kinda way but aesthetically speaking, Antenna which premiered this month, is like the Torah; bigger, more complicated, read from right to left i think, and old testament kinda hardcore. 200+ pages of random cool stuff from A-Z, literally. It takes the Houston slanguage of "havin thangs" to HNL* status. From vintage candy cigarettes to ridiculous bluetooth accessories, to Burton luggage, to PRPS Denim & Maharishi outerwear, Antenna kills it. Light on columns, heavy on gear. And despite the 7.95 price tag I got stuck with in Chicago's Midway Airport this weekend (to avoid paying for an issue of VIBEKingXXLoftheSource) the annual subscription price of $16 is dumb cheap for a lil religion.


*Hol' Nutha Level

Saturday, August 11, 2007

101 Posts and Running

Closing in on a year, You Hype! Sike Nah... recently passed the 100 mark in posts. We celebrated accordingly and, after our Salvadorian maid cleaned up the mess of half-empty bottles of Chandon and kicked out all the groupies the morning after, were left with the satisfactory feeling of having accomplished something. I started this as my means of maintaining sanity in what was one of the most vexing periods of my life. It was sposed to allow me to vent all the hot steam. I definitely had no idea how to "blog." My first post didn't even have a title. Not that there are any rules to this, but i got graphics and music now. The homie DKG joined the team and upgraded the jawn. Niggas is posting comments and ish (even if 90% are from Jeff). The homies in St. Louis always let me know they enjoyed reading it. What can I say other than uh... thanks? I really appreciate the love, cuz if yall didn't read this, it would really mean I was talking to myself, which is a sign of insanity. Thus, being that the blog's purpose was to prevent such a state, you, the people, are more responsible for maintaining my present (but fragile) state of sanity than you may think. So yeah, thanks.

Now, seeing as this is the first of the next hundred posts, I think i'm jus gonna ramble. Buckle up.

Last night, I went to the club with some friends for a birthday party. It was fun. (Note: "Fun" is a relative statement, based on factors like company and location. That is to say "Fun" in DC wit the niggas is not equivalent to "Fun" in Vegas with Paris Hilton and definitely not "Fun" in a Philadelphia nightclub.) I've come to a realization. Philadelphia is the San Francisco of big, black women. You know what Mecca means to Muslims or San Fran means to gays or Atlanta means to black men who call themselves straight but enjoy other men's privates? Yeah, Philly is that for big, black women. Sorry skinny heffas, you have no place in this city. Seriously, big girls run the club, or at least the ones I've been to (which really doesn't mean much). And the funny thing is, they come dressed to the hilt, clearly ready to party. Bony broads get no love. Big girls be wearing them freakum dresses, you know the "short and backless" jawns, but have you seen a fat black women in anything backless? There are an inexplicably infinite number of folds of skin. No details necessary, just use your imaginations.

Aside from the big girls, there is a second phenomenon that is strange in its acceptance among niggas. Some dangerously crunk nigga in the club last night decided to make it rain during T-Pain's "Buy You a Drink." I've yet to understand how or why this is an acceptable practice in anywhere but a strip club by individuals who ACTUALLY HAVE MONEY TO THROW AWAY LIKE USED KLEENEX. Regular niggas have no place doing that. Frankly, I don't believe you. Ur not caking like that. And yes, ur durn right I'm picking up any and every dollar bill that comes anywhere near me; and I know that in ur heart of hearts, you wish u were me, getting back the money I spent on drinks, rather than you, the foolish nigga blowing your unemployment check in the club. Cuz trust, I'm not too cool to be seen picking up money off the ground or grabbing it out the air. I'm broke and I ain't afraid to admit it. I hate paying cover and buying drinks. If I can get back ANY of that money, I consider it all worthwhile.

Speaking of things worthwhile, loyal readers know I stopped listening to (99% of) rap. It's gotten so bad that I didn't even hear that Plies song "Shawty" til like 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure, but I think it was sposed to be old by then. *Shrugs* oh well. [Insert title of the last Nas album here.] Outside of the catchy, ringtone-happy hook, can't say I missed much. And of course the whole MTV Brain Trust (tsk tsk for that name) was tryna inject some fire back into the game with their list. Oh well, I applaud them for the effort and for the list. With the exception of The Game (I've never been a fan of him) I won't completely hate on it. That said tho, I've been grooving to two pretty good albums that are pretty left of center. And guess what? That's right, I'm gonna put u on.

Alice Smith's For Lovers, Dreamers & Me is a pretty solid album by a pretty unknown talent. They played one of her tracks, "Dreams," on an episode of Entourage (the one where Turtle was sposed to bang the blonde chick in a bunny outfit) and I liked it enough to go surfing the net for the album. Download it by clicking the cover or click here.

Big ups to David Kenneth. If you downloaded the Pure White Audio Mixtape, then you'll recognize that Feist sang the cooky-but-catchy "My Moon My Man". I'll admit, this one may be a lil too left field for some of you. It doesn't come with any dance moves and I don't think Feist has a grill, but The Reminder is a great album despite these major shortcomings. She's Canadian anyway, iunt think they've learned about that stuff yet. Standout tracks are "So Sorry," "My Moon My Man," "Sealion" (a very fresh cover of the Nina Simone track "See Line Woman"), "The Limit to Your Love," "1234," and "Brandy Alexander." I just name-checked about half the album, so I guess I shoulda just said it was a good album. Click the album cover above to download it. Album's very chill tho. Definitely not what you play on ur way to a party, more like the joint you play during bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic to keep u calm. As Feist sings in "Brandy Alexander," "it goes down easy." Pause.

In other news, the never-ending struggle between me and higher education may (heavy on the unpredictability denoted by the use of "may") be drawing to a close. No, I'm not dropping out. What I have been doing is turning in papers on time and getting A's. Yes, big things are popping. My final paper is due this Thursday and will be the true test of my scholastic maturity. I might live up to this "potential" thing after all. Maybe I can finagle my way back to the M.S. ed. program again. We'll see.

Until then, I'll enjoy the present. I have exactly one month left of my summer break. The first day of school is September 10th, after that, it's back to the daily grind. But it's definitely a different feeling this go 'round. Like, I got my hands around the joystick (pause) and know what i'm sposed to be doing now. I plan on ruffling some feathers this year to combat the culture of failure at Tilden. Plans include: frequent field trips to expose and connect my kids to positive black people, a class garden, possible class mural, and some other things. Hopefully i'll be able to work out something for them to visit UPenn. I might be living at Tilden next year, but I don't mind. (Famous last words. Let's see if my tune changes in a couple months.)

For now though, life's all about trying to survive in heat that reminds me in some cosmic ancestral way of the Middle Passage. Luckily, a gang of storms came through this weekend and cooled us off. And did I mention I started reading a book? For fun? No bull. I picked up Coin of the Realm by Wash U Prof/Poet extraordinaire Carl Phillips. It's a prose work on the art and conventions of poetry. It's dense, but only cuz the nigga's intelligent. I'm sure he wouldn't like being referred to as "nigga" but oh well, I haven't received an email from Al Sharpton and even if I did, I'd prolly ignore it. Since Paul Mooney said he wasn't gonna say nigga no more, somebody's gotta take his place.

Call Me... "Mr. Nigga? Nigga Nigga?"

P.S. in my rush to deliver the freshest goods, the version of M.I.A.'s Kala on the blog doesn't have "Paper Planes." It's sposed to be track 11, right before "Come Around." Aqui

This is Mr. Nigga, signing off.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

MTV's Hottest Rappers

MTV recently released their 10 Hottest Rappers List, and its caused quite the stir... lol

1. Lil' Wayne
2. T.I.
3. The Game
4. Andre 3000
5. Kanye West
6. Young Jeezy
7. Jay-Z
8. 50 Cent
9. Common
10. Jim Jones

Not to drag this one out any further, but I heard about the MTV list as well and I honestly wasn't put off by many of the decisions... If your criterion for this list is swagger, sales, "now" factor, and impact on the streets, with a hint of quality... we all know Wayne, T.I., and Jay were a lock for this list. Jay is a brand like never before, and everyone wants a feature from the "King of the South" and the "Best Rapper". As far as the rest, I'll be the first person to vouch for Jim Jones.


By all means, Jim is trash... but there is something to be said for having the second most features on O.P.P. this year behind Wayne and Andre3000. Also there is something to be said for coming from Village People status in Hip-Hop fashion, to tricking the streets into wearing wallets chains, biker vests, and sagging Chip & Pepper low-rise jeans in a matter of 12 months. Jim stays.

50 stays, sheerly on track record and endorsements... because the streets are not f---ing with him anymore and no one is looking to him for fashion tips (did y'all see that monkey suit in the Ciara video!?)

Andre3000 is preparing the game for a vicious and much needed Outkast come back.Say what you want about 'Ye, but hip-hop needs him. Average rhymes or not, he maintains fashion icon status and his albums are actually anticipated (even though "Cant Tell Me Nothing" is subpar at best). Plus "Stronger" is DOPE!

I would actually question The Game's NOW factor, and toss him up with Young Joc & Lupe Fiasco... I know its weird, but Game has the numbers and skill minus the respect, Joc is the new millenium Ma$e minus lyrics, and Lupe caught a brick on sales, but maintained crazy exposure, crossover appeal, a shoe with Reebok and is a shining beam of hope for the commercial draw of lyric-driven rap.

Jeezy is the streets lol.

Common is more relevant than he's ever been, and at a time when Hip-Hop needs his diversity the most.

MTV hit it right on the head... with The Game, Lupe, and Joc in a cage match for the last spot.


Hip-Hop is no longer about expression, or even b.s. commercial vs. real conflicts, its about survival in a depressed market. Downloads didnt destroy the game, nor did the South, the cross section of complacency and technology did. ANYONE with a laptop, software, a hookup with a hot DJ, and a camera for youtube can make a fire ringtone (seriously).Rappers dont make records, they make singles and ringtones, and the world is catching on. Rappers began treating albums like the Yankees, and forgot how to create something memorable that the people connect with. In the late 90's commercial boom of hip-hop, bigger meant better, but somewhere along the lines the essence was sacrificed. You can buy the most collaborations and expensive beats, but in 2007, that can't cover up the lack of talent or passion for the game.The reason only one album went platinum in the 2006 calendar year, is because only 3 other records had an equal or greater anticipation and they came out in the 4th quarter.

[i'm done]

With that said, my 10

1. Lil' Wayne (one hit away...)
2. Jay-Z ("Hov's a living legend and I'll tell you why/ Everybody wanna be Hov and Hov still alive")
3. T.I. (I'll forgive him for TI vs. TIP, he dropped 06's best album and upped the ante for the South)
4. OutKast (because Andre AND Big Boi are killing the game)
5. Lupe Fiasco (a musical genius developing at a crazy pace... beware his second release)
6. Pusha T (of the Clipse... thank them for cocaine anthems and BAPE)
7. Kanye West (decent lyricist, best hip-hop ARTIST in the game)
8. Nas (Hip Hop Is Dead gave me hope for 2007)
9. Common (Be was a modern classic, Finding Forever is life changing)
10. Ghostface Killah (most visual and entertaining rapper ever)


Thursday, August 02, 2007


So many times I'm, covering my eyes
Peeking through my fingers
Tryin' to hide my, frustration at the way that we treat...
(Seems like we don't even care)
Turn on the TV, seein' the pain
Sayin', "Such a shame,"
Then tryin' to go on with my life
Of that, I too, am guilty
(Seems like we don't even care)
So we send a lil' money, tell 'em it's alright
To be able to sleep at night
You will pay that price
While some of these folks lost their whole life
(Seems like we don't even care)
Now it wasn't on the nightly news no more
Suddenly it didn't matter to you no more
In the end almost nothing changed
What the hell, what was that for?
(Seems like we don't even care)

My heart goes out to those in Minneapolis, but I can't stop thinking about...

People was poor before the hurricane came
But when the downpour poured is like when Mary J. sang
Every day it rains, so every day the pain
But ignored them, and showed em the risk was to blame
For life is a chain, cause and effected
Niggas off the chain because they affected
It's a dirty game so whatever is effective
From weed to selling 'caine, gotta put that in effect
Wouldn't you loot, if you didn't have the loot?
Baby needed food and you stuck on the roof?
Helicopter swooped down just to get a scoop
Through his telescopic lens but he didn't scoop you
The next five days, no help ensued
They called you a refugee because you seek refuge
The Commander-in-Chief just flew by
Did he stop? No, he had a couple seats
Just proved, Jet Blue he's not
Jet flew by the spot
What if he ran out of jet fuel and just dropped?
Huh, that'd been something to watch
Helicopters doing fly-bys to take a couple of shots
Couple of portraits then ignored 'em
He'd be just another bush surrounded by a couple orchids
Poor kids, just 'cause they were poor kids
Left 'em on they porches. Same old story in New Orleans
Silly rappers, because we got a couple Porches
MTV stopped by to film our fortresses
We forget the unfortunate
Sure I ponied up a mill, but I didn't give my time
So in reality I didn't give a dime, or a damn
I just put my monies in the hands of the same people that left my people stranded
Nothin' but a bandit
Left them folks abandoned
Damn, that money that we gave was just a band-aid
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report
Can't say we better off than we was before
In synopsis this is my minority report

See success and its outcome?


So the pic speaks to the last post. And no, I did not stand in a line. It was an easy cop. Almost bought 2 purrs. Word to Delmar Boulevard.

And oh, ya boy definitely got 100% on the paper he turned in (on time!) last week, so you can't tell me nothin'.

Tuhday wuz a guud day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Got Caught Sleepin

So today I was chilling in my rather warm apartment. The heat at some point was starting to get to me so I decided to take an afternoon nap. I can do that, it's not like I have to teach or any (immediately impending) work to do. So I caught some Z's.

I woke up about 6:30ish and mulled around for a lil bit before I picked up my board and began surfing the web. To my utter surprise, I discovered this:

The Nike Mita Trainer Dunks. I know, you've never seen them before so go ahead, google them. Don't know how successful u'll be. No, you won't find these at the mall nor at ur 3rd rate sneaker spot. It's another reason why I love Philly and why I'm also dead broke, but that's neither here nor there.

They released here today at one of Philly's sneaker boutiques, at like 5 IN THE FRIGGIN AFTERNOON. In other words, mid-nap. Now, I definitely feel some type of way about all this. 1) Philly stores get most shipments on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that is almost always when new gear drops here. 2) Most shipments come between 1 and 3PM (don't ask me how or why I know this) so if it's past this time and a store hasn't updated their stocklist, then ur pretty safe to assume they're not getting them that day. 3) When I last spoke to someone at the store, they told me they were getting them in on Thursday, so I kinda rested easy on this release, assuming that I could get them easily on Thursday after class.

Now, to the store's credit, these were a very limited quickstrike release, which meant that the store really had no idea when they were gonna get the shoes, and it would not be unheard of for these to be delivered at an unorthodox time.

The problem:
  1. The fact that they released this late in the day means that most of the city's sneakerfiends are in the same position as me. They're finding out after the shop's closed already. (They close at 7.)
  2. Capitalism and commerce 101: Supply vs. Demand. You may not know much about the niche sneakerhead market, but i'm really normal compared to most ppl with this fetish. Scenes like this are not unheard of for limited sneaker releases. Now really, I am far too old and far too cool to stand in a line of high schoolers spending their allowances on some kicks. But I'm not exactly above the practice (lol). So basically, I expect for there to be a line of patrons at the shop's doors when they open at noon tommorow.
  3. When do I have class tomorrow? 9am to 12noon. That's right, I get outta class when the store opens, i.e. when there are already 20 ppl salivating outside the store like fiends itching for a fix. And remember, this is a limited release. They may only have one or two pairs of each size. Where will I be? 40 blocks away in West Philly atoning for my sins last semester. AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!
Now, if I don't get the shoes, it won't really hurt my soul too badly. Just keeps money in my pocket. But this year's sneaker game has been akin to the Hip Hop game: not too many really good releases. Moreover, (yeah. "moreover".) I haven't been a fan of most the releases that have been hyped. (Example: See Nike Dunk SB MF Doom) So when there is a shoe that I like, and I know that it's out of the reaches of the proletariat, kinda makes the blood rush. pause.

Gives new meaning to "I never sleep, 'cause sleep is the cousin of death," huh? Wish me luck tomorrow.

DJ Ken Paxton - Pure White Audio

Always one to show love when its due... I figured I'd hit youhypesikenah's constituents with a key of that good. As you know, we love music and you love free stuff so its a perfect deal. The following is 60 minutes of eclectic grooves you need in your life, mixed by yours truly, David Kenneth aka DJ Ken Paxton.

Pure White Intro
MIA - Bamboo Banger
Lloyd - Get It Shawty Remix (Feat. Lil Wayne & Big Boi)
Kid Sister - Pro Nails (Feat. Kanye West)
Feist - My Moon My Man
Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Stronger Sample)
Kanye West - Stronger
P & The Yessirs - Number One (Feat. Kanye West)
Saturday Love/Last Night Mashup
Timbaland - The Way I Are (Feat. Keri Hilson)
Wale - Good Girls
Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt
Cassie - Sometimes
Common - Driving Me Wild (Feat. Lily Allen)
Hero Interlude
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool
SaRa - Hollywood
Wale - Ice Cream Girl
Andre 3000 - Int'l Players Anthem (verse)
Kanye West - Bittersweet (Feat. John Mayer)
Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking (Sean Paul 'Still In Love' Sample)
Plies - Shawty (Feat. T-Pain)
Dynasty - Adventures in the Land of Music (Luchini Sample)
Camp Lo - Luchini
Prince - Greatest Romance Ever Sold (Feat. Q-Tip)
P & The Yessirs - Mamacita (Feat. Daddy Yankee)
Fonzworth Bentley - Everybody (Feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West)
Gemini - We On (Feat. Lupe Fiasco)
Starship Outro (Prod. by The Paxtons)